You know what sucks? Getting ill on the days you booked off work to use up the last of your holiday. You know what else sucks? Being asked for rent money from your house mate for the fifth time whilst cluthcing your temples to stave off the impending headache.
But you know what sucks the most? The largest suckiest thing of all? Being so ill that you're compelled to pull out your laptop, even though you've vowed to go 'tablet only' in a personal experiment and to prove a point to some people on Twitter, just to navigate 72 layers of security to access your personal banking so that you can pay the aforementioned housemate for no better reason than you're on the cusp of a full blown migraine and all you want to do is go to bed all the while knowing that this banking could be done on your iPad but you just don't have the patience or the physical resilence to remember each of your passwords and you know keychain will make this so much more bareable.
I'm sure you've been there.
iPad 1 - Mac 1
Changing the mindset is certainly one challenge in switching your primary computer from your laptop to your tablet. But this episode shows that two others are history and experience. I've done all my banking, historically, on my MacBook, and I'm used to navigating the online banking UI with it too (touch friendly interfaces would also have made the iPad a more appealing prospect when it came to doing this banking - but that's a topic totally worthy of it's own post, the lucky sod). So why would I, at a time where staring at a screen is quite literally the most repugnant thing I could think of doing, even contemplate elongating the experience by using something that I'm just not used too? I wouldn't.
I mean, I'd be lying if I said that the Mac has been in the cupboard for the last fortnight, aside from this one brief balls-up, while I prove my point - it hasn't. It has, however, been used almost exclusively for iPlayer and 4OD. All browsing, creating (not that there's a great deal), other online banking (when I was in less pain), and that sort of stuff has very much remained in the capable hands of my iPad. As far as I'm concerned I'm winning my own bet.
For all intents and purposes, my Mac has become a glorified TV but I do think I need better discipline in not turning to it in times when I just need to do something easily; whether I'm rushed or just not in the mood and I know that it will be easier on the Mac because I'm used to it and I've done it all thousands of times before. Really, If I'm serious that my tablet is my computer, I need to find away to lock the laptop down to prevent myself from grabbing it in these instances but without ruining its TV props. I'll let you know how that goes.
In the larger shceme of things, I am starting to find limitations with the iPad. Nothing major, but the sort of thing that wouldn't even be cause for concern with a traditional laptop. For example, without a Mac the only way I can get music onto my phone is with the iTunes store - not ideal if I have a small library of CDs that I've ripped over the years that need transferring.
What about battery life? Tablets are meant to be portable, and hot dang the iPad is. And 10 hours is nothing to shake a stick at, but you know what I can't do with it? Stick in a USB and charge my phone while I work. Ok, this point is petty, and there are some other gigantic fish to try, but its something that I did very habitually with my iPhone 5 and my Mac and now I live in fear that my iPhone battery will be dead by early afternoon.
And how about file storage and management? I don't even know where to start. The way that iOS apps are sandboxed makes this a complete nightmare, unless you want to use DropBox. But then what about storing financial documents? Do you want them on the cloud?
These are but just a few of the questions I need to address if I really want to say that the iPad can replace a laptop. The future of computing very much focusses on mobility, both in the enterprise and consumer space. So we need to find ways to fix these short comings, or change our expecations about what computers are supposed to do, settling for what tablets are capable of now - but somehow I really don't see the latter happening after the years of experience we've had with the functionality of the modern computer.