iPad as a writing/research tool

dr
druid
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Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:09 pm Post

Ordered a 32 gb Wi-fi iPad today at 8:39 EST. The ordering process was glitch-free. After I added a case, dock, adapter, and 2-year AppleCare warranty, the price was up to $850.65, including $55 of tax.

Free shipping, promised delivery by April 3. No way to purchase iWork yet. Guess that will come later.

When it arrives, I'll post thoughts on using it as a writing and research tool. Hope other buyers will post their thoughts, too.

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xiamenese
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Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:16 pm Post

MacUser UK report said that, when it is available, iWork for iPad will be a free download for those who have already bought the hardware. For your sake, I hope they're right.

:-)

Mark
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Scrivener, Scapple, Nisus Writer Pro, Bookends …

bo
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:42 am Post

I'd be very interested to know whether the iPad version of Pages can handle track changes and comments. There's no sign on this in any of the videos, though they do make clear you can run text around the neck of a giraffe. I have no need for the latter. The former would be essential to make the iPad useful for book editing/revision.

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valente.mac
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:46 pm Post

I'll be very interested in reading your review, Druid. Specially after you start testing iWorks.

I was utterly pleased to see that Keynote can be used to do a general presentation (outside the iPad). That's essencial for me. I'll be waiting for iPad v2 when more apps are out and some trimming has been made to the hardware, but I'm definitely going to buy one for general ebook reading, browsing, emailing. Most of all while traveling between US and Europe.

dr
druid
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:43 pm Post

We are watching the driveway for a UPS truck.
Apple sends out tracking information; it left the main warehouse at 8:10 am.
Should be here in another 2-3 hours.
Feeling like a ridiculous fanboy about now. :D

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KB
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:21 pm Post

All I continue to think is "meh".

Good to see some of the reviews coming confirming it as not for serious writing though:

If the bulk of your computer use involves giant documents, highly controlled editing or lengthy writing, the iPad won't work for you. What it does work for, said Mossberg, is consuming - web reading, video, music, gaming, newspapers and magazines and books, as well as short-form writing and social networking: "My verdict is that, while it has compromises and drawbacks, the iPad can indeed replace a laptop for most data communication, content consumption and even limited content creation, a lot of the time. But it all depends on how you use your computer."


It's not a laptop, but if you primarily use the web to consume content then it may appeal.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/pda/201 ... ital-media

Even so, I'm resigned to receiving daily requests for an iPad version of Scrivener for at least the next couple of months, *sigh*.

Still, I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. Dunno when we in the UK will be able to get them (unless you happen to be Stephen Fry of course) - not that I'm especially bothered, given that the iPad excites me about as much as pickled spam.

Best,
Keith

Ah
Ahab
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:23 pm Post

[quote="KB"]All I continue to think is "meh".

Good to see some of the reviews coming confirming it as not for serious writing though:

[quote]

I'm not especially interested in one for serious writing. I'm interested in one for serious note-noodling and copying and annotating snippets from books that will eventually be assembled into serious writing in Scrivener. I'm presuming Pages will output a Pages File that can then be transformed into a .doc file that can then be upsucked into a Scrivener file.

But I'll wait for the pioneers to comment before leaping. Never buy version 1.0 of anything, is my motto.

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AndreasE
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:48 pm Post

One thing the iPad will surely accomplish is to give me even more technological advantage, because I will continue to use my notePad... :lol:

notePad:
+ dead-easy interface, any child can handle it
+ run-time far longer than iPads 10 hours
+ will not break by falling on the floor
+ entered data will still be usable ten, twenty and more years from now; format won't ever change
+ no distractions!!!
+ up and running in less than 1 second
+ far, far cheaper than the iPad

However:
- considered uncool... :wink:

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kewms
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:50 pm Post

Ahab wrote:I'm not especially interested in one for serious writing. I'm interested in one for serious note-noodling and copying and annotating snippets from books that will eventually be assembled into serious writing in Scrivener.


For me, that would take it into "things I want a laptop for" territory. Especially since my laptop can run both Scrivener and DevonThink, my two main research apps.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

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kewms
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:52 pm Post

AndreasE wrote:One thing the iPad will surely accomplish is to give me even more technological advantage, because I will continue to use my notePad... :lol:

notePad:
+ dead-easy interface, any child can handle it
+ run-time far longer than iPads 10 hours
+ will not break by falling on the floor
+ entered data will still be usable ten, twenty and more years from now; format won't ever change
+ no distractions!!!
+ up and running in less than 1 second
+ far, far cheaper than the iPad

However:
- considered uncool... :wink:


Notepads have a certain retro-cool. Consider the popularity of Moleskines.

