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#24233 - 11/22/12 06:36 AM iPad vs Macbook
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
We're thinking of getting an iPad (or mini)....rationalizing that it may be a better choice than a MacBook for our simple needs....particularly since the least expensive MacBook is several hundred dollars more than the most expensive iPad.

1. One use will be to transfer documents from our iMac to the iPad so they can be edited when away from home. On returning home, they'll go back to the iMac.

Is the actual transferring process going to be a pain?

Many documents will be MS Office so I assume I'll just be converting them to Pages and back to Office. Yes? No?

2. When we travel we will want GPS. We like the idea of buying an actual GPS device that could talk to the iPad via Bluetooth.

Does that require buying a particular version of iPad?
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#24234 - 11/22/12 11:19 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: ryck]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
The iPad isn't actually a computer per se, at least not the way most folks think of a computer. It's really designed more for consuming content than creating content.

Yes, you can edit Word files on it (using Pages)--I do this often. Transferring files can be done via USB cable (with iTunes), or by email, or by using DropBox, which is how I do it.

It's kind of a pain typing long documents on a touch keyboard. If you do this a lot, you'll want a case with a built-in keyboard. Look at Amazon.com; they're usually about 40% cheaper there than at a store--you'll find iPad keyboards are eyewateringly expensive at stores.

2. GPS is only available internally on 3G/4G iPads, not on the wifi-only iPads. If you get a WiFi iMac, you can share its Internet connection via Bluetooth, but I don't think you can share GPS via Bluetooth--at least not that I've been able to discover. (I have a WiFi-only third generation iPad.) If there's a way to do it, I'd love to hear it.


Edited by tacit (11/22/12 11:19 AM)
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#24235 - 11/22/12 12:06 PM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
1. One use will be to transfer documents from our iMac to the iPad so they can be edited when away from home. On returning home, they'll go back to the iMac.

Is the actual transferring process going to be a pain?

Asssuming you use iCloud there is really no transferring per. se. you simply store the documents in iCloud and access them from your Mac or your iPad.

Originally Posted By: ryck
Many documents will be MS Office so I assume I'll just be converting them to Pages and back to Office. Yes? No?

Unless Microsoft elects to write a version Office for iOS — which should
happen right after Satan has to buy a pair of snowshoes — the answer is YES

Originally Posted By: ryck
2. When we travel we will want GPS. We like the idea of buying an actual GPS device that could talk to the iPad via Bluetooth.

I have traveled often on trips covering thousands of miles and the GPS built into the iPad has always been far more than adequate. The only time it ever lost the satellite was in a mile long tunnel, but then no GPS would work under those conditions. Secondly I suspect the GPS/Map apps available for the iPad would have to be substantially rewritten to recognize an external GPS unit.

The only accommodation I make for using either my iPhone or iPad GPS in the car is to keep it plugged into the car's power outlet. The GPS does use a lot of battery power to operate — but that is true of stand alone GPS units as well. Generally I have the GPS displaying the map and providing turn-by-turn voice guidance while simultaneously playing an audio book. I have the iPad paired with the bluetooth connection to my car radio so both the audio book and voice guidance audio comes through the speaker system of the car and not through the iPad's more anemic speakers. As a side benefit input from my GPS app halts the audio book playback momentarily so I don't miss anything from either unit. I could attach the iPad/iPhone to my car's sound system via USB, but for no particular reason I have aways chosen to use Bluetooth.

Originally Posted By: ryck
Does that require buying a particular version of iPad?

AFIK an iPad is an iPad the only difference being whether or not it can connect via both WiFi and the data network or only via WiFi.

Personal opinion: I have a MacBook Air and it has not left the house since I got my iPad. The iPad is lighter, smaller, easier to carry, and I can do almost everything on my iPad that I can do on my iMac. Note that is almost everything. There are a few lesser used functions in one or two apps that have corresponding apps on my iMac. So far it has never proven to be a shortcoming.

