iPad Pro as main machine after 2 years

I got my iPad Pro at the end of 2017. Before buying it, I had read many blog posts by various developers who were using iPad for programming and web development. But soon after I bought it, I realized that serious web development on iPad is hard. The biggest issue was debugging JavaScript and CSS without web tools.

At first, I was having buyer’s remorse but I loved the form factor of iPad and loved drawing on it. I am used to reading on Kindle and iPad was just too heavy for long reading sessions but it was very decent reading device for quick reading sessions. So I kept it.

Initially, iPad was fun device for infotainment. But slowly I started to become more productive on it. I stopped doing web or app development. Instead, switched to command-line based projects such as algorithmic trading or data science experiments. It was sort of subconscious change as I carry iPad around a lot more than my laptop and when I had iPad with me, I didn’t wanna build anything with GUI.

Currently, I cannot get rid of my personal laptop completely because I use it for some dev projects, I was learning Flutter and been playing with Godot. I tried to setup Flutter on my VPS but I could never get it to work right. Also laptop is needed for various trading softwares like Wealth Lab Pro or Think or Swim. Wealth Lab Pro is what got me into algorithmic trading but unfortunately it is Windows only. However, I am using RDP to log into Windows machine from my iPad. It is not a smooth experience but doable.

Currently, I use following apps on iPad Pro:

  1. Blink shell for ssh connections to my VPSes.
  2. ia Writer for writing fiction.
  3. Kindle app
  4. Working Copy for working with my repos on github and bitbucket.
  5. Photos app
  6. Procreate for drawing and painting
  7. Affinity Photo for drawing and editing photos
  8. Snapseed for editing photos
  9. Apple Notes for quick notes with Pencil
  10. Dropbox for transferring files between Windows machine, Android phone, and MacBook Pro
  11. Microsoft Remote Desktop
  12. And then usual entertainment apps such Netflix, YouTube, etc

Also I tend to avoid installing most apps and use websites, like Reddit or Facebook. I rather login to website instead of an app on my machine that is constantly monitoring everything I do.

The biggest reason I still need a personal laptop or desktop is for trading softwares. Day trading is one of my favorite hobby. I don’t trade everyday but it is very enjoyable when I do. I could use RDP for day trading but that is clunky and you don’t want to hit the wrong button in your trading software.