After posting the Matt Smith piece on tablet productivity this morning I'd been considering how his measures of productivity compare with my own. In some ways it's similar: I need to email, take notes, fill in Pages/Word documents, look up things in spreadsheets and make changes, give presentations (and increasingly create them on the go), post to Futurilla, and keep my calendar updated. I rarely, nowadays, need to edit graphics or images, save cropping an image or two, and so it's unimportant how long that kind of stuff takes on a small touchscreen device. I've already nailed recording audio on the iPad (thanks to the amazing Auria), though I've yet to find a workable means for posting podcasts to Squarespace.
Now and again I find that my iOS devices solve a problem for me that I can't fix quickly any other way. This morning I found myself with a bunch of PDF files that needed printing, but that simply wouldn't open on the iMac (not mine) that I had access to, let alone print (corrupted, most likely). The original multi-page Pages files were in my Dropbox, but the iMac didn't have Pages, and I didn't have the permissions to install it from the Mac App Store. Stuck and frustrated, with the clock ticking on needing the printouts, I turned to my iPhone. Downloading the Pages files in Dropbox and sending them to Pages meant they showed up seconds later in iCloud.com, from where I could download them as PDFs and print them out. It's nothing compared to the web app version of iWork Apple previewed at last week's WWDC, but it solved a problem I couldn't see my way through without a trip back to my own iMac (and probably some more issues hunting down the cause of the corrupted files).
iOS is far from a done deal. Productivity on the iPad is still a work in progress for most of us. Still I'm reminded almost daily of how far we've come, and just how much I rely on the computing power of advice that was—until only a few years ago—good for little more than making voice calls and sending SMS.