7 things that’ll give you a more productive iPad setup

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ipad pro apple pencilMaking the move to an iPad Pro from a MacBook Pro as my primary home computer was the biggest shift in the way I do things since moving to Mac from Windows in 2008. 

Both transitions were very exciting, and I’m happy I made them, but there was a common question I found myself thinking as I started to seriously consider making the move: Will I be less productive?

Switching to a new platform means learning new ways to do things you know how to do perfectly already. Plus, it’s not like I’m unhappy with my MacBook; it’s just that there’s something about working on a tablet that’s really appealing to me.

Apple’s built-in hardware and powerful apps from the App Store have eased the transition greatly, but to get everything I used to do on my MacBook Pro done on the iPad I had to pick up a few accessories. Some of these accessories let me mirror the work I did on my MacBook Pro, and in other cases they let me do things I couldn’t have done before. Regardless, without these accessories I wouldn’t be able to get my day-to-day work done, or make headway into some fun side-projects.

If you’re considering the iPad-first lifestyle, these accessories will definitely come in handy.

 

An iPad stand

Amazon

I’ve written about it before, but I absolutely love this simple stand from TechMatte. It has one job – prop my iPad up so I can see what I’m typing at a comfortable angle – and it does that job perfectly. A lot of stands are just a single piece of plastic or aluminum, but this one actually has a plastic part that you can adjust depending on the circumstances.

When I’m not using it, the back part can be adjusted to sit almost flush with the main aluminum base, making it easy to store in a small backpack pocket. I’ve used this stand to watch movies and get work done on an airplane tray table; its small size and flexibility make it my go-to stand when I need to get work done.

TechMatte iPad Stand, $8.99, available on Amazon

A Bluetooth keyboard

Amazon

It’s no surprise there’s an Anker product on this list given how much I like their stuff in general, but this keyboard is a standout. I need a full-size keyboard when typing because my muscle memory is tied to Apple’s standard keyboard. That’s the main reason why I use an external Bluetooth keyboard and stand instead of a keyboard case, although that may change if I can find one I really like.

Instead, I use this keyboard in conjunction with my stand to type no matter where I am. Home, a cafe, on an airplane, you name it. It’s small and light enough to pack, while still being durable enough to survive an accidental drop on the floor.

This model is a little bigger than their newer keyboard, but I prefer the slightly larger key caps. You’ll need to keep some AA batteries on hand in case you run out of juice, but the battery life on this keyboard is pretty excellent, and I don’t find myself having to change them often.

Anker Bluetooth Keyboard, $13.99, available on Amazon

Apple Camera Connection Kit

Amazon

Bluetooth accessories rock, but if you need to plug an external device into your iPad, you’re going to have to get your hands on an Apple Camera Connection Kit. This dongle lets you hook up different pieces of hardware to your iPad, as long as the device is iOS compatible. The camera connection kit has existed for a long time, but this new version also has a lightning jack built-in, providing power to both your iPad and the external device.

Going forward, this is going to enable even more hardware vendors to make iOS-compatible peripherals, which is a big win for those who want to make the move from a traditional computer.

Apple Camera Connection Kit, $39.99, available at Amazon


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