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10 Reasons to Use An iPad As Your Main Computer

When people come across someone who is using an IPad as their primary computing device, they often get a bit aggressive and ask why on earth they would choose to do that? Why put themselves through all the complications of using iOS when many of the tasks they need to do are simpler on a Mac. Certainly this was true when the iPad first came out and our cloud based world wasn’t nearly as advanced as it is now, but as time has moved on, it seems that there are increasingly strong reasons to pick an iPad over a different platform, including something like the windows based convertible devices like the surface. Here are some reasons including my personal reasons for choosing iOS over all else.

1. All the innovation is on iOS

Okay that’s hyperbole. The truth is MOST of the innovation is on iOS thanks to its important market share. Yes android has more users and there is some amazing and brilliant innovation there too. But when you compare iOS to macOS (yeah I’m starting early on using that one) or Windows, it looks like the more innovative platform. When crazy new interesting apps come out, they come out on iOS and occasionally follow up on the Mac/Windows (or much more likely, with an online web app) ChromeOS is probably worthy of mention for innovation too but I prefer native apps.

2. Touching is more intimate

There is something about touching using your fingers on a screen which feels more intimate than using a mouse and clicking on an object. Perhaps that makes it little wonder that using a tablet feel more intimate and personal and established a greater bound to the device and experiences.

3. It’s far more portable

This is a huge element for me. I am a teacher first and foremost and I live in different countries. When I started teaching I had a 10″ power netbook (that could just about run football manager), then I moved to a 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina screen and iPad Air. I can feel the difference in my bag everyday when I walk to work if I have my iPad (even with the keyboard dock) compared with my MacBook Pro. With the amount of materials I sometimes need to carry, saving a few inches can be vital.

4. It is mobile first, not mobile tact on

I’ve tried some of these Windows convertible devices and there is a lot to like about them, in fact I owned a Windows RT (yeah remember RT) tablet for a while (SMH). While they do some things really well, In my opinion they are not mobile first and foremost but mobile tact on. The keyboard accessory makes it clear that you are supposed to use a mouse, the old windows programs are still very much programs and not apps.
On the iPad, everything is designed to be mobile first and foremost and that is killer. It makes the interactions with or without a keyboard great.

5. Basic automation is easier on iOS

There is no denying that automation is easier and more powerful on a desktop device. However, tools like IF and Workflow make automation for dummies much easier. The drag and drop style of these tools and the sharing of workflows really help.
I never majorly got into automation on a desktop but I love it on iOS.

6. I use my tablet like a lot of people use their phones

My phone is pretty stripped down to make it less distracting so I can be more “present” around people and when I am out and about. Yes I am one of those crazy hippy types who thinks that disconnected is good and you need to take time out of the feedback loop of the online world. If you want some stronger reasons why, read Deep work by Cal Newport or just listen to a podcast he has been on promoting the book.

7. IOS is less distracting and encourages monotasking.

This is another big reason for me, iOS encourages focusing on a single task at a time and not getting distracted by all the options. Notifications can be easily turned off and airplane mode is a quick slide and tap away. The apps take up the whole screen (or half if you have split screen/slide over) and they generally feel best when they take up the whole screen. Yes, you can do this on any operating system such as the Mac or Windows but the mobile interface tries to maximise screen estate so often menus are politely hidden away,

8. iOS is better for consuming and relaxing

This is how many people see the iPad first and foremost, as a tool to consume data like reading ebooks/PDF documents, RSS feeds, social media and so on. Putting the iPad between my hands and then sitting on a comfortable chair and reading is a wonderful experience. So is thumb typing a post or casual social networking.
All of these tasks are FAR superior on the iPad over any other platform.

9. I find photo editing more enjoyable on the iPad.

Let me start with a few preferences. There are some things which the iPad sucks at with photo editing.

  1. It doesn’t handle RAW files
  2. Scrolling and searching through images is terrible
  3. Auto backup isn’t great for mass importing
  4. The thumb nails are too small when importing from an SD card.

Okay, with those out of the way, I prefer editing on the iPad. Snapseed and Polarr are pretty powerful, there are some great filter based tools out there, the interfaces are nice and simple to use and I prefer swiping, using my finger to use a brush tool and so on. I feel like this is the future of photo editing, the iPad just needs a bit more power (especially in the software) and some better photo management option.

10. You can take videos and photos on the iPad.

Technically you could do this with a laptop (I’d love to see someone doing that in front of the Eiffel tower) but a tablet makes more sense. Scanning a document that you need, sketching an icon which you scan into a program, adding a geotagged image of a site you are at to an email Or message you are writing. For more portable work, it really helps.

Why do you use iOS and an iPad over another operating system

I know there are more reasons why people prefer iOS and the iPad over alternative operating systems, why don’t you leave some of your reasons below.

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