At the end of July 2012, I concluded a nine month process of using iOS as my primary computing platform. The goal was to see if I could accomplish all I needed to do using only my iPhone and iPad. I learned that I could, but that I was ever-so-slightly forcing it.
When I started, I only had an iPhone. I used Numbers and Pages to create cue sheets for a weekly radio broadcast. Soon, I moved to Byword for new document creation (Pages on iPhone is too cramped for New Documents.) and forced myself to learn Markdown.
Then it got interesting in April 2012. My wife gave me an iPad for my birthday, and around the same time some friends and I were developing a podcast. Why not see if we could use the iPad to produce it? After a few hoop-jumps, I recorded, edited, and released* the first three episodes on iPad.
(*Only show 003 was fully finished on iPad. The other two had help from desktop GarageBand. And in all cases, Transmit was used to upload files to our server.)
Even with the successes, what made me rethink iOS-only was the general needs I have, primarily keyboard input and (moreso) an exposed file system. It’s not realistic for me to get a working rhythm going with 45% of an iPad screen available when typing on glass. I bought a Bluetooh keyboard, but it’s equally disruptive to have a hybrid workflow where I have to touch the screen or home button to drive the iPad. It makes sense to me that Apple would engineer a proper physical keyboard to drive the iOS interface for iPad after four generations.
But that tablet is the Real Thing™. I’m telling you, it handles a four-man podcast production without issue; four concurrent data streams per show without breaking a sweat. Battery hit: nominal. Heat: non-issue. Speed: fast. And this is iPad 2 hardware. (And the software never crashed on me; even when I ran out of drive space on one occasion.)
Hopefully by iOS 7 I can get a file system; although I doubt it. My takeaway: although iOS is not the Swiss Army knife that I was hoping for, it’s my stable go-to platform in nearly every use case.