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Post: With iPadOS 17, the iPad becomes a true laptop replacement



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I didn’t expect to be writing so effusively about the iPad after Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this year — then I downloaded the first developer beta of iPadOS 17 and things haven’t been the same since.

I’ve advocated for the iPad as a work tool since the original was released in 2010. I’ve used it for work tasks since about same time. I’ve done it so frequently and interchangeably with a MacBook that I don’t think I could accurately point to a single thing I’ve written in the past decade and confidently say “I did that one on my iPad.” I’ve even given advice about the best keyboards and keyboard cases for the iPad and iPad mini.

Yet the iPad has always remained something of a secondary device. I use it for work when it’s more convenient or when I’m doing a task that is more touch oriented. Even with an excellent keyboard (and sometimes a mouse), tasks that revolve around typing or multi-tasking have generally gone to my MacBook Air. Often, I have both in my bag because there are times when the iPad might work perfectly fine for a particular task, but the MacBook Air and macOS work just a little better, or faster, or more intuitively.

Similarly, when I discuss the iPad as a business device, there’s almost always a qualifier, someplace where I point out that the iPad is good for this but not for that. Or where certain tasks are better left to either a MacBook or even an iPhone. This is usually more an issue about the limitations of iPadOS or available apps than about processing power (the iPad Pro and Air now sport the same M1 and M2 processors as today’s Macs) or form factor.

Today I’m removing the qualifiers. iPadOS 17 finally makes the iPad into a laptop replacement.

Here’s how I realized that.

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Lora Helmin

Lora Helmin

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