Skip to main content

One iPad User's Story Of Inadequacy

To reinforce the problems an iPad presents to users who wish to make it their primary computer I thought I'd share an illustrative experience which one of my colleagues has 'enjoyed' since being swayed from his Surface Pro 4 to the original iPad Pro 12.9" earlier this year.

His own use mostly mirrors mine. Citrix Receiver to a corporate desktop, local access to OneNote for extensive note-taking and the use of a number of local tools for day to day activities.

My colleague is a very Apple-oriented consumer, having both an iPhone 7 Plus and an Apple Watch, with an older MacBook Pro in use at home. The Surface Pro 4 was a step out of his comfort zone and he loved it. Until the point when the iPad Pro waved its Apple sauce under his nose and his partisanship took him down the road of the iPad Pro.

Now he finds himself in a particularly hamstrung position. 

For note-taking he is back to using a paper pad and pencil. Complaints about the Apple Pencil's battery life and usability for note taking have prevented him from continuing to take electronic notes. This retrograde step makes him hugely less efficient straight off the bat.

Then there's the desktop access part of the equation. Previously he used the same setup as mine. A single USB plug to a DisplayLink dock offering two 1080p monitors and a full size keyboard / mouse setup. With all that screen estate it was easy to drive Citrix across the two external screens and keep OneNote running on the Surface Pro's internal display. 

Now he is stuck with using the Apple Lightning to VGA adapter to mirror the iPad's single screen - not actually filling the larger monitor because of the difference in aspect ratios and with some loss of quality resulting from the scaling down of the iPad's internal display to 1080p on the external monitor.

This means using Apple's Smart Keyboard on the desk (which is a frankly horrible experience) together with the Citrix iPad mouse (which isn't and that because it's not an Apple product) to access the corporate desktop in Receiver. And having to toggle between apps each time he needs to use a local application. For example bringing up OneNote pages for review or editing.

Even leveraging the power of Citrix to drive a real computing experience the iPad Pro comes up short of the Surface - or indeed any other Windows 10 2-in-1 hybrid device. 

So whilst Apple is on the journey, it's starting from a long way behind. If anything its fair to say that the gap between the Surface Pro and iPad is greater now than it was when the original Surface Pro launched back in 2013.

That's a result of three years of complacency at Apple. And now it needs to work twice as hard to start reducing the gap. 

For my colleague I'm expecting a switch back to a Surface sometime in the near future. Despite his protestations of the iPad's adequacy, every day he becomes a little less defensive and a little more honest of the problems his setup now gives him. 

Painful for him to admit but Apple has no viable product for his use case right now. So for him at least, the above image is painfully true.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…