On the 'One-Screen World'

Ben Brooks, on using one device to get things done:

Everything that we used to need multiple devices to do, can largely be done on just one device. There are certainly things I can’t do on iOS, or OS X, but more often there are just things that I prefer to do on a particular device. Force me to choose, and well, it doesn’t really matter what device I choose.

This is why the App Store is such a profitable space, because the more you make the decision of choosing between devices irrelevant (via filling needs with apps), the more power you are giving to users. That translates into users willing to pay to get that “power”.

To me, Ben makes two points here:

  1. The idea of "preferring" one OS or device over another for certain tasks speaks, indirectly, to the power and maturity of iOS. A full-fledged Mac isn't necessary to be productive anymore.
  2. Related to #1, that iOS is so capable is precisely because of all the developers who create apps for the platform. A mobile OS is only as good as its third-party app ecosystem.

In terms of preferring one device over another to get work done, it's been my experience that the iPad is my go-to device. Being a budding freelance writer, I work with text files probably 99.9% of the time. When I'm at home, I use my Mac more and can certainly work there too, but the iPad and iOS is uniquely suited to my craft. I don't need a full-blown Mac to create a bunch of Markdown files, whether for this site or my freelancing. Plus, I find the limitations and concepts inherent to iOS (e.g., the one-app-at-a-time approach) to be refreshing, thereby sharpening focus and improving productivity. Ultimately, though, I agree with Ben insofar that it doesn't really matter which device I use — Macs are great too! — rather, I find it comes down to what mood I'm in.