iPad not a content creation tool? Pshaw!!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by spiderman0616, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. spiderman0616, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    In almost every "should I buy an iPad" or "should I replace my laptop with an iPad" thread or conversation on the street, there is always a hater saying that the iPad is no good for content creation. I'm officially calling BS on that opinion, at least regarding the way I personally use a computer.

    When the original iPad came out, I thought it was cool, but wrote it off as not being sufficient for communication OR creation. I write music on my computer, and I edit/encode/burn video projects such as slide shows for weddings, etc. I use Office very little, but do still need it sometimes. I figured in most cases, I would still need my computer for my AV projects as well as for creating documents.

    I couldn't have been more wrong. Just the other day, our realtor was here to go over what we needed to get done in the house before putting it on the market. I used Pages to make my notes and to do list, and e mailed a copy of it to my wife so we could work from the same thing. In between typing I would flip over to the Realtor.com app to look at property listings she was suggesting. I think she wanted an iPad by the time we were done.

    A few days later, I decided it was time to learn how to use GarageBand. I had bought it after the iPad 2 launch and had never bothered with it. I am a trained musician and I will admit that it has a lot of limitations, but the app is $5.00 and I can overlook its shortcomings. Anyway, within minutes, I had laid down guitar, bass, and drums, and had my son singing into the built in mic (which works suprisingly well). I put some effects on his voice to make it sound trippy, and we had ourselves our first iPad cut. I was blown away, and I can see how non musicians could create things just as well as I could, even without any training.

    This weekend I am in charge of the slide show for my wife's grandmother's 80th birthday. I just put all the scanned pictures on my iPad (yes, I still needed a computer for that part) and put the whole slide show with music and transitions together on my iPad using iMovie. Sent it to my camera roll, transferred it to my tower, and voila. It's burning to DVD right now. (Yes, I needed a computer for that too.) But at the party this weekend, I get to say I used my iPad to put the whole thing together and didn't need stupid Windows Movie Maker.

    I guess what I'm saying is that I do not regret selling my laptop. I still need my tower for music notation until the software I use has an iPad app (rumor is that it's in the works), and I still need my backups to run at night, but for everything else, iPad is getting the job done. My tower has almost been reduced to a server/disc burner. And for all the things my iPad does, it fits in my backpack and weighs almost nothing.

    Does the camera on the iPad suck? Yes. I would always use my iPhone 4 or another camera to TAKE video for projects. It's good enough for video chat though. Does the syncing suck? I guess so, but it's going to go away soon in iOS 5. iPad has its shortcomings, but in most ways, it's the real deal. A complete package. Months into owning one and it's still blowing me away.

    I also had a very revealing experience on Sunday--I was looking at Groupon and saw a great deal for a camping package. I flipped over to Google Maps to see how far it was from our house, flipped over to FaceTime to ask some friends if they were interested in going, and then was right back on Groupon to buy the package.

    It just doesn't happen that smoothly on a normal computer. Most times I would rather just get on the phone or start texting and wouldn't even think about going to Skype because nobody is ever on it anyway. But my iPad made it about a 5 minute task from start to end. It was beautiful. I'm feeling the love.
  2. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    I agree. Although, I think the complaints are coming from people who need a bit more functionality in content creation apps than what current iPad apps offer. I'm a lawyer, so take for example Word docs. I get docs everyday with tracked changes all over the place. Can't view the changes natively sometimes, but Docs To Go does a nice job rendering the changes faithfully. But my biggest issue is that I can't CREATE tracked changes in those same docs. Any edits I make aren't indicated to the others with whom I'm sharing the doc. So I have to find a creative way around this, like converting the doc to PDF and then using Goodreader to markup the doc. Doable, but takes extra steps and is not as easy to use as simply typing in the doc itself and then sending off the changes.

    If I were a coder or a graphic designer, I could see how creating content on the iPad would be an even bigger pain in the rear at the moment. But I could also see apps gaining in sophistication over the next few years. I think it's just a matter of time before tablets can soon satisfy most of our computing needs, even for those with very specific and complex requirements.
  3. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Theres a saying I mention fairly often and its "A poor artist blames his tools".

    The iPad is definitely a content creation device, people just need to learn how to use it. I've seen amazing paintings painted on it with various painting apps, I've heard awesome music made on it from various music apps, I've seen awesome videos made by using video apps, its all up to the artist and how well they know how to make something.

    Anyone who says the iPad can't be used for content creation just simply isn't a very well informed person.
  4. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    Don't just say it is a content creation tool and tell me I am uninformed for disagreeing. Inform me.

