On Going iOS Only

I returned from San Francisco on Sunday, which marked the end of my iOS-only experiment. Not having the weight of my MacBook Air with me (not that it weighs all that much) was a refreshing change of pace for me while travelling, and I’m likely to go that route again the next time I hit the road.
The key to doing this was all in the front-end work – something that I’m a fan of regarding task managment as well – and it worked amazingly well for the purposes of this experiment. By getting all of the work that I knew I’d need to do on my MacBook Air out of the way before travelling, I made sure that I really wasn’t going to miss my main machine all that much.

That said, there were certain things that I missed:

  • My original iPad — while 3G-capable — won’t work outside of Canada using 3G. So in order to interact online with my iPad, I had to have a wireless connection. That wasn’t always available to me, and when it was it wasn’t all that strong, either.
  • My iPhone 4S was more than able to do most of the work. In fact, on my journey home I wrote my first ever blog post on it while using the ZAGGmate as the keyboard. That way I could post the piece directly from the phone (which has 3G) and bypass the iPad altogether.
  • Although my 4S does have 3G, I am not able to tether it like I can here in Canada. That means that there was no way to use my iPad without having a wireless connection; making it great for writing and checking email when wireless was available, but I made the most use of my iPhone because I was connected for 75% of the time (certain parts of the drive offered no service of any kind).

Would I go iOS-only again? Absolutely…but I’d want to be even better prepared.

Beyond doing the work needed on my Air beforehand, I’d want to make sure that apps like Poster were set up properly (my Markdown setup wasn’t right as my first post had lniks that didn’t translate properly) and that I made sure all of the settings on my iPhone allowed me to make that my primary device for the trip. The iPad would be great for long-form writing, but the iPhone would be (and was for this trip) the go-to device for online engagement like social media, email, task management1, and blog posts.

All in all, this experiment didn’t impact my productivity in a negative way. If anything, it reinforced the need to make sure you set yourself up in advance on all of the devices in question, and not just with the work on the one you’re leaving behind. I’m looking forward to my next trip when I do just that — and see if it impacts my productivity in a positive way.