A More Productive iPad

This feels amazing. Transformative. Revolutionary.

It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and I’m writing this post while sitting at my local Starbucks listening to the latest episode of The Talk Show on my iPhone. But I’m not on my 11-inch MacBook Air -- I’m on my iPad. I’m writing -- creating content -- on my tablet. I walked in, ordered my coffee1, then found an open table and sat down. After sitting, I pulled my Origami Workstation and my iPad from my bag, connected to Wi-Fi2, launched Byword, and started typing.

When I pre-ordered my iPad (3) a few weeks ago, I went into it thinking that I wanted to use the device more as a productive tool. (The Retina display makes this endeavor all the more appealing.) In addition, I picked up the Origami case on Ben Brooks’s recommendation, and an Apple wireless keyboard. In fact, the writing of this post marks my first usage of the iPad + Origami setup.

A few thoughts after the first half-hour of use:

  1. Incase did a great job with the design of this case.
  2. Byword on iOS with iCloud sync is a wonderful thing.
  3. The Apple wireless keyboard feels just as good as the ones on my Macs.
  4. I can totally see myself getting schoolwork done with this setup.

Granted, my the-iPad-can-be-used-to-actually-work epiphany isn’t a novel one: most of the tech writers I read have said as much. The thing is, though, I think an experience like mine just goes to show how far the iPad has come since its debut two years ago. At the time, no one was really sure what the hell to do with it; now, we have apps like iMovie and GarageBand and iPhoto and Paper to do things that were traditionally reserved for “real” computers.

(In the midst of all this praise of the future of personal computing, I will admit to having a kind of cognitive dissonance with the iPad + Origami kit. It feels somewhat anachronistic to be using an “old school”, analog piece of technology like a keyboard with a bleeding-edge device that has virtually no buttons and built for touch. And yet, it works really, really well.)

That I’m still sitting here at my table, an hour later, still writing goes to show that the iPad isn’t just for playing Angry Birds, streaming Netflix, and listening to Pandora. Anyone who tries to argue otherwise is full of shit. The iPad is a helluva lot more than a mindless "consumption" device.

My Air will always have a place in my workflow. But these moments have been magical.

  1. A Tall regular coffee, with half-and-half and sugar added.

  2. I’ve had my iPad since launch day, but I’ve yet to sign up for and test LTE.