Considering iPad2 but can it do the following?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by bazilfawlty, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. bazilfawlty macrumors newbie

    bazilfawlty

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    South Wales - UK
    #1
    iPad 2

    Currently review activities on a construction site using an old fasioned pen and notepad whilst taking photos with a digital camera. Following a walkaround I then download images to HD resize the images to reduce image size and then import photos into a word template typing out my hand written notes. Presently depending on how far away from home the construction site is I use a day to travel and walkaround the site and then the following day typing up what notes I have taken and importing photos. I need to make this process more streamlined and efficient. Therfore I would like to: -

    - Purchase iPad 2 and rugged iPad case.
    - Recreate my report template in Pages to mimic the word template (company logo, colours etc) I can use our own MacBook for this.
    - Take the iPad around site using this to take the photos but typing my notes even if they are shorthand directly into the template.

    Doing the above I will return from site with a report already started and approx. 40% complete, I would just need to expand on the notes taken and select the photos for each section of the report.

    The only problem is I do not have an iPad nor access to one so I do not know how feasible the above is hence my post here.

    Questions:
    1.) Do you foresee any issues with the above?

    2.) Whilst I understand the camera on the iPad is not brilliant what typically are the sizes of each image? I can take 50 - 60 pictures each visit. Would a 16GB iPad suffice providing that the previous report and images were purged from the iPad prior to the next report or should I go with the 32GB.

    3.) With the report compiled and ready to issue on the iPad can I save the report within Pages to a PDF format? Outside of the iPad the company is very MS Windows / MS Office centric, my work issued laptop is a Windows one so having a Pages file will be useless to email around.

    4.) Within MS Word my template currently has what is called a 'picture content control' box for each image. Its basically a placeholder for the image and when you click within it a dialogue box pops up asking you to select the image. The image is then brought into the document at the desired size and place within the report. Does Pages have the same feature for image control?

    Your advise would be gratefully appreciated.

    Mike.
     
  2. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
    I Can See

    A few problems here. As you point out the iPad's camera is by no means High def, so I guess it depends on the level of detail and quality of the shots you plan to take.

    If they are just general views, then you should be ok, but using the iPad on a building site as a camera is going to be a bit fiddly and may take you a while to get used to.

    I would go for the 32gb if you can, more storage space is better (I have a 64 gb wifi ipad2) but I need the space for music and video files.

    Pages will happily handle the WP side of things, and you can insert your images into the document if you need to.

    It wil also save in a variety of formats including word, PDF etc.

    One app that you may well find useful to bring all this together is called GoodReader...Kind of a Swiss army knife for file management on the iPad....I use it a lot.

    Hope this information proves useful in making your decision :)
     
  3. djrod macrumors 65816

    djrod

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Location:
    Madrid - Spain
    #3
  4. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #4
    I'd think it would work ok. The camera should be just OK for building site work, and pages should be fine for making a template and adding notes + photos. It'll load a word document too, so long as it's not using anything too fancy. Stuff to consider though:

    - The camera will likely be "just acceptable". The pictures djrod posted are quite representative, you'll get quite a lot better results out in the daylight but worse in poor lighting indoors (might be an issue on site if the lighting isn't working, and there's no flash). There's also no zoom, and the pictures are quite low resolution.

    - Typing on a touch screen isn't great. That said, it's not bad too, and you can certainly hold it while typing in the middle of the site. You can't do that with a laptop. When you're back in an office or at a desk somewhere, you can use a small bluetooth keyboard to type it up properly.
     
  5. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #5
    Heh, you don't have to tell me. Once tried filming my class with an ipad2 and the video turned out all grainy and blur. :(
     
  6. RossMc macrumors 65816

    RossMc

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #6
    The iPad 2 camera should be fine if you are taking pictures outside in the sunlight it seems to be OK quality again not the best but it should be acceptable it doesn't do too well in low light though.

    Like has already been mentioned I would recommend GoodReader as well if you do get an iPad and you can link it to your Dropbox to automatically upload your documents to and from the iPad.
     
  7. cjbryce macrumors 6502

    cjbryce

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #7
    Dependent on your requirements re photo quality it should work if you get a 32Gb iPad.

    However the iPad's cameras are very basic so if you need better quality have a look at an EyeFi SD card for your current camera in conjuction with the Shutter Snitch App from the App store running on the iPad. basically the EyeFi card sets up a very local WiFi network you join your iPad to and the Shutter Snitch app imports over that directly from the camera. Works like a charm and almost in real time.
     
  8. psonice macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    #8
    16GB is probably more than enough actually. Even if the photos were 1MB each (can't remember the actual size, but they're smaller than this I'm sure) you'd have space for 14,000 or so. Allow a bit of room for a few apps and other bits and bobs, and you'd still get 10,000 photos on it!

    Of course if you're going to put big games, music and videos on there you'll want more.
     
  9. Shawnpk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    If you can wait another month or so, you can see if a new/updated iPad will be released with better cameras (if you need better resolution pictures). There are many note taking apps that you can add pictures to and annotate directly over the pictures. You can also type notes or take them by hand. They will import pictures from the Photos app or you can take a picture directly within the app and add it. Also, exporting to PDF is an option.
     
