Using iOS and macOS every day

As you most probably know I’m bigger iPad’less at the moment and have fallen back to macOS for a lot of my production stuff. My current setup hardware wise is as follows:

  • 2016 MacBook 12”
  • iPad Mini 5
  • iPhone 11 Pro

What I’ve realised is that with the current creative projects I have going on these devices are working a lot better than I expected and I’m less and less interested in spending the money to get a 2018/20 iPad Pro.

Here’s how I’m currently working.

Writing

This is something that is probably 50/50 between an iOS device and macOS device. This post I’ve written up using TOT (review coming soon…) i.e. I want to write something up a bit longer form so I went for my device with a keyboard attached. The posts that come from my iOS devices are shorter where I want to quickly get something off my chest or share some cool links.

Podcasting

I have to be honest and have completely given up trying to podcast from an iOS device. I can’t afford the additional hardware I need when I have a Mac in front of me that is better (for me) at this task. Even when I recorded the audio into my iPad or imported audio files then I still struggle to edit on the iPad Mini. I tried Ferrite but I just couldn’t make it work for me. I find that Garageband on the Mac just works better for me in terms of efficiencies as I literally edited one podcast in an hour compared to half a day on the iPad and I still wasn’t happy with the result. My other issue with using an iPad for podcasting is that my podcast requires guests, this is a nightmare on iOS and I find an already out of my comfort zone activity is made more stressful when using something I’m not completely happy with.

Photo Editing

I take a lot of images on my iPhone and DSLR and have found that my iPad Mini or iPhone is where the editing happens. My MacBook just isn’t up to running the Photos app well, I have 8GB ram and it can’t keep up with my 40,000+ photo library. I end up just flying through them on iOS.

Consumption

iOS is the hands down winner here, whilst I have watched Disney+ and YouTube on the Mac I much prefer the lay back form factor of the iPad here although I am missing a larger screen for video. I tend to listen to music evenly across the platforms with my Mac connected to the office HomePod in the day and then my iOS devices in the evening.

Guitar

I’ve recorded using an iPad and MacBook and there isn’t a lot between them but I prefer macOS simply for the reason that I prefer to use Logic Pro to edit. That way I’m not transferring any files around. I plug in my MIC, record and edit all in the same app.

Comfort

I quite like the keyboard on the MacBook now I’ve adjusted to it and for writing longer posts it’s the best experience for me in the current setup. I like also being within a fingers reach away from the trackpad, which helps my RSI. Having the iPad is a big win for my RSI also as I can simply take it with me and lie on the sofa or even pop outside in the garden and still get stuff done. If the monitor support was better on iPad I’d say it’s a winner overall but I can’t get over the black bars on the iPad when plugged into an external display.

Summary

So my overall setup here is something I’m really happy with right now. I have three devices that adjust to me, I prefer smaller devices and when I want the bigger display I plug my MacBook into a dock attached to a 32” widescreen monitor. The only thing I miss is a larger iPad display for watching video. I’m tempted to actually have a go at repairing my 10.5” iPad Pro somehow and have that as my larger iPad rather than spend £1000+ on a new setup that won’t fulfil all of my needs.