Apple pushes for years the iPad as a laptop replacement; With the arrival of iPadOS, it could be serious to get you to permanently disable your computer (or at least leave it on your travels). To test the current status, we compared an iPad Pro to a MacBook Pro in five key workflows.
In this case, we did not add a mouse to our iPad setup, just a keyboard: The mouse support is preserved in iPadOS accessibility option, so Apple does not seem to have this option ready for prime time. Basically, mouse support on the iPadOS is designed so that you can use a mouse instead of your fingers instead of allowing proper pointing and clicking at the desktop level ̵
Writing and Researching
An iPad Can Do It Well: Plug in a keyboard below, prop it up like a laptop, and you have a very capable typewriter in front of you. Get a bit of dust on your keyboard, and it does not matter – you keep going. What's even better is that all the keyboard shortcuts you know and love are taken over, except that you have to work with your fingers in a smaller space.
We were able to post this post in Google Docs on the Web, thanks to the improved support that Safari on iPadOS now offers for desktop versions of websites (more on that below ). , Google will continue to press to use the Google Docs iPadOS app because it supports offline editing and better integration with features such as Split View and Slide Over. However, you get a more complete suite of editing and formatting features in the web app.
As with other apps – There is Microsoft Word for iPadOS, but you have to give up the most advanced and advanced features available on Windows or MacOS. For most users, that's fine: If your word processing needs do not reach the level of an academic or professional publisher, you're fine (and there are many minimal writing applications to help).
Of course you have a smaller screen and a smaller keyboard with an iPad, but there are no big differences in the software differences between iPadOS and macOS . Here is an iPad as a laptop replacement makes the most sense: writing reports, replying to e-mails, writing letters, etc.
With the new cut you can copy and paste three-finger gestures we do not find too useful – the use of an attached keyboard is much easier, and the app support is anyway only sporadically. In fact, any kind of text selection with your fingers occasionally remains annoying: it's certainly better than it used to be, but it's not yet the kind of super-intuitive, super-magical experience Apple seems to be.  Image Editing
This is when the gum goes on the road for many people on iPadOS: editing images. Perhaps that's why Apple was so eager to trumpet the arrival of Photoshop on the iPad, which was a devastating disappointment . Copying words under iPadOS is okay, less manipulating pictures.
On a MacBook Pro with MacOS, you have two clear advantages when dealing with images: more sophisticated software and more precise control of the pixels in front of you, regardless of whether you try to select the lower half of a leaf or gently blur on the top of an eyebrow.
A select number of broad brush functions will be transferred to the iPad and iPadOS, but without the precision of a two-button mouse or trackpad and without the depth of desktop-level software, they will always be limited. There are some good image editing programs on iOS and iPadOS, but they only work in certain areas (filters, brushes, color and brightness adjustments).
Browse a series of images to resize them and crop them Aspect ratios – this is something we do every day on macOS, and what's just not possible on iPadOS right now. For this article, all images were taken on an iPad, then optimized on a MacBook Pro and resized.
Here we have the same experiences as everyone else: you can mess up certain image-editing workflows on iPadOS, but some of the key features are lacking to prepare the production. If you are not sketching with Apple Pencil or making the simplest changes, you can edit the images on your laptop.
Surfing the Internet
The main difference to surfing the internet on the iPadOS The Web on MacOS uses your big, fat finger (or a slightly slimmer Apple Pencil) instead of a mouse. This can make the selection of individual links and menus a bit more complicated, but on the whole it did not bother us – most of the time you will be able to handle them easily.
We're pretty impressed with surfing the desktop that Apple now says it was able to construct in Safari (not 100 percent desktop browsing, but a sufficiently narrow emulation). Most of the sites we've tried, from legacy content management systems to Feedly and Gizmodo, looked and worked just like they did on a MacBook Pro. Even the desktop version of the Gmail web interface works fine, even though it's a bit crowded on the smaller screen.
What you do not get, even when you plug in a mouse or trackpad, is the right-click support or click and drag. In some cases, such as opening new tabs in the background, a long press will do the job, but once you've gotten over the basics, the support will be more limited. It slows you down a bit when you're on the web and when you work with complex web apps.
However, shortcuts are supported on iPadOS, so if you have your trusted Smart Keyboard Folio attached (or a suitable third-party variant) then you can tab between fields and J and K Navigate through lists and close tabs with ] Cmd + W and use all the shortcuts you use for your laptop.
Occasionally there were problems, eg. For example, items or pop-ups positioned unusually on a page opened in full tabs. Overall, surfing the web is already a good experience. Like many of our experiences with iPadOS instead of macOS, it's not a complete replacement, but you'll be alright most of the time.
Both iOS and now iPadOS have grown so comprehensively Matured file management systems in recent years, and the file app was added in 2017 with iOS 11 . At the same time, iCloud Drive has become more powerful and more accessible to end users and all these improvements have been summarized into files for iPadOS.
It's a lot better than it was then – you can actually save files on your iPad – but it's still not that far from the experience you have with it Make macOS on the desktop. Selecting multiple files takes longer than expected, drag-and-drop is limited, and you do not get fine-grained keyboard and mouse controls.
Files is one of the apps that you can now use to run two instances of iPadOS, which means copying files between folders is pretty straightforward. Another plus is the long press option: When you long press on a file or folder, from duplication to highlighting, you will see a variety of options demonstrating the versatility of the Files app these days To To connect external drives and to use USB sticks, the iPad really moves forward, as a device that you may take out more frequently than your laptop. You can do almost anything you need for file management, it just takes longer and is less intuitive than macOS.
If you need to submit serious digital documents, you should choose your MacBook Pro The choice is yours, if only because you can select 300 files and move them to the trash if Your mouse only needed one centimeter.
Finally, we have the Slide Over and Split View options in iPadOS and the other multitasking features (like the Dock) that make it easy to jump from app to app. As mentioned earlier, you can now run multiple instances of the same app on the iPadOS – but this is limited to a limited number of Apple apps for the time being.
Split view undoubtedly makes a big difference: Two apps! Side by side! Of course the screen will be pretty tight, but if you write notes, refer to an email, or access both Twitter and Facebook at the same time, this is very handy (maybe even more convenient than macOS, because the windows only lock in position) ,
Slide Over – a small iPhone-style window hovering over your main display – seems less useful, but your mileage may vary. Granted, it's good to check apps like Mail, Slack, Twitter, News or whatever while you're working on something else. But most of the time it feels like it's in the way.
You can actually switch Cmd + Tab between apps if you have a keyboard connected to your iPad, which definitely has a positive impact on productivity perspective, and the App Switcher appears as if Swipe up and hold from the bottom of the display is also well thought out. In fact, we would say the iPad wins in terms of simply jumping from app to app.
Sometimes Apple has the feeling of presenting the iPad as the future of computing or whatever after arithmetic, but it will not be so quick to drop its MacBooks – and as iPadOS is right now, it's in no danger to have to do that. The operating system makes iPads better than ever when it comes to doing a variety of tasks on the go. However, the extra screen space, the sophisticated desktop software, and the precision of a mouse (or trackpad) and keyboard are only of interest to professional users of choice.