In 2017, Apple came out with an ad called "What's a computer?" to take a jibe at Microsoft Surface. The ad showed off the iPad's capability as the replacement of the traditional computer. A year later, Apple came out with its most affordable iPad centered towards education and creativity. While I will be writing a separate story on the interactive and versatile nature of the device, I decided to take up a challenge – to work on the iPad for a week ditching the computer. So here is my experience, written on the iPad, of course.
Let's take a peek at what the new iPad has to offer. First of all it has a 9.7-inch screen with a Retina display. Now I've had a fundamental problem with older iPads which were around the same size, as they were too big for one hand usage. If I am using a 12.5 inch screen I might as well use a laptop. This iPad on the other hand provides me better portability and battery life as compared to a laptop. The A10 processor does its job well.
I used the iPad for a week with a smart cover, which is not inclusive of the keyboard. I found myself struggling initially while writing with the on-screen keyboard, but within a day I got used to it. I really wish there was some kind of haptic feedback. During a week of usage, I didn't write many long stories, so that helped my cause. However, If I had an extra keyboard accessory like this product by Logitech (Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored pitch), I would have faced no problems at all.
Sure, the WordPress backend we use for our website was not utterly friendly but you can still work around that most of the times. On some specific instances, I had to ask my teammates to make certain changes.
I mostly used the Pages application to write the articles which incidentally has the support for Apple Pencil as well. The Pencil has that weird charging method of sticking it into the iPad for charging. Apart from that, it works nicely. Although, I found note taking a bit problematic as there was a certain latency which was not comfortable while taking notes. And I used Apple's own notes app for this, so there is no chance for anyone to raise "It might be a third party app" flag. For most part, I used the pencil to doodle naive stuff or to colourise sketches. Work-wise it is really useful to annotate and highlight as well. It was easy for me to point out certain things to my team from a screenshot of the changes I wanted.
The most used apps for me were Chrome, Gmail, Twitter, YouTube and Slack. To get a full experience of using a desktop, I even installed an app which imitated WhatsApp for Web. Chrome for iPad is built really well and provides an experience akin to Chrome on PC. Reading long articles in portrait mode was really comfortable as well. At any time I felt I could pick my iPad up and move to the cafeteria for a change of environment without needing to change my work stance. Twitter and YouTube are also notable apps which adapt well to the tablet format.
However, despite years of existence, there isn't a proper Instagram app. Yes! I get it! No one is going to post photos taken from a tablet. That is an internet crime. But if a device is made for the creators they might like to manage their accounts or even draw art with Apple Pencil as well. For shame Zuck.
The iPad acts as a great entertainment and work device bundled into one. At any time you can dock it up to see Netflix or YouTube videos. It's a shame that the device doesn't have stereo speakers. The ones shipping with the device are just loud enough. Retina display comes to life when you're playing Netflix videos. And because of the screen size which is apt, you can see enough details as well.
Apple has included A10 fusion chip on the device and it is enough to provide its might for most of the games available on the app store. I have been playing Fortnite, Into the Dead 2 and Real Cricket constantly. Additionally, this iPad is perfect for people who might not have a Kindle or any other e-Reader. The iBook app even lets you choose background for comfortable reading.
If you are have a job which requires traveling or shifting a lot from place to place, this iPad is a perfect device for you. Even for artists this proves to be a great companion along with their main work machine. But if you are a number cruncher, a programmer or a multimedia editor you might be just able to use it as the personal multimedia device at most. The iPad is not a computer, and it doesn't pretend to be one as well.
Photos by Raj Rout