I was minding my own business this morning when I checked Facebook and got an interesting iPad-related blast from the past. Thanks to this Memory that showed up today, I was reminded that I was working in Marion, NC on a Building Automation System upgrade on July 9, 2011. I was doing a little work offsite at a local coffee shop when I took the photo above. After over two weeks out of town and 4 days in a row cooped up in my hotel room working on this upgrade, it was time for some new surroundings.
The thing about this photo that struck me was that I was using my iPad 2 as a second screen along with my laptop. This is pretty straightforward today, especially for Mac users, but it was still possible back in 2011. The older wireless second screen apps were far from perfect, but being able to have my controller programs open while creating graphics, trends and integration logic was still a huge time saver. Sure, an actual monitor makes a better secondary screen, but lugging one to a jobsite 9 hours away and then to a local coffee shop wasn’t exactly ideal.
I’ve talked about this before, but it was the iPad 2 that opened my eyes to the possibilities of Apple’s tablets at work. Sure, it wasn’t perfect and it definitely had limitations. There were sometimes workarounds involved in making things like setting the iPad up as a second screen happen. However, it was still worth the effort because that iPad 2 could boot up many times baster than my 2011 Windows laptop and it had built-in Verizon 3G. It was really fast and effective at some key tasks.
Things have certainly changed a lot over the last 9 years. I would still be using my iPad as a second screen today, but where my iPad 2 was only 9.7″ and the refresh rate was only good enough to show a static screen, my iPad Pro has a much larger and higher quality screen and I can use it as a second screen with my Windows laptop in real time with Duet. And that’s just one of several work tasks I perform with my iPad Pro today. It really has become a valuable tool for working professionals.
While the iPad I have today is certainly preferable, I still have very fond memories of that iPad 2. I really liked and enjoyed my first-gen Apple tablet, but it was the iPad 2 that really got me hooked. I don’t just love Facebook, but I do appreciate their memories feature and today’s memory was a pleasant blast from the past. I can’t say that I have overly fond memories of that 20+ day marathon work trip for a plant shutdown, which was full of long hours and tight deadlines, but I do fondly remember that little coffee shop and how much my iPad 2 helped me take care of business.