Power iPad business use tips/tricks/support

Discussion in 'iPad' started by akm3, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. akm3, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

    akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Just to see if I can, I'm going to make a go of using the iPad as a completely replacement for my work laptop. I tried this when it came out and it was a dismal failure for two reasons:

    1) No multitasking
    2) Limited ancillary app support.

    My work is a full microsoft shop but is pretty good about having the latest 'stuff'. We also have a full Citrix setup so the app Citrix Receiver can be used to get me technically close to be able to do all my work.

    There are some glitches though.

    Trying to use with Bluetooth keyboard.

    Many common windows keys don't work (in Citrix receiver)
    Tab works but Shift-Tab doesn't cycle backwards.
    The most weird part is copy/cut/paste.
    ⌘-C doesn't work. ⌃-C doesn't work. None of the normal key commands work.
    I tried the ALT/Option ⌥ as well, but none of it works.

    However, sometimes doing this brings up the Citrix text entry box. *Sometimes. Not sure when or why. *And recognizing this problem, the Citrix folks added dedicated and working copy/cut/paste icons, but I don't know how to access them from the remote keyboard. *you can press the eject key to bring up the software keyboard and then press it ,but that is awfully kludgey for a keyboard shortcut. *Can this be fixed?

    Citrix itself can use an iPhone (or another iPad I suppose) to use as a dedicated touch screen to control the mouse. It's just a touch pad since there is no 'click' on an iPhone, so right clicking is still a bit weird but it's workable. Using the HDMI or VGA out (which Citrix supports) can help make everything bigger
    Q: If I do this on an iPad 2, will the Citrix let me have a resolution of the 1920x1080 the output supports? What happens with the screen in that case? Has anyone tested this?

    I'll type more as I come across it or have ideas, but if anyone knows how to mitigate the challenges I have so far, I'd appreciate it.

    iOS power user/business user wish list:
    In browser like Atomic Browser:
    Keyboard shortcuts to work with browsers (e.g. CMD+T to open new tab).*
    Tabbing to go to address bar, search bar.
    text expander touch support
    arrow key navigation (e.g. typing partial url gets match to pop up below, you can't arrow down to the right selection.
    **Are all of these even technically possible for a browser like atomic browser to add?

    A "home button" equivalent on the blue tooth keyboard, also one to let you bring up the task switcher and choose a new app.
    Faster way to sync / unsync bluetooth. *(This is SCREWY!! Anyone know why?)

    One power tip: The 'eject' key will still bring up the soft keyboard when you are a place you can type, which is useful sometimes. I originally thought that if i was paired I could ONLY use the BT keyboard, which was inconvenient sometimes and caused me to unpair more often than I should.

    The original AirPrint that let you print to any printer attached to a Mac.
  2. Zeos macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Uh, no surprises here. iPad is designed to be strong supplement, not a complete replacement. When on the road, I use Jump to access my laptop as needed. Overall, the IPad makes my business life a lot easier and more efficient. But the user has got to know the pad's limitations; otherwise frustration will ensue.

  3. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I'm very familiar with th iPads limitations and don't expect a miracle I just want to push it as far as it can be as an experiment. Im sure others have done some of what I'm doing; maybe we can leverage each others experiences.
  4. Gav$ter macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2010
    For your experiment what business programs are you using on your iPad? For example what programs do you have on your iPad for Microsoft Office (word, excel, powerpoint). Would you like other people to join your experiment using the same programs but applying them to their daily work activities?
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    The reason it's not working is because you're basically trying to run Windows on an iPad. Basically you're using the iPad as a giant touchscreen Windows PC.

    If you want to use it the way it's meant to be used, use the native apps. Both calendar and mail will talk to Exchange, that's how I use mine.

    If you're going to use it like a Windows PC, might as well use a Windows PC.

    Also keep in mind that the iPad is not a strong power business user replacement machine. I use mine as a supplement to my computer. (I.E. I'm away from my desk and need to do some calendaring or email. It's like an oversize PDA.)
  6. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Again, I realize all this. I'm not saying "wahh why won't my iPad be a windows laptop". I am saying "knowing that this isn't a windows laptop, here are specific issues and barriers I'm encountering, has anyone developed good tips and tricks, apps, or work arounds that have worked for them? Also, AS AN EXPERIMENT I want to see how far the iPad can be pushed into the laptop role before crashes and burns with no work around. "
  7. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007

    Great question. For my job, I'm project manager in an IT department. So I use Microsoft word, excel, Project, and Internet explorer to access our company share poi t frequently.

    For project / share point, IE is kind of a hard limit so I use Citrix for both of these. As no apps support push/backgrounding Microsoft communicator with OCS server support, that goes in Citrix too. Live Meetings also go in Citrix.

    Citrix let's me use an external monitor and use the iPad or the iPhone as a "mouse" giving a very windows like experience.

    Email, calendar I both run with the native apps. I use keynote for PowerPoint presentations. I also manage all my to do/tasks with things, and keep detailed notes and lists with dropbox and notesy.

