Definitive apps or tips for using iPad Pro on business travel?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ozone, May 17, 2018.

  1. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    I'm heading overseas next month for an intensive symposium and summit. In the past, when I travelled, I usually brought my MBAir 11 along, but its battery is now awful, despite me replacing it a few years back with one from iFixit. For the last few trips, I also brought along my 12.9 iPadPro in case I needed to use writing or tablet functions: it's not critical (hey, I could use paper) but it proves useful now and then. The downside is that hauling both tablet and laptop along makes it heavier and bulkier.

    I was thinking of picking up another replacement battery for the MBAir 11 from OWC/Macsales but I'm wondering if it would just be a waste given it's now 7 years old. Or alternatively a used or refurbished 12 inch MacBook, or even a small, mini Windows laptop for when I need the occasional "desktop" computing.

    And I thought maybe I could try to use my 12.9 iPadPro as my sole computing device. My need are relatively straightforward - email, web, office documents. However, because I'll be doing work on the road so I tend to need to review and then copy/paste elements from one document into another. I find it pretty awkward on the iPadPro even with multitasking to really word process intensely. Then again, maybe that's the tradeoff.

    I do have a lightning/USB key that I can transfer files back and forth to the iPad, but you need to do it through an app, and it's not overly effective (hello Apple? real file system?). I would also like to use the iPad to back up photos from the camera I'll be taking (I'm also a photographer). I don't necessarily need to edit them: so transferring them to an external drive as a backup would be ideal.

    I know there are some threads on similar topics, but I didn't come across a lot of recommendations. I'm wondering if there are recommended apps or workflows to improve the iPad Pro's capability.
     
  2. rikmac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    #2
    It is difficult to give up the laptop. Took me over 2 years carrying both. Now I only carry my 12.9 and live overseas 3 months out of the year. I use the cloud a lot and also Betternet VPN. As far as their other programs, you just have to retrain the way you do business... Good luck
     
  3. mk313, May 17, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018

    mk313 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2012
    #3
    You may want to look into getting jump desktop and a Citrix x1 mouse so that you can remote into your MacBook from the iPad should the need arise. The mouse allows you to work much faster in the jump environment. You may also want to check out documents by readdle to help with your file system issues.

    Aside from that,Microsoft office or Apple iWork apps. Im. It really does not photography so I can’t offer any suggestions there.

    And a lot of the awkwardness that you experience seems to diminish so with time. I used my iPad as my primary computer when I got my mba and I was pretty proficient by the time I was done. It was still less efficient than a Mac, but the gap was pretty small.
     
  4. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #4
    Thanks. I guess my only real concern was the file management aspects. I'm guessing that MobiSystems Office Suite or else Microsoft's own Office apps are the way to go. I guess it's more opening up one document, editing/copying/pasting from one document to the next, transferring files to a USB or something else that I'm mulling over on how to do effectively.

    I've noticed that some of the pro photographers I follow use iPads almost exclusively in the field for backing up, etc. and it looks like they just basically use the SD card reader to Lightening connector. interesting...
     
  5. jasoncordelle macrumors regular

    jasoncordelle

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Auckland NZ
    #5
    I use my iPad Pro for business and presonal purposes - I have a Pencil and take notes using Notability (the new update with "convert to text" feature is awesome.
    The iWork apps are pretty good and the MS Office apps are also OK, but again you'll have tradeoffs, depending on your usage - for me it's not too bad.
    I back up my photos to my iPad mainly to see them better when I am on the road, but I also edit them (very basic - I am not a photographer).
    I back up the whole shebang to iCloud.

    Can you make the jump? Maybe, if it really works for you. My usage is far from power usage, but with the Smart Keyboard and the Pencil, I am pretty well sorted.
     
  6. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Thanks. I use Notability occasionally, but GoodNotes most of the time. Ironically, I never convert my notes to text. I'm the only one who reads them, and I use arrows, and diagrams, etc. so it's a bit of a jumble anyways.

    I don't use iCloud. I was too far into DropBox, and didn't like paying more for online storage.

    Good to hear that you can get it all to work. Maybe I should just give it a try for this trip and hope it all works out!
     
