Three reasons why I won’t use my iPad again as my primary work device, and one reason why I might.

It was a lightweight option that I tried, but it is not enough for what I do. But my needs aren’t very great.

Unfortunately, this setup won’t be tried again. 

Do not bring your iPad or keyboard to travel if you don’t want to. 

It’s not that an iPad isn’t a good idea for professionals. You will be surprised at the unexpected, little frustrations and caveats that may come your way. 

Let’s do it again. If you are getting ready for travel, bring an iPad and a keyboard. Make sure you test everything thoroughly before you go. It was not my intention to do so, hence this article. 

Why I love working on my iPad

I have an iPad Mini 6 with an Apple Pencil and absolutely love it. This pair of devices has been a tremendous help in my work as both a notepad/secondary monitor. I assumed it would be easy to use when I traveled for the holidays. 

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My experiences will be influenced by the fact that the iPad’s screen measures 8.3 inches rather than 12.9 inches. However, screen size is not a problem for me when using the iPad for work. Despite the tiny screen and my increasing need for reading glasses, multitasking was the best feature of an iPad for work.

iPadOS also has multitasking, which allows two apps to be displayed side by side. Multitasking can be enabled on the iPad by tapping the three dots at the top of the screen. This is in contrast to macOS’ green button at the top left of each app window. 

Writing is my main occupation. A lot of what I do involves reading and researching sources. It’s been a great feature to be able to see my work and reference on one screen. I would not even consider using my iPad if such a feature was not available. 

Multitasking on iPad is a breeze. It even keeps the multitasking screen separate in the app switcher screen. This allows you to minimize it and focus on something else, without losing your current workspace. 

Why I hate working on my iPad

As I said above, I think the problems I had with my iPad could have been solved if I had performed better testing before I left. If I had done this, I might have reached the same conclusion: it won’t be for me. 

First, I had to deal with differences in the way iOS web browsers handled backend components of TechRepublic. I was particularly surprised that they didn’t. Chrome made it so that Chrome wouldn’t respond to my browser when I loaded a page from our CMS. That problem was solved by switching to Safari. However, the Publish Article option disappeared. 

There were other formatting and display issues that disrupted my workflow. This led me to conclude that, if I was to use my iPad to work more frequently, I would first need to walk through all the tasks I might need to do. I don’t have any extreme computing needs, so it would be a shame to see what testing those with more severe needs would have to do before they could leave their laptops behind. 

The touchscreen is second: While it’s great for most things, editing 500+ words can be frustrating. Although the Apple Pencil was helpful, I had to stop doing what I was doing and grab my Pencil. Then I could tap the correct spot. 

As anyone who has used a touchscreen computer knows, touchscreens and desktop computing have a complicated relationship. Simply put, touchscreens and mobile devices don’t have the same precision as desktop computing. This means that you will need to compromise one to make a device useful. 

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An alternative to touch controls for iPads is to bring along a trackpad and mouse. These can both be connected via Bluetooth or a daisy chain with 2.4GHz dongles. This will simplify your packing. 

My setup and the surprising lack in flexibility that an iPad offered me was the biggest pain I had while working with my iPad. My iPad, with its stand and Apple Magic Keyboard, doesn’t sit well on my lap like my MacBook Pro. 

I would have been able to pick my work spot more freely if I had a hardshell bag with a keyboard. But, I wouldn’t have exceeded the limit. It was for my iPad Mini 4 and I tried it for work many years ago. It was too small and light to be able to rest on my lap and not bounce and slide around while I typed.

Here are some things to consider before you use an iPad at work.

When it comes to using an iPad, your mileage may vary. While designers and visual artists may love them, multitaskers or those hoping to replicate the desktop experience on an iPad will find them lacking. 

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You should consider these things before you travel with your iPad.

  • You can install and test all apps while you’re away. 
  • You should test any web applications by logging in to all the accounts and running a complete workflow to check for any bugs. It is important to test early enough to be able to reach IT for a possible fix. 
  • You should consider where you will be travelling and which spaces are available for work. Your setup should be planned accordingly.
  • Discuss your plans with your team.

I was disappointed that the iPad couldn’t meet my computing needs as an everyday device. Although it is great for taking notes or doing work tasks quickly, it doesn’t have the same capabilities as an iPad that I use to write. Are you a user of an iPad at work? Do you have a different opinion? Leave feedback for your fellow readers in the comments section below. 

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