IPad Pro for professors/academics instead of PC or Laptop

Discussion in 'iPad' started by viktit88, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. viktit88 macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2015
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    Russian Federation
    #1
    Dear colleagues!

    Are there any professors/academics on this forum? Do You use Your iPad Pro instead of PC? How do You use it? I mean, is it real? What Apps, etc. can You suggest?

    Thanks!
     
  2. iPadified macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #2
    I use an iPad 12.9 and a pencil. I find it very good to annotate reports and scientific articles. I use Notability for taking notes at meetings, teaching and brainstorming ideas. I use Papership as it has a connection to Mendeley. The notes done in Papership is carried over to Mendeley desktop. Papership has better tools fro annotation that Mendeley own iOS app. Sometimes you need to close Papership are start it again in order for references to sync but otherwise it is good. I also use Readdle pdf expert annotating reports as the file management is better than for Notability. I also use dropbox and iCloud.

    Lecture is via Keynote which I prefer over powerpoint. I find it quite OK to make lectures in Keynote on the iPad. The great advantage with iPad is that it is easy to carry around the class room and it is compared to a laptop "inclusive" meaning that you do not need to sit beside the student but instead face to face with the students.

    Editing scientific manuscripts is difficult as there is no possibility to use a reference manager. Pages delete field codes in word documents meaning that all information about references are lost. Microsoft office over the Web is better in this regard however you cannot as far as I know insert references or format a paper.

    So a PC/Mac for writing papers and an iPad for everything else.
     
  3. silverblack macrumors 68030

    silverblack

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    Nov 27, 2007
    #3
    I use mostly GoodNotes for lecturing and meetings. For lecturing, it has the feature to hide user interface. It has a Mac app for me to drop files in and out on my iMacs.
     
  4. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

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    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #4
    I've tried to use my iPad with a hardware keyboard, as much as possible, but I always find it way too limiting. Yes, it is great to read PDF's on, but for everything else, a full blown laptop runs circles around it in my opinion. For writing a manuscript, I couldn't even fathom how that would be possible on an iPad.

    FYI, I have a PhD in molecular biology.
     
  5. case2001 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    #5
    I love my iPad. I use it for PDF, email, browsing web and taking notes. It's great being able to answers texts without having to dig out my iPhone.

    I will often have the article I am reading on it while working on my laptop. I don't have to print nearly as much as I used to. I rarely use my home printer and often if I need to print I use AirPrint on one of the printers at the office.

    I carry my laptop with me, so I don't have a keyboard for it. If I'm typing, I use my MacBook Air.

    Finally, I never thought I would say this but I actually enjoy reading both articles and books more on my iPad then physical paper/books.

    Of course, I responded to this with my iPad.

    Patrick
     
  6. viktit88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2015
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    Russian Federation
    #6
    --- Post Merged, Apr 29, 2017 ---
    Thank You very much, friends. I have read the paper of Federico, how he uses IPad Pro, as the main computer for everything https://www.macstories.net/stories/one-year-of-ipad-pro/
    That is why ask myself a question - why not?
    But You said that to write manuscripts with iPad and its apple keyboard is not possible. The MS Office apps and Tex app are not good?
    And more question - what mail apps do You use? I have hundreds emails every day, that is why the mail app for me have to be good enough to respond on them quickly.
     
  7. iPadified macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #7

    The keyboard is not the problem in my opinion. The problem is that iOS version of Word and Pages (both iOS and macOS) does not work with Mendeley reference manager (RM) or any other RM as far as I know. You cannot write an article without a proper RM without going crazy. Fortunately, Pages for iOS now support superscript and subscript (last update) which is essential for scientific writing. I saw also that Pages support Latex formulas - great.

    I am an associate professor and a PhD in molecular biology. The reason I focus on Pages/Word/RM limitation is that at professor level, your tasks are typically editing manuscripts that PhD students/post docs have prepared, writing applications for grants, teaching , supervision and answering the flood of e-mails. That is, nothing special compute wise until you need to use an RM.

    I am happy with two devices (Mac/iPad) as they are strong in different use scenarios. I think that if you must chose one device, the Mac/PC is the only choice at the moment.
     
  8. Kostas3000 macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    #8
    I use devonthink, notability, pdf expert, word, keynote.

    You can also copy a citation from ipad endnote and cite it at the word document. Once you open the document at the mac you can then get the reference list. I haven't tried recently, but the last time I tried it it was not working as smoothly. This the main limitation that prevents me from totally replacing my mac in my academic workflow. It is a shame that this limitation still exists today, so many years after the ipad introduction.
     
  9. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #9
    I don't use an iPad instead of my laptop, but I do use it in addition too it.

    Primarily, I use the 12.9" iPad pro along with GoodNotes as a virtual whiteboard to lecture to class. As silverblack pointed out it allows you to hide the user interface from the overhead screen the students see, even allowing you to pan in and write more precisely on a particular part of the screen without changing the view for the students. You can mark up pdfs of lectures or homework assignments. And when class is over, you can make the lecture notes available to students as pdf's. It's also useful as a mathematical notebook one can write in.