  7. lah macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #7
    My wife, who works for a large international organization, solely uses her work issued iPad Pro when she travels. She mostly relies on the mail.app, the MS Office suite and Dropbox - she swears by the portability of the iPad.
     
  8. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #8
    Replace Dropbox with OneDrive and that’s me. Safari as well. I’m trying to convince myself to go iPad only for my mobile needs and keep a desktop for serious work, editing and a large monitor.

    One HUGE problem, multiple iterations of the same application in office. I mean I absolutely need to have two , maybe three Word documents open to compare, copy and paste etc and that’s a pretty significant limitation. Most everything else I can deal wih but that’s a potential deal breaker. Oh, and a better PRO keyboard. Keep the skinny one but let’s add something that you can actually type on, has backlighting and a row of function keys. Make it a few mm thicker Jony! We’ll all go hit the gym more.
     
  9. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #9
    Ah... fellow kindred spirit... that is exactly one of my hurdles exactly. I'm at my desk right now, and as a trial, I edited a letter on my iPad Pro that had to go out with my signature and letterhead. There was a lot of back and forth between DropBox, and the Word App, and then working without a mouse or trackpad to try to select things or elements, or to selectively delete text that I don't want. It's doable, but it was cumbersome, and I'm not sure it's worth the hassle.
     
  10. JMountainDew macrumors regular

    JMountainDew

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #10
    I have finally been about 90% successful in making the jump from my MBP to IPP for daily work, but not without redeveloping a few new workflows/workarounds. Love the portability. Here is what has helped me the most...

    1. Multiple documents - While I can't have three open, I've discovered that I can open one in OneDrive to highlight/copy and a second document in Word to paste/edit.

    2. OneDrive, obviously, to easily save Word documents (I always turn off AutoSave). But since I am still a bit OCD about not having an ssd to store files on, these same files also share just as easily to my GoogleDrive app (50gb free), so that everything's at least stored in two places.

    3. I tried my best to like the ASK, but have really fallen in love with the paper-thin Logitech Keys-to-Go. While it certainly isn't a full-blown keyboard, I greatly appreciate a few extra IPP-friendly keys sorely lacking on the ASK.

    One big gripe. I wish there was better formatting for the mail app (justifying margins, for example) without having to create a professional-looking version in Pages first (which itself tends to be a bit labor-intensive... Word doesn't copy well in this regard) then copying it into ios Mail or Outlook for iPad.

    I wish you the best of luck in your overseas work!
     
  11. JMountainDew macrumors regular

    JMountainDew

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #11
    Thanks right! I forgot to mention Betternet as a must-have app for overseas business use. And Mailshot Pro if you need to send group emails.
     
  12. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #12

    That could work. I can open up my editor's doc through OneDrive, my new master doc in Word and keep notability or OneNote in a separate workspace for my running notes/outline. A quick command tab gets me to that application. A couple of questions on if you don't mind.

    1. so you're saying OneDrive opens up a WORD document in it's own internal application? Is it plain text or can you also see comments and accept/reject on track changes mode?

    2. Speaking of accept/reject changes, let's say I open up a doc in full WORD, is it pretty painless to go through and review for changes, accepting or rejecting as appropriate?

    3. How does OneDrive work on the iPad? It's brilliant on my laptop. I save locally into the OneDrive folder and it automatically syncs up to the cloud when connected. Same on the iPad or do you always have to be connected and filed are only up in the cloud? I tried this on my iPhone and downloaded a local copy of my entire writing folder. Haven't had time to experiment on changes. If I make changes on the local copy (iPhone), I wonder if it also goes up to the cloud automatically and then comes down to my laptop. If I have to edit locally (iOS) then synch up it means there's two or three different versions floating around and that's way too inconvenient (and risky) for the type of work I do.

