iPad iPad Air for my wife...please help!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by angel76ph, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. angel76ph macrumors member


    Mar 22, 2014
    London, United Kingdom
    Hiya. My wife had a Windows 8.1 laptop and was so slow and complicated that we had to sell it. Now, i'm planning on buying her an iPad Air instead. These are the things i noticed what she was doing and what she would need from her "old" computer:

    1. Photos - When we had our holiday in Paris we had about (say in this instance) 300+ photos stored in our camera's SD card; photos are saved at 8MP resolution in normal/auto mode. Now i understand there is an SD card adaptor for the Air. Can she easily edit (crop, sharpen, etc.) the photo before uploading them to Facebook or Flickr?
    Does she have to go to the app first then upload photos thru there?

    2. Documents - The bane of her life. She will be doing course work in the next 2 months which requires doing a long case study (essay). Now i understand there is MS Office for iPad. Can she create, edit, copy & paste (from one source to Word) documents as you would on a Windows computer? I heard you can if you have the 365 paid account. And can she save those documents in .pdf or .doc format too?

    3. My wife has an Android phone and he has Gmail and files on Google Drive. I'm aware there are Google apps on the App Store. But the concern here is can she upload for example a saved CV in .doc or .pdf format to Google Drive from the iPad Air?

    4. I have a Macbook and sometimes i would like to send files from my Mac to her device for example a photo or .doc document. Can i transfer such files to her iPad via bluetooth or any other easier/faster way?

    5. Wireless printing - There has been occasions that she wants to wirelessly print something to our wireless printer. Can she do that straight & on-the-fly via an app (or from within an app)? For example a train ticket or her CV.

    Please advice. Thank you.
  2. troy14 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2008
    Las Vegas (Summerlin), NV

    I would advise getting a Macbook air versus an iPad Air. You can do most of those things with an iPad, however, they will be infinitely easier and better with a Macbook Air.
  3. angel76ph thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 22, 2014
    London, United Kingdom
    A Macbook Air is slightly off my budget. But how about my queries please.

    Some brief explanation and advice please?
  4. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    I'm with Troy. iPad is a consumption device. What you describe is a creation device.

    iPad will work, but it's not the most efficient. Get a Macbook Air.

    1. Yes, but 300 photos is messy. You can edit with Snapseed or Photogene or iPhoto individually, and then save back to camera roll or upload to Flickr/Facebook etc. It can be tedious and does not have the photo management of iPhoto/Aperture/Lightroom on a Macbook.

    2. You can use Apple Pages, Google Docs, or Microsoft 360 subscription for Office. Create and edit. Copy and paste back and forth will be tedious as only one document open at a time. Macbook Air better.

    3. Yes

    4. No. Email or dropbox/Google Drive link. Or direct plug and if the app supports files that way. Airdrop is only Mac to Mac.
    When iOS8 and Yosemite are finalized months from now, that will be better.

    5. Only if the printer has Apple's AirPrint support built into it's hardware.
    A Macbook Air can.
  5. pixelzombie macrumors member


    Oct 31, 2013
    Is it out of your budget even if it’s a refurb with basic specs?

    Honestly if you’re that bent on getting a tablet and she already has an android phone, you might be better off with an android tablet with 10 inches or larger for a screen. If you’re concerned about file sharing between the Mac system and the Android system, I’d consider looking into getting a Dropbox account. It works on all platforms without an issue.
  6. AlphaHel1X macrumors newbie


    Jun 17, 2014

    This. Maybe a surface 3 or note pro would work as well.

    An iPad is just out of reach if you need a computer replacement IMO.

    There are annotating apps and PDF viewers/editors (I use iAnnotate), but they aren't desktop replacements yet.

    Upgrading your wife's laptop (ram and an ssd) should give it some cajones. But if your dead set on an iPad, a 32 gb air, with a quality keyboard could handle her needs. Look into getting office 365, it's $9.99 a month, and Microsoft will be upping onedrive's storage space to 1 terabyte soon
  7. firedept macrumors 603


    Jul 8, 2011
    I will have to agree with the general consensus of a MacBook Air. With the amount of space you wife is going to require to hold all her documents and possibly any photos she may want to keep on an iPad, you will almost certainly want at least a 32GB if not a 64GB. This is going to put you in the price range of a MBA.

    An MBA will far better serve your wife's requirements. This will also allow her to keep everything on the MBA and not have to constantly move files back and forth between storage and iPad. She will also be more productive on the MBA. Refurb MBA's are cheaper and in the long run you wife will appreciate it more.

    Another option is a couple of years old MBA or MBP. You can find cMBP's 2010 for around $400, that with an SSD upgrade run really well and will last you at least 2-3 years. That is what I did last year and ended up with a fantastic running cMBP for about $600 total. Almost like having a new machine.

    Just some things to think about.
  8. Aniseedvan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2012
    I would also add that a 16gb iPad Air won't probably cut the mustard for very long in terms of space, especially if you are importing lots of photographs onto it. You may then find your budget is straying into refurbished MBA territory - as others have recommended here.