  10. Mdifilm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Location:
    Cleveland
    #10
    I work for a civil engineering site and at one point we were tosing the idea of using a table on site.

    back in 2003, we used those old PC tablets on site but it was more for surveying usage, as for your thoughts and need, it may work however, since not many of the construction site will have 'smooth' pavement, some may have dirts and such, I would not see the ipad 2's camera to provide suficient quality for your report.

    I would suggest get the ipad 2 and try it within 30 days and that would give some idea how 'hard' or 'easy' it would be with it while walking at a construction site.

    From what you want to do, maybe use a good digital camera and a macbook air (which is still light enough but does what you would need to do productively and efficiently). Using the iPad in this scenario is more a 'gimmick' in my opinion.
     
  11. ethics101 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2011
    #11
    honestly, just take pics with your phone and email them to your iPad.
     
  12. s15119 macrumors 65816

    s15119

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    #12
    Thank you for this. I'm going to try shutter snitch tonight.
     
  13. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #13
    Just a thought, but considering the limitations of the iPad camera, you might be better off with a good smartphone. The iPhone 4's camera is quite good, it has a reasonable flash and Pages works just fine. Of course, the drawback would be the smaller screen, but if you already plan to do the heavy lifting on a full computer back in the office, I think it would work just as well as an iPad and less likely to drop it.

    As far as I know, Pages for iOS does not have the picture placeholder feature, but you can import pictures directly from the camera roll to the document...on-site
     
  14. err404 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #14
    In a couple of months this might be a workable solution assuming that both of the devices have data access. With iOS5, photos taken with are phone are immediately uploaded to your photostream at which point they are available on your iPad automatically.
     
  15. bazilfawlty thread starter macrumors newbie

    bazilfawlty

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    Location:
    South Wales - UK
    #15
    Many thanks for all your feedback and comments. The sample pictures taken above to demonstrate the capabilities of the iPad2 would be okay for what I need, the images are to illustrate progress of individual areas and therefore do not need to be of a high quality.

    One thing others mentioned that I overlooked is the lack of a flash on the camera, not all the areas of a construction site particularly in the early stages are well lit.

    I think I'm going to start bringing the template over to pages for now and just hold steady for a month or two and see if there is any news on a forthcoming iPad 3 but with Apple just getting deliveries of the iPad's down to 24hrs recently I cannot see them about to launch a new version anytime soon.

    Once again, thanks for your detailed answers and recomendations.

    Mike.
     
  16. Blakjack macrumors 68000

    Blakjack

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    #16
    Waiting another month to see if another iPad is coming is a waste of time. It isn't happening
     
  17. RossMc macrumors 65816

    RossMc

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    #17
    Agreed, This would defiantly be the best bet to get an iPhone 4/5 when iOS 5 is released then you can get a better quality of photo plus it has flash for the not very well lit area's. Then you can have the photo's straight from your iPhone to you iPad then can start doing whatever you need to do on the iPad straight away.
     
  18. BrennerM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2010
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    #18
    Another option is to take pictures with a standard digital camera (which I presume you already have), then pop the SD card out of the camera and use the camera connection kit to import them onto the iPad. This could be done on-site relatively easily as long as we're not talking hundreds or thousands of photos.
     
  19. porcupine8 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    #19
    Me too! I love my Eye-Fi card but the eye-Fi app is crap. I'll have to check out this one!

    As others have noted, the camera is halfway decent in bright lighting, but in most indoor lighting the images will be EXTREMELY noisy. A separate camera with eye-Fi sending the pics to an iPad where you're typing sounds like the ultimate solution.

    I've been spending a lot of time typing one-handed on my iPad (due to a newborn baby) and while it's undeniably more awkward than two hands on a regular keyboard, you do get better at it.
     
  20. cjbryce macrumors 6502

    cjbryce

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Location:
    London
    #20
    EyeFi have an app? Didn't know that. I find Shutter Snitch to be extremely good. Almost realtime previews on the iPad is a brilliant way of assessing the image just taken and it's cable/connector free.

    If only the iPad was "retina" :D
     
  21. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502

    Fry-man22

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #21
    Everything would work fine the way you describe, but I would not want to mess with the iPad camera. Just get the camera connection kit for $30. Hopefully your point and shoot camera uses SD cards so at that point you can shoot the site, import the photos to the ipad using the reader and the SD, then progress with the pages processing.

    Using USB to transfer the pics would be a bit more of a pain but would still work.

    The suggested EyeFi cards require a Wifi network so unless you jailbreak the ipad or create a hotspot some other way you can't use the wifi card on a job site.
     
  22. seajay96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #22
    EyeFi cards can setup their own hotspot

    http://www.eye.fi/how-it-works/features/direct-mode
     
  23. Fry-man22 macrumors 6502

    Fry-man22

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    #23
    That is very nice. Thanks for the correction - I called myself checking but apparently read about an older version or just plain misunderstood.
     
  24. stewlee1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2011
    #24
    I do agree with the poor quality of the iPad 2 camera but think about it, its the same camera as the iPod Touch 4G and the iPhone 4 but the reason they look so bad is because they're stretched to fit a larger display.


    By puting them in a WP document you're going to be scaling them down to the size you need thus improving the image quality :)
     

Share This Page