October 4, 2010
Since I regularly state that mobile devices such as the iPhone and iPad are the devices we will all be using in the future I decided to conduct a reasonability experiment. I decided that I would leave my laptop home while I presented at the iPhone Developers Conference. I took only my iPhone and iPad. This posting is a description of my experience.
What worked very well.
- Reading books on the plane and airport. I loved this. It was easy to read and very enjoyable. The only drawback was that I had to shut off the device during takeoff and landing.
- Battery life. There was plenty of battery to do everything I needed.
- Movie watching. Fantastic.
- Browsing during presentations. This worked very well. I was easily able to stay current with the presentation information and browse for more.
- Data entry. AMAZING. I have always hated typing on my laptop on a plane. There simply is not enough space. The iPad could easily sit on my legs and lean against the seat in front of me. This allowed me to use both hands to touch-type as I wrote documents. This was a complete and wonderful surprise for me. Gone are my cramps as I try to hold my arms in a position to type on my laptop on a plane. Again, AMAZING (capitalization intended).
What worked OK
- Presentations. I was able to connect up my device and show presentations without any technical issues. The software worked well with one reservation. I needed to be able to zoom-in on some code in slides but was unable to since pinch isn’t supported. Creating the presentations was a snap.
- Note taking during presentations. If you are going to do this you will want to be able to stand up the device on the table and use a bluetooth keyboard.
What didn’t work
- The one thing that I missed the most was the ability to modify, compile, and run my example code. There are changes that I would have liked to make at the last minute but could not since these devices don’t support the development platform. I understand why they don’t and shouldn’t. This was the only thing I missed from my laptop.
So the question comes down to this. Will I do this again? Can I leave my laptop home and go mobile? Emphatically yes. I will be doing this again. Often.