The iPad 3 lacked the portability of the previous models—it felt heavy in my bag, so I mostly left it at home on the dining table. In some ways, it felt like I’d spent $500 on an entertainment device that I could occasionally use for “real” work if I wanted to put up with the limitations of the hardware and software.
About a month in with the iPad Air 2, however, and I’m singing a very different tune. Where the iPad 3 was fun to use, it never made me want to use it more, even before OS updates caused it to slow down. The Air 2 is fast and flexible enough that it can not only do a huge chunk of what I can do on my Mac, but it does it well enough that I want to use it more.
I’ve had my iPad Air 2 for almost a year and I can safely say that it’s the best computer I’ve ever owned. I believed that to be the case when iOS 8 was the latest and greatest, but with iOS 9 it’s no contest. The addition of split-screen multitasking has transformed the iPad from a casual device that I used to read news and check Twitter to my primary machine for almost every task.
At this point, the only time I turn to my MacBook is when I’m doing work which requires several application windows at the same time — like when I’m making changes to the site’s design and need Transmit, multiple text files, and Safari open at the same time. Or when I’m publishing images to the site — I still find image editing, compressing, and uploading much easier on OS X.
Last weekend I sat down at my MacBook to complete some of the remaining tasks on my site redesign to do list. When I opened the computer’s lid I was greeted with a “No Backups for 13 Days” notification from Time Machine. It’s become so normal to use iOS as my primary computing platform that I had gone nearly two weeks without waking my MacBook from sleep. And I hadn’t even noticed.