    What I want to do is simple. I want to write AND edit journal articles. I can do the writing part really well with the iPad, especially when I hook up a bluetooth keyboard. This is only the first step of the content creation process, though. There are hours, days, weeks, and months before I get to the final product, and the editing is a nightmare. In a 10, 20, or 30 page article it is just overwhelming. It "can" be done, but I can do it in a fraction of the time on my computer, and I don't get exhausted from using my gorilla arm. I am OK with having to do the final proofreading and layout stuff on a computer. I'll even accept that I cannot have footnotes. I just want to edit.

    Personally, in order to become a creation device (let's face it, this is a simple task) I think it needs a mouse, or some other way to interact with the screen when edition.

    But, maybe I am just uninformed. Drop some knowledge on me!
  5. Digidesign macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2002
    Yeah, my paycheck still comes from my use of Adobe products. Photoshop and Dreamweaver specifically. I can't see transferring my workflow onto the iPad, although it can do some parts of it and I agree that it's a very capable device.
  6. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    That's a simplified dismissal. Should I blame myself or tool that the iPad is not good for coding and graphic design?
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Wow you guys are getting defensive for no reason. If people can create content on it, its a content creation device. End of story.

    I didn't say it can create ALL content, thats just silly. Nothing in this world can. It can create a lot of good content however whether it be media based such as video, music, digital art, or it can be written creations. I wrote a 50 page essay on mine when my laptop broke.
  8. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    You misunderstood me. I am not defensive, I am asking for someone to explain to me how I can create content on the device, as everyone says they can. You said you wrote a 50 page essay. Tell me how.

    As for your point about some people being able to create content, and therefore it is a content creation device, I could just as well say that every time I have a bowel movement I create content. The point is that I can't really do anything with it, besides throw it at people. But, some guy in Japan is turning scat into food. Great! That is what I call content creation.

    Now, tell me how I can turn my crap (first drafts) into food (something intellectually edible). I really do want to know. Telling me I can do it, and that you did it, doesn't really tell me how...
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Sorry for misunderstanding your post. I used Pages in order to write my essay. Unfortunately at the time I did not have a bluetooth keyboard so I had to write it all on screen. Pages did take a little time to get used to but once I learned how to use it and all of the commands for it it was really not too bad at all. Learning the commands is key. It wouldn't be my first choice for writing an essay but if I had to do it again I easily could.

    For typing I laid my iPad on my desk and just typed away like it was a normal keyboard. Even though the screen has no tactile feedback I still probably managed around 85 words per minute and was able to crank the essay out fairly fast.
  10. erawsd macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I don't think anyone has ever said that you can't create content on the iPad. The criticism has always been that it just isn't a great experience.

    The biggest issue with the iPad is that hardly anyone is putting out fully featured apps. Everything is in it's most basic form -- even PC apps that were already considered to be dumbed down. Even Apple itself is guilty of this... iMovie, Pages, and Keynote are some of the best examples.
  11. Arcadia310 macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2010
    Just because you can create cute things like a little song or a slideshow with music doesn't make the iPad a true creation tool. Moreover, it doesnt make me a hater that I disagree with you. How the hell can I be a hater when I use my iPad daily for hours? The OP sounds arrogant is definitely generalizing many people just because he found a few cool things he can do with his iPad.

    I'm an engineering student and a tech reviewer on YouTube. As far as school goes, the iPad is nearly worthless for note taking. My classes are all math, physics, and chemistry based and there's simply no way to replicate 90% of what I see in class efficiently on my iPad. Don't even get me into graphs. I can make much more detailed notes on paper in less time than I can on the iPad. For anyone looking to do SERIOUS professional grade video editing, the iPad won't cut it either. It's not powerful enough to edit lengthy 1080p videos, not to mention it doesn't accept a majority of file types out there and you need to buy a separate camera kit to import videos. The iOS version of iMovie is a novelty right now. It's good for people who want to throw something cute together, but for the serious editors it's not good enough.

    Let's just all throw away our laptops and computers, we don't need them anymore with the iPad!
  12. palpatine, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    thanks for the details!

    pages. ok. i have heard good things about it. what about editing? is there anything i can do in there better than i could do in something like evernote? i don't plan on formatting the document in pages very much beyond indenting the paragraphs and the like, but i want to delete words, move sections around, and so forth a little easier. now i have to use my stubby finger and it gets really annoying, especially if i have the ipad propped up so i can type.

    as for the typing, i get about half that speed on the ipad, and i have lots of mistakes. it can be done (thank goodness), but it is unpleasant for me, so i usually carry a bluetooth keyboard around.

    i am sorry to hear it wasn't your first choice of medium. i really want to use the ipad more for content creation.

