Thinking about an iPad

Discussion of non-operating system issues related to all iPads.
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Stephen Hart
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Thinking about an iPad

Post by Stephen Hart » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:52 pm

As I mentioned in this thread, I'm thinking about buying an iPad.

So the one that seems like a sweet spot is the iPad with Cellular and 32 GB. That's the same capacity as my iPhone 5, and I can imagine wanting to use cellular download sometimes. (Apparently, you can easily switch that subscription on and off).

But I wonder if some SMUG members have some advice. I'd always have my iPhone 5 with me, so do I really need the cellular connections on the iPad, or could I use the iPhone for that?
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Richard Serkes
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Richard Serkes » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:57 pm

I'm on iPad #5 and I've never had the cellular version. It seems that everywhere I go I can get WiFi. And as you mentioned, if you're somewhere that WiFi just isn't available you can always get online via your iPhone.
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Jay Cline » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:54 am

For me the iPad is only useful when I want an iPhone with a larger screen because to me that's what an iPad is, a large iPhone. I only use my iPad for checking email and web when I'm on vacation using wifi. I've not tried using my iPhone as a hotspot for my iPad because of the cost of doing that.
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:02 am

Anyone used Verizon's Personal Hotspot with an iPhone and an iPad?

For us, switching to the share everything plan would increase cost a little, but less than buying and paying monthly for a cell-enabled iPad.
Plus, on our current plan, we're grandfathered in to much more data than we'd get without paying extra in the share everything plan.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:40 pm

So I ordered an iPad Retina, WiFi, 32 GB. Unfortunately, it won't be here before my Wednesday presentation unless it arrives ahead of schedule.

But maybe I'll do a demo several months in the future (maybe 2014*) on iBooks Author.

I'd still be interested in any SMUG members' experiences with Personal Hotspot using an iPhone for the cellular connection and an iPad.

* Dates like "2014" give me the willies. 1960s or 1970s sound comfortable to me. 1990s I can live with. Everything beyond that seems like science fiction.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Stephen Hart » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:44 pm

Jay Cline wrote:... to me that's what an iPad is, a large iPhone.
What part of "phone" don't you understand? ;)
I guess Skype might count as "a phone" when combined with an iPad.

I think of the iPad as a very small, very light, half-price MacBook Pro.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Jay Cline
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Jay Cline » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:05 pm

Stephen Hart wrote:
Jay Cline wrote:... to me that's what an iPad is, a large iPhone.
What part of "phone" don't you understand? ;)
I guess Skype might count as "a phone" when combined with an iPad.

I think of the iPad as a very small, very light, half-price MacBook Pro.
You'd be better off with a MacBook Air.
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:14 am

You'd be better off with a MacBook Air.
But see my initial post. One major reason for me to buy an iPad is to fiddle with iBooks Author and be able to try out the result. So far, Apple hasn't released a version of iBooks for OS X, though that could happen. (You can save out of iBooks Author as pdf, but you loose most of what iBooks Author is designed to do.)

Plus, I was being a bit hyperbolic (as I guess you were) in casting the iPad as just like a laptop but smaller, lighter and cheaper. Though there's lots of overlap, I think iPads are really in a category of their own, not a big iPod Touch, and also not a small MacBook. Apple clearly thinks so too.

Other companies are experimenting now with hybrids: very light laptops with touch screens and a rotating hinge that lets you get the keyboard out of the way so you can use them as tablets. Apple could also try out that form factor. I would worry a lot about the hinge, as that part has been problematic on laptops forever.
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"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Richard Serkes » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:02 am

As Steve Jobs said, the Macbook is about creating content whereas the iPad is about consuming content. I think it would be awkward to create a book on an iPad...that's what a Macbook is for. And I think it would be awkward reading a book on a Macbook...that's what an iPad is for.

I've found that any task which is keyboard intensive just doesn't fit well with the iPad.
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Re: Thinking about an iPad

Post by Stephen Hart » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:07 am

I think it would be awkward to create a book on an iPad...that's what a Macbook is for.
Right. I suppose especially typing, though you can pair a regular BlueTooth keyboard and that works nicely. You're still left with the issue of verticality. MacBooks and iMacs are designed with a vertical screen in mind. Furthermore, for any more than a little typing, you want an ergonomic setup with the screen high enough off the table. With an iPad, (and the MacBook) that requires a somewhat elaborate stand or peering downward. That setup (sans stand) would be fine if you were doing a mixed bag of things with the iPad in a comfy chair in a living room. A BT keyboard could fit in your magazine pile.

Moving and sizing elements around on a page layout should be fine on an iPad. In fact, moving elements with your fingers might be more intuitive than with a mouse.

In any case, my plan is to make the iBooks on my iMac. But to view (experience?) them you must have an iPad. The Apple movie introducing iBooks Author shows a person using an iPad right on the desk with her iMac as she creates (or pretends to create) E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth (from the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation). That's the only book shown in the video, by the way.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
Steve Jobs

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