I’ve been using my iPad at work since the first generation iPad was launched in 2010. I’ve owned the first generation iPad, iPad 3, iPad Air and am now using the iPad Pro 10.5. During the last seven years many people have asked me how I use my iPad and whether or not I think it is more of a consumption device. So rather than talk to everyone on an individual level, I decided to write this book to help as many people as possible get the most from their iPad tablets. Feel free to use your iPad for consuming media and playing games when not working (I do) but don’t listen to those folk who claim that this is all your iPad is good for.
One of the greatest features of the iPad is its phenomenal battery life. I’ve done a few real world use tests and typically get around 12 hours of use from one full charge from my iPad Pro. The iPad Air used to get 16 hours due to less powerful components, but 12 hours is pretty awesome. That’s well over a single full business days’ worth of use! It’s wonderful not not have to be chained to a desk and wall socket. My MacBook Pro in comparison often needs a boost half way through the working day to keep it going – especially if I’m doing anything which stresses the laptop. So, when teamed with a mobile phone you can get out there, connect to the internet and get lots of valuable work done – all day long.
Most apps come to iOS first because of how widely used the platform is and how profitable it is for app developers. Whilst this may not always be the case, Android first apps tend to get ported to iOS before another other mobile platforms. As far as tablets go, the iPad is the market leader. This ensures that more tablet specific apps are written for it than its nearest rival Android. I’m not about to start knocking Android or Windows (I actually use both a lot and think they are excellent) but if you want the most straight forward tablet experience that works out of the box then the iPad is the best your money can buy.
Not only do most apps come to the iPad first but the tools that come bundled with iPad (or are available for free) are amazing too. The iWorks productivity suite gives you access to document creation, spreadsheet manipulation and presentation tools that are right up there with the best of them. They import and export the major file formats (namely Microsoft Office) which means that you do not need to dash out and spend any money. They work offline as well as on and sync, via iCloud, to your computer when connected to the internet.
All Apple mobile devices are built on a secure foundation. When you have a passcode enabled on your iPad the hardware encryption prevents anyone else from accessing the data held on the device. Apps are sandboxed so that they cannot gain access to each other’s data without your say so – also what they are allowed to access is restricted. All apps installed on your device will come from the App Store. If an app developer has found a clever way around the security, when programming, then it will not be allowed on the App Store. This stops apps from working in a way they shouldn’t and opening up your data to peoplefolk who shouldn’t be able to see it.
It is possible to Jail Break your iPad. What this means is that you undo all of the security features, usually to run an app that would not be allowed through Apples vetting process or to run apps that you do not legally have the right to use. This book will say no more about this process as it is something I do not intend to try and would not want to promote the use of. If this kind of thing does interest you then a quick Google search will get you tonnes of information on the subject – but please be aware that there are many pitfalls to taking this route.
Build Quality and Design
In my opinion the iPad build quality and design are simply breath taking. When you hold an iPad you feel that it is an all-round quality product through and through. In fact some people think that using an iPad is asome kind of fashion statement. They think that the quality of the gadget that you prod in the coffee shop might say something about who they you are and what you do. Personally, this does not interest me for I don’t hold with such silly notions as I simply choose to use the tool that is going to get the best job done with the least effort – and that’s why, despite having dallied with the alternatives, I always come back to the iPad.
It’s not all unicorns and rainbows however. There is no denying that you can get other tablets (and in some cases laptops) much cheaper than thean iPad. Whether this is an Android or one of the many Windows tablets which have caught your eye you may find the tablet does not quite live up to the promise. Having played about with both a fair bit I still maintain that the iPad is the best tablet experience. Hhowever, rather than take my word for it you should spend some time playing with them. Go down to your nearest electrical store / PC World and go and give them all a try. This should give you enough of an idea before spending your cash.
Moving from a traditional computer
If you are used to using a traditional PC or Mac and have not yet made the bold move to use an iPad you may be concerned that you will not be able to get certain things done. This book aims to dispel many of these fears and provide you with the confidence so that you can jump in feet first. That said if you really are a die-hard Windows fan you should really take a look at the Microsoft Surface Pro devices. These are more laptop like, with the added bonus of being able to function as a tablet. I’ve worked with many people using Surface Pro’s and invariably these are used like laptops – not tablets.
How about Chromebook?
Alternatively, a serious contender for your attention ought to be the Chromebook line of devices. These come in a variety of flavours and offer the potential to replace a full blown laptop with something which does away with a lot of the fuss which comes with a full blown Windows or Mac laptop yet offers the ability to be productive wherever you are. Much like the Surface Pro from Microsoft, touch screen Chromebooks are laptops first and tablets second, so bear this in mind when you are selecting your device.
The mobility, connectivity and usability of iPad means that it will continue to play an important role in successfully businesses across the globe. The only question now is what part of you is going to play and how will you make the best use out of this amazing tool?
General iPad workflow
For me, when I’m using the iPad, things flow easily. Apple have put a great deal of effort into making the user experience intuative. When I work from a laptop, I feel this is more demanding and less enjoyable. But when I unlock the iPad I feel less challenges, so instead I can get things done in a way that I find doesn’t get draining. You may have a different relationship with your tablet but I think there is something about the design of the hardware which makes it feel more of a joy to use than a traditional computer. Weird I know, but true.