Returning to Windows Tablet?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ozone, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. ozone macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #1
    After using my iPad Pro (the big one) for about 11 months now - both lecturing and note taking, etc. - I'm thinking of seriously returning to a Windows based tablet; particularly the Surface.

    I used a Windows tablet for years - since 2003 - for lecturing and work, but I switched to Mac for everyday computing in 2007. So, the tablet was just used for lectures. After many years though - and a failed attempt using the original surface 3 years ago - the old tablet is just too slow and unrealiable, and the iPad Pro came out.

    The writing experience is fantastic, and the hardware really reliable. There are two things that frustrate me however:
    • I have a specific way of filing my documents, etc., and rather than porting them over into an app, I'd like to just open it within the folder, work on it, and then save within the folder it resides (e.g., PDF Annotator). I find it cumbersome to import it into Goodnotes, mark it up, then export it again back into my Dropbox. Easy for a few documents, but after all the documents start piling up
    • When I'm typing using the Logitech keyboard, I expect a touch pad or mouse, rather reaching up to swipe at the screen.
    • I too carried two devices: the iPad Pro, and a MB Pro. It's getting heavy and a little cumbersome.
    Anybody have similar sentiments?
     
  2. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #2
    iCloud. You don't have to import or export anything. I use PDF Expert to markup PDFs, and it seamlessly opens docs in iCloud Drive, then saves them there, just as you would expect. No copies no hassle. It also works with Google Drive, and other services.

    Don't buy a touch-based operating system device if you really wanted a pointer-based operating system. iPad forced into a laptop configuration has obvious shortcomings.
     
  3. jeremiah256 macrumors 65816

    jeremiah256

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    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #3
    I wish there was a sticky people in the iOS related forums could read on best practices, to include file management. It would help user migration so much. I remember my 'Ah hah!' moment when I finally got it.
     
  4. Abazigal macrumors G3

    Abazigal

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Location:
    Singapore
    #4
    Assuming your files are saved in cloud storage such as Dropbox, you can download them locally to your iPad via a file management app such as documents. Then open the file directly from within the app and do what you need with it.

    Documents also supports basic annotation if you have purchased PDF expert.

    https://itunes.apple.com/sg/app/documents-5-file-manager-pdf/id364901807?mt=8

    Dropbox and OneDrive also support direct office annotation.

    Out of luck there, as iOS still doesn't have cursor support.

    What do you use your Mac for? You might want to look at how you can get your work done on your iPad while on the move, defaulting back to your MacBook for the heavy lifting when you are back at your desk? So when you are moving around, you would only need to bring your iPad around with you, though I agree it can be unsettling not having your computer with you in case you run into a situation which requires a PC to resolve.
     
  5. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #5
    If you're considering getting a Surface, now might be a good time. With the holiday season, you're likely to have an extended return period to try it out and decide if it's for you.

    I'm in a similar position. I teach for a living. I use my iPad Pro connected to a projector as a whiteboard and to annotate pdfs. And I use a macbook for things like a database of students, mathematica, and the like. It has occurred to me it would be an advantage to have one device that could do both, mainly to avoid having to send files back and forth. But after much thought, I've decided I really like the pencil interface of the iPad pro, and I'm unlikely to be satisfied with anything else. This is important to me; I want my handwriting to look as good as possible when lecturing to students. So for now at least, I'm thinking I'll spend more time researching and learning to better use my devices. There are a number of threads both on the iPad Pro and on the Surface, in this forum and in the "Alternatives to IOS and IOS devices" forum, that look like they have useful information in this regard.

    This comparison of iPad and Surface was interesting to me.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comments/4d6g38/my_experience_ipad_pro_129_vs_97_vs_surface_pro_4/
     
  6. iPadDad, Dec 6, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016

    iPadDad macrumors 6502

    iPadDad

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    #6
    Please note I do not mean for this message to come across as an attack.

    Your filing issue is a mindset/workflow issue, that stems from old PC OS structure that has carried over through generations to current PC OS's. And to be honest it wreaks of an old, archaic, prehistoric filing system. Isnt it beautifuly elagant, natural and convienient to store ones files in the program/s it was created in? Then you can open it, edit it and save it all in one place, AND assuming you are working with iCloud Drive, you can search for eaverything in one place. If you absolutely have to, you can even create your own complex filing structure within iCloud Drive, open the file (which will automatically open in the program) and search in one place.

    I don't understand the need people have to want to create their own filing system and structure, in a whole other place, ultimately creating duplicates, and entrenching documents and files so deep and embedded, that to find anything becomes a massive search through a tidal wave of documents.

    Now you are also saying you want to have a curser? It sounds like you want your iPad Pro to be a Mac.

    My 2 cents, again not an attack.

    --- Post Merged, Dec 6, 2016 ---
    Nice post, iPad Pro is the result 37 years of modern personal computing, and iPad has only been around for 6 years, versus PC's at 37 years. I believe iPad is the future of mobile computing. It has so many advantages over Macbook, from OS security, battery life, to apps available in the App Store to name just a few. It's the mind set change, about how we go about these new workflows which used to be done a certain way on PC, that people struggle with the most. Yet when you become accustomed to working on iOS and you embrace the change, you realize that you don't want to live anywhere else, and you realize how complex and unintuitive the PC operating system is.
     
  7. ericwn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
    #7
    Sorry, what is it gonna be, iCloud Drive or a system where apps hold your data and you search in between the app silos for data?
    iCloud Drive is just an online directory when used the way you suggest.
     
  8. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    I agree that in some ways file handling on the iPad still doesn't work how it should. Even iCloud drive doesn't really solve the issue. For example, if I want to edit a PDF document in Goodnotes, I have to import the file to Goodnotes, perform the edits, and then export it back to the cloud location of choice. There is no direct open/save function, some providers don't even offer the option to over-write the filename (iCloud drive does not, Dropbox does) so the worst part is that you end up with at least two different copies of the same file - the file in your cloud storage, the copy inside the app you perform the edits, and possibly a third copy - a renamed copy of the same file in the cloud.

    That said, the overall experience of using the iPP for notes, writing, drawing, markup, etc. is so much better than anything else I've ever used that I will put up with these few extra steps. I use a Surface Pro 3 as my work computer all day every day, but my iPP goes with me everywhere as my digital notebook of choice.
     
  9. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2015
    Location:
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    #9
    Then that's a good reason to drop "Goodnotes", and find an app that supports cloud services directly.


    iCloud Drive does allow you to overwrite filenames. Tap the "i" icon next to the file, then in the file's Info screen tap on the filename directly to rename it.
     
  10. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

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    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    I'm an engineer. So there. :D
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #11
    As it is integrated into Goodnotes it does not allow for overwriting. It's not a big enough issue for me in any way to consider dropping what I consider to be the best note app on any platform, but it's indicative of the problem. File management shouldn't be dependent on the app you choose to use. It should be set in a consistent way at the system level.

    Out of curiosity, what note apps other than apple's notes allow for direct modification of a pdf file stored in iCloud drive?
     
  12. ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #12
    Thanks Rick Taylor! Your comments echo what I do most. Also, the link you sent to me is really interesting, and it sums up pretty much exactly my thoughts/concerns about the iPadPro vs a Windows tablet.

    I wish Apple had an eraser function on the end - it's so natural for me to try to flip the Pencil around to erase. Hey, if you're going to call it a PENCIL... put an eraser on the end! ;) On the other hand, after years of using Windows tablets (which are decent), the Apple Pencil/iPP is a superior writing experience.

    It's the workflow that gets me...
     
  13. bag99001 macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2015
    #13
  14. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #14
    To be fair, even if the iPad had a traditional exposed file system, using GoodNotes you would still need to import and export PDF files to work with other programs, as GoodNotes uses its own file format. Something like Notability also uses its own file format, but it's cross platform so you could work with the same file in the cloud from Notability on your iPad and from Notability your laptop.
     
  15. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

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    #15
    PDF Expert by Readdle
     
  16. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2013
    #16
    I would think of the original application-centric nature of DOS before the Macintosh and Windows as being pre-historic if anything is. In that system, to access a file you first had to launch the application from which it was created, and then you could find it from within there.

    The Mac and later Windows introduced a document-centered approach; you located the document, launched it, and it automatically loaded into the application it was created it in.

    I don't see what's wrong with the traditional filing system. I'm a teacher. Why wouldn't I want to create a folder for my teaching work? And wouldn't I want to create folders for each class I teach, so I can see the material related to a class all in one place.

    Of course the traditional system is old, and could be modernized, perhaps using a more flexible tags approach. Also, it would be great to have documents that effectively include elements from different applications that launch automatically as needed when edited.

    But the IOS approach seems to me a regression to an application centered approach. Why is the best organization necessarily to have files soloed in the application that created them? And this seems to me to be even more problematic than the traditional one for dealing with documents containing elements created in multiple applications.
     
  17. sracer macrumors 604

    sracer

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    Apr 9, 2010
    #17
    That's often the greatest hurdle to jump over, or run around. I own both Surface tablets and iPads/iPad Pros. I too have used Windows tablets back at the turn of the millennium... and if I count my time at IBM with prototypes, then well before THAT.

    It's so frustrating to be so close... the port connectivity/expansion of the Surface on the one side with the performance, stability, and richness of the apps on iOS on the other. Since many developers and Microsoft themselves have abandoned the Modern UI, there is little to no chance of the Surface ever attaining the quantity and quality of touch-optimized apps that would make it an excellent tablet.

    I've had to rethink my workflows to include tablets/hybrids in the first place. There was less of a change in using the Surface, but the greater benefits have come modifying my workflows to use the iPad Pro. Neither tablet does exactly what I need it to do... but they probably shouldn't.

    As I use the iPad Pro as my primary (but not only) mobile computing device, I'm getting a lot of work done, and I'm constantly re-evaluating the klunky things that I do to see if there are better ways to accomplish the greater task... WHAT needs to get done rather than HOW I do it.
     
  18. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

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    #18
    Could you explain how exactly do you do this? Because PDF Expert always duplicates the PDFs I edit on iCloud Drive.

    Surface 3 is an obsolete product. The Surface Pro 4 is the current one and a better device.
     
  19. bag99001 macrumors member

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    Jun 11, 2015
    #19
    Surface 3. Not surface pro 3. I bought it within 2 weeks of it being released. The fundamental design is still the same of all the products and the issues remain.
     
  20. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

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    #20
    You bash a current product because you had some bad experience using an inferior version which is no longer sold. That's not fair.
     
  21. sracer macrumors 604

    sracer

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    #21
    His comments are universally applicable to the entire Surface line. That makes it "fair".
     
  22. bag99001 macrumors member

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    #22
    It is still sold. And it was new when I got it. And my criticisms are common across the line if you research it, including the Surfacebook. What's your personal offense at this?
     
  23. Beavix macrumors 6502a

    Beavix

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    #23
    I bought a Surface Pro 4 last week and it's a great device, except its battery life which is shorter than on my 12.9" iPad Pro.

    If you write with your Pencil a lot, you'll find the Surface Pen a little bit weird at the beginning. The Pencil writes as soon as you touch the screen. With the Pen you must press just a little bit more on the screen for it to start writing. You can probably get used to it but the truth is the Pencil is the best for handwriting and drawing.
     
  24. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 9, 2013
    #24
    Just to add to this, I have not yet researched applications and strategies for the iPad that might address some of these issues. I'm planning to do so this Winter break, and so my opinions may change.
     
  25. ozone, Dec 6, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016

    ozone thread starter macrumors 6502

    ozone

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    Ontario, Canada
    #25
    My earlier comment about being an engineer was a joke... sort of. :p

    To be honest, I didn't take your comment as an attack. I'm really open to ideas about how I can change or adopt a new work flow. It seems that several posters have advocated similar changes in mindset. What I'd really like to know then is how you've rearranged your mindset or workflow for the iOS system.

    I'm more along the lines of what Rick Taylor described. I don't visualize my work along App lines, or even what App is necessarily the best. I think in terms of projects/events/activities. I don't tag either - maybe that's an issue given that I didn't grow up using such tags or identifiers. If I did something on paper long ago, I'd file it somewhere for retrieval or referral, and that's how I treat electronic files as well. If I'm coordinating a major event at my university, I bundle everything into a folder or container for that object, and everything goes into it. If I'm teaching, everything associated with that course goes into as well.

    My work is also broken into three major themes: teaching, research, and administration, and my day to day and long term activities are similarly defined. So, my "filing system" is already defined, and I want whatever device/apps/programs to fit to my needs, rather than trying to reconfigure what I do to some other system. Even if I switch back to Windows for digital inking, I don't want to use OneNote: I already a filing system (perhaps its outdated and somewhat rigid), and I don't want yet another filing system to deal with. That's sort of how I feel about GoodNotes - great app, but I have to play within the apps rules and then defining categories, rather than having a huge jumble of randomly assorted notes. When I just used the older Windows tablets, all I used 95% of the time was Journal - a simple but often overlooked program, and it fit my needs admirably. I understand Journal has since formally disappeared and is only a legacy program now - still available, but on its way out likely.

    The other issue is connectivity. Maybe I'm a bit paranoid, but when I'm teaching or traveling, I don't want to rely on internet connectivity to facilitate my work. I know I can store things on the iPad, but it feels cumbersome to me. Some places I travel to I can't even get connected, so some offline redundancy is useful.

    Yes, to the earlier question... I would have loved a Mac - basically a MacBook optimized like an iPad Pro.

    But I'm open to suggestions! Can anybody give me examples of what they do in terms of a workflow optimized for iOS?
     

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