It has become crystal clear that we are living in the post-PC era, that spot on the space time continuum where we witness change after it occurs, the watershed moment when a Mac became a truck, and mobile devices became the car.
The Mac vs. iPad and iPhone truck vs. car argument will rage on for awhile, but a few things are crystal clear. Macs do more. Macs are more powerful. Macs do almost everything a car can do, too. You know, like a truck. iPads and iPhones are less powerful, but more useful their human owners; two devices which are far more in abundance on planet earth, used by more people, and have more applications from which to choose.
The Mac is a truck. iPad and iPhones are cars.
Alright, that said, could an iPad Pro replace my Mac entirely? Not yet. But we’re getting there and the signs of the post-PC era have been visible for a few years. Which of Apple’s devices do we use the most? Mac? Or, iPad and iPhone? For me, as with many Mac users, it’s still the Mac. But not for much longer.
For many, many more people, the iPad and iPhone have all but replaced completely the lumbering old trucks of the PC era; sorry, Mac included. Yes, Macs can do more, including run Windows and Linux and macOS at the same time. There are no equivalents for Photoshop and Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite or Apple’s Final Cut Pro or Logic pro apps on iOS. What has changed for many of us longtime Mac users happened slowly, almost imperceptibly, but happened and is happening more and more. Functions that once were Mac only have moved to iPad and iPhone. We use the Mac for more powerful tasks than iOS device, but we’re using them less.
That means an iPad Pro could replace a Mac. Could. For many, it already has. The Mac is a truck. iPad and iPhones are different types of cars.
For me, much of what I do each day is done on a keyboard and that mostly rules out using an iPhone for real work. It’s an acceptable substitute while on the go, thanks to the Mac-in-the-pocket persona, but iPad has a bigger screen and with a keyboard it starts to compete with a Mac’s usability.
Again, and obviously, this depends on your device work requirements, but just remember that we’ve been moving tasks from the Mac to iPad and iPhone and iCloud for years. That will continue.
iPad Pro, the 2017 models, combined with iCloud and iOS 11 promise to close the gap between MacBook usability and iPad usability. iOS 11 comes with drag and drop and an improved file management system in the Files app. Those two features and functions along move the bar for iPad closer to an entry-level MacBook. The line is blurred.
Otherwise, iPad users have more apps available to use than Mac users. Mac users have apps that are mostly the same as their iOS cousins, but a few Mac apps, as mentioned above, that are more powerful and may not show up on iPad for years. But the handwriting is on the wall, Mac folks. Ease-of-use and mobility are the winners in the post-PC era. iPad Pro is the $799 Mac we’ve been waiting for.