[b]Personal opinion 2:{/b} If you are going to be doing a lot of documents on the iPad take a look at one of the wireless keyboards for the iPad. There are several out there from Adesso, Targus, Logitech, etc. I have the Zagg keyboard with backlight and I find it very useful. My wife has smaller hands than mine and she finds the on-screen keyboard more than adequate.
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#24239 - 11/22/12 11:26 PM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: joemikeb]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: joemikeb

AFIK an iPad is an iPad the only difference being whether or not it can connect via both WiFi and the data network or only via WiFi.


WiFi iPads don't have GPS, sadly.
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#24241 - 11/23/12 02:04 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: tacit]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: tacit
....I don't think you can share GPS via Bluetooth--at least not that I've been able to discover. (I have a WiFi-only third generation iPad.) If there's a way to do it, I'd love to hear it.

I may have mis-spoke as I hadn't done a huge amount of research just yet. I had seen devices such as this one. While they seem to be oriented to pilots I figured that if the concept, GPS signal to iPad, had been established there should be something taking the next step - delivering "Garmin type GPS" to iPads.


Edited by ryck (11/23/12 02:05 AM)
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#24242 - 11/23/12 02:16 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: tacit]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: tacit
Transferring files can be done via USB cable (with iTunes), or by email, or by using DropBox, which is how I do it.

DropBox sounds interesting, as does iCloud which joemike mentions. I'll have a look at both. My concern with transferring or dealing with files in a locale other than my own machinery, is security.....so the USB approach has appeal, although more cumbersome.

Originally Posted By: tacit
It's kind of a pain typing long documents on a touch keyboard. If you do this a lot, you'll want a case with a built-in keyboard.

Yah...I thought about that. However I do have a wireless keyboard that is easy enough to tote along.
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ryck

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#24243 - 11/23/12 02:32 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Unless Microsoft elects to write a version Office for iOS — which should happen right after Satan has to buy a pair of snowshoes — the answer is YES

That long? Well, hello Pages.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I have traveled often on trips covering thousands of miles and the GPS built into the iPad has always been far more than adequate. The only time it ever lost the satellite was in a mile long tunnel, but then no GPS would work under those conditions.

That sounds very promising. I had understood that the iPad GPS wasn't real GPS (i.e. communicates with satellites) and that it worked through the cellular system which caused map drawing to be slower. Ergo my interest in something that would talk to a satellite and then to the iPad via Bluetooth.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I have a MacBook Air and it has not left the house since I got my iPad. The iPad is lighter, smaller, easier to carry, and I can do almost everything on my iPad that I can do on my iMac.

That sounds a lot like our situation. Mostly we use the iMac but there are occasions my wife or I would like to check something on the web without leaving the family room.

Also, I'm a volunteer Director on a couple of advocacy boards and travel to the mainland for meetings a few times per year. On those occasions I'm on an hour and a half ferry trip thinking: "Geez, I could use this time to work on something." A simple device would suffice.

Originally Posted By: joemikeb
[b]Personal opinion 2:{/b} If you are going to be doing a lot of documents on the iPad take a look at one of the wireless keyboards for the iPad.

Thanks for the heads-up. As I mentioned to Tacit, I have a wireless keyboard that could be tossed into my briefcase.


Edited by ryck (11/23/12 02:35 AM)
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#24246 - 11/23/12 05:38 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
I had understood that the iPad GPS wasn't real GPS (i.e. communicates with satellites) and that it worked through the cellular system which caused map drawing to be slower. Ergo my interest in something that would talk to a satellite and then to the iPad via Bluetooth.

That was the gen 1 iPhone. Later model iPhones and iPads have real satellite tracking GPS units. However, they also use cell tower triangulation to improve the accuracy of positioning. My current generation iDevices can accurately track which room of the house I am in and do a decent job of determining the highway lane I am driving in. I have navigated across sections of the country more than 50 miles from any cellphone or data network connection using my iPad.

One advantage of the iDevice maps. They are invariably more up to date than the maps on dedicated GPS devices. Mainly because they are downloaded on an as needed, when needed basis. And because the actual routing is also downloaded on the fly, they do a better job of avoiding traffic snarls. It took one trip using an iDevice for me to get rid of my Garmin.
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#24256 - 11/24/12 09:35 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
So, we're decided. It'll be an iPad with GPS capability for us, as we presently don't have any GPS devices, and iPads without GPS for our daughters. However, they have GPS through their smartphones.