    notetaking was a disappointment. i really wanted to use a stylus to write, but these were terribly annoying and pretty much useless. it costs a lot for the apps, and it does a terrible job of rendering my gorgeous handwriting.

    one kind of cool thing you can do (if you are a touch typist) is sync your keyboard with your ipad/ipod, and just have the keyboard out on your desk. type away all you want! and, if you need to, you can pull out some paper and use it--going back and forth between the two.

    i sometimes do this, especially when writing first drafts of work, when i just want to get the words on paper and don't care how it looks. but, most of the time it is still pen/pencil and paper.
  13. Snowy_River macrumors 68030


    Jul 17, 2002
    Corvallis, OR
    Well, actually, I think the point is that there are a LOT of people out there who do say that the iPad "isn't a content creation tool". They aren't commenting that the iPad "has underpowered content creation abilities", but are simply saying that it "isn't". I, too, use my iPad for various content creation purposes, though I also pull out my Mac when I need to use the big guns. Were my needs a little simpler, I could easily see almost never needing to use my Mac at all.
  14. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    It sounds like you just need to learn to use the keyboard to do editing. Once you learn the keyboard shortcuts, it's a lot easier to do keyboard editing than to reach for your mouse all the time.
  15. psycho bob macrumors 6502a

    psycho bob

    Oct 25, 2003
    Leeds, England
    A good old poo analogy, something I wasn't expecting in this thread. I wonder if the scat could double as a stylus to really get the most out of it all.

    As for how to write essays or other docs I use Pages, it is simple and effective. I'm surprised people are asking how things can be created just look at the app store they are all there. I use InDesign, Photoshop and Motion etc so the iOS devices will not replace my Mac but they help supplement it. I use the new Adobe CS partner apps on my iPad to control my Photoshop workspace for example.

    The only real limitation with the iPad is what software is made available for it. The more that becomes available the more versatile it becomes. For painting apps the touch screen is more natural than a mouse for example. I really don't understand the people criticising the devices, if they don't work for you then it isn't a problem, for other they do or at least help add something to existing tools. Content changes depending upon what tools are available, look at the use of mobile phone cameras in journalism. Major TV shows such as House have experimented using DSLR cameras to film entire episodes with.

    People can mould or paint with poo if they want, my argument would be the artist chooses the right tool for the job at the time not the other way around. Sometimes that right tool may well be an iOS device.
  16. palpatine, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    tell me how!

    of course i can use command+c, command+v, delete, and so forth. it is getting to the each location and selecting the stuff that is the problem. pressing the arrow.........finally there! now, selecting with my finger (is there any other way?) and trying to get it to select the text i want (the infamous gorilla arm). i've finally got it!

    with a mouse this would have taken only a second or two and my arm wouldn't be tired after several hours of this.

    are there any commands in particular you would recommend?

    thankfully, the ipad screen cleans up nicely, so fecal matter is no problem.

    i am not trying to be critical so much as figure out how to do what i want on it to create the content. i think writing words is a pretty common medium for content creation, so i doubt i am alone. the problem isn't churning out the words. i could do that in any app. in fact, i could do that just as well with the ipod i already have. i want to edit. that's when the whole content creation process comes to a halt. i don't have any special affinity for the mouse, but this is a time when i suddenly realize how much i miss it. is there something in pages or anywhere else that will enable me to edit more effectively?
  17. Arcadia310 macrumors regular

    Aug 16, 2010
    The one thing the iPad is good for is digital artwork. It just works on the touch screen. Not everyone is an artist though. When I write docs, I want to be able to move it on my computer and continue editing in Word or Pages, or vice versa. But no, the format gets completely destroyed making it nearly worthless. Can I use AutoCAD on it to tweak some engineering designs? Nope. Not everyone is an artist. Some of us do real professional work on our computers.

    I have faith that in the future the App Store will really mature and get more standalone full featured apps. There's no reason why Apps on the App Store are extremely watered down compared to their desktop counterpart.
  18. urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    The actual saying is "A bad worker blames his tools" and it is about taking responsibility for shoddy workmanship. The more appropriate phrase for describing how content creation may be limited on the iPad is "You can't build a table with 2 legs".

    There's a huge difference between someone having the right tools but doing a bad job, and someone not being able to do a job because a tool is missing. Sure, the iPad is insanely capable and some beautiful art has been made on it. But if you want to use iMovie but don't own an iPhone, the onboard camera is garbage and the standard mp4 video from your DSLR can't be read on the iPad then the fault isnt in the "artist", but in the medium.

