iPad 2 as a serious writing machine

Discussion in 'iPad' started by *LTD*, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #1
    Interesting and encouraging observations.

    I'm finding out for myself as well that the iPad 2 is excellent for the kind of intimate, quiet focus necessary for lengthy writing.

    It's incredibly relaxing as well. A cup of loose-leaf green tea, multiple infusions keeping me company while I type away on my iPad (I do have the BT keyboard as well.) It's just the right screen size, not overpowering, and I find that apps like WriteRoom allow for even greater focus than Lion's full screen feature.

    It's the intimacy of a typewriter, but in a modern technological package.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://daringfireball.net/

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/mobile-news/ipad-2-as-a-serious-writing-machine-how-to/5964

    iPad 2 as a Serious Writing Machine
    James Kendrick:

    What makes the iPad 2 and keyboard combo so effective for my writing is the “one app at a time” nature of the tablet. The running app takes up the entire screen, and thus my focus. There are no distractions presented while writing, just inputting words on the screen.

    This is liberating for a writer, and I find I can write more, and better, on the tablet system than on a “real” computer. There are no menu options competing for my attention, no updates needing to be run, just an app on the screen.

    See also: Harry McCracken’s similar piece from a week or so ago.

    I’m starting to feel like an old fogey, using a Mac for all my writing.

    -------------------------------------------------
     
  2. boy-better-know macrumors 65816

    boy-better-know

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    #2
    I disagree. I cannot stand writing much on my iPad, but if you enjoy it fair enough.
    PS, they sound like someone who writes novels in starbucks so everyone can see how clever they are.
     
  3. kuebby macrumors 68000

    kuebby

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    #3
    I agree. Last semester I used my iPad for taking notes in a couple of my classes (with a keyboard), and a found it easier to give me full attention to taking notes when checking out something else was so distracting.

    I've tried the full-screen mode in Pages and it's good but not quite the same, though I like it for different reasons. Lion doesn't make it difficult to switch between desktops while switching apps in iOS can be a pain, and certainly slower, which creates a bottleneck if I need to check the internet while writing.
     
  4. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #4
    It somewhat (to me at least) defeats the purpose of the iPad to be carrying around an external keyboard for it all the time.
     
  5. NateJamesMeyers macrumors member

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    #5
    I heard something about typing on an ipad damaging your fingers. That could be totally crap though.

    I think you're just in love with your ipad, and stuck in that honeymoon phase. Everyone needs some alone time with their baby.
     
  6. NutsNGum macrumors 68030

    NutsNGum

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    #6
    It is, indeed, crap.
     
  7. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #7
    It's been nearly 7 months and she's still here. ;)
     
  8. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #8
    I don't understand how writeroom (or similar programs) running full screen are somehow "better" on an iPad than a Macbook. They're the same apps.
     
  9. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #9
    Good point. I use the BT keyboard with my Mac, mainly. But for those who are still tied to a standard keyboard, it's there.
     
  10. sand_man macrumors 6502a

    sand_man

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    #10
    Agree. If I wanted an iPad with a keyboard I would have got an 11" MBA.
     
  11. aristobrat macrumors G5

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    #11
    I don't know if you read the Harry McCracken piece, but it's not just the keyboard piece (which is optional to carry around with an iPad .. meaning he can take just the iPad with him when he's spending an entire day walking the floor of a tech show, and then when he's back in his hotel room and needs to bang out a 1,000 word article, he can use the keyboard). He's never found a laptop/netbook that comes close to the iPads battery life (which for him is important, as he can't stop 6 hours into a trade show and let his stuff recharge for an hour), and he's found the built-in 3G of the iPad to often be far faster than the complimentary Wi-Fi in hotels.

    IMO, they're both journalists, which makes their use cases a bit different from most. Still thought they were cool stories, though.
     
  12. palpatine macrumors 68040

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    #12
    ipad + bt keyboard + incase origami = about the same size and weight as the mba. it fits quite comfortably in my man bag.

    so, with an ipad you get:
    1. lightweight
    2. less money
    3. longer battery life (just about right for an international flight)
    4. doubles as an ereader
    5. handwriting possible (perfect replacement for paper)

    i have never understood the anti-keyboard thing. the option of a keyboard (unavailable with the mba) is the key (see 4 and 5).
     
  13. danahn17 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    I agree and disagree.

    The size and battery life are superior to the best laptops out there. And for quick jotting down of thoughts and ideas, I think it's a great item.

    However, my main reason for buying the iPad2 was for note-taking. I haven't found it to be great in that regards. One, it's a pain to type on the onscreen keyboard. Admittedly, I didn't use a BT keyboard and the article LTD posted did get me a little curious... maybe i'll try it out. But at least without a keyboard, it was not very comfortable to use. It was also a pain to download the files onto my iPad via iTunes or via iAnnotate.

    The iPad's inability to multitask like a laptop is a curse and a blessing. It does get me more focused but there are times when I need the multitasking ability of a computer (for instance, watching a recorded lecture video while typing away notes on Powerpoint).

