Can an iPad change a laptop computer? It’s a foolish query as a result of it has an apparent reply: sure, it may. It has a display screen, runs apps, and might hook up with the Internet.
The actual query just isn’t if an iPad can change a laptop computer, but when you should use it with out rage-quitting Google Docs and chucking the iPad out a window. Again, the reply is sure—however it does take some effort, in each your setup and how you employ your iPad.
A keyboard and Apple Pencil are principally obligatory
You’ll want a keyboard to make use of your iPad as a laptop computer substitute. I’m biased, in fact, as you’ll be able to guess I didn’t write this text on my iPad’s touchscreen. Still, almost everybody wants to put in writing or reply to emails, social media posts, and instantaneous messages regularly. That means shopping for a keyboard.
Apple’s Magic keyboard is the obvious choice when you have a current iPad Pro or iPad Air, however it’s not mandatory. I’ve an older iPad Pro and use it with Logitech’s Combo Touch. Brydge and Zagg additionally make stable iPad keyboards.
You must also decide up an Apple Pencil. It improves the touchpad in lots of precision duties. You can use it to edit a photograph, signal a doc, or transfer duties in a challenge administration app. All of this may be completed with a touchpad, however you’ll uncover the Pencil is quicker and extra intuitive.
Buying a keyboard and the Apple Pencil is pricey. You’re taking a look at a minimal of about $300 for a third-party keyboard and the first-gen Apple Pencil, and as much as $480 if you happen to’re shopping for a new Magic Keyboard for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. Using the iPad as a laptop computer substitute means spending laptop computer cash.
Learn to make use of contact and keyboard shortcuts
The iPad’s touchscreen helps the shortcuts you’re aware of from a smartphone, equivalent to pinch to zoom, however affords superior shortcuts which are much less apparent.
The multitasking shortcuts are a very powerful to be taught, but they’re not intuitive. Slide Over, which helps you to view one app in a small window whereas one other is fullscreen, tripped me up for days. I counsel bookmarking Apple’s iPad multitasking help page. Refer to it as typically as wanted to construct your muscle reminiscence.
You’ll additionally wish to be taught the keyboard shortcuts. MacOS customers gained’t have a lot situation right here as shortcuts largely carry over, however these making a swap from Windows will really feel misplaced.
My favourite shortcut is Command-Spacebar, which opens search and is commonly the quickest approach to launch or swap from one app to a different. Another nice shortcut is Command-Option-D, which opens the dock. This is beneficial for launching into Slide Over or Split View, as you are able to do each by dragging an app up from the dock.
Look, I get it. Learning new shortcuts will be annoying. After years of feeling like an skilled you’ll really feel like an entire noob. Endure the frustration for a couple of weeks, nevertheless, and also you’ll be stunned at how succesful an iPad feels.
File administration in apps and the cloud
Files got here to the iPad with the discharge of iOS 11 and has developed ever since. It’s a vital app to be taught however, like iPadOS shortcuts, can show irritating for brand new homeowners as a result of it really works in a different way from a laptop computer.
The Files app doesn’t present drive directories just like the Explorer and Finder apps on Windows or MacOS laptops. It as a substitute lumps your storage into a number of massive buckets named Locations. All iPads will embrace the On My iPad (which is native storage), iCloud Drive, and Recently Deleted areas.
The On My iPad folder will embrace folders for apps you’ve used to save lots of recordsdata to your native storage. In different phrases, you’ll save recordsdata to a folder with the identical title because the app you’re utilizing to save lots of the file. That’s a departure from most laptops, the place you’d typically save to a general-purpose folder labeled “Photos” or “Documents.” You can create folders within the Files app after which use them to save lots of recordsdata from a number of apps, however they’re not there by default.
Personally, I simply skip this and lean on cloud storage, which is one other frequent level of confusion. Files doesn’t deal with cloud storage in a different way from native storage. Apple’s personal iCloud Drive is listed by default, and you can too add OneDrive or Google Drive.
Once added, these companies seem in Files precisely like native storage. New iPad homeowners typically miss this as a result of cloud companies like OneDrive and Google Drive have their very own iPad apps and, in reality, you will need to obtain them earlier than you’ll be able to add these companies to the Files app. It’s simple to mistakenly suppose different cloud companies have to be used independently of the Files app.