    Document writing is OK with an external keyboard, but the necessity to break from this and touch the screen to reposition the cursor is unnatural and personally I find it unproductive.
    I've got QuickOffice Pro to link into Google Docs and Dropbox, which is OK. Editing spreadsheets in any form isn't at all!

    I have to say my MBA is far more my productive tool than my iPad and that would be my recommendation too.
  9. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I have to agree with this. When I first got an iPad, I paired it with a spare bluetooth keyboard I had lying around, and got a bag to carry the keyboard with the iPad, but I quickly stopped using the keyboard because having to constantly break off typing and touch the screen was no fun. Also, unless OP's wife is going to type her essays on the on-screen keyboard, the cost of a keyboard is another factor that inches up the cost into low-cost MBA territory.

    Much as I love the iPad, and it has increased my productivity while on the go, when I'm doing sitting-at-the-desk type of work, I use my MBA or iMac. I don't necessarily agree with the view that the iPad is a consumption-only device, but it only acts as a productivity device for people who want to be productive while away from the desk. If you are working at a desk, then the laptop or desktop computer is still the way to go.
  10. rctlr macrumors 6502a

    May 9, 2012
    1. Photos - Upload them to Flickr. From there you can edit them and then share to Facebook using iPad. http://flickr.com
    Alternatively you can get a SD Card reader for iPad, but they are expensive if you are only going to only use it once of twice. http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MD822ZM/A/lightning-to-sd-card-camera-reader

    2 - Documents - Pages, Numbers and Keynote are free and can read microsoft office documents. Alternatively, opening them up in Google Docs from the windows computer and storing them there will help. Then from the iPad you can edit / create docs direct in Google Docs.

    3 - No problem there - see 2

    4 - There is no simple solution yet for direct share/sync with mac and iOS, the next version of iOS and osx will though.
    Alternatives are Dropbox, or other cloud based storage/syncing. http://dropbox.com
    Another alternative is Instashare - an app which has a mac and iOS client which does a similar thing as airdrop. http://instashareapp.com

    5 - Wireless Printing. there are only a few printers with direct printing. I've used HandyPrint, an app for Mac, which makes it a print server for iPads. http://netputing.com

    All these solutions I have implemented myself for the family transition from both windows to mac, and getting iPads and iPhones - so they all work a treat.
    It is a transition though, to move over documents, pictures etc - and to work a little differently to use the iPad as a productive device.
    The iPad might not be super effective as a document writer, but I've used it as a Digital Assistant for almost two years not with no complaints, oh, and I wrote this on my iPad using Safari.
  11. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    I use my iPad for similar things as her but not that intensely. I copy pictures to my Mac and edit them from there, it's just not a good experience doing that on an iPad. Everything else would work alright but this might be your best option for her IMO

    So, it's all doable yes, and it's not difficult but a computer would be more productive :)
  12. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014

    1. Photos - When we had our holiday in Paris we had about (say in this instance) 300+ photos stored in our camera's SD card; photos are saved at 8MP resolution in normal/auto mode. Now i understand there is an SD card adaptor for the Air.

    Maybe I'm missing something here, re:"SD card adaptor for the Air"?
    iPads DO NOT have SD card slots/USB ports.
  13. kemperman macrumors regular


    Jul 15, 2009
  14. canuckRus macrumors 6502a


    May 18, 2014
  15. angel76ph thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 22, 2014
    London, United Kingdom
    I'm well aware that an iPad has no SD card slot. What i was saying was the process and procedure involving uploading it using an adaptor.

    Well....to be honest I have been considering a Surface Pro 2 and a Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1.

    I won't like to go back to a Windows computer because despite having far better specs than an iPad Air my experience with slow/long downloading & installing of updates and tedious/confusing OS (e.g. you have to "stop all processes" to make some background processes stop, confusing Metro UI & Desktop dual OS, etc.) i would say its not my "second choice".
    A Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 (the octa-core one) with far superior specs than an iPad Air seems a reasonable choice also. But i feel that there are more apps, better optimised apps in iOS than Android (productivity-wise) then i may also avoid it.

    I'm thinking of getting a 64GB iPad Air which might be enough for her needs. I have mentioned previously and what i have asked her what she would normally do with a computer/tablet. I have yet to find a refurbished 11-inch MBA in the Store. Found some 13-inches but she doesn't need that big a screen.

    I would like to ask more about Photos. Do i need to upload them to the iPad first before i can do some basic editing? If say she wants to upload those photos in Facebook can she do it via Photos or does she have to go to the Facebook app? Same procedure with uploading to Google Drive or OneDrive?

    I have an Office 365 subscription and was told my Microsoft that i can make full use of all features in the Office for iOS? Is this correct?

    Can i copy a text from a website or wikipedia then paste it onto Word for iOS? Can i also copy then paste it on to an email?

    Please advice. Thank you.
  16. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    Don't get hung up on the specs. The dual core A6 in the iPhone 5S outran many quadcore chips of the same era last year. Spec sheets are adjusted to favor the creator.

