iPad-first computing

Steven Sinofsky writes on his transition to iPad-first computing:

Unlike many “use a product for month” tests this is not an experiment. For me this is a deeply held belief that the rise of smartphones (specifically starting when the iPhone launched) would have a profound impact on the way we all use “computers”.

The transformation spans hardware (thinner, lighter, smaller, cheaper, longer battery life, instant on/off, touch, sensors, connectivity, etc.), operating systems (more: secure, reliable, maintainable, robust, etc.), and app software (refactored, renewed, reimagined, etc.). It is the combination of these attributes, however, causing a change as fundamental as the leap from mainframe to workstation, from character-based to graphical OS, from desktop to laptop, from client/server to web — perhaps equal to all rolled into one shift if for no other reason than the whole planet is involved.

Sinofsky and Benedict Evans go through the nuts and bolts of this in a recent A16Z podcast which is worth listening to if you’re curious about making this leap.

If you doubt those changes are happening now, then consider how much of your work life/process/culture has changed by the introduction of smartphones. Tablets just took longer because they are not just additive but substitutes.

Sinofsky’s “OK, Some Things Were Much Easier” section echoes my experience. When I got the iPad Pro, I got the model with built-in cellular with my T-Mobile plan. It’s an extra $10/month for unlimited service on the iPad, and it’s the single best aspect of using iPad as my secondary device after iPhone.

No more hunting for and struggling with WiFi networks or wondering about their security. Always-on connectivity. Simple.

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