May people ask the question … iPad Pro or MacBook Pro. I decided to really think about this question and see, what is it that I do with each device.
Initially I thought of each device as being its own ‘thing’. I did these things on my iPad Pro and those things on my MacBook Pro. But when I really sat down and thought about it, it turns out that there are things I do exclusively on my iPad Pro, and other things that I do exclusively on my MacBook Pro … but there are also many things that I do on both.
There are apps which only run on iOS. Drafts is a perfect example. It’s my note taking app of choice. Using my iPhone in conjunction with my iPad makes Drafts one of the most powerful apps I use in the iOS ecosystem.
During meetings I can quickly jot down things that I need to know using my iPhone and no one notices or cares. Later, I can use my iPad Pro to process these notes and make sure that everything gets taken care of.
I can also use Drafts as a powerful automation tool to get ideas into OmniFocus (my To Do App of Choice) easily and without any fuss.
I also use my iPad Pro to process the expenses my family incurs. We use Siri Shortcuts to take a picture of a receipt which is then saved in a folder in Dropbox.
I monitor these images and match them up against expenses (or income) in Mint and categorize the expenses.
This workflow helps to keep me (and my family) in the know about how (and more importantly where) we’re spending our money.
Mint is available as a web page, and I’ve tried to use macOS and this workflow, but it simply didn’t work for me.
Using OmniFocus on the iPad is a dream. I am easily able to process my inbox, perform my weekly review and quickly add new items to do inbox. The ability to drag and drop with with either Apple Pencil or my finger makes it so easy to move tasks around.
The other (obvious) use case for my iPad Pro over my MacBook Pro is media consumption. Everyone says you can’t get real work done on an iPad and they point to how easy it is to consume media on the iPad, but I think that shows the opposite.
When you’re ready to take a break from doing real work, the best media consumption device is the one you have with you 😀
When I really thought about what I use my MacBook Pro for I was … surprised. Quite honestly, it’s used mostly to write code (in Python) using my favorite editor (PyCharm) but other than that … I don’t do much on it that I can’t do on my iPad.
When I record podcast (OK, really, just that one and just that one time) I use my MBP, and if I have a ton of stuff I need to clean up in OmniFocus then I’m over at the MacBook, but really, it’s doesn’t do anything I can’t do on the iPad Pro.
Maybe I don’t do real work in the macOS ecosystem?
What I do on both MacBook Pro and iPad Pro
Honestly, they both do a great job of getting me to where I want to go on the internet. Some people think that mobile safari isn’t up to it’s macOS counterpart (and they’re right) but for my (non-coding) needs, it doesn’t really matter to me. They both work really well for me.
I also tend to use OmniFocus on both when I want to mark things as done, add new items, or make bulk edits (OF3 on iOS finally made this one a possibility).
I also use the terminal to access servers via ssh on both platforms. The great thing about the command line is that it’s mostly the same where ever you’re coming from.
Terminus on iOS is a a great terminal app and I can just as easily navigate the server there as I can using the terminal app in macOS.
I’m also just as likely to plan my family’s budget on iOS as I am macOS. It just kind of depends which device is easier to get to, not what I’m planning on doing. Excel on both platforms works really well for me (I work in a Windows environment professionally so Excel is what I use and know for that kind of thing).
Finally, writing. I use Ulysses on both macOS and iOS and really, I love them both. Each app has parity with the other so I never feel like I’m losing something when I write on my MacBook Pro (or on my iPad Pro). Sometimes, it’s hard to really tell which platform I’m on because they do such a good job (for me) to make them basically the same.
All in all, I don’t think it’s a question of which to choose, iPad Pro or MacBook Pro, iOS or macOS … it’s a matter of what device is closest to me right now? What device will bring me the most joy to use, right now? What device do I want to use right now?
iOS or macOS? iPad Pro or MacBook Pro? These aren’t the right questions to be asking. It should be … what device do I want to use right now? And don’t care what anyone else thinks.