Why an Apple iPad now acts even more like a computer

Credit: Apple

Maybe you’ve seen the commercial, maybe you haven’t. A little girl runs around through school and home, working on her iPad. She’s doing school assignments, watching movies and playing games all on the tablet in her hands. The commercial ends with her laying in her backyard and the neighbor asks “what are you doing on your computer?” To which the girl responds “what’s a computer?”

I must say, the first time I saw this beautiful commercial from Apple I was skeptical. How could they claim that an iPad — a touchscreen tablet I’ve used for years —  could replace my computer? So much so that the next generation wouldn’t even know what a computer was prior to iPads? 

However, now that I’m a week into owning an iPad Pro 11-inch with the Logitech Slim Folio Pro Keyboard and second-generation Apple Pencil and I must say, I’m convinced… almost. For the majority of users, I believe this device with any number of great keyboard cases could ultimately replace a computer. With the recent release of iPadOS 13 this gap between computer and iPad narrowed dramatically.

Apple’s new iPadOS 13 gives the iPad the ability to read and write on external flash drives and hard drives, connect to network drives, and cameras. I also now have access to files in the same way as my MacBook. 

The USB-C port on the iPad Pro (2019) is a huge step in the right direction as well. Now the iPad can use the rapidly growing number of USB-C dongles and adapters to plug into external monitors, midi controllers, card readers, USB hubs, ethernet ports and so much more. 

The new iPad software is now a multitasking marvel. With the side-by-side, picture-in-picture video viewing, slide over and multi-window support for apps, I no longer find myself struggling to keep up when it comes to productivity and efficiency…for most things.

For those of us who use pro-level software such as Ableton, Mainstage, Final Cut, Photoshop and more, there isn’t a way to utilize our apps of choice on any iPad yet. However, for the video and photo world, there are great replacement apps that iPad editors are using and loving such as LumaFusion for video editing, Affinity Photo for photo editing, Affinity Designer for graphic design, and many more options as well.

For the music producers out there, sadly there is no Ableton version for iPad, and no Mainstage app. However, you could always use GarageBand.

All in all, though there are some elements that make a few tasks still reliant on computers, the average user could definitely get away with using an iPad Pro as their primary device. It’s lighter, has a longer battery life, is full touchscreen-enabled, has the Apple Pencil and has a great camera. 

Coming from a skeptic and a heavy MacBook user, I give my stamp of approval…with only a few conditions.