How to use the iPad as a development device?

Doğukan Aydoğdu
2 min readAug 4, 2022

It’s my fantasy to use my iPad as my primary device for day-to-day development that I do. Because I don’t want to carry my MacBook Pro everywhere I go, even if it’s 13" I don’t want to carry it with me it might sound silly to most people, but it’s just a fantasy.

Today I will show how you can connect your Macbook Pro with ssh from your iPad, and it works very well with the VPN that was created from TailScale. For the ssh part, I will use Blink. Both applications are great and you can use the TailScale for free for up to 20 devices. Since I am not using TailScale for the job that I got paid, I don’t have to pay for anything :)

First, let’s start with the TailScale setup. Actually, there is nothing to do with the TailScale setup because when you download the application, you only need to authenticate with your email address or the way you want to authenticate.

The second thing that you need to do is give permission on your Macbook for remote access.

System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Login

The third thing you need is to download the Blink app from App Store to your iPad. I pay for the Blink application yearly to use with all the features. Open the Blink app from your iPad and get the IP address from TailScale it’s going to be a private IP address in your VPN that was created by TailScale. On the Blink app, just type

ssh yourusernameonyourmacbook@

that’s all!

Now you are connected to your MacBook via SSH. Since I am a Vim user with a great plugin like Vim-Go I can develop my daily basis projects from my iPad.

Make sure that both of the devices are online on TailScale VPN. TailScale is not only for Mac Os X, you can use it with Linux, Windows, etc.

Summary step by step;

  1. Get online on TailScale VPN for both of the devices (in my case, it’s the iPad and Macbook)
  2. Make sure that you are giving permission to remote access on your Macbook
  3. Connect via ssh to your Macbook from Blink App on your iPad.
even with the split view, it’s great!