Yury Molodtsov

COO and Partner @ MA Family, where we run communications for tech startups and VC firms.

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You Can't Work On An iPad

Modern iPads are marvelous machines. But their software is too limited and unrealiable for them to replace your computer despite over a decade of innovation.

June 20, 2023


Modern iPads are marvelous machines. I still use the iPad Pro from 2018 and it’s incredibly powerful. Yes, I can’t run Final Cut on it and Stage Manager is limited (I don’t like it anyway). I don’t feel any necessity to replace it any time soon.

When I bought it, I still had my Intel-based MacBook Pro. One day its keyboard broke and I spent a week working on the iPad Pro instead. It was doable. I could open Google Documents, Slack, email. Create documents, write in them, share them, and communicate with the team. What I really liked was how quick it was. Felt like magic.

But everything around the work was so convoluted. A trivial task like taking a file from one app into another is 10 times harder on MacOS. You must find a way to “share” it using the system menu. Or put it in some location in Files only to open from another app.

Then I bought my first MacBook Pro with an M1 chip, which was just as fast. So iPad lost its primary advantage. For some time, it was my weekend computer. I used it to limit my exposure to work-related stuff consciously. But most apps I had on the iPad were far worse than their desktop counterpart. It’s not only about Google Docs. Even researching the backpack you want to buy is simpler on an actual computer.

iPad’s software is underpowered. Limited. Unreliable.

Changing the keyboard layout happens with a delay (can’t believe no immigrants are working at Apple). And in Google Docs it sometimes just doesn’t work.

The way it seems to me, you can comfortably work on the iPad if you’re:

  • an artist, because drawing right there is very helpful
  • an executive, who only needs to review stuff, give comments, join calls and write emails
  • someone who has reconfigured the entire workflow for themselves and their team for the sake of the iPad

That’s it. I want to use this fantastic computer more. But it’s mostly relegated to planes and launching Apple Fitness.

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