A few more quick questions:

1. I assume that security (remotely shutting down if the device is lost) is unaffected whether or not the device has GPS capability.

2. I assume an iPad without GPS would not have the ability to be located.

3. We're also thinking of this protective case. It's clear that when closed the pouches on the one side would be in contact with the iPad screen. Is that a concern? i.e. would constant contact create any screen visibility issues?

4. There seems to be an argument for having a stylus. Is this something everyone could use or is it for a more select crowd?
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ryck

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#24259 - 11/24/12 03:28 PM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
1. I assume that security (remotely shutting down if the device is lost) is unaffected whether or not the device has GPS capability.

If the iPad is turned on and has an internet connection whether by WiFi or by the telco data network you can either lock or completely erase the device remotely.

Originally Posted By: ryck
2. I assume an iPad without GPS would not have the ability to be located.

Even without GPS the "FInd My iPad" function will work, assuming it can be "seen" by more than one cell tower. but having GPS makes the location much more accurate. I haven't tested this but I have been told that without the GPS you could tell that the device is somewhere in a Super Walmart building, and with GPS you could tell it was near the checkout counter or potentially almost down to which checkout line it is in.

Originally Posted By: ryck
3. We're also thinking of this protective case. It's clear that when closed the pouches on the one side would be in contact with the iPad screen. Is that a concern? i.e. would constant contact create any screen visibility issues?

I cannot answer that from personal experience. I originally got the Apple cover and found it worked well — until I dropped the iPad and it landed on a corner and the glass broke. Since then I got a ZaggFolio which is a hard case that protects the bottom, all four corners, and the top and has a wireless keyboard. My advice would be…
  • Get a cover or skin that protects the corners
  • Pick one that fits snugly and does not add to the bulk
  • If your case does not cover the glass face consider something like the Zagg Invisible Shield (I am not pushing Zagg products, but those are the ones I have had personal experience with.)
  • If you have a "skin" that protects the corners and the screen you can toss the iPad into almost any briefcase, messenger bag, field bag or what have you and you are reasonably safe. I use a "field bag" from DuluthTrading Company and it works great for travel.
  • Whatever you do get Applecare.

Originally Posted By: ryck
4. There seems to be an argument for having a stylus. Is this something everyone could use or is it for a more select crowd?

I turn styluses out of native Texas hardwoods and they bring a good price. (This is NOT a offer to sell rather to establish my experience with Stylii,) I have large hands and fat fingers which can make it difficult to hit the right key on the iPhone's virtual keyboard and find a stylus invaluable — with the iPhone. However, I have only felt the need for a stylus on the iPad when I was drawing or writing in cursive. My personal preference is a two inch long stylus for the iPhone, and a six inch stylus for the larger iPad. The different sizes seem more proportionate with to the different devices.
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#24625 - 12/31/12 04:02 PM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: ryck]
MG2009 Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
"My concern with transferring or dealing with files in a locale other than my own machinery, is security.....so the USB approach has appeal, although more cumbersome."

As far as I know, a computer will not recognize an iPAD attached with the USB cable (i.e. the computer does not "see" the iPAD in the same way that it detects an external hard drive or Kindle, for example).

The only way to transfer files between a computer and an iPAD is using iCLOUD, Dropbox or similar . . . OR by attaching the file(s) from the computer to an e-mail and then retrieving the e-mail using the iPAD - or vice versa.

If there is a way to directly move files back-and-forth between an iPAD and computer using a USB cable, I would geniunely like to know about it.

smile

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#24629 - 12/31/12 05:53 PM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: MG2009]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09

You can move files back and forth between your Mac and your iPad over the USB cable that comes with the iPad. You do this using iTunes.

From iPad User Guide For iOS 6 Software [pdf available here]:

Originally Posted By: iPad User Guide For iOS 6 Software
Transfer files using iTunes: Connect iPad to your computer using the included cable. In iTunes on your computer, select iPad, then click the Apps button. Use the File Sharing section to transfer documents between iPad and your computer. Apps that support file sharing appear in the File Sharing Apps list in iTunes. To delete a file, select the file in the Files list, then press the Delete key.
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#24635 - 01/01/13 12:15 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: dkmarsh]
MG2009 Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
"You do this using iTunes"


. . . which is NOT the same as transferring files DIRECTLY the way one can do with an external HD by the "dragging method" for files from one gizmo to the other.