    The laptop I use for everything else, including keeping a database of students, technical writing using Latex, and mathematical software.
     
  10. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #10
    Another replace my computer with an ipad pro fizzles out. Ipad with computer, not instead of computer.
     
  11. alecgold macrumors 6502a

    alecgold

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    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    NLD
    #11
    MS Office gets better and more capable with every update. It's not a full blown desktop version, but it's really good for 90% of the people.
    Apple mail does work, even for the ±100 mails I've got. But there is also airmail 3 and spark that offer a lot more features.

    There is a Mendeley app from Elsevier in the iOS store. I have no idea how much functionality it has, but it's there!
     
  12. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #12
  13. Works4Me macrumors regular

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    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    I'm not a full time academic, but I do teach four graduate level courses and one undergrad course online every year. Like others here, I could never use an iPad as my full time device. It's just too limiting, but it does make a nice supplementary device. In particular, I use my 9.7 Pro and Apple pencil to mark papers. I ark them up in PDF expert and then upload the marked up copies for students when I grade them. It was great for marking papers on a recent flight to Pittsburgh from Vancouver.
     
  14. Kostas3000 macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2016
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    YOU CITE WHILE YOU WRITE ON THE IPAD!

    This is a follow up on my previous comment. I had not tried endnote for a while. The last time I tried it, the citation function was not working well. I tried it again today and it works perfectly well.

    The workflow is as follows:
    1) sync your iPad and Mac Endnote libraries through endnote online
    2) on the iPad: open Word and work on your manuscript. If you want to citate an article, then click "copy temporary citation" on Endnote and paste it on your manuscript.
    3) Once you are done with the citations, then open the same document on Word for Mac and open the same Endnote library you used on iPad. Just click bibliography and you have all your citations and your bibliography ready!

    The workflow still requires a Mac to be completed, but this step takes literally 2 seconds. The main work will be done on the iPad.

    I am amazed. I love my Mac 12in retina, but I have always found attractive to be able to work only on my iPad:
    • the portrait mode that resembles the normal shape of documents
    • the ability to directly tap on the screen or take notes with the pencil
    • the portability of iPad
    • the immersive experience
    Writing scientific articles and citing scientific articles required a Mac until now (or at least now I found out that it works well on the iPad)

    As I said, I still need my Mac, but there are extremely few things I need my Mac for.
     
  15. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    #15
    This is perhaps the worst argument for using the iPad I've read, and I fully understand the desire to use nothing but the iPad. Not only do you still need a Mac for that process but, it seems you're better off just using the Mac for everything in that case. I'm not sure what the iPad is for except creating extra steps and wasting time in that workflow even if the transfer is, as you say, only a few seconds. I just wonder why bother at that point.

    I'm a student and I love my iPad. It's decent for basic writing and all my consumption needs but after a point I realized how much time I was wasting because I wanted to figure out how to use the iPad in place of a laptop and frankly that's a damning statement for the device.

    And I hate to be that guy who comes in and says the iPad isn't capable of 'real' work but every day I spend with my iPad Pro the more disappointed I am that the software is completely held back. I simply haven't found a single thing where the iPad is more efficient in a professional capacity. It works very well as a supplemental device. I use it as a second monitor on my desk all the time and it's basically on me at all times which makes it great for notes and ideas. I've tried an exhausting amount to make it my main machine. It's just not there yet.

    But boy is it a cool toy.
     
  16. viktit88 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Location:
    Russian Federation
    #16
    Thank You very much for Your amazing reviews about how You use Your iPad and suggestions.
    I am Associate Professor and PhD in Economics. And I also do a lot of administrative work. So, working with lots of document types and emails is essential for me.
    Of course, the main work is writing manuscripts and teaching.
    I started this topic, because I found articles about "iPad - daily driver" very interesting for me. I didn't even think about modern apps, that can make my working life more efficient. Thank You for the Goodnotes, Devonthink, Mendeley and other apps, that You mentioned and suggested to download, if I will buy iPad. Didn't know about them till that time.
    If I truly understand You, the main problem why we (academics) can't use iPad as main device for our work - the Ms Word App does not support the creation of a bibliographic list (reference list). Is the same problem when writing in Pages?
    I know, that Ms Office on Mac OS isn't full as the version for Windows. There are no addings for the Mac version like Power Pivot or Power Map, etc.
    What do You think the ideal machine for our work? I don't really want to buy many devices, the problem is that my work requires me not to seat in one place, I am always "on the road", that is why carrying two or more devices is not the ideal variant for me.
    I have these option to choose one:
    1) IPad Pro (I will have all these amazing apps You mentioned, but I won't have full versions of Ms Office, Stata, SPSS, there will be some problems with efficiency You said)
    2) MacBook Pro 13 or 15 (I won't have touch and full MS Office version, but it will sync with my iPhone 7 plus and Apple Watch, which sometimes may be useful - will I have Mendeley and other useful apps, that You mentioned as "must have" for iPad - goodnotes, devonthink...etc.?)
    3) Windows laptop or 2 in 1 device with touch panel (Thinkpad t470s or x1 carbon or Surface Book, or Panasonic RZ6, or Vaio s11) - I will have LTE inside, full Windows programs of Adobe and MS Office, but I won't have Mendeley or other useful apps, that I can download on iPad. Am I right?
    So what can You suggest me?
    Many thanks! And sorry for bothering You all.
     
