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Old 08-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #1
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Using the iPad for "serious" stuff?

Hi all,

I wanted to ask a few questions about Pages and iWorks, but then I thought it might be a good idea to make the thread more general. I hope there isn't a similar thread already. I haven't found it but I didn't look very hard.

I am amazed at how quickly the iPad has replaced my MacBook for all the everyday stuff. Not only online stuff, which is what I expected to use it on (web, social networks, video streaming, newspapers and feeds), but also for more "serious" activities such as managing my to-do lists. I find myself getting frustrated when I have to get to my computer to do something. I could envision using the iPad for everything except my most "heavy" art stuff: painting (though of course I do that on the iPad too!), video editing, editing photos of my artwork.

Of course, the big obstacle to a serious use of the iPad is the incredible length to which Apple seems to have gone in order to make file management and exchange as complicated as possible. I suppose it would be easier if my iPad was jailbroken, but I'm too lazy to do that.

So, feel free to take this thread wherever you think it should go, but first, I'll ask my question about Pages: for those of you who use it, can you tell me how good/bad the compatibility with Word is?
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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I think sometimes we (I am an Ipad2 convert from a Motorola Xoom) make too much of Apple's "incredible length...to make file management difficult"

1. It's dead easy (even on unrooted Ipad to transfer files - just use Dropbox. Dropbox integrates nicely with many apps including IBooks, Stanza, Docs to Go,etc.)
2. Syncing with calendars like Google's or Outlook is equally easy - just use GWhizz from the app store (or any one of a number of similar apps)
3. Want to view a PDF - use GoodReader (which, BTW, is like a Swiss Army Knife for file transfer and also reads TXT files)
4. Want to watch video - Air Video is simple to use and free!
And if you wish to root (no chance of bricking the Ipad if you follow a few simple instructions) you can use IFile - IMHO an absolutely fabulous File Manager

So where's the beef?

Last edited by emt; 08-15-2011 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:43 PM   #3
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I wouldn't call it "dead easy", no. Dead easy is pressing a load or open button and selecting the file I want to open. Like, you know, we've been doing on computers for about 20 years, in part thanks to Apple.

I agree that dropbox and sugarsync are lifesavers, but they shouldn't be needed to transfer a file from one app to another on the same iPad. That's a workaround for a missing, and essential, functionality, not a satisfying solution. Besides, they only work with apps that have been built to integrate with them.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:58 PM   #4
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iOS 5 will supposedly make it dead easy: iWork Apps (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) sync transparently between your Macs and iPad/iPhone, or at least, that is the plan We'll see how well they do it.


Pages is a decent word processor-but I feel it is more of a glorified text editor than a full processor like Word. Keynote is much nicer (imho) than Powerpoint. Not that impressed with Numbers to tell the truth-but maybe I have been too Excel-centric over the years and just can't make the transition.

Never had much trouble with compatibility file wise-but the Office Docs we use at work (on Windows) aren't really that complex. Plus, we have moved to Libre Office from Microsoft Office. Our Mac guys are trying Libre Office as well, just to keep things simple. Not sure if we'll transition them to iWork (they use iWork at home on their Macs I think)
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:56 AM   #5
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There are a few file manager apps in the App Store. I think eventually Apple will break down and add a native file manager app, but most so far seem to get along without it.

Last edited by stonetools; 08-20-2011 at 04:28 AM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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My son pretty much uses his iPod Touch for everything as well. He has a PC in his room, but aside from doing homework (prior to his iPod) he hardly ever used it. On his Touch he now uses that for everything even writing essays.

Just today I was trying to resolve some issues he's having on his touch. The amount of lock down is insane! We use Linux at home and having to do everything through iTunes is serious work. Since I primarily use Android devices myself I forget how difficult using Apple products are until my wife and son ask me to fix something for them. Incidentally I also remember all the worlds profanities as well.

I use my nook(Android device) and phone heavily as well. While they have not come near in replacing my PC, I do not use it near as much as I use to.
The swyping and predictive text keyboards really do make it easier to type for short emails or letters. But when I really need to type something up I have to revert back to my PC.

What I do find is since my nook is so small 7" it's very portable, I find I'm reading, writing, and responding to emails more often because I don't have to wait until I'm home to use the device. I can simply pull the nook out of my pocket and start typing away.

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Old 08-16-2011, 12:34 PM   #7
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For me I find that doing a lot of typing on the iPad (or any non-keyboard/tablet device) is a pain when using the onscreen keyboard. For writing intensive activities I need a physical keyboard where I have instant access to letters, numbers, symbols, et cetera without having to click a button or hold down a key and wait for it to transform. So some would suggest that I get an overpriced keyboard and/or case to use with the iPad. Meh!!! I might as well use my netbook at that point as it has real applications and plenty of speed and built in storage, and best of all it easily and inexpensively connects with all kinds of computers, storage, peripheral devices, etc. I've yet to see any tablet running iOS or Android that comes close to the versatility of a computer. Even something as simple as transferring a file from one device to another in a meeting is difficult. With a netbook or laptop you can use a flash stick, but not with the iPad. And for me the cloud is out of the question as I'm totally opposed to storing and transmitting confidential information to a location for which I have no control.

For me it is just too much a pain to use the iPad for serious work. I've tried, but it is always too much of a pain. So I use it mostly for entertainment stuff and web surfing. It is very good for that and very portable. serious computing is still done on my desktop when at home or on the netbook when I'm travelling or in a meeting.

