iWork is Much Less Useful Without Being Able to Open Mail/Safari Beside iWork Apps

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by MICHAELSD, Mar 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    How much of the time that you spend using iWork applications on your computer do you have a web browser open side by side it because you practically need it? Probably at least half of the time. iWork applications on the iPad would be so much more useful if you could have half the screen taken by an iWork app and the other half by Safari or Mail in either landscape or portrait orientation. This would certainly be practical, especially since we're already used to working with smaller-sized apps, using multi-touch to scroll and zoom around.

    I know I'll be purchasing Pages on launch day, partly because of how interesting it will be to use on the iPad since it's so feature-rich. I would write reports on the iPad if I could have Safari or maybe Mail open at the same time. Even with the keyboard taking up a decent portion of the screen, there still is more room than two iPhones could display. If you're using an external keyboard, you would probably be more than comfortable with the split side by side apps.

    Not adding support for any two apps to open up side by side would be fine and practical. If Apple wanted to greatly increase the functionality of the iWork applications, it makes sense to allow iWork apps and core apps to be open side by side since that is what consumers are usually used to when using iWork applications.
  2. yyy
    macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2007
    In other words, you want iPad to support multi-tasking. That's probably not going to happen because Apple doesn't want the iPad to be a computer replacement but an addition which should be useful for certain tasks. If you find the iPad too difficult for your needs you should consider using iWork on the Mac and use the iPad for other stuff.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2010
    Yeah....maybe of the Ipad had a 20 inch screen. With the keyboard and words you already have a crammed screen and your idea would make it much worse.
  4. thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jul 13, 2008
    Well, I did mention that side by side multitasking for every app isn't really practical. However, just being able to have side by side multitasking in a few of Apple's apps could be practical and easily controlled. If I'm going to carry my iPad around everywhere, I might as well be able to turn it on and start drafting an article or get some of a paper done, etc. Apple does allow only Safari, Mail, and the iPod apps to be open in the background now, and they do stay open based on your usage, so Apple giving their own apps special privileges that other apps don't have the option of doing isn't something new.
  5. macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2006
    I can see iphone OS 4.0 or 5.0 supporting multiple-tasking.
    How? Let's recap: Apple didn't want to give iphone copy/past initially, but they finally added it when 3.0 came out.
  6. macrumors 601


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    This will happen, IMO, this summer.

    I think Apple should add little "Safari Menus" that can drop down and quickly load up whatever web page you want. Just like you can select from the camera roll in some apps with a drop down, or view your inbox in portrait, or change the brightness of the display in iBooks, there are some things that aren't standard from the iPhone. A little box would drop down, perhaps 1/3 to 1/2 the screen size--maybe next to your document, maybe floating on top of it, that would have a Safari window. You could then tap the button to roll it back up into its drawer or whatever.

    I can see third parties being able to do this, because they can incorporate the webkit canvas into their apps on iPhone. Why not be able to size a web window and put it into a floating element that can be toggled on and off? With zooming capability, this would go a long way towards addressing this problem. Pages for iPad has a popup for looking up words in a dictionary and a drop down for selecting images. Why not a popup / dropdown Safari page? Perhaps it could even show whatever is in the current open tab from Safari in the background, since its already in the memory?
  7. macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    I actually agree it's less useful without being able to open your mail or Safari without leaving the app.

    I bet support will come for this in OS 4.0.
  8. macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    I will make it work, but you do bring up a good point. I normally have safari open right next to my pages window. I guess there will be a lot of opening and closing of apps in my future.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Jul 24, 2008
    This won't really be a problem if the iWork apps save your place when you exit them, so the moment you enter them again you're right where you left off.

    If it worked that way, you could easily go to web page, look at something and maybe copy some text, and then go back into your iWork app and paste it in.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Aug 8, 2002
    Yup on some level saving the state of things in iWork apps will be required to easily go back and forth to Safari or elsewhere for now.

    As for the type of multitasking you're describing, I and others have pondered this type of set up - 2 apps in landscape, or 4 (2 x 2) in portrait - as a way for Apple to allow users to cover 9x% of use cases without letting the system get overly bogged down.
  11. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    In terms of needing it for iWork usage, much less than half, for me.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    We'll have to see how quickly the pages and safari apps open and load. If its on the slow side, it would get quite annoying closing and opening them all the time. If they open and close almost instantly, then it would be less of a problem.