  17. George Dawes macrumors 6502

    George Dawes

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    #17
    I find that the OS is hindering the usability of my Ipads - i've got access to 3 of them , two air 2's and a pro , copy and paste just doesn't work properly and the multitasking is hopeless in comparison to os-x.

    Also the inaccuracy of the finger touch versus the accuracy of the mouse is a deal breaker , gave up trying to do spreadsheets on the thing - it drove me nuts , for 3 steps on the mac it's like 6+ on the ipad.

    Good at basic emails though - very basic ones.. web browsing , general consumption and games

    The games are great ! :)

    Of your 3 options I'd go for option 2. Definitely.
     
  18. iPadified macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    #18
    That sounds great! The need to do the final work on a Mac is acceptable until the full solution has been implemented. My university have decided to use Mendeley and I find no such citing possibilities.
     
  19. Abazigal macrumors 604

    Abazigal

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    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #19
    I think it is just as important to ask yourself "why" as much as "why not"? In order for the move to the iPad to be worth it, there has to be some intrinsic benefit to using a tablet over a laptop, and not just for the heck of it.
     
  20. 960design macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Check this out... literally better than sliced bread ( for assignment grading / markup ):
    http://papergrader.org/
     
  21. Works4Me macrumors regular

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    Canada
  22. kipwheeler macrumors member

    kipwheeler

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    Nov 1, 2016
    #22
    I teach medieval literature and historical linguistics at a small liberal arts college. I use the iPad pretty much every single day in lecture, particularly TeacherKit for keeping track of attendance and participation. TeacherKit (depending on the version), lets you insert photos of students into seating charts, and you can tap the image for "attendance" or "absent." At the end of a discussion, you can also click on each student's face and add a check for good (or bad) participation, if your course is one where that matters.

    I've heard there are similar programs (though I don't know what they are) that let the teacher hold up the iPad, take a photo of the entire class, and then use facial recognition to take instant attendance. That's apparently not so good in practice, as many times students aren't looking directly at the camera.

    I also teach in a smart classroom, so I can plug my iPad into a cable and display it on a large smartboard. I can write my notes directly on the iPad instead of on a whiteboard or chalkboard--which is great since I'm allergic to both chalk and to dry-erase board markers. (Talk about an occupational drawback!). At the end of lecture, I can save all the handwritten notes to a PDF image and then mass-email them to any students who want one.

    I also keep PDF or Kindle-book versions of the class textbook on my iPad, so I don't have to lug them around from class to class.

    Mind you--this is all supplemental to a desktop in my office. I couldn't replace my entire workload with just an iPad, but it's a marvelous supplement.
     
  23. Kostas3000 macrumors member

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    Sep 28, 2016
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    New York
    #23
    Studying pdf is an experience that is 10 times better on the ipad. Writhing a scientific article requires countless hours of studying. So, what you are suggesting to me is to struggle with studying the pdfs on the mac ( too much panning because it has the landscape orientation, no ability to write with the pencil directly on the document etc) because I still need to do the final part of manuscript writing (the creation of bibliography) on a mac. It doesn't sound like a good idea, don't you think?
     
  24. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502

    GoldfishRT

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    #24
    I don't buy the panning argument when a 13" MacBook Pro can fit the horizontal space of two iPad 9.7s side by side and vertical space as well.

    Signing/annotating PDFs is one thing I will give you is better on an iPad.

    But let's be realistic. This is about replacing the laptop. I won't argue it's a great supplement. I love using my iPad every day. But if I had $1000 and I had to buy one device I don't see how you could reasonably argue that being able to annotate directly on the screen is worth the sacrifice in pretty much every other productive capacity. That's one thing out of the hundreds of things an academic needs to use a computer for.

    I'm not here to **** on what works for you. If you've found a workflow you like then great! But I don't think we should mislead the OP by saying the iPad is perfect for everything an academic does. Especially not when you admit to still needing a PC regardless of how much you can use your iPad.
     
  25. viktit88 thread starter macrumors member

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    Aug 4, 2015
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    Russian Federation
    #25
    Thank You very much!
    So,
    I have these option to choose one:
    1) IPad Pro (I will have all these amazing apps You mentioned, but I won't have full versions of Ms Office, Stata, SPSS, there will be some problems with efficiency You said)
    2) MacBook Pro 13 or 15 (I won't have touch and full MS Office version, but it will sync with my iPhone 7 plus and Apple Watch, which sometimes may be useful - will I have Mendeley and other useful apps, that You mentioned as "must have" for iPad - goodnotes, devonthink...etc.?)
    3) Windows laptop or 2 in 1 device with touch panel (Thinkpad t470s or x1 carbon or Surface Book, or Panasonic RZ6, or Vaio s11) - I will have LTE inside, full Windows programs of Adobe and MS Office, but I won't have Mendeley or other useful apps, that I can download on iPad. Am I right?
    What option can You suggest me, dear Professors?
     

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