On the iPad Replacing the Mac

Ben Brooks, commenting on the dogmatic belief the iPad can’t be “computer replacement”:

The argument many make is that for them an iPad cannot replace their Mac right now. But their headlines always scream “THE IPAD AIN’T MY MACBOOK AND THEREFORE IT IS SHIT”. It’s fair to say that the iPad is missing something for you, but short-sighted and stupid to dismiss it because you can’t connect USB devices, monitors, or see the file system.

I don’t know where the future of the iPad lies, but I believe we aren’t even close to realizing the full power and usefulness that it packs.

This is spot-on. As I’ve said many, many times, the iPad is capable of replacing one’s laptop. It’s done so for me. For my spartan needs, the iPad is terrific at helping me get work done. I find the “limitations” of iOS to actually be refreshing, and I don’t need another full-fledged Mac to get the job done. How? It’s the apps, stupid.

Here are the apps I use most on my iPad (in no particular order):

  • Dropbox
  • Byword
  • Poster
  • Pinbook
  • Tweetbot
  • Diet Coda

These are only six, but they’re all perfect for allowing me to manage my files, write a paper or blog post, and even make changes to the HTML/CSS on this site. In other words, real work; productivity. I don’t need a “real” laptop to manage a bunch of text files or write in Markdown. In fact, I probably use my iPad more for work than play, as I don’t play games or watch movies, etc. I do read in iBooks and Instapaper, but even reading takes a backseat to writing. (Surfing the Web is a given, I think.) I sure as hell don’t mind the abstraction of iOS’s file system, because if I want to dick around with folder hierarchies, I’ll just open Dropbox.