Why carry the iPad in addition to MacBook Air for Travel

Why carry an iPad and a MacBook Air (or any laptop)?

Well beyond the stellar battery life and more comfortable form of the iPad in those crowded airliner seats, when your watching that move or training video, there are justifiable reasons once you leave the airliner. Enter the iPad Google Docs app and Google Sheets app.


First, I feel I must state that am a document creator as well as a consumer. Consequently, I cannot get by with only a tablet. I’ve tried. With all my being, I’ve tired, and it is just to much work to try to create complicated and even moderately sophisticated content. As a result, I cary my MacBook Air. It weighs about the same as a tablet, and can do so much more. However, I may have found a reason to believe that I need to carry my tablet also.

Previously, I wrote about the failure of Google Docs and Sheets for my uses while I traveled (Google Sheets, Docs, and Forms are Failures for Traveling). I have also written about the virtues of Google Docs and Sheets for collaborations (Google Docs and Sheets Advantage).

The crux of the problem when I traveled, and Google Docs and Sheets failed for my uses, was the connectivity pipeline and latency of wireless access points. I pointed out that this was not a problem with documents created with other applications that created a copy locally to the device in use.

Here is the interesting part the iPad apps can save a local copy!

This is not as transparent as it could be. The Google Docs and Sheets app have a setting to turn on saving a local copy to the device. Just that device. And the local copy is not synchronized as a conflicted copy as with some other cloud services (such as iCloud).

While this may be limited in the respect that the rich collaborative experience is sacrificed, at least access to viewing the content of the Doc or Sheet is possible.

So, it is an advantage to have an iPad along to access localized versions of these Docs and Sheets files and easily rsync and restore a local copy on the device. I say easily because it was always possible to email an Excel copy to oneself, but that is another issue altogether since that requires another program to access the document. The iPad app is a clean way to accomplish having a viewable copy of valuable information within the same app that is used to create the content. Perhaps latter I can discuss what not to put in the document on the computer that would make the content un-viewable on the iPad apps.

2 thoughts on “Why carry the iPad in addition to MacBook Air for Travel”