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Getting serious about using my iPad Pro at work, looking for insights. (1 Viewer)

Nelson Au

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Guys,

I’m working at preparing to use my iPad Pro 3 at work more seriously. I want to see if it can be used more seriously and could replace my MacBook Pro. Or at least supplement it. So excuse the long post as I give some context and I hope to get insights from others here.

I’ve been an enthusiastic user of iPads since day one. I used them for media consumption and I used the early rubber tipped styluses to drawing and painting on them prior to Apple Pencil. I’ve been using my iPad Pro 1 to iPad Pro 2 and iPad Pro 3 12.9” as well as an early iPad Pro 10” for work on and off and testing ways to use it before the Pandemic, I took the 10” to work often and used it mainly for sketching concepts on it. I primarily use each iPad Pro as a sketching and rendering tool as the Apple Pencil was the game changer. This is the portable art tool I always wanted. It replaced my large desktop Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet. I use the app Sketchbook. It’s a great sketching tool and rendering tool. I’ve used procreate to sketch and paint too.

During the pandemic era and now post pandemic, I use the iPad Pro 3 12.9” a lot for doing Teams meetings and Teams chat too. This is easier to use then the Macbook Pro as I can use it anywhere in the house. I did a lot of Teams meetings during the dinner hour! I experimented once during a meeting trying to share my screen and a document. Teams on the iPhone is cool as I can use it in the car with CarPlay.

When we went back to the office recently, I saw an engineer using his iPad Pro in a meeting. He uses it to take hand written notes, to do Teams meetings and access documents from either OneDrive or Google Docs. This got me thinking to try to use my iPad Pro 3 more seriously at work. I like the idea of using it to take notes and do sketches in meetings and to use Office and Google Docs to access documents as I saw my co-worker do. As our company uses Microsoft 365, we can use all the Microsoft applications.

I’ll be picking my co-worker’s brain to find out what note taking app he uses. I suspect it’s OneNote as it’s in MS Office. I experimented with it. It seems ok, but more complicated then Apple Notes. I use the Apple Notes app on my iPhone and iPad and so I’m used to it. I like if I set a note for iCloud, it shows up on all my devices. I can use the Apple Pencil to sketch in both apps. But it lacks the ability to use pressure sensitivity to sketch naturally looking sketches. I’ve read, Notability is great for taking hand written notes and doing natural looking sketches. Not sure about that one yet. I can do sketches with Sketchbook and copy and paste the sketch into Notes perhaps.

I will learn how my co-worker accesses OneDrive too. I’ve made peace with using a Windows desktop at work a long time ago, so recently, I’ve begun to get used to how to use OneDrive on the Windows desktop at the office and at home on my company supplied Windows Desktop. I am surprised whatever documents I create at work, it’s available on the desktop at home. And I think if I did it right, whatever I do at home, I can access at work. It will be cool if this works on the iPad Pro too. I have not tried to see if OneDrive works on the MacBook Pro. Though it’s a 7 to 8 year old MacBook Pro and I haven’t asked our IT people to upgrade it to Sonoma, it’s still on Catalina. Ha, ha! I’m probably eligible for a new MacBook Pro. I haven’t even tried OneDrive my own personal mid 2012 Mac Pro at home.

Anyway, I started this thread for insights from others using iPad Pros and to track how it goes. Right now, I’m waiting for a new Apple Foilio case that replaces the old one to use on my iPad Pro 3 before I take it to work. And I’ll gather more intelligence for the apps my co-worker uses to prepare it for use at work. It’s nearly there, I can download more of the Office apps into it too. I use Apple Mail to get work emails on my iPhone, I could download Outlook for work email on the iPad Pro. FYI, I can use the screen keyboard just fine, so I’ve never had to get the separate keyboard for the iPad Pro. Who knows, maybe I will.

Finally, I am buying an M4 iPad Pro 13“. It feels like the right time and version to upgrade from my iPad Pro 3! But I don’t want to take that into the office right away. It’s an expensive tool and I want to use it at home first. And it is my own iPad Pro. I want to use my old iPad Pro 3 at work first to test the waters of usage and see if I can make it work.

Thanks for any insights!
 

DaveF

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The OneDrive app integrates into the iPad and iPhone Files app to provide access. OneDrive works on macOS, of course. I've been using it for home stuff for years, since that feature was added.
 

DaveF

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For hardcore perspectives on trying ot use an iPad professionally as a complete laptop replacement, you can dig into and catch up on the past few years of essays by Federico Viticci:

I believe he gave up on the pursuit of using an iPad exclusively as his one computer. But most recently he hacked a iPad laptop hybrid.
 

Nelson Au

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Thank Dave for the comments on OneDrive and links! I’ll check out Frederico’s links you posted.

From what I’ve been seeing, I don’t have illusions the iPad Pro can totally replace a MacBook Pro or a computer. But I hope it can be a highly useful tool in addition and can link to my other devices.

Thanks again!
 

DaveF

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My perception, and experience, is that the iPad is great if you’re doing art, adequate for email and web and office-y stuff, and poor to useless for science and engineering.

It is unparalleled for watching shows on airplanes. :)
 

Robert Saccone

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My perception, and experience, is that the iPad is great if you’re doing art, adequate for email and web and office-y stuff, and poor to useless for science and engineering.

It is unparalleled for watching shows on airplanes. :)
Actually the Vision Pro now takes the crown for watching movies on airplanes. An immersive cinema sized theater in the space of your seat. 🤓
 

DaveF

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Actually the Vision Pro now takes the crown for watching movies on airplanes. An immersive cinema sized theater in the space of your seat. 🤓
With two hour battery life and no over-ear headphones and missing key app(s), I don’t believe that. :)

 

Robert Saccone

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With two hour battery life and no over-ear headphones and missing key app(s), I don’t believe that. :)

My plane had a plug and you can use Bluetooth headphones with it. In my case I used my air pods pros. Was very effective and took me completely out of the plane for the duration of my movie.
 

DaveF

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I fly a lot and have learned I can’t rely on in-flight power.

For long haul flights, I need over the ear noise canceling. Earbuds are in sufficient.

And two hour battery much too little for flying cross country.

VP will be perfect in a generation or two when it has an 8 hour battery and is designed to work with AirPods Max. But as is, it’s inadequate compared to an iPad for cross country, frequent travel.
 

Robert Saccone

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I fly a lot and have learned I can’t rely on in-flight power.

For long haul flights, I need over the ear noise canceling. Earbuds are in sufficient.

And two hour battery much too little for flying cross country.

VP will be perfect in a generation or two when it has an 8 hour battery and is designed to work with AirPods Max. But as is, it’s inadequate compared to an iPad for cross country, frequent travel.
I guess we will agree to disagree.
 

DaveF

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@Nelson Au
Discussion on efforts to use iPad professionally
 

DaveF

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For engineering, it is possible for a certain definition of possible, to use Matlab on an iPad.

I had this setup and was using it via in-flight wifi in the past. It’s janky at best. Beggars can’t be choosers experience. But it worked-ish.
 

Sam Posten

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I will never have a one size fits all device. I have an iPad Pro, gaming pc, gaming laptop, studio and MBP. Yes, I know this is madness.

If I was to drop one of them it would be the MBP. Not the iPad.
 

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