10 years ago the iPad went on sale and exactly 8 years ago to date I started my quest to use the iPad as my main computing device - I started being #iPadOnly. And a year later I co-wrote a book about this with my friend Augusto Pinaud and today this book is free and open-sourced for you to read online. Here is how it all came to be:
When 8 years ago to the day I started using a retina iPad 3 as my main computer, it was just a crazy experiment. The iPad was barely 2 years old as a platform and many apps were simply not ready for prime time. But I fell in love with the device - I loved the form factor, the battery life, the keyboard-less design… everything about it. Shortly after I went on a trip with my wife to see the canyons on the West Coast and didn’t take a MacBook Air with me - only the iPad… and rest, as they say, is history.
I started documenting my #iPadOnly journey on this blog and I noticed my good friend Augusto Pinaud was doing the same on his blog. So I emailed him and we decided to join forces and write our book together which we published in June 2013 as #iPadOnly - the first post-PC book - how to use only your iPad to work, play… and everything in between.
The book was quite revolutionary. The iOS7 was just announced and most people thought we were full of it, trying to use this “glorified iPod touch” as a serious computing device.
You can still get the book on Amazon as paperback or Kindle if you want to, but as half of the book consists of app recommendations, the contents of these chapters are pretty outdated as the apps have changed quite a bit now.
The book might be old… but many concepts are not!
We wanted to update the book over the years but both of us were busy having our own careers in the meantime so we never did… and as I started openly writing my #NoOffice book I realized we could actually open-source our book as well and publish it for everyone to read online.
I started the process a few months ago (in the meantime I finally managed to secure the iPadOnly.com domain) but never got around to finishing it… and now with iPad’s 10th anniversary and my 8th anniversary of going #iPadOnly I decided to give it one last push.
Many chapters in the book stood the test of time!
As I was exporting the book to its new place I was surprised reading all the chapters and seeing how many of our opinions and assumptions haven’t changed much. Some of my favorite chapters include:
- Because you can..
- The iPad’s KISS
- Keyboard is optional
- Productivity on the iPad
- Also, many of our app recommendations are still valid!
- And now with the iPhone 11 Pro the iPhone as the second computer is even better
Many things (and iPads!) have changed since the publication of the book
Times have changed for the iPad. On the software side we have “iPadOS” as a fully independent and blessed by Apple version of iOS. We’ve got Siri Shortcuts which are awesome and I’ve been writing about them (earlier as Workflow app) a lot on this blog. Recently when I updated my journaling workflows. Siri Shortcuts changed the way I use the iPad - as I automate the 💩 out of it. I love these automations on the iPad!
Many apps have matured. Below I’ll explain the way I’m writing stuff on the iPad now, but other than that all office apps have matured (from Apple, Google and Microsoft), the file system is much better with the Files app to rule them all. The iCloud sync finally works reliably and now with iOS 13.4 it has gotten even better with folder sharing just recently introduced.
On the hardware side I’ve been through many iPads - I started my #iPadOnly journey on iPad 3 (which now hangs in my home office!, wrote the book on iPad 4, then went with iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro 12.9”, iPad Pro 9.7”, iPad Pro 10.5” and now I’m on the iPad Pro 11”… and I just ordered the latest 2020 version of this iPad. I’m currently still rocking the Smart Keyboard Folio but I’m looking forward to the Magic Keyboard Folio for the new iPad Pro. And we got a Pencil. Two in fact. And I love using it with the Linea app.
The open-sourcing of the book was #iPadOnly, too!
If you’re curious, I’ve built the new home for this book completely using my iPad - similarly to how I write my marketing texts - using WorkingCopy app for publishing on GitHub, iA Writer for editing text and Textastic (which was actually mentioned in the book!) for writing code. These three apps work together brilliantly.
Want to contribute? Want to extend the book?
Now that the book is published and free, let’s update it, revise it or extend it together, shall we? If you’re as passionate about the iPad as I am, feel free to open a pull request, suggest a change, chapter or whatever you want. Maybe we can revive this book together?