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iPad Pro Hyper Productivity - Using OS X & Screens

[fa icon="calendar"] 04-Jan-2016 13:48:49 / by Eddie Vassallo

Eddie Vassallo

For the first post of 2016, we would like to first of all thank everyone for an absolutely amazing 2015 - from our lovely clients to the readers of our blog - it was truly the most exciting and special year for Team Entropy.

We'll have further updates on our client rollouts and some special announcements from the 'shop' - but we wanted to kick off this first post with a follow-on to our hugely popular 'iPad Pro Challenge' series from December.

Namely - we want to talk about those rare (but admittedly CRUCIAL) moments when using OS X on the iPad Pro is absolutely essential to a workflow - and how we have tackled that issue thanks to a few awesome tools.

If like us, your office network is a bit 'locked down' (we're in Bletchley Park after all) and making a VNC connection to your iMac or main machine is rather painful (or worse, forces you to use a premium and clunky service like LogMeIn - ugh!), we found an amazing workaround. It costs a bit - but really, all good workarounds are a little spendy...

Basically, we have installed a new fully cloud-based Mac Mini machine via Macminicolo - and the results have been simply outstanding.

Not only did the kind folks at Macminicolo secure us a Mac Mini Server from their stock, but got us fully configured and up and running in a matter of hours. They even helped us get everything all set up and pre-configured for access on our main iPad Pro.

The beauty of a single machine fully dedicated to the iPad Pro is that we *always* have a full OS X instance at the ready for anything that arises - from exporting and compiling app builds to transcoding video, to downloading and uploading large files. Heck, we've even found it useful for firing up a desktop instance of Chrome when pesky sites misbehave on mobile Safari. It has truly filled the gap for any desktop-class workflows we require (that have not already been fulfilled with an iOS App or Web-based method).


The key to making this work, however, is the app interface and speed on iOS.

And that's where Screens comes in.

This wonderful little VNC app from Edovia is a dream to use on the iPad Pro - and even though our Mac Mini is based in Las Vegas (and we're in the UK), performance is super smooth, with very little latency. The Screens interface is fully customised for iOS 9 multitasking, and is by far the cleanest VNC interface available for iOS (Edovia even make a pretty slick Mac app as well).

In short - the combo of a fully dedicated Mac Mini + Screens = total productivity on the iPad Pro. No workflow holes, no arguments. Even multi-tasking between OS X and iOS is a breeze.


We'll be test driving Google's new Pixel C productivity tablet soon - and will also connect it to our Mac Mini for comparison - so stay tuned for a full review.

But for us, 2016 will truly be the year of mobile productivity - as the iPad Pro 'model of work' will be the only way we compute outside the office from now on.

And thanks to a 'fallback' Mac Mini via Screens VNC - there's absolutely nothing these tablets can't do.

Topics: iOS

Eddie Vassallo

Written by Eddie Vassallo

Eddie is Founder & CEO of Entropy, former Head of Mobile for Discovery Channel, regular Guest Contributor on GigaOm and has been featured on Daring Fireball, CNN, and Strategy Eye.