Maybe it is the Apps
I continue to be amazed at how the iPad Pro is pulling me into the “Post PC Era” that Steve Jobs promised many years ago. Now that I have a Smart Keyboard I can do nearly everything, as a matter of fact I think yesterday may have been the first time since getting the iPad that I took my MacBook Pro to the office … and that was because I knew I had to present at a board meeting. Looking back, I could have easily presented from the iPad with my HDMI adapter.
Since I’ve gotten it, I have traveled with it, designed with it, written with it, read with it, built presentations with it, worked on far too many Excel spreadsheets with it, and everything in between. I know my use cases are my own and your milage may vary, but it is an exceptionally powerful computing device for the kinds of things I do. This morning I was catching on some reading at Medium (on my iPad) and came across a similar sentiment penned by M.G. Siegler …
In fact, my biggest takeaway (tech-wise) from the trip may have been just how little I used the MacBook. I brought it more or less “just in case” — because, how can you possibly travel for three weeks without an actual computer? Well, turns out you can. Turns out, your tablet and even your phone are computers. And turns out you can almost for sure do everything you need to on those devices.
And that is what I am finding, I just don’t use my laptop all that much. I should say that at this moment I am sitting in front of a traditional computer at home, looking at an old fashioned Safari window on a nice big 27" monitor. I still do a ton of work on that and my iMac at work, I am finding that I am losing a place in my mobile routine for the MacBook. All of this makes me wonder what our collective computing needs might be in the next two years? If my use is any indication then the ability to work in front of a large display when you are rooted at a desk may stick around, but I am betting as more of what we do while moving will transition to thin panes of glass that have purpose built apps to do the things we do on traditional machines in more efficient ways. As a quick example, think of the difference in speed and ease of using Concur on your computer in the browser versus using it on something like an iPhone or iPad (I don’t have an Android device, but I would imagine it is similar). It is usually a tap or two to approve expense reports on my iPad or iPhone, while it is a long process to log in, navigate, approve, verify, and log out on my Mac. Imagine when more of what we do multiple times daily that grinds 5, 10, 15 minute distractions into our routines become simple taps on purpose built apps — we will be more efficient and more effective. More and more of what I do can be done faster on my iPad Pro and even on my iPhone as more purposefully built apps emerge that support my business workflows. That exact set of scenarios makes me do the same thing each morning, again following what M.G. says …
So this leads me back to my bag of gadgets I carry around on a daily basis. It has always been sort of insane, but now I’m the one who can actually see it. So the past few mornings when I’ve gone to put the MacBook in my bag, I’ve stopped for a second: why do I need this thing again?
What I am wondering is if we focus on apps that can make our business run more efficiently, will our purchasing habits change? Will Universities start putting devices like iPad Pros onto desks of various members of the staff community instead of the traditional Mac or PC? What would the support costs look like on devices that are inherently more secure and are potentially easier to manage through MDM? I believe when we have more use cases like the Concur one I shared, the efficiencies gained will be well worth the transition. But, hey, that’s just like my opinion, man. What’s yours?