I'll be honest with you: Since switching up from an iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6 Plus, I've neglected my iPad.
Gathering dust under a pile of cables is hardly a fitting way for an iPad to spend its days, but since moving to the iPhone 6 Plus I've found that the 5-5-inch screen allows me to do, well, pretty much everything the 9.7-inch screen on the iPad can do.
This got me pondering. How could a device with a 5.5-inch display manage to do everything that a device with a 9.7-inch screen used to do? I realized that it was because I'd started using an iPad back when I had a smaller iPhone, and I hadn't adjusted my workflow. I set about changing this, and what follows are the steps I took to reintegrate the iPad into my workflow.
One of the great things about iOS devices is that when you move to a newer device it is easy to transform it into a clone of your old device. Yes, this is a massive timesaver, but it also means that you don't start with a new broom. You're using the old layout, the old apps, and the old ways of working.
I decided that it was time to start with a blank slate. A couple of taps and everything was gone!
I've had an iPad since day one, and back then the app landscape was very different. There was far fewer choices when it came to the software I could install. I needed apps that would integrate with my existing workflow – such as utilities to unzip files and create and open Microsoft Office documents – and built a new workflow around that.
But times have changed, and yet I found that I was using the same old apps. Sure, many had seen regular updates – although some seem to have been abandoned – but a bit of time spent in the Apple App Store saw me finding new and better apps to work with.
iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite brings with it an unprecedented level of integration between the two platforms.
While initially I found it hard to adopt this into my workflow – partly because I had kludgy workflows in place to try to make switching between the two work – I've found that once I'd gone through the process of starting something on my iPad and then switching the Mac a few times, it became second nature.
iCloud integration has come a long way, especially with the release of iOS 8 and iCloud Drive, and it makes sense to use it – doubly so if you use a Mac. If you're not a fan of iCloud – and I know a lot of people aren't – then most of the other big names in cloud work reasonably well.
Freeing your data from the device and making it available to all your devices is liberating, and can dramatically improve workflow.
Yes, the on-screen keyboard is OK, but it can't beat a proper physical keyboard. I'm going to refer you to ZDNet's expert on the matter, James Kendrick, who has used pretty much every iPad keyboard out there. Drop by, and remember to tell him I sent you!