iPad Pro: A True Replacement for Business Owners?


March 10, 2016

iPad Pro for Small Business Use

This won’t be your typical article doing a comparisons or rundown of all the specifications of the iPad Pro. Instead, i’d like to focus on the iPad Pro in business use - specifically in a small to medium enterprise.

I’ve owned almost all generation of iPads and still have an Air 2 kicking about around the house. I personally don’t tend to use it unless it happens to be lying on the coffee table and I want to do a quick browse on a website - I prefer picking up the iPad in-front of me as appose to the iPhone in my pocket, simply due to the bigger screen aspect.

This brings me down to the size. Long before the iPad Pro came out, I have tried to use the iPad Air as my primary driver but have failed. I wanted to have a similar setup like Federrico Viticci but it’s just not doable for someone who runs a small business. 

Here’s some of the things that I need to be able to do on my daily computing experience, in order for me to successfully run my business operations effectively and efficiently:

  • Manage an online store which includes editing listings and blog pages
  • Manage multiple sales channels (various Amazon marketplaces, eBay and distributors)
  • Edit listings across multiple channels
  • Produce invoices 
  • Create invoices and shipping labels
  • Video editing
  • Graphic design
  • Mailchimp for newsletters
  • Research and development
  • Financials on spreadsheets 
  • Design and submit Facebook ads
  • Publish marketing images to social media networks
  • Pixelmator - editing images

 

Can the above be done on an iPad Pro? No doubt. It’s not about being able to get it done but rather you should be asking, can it be done ‘better’ than my current Mac setup. The answer is no. I doubt this will ever change. Tapping on a screen all day is not the best computing experience, as Steve Jobs once said. Some of you may be saying theres apps out there like iMovie for video editing and Pixelmator for iOS but they are limited in what they can do. When I edit video, it's not a bog standard home video with preset audio and visual transitions. I pay for additional themes on Final Cut Pro X which gives me superior quality and makes our videos really stand out. I prefer the approach which Microsoft has taken with the Surface lineup with the touch screen and traditional mouse. This coupled with the fact that there is no file storage option, a lot of our work is backed up and saved on multiple hard drives - often having to retrieve files and, for example, photo shoot images and videos. Those who are looking to replace their OSx  / Windows machines for an iPad shouldn’t. You will seriously regret you decision. The iPad doesn’t do anything ‘better’ - having a different approach doesn’t equate to it being ‘better’. Time is money in business, if a simple task is taking you longer than what you are used to, your losing. 

In my years of dealing with the iPad & Macs, the iPad should be seen as an extension rather than a full on replacement. The iPad does help and excel in some ways when it comes to business. For example, we have exhibited at various trade shows and the iPad has been excellent in collecting leads from potential buyers, taking payment from customers and showcasing a ‘lookbook’ for our range. Sadly, this is where it ends. 

 

Personally, despite Apple now accepting that people love physical keyboards (Smart Keyboard), I don’t think we’ll be seeing trackpad support. Ever. That will totally defeat the purpose of iOS functionality and what they’ve stood for. If you love the portability of the iPad but want the software of OSx, you should consider the Retina Macbook - i’ve tried it, and love it!

 

Just to clarify, this article is written from a small business perspective. There will be non-business users who can fully see the iPad Pro as a replacement which is perfectly fine. But for someone who relies on a computer for their income - the iPad Pro and it’s ‘dumbed down’ apps and functions just will not cut it for us.

 

 



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