Better than a "Real Computer"

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Federico Viticci has long been expanding on the merits of Editorial, a text editor for iOS. This app plays a big role in his everyday work and enables him to run his business from his iPad. That’s a pretty stunning statement, and one that many people will tell you can’t be done.

Meanwhile, Zac Cichy is getting to a similar point with Paper by FiftyThree (no, not that Paper, and not that Paper either). He’s using Paper as a creative outlet and as a better way to visualize ideas.

The critical thing to realize about both of these apps is that they are better than what they could use on a “real computer.” Sublime Text is a great app for developers, but it can’t match Editorial’s automation options (and if it’s technically possible, no one has done it) and no drawing app on the Mac or Windows combines the accessibility and power of Paper.

Looking at my own iPad, some apps also stand out as better than their PC counterparts: Tweetbot, comiXology, Pocket Casts, Pinterest, and more are all better than their desktop counterparts. I can’t say that any of them have truly changed the way I work like those guys, but I do think that it’s telling that more and more of my work, not just play, is happening on iOS and not OS X.

I recently wrote about Microsoft’s Windows strategy and was pretty down on their entire direction:

Steve Jobs famously said that PCs/Macs were trucks and smartphones/tablets were cars. They can both exist, but most people will just get a car. Microsoft is pursuing a strategy of making all of their devices trucks. That may be a good move in the short term to get old people and “power users” on their side, but that’s a market that is only going to shrink.

I stand by that statement. I absolutely think that iOS is the future and desktops are going to be relegated to more and more niche audiences all the time. We’re reaching the point where these “mobile” operating systems are becoming better than traditional PCs at most tasks and for most people. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re damn close and I’m more than happy to move on.