    I'll say it. The iPad has severe limitations for content creation. That doesnt mean I'm ignorant or uninformed. It just means that there are customers out there who would line up for an iPad Pro. :)
  19. erawsd macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2011
    My point is that you are taking their words too literal. The iPad can create things, that is an undeniable fact and I doubt you'll find anyone who will seriously debate otherwise. The real issue is that the tools aren't advanced and/or efficient enough for most professional jobs.
  20. palpatine, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 12, 2011

    palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    rofl. you hit the nail on the head (to continue our carpentry themed thread). yep. i'd go for an ipad pro in a heartbeat. i don't think i have unrealistic expectations. i don't expect it to seamlessly integrate multi-media into my documents, run adobe acrobat pro, or do some other fancy shenanigans.

    i want to write (and edit) an essay. if i can get proper footnotes and so forth in it, then i will be on cloud nine. in my opinion, simply making the magic mouse syncable would do it...

    i've got another week-long research trip coming up. i'd love to leave the laptop at home. maybe apple will put out this pro model by then!

    i agree. i think people say it sucks at content creation and excels at consumption. i haven't noticed people saying it cannot create stuff.

    the kindle can create stuff too. so can my dumb phone. but, as you said, the point is that people are complaining because the ipad can't quite create professional quality stuff, so it doesn't end up getting things done.
  21. MRU, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

    MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    It is a content creation tool, but it's tailored towards certain content creation more so than others. It also is dependant on apps and their limitations rather than the devices specifically.

    Personally I create a lot of content from music, drawings and paintings, rough shot and edited movies. Most of which I then move into other applications on my main Mac to finalise, but I personally find the iPad a fabulous creator of content.


    Example of a demo song idea put together on the iPad 2 with GarageBand in a couple of hours tops, which I will then take into studio and change / mess with. But the iPad 2 gave me this ability to capture and record an idea on the fly.
  22. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    Have you ever stopped to consider the fact that NO computerized device (laptop, PDA, tablet, etc.) is as effective at the task of in-class note-taking as handwriting your notes in a ruled notebook?

    Read this article about the reality of in-class laptop use, and tell me if a lot of it doesn't sound familiar to you:

    Emphasis mine. But even more importantly

    Do yourself a favor: Don't get so caught up in the technology that you lose sight of the goal (ie. actually learning and understanding what goes on in class.) Computers (laptops and iPads included) have a tremendous role to play in education. But for any professional - but especially an engineer - make sure you pick the right tool for the job.
  23. thesiren macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2011
    outer space
    Jesus Christ, ok we get it. You've got mammoth gorilla juicehead arms and gigantic sausage fingers. It's amazing you can hold a spoon or use an iPhone with those monsters!

    Have you ever thought of searching YouTube for these kinds of basic keyboard shortcuts and tricks? Surely a video would be infinitely more helpful and instrumental in showing you how to navigate the screen using only keyboard commands, etc, rather than asking random people on the Internet to describe how to do it for you. If not that, then how 'bout googling "iPad keyboard shortcuts" ? And if all else fails, just get a MBA and call it a day.
  24. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Yes. Since you're using a bluetooth keyboard, play around with the arrow keys along with the ctrl and shift keys. You'll find that you can navigate a doc and highlight specific text pretty quickly and easily. Much quicker in many instances than moving your hand from mouse to keyboard to mouse to keyboard in order to highlight text, make edits, etc.
  25. smiddlehurst macrumors 65816

    Jun 5, 2007
    Sorry in advance for using your post for this, it happened to be the one that illustrated the point most clearly.

    A lot of the criticism I see aimed at the iPad regarding content creation is based around individuals not being able to use it for their specific purposes. Take the section in bold above as a great example. "The iPad is nearly worthless for note taking". Uh, no, sorry that's not accurate. It's worthless in THIS use case as you need the ability to sketch and graph quickly and accurately. For someone in a different discipline where note taking is just text though it can be a fantastic solution, especially when using something like soundnote to record the lecture and link the audio to your notes.

    And that, right there, is the problem: people taking their own examples and assuming they apply across the board. The OP actually got this mostly right with the "at least in the way I use a computer" qualifier. The iPad (and tablets in general) are like every other form factor out there, for some people it'll be the best thing since sliced bread and let them create content in far more efficient / creative ways than ever before. For others, utterly useless. That's nothing new, heck you can apply exactly the same arguments to 11 inch ultraportable laptops versus 17 inch desktop replacements. Right tool for the right job and all that jazz.

    That being said there's no doubt that, for certain content creation tasks, the iPad works exceptionaly well. For others it isn't necessarily the best tool out there but IS one of the most accessible and encourages folks who would normally get intimidated by the complexity of those better tools to give it a go. Garageband is a great example here as is iMovie. Not the most powerful, not the most flexible but capable of creating good results and just plain fun to use.

Share This Page