How My Kid Leaving For College Forced Me To Take My iPad Seriously
First, some intro on who I am…
I have been using Macs ever since I bought the first generation iPhone and forever crossed over to the Apple side. From that point on, I have owned several Apple devices, from more iPhones to iPads to iMacs to MacBooks to Apple Watch to Apple TV. As of the day I write this article, I own a total of 5 Apple devices, not including the devices my husband and daughter own. One of these is an iPad Pro 12.9". Let me tell you a little story of how I ended up adding this latest device to my lineup.
I am a Desktop Support Manager at an international clothing company, an entertainment news site editor, a blogger, a mother, and a wife. You could say that I have somewhat mastered the art of multitasking as I try to balance all facets of my life, either by quickly publishing a blog post during lunch break or sneaking in an Instagram post while at my son’s baseball game. I have also repeatedly managed to impress some non-technical folks with my ability to do things with a mobile device that they didn’t think possible. You see, as a techie by trade, it is my job to be knowledgeable about such things — and while this may seem like a given, it is also an expensive feat, especially when you have to purchase all these devices yourself to stay current..
How I Ended Up With Only An iPad
While preparing for my daughter going away to college in the Fall of 2015, both of us came to a realization. Her trusty MacBook Pro that accompanied her through countless High School homework hours, was truly falling apart. It no longer held a charge even after switching out the battery (which meant she had to have it permanently plugged in to power), it heated up like crazy, and every now and then made grinding noises that took me back to the old Windows 95/98 days.
How is a student supposed to succeed in College with such a crappy computer. What if the MacBook one day just died on her and her techie mom wasn’t there to rescue her? Well, money was tight at the time — I mean, we were already spending so much money on all the preparations for college, and there was no way I could just go out and buy her a new MacBook. So I did what any mother who wants her kid to succeed does, I sacrificed. I happily gave my daughter my MacBook Air, which to this day is her salvation (I remember the texts from her saying “Mom, thank goodness I have a laptop! You don’t understand how long the line is at the library to use the computers here”).
So her old MacBook Pro was passed down to my 5th grader son, for his daily computer homework, and I resorted to my iPad Air 2 as my sole computing device. I thought, hey if there is something I cannot do on the iPad, I’ll just run upstairs to my son’s room and borrow his laptop instead.
In the 6 months between the time that my daughter inherited the MacBook Air and now, I could count with one hand the times I had to run up to use my son’s MacBook. There was the occasional Bank of America website snafu (which seems they have already fixed), the Wordpress site redesign which I needed a bigger screen for, and the stubborn entertainment news sites that continue to use Flash in this day and age. That’s it. Everything else I needed to do with a computer, I was able to do with my iPad Air 2. Albeit with a smaller screen and only 16GB of storage space (a device limitation I’ve sworn I would never put myself through again).
Enter The iPad Pro 12.9"
When the iPad Pro was first announced in September 2015, then released in November, I sat in awe as I looked at how much I liked the device, but also in shock at how much it would cost. It was simply just not possible with my budget yet, I hadn’t quite recovered from my financial troubles.
So I admired everyone else’s iPad Pros and continued using my iPad Air 2, which was frankly good enough, and decided to wait for the next iPad to see what the future would bring. That time came on Monday March 21st, 2016, when the new iPad Pro 9.7" was announced. Finding myself in a better economic situation than I was last year, I suddenly had a very important decision to make. Do I go for the 9.7" pro with larger storage space, the fancy new screen technology and the improved camera? Or do I revisit the four month old 12.9", with the larger screen and double the RAM of the 9.7"? I mean, do I REALLY need a better camera on my iPad, or is a device that will serve as a true laptop replacement what I want? The 12.9" iPad Pro ended up winning this battle, obviously.
I know you’re probably thinking “Why didn’t she just get another MacBook?”. Well, you see, in the time that I went iOS only, I grew to really respect and appreciate the simplicity and portability of the OS, combine that with the fact that I liked the challenge or figuring out workarounds for all the things I previously did on OSX and create a workflow that, while still a work in progress, was all my own.
As the wise Ben Brooks says:
To select an iPad Pro is to select a platform which very much feels like the future — a device which has yet to be fully realized and is no where near being a mature product.
So here I am now sporting a 12.9" iPad Pro, with a Logi Create keyboard case, and sans Apple Pencil (for now), and I couldn’t be happier. I carry it around in my very large purse, I do all my work on this iPad in the mornings before starting work, then again during lunch, and at night. The battery lasts me a long time and I take advantage of split view like a champ. I am writing this article right now from it, and haven’t had the need yet to run to my son’s MacBook. It has truly been a great experience so far, and I shall continue to put my iPad Pro through the ringer as I discover more and more things that I can accomplish with it.
Note: I ended up selling my iPad Air 2 via the new Apple Recyling Program. Got good money for it too (more than Gazelle was offering!). So I’d call that a win/win.