    I've got another use case I'm going to run by you but let's go one by one so it's less confusing. Most times I WILL have a desktop/laptop available if not immediately then a max of 48 hours away. There are times, however, like next year when I'll be on the road for 6 months and while I've absolutely made up my mind on the IPP (movie editing mainly. I can never figure out how to use iMovie on the laptop, the IPP is dead simple and for my basic vlogging needs it's all I need. Maybe lumafusion instead of iMovie), I'm not sure if I need to check an old MBA in the travel bag as well for the 6 month trip. Will give you the use case once you clarify what I asked above. Thanks! Super useful information here.

    eV
     
  13. JMountainDew macrumors regular

    JMountainDew

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #13
    Thanks for the questions and for the opportunity to clarify a bit...

    I have stored an extra copy of all my documents in OneDrive/SkyDrive for years, even from my MBP (and before that, my MBA), so it's automatic for me to do the same from my iPad. Word for iPad naturally wants to save its documents, and their changes, in OneDrive. Those two apps work well together. But so as not to have multiple versions floating around, I always turn off AutoSave and choose to save manually.

    Yes, the OneDrive app will open a Word document in its own application, but yes, it is plain text. Pressing the small Word icon near the top of that plain text document will then open it to edit in Word. By itself, it is only useful to select/paste. And yes, it is only possible to do so when connected to wifi.

    I've become fairly comfortable with the Office apps for iPad, but they certainly have their limitations. For example, I cannot create anything but a rather simple document using the Word app. The app itself offers no options for creating headers, footers, page numbers, bookfold, etc. One workaround is to create "templates" for various types of documents using the full-sized version of Word on my Macbook, and then uploading those to OneDrive to retrieve whenever I wish to create a new full-optioned document on my iPad. (And while I am also able to do simple editing in the iPad versions of Excel and PowerPoint, I would never want to use them to build, say, a new presentation from the iPad.)

    So yes, roughly 90% of my work can now be done rather easily using the IPP alone, but not the other 10%. And not without a bit of frustration learning a few new habits.

    But as for the 6 month trip you mention... I'd certainly tuck the old MBA in the travel bag just in case.
     
  14. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #14
    Just a quick follow up because I'm not sure I understand completely how onedrive/iPad works

    1. What if you're offline? Where is the document saved?

    2. No way to keep a local copy of all docs that is automatically synched up to the cloud? That's how it works on my ThinkPad and MBA

    3. When you turn off autosave, and let's say you're not connected, where exactly is the file being saved ? On the iPad itself?

    I *think* i can work around the limitations for my needs. I can always open up my editor's document in full WORD and write my master document in Pages/Scrivener/TXT .. whatever. it's really just words, i don't have a need for deep or high level formatting. And my running notes file is almost always in OneNote anyway. That way I have access to it from all my devices. I'll also be getting a wifi HD and that can be where I keep my local copy.

    Just trying to figure out how the local/cloud thing works on iPad. Is it always on the cloud and then you download a local copy? Is it saved locally and then merged with the cloud? I'm petrified of losing words, overwriting files or saving in the wrong location. It's happened to me once before - on a proper laptop no less - and that's probably an author's worst nightmare. Crank out a decent amount of pages with superb ideas and you lose a day's work. It's sometimes tough to recreate these things.

    Thanks again. Appreciate the info and clarification.
     
  15. JMountainDew macrumors regular

    JMountainDew

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #15
    Great questions! And my not-so-great answer is... I don't know! To be fair, I've never tried doing any of my work offline. Let's you and I give these very tasks a try or two and find out. It would be good to know.

    I also like your idea about using other apps (Word, Pages, Scrivener) to juggle multiple documents. As we discover more and more "workarounds", our iPads become even more useful. (Or, depending on one's mood, more labor-intensive.)
     
  16. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #16
    Sure thing! I'm 100% getting one anyway whatever the findings end up being. Just waiting for WWDC to see if there's something new, otherwise it'll be the 12.9. Still a fine machine. Main thing for me is movie creation for an upcoming YouTube channel. I simply can't figure that out on OSX. It's way too complicated. My dealer gave me an IPP to try out for a day at home and iMovie is dead simple as also LumaFusion. That's my main use case, as is typing on the go, handwritten notes to replace all my Moleskines and Scrivener. Scrivener is brilliant on the IPP.

