A week or so ago, I got a new iPad. It isn’t my first: I got a previous model (iPad 2 maybe? I don’t remember exactly which model it is) through work. While I did use it, I didn’t love using it, and most of the time, I would pick up my laptop to use instead of the iPad. Lately it has got very sluggish, and the battery is starting to fail, so I was thinking about whether I wanted to spend my own money replacing it.
Mr. Bsag had got an iPad Pro 12 on which to do all his computing work, and an Apple Pencil for sketching, and I was very impressed with it. Not being an artist like him, and wanting to prioritise small size/weight, I eventually decided to go for an iPad Pro 10.5, with both a Pencil and a keyboard cover. Even while I was buying it I was thinking that it might all be a mistake, and I might well return it for a refund if I just didn’t get the use out of it.
That hasn’t happened. I find that I really enjoy using this iPad. I think the difference is having a convenient built-in keyboard, it being much lighter in weight than my old one, and also the new multi-tasking features in iOS 11. I’m really surprised by how much I enjoy it.
I’m not going to give up my laptop or desktop—actually, I can’t, because a lot of my work these days is coding, and that isn’t (yet) possible on an iPad. What I enjoy using it for is reading, brief bursts of writing focus while sitting on a comfortable chair, and handwriting notes or making quick sketches of ideas. I could have got a cheaper keyboard, but I love the convenience of Apple’s keyboard cover. I am definitely a physical keyboard kind of person, and that makes all the difference to how much I want to use it to create stuff, rather than just consuming. In fact, I’m writing this on the iPad now, in Editorial, with a special template set up for all the Blot front-matter.
I also bought a copy of Bookends of iOS for the first time, to go along with the desktop version that I have used for ages. I have to say that reading academic papers and highlighting and making notes (with the Pencil!) on the iPad is completely delightful. I rip the keyboard off (magnets are magical), hold it in my hand, and twirl the Pencil as I’m thinking and reading. I find that I get much less distracted, and so I have read lot more as a consequence, which is a great thing.
For the first time, I feel as if the iPad has a niche in my computing life.