My Journey to Center of Apple
Due to not being able to use devices at the summit, I took the weekend to collate all the data about my experiences, pricing, and investments, etc. So that I could lay it all out for you. For those of you who are skipping to the end to see the results, your really shorting yourself and you’re going to be missing out on all the day to day challenges and solutions through the 30 days.
First thing I thought may be important to know is the total investment and where to get everything, so I’ve made an itemized list below for your viewing pleasure:
Initial Apple Purchase
iPad Pro 12.9 Space Gray 256GB with Cellular – $1079 + tax
Logitech Slim Combo iPad Pro 12.9 Case – $119 + tax
iPad Cellular Sim + Data Plan – $10/mo.
Apple Pen – $99 + tax
AirPods – $159 + tax
Apple Watch 3 Space Gray (42mm) – $429 + tax
Apple Watch Sim + Data Plan – $10/mo.
Total – $1885 + tax + $20/mo.
Additional Apple Accessories Bought Over Time
Lightning Cable To Ethernet Adapter – $26
Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter – $30
Apple Watch, iPhone and AirPod Stand – $33
PowerAdd Pilot Pro 2 Power Pack – $90
Logitech Spotlight Presentation Remote – $130
Total – $309
Already Owned Apple Items
Kenwood Single DIN Stereo 7012BT – Already Owned ($599)
AppleTV 4K 64GB – Already Owned ($199)
Total – $798
GRAND TOTAL – $2992 + $20/mo.
So all in all, the all in investment price is just shy of $3K, definitely not for the faint of heart. Keep in mind this was the total price of everything mentioned in the blog that has been used, some of which I already have and some of which could be replaced with things you may already have.
To see if I could use an iPad as a daily driver that could displace all or most of my current devices. This device would require a measured increase in productivity and an aggregation of as many of the day to day tasks into one place. A touchscreen device was the primary desire hence a MacBook was not considered.
I will attempt to use native apps, tools, systems, process, and ecosystems before considering third-party assistance in any of the mentioned areas.
I found that the iPad provided a significant increase in productivity in some areas and a marked improvement in others, I only experienced a loss in productivity during the learning phases of using the new technologies. Once the learning curve was over I saw immediate returns on the time invested. In order to realize the full potential of productivity returns, I chose to invest in the entire ecosystem (AirPods, iPhone, and Apple Watch). I have provided a fair assessment of the top 10 in each of the following categories:
- User Experience was wonderful, it feels like things that should be no brains just work and how you would expect them
- Phone / iPad setup amazing fast and simple by using on on the other to configure
- Integration With Apple Devices and Even Non-Apple Devices Were Impressive
- Information sharing between Apple devices was a welcome change and surprisingly impressive when I discovered them
- AirPods with the ability to charge one at a time and they lasted over 4 hours straight talking on the phone and over 5 hours listening to an audiobook.
- Apple Watch got me to start exercising daily and reading an average of 4 audiobooks a month. Up from no exercise and no books.
- iPhone / iPad sync between themselves and my PC for native progress between the two.
- Mobile and Remote uses provided a new level of productivity both in work and play
- The handwriting recognition from the apps I used was first class.
- The ability to backup several Apple devices from several people and even share purchases makes the ecosystem an awesome value proposition.
- iPad Pro and iPhone need reboots every few days
- iPhone had GPS and Data problems (believe I may have a bad phone)
- GoToMeeting app doesn’t have feature parity with WebApp, so you are limited to 6 webcams for peers.
- Pricing of accessories are high
- No Mouse Compatibility
- No Ability To Run VM’s or Visual Studio Software
- No really engaging games other than some puzzlers and platformers. Everything feels almost like it’s locked to a certain pattern for most games with different content vs. a PC where you have a large variety of game types. Streaming games is also a no go on other than local LAN and it’s still lackluster at best with a controller.
- iBooks prices are way too high when you look at alternative solutions like Audible.
- Keynote doesn’t’ support or convert PowerPoint presentations.
- Sideloading is restricted to 7 days if signed by a test cert, otherwise, you have to pay $100 yearly to sign.
- Logitech case was the best case I ever purchased if the back hinge held up to use more, after the first week I found the hinge constantly sliding back and becoming loose. $120 is a steep price to pay for the quality of the hinge.
- The Logitech remotes spotlight feature doesn’t work on iPad.
- No Jailbreak out for 11.3.1 at this point.
- The Apple Watch could have a little better battery life, but still impressive compared to my LG Sports Watch I used to have.
- Touch interface takes getting used to after using a laptop for so long.
- Have to tweak message and call settings to make sure they don’t interrupt your work if you use the iPad all the time.
- Wish iMessage shows all messages and not just one from others with iPhone, I’d like to see all my text messages on both my phone and iPad.
- I wish there was a better selection of iPad Pro 12.9 cases to pick from and one that included the pen holder.
- Apple Pen requires an adapter to charge if you don’t plug it into the iPad to charge it. It was always a minor annoyance to have this long pen sticking out of the side of the iPad when I was using it.
- I wish the cords were longer for the iPad Pro, you can’t plug it into a powerstrip and it is long enough to make it back to the iPad.
I found this to be a very successful experiment. I learned a lot in the process and became much more productive at some of the most remedial tasks. The iPad did not replace all of my laptops but was sufficient as a daily driver for over 85% of the work that I do. the only things I was unable to do was scripting in PowerShell, use Visual Studio, or build a local VM for testing. All of which I was able to do remotely using Parallels Access. If you’re a coach, consultant, or speaker who needs something simple, lightweight, and convenient; I highly recommend it. If your job leans more towards technical work, you may have to make some compromises to use this as a daily driver.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this series and I look forward to any feedback, question, comments, or concerns. Until next time!