happy monday system

Dan’s post yesterday about ditching a traditional desktop as his primary computer in favor of the iPad Pro reminded me of how I accidentally fell backwards into a situation I had imagined years ago.

Programming as your job, especially when you’re developing for iOS, makes it rather difficult to adopt iOS as your primary computing platform for work. Apple controls all of the tools necessary for iOS development, and unless they themselves invest in making iOS development on iOS possible, it’s not really going to happen. There have been some attempts at making it possible: Codea is a Lua development environment which lets you export an Xcode project of your Lua application you can then build on a Mac and ship on the App Store, and Facebook’s React Native framework is powered entirely by JavaScript code behind the scenes, so combined with a Web development environment like Coda and a tool like React Native Playground, you can poke around and develop some kinds of iOS apps on iOS. (As a developer, I would find neither of those choices particularly wise, because you’d then be entirely dependent on a third party for your app’s code to remain usable, instead of working directly with what the platform provides for you.)

But I had always thought during my indie career that one of the neat side perks of getting a “real job” would be that a computer would likely be provided for me to do my programming work on, and I could probably get away with using an iPad as my only computer.

While I didn’t really realize it until this morning, this is precisely what my situation is right now. My job is primarily Web development on a Microsoft stack that can’t really be worked on outside of a Windows environment, so I’ve been provided with a PC to do development on when I’m at work. I don’t really touch my MacBook Pro anymore unless my iPad is charging… which happens more than you’d expect, because for some reason, the charger that makes the iPad Pro charge at a reasonable pace is an extra purchase instead of being the one included in the box.

In the coming weeks, I want to write more specifically about how I’m moving certain workflows from my laptop to my iPad. While there’s plenty of that already, as I’ve mentioned before, if no one shares how they’re getting things done on iOS, there’s this underlying assumption that it must simply not be possible. It’s time for us to start showing, not telling.