    Everything else really is bonus and I'll figure things out as I go along. PLEASE give us a SMART keyboard. The current one is dumb. :) Backlighting, a row of function keys, and a little more travel would be perfect. The ZAGG slimbook or the bridge do look nice but what's the point of bulking up an IPAD so much.
     
  17. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #17
    Did a bit of research and it appears that iCloud drive lets you work and save offline right on the iPad. Then when you connect it synchs up. If you're connected you can always copy iCloud folder onto OneDrive for universal access across devices. Documents don't take up much room.

    Not a 100% sure so I'm going to ask a few people on other threads how they manage this. Will post back here with my findings.

    Tentatively, if I'm really on the road without access to internet, I'm thinking I could use iCloud drive to save on the iPad, I'll have a portable wifi drive with me always, can make a nightly copy of documents from the icloud drive folder onto the external. Then when I'm connected, iCloud goes up to the cloud, manual copy of the writing folder onto OneDrive and I *think* that means I'll have complete redundancy. The same file on internal iPad storage, external portable drive, iCloud and OneDrive (Yep I'm pretty anal about backups)

    Bit more convoluted than a laptop but it can be done.

    eV
     
  18. JMountainDew macrumors regular

    JMountainDew

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    #18
    Good to know! Thanks for looking into that. I'll have to give it a try.
     
  19. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #19
    Scroll to the end of this thread. We’re talking about this right now. There’s a bunch of office 365 and onedrive experts there. Got an answer but it’s still not completely clear. I’ll take the plunge though. iCloud does keep a local copy. I can save to the external and figure out the onedrive thing on the fly.

    Docs and spreadsheets don’t take up much room anyway. I’m paying for 50 gb of iCloud storage, can use a part of it for documents and stuff everything else into my free 1TB onedrive.
    --- Post Merged, May 24, 2018 ---
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/ms-office-2016-vs-office-365.2063815/page-3#post-26084316
     
  20. Eric5273 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #20
    Documents by Readdle is a nice free file manager which I prefer to the built in files app. One advantage it has is that you can connect to FTP sites as well.

    As for having 2 instances of the same app open, that would be nice, but for now I have a workaround. I have an Office 365 subscription and primarily use Word and Excel, but for those rare times where I need to have 2 documents open at the same time (usually the one I’m working on along with the one I’m referencing), I use Pages or Numbers as my second app. Also, sometimes I will save a word file as a PDF, and then open it up with a PDF reader so I can reference that file while working on another document in Word.

    I think if you have to do this often, then it would become a real hassle. For me, I only need to do this once in a while, so I live with the occasional inconvenience.
     
  21. sracer macrumors 604

    sracer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    #21
    I've used my 12.9 iPad Pro in the past as a sole device on travel. But for a symposium and summit, no way. For non-leisure trips, I take my 2014 11" Macbook Air and 2018 iPad. (before getting the 2018 iPad, I'd take the Mini 4)

    Not only are some (not all) workflows on an iPad Pro more cumbersome than on a Macbook, there are those unexpected/unanticipated scenarios where it isn't possible to do it at all on an iPad Pro. Travel is stressful enough, adding the uncertainty of being able to do what you need to do, is something I try to avoid.
     
  22. Hellenek macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #22
    Just wondering, why not start using it as your main computer well before you start your trip? You'll most likely need to change your workflows and by the time your trip starts your decision will be much clearer.
     
  23. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #23
    I've designed a workaround that won't slow me down, but why exactly CAN'T you open multiple WORD or PAGES documents on the iPad? Some kind of technical limitation? Safari can open two windows right? in side by side (or whatever it's called) mode? Seems like it'd be a pretty useful feature.

    eV
     
  24. Abazigal macrumors G4

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #24
    Another option is to use a clipboard management like Copied to save your text snippets, then insert them into the second document. It’s a little atypical, in that it requires you to be very clear upfront of the text you want to transfer, but it can actually be quite intuitive and way faster once you get the hang of it.
     
  25. iPadDad macrumors 6502

    iPadDad

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2014
    #25
    Listen to this pod cast its just about productivity on the iPad, really good content.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/ipad-pros/id1264565547?mt=2
     

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