iPad Pro Diary: Will this really replace my PC?

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Is the iPad Pro a true replacement for a computer?
Is the iPad Pro a true replacement for a computer?
Photo: Leander Kahney / Cult of Mac

iPad Pro Diray, Day One: Instead of writing a long and boring product review, I’m going to try something new with the iPad Pro. I’m pulling a Tim Cook: I’m using it as my main and only machine for a while. I’ll be keeping a diary of how it goes.

In fact, I’m typing this on it.

The question everyone is asking — and it’s Apple’s pitch for the Pro — is that this a bone fide computer. It’s not a silly tablet any more. It’s a heavy duty tool for Pros — a jackhammer for creatives.

I’m going to find out…

Not just for liking cat videos

Of course, we’ve heard this before. From the get-go, lots of people have argued that at the iPad isn’t just for consumption. And, in fact, plenty of people I know use only an iPad: my wife for instance.
But every time I tried to use an iPad for work, I gave up. I’ve made half-arsed efforts to use it for work but inevitably I came up against some roadblock. I couldn’t upload a picture to WordPress, or edit some file. So instead of finding a workaround, I tossed the iPad aside and turned to a computer instead.

I think a lot of people have had the same experience. But this time Apple says it’s different. It’s the magical combination of powerful hardware, a ginormous screen, a mature OS with split-screen multitasking, and a range of productivity-enhancing accessories, that makes the Pro and real pro tool.

We’ll see.

No cheating

I’ll be using the iPad Pro for the time being as my one and only machine. No cheating. I’ve shut down the iMac I use at work and stuck my MacBook in a sock drawer.

The iPad Pro certainly has a lot of interesting potential. Take TouchID. One of my least favorite things about computers is the string of passwords I have to deal with all day. I use the 1Password password manager, but I still have to type a lot of passwords — mostly the 1Password password to unlock it.

Not so with the iPad Pro. Just hold your thumb to the TouchID sensor, and it opens right up. TouchID also unlocks the 1Password app, and a bunch of others like bank apps and Amazon. Using TouchID as a password replacement is not yet universal, but its increasing and it makes a huge difference. It’s a big difference in the experience of using the thing, and it makes me think, yeah, this is the computer of the future.