Tool or toy?

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by nightlong, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. nightlong, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012

    nightlong macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #1
    The iPad is often dismissed here as nothing more than an entertainment consumption toy. I know a lot of people use it creatively ... Music, art, writing, for example. Majority or minority?

    If your ipad is a tool not a toy ... How do you use it, what are your favourite apps, how do you export your work, what do you connect to it?

    How has your iPad changed your computing life?
     
  2. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #2
    I think the iPad is a brilliant creature. I don't really compare it to a computer, and I find some of its limitations benefit my work ... such as lack of multitasking. Better focus, fewer distractions, for writing.

    Less sitting at a desk, fewer back problems, and I actually do more work because of that.

    It is almost always with me, much more than laptops past or present. Have a slimfit shoulderbag which just fits ipad, the Apple BT keyboard and a featherlight plastic stand that fits snugly into the back of keyboard in the bag. Super light for on the go.

    It is always connected to the internet, wifi and 3g. It's a brilliant writer's notebook, being able to write on the screen with stylus, convert that to typing, mix it with photos, drawings, send to computer. I love some of the music apps, and will be writing music on this soon for a project. Also use some art apps, and it's a reference library too, heaps of dictionaries and reference books and materials.

    I wouldn't have it as only computer but I use it more than anything else. There's nothing wrong with it being just for entertainment consumption, but it offers me a lot more than that. How about you?
     
  3. Lynn Belvedere macrumors regular

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  4. Rodster macrumors 68040

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  5. aaagat111 macrumors regular

    aaagat111

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    #5
    The iPad is an amazing piece of technology, and like any piece of technology, it's characterization as tool v toy is completely up to its user.

    Let's step back from the iPad for a minute and look at the iPhone. I think > 90 out of 100 people would agree this phone is one of the top 3 most technologically advanced phones to date. It can do everything from make a phone call, text, play fps real-time network games, be used as a medical dictionary reference, compose a song...you get my point. Yet, if I just picked 10 of my friends and analyzed how they used their iPhone, I'd have to report that they mostly play mindless games, go on facebook, and text - not very sophisticated stuff (falling into the toy category). Why they use it for these things is another topic - because how they choose to use their phone is a different discussion of how they CAN use their phone.

    This same idea can directly be applied to the iPad. What this machine has the capability to do is unbelievable. Personally, I use my iPad for work, consuming news, and communication. I take detailed notes and drawings on it for my UX work, sync all my files with dropbox, read the interactive WSJ app daily, and answer most all emails & iMessages from it. It is strictly a tool (not a single game is installed)...but again, this goes back to the user not the device.

    My point here is, I think your question is really asking, what is our society using technology for? The answer is, because technology is so cheap (relatively), the majority of people who are using iPads or iPhones today are not all engineers who are building tools (like was the case 20 yrs ago) - they are people who just want to play around with it and really can't take advantage of its technical capabilities or have no interest in that aspect of it.

    Let me know your thoughts...do you agree? I understand your question was just to more or less poll people on how they use it but just thought I would add my $.02 on the general topic.
     
  6. jevel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    #6
    Both.

    My iPad at work is a tool. I use it for meetings and presentations mainly, but also for "real" work like terminal and some remote desktop etc.

    My private iPad is an entertainment system.

    -KJ
     
  7. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #7
    Aaagat111, enjoyed your post, and yes that is what I'm asking ... How many people are using the iPad to do more than basic browsing, email, Facebook.

    I've found it interesting reading threads here that are so dismissive of iPad. I grew up technology-wise with analog synths for my work as musician and even more primitive, typewriter, for journalism. Something as sophisticated as an iPad was unimaginable then. In London back then I was doing experimental multimedia projects with music, video, art, words, actors, and so on, the limited technology forced us to be inventive.

    Ironically, as music technology became more powerful and sophisticated, music didn't always become more inventive ... The preset age had arrived, the same preset or sample library sounds on so many records, and I think the iPad has been put in this sort of preset uncreative box to some extent.

    When I use the word "creative" I don't only mean Art, I'm interested in how people are using iPads to develop whatever they do, how they are getting around its limitations, using it in combination with other technology, etc.
     
