To be honest about it, I really have tried to make the iPad do what my Mac already does with ease. It won’t. It just won’t. It’s not that I’m a Mac power user. It’s not that I’m too set in my ways to make the change. “It’s not me, iPad. It’s you.”
The problem with switching completely from Mac to iPad should be obvious. Yes, older dogs don’t learn newer tricks as easily, but in this case the iPad just doesn’t have the same workflow options for many Mac users. It’s all about workflow and iPad does not flow. It stutters.
Here’s an example.
On my Mac, I can access utilities from the Menubar with a single click of the mouse or trackpad. Sorry, iPad. No. Can. Do. But that’s not all. The Mac’s Dock graces the bottom of my screen and displays most of the apps and utilities that I use the most. One click brings up whatever app I need. Command-Tab or one click to the icon in the Dock and I can switch to any open app (or, open another).
What’s the iPad’s workflow?
Every useful application I can think of is full screen on the iPad so there are multiple taps to get anywhere or do anything. Notification Center and Control Center can be accessed with a swipe down, but another swipe is required for the other half of the controls, and yet another swipe to view Notification Center Widgets. Not so on the Mac.
One thing Mac users find out over time is what I learned early on. The keyboard is your friend. Not the mouse. Not the trackpad. The keyboard. Anything you need to do except drag and drop can be done on the keyboard far faster than touch can on the iPad.
The Mac’s workflow is superior. The iPad’s workflow is easier to learn and use, but there’s a big wall that every iPad user hits. You can’t improve the workflow on an iPad. You can improve your workflow on the Mac, and thanks to Automator and AppleScript, improve it beyond the keyboard. Try that on an iPad.
That’s just navigating around applications on the screen. What about files and folders? The Mac wins. Click the Finder Dock icon and there are all your files and folders. One click. Thanks to recent Finder advancements with tabs and the sidebar, plus the option to use Column View, almost any file or folder you need is one more click away.
Try that efficiency on the iPad. Just a switch from the app on the screen to iCloud Drive is multiple steps. And not everything is stored on iCloud. Many apps keep their documents elsewhere; Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, et al. Each is an app, too.
See the problem?
Now, maybe I’m coming at the iPad from a Mac perspective, so my view is wrong. No, it’s not. I’m conscious of the number of clicks and movements to get something done, and learned long ago that the keyboard is a power tool. What about the keyboard on the iPad? It’s a step in the right direction, yes, but the same shortcuts– keyboard combos– that exist on the Mac are fewer and farther between on the iPad.
If Apple wants the iPad to replace PCs then iOS needs to do better than it does now at navigating and file and folder management.