According to Matt Davies Stockton, Apple has been trying to make the iPad a replacement for a traditional computer for years. Most iPad pro ads are trying to convince you to make the switch. However, for most people, that’s a leap too big. Let’s check out how you can replace your computer with an iPad.
- Magic Keyboard – If the iPad is going to replace a traditional computer or laptop, it needs a keyboard and mouse input instead of just the touch input. That means you’ll need additional accessories for that experience. Unfortunately, apart from the Magic Keyboard, that’s half the price of a brand-new iPad Air, you don’t have a lot of good options. While there are keyboards from third-party manufacturers, none of them bring the smooth experience and other benefits of the Magic Keyboard.
Logitech’s Combo Touch is the best keyboard and mouse accessory from third-party manufacturers and even then, it doesn’t come close to the intuitive experience and the well-built design of the Magic Keyboard. Getting a Bluetooth-enabled mouse and keyboard defeats the purpose since they take up a lot more volume and are difficult to carry around.
- File management – One of the key differences between using a computer or a Mac and an iPad is file management. All files are centralized in the iPad OS, and you can’t modify them directly in the Files app. That’s not the case with Finder on Mac or Windows Explorer on a PC. Document management becomes difficult when the OS constantly autosaves documents as they are edited.
So, if you want to use an iPad as a computer, you need to use Share Sheet. With ShareSheet, you can save files to the Files app and interact with it via right-click, a long press, or other gestures. You’d also have to get used to the way you look at file paths. Apple has been consistently improving the Files app to make the iPad into a computer and the beta updates suggest this trend is going to continue.
- Connectivity – Another major hurdle in using the iPad as a computer is connectivity. Macs and computers come with multiple USB ports and other ports for connecting to large monitors, external storage devices, and all kinds of other accessories that a power user needs. That isn’t possible on the iPad, especially when it’s charging since it has just one USB-C port.
However, if you have an iPad Pro and a Magic Keyboard, the iPad can be charged from the keyboard’s USB port while the iPad’s USB port can be used to connect to a powerful dongle. Get a dongle with an HDMI port, an SD card reader, and a couple of USB-C ports, and you can connect to an external display, a portable SSD, and a few other devices at the same time.
Matt Davies Stockton suggests that you use the above-mentioned tips to use your iPad as a legitimate replacement for your computer. iPad OS 16, the powerful M1 chip, and the Magic Keyboard makes the transition smooth and easy.