The simple reason I prefer the iPad

A few days ago Affinity released it’s fantastic app Designer for the iPad. I’ll be posting about that soon. A day or two later Adobe announced it would be bringing the full version of it’s Photoshop app to the iPad and sometime in the future probably Illustrator as well. Well, let’s just say that for many people who now use the iPad for doing work with images and graphics these two things were big news. On twitter I came across an exchange by a fairly well known former Adobe employee and former project manager of Photoshop and chimed in. The context of the conversation was Photoshop for mobile:

@jnack: @stroughtonsmith I forgot I said all that aloud. 😌 It remains unclear that anyone wants full Photoshop or similar on iPad, and I’d expect more of a Lightroom CC/Rush play (stripped down, rethought). We’ll see.

@dennyhenke: @stroughtonsmith @jnack Well, I for one use my iPad everyday for client work. I’m fully invested in Affinity apps at this point and would have paid them triple what they asked. At this point I only use Adobe for InDesign projects. I can’t tell you the last time I opened Photoshop or Illustrator.

@jnack: @dennyhenke @stroughtonsmith What advantages do you find in the iPad relative to, say, a MacBook Air (similar weight)? Battery life, touch screen, other?

@dennyhenke: @jnack @stroughtonsmith Form factor is key. With a laptop I must always have a keyboard attached and there’s no touch screen. With iPad I can and do use it often without a keyboard. Also, the Pencil is a joy to use with apps such as those made by Affinity. Last, I greatly prefer iOS/touch.

Of course I’ve written many times about why I now prefer the iPad as my primary computer but thought I’d share again here as a riff off of the above exchange. It really can be summed up as simply having an ultraportable, flexible form factor that can be used with a keyboard or without, with a finger or with the Pencil. A computer based on incredibly powerful hardware that never gets hot in my lap, runs in complete silence and which now has a mature OS that is a delight to use and which has an increasingly powerful app ecosystem that helps me get my work done.

While a Mac has a great operating system and a pretty great app ecosystem, I am always stuck with the keyboard. I used Mac laptops ever since the first iBook and never thought I’d be without one but with the iPad I have something better and after 2+ years I see no reason to go back.