Want to turn your iPad into a laptop replacement? Here are 7 top ways to elevate your tablet to a macbook-like experience.
While you might think of the iPad as just the bigger iPhone when it first launched, it has improved in power and usability over the years. Hence, you might be interested in ditching your MacBook for a lighter, more portable iPad.
Apple has made many hardware and software innovations that allow your iPad to become a possible laptop replacement. For many MacBook users, there’s never been a better time to switch to an iPad-enabled workflow.
In this guide, we split our recommendations for getting a MacBook workflow on your iPad into two parts: hardware and software. Let’s see.
Hardware To Make Your iPad Like a MacBook
With a few physical upgrades, your iPad will feel more like a laptop replacement than ever before.
Get Keyboard And Mouse
While the iPad lets you type messages on its software keyboard, it’s not the most convenient way to write long chunks of text. With Apple’s updated Magic Keyboards, you can get the same kind of typing feel and trackpad advantage on a MacBook with the advantage of being able to remove your iPad from the case after use.
In addition, many third-party providers have designed keyboard models for people who prefer to use an external mouse, or who require extra durability such as waterproofing or even drop protection. You can also use the mouse to feel the same laptop when clicking instead of tapping the trackpad or screen.
Invest In An iPad Stand
As more and more people pay attention to posture, even the most comfortable iPad cases can’t provide the necessary height to avoid neck strain. You need something that helps you see your iPad at eye level.
Luckily, the right iPad stand allows for this and more. Investing in a good iPad stand that can elevate your device will make it as comfortable to look at as a MacBook or even an iMac.
Plus, iPad stands come in a variety of heights and designs. You can choose between a fixed stand or a more flexible arm and swivel head, switching between landscape and portrait layouts with ease. Due to their lighter weight, iPad stands also tend to be more compact and much cheaper than MacBook risers.
Add External Hub
If you’re not satisfied with any aspect of your iPad, whether it’s the internal storage, camera quality, or even network speed. Apple has the answer. The company has released several external hubs that work to make your iPad compatible with various hardware solutions.
For content creators, the dongle also lets you connect live cameras, audio interfaces, and ring lights. If you need faster network speeds, you can also use a hub that connects your iPad directly to the router using an Ethernet cable.
Plus, if you’re concerned about screen size, you can even connect your iPad to an external monitor for use in presentations, playing movies, or viewing photos.
Software To Make Your iPad Feel Like a MacBook
Hardware goes a long way in improving your iPad, but it’s only half the equation. Next, let’s take a look at some software to give your tablet a more laptop-like feel.
Customize Your Cursor
If you’re a long-time mouse user, you might struggle with having to physically reach out to tap the screen instead of moving the mouse that’s right next to your keyboard. iPadOS 13.4 and later resolves this issue by adding a cursor feature that is compatible with trackpads and mice.
To enable the cursor feature on your iPad, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch. Next, tap AssistiveTouch. When AssistiveTouch is enabled, any Bluetooth-connected mouse or trackpad or USB hub is automatically activated. By default, the iPad cursor appears as a dynamic, transparent gray circle.
If you want to take the cursor experience to the next level, Apple also lets you customize it to your preferences. To do so, go to settings Touch and select Pointer Style. From this menu, you can change the cursor in various ways, such as increasing contrast, hiding features, and adjusting pointer size, animation, scroll speed, and more.
Similar to MacBooks, you can enable gestures on your iPad to mimic the trackpad shortcuts you normally use with your laptop. Used in conjunction with Apple’s Magic Trackpad or a licensed third-party case provider, you can move between screens and manipulate text more efficiently.
Main Window Management
MacBooks are known for their impressive window management capabilities. In the early days of the iPad, this was a much more frustrating procedure. However, recent innovations like Split View and Slide Over have made this a worrisome thing of the past.
To start multi-tasking on your iPad using Split View, all you have to do is drag your second app from the Dock onto the screen. Meanwhile, Slide Over lets you use the iPhone-sized version of the app you want on screen.
You can easily adjust how much screen real estate each app gets by moving the center bar from left to right. You can drag and drop photos between apps, and repeating the process with a third app also works.
Get a Cloud Storage Subscription
A common concern for MacBook users thinking of switching to an iPad is the lack of internal storage. However, not only can you solve this problem by using a combination of a hub and an external hard drive, but also a growing number of affordable cloud storage options are available.
Make the Shift To iPad Today
While there are still many professionals who aren’t ready to give up their Macbooks yet, most people are ready to invest by switching to the iPad experience. With enough power to rival some of the MacBooks currently on the market and a wide range of screen sizes to choose from, the iPad can easily replace it for the casual and light user.
Versatile in form and function, iPad fits a variety of lifestyles and uses. As recent iPadOS updates and hubs allow the use of external hardware that ranges from keyboards to external storage devices, iPad is now more flexible than ever.
Without sacrificing the ease of use of the Apple ecosystem, iPad gives you some of the benefits of a Mac in a more compact package.