Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
The iPad Pro as main computer for a programmer (jann.is)
25 points by jayniz 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

For frontend web developers like me, the last big thing I miss is the web inspector. Ain't gonna get anything done without that.


Not ideal, but it's one option that's out there.

I did this as well last year: https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/4db0ce/so_i_used_the...

I thought it was going to be perfect since it's much lighter and thinner than a Surface Pro 4.

You need a remote server for this to work, since you won't get access to the underlying shell without jailbreaking. Depending on reliable networks was mistake #1.

Also, while Panic was a good enough terminal emulator, its redrawing was unreliable when switching from app to app. This might have changed with iOS 11, but it bugged me to no end before.

Lastly, I learned that much of the web (and some apps in particular, namely Remote Desktop) still thinks that you have a mouse. I used Cloudcraft when it first came out to draw some diagrams for an interview. I straight-up could not do it without a mouse, and iOS (stubbornly) does not support mousing. This on top of buggy CMD+TAB functionality and some apps straight up not working without a mouse ended the experiment for me.

The Apple USB Camera adapter[1] would let you connect your Ergodox to the iPad. If you need power too there's a USB 3 version with an extra lightning port.

[1]: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MD821AM/A/lightning-to-us...

I wasn't aware, that's pretty cool! Thanks!

Please tell more about how you find the Apple Pencil useful. It seems like the exact opposite end of the spectrum from a tmux toolset.

After I returned a MBP ‘17 (twice) because of the horrible keyboard I also switched to an iPad. I’m still a student so all I need to do is write code in an editor and SSH into my Mac or Pi to compile/run it. It works great, and it’s a huge step up from my non-retina MBP that’s now a desktop computer.

The only two things I have not been able to replace is (yup..) the proprietary Xcode for the occasional venture into iOS development, and oddly enough: Sketch. You’d expect that the iPad is the perfect device for a Sketch-type app (bar 3rd-party plugins..), but nothing ticks all the boxes just yet.

An interesting advantage of iOS that I find is the focus gained. It feels as though switching to a different app requires more deliberate thought than on macOS. I used to do 9 things at once and completely lose my train of thought in all of them and I have less of that on iOS. Or I suffer from Stockholm’s Syndrome, that could also be it.

The containerised terminal toolset is really nice idea.

There's some value in using a hybrid approach with a lightweight laptop though the iPad Pro offers a pencil and probably better battery life.

Yeah, the only really useful thing that came out of this is the my shell docker image with everything I need. That way you can use the iPad if you really have (or want) to, and your normal computers otherwise.

I wouldn't use it as my main computer, but I've gone to Hackathons with a cheap Android tablet, wireless mouse, and keyboard. It's a lot of fun unless you get one (like the 2nd gen Nexus 7) that can't do Bluetooth and Wi-Fi reliably at the same time.

And running stuff on a server? So the iPad Pro, as an interface to the main computer?

Yeah, if I run everything somewhere else, open my macbook and just SSH in there, guess what? Thing does not get warm, battery life is awesome, I can plug in a bunch of perihperals, and whenever I am completely voided of connectivity for a longer period I actually CAN work properly on the local machine.

Is this some sort of guerilla marketing for the iPad?

Yeah this is not working with the iPad as main computer, it's just routing stuff to the main computer THROUGH an ipad.

I have almost that sentence in the blog post, search for mainframe or terminal.

Then read your title again. You're not using the iPad as a main computer, so don't name your blog post that.

Is this cheating? :(

Next up: twisting your environment into a pretzel to use Apple Watch as your main computer for programming!

Way ahead of you!

Please share your Dockerfile

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact