Regret buying iPad, any suggestions to improve productivity with it?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by caspersoong, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. caspersoong macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    I am a college student, and I regret buying an iPad. I am disillusioned as the keyboard quite sucks, and opening the Smart Cover wastes time. Do you find that the only benefit it has over a smartphone-laptop combination is reading PDFs? Is there anything an iPad can do that a phone-laptop combination cannot? I hate the reduced portability compared to a phone. After upgrading my laptop to SSD, I feel it is as good as an iPad for most things. I want to get apps that an iPad handily beats a phone or laptop. Thanks!
  2. Dan14 macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2009
    It's strange, I often read posts like this and find it amazing. I could easily sell my laptop tomorrow and run JUST with an iPad and hardware keyboard.

    It depends what you want to do. If you're a student, I guess you'll be writing a lot, hence the need for a hardware keyboard. Combine this with Pages/Keynote/Numbers if you want an Apple/iCloud solution or something like QuickOffice to sync Dropbox/GDrive. I personally use the second as I have an Android phone. For photo management get iPhoto and turn on Dropbox upload on your devices.
    Music is taken care of, if you're stretched for space, get iTunes Match. For Movies, I personally run my own NAS at home and stream everything from that using AirVideo, but if that's not possible then Video's is probably the one thing there isn't a solution for if running the iPad solo, except getting the 64GB model. (I assume you won't buy all your movies from iTunes, in which case iTunes Match would be useful here).

    If I haven't covered what you want to use it for, please give us an insight into specifically what task you are wanting to perform and we'll help to find a solution.
  3. caspersoong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. But my Mac is light enough so I bring my Mac to school everyday. So typing on my Mac is sufficient.
  4. iEvolution macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    I have to admit the hardware keyboard integration on the iPad is very poorly done. There is no keyboard shortcuts, you can't "navigate" with the keyboard (i.e. tab to different fields), the spell checker doesn't work with it, it seems to randomly activate if you don't turn the keyboard completely off (the apple wireless one) causing the on-screen keyboard to not appear.

    The keyboard doesn't really improve much of anything other than allowing you to type faster in fields, it could have been so much more.

    In before "well its a tablet, not a laptop" folks, doesn't mean they had to half ass it.

    Quite frankly, if you're looking for productivity, the current tablet market isn't one to look into. They are fancy media/game/internet/email/social devices and are definitely inferior to that of a PC or MAC from a productivity stand point.
  5. docx macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2012
    Why are people surprised that when they buy an iPad its not a laptop.
  6. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    They didn't half ass it. Millions of consumers voting that with their wallets that they nailed it with the slim mobile OS where every fully featured desktop OS tablet has failed.

    Its that there are a handful of vocal people who didn't pay attention, didn't pay attention to Apple touting it as a great consumption device.... NOT creation.

    Games, news, reading, social media at home... iPad wins.
    Writing reports for work, CAD, long exhaustive emails or letters, complex research. Laptop.
  7. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Um, you are comparing a singlet tablet PC to a combination of 2 specialised devices (phone+laptop). Is it any wonder that the latter excels at any given task?

    However, having used my ipad for a few months now, I have come to appreciate quite a few aspects.

    1) Integrated camera. Photos taken by a 5mp camera turn out refreshingly clear, but the best part is that I can then insert it directly into any document like keynote, without having to first resort to shenanigans to transfer it over from my phone to my laptop (eg: photostream/dropbox/email). Also, I don't have to fumble with multiple devices (keep my laptop to whip out my phone); accessing the camera is as easy as a 4-finger swipe to the right or left.

    Just imagine - I can be moving around on a tour, taking photos with my ipad, and updating my blog with those pictures as I move, or recording a screencast or voiceover on the fly.

    2) Longer battery life means it can more than easily last me through 1 full day of solid usage (assuming it is almost always on and involved in some sort of productive activity).

    3) 3G is a tad redundant since you can tether from your phone, but that is one less step if you want to access your ipad in a hurry (though you can just as easily use your phone for email, news feed and the like).

    4) Form factor lets me use the ipad more comfortably than the laptop in cramped places, such as when I am standing on a train or sitting in a bus. You can even walk and still type on the split keyboard with a fair degree of speed and accuracy, something you will be hard-pressed to do on a keyboard+trackpad combination. I still find manipulating images on a touchscreen to be more intuitive than using a trackpad.

    In summary, if you are in a sedentary environment, a laptop is probably more useful and versatile than a tablet. However, if you tend to be on your feet often, and/or appreciate an all-in-one solution (I am a teacher using all the aforementioned features in my daily classroom teaching), the ipad is definitely a worthy contender. :)

    This is the reason why I have put off purchasing a MBA to this day. Tempting as one is, I just cannot justify a place for it in my daily workflow.
  8. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Birmingham, UK
    I am also a college student. I use my iPad like crazy all the time.

    In lectures: I have all of my course notes loaded so I don't need to have everything printed off. I also use it to take hand written notes with Penultimate or NoteTakerHD. I can then send these to dropbox, meaning that they are backed up and on my laptop when I need them again.

    When writing papers: I have my iPad standing next to my laptop with a smart cover. Basically providing me with a second screen, so I can have reference material on there to glance at while i'm writing things up.

    90% of my web browsing is done on my iPad and basically all of the internet based reading I do is on my iPad through Reeder and Instapaper.

    The battery is great! Lasts a few days at university being used a few hours a day.

    I do plan on upgrading my 2009 MBP with a RAM bump and SSD soon, but I still don't see my mac replacing my iPad for a lot of use cases. I only take my mac into university with me when I absolutely have to.
  9. koigirl macrumors 6502a


    Jul 29, 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    I think an 11" or 13" MBA or even a 13" MBP is a much better all-around tool for a college student than an iPad. A larger investment but more utilitarian. I personally love my iPad but it's a toy and a luxury for me. If I need to get work done, I pull out my Mac.
  10. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Really? Apple only rates it for 10 hours and I've never heard anyone claim more. While technically what you say can be true (3 days at 3 hours or 4 days at 2.5 hours a day) it implies a longer battery life than is actually the case.
  11. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    It's still easily 2-3 times as long as an air in between recharging. :)
  12. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    The keyboard is fine once you’ve been using it for a while. I was typing over 80 WPM within a few days and over 100 WPM not that much later. You have to learn to trust the autocorrect. (and correct it when it gets things wrong so it stops making the same mistakes)

    Personally I don’t use a cover. If I was throwing it in a bag all the time, I’d have a slipcase for it, but not when using the device.

    I think the iPad offers the best reading experience available today. The retina MacBook Pro is comparable in terms of screen quality, but the device is huge and needs to be sitting on a desk—it’s too low down on your lap to read for extended periods of time without killing your neck.

    I don’t think there’s much at all that the iPad offers that you can’t do with a notebook though, and certainly not a notebook & iPhone combination.

    For me, the iPad is a more mobile device—the battery is good enough that it can actually last a full day of use unlike the MacBooks (particularly the Airs—the battery life is terrible on them) and it has the smallest & lightest form-factor. I now have a desktop PC for intensive computing tasks (photo editing, video editing, gaming etc.) and the iPad for mobile computing tasks (writing, note-taking, sketching etc.) and casual use. (reading, games etc.)

    So it has replaced my need for a notebook, but if I could only have one device, it would still be a Retina MacBook Pro because it can do it all—portability, more demanding computing tasks, and it’s great for reading on. It’s definitely the worst in all three categories; less portable than an iPad with worse battery life; much slower than a desktop computer; not as comfortable for casual computing use, but the point is that it can actually do all these tasks, whereas a desktop computer or an iPad cannot.

    I believe Apple’s rating is at 50% battery life, and probably when doing moderately complex tasks. I’ve definitely had more than 10 hours when running at my usual ⅓ brightness and doing light tasks.
  13. Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    Mar 9, 2011
    London, UK
    Suggestion to improve productivity

    I know what you mean.

    The best suggestion I can make to improve productivity is to buy a keyboard for it. The on-screen keyboard is okay, but not good enough for note-taking for more than 15 minutes, in my view.

    Other apps that may assist you are
    Pages &
    Goodreader - for pdfs.

    For productivity / task management I find 2Do helpful as well.
  14. caspersoong, Aug 13, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012

    caspersoong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    Oops sorry I use a Mac as you can see from my signature. I was thinking I should have gotten an iPhone to replace my horrible Android low end phone that cannot even tweet properly. Maybe the iPad was not a good buy but I am determined to make it one. And what I meant was the iPad does not really excel at anything other than reading PDFs compared to both, right? Even reading books is ok on a smartphone because it has added convenience.
  15. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    This part baffles me. How does it waste time? How is it any different than opening the lid of your laptop and powering it up?
  16. caspersoong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2011
    Err I hate the fact that I need to open the flap, then fold it or pull the cover off. That wastes more time than opening my Mac which wakes up instantly from sleep. When both my iPad and Mac are nearby and my calculator is not, I use my Alfred on my Mac to calculate stuff instead of the iPad which is quite troublesome to open. Not to mention if I use a proper smartphone.
  17. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Birmingham, UK
    2-3 hours a day for 5 days and my iPad is in the red, but still alive. I'm not doing anything too CPU intensive and I have the brightness at less than half.

    The battery lasts for ages when you are doing fairly low level stuff but higher CPU and streaming ect will kill it quicker e.g.:yesterday I ran down the battery in about 7-8 hours watching Breaking Bad on Netflix. That battery life is pretty good considering my mac doesn't last that long when I'm just typing things up.

    The point I'm trying to make is that I never, when I'm going in to university with my ipad, feel the need to take a charger with me. If I take my mac without a charger I feel I have to watch the battery icon all the time.
  18. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Then maybe you should consider investing in a case with an inbuilt smart cover which you can just prop against the back of the casing when folded back?

    Or heck, why not just hold your smart cover flat against the back of your ipad? :confused:
  19. entatlrg macrumors 68040


    Mar 2, 2009
    Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
    I do a lot of creation, rough concept drawings, mechanical drawings, typing, brainstorming no matter which device I'm using. 80% creation 20% consumption.

    When I got my first iPad1 I used it for a month, hated the touchscreen keyboard and labeled it useless unless reading, watching, playing .... it ended up in a drawer.

    About 8 months later I started using it again, pulled it out to load movies for a trip I think. I'm not sure what or how it happened except to say I started using it, typing more, checking out app's, doing some rough product idea sketches and in a short time I'd feel lost if I didn't have it nearby.

    From that time to now I use my now 3rd gen iPad alongside my MacBook Air and iPhone all day, everyday. Its an incredible set up.

    Here's some tips that should help:

    1. USE the touchscreen keyboard (I prefer widescreen) you will be amazed how fast you get. If you need a real keyboard use your Mac not a third party iPad keyboard > defeats the purpose of the iPad, imo.

    2. USE Dictation, it is AMAZING. I didn't feel comfortable using it at first. Now I bang off emails, posts, notes, and idea's using Evernote or Notepad for example. It's an inredible feature that everyone should use. Why type when you can talk? Get more done in less time.

    3.Buy a Yoobao cover - instant on and very thin profile.

    4. Research apps and check out the AppStore, lots of useful apps and tools out there.

    By the way this post was written using dictation on my iPad. :)
  20. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
  21. scaredpoet, Aug 13, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    As someone who is going back to higher ed to get another degree, I can say it shouldn't be hard to "make" an iPad work in that environment. I've already found mine very useful. But it depends on people's workflows. Not everyone can make the use case for a tablet, nor should they force themselves to.

    Honestly, if you don't have a good smartphone, then I would recommend returning the iPad if the return period hasn't already passed, and when the next iPhone comes out, get that. I love my iPad and would really hate to part with it, but if I had to choose between it and my iPhone, my iPhone would still win. Not necessarily because it does things better, but because it's my phone, and the way I have my laptop, iPad and phone set up, it's kinda the lynchpin. when I'm traveling, everything connects to it for connectivity. And when I need something absolutely small, the iPhone is it.

    I'd have to disagree with that. Smartphones are great because of the added smaller size and portability, but if I've read books, e-mail, meeting notes, and browsed web pages on the iPad and it's more comfortable for me to read them on it over any smartphone.

    Basically, a smartphone screen does small bits of information well, and will do larger documents competently. But a tablet form factor does those bigger documents comfortably. And my laptop does composing and viewing of very large, intricate documents best, but it requires a lot of room to spread out and a table to place it on, or else using it is very awkward.

    Bottom line though is this: if you're having a hard time justifying using an iPad, then you shouldn't be forcing yourself.


    I can agree that the on screen keyboard could use shortcuts, but if you buy an external keyboard, the shortcuts are there and work well.

    And yeah, yeah, people will say "you might as well buy a laptop," but frankly, they're wrong. I have a laptop, and an iPad + keyboard is still way ligher and more convenient. Not to mention the keyboard is optional, and if I'm just browsing or only sending off quick responses, it doesn't need to come out at all.
  22. Eadfrith macrumors 6502


    Nov 3, 2011
    Opening the Smart Cover is a chore for you? :eek::eek:
  23. WindWaker macrumors regular

    Oct 13, 2011
    For school purposes there are a lot of pro's with the iPad:

    1) iBooks with textbooks-- I never use normal books anymore, iBooks is amazing (you can even write notes in it)
    2) Watching videos for school-- Not sure if there are times when you need to watch something for HW, but when you do, it's fantastic on the iPad.
    3) Documents in the Cloud-- just sync your Pages/ Keynote/ Numbers docs and you can edit them on the iPad so you don't have to pull out your laptop
    4) If you get a GOOD stylus (i.e. the Adonit Jot), you can take hand-notes with the iPad quite easily.
    5) SOOOO much other stuff
  24. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2011
    First world problems at its finest.

    Anyway, why not go bareback? No case at all. Or use a similar case that you use on your iPhone?

    Or why not just sell it? I don't understand why people buy things first and then ask people to talk them into keeping it after. If it is not working for you, get rid of it. Our opinions will rarely change how you already feel about it. Or did you just want everyone to know how useless you think it is?
  25. alex2792 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2009
    You should get the galaxy note 10.1 it has a very good stylus and Android is geared more towards productivity with desktop-level browser and file system access. IPad is useless when it comes to productivity because iOS is very much crippled without file system access.

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