    This framework is workable, I can do 100% of my job, on my iPad, and it's awesome.

    Of course I naturally hit some of thte limitations of the iPad. I want to identify, document, and overcome as many of these as possible. I'm luckier than most iPad users doing heavy duty pro work because mycompany leverages Citrix so heavily and well. That one fact means that although today a laptop os still easier/better at least I CAN do my work on the iPad good enough that most people don't know I'm not using a laptop. That right there is a huge success.

    Now as experiment I want to see how far it can be pushed.

    I hope this is clear?
  8. tkadrum macrumors member

    Mar 8, 2011
    Oh come one.
    iPad is just an oversized version of iPod.
    If you expect the iPad to replace laptop/netbook, you are dreaming.

    I do hope MS will come out with Windows8 Tablet, and that could be the deal breaker for me to replace my laptop.

    But in the meantime, I enjoy reading/surfing/playing games on my iPad.
  9. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Is anyone READING my posts? Good god. The iPad IS acting as a laptop replacement for me.

    Right now. Today. As we speak. Not dreaming.

    Going to work and doing my job and not getting fired. Dell unplugged at home. This is not a pipe dream. Just trying to improve something already working and refine the rough corners.

    I'm obviously the only person who has had success leverage the iPad this intensely or even believed it was worth trying. Have you really, really tried to use it as a laptop replacement yet? Maybe it's better than you think.
  10. Zeos macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    Interesting experiment. Honestly, you might be able to sell an article like this to Macworld, etc.

  11. Jamie37211 macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2010
    I understand what you're doing, as I have done this to some extent myself.

    I use Citrix Receiver at work, though my workplace has not done enough of the "leveraging" you're lucky enough to experience. I'm working on rectifying this.

    I use RDP to connect to my desktop pc while away from my desk - just the other day i conducted a software demo using my iPad connected to a projector, and it worked like a charm. Goodreader, pages, soundnote...all replaced paper for note-taking in meetings. Even use adobe ideas with a projector or monitor as a white board.

    Of course, because of the limited ability of Citrix Receiver to utilize my company's Citrix environment (for now), the iPad cannot completely replace my IBM desktop box. But, it has become extremely useful, and I will continue to try to expand the usefulness as much as possible.

    Good on you for pushing it as far as you can. Keep us updated on how things progress.
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    But... I'm saying you've hit that point. There aren't any workarounds. You've reached the limit.

    I used to carry around an iPad as my only machine, now I carry both a laptop and iPad just for limits like this.
  13. TheWheelMan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 15, 2011
    I know you own an iPad and all, but you're completely missing what an iPad is if all you think it is is a big iPod. That's another fact that's been debated ad nauseum around here. You might as well say that a PC is just an oversized notebook if that's the case.
  14. junker macrumors 6502


    Jul 3, 2006
    An obtuse corner of the Triangle
    I'm reading them - with interest! I like the experiment.

    I think some folks have reading comprehension issues....to me, it's clear that you're attempting to push the envelope and explore options and workarounds. This mentality is central to pushing technology and in a smaller way, humanity forward.

    IMHO, This is part of what's missing in the computer geek world these days. This explorative and inquisitive nature that push the limits and understandings of programs that alos brought us so many incredible advances in technology.

    While I don't necessarily plan to follow you in this new land, I will enjoy reading your exploits! Please keep us updated and ignore the haters! :)

    this is the spirit of innovation. Some folks will have only the spirit of consumption - which has it's place supporting the innovators! :)
  15. Beardy man macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2007
    Touch typing?

    To use the iPad as a "serious" tool, I'd need to be able to touch type on it. Any one got any experience in that direction? Like how does it respond with your fingers on the "home" keys? Do they register?

    I saw an article where someone felt it was responding only when a finger was picked up off the surface. Not good for touch typing if every time you move off the rest position you trigger an input.

    If Ihave to "peck" at keys it will be fine for browsing etc but not so good for typing up reports while on the move.
  16. bmat macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2004
    East Coast, USA
    if they would get the control, command/option, and arrow keys to work with apple's bluetooth keyboard in citrix, I could pretty much use my iPad only on short trip for work. Until that is fixed, citrix is a nice emergency only type of thing for me.
  17. elan123 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2011
    Well, considering it really isn't a computer and lacks many functions of a computer... hrmm
  18. PWNkake macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2010
    I set out last year with the iPad 1 to do the same thing you trying to do now. This is going to vary depending on your job of course but Ill share the apps and tricks I find to make it possible (I did by the way and will never go back to a laptop).

    1) word processing. Pages and documents to go are almost required. There are features in pages that dtg doesn't have. I find that pages often will pick up the format of a word file where dtg will not. The other apple productivity apps are suggested as well if you use PowerPoint, and excel regularly.

