On writing on the iPad

Jason Snell for Macworld:

Now, even on the iPad’s screen I’m a decently fast typist. (The iPad mini, not so much, at least not yet.) I certainly can type on an iPad much faster than I can write with a pen on paper. But it’s nowhere close to my speed on a MacBook keyboard. Using the iPad slowed me down and got me to think about what I was writing in a way that using my trusty MacBook Air never would.

I’m no Oliver Sacks, but I’d wager that I’m just not taking more time to choose my words, but I’m actually using different parts of my brain when I write this way. And not only does the actual act of writing feel different, but the end result feels different to me too.

Like Jason, I’m an iPad early adopter. I got mine the same day they came out in 2010. I’ve found a very different use case for it than my Mac – I use it more as an information appliance and a gaming system, but when it comes to writing, something I do practically every day, I use the Mac.

One of the first things I noticed when I got my iPad was how different the writing experience was from a Mac or PC. Quite frankly, I’ve never cottoned to it – without exception, any writing longer than brief e-mails or tweets and other social media posts still end up being done on my computer.

So it’s interesting to read about his experience and compare it to my own. I have to give Jason credit for trying to understand why iPad writing is so different than keyboard writing. For me, it was simply an exercise in frustration that I gave up on, perhaps sooner than I should have.