    I have tried the handwriting method as well. I bought iAnnotate and even many different styluses (including a $50 one! :eek:) and though it was cool at first, the handwriting isn't as accurate or responsive as I'd like so I dropped that too.

    It's a tough call and I think it really depends on your needs and wants. But I'm seriously tempted about giving it another shot with the keyboard. Thanks LTD for the article (but no thanks now that I'm tempted to spend more money :p).
     
  14. NameUndecided macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    I totally don't get that, but I've also never tried a stylus on the iPad. I like writing by hand more than writing non-internet stuff through typing, so I've always got notebooks around. I've never imagined writing by hand on a screen could be all that pleasant. Do you think that trying out a stylus (any particular type?) could really prove that surprising and positive?

    edit: danahn17 sort of reaffirmed what I was thinking. I like using the iPad for some journaling (MaxJournal!), and some document editing, but I totally can't imagine using it as a paper notepad replacement -- or the appeal in trying to do so (notepads are super light and thin too!).

    edit again: and yeah, I get that some people use Evernote and similar programs. I don't use those apps though, so that's a bit where I'm coming from.
     
  15. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #15
    Glad you liked the article. It's always nice to see new ways in which people are using the iPad.

    In terms of downloading files, I just use the download option in iCab browser. Then you can open the file in the appropriate apps of your choice, or even in a file manager (which is effectively a file system) like Zen Viewer, iFiles, etc.
     
  16. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

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    #16


    This works with a legal pad and a pen, as well, and it's much cheaper. Overall, I'd say this is a rather extreme version of claiming a limitation is a feature.
     
  17. Akarin macrumors 6502

    Akarin

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    #17
    I write a lot when I'm on my lunch break at work. Up to two months ago, I was bringing a small acer netbook with me but now, I do it in IA Writer on the iPad2. At first, I was indeed slower but now, I find the writing space on the screen less cluttered and got really used to the on screen keyboard. It became my go-to writing tool.
     
  18. Carouser macrumors 65816

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    #18
    What? When the writer is done writing, the text is still around to be processed, e-mailed, copied, etc. It's an unintended benefit, relax.
     
  19. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    #19
    I wouldn't do it, as i am a very tall person so i have to lean in with my laptop already, but good article and idea.
     
  20. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Compared to a pad and pen, the iPad has undeniable advantages. Claiming that the inability to open multiple windows on a screen is a desirable feature rather than an obvious limitation is rather silly. If the author doesn't want to be "distracted" while writing, there are rather obvious ways to avoid those distractions on any computer.
     
  21. Carouser macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Google the paradox of choice; for serious writers and writer's block the removal of the choice itself can be empowering; nobody is making this out to be a huge deal, it's just a current benefit that's an unintended consequence of the iPad's design.
     
  22. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

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    #22
    http://technologizer.com/2011/12/05/how-the-ipad-2-became-my-favorite-computer/

    When you use a Windows PC–and, to a somewhat lesser extent, a Mac–you get dragged down by the responsibilities and obligations of using a computer. Even if you’re very familiar with a program, you need to bob and weave your way around icons and menu items you don’t require at the moment to get to the ones you do need. Programs other than the one you’re using may vie for your attention, possibly alerting you, for instance, that they need to be updated. You might have to rummage around in folders to find documents. When you multitask between apps, you need to juggle their windows, maximizing or minimizing them as you go. If a program stalls, you’ll likely need to kill it manually.

    With the iPad, all that goes away. You can devote nearly every second of your time to the task at hand, rather than babysitting a balky computer. I don’t feel like I’m “using an iPad to write.” I’m just writing. It’s a far more tranquil, focused experience than using a PC or Mac. It’s also easier to dive in, do a bit of work as time allows, then dive out–especially since the iPad’s instant-on feature is more reliably instant than the alleged instant-on capabilities of traditional computers.
     
  23. JTravers macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Good points on both sides. For me, it kind of depends on the work and the mood I'm in. If I'm not ultra-focused, the less distractions the better.
     
  24. Sankersizzle macrumors 6502a

    Sankersizzle

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    #24
    But how do you make sure your purse doesn't get stolen when you get wrapped up in the writing process?
     
  25. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    And Woody Allen has written every screenplay over the last 40 years on a manual portable typewriter. I still fail to see much advantage of an iPad's limited design over Woody Allen's approach. But perhaps Allen is not alone in not knowing how to turn off the "distractions" of more fully featured devices.

    I write a lot. It's how I make a living. For me, accessing research results, previous drafts, and the contributions of others (including editors) is a huge advantage over the days of typing a draft on a typewriter, cutting and pasting with scissors and scotch tape, and comparing drafts on a big table.

    And that's why I use my iPad in a very limited way for content creation. Its portability is extremely useful. But I'd hardly claim that the fact that I can view only one app (and one page) at a time is a "benefit." It's a PITA that I put up with.
     

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