iPad as a tool- 3 minutes read - 570 words
Two happy things coincided this week. Apple released a new iPad that you can use an actual keyboard with, and i had a meeting with my Apple SMEs. So i voiced an earlier thought i’d had, “can you get any actual work done with this?”. So the other one asked “Do you want to try?” Yes! Absolutely! Shure dang! (just as soon as i return the MacBook i borrowed from them :) 1
So what do i need to do work? Not much, i’d assume. A terminal and a browser. A proper keyboard. And git. A proper editor would be nice. Do they have Atom for iPad? Or vim? 2
Opening my goodie bag, i realise it’s not a 10" 7th gen iPad, but an iPad Pro. Boom! Stoked! Not only does that mean a lot more oomph, but that i can charge it with a proper (USB C) charger anywhere i roam. I’m an Android guy and don’t have anything that requires a Lightning plug to charge. And that brings me to the next thing. I’ve actually never used an iDevice more than in quick passing. This is going to be a new endeavour for me.
Half an hour later.
Okay. It’s cool. It’s shiny. The iPad sort of magically sticks to the keyboard-cover. The pencil sticks to the side of the iPad with a satisfying click. The keyboard doesn’t need charging at all, it just connects to the iPad and off you go. The pencil charges by induction when it’s snapped to the iPad.
Oh that pencil. I just tried it quickly with the Notes app. It’s smooth. It’s responsive. It’s… instant! I’m going to like this experiment.
Update! After some help from my colleague, i even found how to get the
Nordic characters ÅÄÖ on the hard keyboard. It wasn’t totally obvious.
Keyboards. Add Swedish or Finnish keyboard.
Hardware keyboard >
Swedish (or Finnish) > `Swedish
- Pro` (or Finnish). Then, while in text input mode in an app, press the globe key at the bottom left of the keyboard, which usually lets you select between your default keyboard (whatever your install language was) and Emoji. Whop and behold, there’s a new option there! Swedish (or Finnish)! And now you can type with your favourite character set!
Of course, the spell checker goes all boinkers and assumes your English writing now is misspelled Swedish… I suppose. In this sense, the Android system is a bit more clever, as it figures out i’ve changed languages mid-sentence if need be.
I still miss a “Home” key, so i can get back to whatever home screen there is without lifting my hands from the keyboard. Cmd-Space works3, which is neat, and it’s possible that’ll cover the lack of a Home key. An Escape key there is not.
I’ll skip the story what i’d have to go through to wipe and re-install the MacBook, which is kinda silly since wiping and re-installing MacBooks is in of my description… ↩︎
That much i know that the iPad keyboard does not have an Escape key ↩︎
For you non-macoholics out there, Cmd-Space is the most useful key combination on a Mac. It opens up a quick search functionality called Spotlight which searches both apps, filenames, file contents, stuff on the web (if you allow it), and practically any other content on your device. ↩︎