Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 19th Sep 2017 21:52 UTC

iOS 11 has been released, and if you have an iPhone or iPad, you should really update right now. It's a big release, and especially iPad users will get to enjoy an overhauled user experience on their tablets. If you're not convinced, be sure to read the only two reviews you need: the one by fervent and enthusiastic (his enthusiasm for the iPad is infectious, in a good way) iPad user Federico Viticci, and the Ars Technica review written by Andrew Cunningham.

I've been using the betas on my 2017 iPad Pro 12.9", and it truly transforms how you use the iPad, to the point where I can use mine comfortably for work (translating, posting OSNews stories - like this one - and so on). No macOS or Windows laptop is as responsive and fluid as this iPad Pro, and the battery life of this machine is so good, it's probably illegal in 12 US states. Unlike macOS or Windows, I don't have to spend time fighting with iOS 11 to get it to do what I want, like fidgeting with windows, or anxiously managing battery life because otherwise I won't get through a day, or manage applications. And trust me, there's no PC - not even my own €4000 monster PC - that is as fluid and responsive as this iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro with iOS 11 is the truest realisation yet of it just works.

I'm not going to claim this is for everyone, or that you should ritually sacrifice your ThinkPad and run to the Apple Store and get the iPad Pro. However, after a few months of use, there's no way I'm ever going back to a traditional laptop. That being said - my only complaint about the 2017 iPad Pro 12.9" is an odd one: it's not a mobile device.

I am a sit down behind my desk kind of person. I work and compute behind a desk, with a large display at eye height and a comfortable chair. The iPad Pro isn't suited for this kind of work, as it forces you to look down, which due to back problems I cannot do for longer periods of time. What I really want is a small iOS box I can hook up a display, keyboard, and mouse to. Apple already makes such a box - the Apple TV - so I know they can do it. Mouse and keyboard support is probably coming to iOS over the coming years, and with the Mac Mini languishing, it feels like they might be working on just such a box.

I'd easily pay €500-700 for such a machine.

I know stating iOS is a great general purpose computing platform tends to be controversial - I myself have been skeptical about this very thing for years - but iOS 11 and the iPad Pro have utterly convinced me. This is the platform I want for laptop and desktop computer use. Windows and macOS feel like the past now.

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But am writing this on my iPhone.

I’m a sysadmin at a university. I also co-own a business doing web development and custom coding, turnkey systems, etc.

I’ve also been using the iPad betas on a 9.7” iPad Pro, trying to like the experience.

I like the iPad. iOS 11 is a big step forward.


iPads are a luxury and, for me, working on them is still a compromise.

I ordered a new ThinkPad today. 15” full HD IPS for less than $600CDN. It has enough RAM, a decent HD, is upgradable, and even though it’s probably slower than a current iPad, I know that, with Linux and VirtualBox, I can do everything I need to on it.

I want to like the iPad. I want to be unshackled by big, “old” laptops. But. For less than half the price of an iPad I know I can do everything I need to do now and for the next several years on a device with a great keyboard and a great, big screen.

Two years from now, I can upgrade it and use it for another 5 years.

I look forward to the future of computing, but we live in the present of computing.

I’m travelling today for work. I forgot to pack my iPad but remembered to pack my 2011 11” MacBook Air. I feel a bit foolish, but really, I know I can do what I need with the MadBook, not so with the iPad.

At least for me, none of Apple’s current lineup, except for the iPhone, seem that compelling. Tablets and USB C will be great at some point. In the meantime, my wallet votes for USB A, and boring old keyboard and mouse that gets the job done.

Maybe sad to say, I need X11, x2go, many types of VPNs, and a great command line. None of this is as good on an iPad. Yet.

Edited 2017-09-22 01:02 UTC

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