How the iPad Has Changed My Life

In the 10th year of the iPad in my tech life, I think it’s time to ponder how it has changed me. And where it may be going in the next 10 years.

It all started here, so very innocently.

My first conventional, personal computer, if I don’t count all those Hewlett Packard calculators I had, was an Integer BASIC Apple II. I didn’t have it long before I added the Applesoft BASIC card, and then things really started to happen. That, of course, led me onwards to the Mac.

Meanwhile, at work, I was using Sun and SGI UNIX workstations. So I’ve always been a desktop (and notebook) computer kind of guy. (You may have noticed over the years.)

In 2010 I bought my first iPad and started exploring it. For example: “What Time is it? Your iPad May Not be Sure.” and “What Time is it? Your iPad & iOS 5 Finally Knows.

Despite stumbles like that, and many other snafus over the years, I’ve enjoyed many different iPads as I’ve continuously updated. Currently I have a 12.9-inch iPad Pro and an iPad mini 5. The iPad mini resides on my night stand and is used for bedtime reading (Kindle), news, and the weather forecast.

What I love most about these iPads is the immediacy of the information. Open the
cover, Touch ID, tap an icon, and voila! Instant results. It’s like the difference between getting up from a work cubicle, wandering down the hall to find a window into the sky and just … having a window in your own office. The immediacy is palpable.

Another thing I like is being able to use an iPad in my lap while watching TV. It can really fill in the blanks for an information junkie like me. (I admit being a slave to IMDB on the iPad. Mac, not so much.) So. iPad Pro on the coffee table.

My wife’s iPad Pro resides mostly on a stand on the kitchen table where it’s available for news while eating. (Admittedly, not so much fun as I write this.)

Right Now, Please

The theme here is immediacy. I don’t have to go to a special place, my work desk, to get information. It’s all around me, in every room. (But, no, I don’t read email in the bathroom.) I think that kind of right-now experience may be what Apple may be driving towards. That is, long before we see 21-inch iPads, a pain (and dangerous) to lug around, AR glasses will provide that immediacy-of-information effect.

Today, the iPad, as an evolving visual experience, is like the 1957 21-inch RCA color TV. The display, in all its glory, is the thing, but as technology advances, the display becomes richer, more portable, more immediate. Culminating in today’s iPhone for many.

They may seem like strange bedfellows, but the iPads of today are preparing us for a rich AR experience five or 10 years from now. I can’t wait to have my TMO workspace hanging in the air before me as I dictate my article from my recliner.

The natural evolution of the iPad as a portable, immediate info display, abstracted and floating in space, will have been achieved.

5 thoughts on “How the iPad Has Changed My Life

  • John:

    I like the vision you’ve outlined, and concur that we are undoubtedly on course for greater virtualisation with our tech interface.

    The instant-on feature of the iPad Pro is, for me as, one of its most compelling features. It makes my MBP feel sluggish by comparison, and even while I’m simply opening the MBP up and letting it go through its waking routine, I’m already working on my iPad Pro.

    Another compelling feature for me is its stability and reliability. The stability of the platform consists in that apps (at least professional grade) don’t crash or freeze, at least so far in my use case, which cannot be said for the same on macOS. They just work, blazing fast. Reliability consists in multitasking with a professional app, like PowerPoint or Keynote and delivering this over a teleconference and having it simply work. I cannot tell you the number of times that it has not worked on my Mac, or the audio was buggy. Not so with the iPad, and I’m not sure why. I now regularly run all teleconferencing on my iPad Pro.

    macOS is an older system, and undoubtedly has vastly more lines of code, and therefore more opportunities for things to go awry, however, it and it’s Unix kernel were conceived in another era when computing worked differently and was still in an earlier developmental phase. iPadOS had the advantage of benefiting from all of the lessons learnt from those growing pains, but as a touch interface capable OS that can also host keyboard, pen and vocal input, is also complex. I’m not certain that the complexity alone explains the hiccup differential between the two systems, but then this is not my area of expertise.

    Finally, a major draw for me is the need for a truly portable but rugged device. With no moving parts, and relatively inexpensive peripherals for input, such as keyboard cases, I can take my iPad Pro into situations where I really would not want to take my MBP unless, as in the past, I really had no other option. With the iPad Pro, I do now, and it has become my travel and field device, allowing my MBP to sit it out safely on my desk.

    Whatever one’s use case, the iPad has changed many a user’s life.

  • P.S.
    The rear cameras on new iPads are impressive for AR and for Asians to take pictures and videos 🙂 but there are consumers who don’t need a rear camera… Maybe a flatter and cheaper iPad Pro?

  • When the first iPad was launched I said that it is an iPhone with a big screen, so I don’t need it. When the iPad 2 came I already needed to wear spectacles an purchased it. What a difference! Then came the iPad Air and now the iPad 10,5 Pro. I already started to consider to get rid of my MacBook Pro as the new iPad keyboard with trackpad can almost replace the MB, but there is a stop shield for me. The new iPads don’t have touch ID only face ID and I hate this! So no replacement till Apple reimplement touch ID to iPads (and iPhones too)!
    Hey Apple, Samsung solved this, you can tap the screen on any point…

  • Immediacy is a good word for it. I had a string of MacBooks but after getting my iPad I went with an iMac at home. All of my portable writing and drawing is done on the iPad, currently a ‘17 lPP with ApplePencil. It’s lighter, more adaptable, and does what I need better than the Macbook. (Seriously drawing on a TouchPad or with a mouse feels absurd now.) but the best part of it is it’s always there. At my desk at work playing music. Tap tap and i’m into Notepad to jot down that character idea, sometimes even just by dictating it and letting the iPad write it out. Tap tap and i’m into a drawing program to do a fast sketch for something I’ll paint later. Have a couple of minutes waiting somewhere, tap tap there is something I started earlier to fiddle with. Not going to be able to do that with a MacBook. Actually my iPhone has gotten in on the action as well. Waiting in line? Fire off a text, check email, check TMO, its all right there. But the iPhone is more of a consumption device. The iPad lets me create anywhere, any time, without the hassle of pulling out the MacBook opening it up, and all that. It’s always there, ready to go, with enough charge to do what I need.

    And the iMac? Mail, the web, some writing, editing and cleanup mostly, oh and videos.

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