What I’d like to see in the next iPad

ipad-with-keyboard

My iPad Pro 12.9″ has become my primary computer. I use it everyday for work and take it home with me every night for personal use. An Apple Keyboard (bluetooth) and Apple Pencil always come along, too. Here’s a breakdown of what I use it for:

* Email (Gmail)

* Writing (iA Writer)

* Spreadsheets (Google Sheets)

* Chart building (Apple Numbers)

* Note taking (Notability and Apple Notes)

* Photo retouching (Pixelmator)

* Page layout (Adobe Comp)

* Illustrating (Sketchbook Pro)

* Web design and Blogging (WordPress)

* Lists (Wunderlist and Clear)

* Reading (Apple iBooks)

* News (Apple News and Flipboard)

* Internet (Apple Safari)

* Storage (Apple iCloud and Google Drive)

My main computer (a 27″ iMac) has Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat – which I use for creating larger projects. On occasion I also use Apple iMovie to create and edit the videos I shoot on my iPhone. Otherwise, I’m usually facing my iPad Pro.

My job as Marketing Manager for an energy company allows me to be flexible with the hardware I use day-to-day. The iPad Pro lets me sketch my ideas and build layouts very quickly. I can stay at my desk, stand and work at a nearby table or go into another room. Often, during my commute into work via LIRR I’ll pull out the iPad Pro and sketch out an idea for an upcoming project.

Certainly, I am the exception to the rule at work. Most are using PCs (some Windows some Apple). If Apple wants the iPad Pro to become more mainstream in work environments, here are my suggestions:

Make the iPad a uniquely collaboration device

Others in the office have iPads. It would be nice if I could see who was online and share my screen with them. For example, if I was in Starbucks while others were at the office or home it would be wonderful to share my work with them easily without having to setup time consuming meetings.

Connect iPad to a larger screen

I love the 12.9″ screen on the iPad Pro. The device is small enough to easily slip into my bag (along with the Pencil and Keyboard) and big enough to make an impact during a meeting. And while I love writing, designing and drawing on the 12.9″ screen there’s something very nice about working on a larger screen (like my iMac’s 27″). If there was a way to connect the iPad Pro to a larger screen I might use it even more for larger projects.

Add a touchpad 

While the Apple Pencil is great for drawing I’m not always fond of poking at the screen while working on spreadsheets – which I do more often these days. A touchpad (right beside my Apple Keyboard) would be nice. I can toss it into my bag or leave it behind just as I do now with the keyboard.

Education on using iPad as a PC

I didn’t start using my iPad Pro right away as my main computer. I started years ago with a 9.7″ iPad 2 and worked my way up. Now that device stays at home primarily for streaming music (Spotify – because it’s free). During this time the Apps were not as powerful and I was unable to achieve professional results but that’s not the case anymore. The majority of iPad users probably use it as their secondary device but if educated on how much more it can do now compared to only a year ago, many would switch from their clunky Windows PCs and travel light like I do. In fact, my son uses a 9.7″ iPad Pro as his main computer at Binghamton University where note taking, research and writing reports is paramount. Here the iPad Pro is a perfect solution – better then a heavy laptop that’s less portable, has worse battery life and likely isn’t as speedy.

After working with iPads for years, I believe they are the future form factor for everyday computing. But it remains a niche product in most mainstream work environments. If implemented, my suggestions above might change that and many more might consider making the iPad their primary computer. I did, and I haven’t looked back since.

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