Devices Mobile Tech

When your iPad is your computer

The recent iPad updates are pretty interesting. I wouldn’t consider using an iPad as my primary computer for various reasons. At the same time, I can see the latest iPad, along with the keyboard and mouse (?) support as a primary computer for people with pretty straightforward or general requirements.

iPads are like netbooks

In many ways, the iPad seems to be in that place laptops were in back when they were under-powered netbooks, and weren’t quite at a stage where they could act as desktop replacements, like they commonly are now.

Simon Woods has been exploring this option over at too

I wonder if I would be able to avoid the PC chores even if I went with MacBook Air instead of iPad Pro, and just keep the Mac super lightweight. 🤔

Simon Woods

If you’re looking for a lightweight setup, then something like a MacBook Air (or similar lightweight laptop using another OS) is a good choice. Sure, it lacks the portability, and convenience of a tablet, but it makes up for that in support for more apps, and use cases.

On this topic, I enjoyed Marques Brownlee’s review too –

The Linux option

One option I’d love to see is an iPad-like tablet that runs a Linux distro like Ubuntu. It would need to have really good touchscreen support that enables you to use the UI with similar fluidity, and also support external peripherals so you could have a desktop experience when you need it.

I doubt we’re far from that sort of experience either. It could be a really interesting iPad alternative because it could offer more of a desktop experience (with all the app choices that brings) on more portable hardware, and using an OS that can support lower powered hardware.

I haven’t used Microsoft’s Surface devices, but they seems to be pretty capable already, so perhaps the future has already arrived, just for Microsoft users.


I wouldn’t use an iPad as my primary computer for a couple reasons:

  1. I prefer using a different browser, multiple browsers even, and you’re basically limited to Safari for your browser experience on iOS (I understand that even if you install other browsers, Safari is basically the underpinning of other browsers too).
  2. I need more flexibility when it comes to apps than iOS would offer me. I don’t think that the apps I’d want to use there are available.

Still, I feel like it could be pretty close to meeting general, daily requirements.

Useful stuff

Watching the Mars Rover landing in bed

I just watched the JPL live feed as the Mars Rover landed on Mars and began transmitting data back from the red planet’s surface. Aside from being able to watch this historic event (well, live from JPL, the data from Mars is delayed due to the distance to Mars), I got a huge kick out of my ability to watch the live stream on my iPad on UStream. I know this isn’t new but it is amazing technology nevertheless. Anyone remember the old footage of families crowded around little TVs watching the first Moon landing?

Update: If you aren’t too sure what all the fuss is and why everyone got so excited about the landing, watch this video titled “Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity’s Seven Minutes of Terror” which explains just how intricate the whole manoeuvre was:

Useful stuff

Google+ for the iPad has arrived! Rejoice!

I feel like a teenage girl seeing Justin Bieber up close.

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OmniOutliner for iPad envy

This OmniOutliner for iPad video makes me want to go back to using OmniOutliner for my notes!

I used to use OmniOutliner on my Mac for all my notes (I especially used it for meeting notes) and when Nastassja joined me in January with her PC laptop, we needed a way to share notes so we switched to Evernote for all our meeting and other notes. Evernote lacks the powerful outlining options OmniOutliner has but we can sync our notes (well, with the exception of Nastassja’s iPad which has a weird sync bug) but its easier to share notes in a convenient location.

Evernote is probably still a better option for us for what we need to do but OmniOutliner appeals to the productivity nerd in me.