Transitioning from MacBook Pro to iPad
December 24, 2018 9:11 AM   Subscribe

How does one move from a MacBook Pro (with files backed up to an external hard drive) to an iPad?

Can you use migration assistant/clone to copy over from the MBP to the iPad?
Are there good ways to access the external hard drive from the iPad?
What am I overlook that might make this a difficult transition?

posted by Apoch to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You can’t exactly. IOS is totally different from OSX. You can’t move your Documents, Downloads, or other data in your User directory to an equivalent shared user directory - there is no such thing. At best, there are some kludges to allow you to do some tasks. It depends on the app to some degree. What specific tasks are you planning to do?

As far as accessing a remote drive, that is possible provided the external HD is accessible over WiFi. There are apps with varying capabilities (Files, Documents, FileBrowser, etc.).
posted by sudogeek at 9:24 AM on December 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Most people I know use Dropbox or similar to sync files between iOS and OSX. Also you can sync notes through Simplenote (or notational velocity/nValt, if you roll that way).
posted by SaltySalticid at 10:22 AM on December 24, 2018

Yes, I think we need to work out exactly what you want to do with the ipad and what documents you want to work with or view before this is even possible. An ipad with a keyboard is not a 'mini-macbook' - the operating systems are very different (as noted above).

For some use cases is IS possible to use an ipad instead of a macbook, but we'd need to know exactly what you want to do on it (email, surfing, photos etc) before it is definite that an ipad could replace your mac.
posted by Brockles at 10:30 AM on December 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

The GoodReader app on the iPad will sync with the MacBook over Bluetooth and WiFi.
You can move text files, html, and media into and out of GoodReader on a folder basis or individually.
I use my iPad almost exclusively and a laptop as storage.
posted by Sunday Morning at 11:16 AM on December 24, 2018

For a few examples, here’s what I do:
EMail - Use a browser, Mail app, GMail app, or many others on App Store.
Web - usual browsers are available but they are different from the OSX versions. Most run on WebKit. Plugins are very limited. No NoScript is available.
Managing servers - a dongle is commercially available to allow connection of an iPad to a serial cable. A dongle is available to allow connection to a RJ45 cable. Otherwise, you need to connect to the network wirelessly and access by SSH. There are decent terminal apps (I use Termius).
Blogging/web authoring - I manage mine by setting up a git repository on the host and connect using Working Copy (git client) and editing in Textastic. Works well.
Other coding - some use Coda and Prompt, but I use Textastic and Termius. Good for quick edits, etc. There is no IDE on IOS.
File management - I use Documents (by Readdle) which can access Dropbox, Google drive, iCloud Drive, sftp servers (my desktop Mac), and WiFi capable drives. FileBrowser is comparable and allows access of external drives connected to the Mac. There really is no Finder equivalent.

The peculiarity of IOS is that documents/files for each app are saved in a silo (protected memory) for that app. To get a file to another app, you have to “share” it, which is basically making a copy of the file in the memory space of that app with which the file was shared. This can lead to synchronization issues if you’re not careful to “share” the file back. You can avoid this by 1. using certain apps thatdo a good job of tracking changes and sharing back-and-forth (like the aforementioned Working Copy and Textastic) or 2. setting up some sort of version control like git on a server.

Anyway, any other uses you are considering?
posted by sudogeek at 12:28 PM on December 24, 2018 [3 favorites]

Federico Viticci and pals at MacStories have spent eight years exploring iPad as one's only computer--worth checking their experiences.
posted by Jesse the K at 4:24 PM on December 25, 2018

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