At first, I was having buyer’s remorse but I loved the form factor of iPad and loved drawing on it. I am used to reading on Kindle and iPad was just too heavy for long reading sessions but it was very decent reading device for quick reading sessions. So I kept it.
Initially, iPad was fun device for infotainment. But slowly I started to become more productive on it. I stopped doing web or app development. Instead, switched to command-line based projects such as algorithmic trading or data science experiments. It was sort of subconscious change as I carry iPad around a lot more than my laptop and when I had iPad with me, I didn’t wanna build anything with GUI.
Currently, I cannot get rid of my personal laptop completely because I use it for some dev projects, I was learning Flutter and been playing with Godot. I tried to setup Flutter on my VPS but I could never get it to work right. Also laptop is needed for various trading softwares like Wealth Lab Pro or Think or Swim. Wealth Lab Pro is what got me into algorithmic trading but unfortunately it is Windows only. However, I am using RDP to log into Windows machine from my iPad. It is not a smooth experience but doable.
Currently, I use following apps on iPad Pro:
Blink shell for ssh connections to my VPSes.
ia Writer for writing fiction.
Working Copy for working with my repos on github and bitbucket.
Apple Photos app
Procreate for drawing and painting
Affinity Photo for drawing and editing photos
Snapseed for editing photos
Apple Notes for quick notes with Pencil
Dropbox for transferring files between Windows machine, Android phone, and MacBook Pro
Microsoft Remote Desktop
And then usual entertainment apps such Netflix, YouTube, etc
Also I tend to avoid installing most apps and use websites, like Reddit or Facebook. I rather login to website instead of an app on my machine that is constantly monitoring and sending data to mothership.
I finally bought 10.5” iPad Pro (Affiliate Link). It was mostly an impulse purchase. When first I started to use iPad, it felt blah. It is hard to find good apps or what apps you might want to try out.
My main goals with iPad was to have a really small laptop replacement. So I was hoping for a decent code editor. There are some code editing apps but there is no way to try them out before purchasing. So I am spending a lot of time reading reviews before I purchase any app.
Before purchasing iPad, I read a few blog posts by some programmers using their iPad as their main computing device. They all said they had some issues but it was doable. Unfortunately, sample size is a bit small right now and it seems it is doable only if you ssh into a server. There is no easy solution for local dev.
Then my other goal was to use iPad as entertainment and artistic device. For these functions, I didn’t need to buy Pro version but because I wanted smallest and lightest possible profile with a keyboard; my only choice was Smart Keyboard. And Smart Keyboard only works with Pro version.
So here are my current apps.
Apps for Programming
I am still looking for a code editor app. Most programmers’ workflow was to login on server and edit code there. Here are my current apps:
I started off with Termius shell client but quickly got tired of tapping screen to hit escape. I could not find anyway to remap keys in it. After some search, came across this post about using iPad Pro as main computer for programming. Based on his recommendation, I bought Blink shell for $20. This app let’s you map CAPS Lock key to escape and that was all I needed this for. However, its UI feels cleaner and more polished than Termius too.
I would recommend Blink over Termius unless you are unlikely to spend a lot of time in shell. And initially I was hoping I would not have to login to a server to code, but increasingly it looks like I will have to, that’s the other reason why I gave up and bought this.
This great free app. It works great with BitBucket. You can clone your repos, use built-in editor to edit files, commit & push. Perfect for local code editing. If you have CI/CD, you don’t have to do much more than push your code.
This is a great ssh client. Another free app. It has onscreen keyboard for sending keys that are missing on Smart Keyboard such as escape. However, I don’t want to use persistent connection. I want to be able to code on a plane or by pool. So local editor like Working Copy is the best option for me. This will come in handy though for when you need to debug or fix issues on the server.
This is just a tutorial for learning swift but it is really really well made. I am really enjoying use it. I might end up learning Swift because I just like using this app. Highly recommended for kids and those who are new to programming.
I didn’t need to buy this as there are tons of free sketching apps. But this app kept coming up whenever I was searching for tutorials on drawing on iPad. It was also recommended by some of my friends. So I bought it.
It definitely a few level above free apps. One of the best feature I like about this app is that you can export images of any size. Most free apps limit the max resolution of images. For printing especially on t-shirts, this is perfect.