    2) file storage. Dropbox is the only way to go IMO. Free, accessible and the integration with documents to go is seamless. Dropbox also allows you to share a folder with others who need access to your work. My secretry and I share several folders that we both need to access and update. Her on her pc/laptop and me on my iPad. Although, she just bought an iPad 2.

    3) printing. I use AirPrint at home and the AirPrint activator at work, but Ive found the app print central and print n share a must. Twice I have been in foreign offices and my iPad was able to find and print a document with print n share. The user interface is clunky that's my only complaint. Print central works but it didnt find every printer so I deleted it and use print n share for my printing needs out of the office.

    4) presenting. 2 screens and 2 screens remote, keynote, and dropbox = WIN. Your going to need a 3G iPad here in case you can't get to a wifi network, but editing a presentation in keynote, saving it as a PDF then opening to 2 screens allows you to hook up your iPad to a projector/HDTV then use your iPhone as the presenter. It works and it's impressive. I will say sometimes I have to save the pp show in PDF on a desktop when something goes screwy but it's only happened once or twice.

    5) note taking. Notes, pen ultimate, and auditorium. Notes, straight forward typing. Penultimate is for stylus writing. Old school like a notepad but effective. Need to take notes and record at the same time? Auditorium let's you records while you type away. Perfect for seminars that you need notes and a recording.

    6) Quick dictation. Dragon. When I need to dictate and emil fast and send it
    It works. I love it more and more when I am communicating in office.

    7) remote access. Logmein is the way to go with an iPad 2. The extra power helps with the needed power to work smoothly. IPad 1 was hit or miss. I use this to edit our flash browser for our website. Never was able to do it on my iPad natively. I am hoping html5 mkes this possible in the near future.

    Anywy, my thoughts and findings. Hope this helps! You are smart to do this though, as everyone is moving to a tablet within the next ten years aside from a few holdouts (same guys rocking windows 2000 now) lol. Dont hate, just sayin!
  19. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    This shocked *SHOCKED* me at how well it worked assuming two conditions. Landscape and propped at the angle that the Apple case and smart cover provide. If you're in that environment, *at least for me* it's unbelievably fast.

    I can type 101wpm (measured as part of a job interview years ago). On the iPad in an apple case, landscape, I can type 40-60 words per minute. Plenty good enough.

    I was expecting it to be even more crap.

    That said, I do pair a bluetooth keyboard to it when using it with Citrix for example - more to give me more screen real estate then because typing is easier.
  20. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I agree that this is one of the major hurdles to being as productive as a true laptop or even citrix running on a real laptop or whatever.

    If Citrix were to add another onscreen keyboard option that only had the 'special keys' (copy paste, ctrl, alt, windows, etc) and took up only a little of the screen, that would make it a lot better.
  21. akm3 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007

    GREAT POST THANK YOU! Now we're really on the right track. Thanks for the Print n Share recommendation and other tips. Good idea on dragon, didn't even think about using that to compose some E_mails and stuff while I'm driving to work. Another advantage of iOS is I can actually have it 'on' and running quickly and easily while I drive which is very impractical with a laptop.

    Lots of good stuff to share here! Upgrading to iPad 2 will help as you mention for the extra oomph and memory.

    Have you had any specific luck or experience with Microsoft Communicator in an organization and Microsoft Live Meeting?
  22. PWNkake, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011

    PWNkake macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2010

    Thanks, reading comprehension FTW!

    M$ communicator no experience here, although live meeting, yes... Kinda. communicator might work with this workaround as well.

    People will just laugh and say what's the point, but with logmein, and Skype installed You can start live meeting on a windows pc with a Skype window running, call in from an iPhone or now, iPad 2 and hit "show desktop" within live meeting. I will also say that older desktops had issue with an overlay window and the d3d or open gl (whatever it is) window. On my windows 7 64 bit monster in my office I managed to pull it off. My laptop laughed, overheated, and proceeded to take a dump on it's hard drive. Eh.... I'm an technological exhibitionist. LoL.

    Not a fix or exactly workable solution, but definitely a workaround. This works way way better if everyone is on wifi, it's bottlenecked if anyone is on 3G.

    Again, I gave up trying this because of the lag. Id bet the jailbreak folks have this working though. ;) I found my iPad 1 way more business friendly after jail breaking it. I decided to keep my iPad 2 minty... For a while anyway! Ha Ha!

    I should also mention there is an advanced client for logmein you have to purchase to enable sound and I think it is $50 a year although admittedly I can't remember.

    Great thread OP!
  23. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    Per my signature I do contend with these kinds of issues though my use case is totally different than yours. I have worked out the following, fairly seamless files system workaround.

    A) use Dropbox and subscribe for lots of extra storage
    B) set Dropbox to sync with my Documents folder on my Mac (for archival/back up purposes). Use one of the many applets available for this.
    C) use dropDAV to allow iworks apps on the iPad to open documents from Dropbox AND save the documents back to Dropbox. That's key!

    This way the documents exist on my iPad (in the Dropbox app), on my Mac, in the cloud, and all sync'd in real time. Very nice!

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