Our home computer is a Mac mini that’s now over five years old. It works fine, but is in desperate need of an SSD upgrade. However, over the last couple of years I have found myself using my iPhone more and more for day-to-day work. I bought an original iPad back when they came out in 2010 and an original iPad mini that my daughter used until it was accidentally dropped when she got out of the car one day.

Since that time I have waffled on whether I should embrace the iPad as my primary computer1. There was very little that I still did on the Mac, and most of the things that I did were to use my big monitor instead of my phone screen. I made a list of everything I did on the computer and worked through what I could and couldn’t migrate over to an iPad. At the end of the day, the only thing that was holding me back was the desire to have a local copy (with backups 2) of my media and photos.

New iPad

Last fall I decided to move forward and get myself a new iPad Pro, but I wanted to wait until the new models were released this year. We don’t replace technology very often, so it made sense to have the newest model possible. Since my birthday and Christmas fall close together, I told my family that I wanted an Apple gift card that I could put towards a new iPad Pro, hopefully in March when they have come out in recent years.

You may notice it is now June.

Apple broke with their recent release schedule and announced new iPads at WWDC last week. Fortunately, the wait was worth it and I’m eagerly looking forward to all of the incredible iPad-specific features coming in iOS 11 later this year.

Before I’d left the office, I’d preordered a 10.5” iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

Keyboard

Outside of the Pencil, the only other accessory I wanted was a keyboard, preferably one that was integrated into the case and used Apple’s Smart Connector for power. I’d hoped that Logitech would release a new version of their Create case that numerous people raved about. Instead, they released the Logitech Slim Combo keyboard which, ostensibly, did what I wanted. Unfortunately the case is bulky, the keyboard is floppy, the case doesn’t close securely, and when it is closed there is a noticeable gap between the iPad and the keyboard.

I returned the Logitech case and ended up buying one of Apple’s Smart Keyboards. The keys feel nice and I like the fact that it works like the Smart Cover. I miss the Slim Combo’s backlighting and media keys, but I think I’ll get used to this new keyboard soon enough.

Media and Photo Management

I mentioned earlier my concerns around media and photo backup. What I’ve decided to go is continue to keep using my Mac as long as it will run to download movies, music, and TV shows that we purchase using iTunes. I may eventually do that SSD upgrade that I referenced earlier.

For photos, I’ve cancelled my Dropbox account and switched over to using iCloud Drive full-time. The added benefit is the ability to use iCloud Photo Library so now, whenever I take a photo, it is automatically downloaded to the photo library on the Mac.

All of the documents, media, and photos then get backed up to Time Machine, a cloned drive that I keep in our safe deposit box, and of course to Backblaze. Yes, it’s a little overkill, but I subscribe to the 3-2-1 backup strategy that I first learned about from a photographer, Chase Jarvis, years ago. The idea of losing all of out family’s photos is terrifying to me and with this strategy I don’t have to worry about the possibility.

  1. For my personal life. For work I have a Windows laptop. 

  2. Seriouly, sign up for Backblaze. $5 per month per computer to back up everything - even external drives.