Last edited by jswinden; 08-16-2011 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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For me I find that doing a lot of typing on the iPad (or any non-keyboard/tablet device) is a pain when using the onscreen keyboard.
I laugh every time I see somebody typing on a 10" tablet in public. I'm reminded of a chicken where their pecking the screen one painful peck at a time. Honestly I think it's only folks who touch type who find typing on tablets impractical.

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I've yet to see any tablet running iOS or Android that comes close to the versatility of a computer. Even something as simple as transferring a file from one device to another in a meeting is difficult. With a netbook or laptop you can use a flash stick, but not with the iPad
I agree but for other reason besides what you have listed. Transferring files is extremely easy if you get the correct tablet (Toshiba/Asus). Both have USB host, SD Slots and HDMI out.

The thing I find most limiting on tablets is the dumbed down OS that lack true multitasking and windows(why do all apps have to run full screen).

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For me it is just too much a pain to use the iPad for serious work. I've tried, but it is always too much of a pain. So I use it mostly for entertainment stuff and web surfing. It is very good for that and very portable. serious computing is still done on my desktop when at home or on the netbook when I'm travelling or in a meeting.
I mostly agree, again you don't need a full computer to write/read email. Not read books, or review a document.
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Old 08-17-2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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I've used my iPad for school. Fortunately, my school uses VitalSource Bookshelf for our e-textbooks and that has an iPad app. That thing has been a lifesaver for me more than once. I also have Pages on it, and have emailed files back and forth from the iPad to my PC and been able to open/use them. Here's a scenario I've done:
Chris and I decide to take off to Naperville on a Saturday afternoon, but I have a paper to research and write. What to do? Email the instructor-supplied PDF with the case file to the iPad (I set up a gmail acct. specifically for the iPad just for this purpose). Use the iPad to read the case PDF, and use Pages to type up my notes / research (using Safari, of course), while we're on the interstate. An hour and change travel each way gives me some good uninterrupted reading/research time. Amazingly enough, I find it much easier to type on the iPad than I did on my netbook that had a full physical keyboard....no idea on that one but I'm relieved that it's that way.
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quite a timely post, this is an article written by BGR today

Tablets are fun, but they can’t replace PCs




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Amazingly enough, I find it much easier to type on the iPad than I did on my netbook that had a full physical keyboard....no idea on that one but I'm relieved that it's that way.
This is interesting, do you touch type?
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:09 PM   #11
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Quite a timely post, this is an article written by BGR today

Tablets are fun, but they can’t replace PCs

also:
Quote:
Finally, Baird found that 93% of current tablet owners surveyed use Apple’s iPad.
Considering iPad users can't activate or update an iPad without a computer right now, those numbers make even more sense: the 6% who can do without a computer have Android tablets
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
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I've used my iPad for school. Fortunately, my school uses VitalSource Bookshelf for our e-textbooks and that has an iPad app. That thing has been a lifesaver for me more than once. I also have Pages on it, and have emailed files back and forth from the iPad to my PC and been able to open/use them. Here's a scenario I've done:
Chris and I decide to take off to Naperville on a Saturday afternoon, but I have a paper to research and write. What to do? Email the instructor-supplied PDF with the case file to the iPad (I set up a gmail acct. specifically for the iPad just for this purpose). Use the iPad to read the case PDF, and use Pages to type up my notes / research (using Safari, of course), while we're on the interstate. An hour and change travel each way gives me some good uninterrupted reading/research time. Amazingly enough, I find it much easier to type on the iPad than I did on my netbook that had a full physical keyboard....no idea on that one but I'm relieved that it's that way.
I prefer to use Sugarsync or evernote to send files to the iPad, e-mails tend to get lost quickly in the daily flow... Oh, but I see you set up a special account for this, so I guess that works too.

I like the iPad's keyboard, but so far I have only used it when slumped on my sofa with the iPad propped on my knees. I think there may be some situations where I'd prefer a screen that can support itself, but so far it's working great. I am even learning to use the auto correct feature!
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:48 PM   #13
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also:


Considering iPad users can't activate or update an iPad without a computer right now, those numbers make even more sense: the 6% who can do without a computer have Android tablets
Ha Ha no kidding. It took me 10min to activate my wife's Android phone(we had to create a google account for her) done over the phone. It took me 4hrs to activate my wife's iPad (we had no prior Apple product prior to the iPad).

Apple's "Post Computer era" comment reminds me much of the "paperless office".

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Old 08-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #14
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Ha Ha no kidding. It took me 10min to activate my wife's Android phone(we had to create a google account for her) done over the phone. It took me 4hrs to activate my wife's iPad (we had no prior Apple product prior to the iPad).

Apple's "Post Computer era" comment reminds me much of the "paperless office".

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iOS 5 will bring computer-less syncing/activation, but to tell the truth, it worries me how it is going to work in practice.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:03 PM   #15
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I use IPad for mail, calendar, reading PDF's, taking and watching photos, consulting recipes while cooking, browsing, simple notes with notes. I take notes with noteshelf, that's the application that makes iPad unique, for me. Handwritten notes that can be exported, to Evernote f.i. I use heavily evernotes. Recipes, travel tickets, mails of interest, webpages of interest...

Posting on MR is a pain, so I use it for reading more then posting, as editing is cumbersome.

Then I use from time to time applications for booking planes, hotels, finding a train, the weather, sometime reading, but I prefer for that the kindle or the iPod that I have always in my pocket anyway.
For writing I have Plaintext, iAwriter and Essay, but I have not written much on iPad yet.
I am trying to learn sketch and Brushes, that were the reasons I bough it for.

Note shelf
Evernote
These are the apps that I use more to do things.

A good thing is that the mailer of my Mac trades notes with the notes on iPod and iPad.
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