It is my understanding that with iTUNES one is basically uploading files into Cyberspace (e.g. iCLOUD) from one machine and then downloading from iTUNES/iCLOUD into another machine . . . which may not be a solution for anyone who is concerned about security issues regarding the storage of their information on computers other than their own (a concern which, I believe, the poster of the inquiry raised).

grin

See also this thread : http://www.finetunedmac.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=23866#Post23866

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#24637 - 01/01/13 03:23 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: MG2009]
dkmarsh Offline
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Quote:
...with iTUNES one is basically uploading files into Cyberspace (e.g. iCLOUD) from one machine and then downloading from iTUNES/iCLOUD into another machine...

No, that's not the case; you're describing the use of iCloud to transfer files, which is an entirely different thing from the use of iTunes. See iOS: About File Sharing; in particular, scroll down and click on How to copy files from an iOS app to your computer. The "'dragging method' for files from one gizmo to the other" is pretty much what's described there:

"Drag and drop files from the Documents list to a folder or window on your computer to copy them to your computer..."

Of course, this dragging and dropping occurs within the constraints of iOS; no one will argue that its resemblance to the traditional Mac OS technique is identical any more than they'll argue that the software keyboard in iOS devices is identical to the hardware keyboards folks use to type on their Macs.

The point is that for someone "concerned about security issues," using iTunes to transfer files does not involve "the storage of their information on computers other than their own."


Edited by dkmarsh (01/01/13 03:24 AM)
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#24642 - 01/01/13 10:08 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: dkmarsh]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: dkmarsh
You can move files back and forth between your Mac and your iPad over the USB cable that comes with the iPad. You do this using iTunes.

I have been spending some time with this and I must say I'm very impressed. I've synched things like photos and music, as well as Mail (need some more work there) and Safari bookmarks. So far, everything is positive.

I've also transferred Word and Excel files, after installing the Numbers and Pages apps on the iPad, and they've worked even better than I expected. I did nothing to modify or convert the Word and Excel files prior to transfer.

I just moved the Microsoft files over using Pages or Numbers and then opened them on the iPad. I even tried with .xlsx and .docx. The .docx file was perfect and the .xlsx was close. Spreadsheets were as they should be but the program didn't quite figure out a graph. No big deal...I have time to goof with that and it's not a show-stopper anyway.

Edit: There were only two very minor inconsistencies. Numbers and Pages each did not have one of the Excel and Word fonts....not an issue for me.

I'm happy.

If I could add a wrinkle......

At meetings I use an Olympus VN-6200PC voice recorder rather than trying to keep notes while participating in discussions. Later I attach the recorder to my iMac with USB, which sees it as another drive, and I simply drag the WMA file over.

I would like to move the WMA from the recorder to the iPad directly except that I now have two devices with the same USB connectors. Is it reasonable to think that a female to female USB adapter could be used to link the cables and that iTunes would then "see" the Olympus?

Or am I taking a chance that something will "blow up" at one end or the other?


Edited by ryck (01/01/13 12:27 PM)
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#24643 - 01/01/13 11:28 AM Re: iPad vs Macbook [Re: dkmarsh]
MG2009 Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Thanks for the iTUNES/iCLOUD clarification. smile

However - perhaps I misunderstood earlier - I think the original poster was inquiring about making the direct transfer of files with the apps that CAME with the iPAD using the USB cable (included with the iPAD).

"Pages", for example, did not come with my iPAD. I see this is available at the App Store for $20.

I am not aware of any apps that were pre-installed on the iPAD which will allow this transferring of files to happen unless one purchases additional apps.

P.S. The only app that came with my iPAD which I thought might work is "Notes" . . . but it did not do the trick . . . so that is why the (free) "LOGMEIN and screenshot" work-around was suggested in the other thread.

Has anyone since developed a FREE version of a "Pages-like" app?

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