7 day challenge with an iPad 2022

After a number of YouTubers had documented their experience with using an iPad exclusively for a month I thought to myself - Could I even last a week with using an iPad exclusively? Apple appears to think so, if their 2018 ‘What’s a computer?’ ad is anything to go by. Apart from using a Windows laptop for work, I would be restricted to only an iPad for everyday tasks. It certainly sounds like a challenge because I have become accustomed to using my Chromebook each day and dipping into iPad territory when I needed to refine a sketch with the Apple Pencil. I would also refrain from using any gaming console or service other than what Apple has to offer. Admittedly, the challenge would be a whole lot easier with the impressive 12.9 inch iPad Air with Magic Keyboard but I don’t have that type of money.

Where I can see it will be a challenge

I believe the biggest challenge will be the screen size. My Chromebook boasts a Quad HD 13.5” 2256 by 1504 (3:2), LED backlight screen with 427 nits of brightness. I love the Acer Spin 713 screen! Whereas, my Apple iPad Air 3rd gen sports a modest 10.5” 2224 by 1668 (264ppi) screen with 500 nits of brightness. I know it will be more apparent when I am writing my college assignments. The 3:2 ratio of my Chromebook is perfect for documents and websites with the vibrant colours and high brightness. My iPad on the other hand, with its 10.5 inch screen, feels squashed up. I’m not sure if it is the layout of some apps which makes the UI feel a little chunky. 

Multitasking will be another challenge. I enjoy the efficiency of virtual desktops and hand gestures to navigate through Chrome OS. I can easily switch between tabs, desktops and applications with a few swipes here and there. I have very little knowledge of using gestures and multitasking in iOS for iPad. I still don’t truly understand the snapping of apps and how to get rid of certain apps without pressing the home button. If anything, multitasking and split screening will be one area where I will have to learn and adapt my practices. 

File system - I know Apple Files a little to understand what works well, how the folders are set up and where I have been limited in the past but I am not sure if using Apple’s file system will be the most effective. I think I will stick with my Google Drive app and other Google Docs apps to serve my purpose for this experiment. Maybe I am not doing the experiment justice on this one but I need access to the files and photos I use every day. 

Battery life - Although my iPad has a reasonable battery life, it does not come close to what I get on my Acer Spin 713 Chromebook. I don’t know the technical depth to compare but I reach three days on my Chromebook with moderate usage. My iPad Air 3, on the other hand, achieves a day of usage without me feeling a little bit of battery anxiety.

Where I will be successful with the challenge

Cross device synchronisation - I have been using an iPhone for a year now. I bought my iPhone 11 on 6th May 2021. It became immediately obvious what others were saying about Apple’s walled garden (ecosystem). How each Apple can integrate with other devices connected. I can choose where music is played, browse a website and then continue reading it on another device or even Airdrop files from my iPhone to iPad within seconds. Apple has reduced the friction there. However, getting files outside their ecosystem is another story. I know this is an area I will have difficulty with. 

Invested in the Apple ecosystem - I have Apple One and a plethora of apps/services to keep me entertained. I use Apple Music, TV+ and Arcade on a daily basis but not so on my iPad. Most apps I install on my iPhone will automatically install on my iPad, including the synchronisation of my data too. This is super handy when I want to continue something on my iPad. Some apps, like Bento and Momently do not scale because they have not been optimised for the iPad. They appear as the iPhone version with the ability to scale upwards. The same experience can be said for a range of Android apps I use on my Chromebook too.

Although I use my Chromebook each day to get my work and other tasks done, the Apple Pencil and compatible apps make the iPad stand out for sure. Yes, I have a Penoval USI style for my Chromebook but it is nothing like the iPad / Apple Pencil experience. The Apple Pencil sets the benchmark for note taking. It is exactly the reason why I like the iPad so much. Apps like Notability and ProCreate allow me to be creative, sketching out ideas, lesson plans and drawing for my hobby. Apple Notes has a nice feature with the Apple Pencil where a quick flick from the bottom right of my screen will bring up a Notes widget where I can quickly write or sketch an idea before going back to my previous task. 

So it begins...

So, here’s the challenge - last seven days using my iPad exclusively! Non-Apple messaging and calls are allowed on my iPhone but everything else has to be on my iPad. I will start the challenge from 5pm on 8th May 2022 and finish it on the 15th May 2022 at 5pm. I will either regret it or learn something new.


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