Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Part 15 - why iPhone matters - iPad as my main computer


Last week I watched the keynote where Apple showed off their newest generation of iPhone, the iPhone 5. Before unveiling their “new baby” they reminded us of some great statistics concerning the adaption of iOS and “iDevices” in general… and this prompted me to write this blog post - to highlight to you how going iPad-only is easy when you are an iPhone user. Here’s why:

Part 15 - why iPhone matters - iPad as my main computer

My iPhone 4s and the new iPad are made for each other

First off, both the iPhone and the iPad use the same operating system - iOS, which in many cases means the same (or very similar apps), the same file system (or lack thereof), the same cloud services and practically the same workflows. It’s very easy to set up the iPhone the same way you set up your iPad - with very similar home screens with apps.

Now, thanks to iCloud, Dropbox and other syncing mechanisms, most of these apps can “talk to each other” and stay in sync. This way, you can very easily start your work on the iPad and finish it off on the iPhone. And the other way round. This happens to me all of the time.

Some apps I use on both the iPhone and the iPad:

I’ve got the same email accounts set up on both iPhone and iPad’s Mail app. I use Reeder to read RSS news and Pocket to read the articles I saved for later; I use Evernote to store and access my notes, I use Nozbe on both devices (duh!), Dropbox and apps that sync using Dropbox (like 1Password for passwords and Nebulous writer for my texts), I access Facebook, Twitter (using Tweetbot for iPhone and iPad), Pinterest, Socialcast and other social apps as well. And Skype too (making my iPad a giant telephone :-) And these are just a few examples that come to my mind. There are a lot more apps that I use on both platforms.

Why it makes sense to work on both the iPad apps and the iPhone

  1. I don’t need to take my iPad everywhere… and still can be productive. As I mentioned on one of my Productive! Show episodes it makes perfect sense to forget a laptop or even iPad and just take a smartphone on a business trip and still be productive. Although my “iPad only” bag is pretty small I’m very often surprised how much I can get done on my iPhone only. Just because it has the similar apps as my iPad.

  2. I’m used to working with constraints… when you go iPad only - so working on an iPhone is no more a problem. Before I started my iPad only experiment I was already getting some stuff done on my iPhone… but now that I’m mostly iOS-based as I work on my iPad most of the time, working on the iPhone is not a big deal so again, I can just leave home with my iPhone in my pocket and still get a lot stuff done if I need to just on this small device. I have the same flows defined on my iPad as the iPhone, after all.

  3. iPhone has some “other apps” that are very useful at times. Still, there are more iPhone apps than the iPad apps out there - and sometimes I even get to the point that I install an iPhone-only app on my iPad to use it infrequently there “scaled”, because I need it so badly, but most of the time I just keep those on the iPhone only. Again, that’s a great thing about the iOS - you can install iPhone apps on the iPad… they just look very weird. But they are there if I need them.

The last argument - the look-and-feel is the same

That’s the thing. I can’t imagine working on the iPad and using and Android or Windows phone. I do have both of these phones for testing purposes and I do need to use my Android phone from time to time, but my main phone is the iPhone. And its look-and-feel is almost exactly the same as the iPad’s - and this boosts my productivity as well. I don’t need to adjust to a different menu, set of apps, anything else… when I’m on the iPhone. The only thing I have to adjust to is the small screen. And nothing else.

How do you like your iPhone/iPad combo? Would you give up one of these or do you think they’re made for each other?