I Have an iPad Again

Thanks to Best Buy having an incredible deal yesterday I went ahead and added the iPad back into my life. I bought a 128GB 10.2” iPad and I am very happy with the decision.

The 10.2” isn’t exactly the super-powerful 12.9” iPad Pro I once had, but that was when I was using my iPad as my main computer. Back then, I wanted a machine that was top of the line. Now, as my setup and needs have changed I think that the regular iPad is a perfect fit for me. I say that knowing it is basically the 10.5” iPad Pro I once had. Aside from some cheaper speakers and screen, both the size and specs are practically the same. Hell, even the Smart Keyboard is the same size as the one I had for the 10.5” iPad.

The Smart Keyboard is exactly as I remember it from when I had the 10.5” and it works just as well for me. I was concerned I was going to find it cramped or too small for me as I was so used to the full sized keyboard on the MacBook Pro. Alas, that wasn’t anything I should have worried about. In fact, I write faster and more consistently on this Smart Keyboard than I do on the mechanical keyboard Keychron K2.

This iPad isn’t my main machine, but it can absolutely be an ultra-portable option for when I am on the go or don’t want to travel light. In fact, I have left my laptop at home when I have gone out to write or do work because this iPad suits all the needs I have for a typical day-to-day operations. That said, I am sure there will be times—like there were for me in the past—where I just felt like a MacBook would be a better solution for a problem than the iPad.

This isn’t me saying that I am going back to the “iPad-only lifestyle.” In fact, one of the big reasons I got this iPad was because I wanted something that was compatible with Sidecar.

So far, I have tried Sidecar exactly once in the past 24 hours and it was very seamless. I can’t wait to use my iPad as a second monitor when I am doing things at my desk like podcasting or working on a long post for the blog. Having that extra screen real estate is going to help me when I really need it.

It is encouraging to me to see things like Sidecar work out of the box with Catalina. I am also thrilled to see this type of synergy between the iPad and Mac, where it isn’t just macOS and iOS (or iPadOS) working together but it is also the hardware.

Finally, I am elated to be able to use Siri Shortcuts on something bigger than my iPhone 11 Pro. It was nightmarish to use just my iPhone to make and edit shortcuts. I love Shortcuts and I love the team behind that app, but the user experience on the phone is less than optimal. I have dived back into Shortcuts with this iPad and it has allowed me to play around with automation on iOS again. A someone who hasn’t played around much with the additions and changes iPadOS brought with Shortcuts it has been quite a lot of fun to learn and play with this app.

Overall, I am excited to see what having an iPad again will be like in this post iOS 13 world. I am sure I will have more thoughts on the iPad as time goes on, but for now I am going to play around with it some more and see what this thing is really capable of.

Today is the day I quit the iPad

Greg Morris:

I have tried really hard to carry on as long as possible but iOS 13 has made me realise I cant continue any longer. I’m afraid friends, today was the day the end finally arrived, I’ve ditched an iPad altogether.

During my time working on the iPad I always needed a Mac around to podcast and edit things properly – you know do real work. It was pretty few and far between and during this time the iPad got better and better. Adding in a better keyboard, a pencil to write and Draw as well as constantly improving the OS. My reliance on Shortcuts (then Workflow) and third party apps started to dwindle and iOS become a powerhouse – at least for a while.

Then iOS13 arrived. I cant point to one specific event or one particular bug, but iOS13 has been like death by a million paper cuts.

I hate to say it but iOS 13 feels like a regression for iPad power users. I’m sure the people at Apple meant well but in hindsight it’s clear that they bit off too much than they could chew.

Here’s hoping iOS 14 is akin to iOS 12 and it’s sole purpose is for fixing bugs and improving the features already in place. It also wouldn’t hurt if they made good on their promises with iCloud.

iPadOS 13: EVERYTHING You Need To Know

Chris did an amazing job with this video, and I couldn’t think of a better time to share this than now as iPadOS 13 is released for all iPad users. I don’t even own and iPad and I watched this from beginning to end multiple times over.

Why iOS 13 Made the iPad Home Screen Fun Again

The newly announced iPadOS is Apple making the iPad operating system different to that of the iPhone. Now, gone are the days of mobile browsing on an iPad, and gone are the days where changes for iPhone are less-then-optimized for the iPad1. One of the things iPadOS offers in iOS 13 is the Today View widgets being pinned to the home screen of the iPad.

Apple iPadOS Today View 060319

Now, if you so choose, you can slide the widgets over from the left onto the home screen and always have them on the home screen of your iPad. This bodes well for anyone who wants to utilize the widget screen more, as well as those who want more whimsy on their iPad; because who doesn’t want a little variety on their home screen?

For me, I think this is going to make apps with crappy widgets, or no widgets at all, push to make them more usable and feature rich. I haven’t been one to use widgets because it’s always been an “out of sight out of mind” thing for me. Now that it’s on the home screen I think that this is going to make me rethink my entire iPad workflow. Apps like Timery, Eventail, and Shortcuts offer great widgets that I can tap to run actions or use to check on something without the need of opening an entire app. For example I can run a saved timer in Timery from the home screen instead of having to open the app and tap on it or running a specified shortcut. It all lives in the widget now and makes for things to be much more fluid and smooth.

I think that the home screen for the iPad just got a whole lot more useful as well, because when the addition of the Dock on the iPad I rarely kept apps on the home screen. The Dock added a lot of utility to the iPad but with that came the question of whether to keep everything on you iPad in a folder or two within the Dock or still use the home screen even though it isn’t as optimized for multitasking as the Dock was.

As of right now I am no on the beta but I plan to as soon as there is a build that is reliable. Once that happens, I think my new setup will be to have more things on the home screen because I will be going to it more and more thanks to this new addition.

I’m looking forward to seeing what both developers and other users make of this once iOS 13 becomes available as a public beta, but until then I will be keeping an eye out for any apps that make significant improvements to their widgets and share them here on Rocket Panda.


  1. I’m looking at you Shake-to-Undo