    You will find better iOS apps. Still sounds like Macbook Air the better device from the first post.

    If it's the right price, does screen size really matter? Also consider, the larger screen size has larger and longer lasting battery.

    Yes, you have to upload (transfer) them into the iPad before editing.

    "Photos" on iPad can send to Facebook.
    For Google Drive and OneDrive, use their apps.



    256GB of Flash Storage for not much more than the 64GB iPad you mention, and far more functionality.

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  17. jrswizzle macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    Hopefully this will consolidate advice given + my own:

    Yes - basic edits like cropping and sharpening can be done directly in the Camera Roll app. Its extremely easy and will get more robust with iOS 8.

    As others have stated - Pages, Numbers and Keynote. They work well, you can open Office files and save as such or .pdfs if you like. All free and "cross platform" (available on iCloud.com on a PC for instance). All documents can be saved to iCloud and automatically synced to any Mac (your Macbook for instance).

    Yes. Having an Android phone in an Apple ecosystem really wasn't that big a problem for me.

    iCloud - it all syncs wirelessly. If you don't have the same iCloud account or don't want to share that, iOS 8/OS X Yosemite will introduce AirDrop that works across OS X and iOS devices so you're covered there.

    Yes. Wireless printing is a cinch on iOS.

    Good luck!
  18. KeegM480 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    Sounds like you know the iPad Air will fit her well, go for it!
  19. Sydde macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2009
    Velvet Green
    Do not use Photos to edit images. It edits the image you see but preserves the original (IME). There are good free and paid apps that do a better job, almost seamlessly.

    I have File Browser that allows me to connect directly to NAS, a Mac or a Windows box. It has some limitations, primarily on the iPad side, but works quite well.
  20. uniforms macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2008
    South Orange NJ
    I know you have your heart set on getting your wife the iPad air. I have both a MacBook and iPad Air. From what you are wanting to do, in my opinion I would NOT use the iPad. I added a keyboard to use the air for any major work. Printing and doing many thing with the iPad is difficult. It's great for reading, web searches, movies and browsing photos.

    If there is any possible way to see you can afford the MacBook Air, I would recommend that. The 11" air would fit the bill fine. It's got a great battery life as well. Best Buy usually has some great sales. You can also get a student discount if your wife is going back to school.

    Best of luck, but strongly check out the MacBook Air.
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Also, what concerns me is that even though it's your wife who is going to be using this device, you are the one doing the research and making the decision. That strongly suggests that your wife isn't technically inclined. An iPad works very differently from a computer, and to do productive tasks on it, especially heavy writing, requires a willingness to learn new ways of doing things, and flexibility to tackle problems from a different angle when one way doesn't work. I'm sensing your wife already has the challenge of tackling her course work. She doesn't need the additional stress of trying to work with a new computing platform. Please listen to us and get your wife a laptop. A cheap Windows 7 laptop might be the best choice for you, if you can find one. But the posters here are mostly iPad lovers, and yet they are telling you the iPad isn't the right tool for this job. That should mean something.
  22. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    I tried to get my wife into an ipad for her masters work last year. Even with a really good keyboard case, it was going to be more trouble than it was worth. Its good for certain people or people who travel a lot (ie a sales person who may be also be creating docs on the go) but even at that, you'd be hard pressed to beat the 11 inch air in both size and functionality, unless you absolutely needed the tablet functions too. I'm guessing your wife doesn't need the tablet part of things as much as she needs the laptop part of things.

    My wife went with the air and its been great. Use dropbox (and later icloud drive + icloud photos) to handle your file transfer and storage and you'll be set.
  23. charlyham macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2012
  24. HarryWarden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2012
    The OP should definitely go with one of those. While the iPad Air works for word processing provided you have an external keyboard (typing this on my Air via a Logitech Solar BT keyboard), it's not ideal for creating the long documents you'd have to write for school. Will it work? Of course but it's probably more trouble than its worth in the end.
  25. angel76ph thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 22, 2014
    London, United Kingdom
    I do really appreciate all your suggestions and of course a refurb 11-inch MBA is till in the cards. Found some in the UK store and its very tempting.

    My wife is not technically-minded. She gets easily (not overly) frustrated when she's trying to edit some stuff in Word or saving some photos. Most of the time right now she's with her best friend Amazon Kindle. She asked whether she can read her book on an iPad Air and i said immediately Yes. We have NowTV & Amazon Prime video and she loves watching movies via our PS3 console. I suspect she would also like to have some portable/more personal way of watching them in a smaller screen when she's in bed or cooking in the kitchen and i thought an iPad would fit into that.

    Going back to documents i have heard that one cannot save documents in Office (especially in Word) in .pdf format. Is this accurate?

    Asking again about uploading photos which app is the "ideal" one to do those basic crop/edit function? Is it thru the camera roll app? Someone told me not to do it in iPhoto. And if she does the basic stuff in the camera roll will that affect the size of the photo? And would the photo be somehow compressed when saved in the iPad?

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