They're also far less likely to be stolen.

Katherine
Scrivener Support Team

dr
druid
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Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:40 pm Post

First impressions: it arrived around noon, and we've played with it for 2-3 hours. In that time, the battery went from 100% to 87%, so it looks like 10-12 hours will be standard. The battery was fully charged on arrival.

Setting it up is simple: Plug in to iPad and a USB port, turn on iTunes, and follow directions. But if you have previously synced an iPhone, iTunes says: "An iPad has been previously synced with this computer." Which is wrong, and confusing. You get two choices: Set up as a new iPad, or Restore from the backup of [name of iPhone].

I chose Restore (to get all my iPhone apps installed), and it takes 20 minutes or more to restore. iPad says Restore in Progress and gives the incorrect remaining time. That also happens on an iPhone restore. (If you have a MobileMe account, sync your Preferences; otherwise you have to enter all login data over and over.)

After the Restore, I eliminated phone-type apps, like Cell Minute Tracker and Skype. I bought iWork, which is not free ($29.97). Other writing apps include Dragon Dictation, EasyWriter Pro, Note Taker Lite, and WriteRoom. I did not have time to use any of them extensively. I also installed the free NY Times app.

Several of the iPhone apps appear in the small format; and I haven't looked up how you expand them to iPad size. The keyboard is easier to use than the iPhone version. Safari works smoothly, and pages download quickly. (We have a cable modem at 15 MB speed.) I installed the Netflix app, which downloads Instant play movies flawlessly. Color and HD quality; great when you don't want to use a TV or laptop.

For new hardware and software, it all works very well. I did this all intuitively, and next time I will read manuals and pick up some shortcuts and tricks.

Ah
Ahab
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Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:32 am Post

Planning to download the free ePub of Moby-Dick? I'd be interested in hearing how that goes.

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ptram
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Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:42 am Post

Druid,

Have you tried writing with the touch keyboard? How is it?
This afternoon I'll see if the Apple Store at Paris has one to try. I'm very curious about it.

Paolo

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igregor
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Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:57 pm Post

Has anyone determined whether iBooks can be annotated and highlighted on iPad? Can iBooks be read on other devices like MacBooks? If so, can the annotations and highlights made to an iBook on iPad be read on a MacBook or desktop Mac? Thanks.
-- iGregor

dr
druid
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Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:59 pm Post

Progress report: spent more time with the iPad, while idly watching TV. This may be the venue in which I most often use the Pad: mute the TV, diddle away with a new toy.

First, I found there's an easy way to enlarge iPhone apps: a small button that toggles from 1x to 2x at the screen bottom. But I quickly wanted Pad versions of those apps, to use the screen fully and get a few more functions. While some apps are charging higher prices, a great many are still free.

To purchase and download an app: click, enter store password, and watch the download bar fill up, as the wallet dwindles. Warning to gadgeteers; this may get expensive.

I downloaded six free Pad apps: three in News (AP News, NPR, BBC) and three in Productivity (DropBox, EverNote, MobileMe iDisk). AP News lets me construct a personal news page, with favorite topics, preferred region, or ZIP. NPR is fantastic: I put in a ZIP and instantly heard a station 1200 miles away, in HD sound. I've yet to try BBC, but it promises quick news summaries and a library of video clips. (Maybe not as great as my BBC widget, which lets me tune into local UK broadcasts.)

My initial concern as a writer is: how do I clip, annotate, and save data? When browsing in Safari, it's easy: use the e-mail command to send links to self or others. In the Pad version of Safari, the browser fully displays PDF pages. So I could e-mail those links with my comments, using copy/paste for an abstract or particular passages.

Reading books: I'm using both iBooks and Kindle for Mac. Both are free, and while iBooks makes the better display of text, Kindle seems to have more tools. (I don't know yet about highlight or annotation.) If you want free books, download them to your main computer and drag into iTunes. After the next sync, they appear in iBooks. (I will also try that with PDF files.) A good blog on these issues is ReadWriteWeb.

What about file storage? That's where DropBox, EverNote, and MobileMe iDisk come in. I'll be testing them for awhile to see which one I prefer.

About typing: it's easier than iPhone, but harder than a laptop. In a recliner, the hand-arm angle is not quite right for me. I'll need to experiment with props or slant-top desks. I bought a case, but Apple won't ship it until 4/12.