iPadOS vs macOS – Friday Notes 138


As you read this I’ve just purchased an M1 MacBook Air for pickup at my local Apple Store. I ended up getting a Rose Gold Air with 8 GPU cores, 1TB HDD and 16GB of RAM. The biggest deciding factor in the 8 GPU cores is that I could pick that one up locally with the upgraded RAM and HDD. I would have been perfectly happy with 7 GPU cores, but I would have had to wait a few weeks for it.

There are a few reasons I’m making a purchase now instead of waiting for whatever is next from Apple. First, my kids will need homework computers coming up and this purchase means I can take my year old Mac Mini and turn it into a family desktop machine. Then when something new comes out later this year I can make that purchase and give the Air to my wife. Her older Air will pass down to the kids for a portable homework machine.

But I have a bigger question…

## Is iPadOS Frustrating because of Screensize?

Recently [Jason Snell said](https://sixcolors.com/post/2021/03/searching-for-the-perfect-ios-markdown-writing-tool/):

> And I feel more focused using iPadOS itself, for some reason. I know I can run apps full-screen on my Mac—though a 27-inch iMac is spectacularly bad at that. I know I can hide and quit apps on my Mac with a few keystrokes. And, conversely, the iPad actually does make it easy to switch between apps. And yet, somehow, the iPad provides more of a mental barrier for me, making it less likely I’ll peek over at Twitter or Slack while I’m in the middle of writing something.

I entirely resonate with this feeling. iPadOS feels more focused because of the mono-tasking focused nature of the operating system. One of the best explanations of how to think about [iPad multitasking and productivity is from Chris at DailyTekk](https://curtismchale.ca/2021/02/18/how-to-think-about-ipad-multitasking). He is so focused with his iPad setup that he closes apps which he shouldn’t be using.

While I prefer working on my iPad, some stuff just feels hard in a way that I can’t describe. All my coding tools are the same on my iPad and macOS. I use vim and tmux and have all the same snippets synced across. iPadOS has a decent sFTP client in [Secure Shellfish](https://secureshellfish.app) and Files supports zipping and unzipping files easily.

The killer app on iPadOS though is Shortcuts. I have so many things that are automated via Shortcuts that working on my Mac often feels like I’m in a 3 legged race with my 4-year-old. It’s just doesn’t work an I end up pushing files to my iPad to accomplish a task.

Despite this when I head to a programming task I often want to reach for macOS and the only good reason I can think of is my 27″ display that lets me spread out a bit with my coding work.

When I pick up the M1 Air I’ll be purchasing a new desk as well, but won’t have the time to install it and migrate all my stuff over I plan to work on the 13″ screen for the first week. I figure this will help me sort out if the limitation I feel with iPadOS is screen real estate based or software based.

## I Shipped

Monday I talked about [Craft and data portability](https://curtismchale.ca/2021/03/01/craft-notes-and-data-portability). Overall, I think it does a decent job. The only way it’s going to get better is if they build export options specific to other systems you may want to move to.

Today you’ll find a video about [how I use Craft to take notes on books](https://curtismchale.ca/2021/03/05/using-craft-to-take-notes-on-books). If you’ve been struggling with your own system, then here is what I do so you can steal it.

> P.S. Want to support the site and my work [become a Patreon](https://patreon.com/curtismchale) or take one of my SkillShare courses like [Getting Started with Zettelkasten](https://skl.sh/3rntNDW)