As previously noted, I’m very close to being able to go with the iPad as my main computing device. Yes, as someone who writes quite a bit (both email and posts like this one), I prefer a physical keyboard — but I found one for the iPad that I quite love: the Logitech variety.1 So there must be something else holding me back.
One thing is specialized VPN access to certain things I need for work. But I suspect that sooner rather than later, that will be resolved. So what else holds me back? Well, habit.
While the physical keyboard aspect gets most of the attention2, I actually believe the tendencies many of us have formed using PCs these past 20 to 30 years are just as important when considering what is holding us back from entering the tablet-only world.
Again, I point to the fact that I actually love using the Logitech keyboard with my iPad. I can write just as easily with it as I can on any computer. In fact, I’m using it to write this post right now. And in some ways, I much prefer writing using this combination — with email, for example, since I can do it without getting distracted by other open apps/tabs.
But when it comes to other tasks, such as posting this post or linking to other posts on my blog, I’m still not quite as comfortable.
When I think about why, it’s really not so much a technical issue as much as it’s comfort with old habits. You can argue that copying a link isn’t as easy on a tablet, but it’s almost as easy. And with proper knowledge of a few tricks, it can be even easier. The same is true with other routine tasks.
Another inhibiting factor is the multitasking component to using a tablet. On a traditional computer, I basically live in the browser. But on the iPad, I have several apps which replace would-be browser windows. This means it’s not quite as fast as jumping from tab-to-tab.
But again, it’s almost as fast. I just perceive it to be otherwise. And I think I hold a fear that leaving the thing I’m doing will erase my progress in my current app. That certainly once was an issue, but with the modern mobile OSes, this is mainly an absurd fear.
Other absurdities include thinking “well, I’ll just do that when I get back to my computer.” I actually do this far more than I care to admit. I get 95% of the way there on an iPad, then save the remaining 5% for when I’m back at my MacBook. Do I really need to? No. But again, I have it in my head that I’ll be able to do it quicker or more completely on my computer.
The first step in breaking these habits is acknowledging them. Hence, this post. The second is correcting them. Hence, this post (posted from my iPad).