  8. jojoba, Sep 5, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012

    jojoba macrumors 68000

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    #8
    I use it primarily for work, and then I use the following apps:
    iAnnotate and PDF Expert (for reading and annotating my research articles)
    OmniFocus (for organising my work)
    Sente (for organising my research library, lately also for reading and annotating my pdfs)
    Notability (for hand written notes)
    Circus Ponies notebooks (my main digital notebook next to Notability, syncs with my Air)
    Pages (for writing shorter documents, syncs with my Air)
    Elements (for writing writing articles, syncs with Scrivener on my Air)
    Evernote (for quick web clips I need to organise later)
    Keynote (viewing and minor editing of presentations)
    Numbers (viewing excel sheets)
    Agenda (my favourite calendar app)
    Small Talk (very nice and simply task list app, although I'm increasingly moving towards OmniFocus)
    And the usual email and web browsing stuff.

    Privately and/or fun: internet banking, directions, maps, transportation, backgammon, meditation apps, news apps, podcasts, music (native music app plus spotify), alarm clock, travel guides, TED, TED books.
     
  9. anonymouslurker macrumors regular

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    May 16, 2012
    #9
    A PC (generic term, regardless of OS) is generally used for content creation.

    A tablet is generally used for content consumption.

    There are of course many, many instances where using the "best" tool for the job falls outside of what things are generally used for.
     
  10. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #10
    I think Jojoba's specific account of an iPad at work overwhelms that consumption not creation generalisation. I found the detail of what those apps are used for, and which sync with the Air, helpful and I'll be checking out some that are new to me.
     
  11. jojoba macrumors 68000

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #11
    While I think that generalisation is stressed a bit far, I would say that I probably still use my iPad more for consumption than creation (since a lot of my work time on my iPad goes towards reading and annotating pdfs, which I'd place in the consumption category). If you want a stronger content creation on iPad example, have a look at some of the threads by palpatine, they focus quite strongly on content creation as well as consumption:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1189442

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1197650
     
  12. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #12
    Thanks for these links ... Great information there. I hope to see more posts like that here.

    I think the word "consumption" (when people say iPads are for consumption, computers are for creation) bothers me ... sounds like chronic retail therapy, arcade games and other trivial pursuits.

    I love the fun factor of iPad and I do some shopping on it but I do so much on it that is about educating myself in various ways as well as being productive.

    Wonder what people using iPad as tool hope ipad4 will have ... What would cure the worst limitations for you?
     
  13. Fifteen20s macrumors regular

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    Jun 9, 2012
    #13
    I do alot of expence / record keeping on my iPad.

    iCloud intergration in ML has ben a wonderful thing for me
     
  14. MacDiaz macrumors member

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    Cape Town, South Africa
    #14
    a nice thing about a the iPad is that as much as there is to do with it now, there will be so much to do with it in the future, there is constantly new apps being created to help people with certain requirements.

    I use it for everything from communication to games to learning,reading and Studying.
     
  15. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #15
    Do you have a wish list for iPad 4?

    What would you most like to see charged or added?
     
  16. toasty hoodie macrumors 6502

    toasty hoodie

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    #16
    It's a tool for me at work, as I pull up my accounts on it and update them. But at home, it's definitely a toy.
     
  17. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    London
    #17
    Tool & toy.

    Can't believe that the question was even asked!
     
  18. jojoba macrumors 68000

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #18
    I'm pretty happy with my iPad 3gen and am not looking for major changes. A bit lighter would be nice, but I wouldn't upgrade just for that. But some minor features I'd like are:

    - better keyboard prediction
    - the equivalent of Coffee for Mac, or alternatively, whatever technology Samsung has on the G3 that keeps the screen active as long as you are looking at it
    - official Microsoft Office apps (I work in a windows environment)
    - split screen (two apps) would be very useful
    - the ability to attach more than one attachment to my emails
    - an app that makes me my espresso :p:D
     
  19. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #19
    It was asked because so many people say it is either only a toy or not worth having. If you haven't got anYthing more to say than "tool and toy" and you think the question is pointless, why bother posting here at all?
     
  20. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #20
    hey jojoba, do you mean caffeine for mac?

    All you've listed I would like to see, too. Especially espresso feature!

    But I also hope that iPad will not become overly complex and 'too computer', making my new Air redundant. I love its unique qualities, the niche it has between phone and laptop.
     
  21. jojoba macrumors 68000

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    Dec 9, 2011
    #21
    Yes, sorry caffeine!

    Congrats on your new Air. They are great. I find that my Air and my iPad complement each other very well.
     
  22. 840quadra Moderator

    840quadra

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    #22
    I actually enjoy working on my iPad.

    Photo editing is actually decent in iPhoto, and I tend to create more Vector images (using 3rd party software) on my iPad than I do my MacBook these days.
     
  23. nightlong thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightlong

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    #23
    What do you do for storage? How do you transfer photos to your MacBook ... Dropbox, wifi sharing program or ..?
     

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