There is hope that this will not just be another “switch to tablet” story. It begins as many do in a home office. The daily use system at the time was a Mac Book Pro. New Horizons had shifted to using Adobe Connect as its education content delivery system. As an Information Security instructor this meant that it was a good time to test teaching using only an iPad.
The earlier system was Elluminate. This meant running a Java VM. This did not work well on OS X because the company that created Elluminate was no longer supporting OS X/Java versions. An iPad is not a consideration in this environment because Java does not run on it.
The experiment began with the new year. The new version of iWork, a new iPad Retina, and a truly unlimited data plan all led to the question, “Is a 15″ MBP really necessary for daily use?” There are games the can only be found on an Intel chipset (Eve, StarCraft2, Diablo3, etc…). It is also a prosumer rig (Final Cut, Pixelmator, Aperture). You won’t find these on iOS.
The real question is, is an iPad powerful enough to use daily, and can the laptop stay home?
What about running Windows? OnLive delivers a full Win7 desktop with Microsoft Office.
Parallels Access can connect to a computer running Parallels and let you run the OS X desktop or any VM installed in Parallels (Win 8.1, Linux, Unix, etc). So either way there is OS availability . Either system was functional. OnLive is nice because you are connecting to a remote system. It is like using a proxy, increasing your own local security by not exposing you to the Internet. Parallels is nice because you can install anything you want to, you are using your own machines.
With operating systems covered applications become the next big question. With a MBP, iPad, iPhone, AppleTV’s… Yes, the decision to use iCloud was an easy one. Core productivity apps for this test are Pages, Numbers, and Keynote. EverNote is also a must have. Since this is a WordPress blog, the WordPress app was another easy pick.
Every day for two weeks Keynote provided teaching presentations. It worked flawlessly and as expected. Adobe Connect works as expected as well. Not as robust as the desktop version, but functional. The day will not come soon enough when Adobe converts Connect from a Flash base to an HTML5/AJAX base.
None of this would have been possible without a ClamCase. The onscreen keyboard is great for an edit or two, but a full article definitely needs tactile feedback.
The one great complaint is the lack of controllers. Many of the games my age group grew up with are available once more for iOS. SoulCalibur, AfterBurner, Knights of the Old Republic, Dragons Lair, Space Ace, Jet Set Radio, Sonic the Hedgehog, SonicCD, and many others would benefit from a full-sized controller (Xbox layout please). SteelSeries Stratus is the closest in this regard. It looks too small for may hands. Baldur’s Gate, Baldur’s Gate II, and Uplink all benefitted from keyboard control.
Between games and productivity the iPad with a keyboard replaced a netbook. It has also replaced the need to haul a 5 pound laptop around. If there was a need to bring a device backpacking, this would be it at 1.3 pounds (iPad plus keyboard).