While Brooks and others are arguing that iPad will eventually replace the Mac, Gruber is arguing there will always be a need for macOS—specifically a desktop operating system. Despite what my aforementioned dalliance with iPad might suggest, I’m firmly in Gruber’s camp.
Here’s the thought experiment, which I used to inform my opinion: If you could take only one device with you, which one would you take? Ben Brooks or Federico Viticci would almost certainly choose an iPad.
However, I’d take a Mac. Exactly the 11” MacBook Air, which I’m using to write this article.
Which one would I take?
The other day, we were going to meet up with my extended family for dinner. My wife told me that I needed to bring my laptop, as my aunt wanted to talk about some logo design stuff. I was tired after a day of work and mindlessly grabbed my laptop. I regretted it as soon as we started to talk. Why? Because I couldn’t grab my Pencil and mindlessly sketch out some logos and notes.
Christmas was on a Sunday. One Thursday, the 22nd, we drove up to Chicago to stay with my in-laws for the weekend. Going iPad-only, I did some doodling, some writing, and some reading. But I wanted to work on an iOS app side project.
Part of my developer life is web development. Something I have done for most of my life. I can do much of this from my iPad. But over the last five years, I’ve delved into iOS development. That “Brooks” that Rob Rhyne mentions above? He, Ben Brooks, linked my professional development app Web Tools right before the New Years, saying, “I wouldn’t be able to troubleshoot website errors without this.” But the sad thing is, I cannot do iOS development on an iPad. Xcode isn’t there yet. So I need my MacBook Air.
So which one would I take? Depends. I have set up a Digital Ocean server, installed Ghost, and built a theme all from my iPad. I have designed entire websites on it too. And designed logos, posters, flyers, and more. But if I need to work on an app, I gotta have my MacBook.
So, it’s like Ben Brooks has said, “I couldn’t use my Mac as my only machine in 2004, but in 2005 I could.” If it were about preference, I’d be on my iPad 100% of the time.