#iPadOnly book » Section 4 - Why iPhone matters when you're going #iPadOnly » Chapter 29 - The iPhone as a second screen

Chapter 29 - The iPhone as a second screen

Double the number of screens you have and you'll literally double your productivity.

We both love the iPad for its many productivity-oriented features, especially the ‘one-app-screen-at-a-time paradigm’ which helps you focus on the thing you have to get done at the moment.

Sometimes one screen is not enough

For 80% of the tasks it’s great, but sometimes you just need a second screen to be able to have some ‘reference’ material running alongside your work and glance at it when needed. This is where an iPhone can work very well as the ‘second screen’.

Recently Michael was traveling and didn’t take any Mac with him; just the iPad and the iPhone. It was then he discovered that the screen of the iPhone 5 can be a great reference screen. A great second screen. As his iPhone has most of the same apps as his iPad, and all the information is synced via the cloud, it’s not stored on either device. This works for editing documents (seeing one version on one device and working on a new one on the other), for taking notes while watching a YouTube video on the iPhone, for writing articles and opening the reference web sites on the iPhone… this is all very useful.

Play on iPad and take notes on iPhone?

Michael sometimes even switches the iPad with the iPhone, making the iPad a second screen:

“Recently I did it the other way around. I needed to go through my recently released ‘10-step Productivity Course’. I simply put the iPad as my ‘second screen’ to play the course and I hooked up my external keyboard to the iPhone. I fired up the same Byword app on the iPhone that I use on my iPad and I took notes on my iPhone while watching the course on the iPad. More often than not I use my iPhone as my second screen or my second computer. It’s actually really cool when you think about it. I have two powerful computers with me at all times and together they weigh less than 1 kg.”

Researcher’s best friend…

Augusto uses that second screen among other things as dictionary and research tool:

“I write on the iPad and edit on the iPhone, the smaller screen forces me to pay more attention and since I need to be attentive to edit, as soon as I get tired I know it is time to stop. Recently I actually started cheating in this ‘second screen’ thing - since I got my iPad Mini, I started using my old iPad 2 as my additional screen. I can work on the iPad Mini and have my iPhone or iPad 2 as a second screen. Sweet.”

Two can play that game

It all sounds trivial if you think about it. ‘Of course the iPhone can serve as a second screen’, you’d say. Well, we knew it all along. However, only when you really make the paradigm shift and start using the iPhone as your second screen will you see lots of possibilities for making your #iPadOnly work a lot more productive.

Next Chapter: Chapter 30 - A recording studio

Back to the Table of Contents