You can drag-and-drop recordsdata with contact, the touchpad, or an Apple Pencil. It’s even potential to maneuver immediately between folders by opening two Files app views in Split View, and to maneuver recordsdata from the Files app to different appropriate apps, like Notes or a picture editor.
However, it’s typically faster and simpler to maneuver and manipulate recordsdata with the context menu. Just contact a file for a second together with your finger or an Apple Pencil, or right-click with a touchpad. If you wish to transfer a number of recordsdata, first faucet Select within the higher right-hand nook, choose the recordsdata you wish to manipulate, after which use the shortcuts that seem on the backside of the Files app. This is one of the simplest ways to share, copy, transfer, or delete recordsdata.
iPadOS 15 will make a number of key enhancements to the Files app. It will add a standing bar for file transfers, assist for exterior drives formatted in NTFS, and drag-to-select when utilizing a mouse or touchpad. The final bit will, I feel, be key in serving to customers making the swap from a laptop computer really feel snug on the iPad.
Leaning on Google could cause issues for iPad homeowners. The Google Docs and Google Sheets apps are notoriously unhealthy. You sorta-kinda repair Google’s lackluster apps by utilizing Docs, Sheets, and different Google companies in Safari, simply as you’d on a laptop computer. This could cause efficiency points on much less highly effective iPads, nevertheless. It’s additionally not helpful if you happen to’re working offline or have a spotty Internet connection.
What do you employ if you happen to ditch Google? Apple’s personal apps are an apparent however typically forgotten answer. Mail, Pages, and Numbers all work properly for private use. They’re quick and really feel extra at house on the iPad as a result of the apps share an interface present in different key apps, just like the Files app.
Microsoft’s Office apps are one other nice alternative. All the Office apps on iPad are quick and play good with the iPad’s options and multitasking. The solely massive draw back is worth: an Office 365 subscription starts at $6.99 per month (discounted to about $5.83 per 30 days if you happen to pay yearly).
There’s a hoard of apps particular to the iPad, as properly. You can discover productiveness apps aimed toward journaling, note-taking, doc markup, and far more. These task-specific apps can show a more sensible choice than a extra normal doc, spreadsheet, or presentation app if most of your productiveness is targeted on that individual process.
Take a unique method to peripherals
Every iPad has one port. Older fashions have the inconvenient Lightning connector and newer fashions have the extra helpful USB-C port. It’s a significant limitation both method. An iPad can’t be used with a number of wired peripherals until it’s paired with a dock. That would possibly imply rethinking how you employ peripherals with the iPad.
It’s tempting to replicate your current laptop setup, however that may result in frustration. You’re higher off accepting the perks and issues of the iPad’s lack of ports. For some, this would be the breaking level: maybe you don’t wish to use cloud storage, otherwise you believe a multi-display setup is important for productiveness.
But if you happen to embrace the iPad philosophy, you’ll discover it has benefits. Moving away out of your desk can be faster and simpler since you’ll have few, if any, wired units related. Cloud storage offers easy accessibility to all of your recordsdata throughout all of your units with the bonus of computerized backups. Less show actual property may help you retain targeted on duties and ignore distractions.
An iPad can also be an awesome alternative to ditch a big, highly effective laptop computer and return to a desktop PC. A desktop can do something a laptop computer PC would do for much less money and will be upgraded over time. Pairing a desktop PC with an iPad can provide the better of all worlds.
The iPad is a superb laptop computer substitute, with some work
My 2017-era iPad Pro has develop into my day-to-day laptop computer substitute. It’s the machine I attain for first after I’m away from my desk. This took effort and, even immediately, I’ll discover myself attempting to open a file as I’d on a Windows laptop computer.
You would possibly surprise: why hassle studying the iPad after I’m already snug on my laptop computer? I don’t have a solution for that. If you’re completely satisfied together with your laptop computer, nice! Stick with it. But if you happen to’d wish to strive one thing totally different, or don’t presently personal a laptop computer, the iPad is a succesful and pleasurable day-to-day machine that gives new methods to perform acquainted duties.