Jason Snell wrote a relatable piece in Macworld entitled “Why I’m writing on the iPad.” While it’s obviously much harder to type on a touchscreen, or balance research and writing when you can only view one window at a time, the iPad might just be the most distraction free writing device you can buy.
The changes in writing environment go beyond the act of typing. The iPad also offers a remarkable lack of distractions. When I write on my Mac I find I am endlessly checking Twitter and email and my weather station’s current conditions page and anything else I can find to distract myself from the difficult task of putting one word in front of another. On the iPad, I am more focused—and when I do finally take a break to check my email, it feels like an actual break, not a distraction.
When writing on a desktop or laptop, I have Tweetbot open in one window, Sparrow filling a space, and Safari is virtually always running. It’s so easy to glance across at my feed when I’m supposed to be focussed on writing. If I quit all applications in anticipation for some dedicated work time, there’s still a little robotic bird staring me in the eyes from the dock and blinking icons the menu bar. Full screen apps on the Mac don’t always cut it. Pages, for example, is a nightmare to use on a 21.5 inch screen when it covers every pixel, but on an iPad, it’s a pleasure to use. On a mobile OS, tasks (and applications) aren’t layered. It’s not as easy to push one aside. If you’re looking for some quality writing time, get out your tablet.