My younger daughter’s laptop has been failing. It’s a second generation 13 inch MacBook air (the first one with the wedge design), and it’s starting to do silly things like random shutdowns (even when plugged in) and otherwise giving us warning signs that it is about to give up the ghost. So she’s going to need a new Mac.
Rather than buy a new one, I’m going to give her my laptop. I have retina MacBook that’s a few years old and which I hardly ever use anymore. Years ago, I gave my prior laptop to my other daughter in hopes that I could live the iMac plus iPad lifestyle. At the time we were in the throes of iOS 10, and I found it just didn’t work for me. The biggest problem was the iPad’s inability to manage multiple files. In my role as a lawyer, I often get numerous attachments (sometimes while sitting in meetings) and I need to be able to deal with them quickly and accurately. The old system, where you had individually tap and save each file and then dig through all of your nested folders to get it in the right place, just wasn’t good enough. However, since iOS 11, I have found that use that laptop very little. File management is a lot easier now on the iPad. In July I took several trips, one of them internationally for a week. With all this travel, I was able to get by just fine with my iPad Pro. I handled several client emergencies on the road and never regretted leaving my laptop at home.
So for the second time, I’m starting the experiment of trying to run with just an iMac plus carrying around iPad for mobile computing. I expect this time the experiment will stick. In addition to improvements in file management in the core operating system, several of my other applications have also got more friendly on the iPad since the last time I tried. For example, OmniFocus 3 allows me to select and edit multiple tasks at once where version 2 did not.
Key to this decision for me is accepting that the heavy-lifting work I do on the iMac: screencasting and video editing, simply can’t be done on the road. For me this wasn’t a big sacrifice since looking back, I’ve never done screencasting and video editing on that laptop.
There are still a few sticking points. Google Docs is still not what should be on the iPad for instance. However, I think now I am at the point where those sticking points are just annoyances and not deal breakers for me. The other thing I did was update and reinstall Screens on my iMac so now I can remote access into the iMac if I ever get in a jam. I will report back as I continue with this experiment, but I expect for the foreseeable future I’ll be laptop-less.