Six months with an iPad + Apple Pencil

In July 2018 I bought an iPad (see post: Why iBought an iPad). Here are some of my thoughts six months on.

In my earlier post I listed my goal to achieve a high-quality digital inking experience for minimal cost (relative, of course). The 2018 iPad (6th gen) and Apple Pencil has definitely ticked this box for me!

I use digital inking in three key functions: meetings, planning/conceptualisation and study.

From one-on-one scrawl to board meetings with several hundred pages of agenda items and attachments, the iPad has served me well. Laptops are great but I feel that a vertical screen can create a barrier between people, whereas a tablet laying flat is far less intrusive.

Digital ink (+OneNote!) is a great way to “think on paper” for planning and brainstorming. A great example of this is noting key takeaways from an annual learning technology review, with the ability to use different colours while easily linking key ideas and manipulating text.

For study, simply put: the ability to take any document or slide deck and dump a printout into a OneNote page is awesome. Its like being able to instantaneously print out a file and glue it to an infinite roll of butcher’s paper 🙂

Apart from OneNote – whose short sync times are great but battery consumption could be improved – the iPad is a great reading, web browsing, video watching and communication device. iOS’ fluid gesture controls and ample processing power make navigation a pleasure, and the touch keyboard experience is great. Put this in a highly portable form factor and the its a device I really enjoy using. iOS has definitely come a long way but it won’t be replacing a desktop OS any time soon,

Does the 2018 iPad have all the flashy features and the ultimate, premium “Apple feel” compared with the latest iPad Pros? No, but it also doesn’t share the hefty price tag, making it all the more suited to education.

Note: I’m also likely to be relying on the iPad more with my switch to a $77 smartphone running Android Go! Post to come… (edit: here it is)

Have some thoughts? Please continue the discussion on Twitter!