    Either way, I think Apple will eventually add multitasking to the iPad in some manner. Hopefully this summer, but you never know with Apple.
  13. macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    I think that's a fundamental difference between an app OS and desktop OS. Certainly you can save your document, launch Safari grab what you need and go back, but if you need to do a lot of that, then you probably should be on a desktop/laptop.

    I see the iPad much more as a presentation tool with editing than an authoring platform.

    With that said, I can't think of a reason why a browser couldn't be embedded into apps. Sort of a browser window maybe.
  14. Guest


    Jan 30, 2009
    The opening post makes a good point, But also, Everyone should remember how far the iPhone has come since it's first launch.

    The iPad has some great features already, But remember, This is only the first run. There will be many more software updates and new features that will come out in time.

    Apple is pretty good about updating their devices with new features, Frankly the iPhone is near perfect for me, I only hope that Apple adds a "quick reply" feature to MMS/SMS, and maybe some small bug fixes.

    Anyway, So in almost 4 years Apple (in my opinion) has almost perfected the iPhone to my needs.

    I have 100% faith that they will do the same for iPad.

  15. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2010
    Small but important correction; a well written iPad app doesn't have any concept of "Saving" a document. It should always remember what you were doing when you hit the Home button and then go back to that when you start the app up again.

    This makes swapping regularly between, say, Safari and Pages much more do-able. The crucial point will be how long does reloading an app take. If it's just a second or two then I would have much less need for traditional multitasking. My guess is that initially reloading will take longer than this but the next OS version will allow apps to be suspended in memory which would greater improve the reload time.
  16. macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2010
    The great State of Maine
    This has been an enlightening thread because it's caused me to examine my own work habits more carefully.

    Like other posters, I often use a web browser in combination with a word processing app -- for example, to grab text from the web and use it to create handouts for my high school English students.

    But I don't exactly use these apps at the same time -- it's more a process of finding content online, copying it, and THEN pasting it and formatting it in the text app. So I won't mind switching from Safari to Pages, as long as the process runs quickly -- and especially since Pages is built around pre-formatted templates into which the copied text can be "flowed."

    On the negative side ... I do make frequent use of multiple tabs in the web browser -- for instance to assemble a range of resource material on a given subject (right now it's The Canterbury Tales) and select portions from various sites to drop into the WP window. This will obviously be constrained if iPad Safari does not provide some tab-like capability (such as the ability to keep a browser window in memory while navigating to a new link).

    I hope, since Apple has chosen to develop iPhone OS as a distinct operating system for this new generation of devices, we'll see these needs addressed in an innovative way as things move forward.
  17. macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    There are two ways Apple could better mask the lack of multitasking.

    1. Have constant access to your five recent apps either with a button and that new dropdown menu mechanism, or with five small icons at the bottom of the screen.

    2. When switching from app to app, eliminate the zoom in/out animations**. It would feel like you are just switching apps, as opposed to opening and closing them. They would keep the zoom animations when transition to and from the springboard.

    **Doing this in Kirikae visually speeds up the process of switching between backgrounded apps.
  18. macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2006
    Simi Valley, CA
    This is already built into Mobile Safari
  19. macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    Good point. I didn't mean actually pressing save, but I wasn't clear there.

    Anyway, you really don't need multitasking to swap between apps if the apps retain their status and the system is fast enough. Any MP solution on a small screen would essentially provide similar experience. MP matters when you need to do multiple fucntions simultaneously with one or more in the background, not swap between apps.
  20. macrumors 65816


    Sep 11, 2007
    Toronto, Canada
    John Gruber said 4.0 will have multitasking. It will if he says so.

    He also said the iPad won't have a camera when every news publication said it would. He also got the iPhone 3GS name, what it would have. He also got the iMac feature set and release date.
  21. Eso
    macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    ...the night before it was announced.
  22. macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    It will take longer than you think. Especially because the opening and closing of an app is masked a lot by the pop-in and pop-out window.
  23. macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008
    I use iWork fullscreen. I don't reference anything side-by-side. If i need to look something up, I switch to safari and look it up. I think the same will work on the iPad. Just fire up Safari, look something up, copy/paste into Pages, etc.
  24. macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2008
    Just buy another iPad if you want to multitask / have side-by-side email and iWork. Sheesh... and you call yourselves Apple fans. :rolleyes:
  25. macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2010
    I think a different transition to the 'zoom' (like a slide, vertical or horizontal) would give a visual impression of switching without losing the masking effect. It would look more like the application was simply moving out the way to reveal the 'switcher/launcher'. How the operating system handles what is happening underneath is tangential to the physical-impression given.

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