Recently ZDNet contributor Chris Matyszczyk gave the iPad a bad rap as a writing tool. Now, before I get started, let me just say that a MacBook Pro is going to be a better and more powerful tool than an iPad for just about every single thing a creative person wants to do, unless you’re into creating visual art, which I also do, full disclosure. For visual artists, there is no substitute for the iPad Pro.
As a writing tool, my iPad Pro is incredibly useful. First and foremost, yes, I’d rather write on my MacBook Pro in some instances, but that’s mainly because of how WordPress acts on the iPad.
For some reason, after the first couple of paragraphs of writing, tapping the arrow key to either the right or the left results in the entirety of wordpress jumping to the bottom of the page, as though I’d just pressed the Page Down key on a PC. So that’s a problem. But I’m hoping this is just a bug on either the part of WordPress or Apple.
That said, I’ve simply begun using my Apple Pencil as a mouse, of sorts. It’s difficult to explain, but essentially, I keep the Apple Pencil perched atop my iPad case while writing. When it’s time to highlight a word, or a set of words, I quickly reach for the Apple Pencil, plant it on the screen where I want to begin the highlight, hit “select” which highlights the word directly next to it, and then I’m free to drag the highlight around as I see fit. This sounds really monotonous, I know. However, the first time I used a keyboard, I didn’t type very fast either. I like learning new things, even at 33. I’ve gotten to where using the Apple Pencil as just described is incredibly seamless for me.
At first, I didn’t like it. However, at this point, I miss my Apple Pencil and touch screen when I’m using a laptop, and I’m not kidding. Oftentimes when writing on a traditional computer, I instinctively reach across the keyboard to grab the pencil and I’m decidedly disappointed that it isn’t there.
Truth be told, I’ve gotten incredibly fast with the Apple Pencil as a guide, something akin to a mouse, but not exactly. I can write an article on this in fairly rapid fashion. Most everything I write, in fact, needs links, photos, and a revision or two. I can genuinely say I do all of that, easily, with my iPad Pro. And believe it or not, Apple is not paying me to write this. In fact, I’m pretty sure Apple doesn’t even know I exist.
That said, unlike Chris Matyszczyk, I don’t even have the 12.9 inch. I’m a bit lower on the totem pole, there, as I have the 10.5 inch iPad Pro.
At the end of the day, I’m an extremely busy person. My friends and family all think I’ve abandoned them, but that’s not actually the case. I’m just someone who works an inordinate amount. My MacBook just simply can’t be used in every situation. I used to carry it around with me everywhere and hated looking for a place to set it up. With the iPad Pro, it’s now the only computer-like-device I take with me, aside from my phone.
Last month I was in New Orleans for a week and I didn’t even bother to bring my MacBook; the iPad was all I needed.
Before I got my iPad, I often wrote on the go using my iPhone X. That, on the other hand, I do not recommend. But at the end of the day, a deadline is a deadline and a keyboard is a keyboard, and I’ve always been a “by any means necessary type of person.” So while using an iPhone to write a 500 word article isn’t ideal, it’s an option — if you’re all out of other ones.
One point I fully agree with Matyszczyk on is that the folding of the screen up and down is a nightmare with the iPad, but I attribute that to the case/keyboard design, not to the iPad itself. I’m using a Zagg, though, which came to me from Verizon and I’m considering upgrading soon. I have no idea how much it’ll help.
But the bottom line, in my opinion, iPad Pro fully works as a writer’s tool. It takes some serious getting used to, though, and I won’t deny that for a moment. But doesn’t everything? Since I bought my Pro last February, I have to say, I’ve gotten to where I write articles on my iPad every bit as fast as I do on my MacBook Pro.
But, that’s just one man’s experience.