Using an iPad for college - word processing etc

Discussion in 'iPad' started by 0dev, May 30, 2010.

  1. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #1
    I used a netbook for school, and will still be able to use it in college. However, before college starts, I'll have an iPad, and I'd like to know how practical it'd be for use as a word processor and textbook, so I can rid myself of this horrible cheap plasticy netbook :D

    The main problem I see is with printing and transferring documents to and from the iPad. How would I go about doing those things with it?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    #2
    Not practical at all. You'll probably want a program to handle all your citations like EndNote. You can't do that w/ an iPad. You need a full blown word processor.
     
  3. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #3
    Isn't Pages aduquate?
     
  4. Hexxeh macrumors member

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    #4
    I've used my iPad for a couple days at college, and it's fine for taking notes in class and writing up assignments on. That is, assuming you've got the Apple Wireless Keyboard.
     
  5. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #5
    I could easily get one, but I quite like the touchscreen one, I manage to type on it very fast after just a minute or two, and it's a lot better than the cramped netbook keyboard I use now! :D
     
  6. Hexxeh macrumors member

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    #6
    I used to take either my MBP or my Samsung NC10 netbook to college. Without the wireless keyboard, the iPad just doesn't cut it at all. Typing on there for an hour with the on-screen keyboard just cramped my fingers up.
     
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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    #7
    Pages for iPad does not do citations. So unless you are majoring in something that doesn't require you to cite sources in your work then I don't see how it's practical.
     
  8. CristobalHuet macrumors 65816

    CristobalHuet

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    #8
    I plan on using it in class...Evernote/Sketchpad HD, possibly Penultimate.

    As for word processing, until Pages plays nicer with the desktop version and does citations, I wouldn't do anything serious on it in regards to that. Or at least, until QuickOffice comes out for it.
     
  9. wgary macrumors member

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    #9
    Printing = Air Sharing or other utilities. Can NOT print directly from within apps.

    Transferring = email (easiest), DropDisk or other on-line storage are also feasible.
     
  10. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #10
    In the past I've always just put a list of my sources at the bottom of the document and put a little number next to where it's relevant, Wikipedia style. Worked fine for science coursework, no one had any problems with that.
     
  11. iHateMacs macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

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    #11
    I find typing on the large onscreen keyboard no problem. I can type fast with no more errors than an conventional keyboard.

    Lack of cursor keys though really slows me down. I know you can point to where you want to go but you lose your flow if you have to do that.

    I tried mine with an old logitech dinovo edge bt keyboard and it worked well. I never thought to see if the cursor keys on that did anything :(
     
  12. Doju macrumors 68000

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    #12
    It's alright in moderation and could probably get the job done just well enough, but that's really not what it's pitched as being, nor is it the intended use.

    I'd use a MacBook (Pro).
     
  13. Hammie macrumors 65816

    Hammie

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    #13
    The iPad is fine for short writing, even with the BT keyboard. I still prefer my longer papers to be written with my MBP.

    Also, the way I need to turn my assignments in, I would need a actual computer since the website to upload the file opens a pop-up window and for whatever reason the iPad doesn't recognize it. I've tried Safari, Atomic Browser, and iCab. And all kinds of options of configs.

    I don't totally mind the limitation since working on a 17" screen to longer periods of time is easier on my eyes than the 10" screen, IMO.

    YMMV.
     
  14. bperrella macrumors regular

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    #14
    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9630/5.0.0.484 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/105)

    I used my ipad at the end of last semester to take notes in class using evernote. It is a great application and I can type almost as fast on the on screen kb as I could on the cramped dell mini 9 the ipad replaced.
     
  15. raremage macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    IMHO the best answer is give it a try and see if it works for you.
    As you can see by the replies, for some it won't work, for others it works great.
     
  16. spooky2k macrumors 6502a

    #16
    Just chiming in to say that I think it's rather funny that the iPad isn't suitable due to Pages inability to handle citations. When I was in Uni just a year ago, I did all those citations manually. Any reason this can't be done with an iPad??
     
  17. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #17
    I know it's not what you want to hear, but I have to agree with Chupa.

    It would be a great 2nd machine; for when you want to take some work with you for the weekend, or kick around ideas and outlines, or maybe do research.
     
  18. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

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    #18
    Agreed. The iPad makes a great computer extender - something light and small you can take with you. But it does not replace a main computer (either desktop or laptop).

    There's no citation manager (as been said before), support for complex tables and other complex formatting in Pages for iPad is limited, there's no practical way to print (though Steve Jobs has said "it's coming"), importing/converting complex Word and PowerPoint documents is limited, there's no way to fill out/submit PDF-based forms... I could go on.

    I still think an iPad would be great for taking from class to class and getting some basic work done on. It's light, solid-state and the battery lasts all day long. But for college-level work, it can't stand on its own.

    I use my iPad daily; it's mostly replaced a laptop for me, but I still must have a decent desktop to do the complex stuff. I could never get my work done with just an iPad and nothing else. Not yet, anyway.

    Think about iMac + iPad or MacBook + iPad. The Mac can stay home for when you need to do more sophisticated work and the iPad can go with you from class to class.
     
  19. OGDaniel macrumors 6502a

    OGDaniel

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    #19
    I've typed extensively on the onscreen keyboard and love it. Wouldn't be very efficient carrying a wireless keyboard with you.

    If you really would hate typing on the iPad, you could look into investing in a keyboard dock. In my opinion, the iPad would be perfect for college. Evernote has software for the computer that lets you sync everything back and mark and date them and stuff, and all the iWork apps for iPad have compatibility with Office and iWork on the Mac, so everything would work out I think.
     
  20. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

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    #20
    You're comparing a telephone based software platform (iPhone OS on iPad) with a real computing platform (Netbook). Doesn't that already answer your question?

    Pages is a nice piece of software for writing a letter or party invitations. But there are reasons why the Microsoft Office behemoth rules the market for office suites.

    Endnote might be available for Pages now, but that would be Pages for Mac OS X - the real thing. Not the iPad version that cannot even print.

    Also, can you really imagine typing for hourse on the display of the iPad? Yes? Can you? I doubt it. You'd be running around with that external keyboard in no time, and when you do that, you regret that you dropped that little netbook that could have run - real - software instead of castrated mobile apps.

    If you want to spend money on something that is small but still makes sense and runs OS X, then go and buy a 13" MacBook Pro.

    Or buy one of the millions of PC notebooks for 500 Euros and turn it into a Hackintosh. Or live with Windows 7, it's not even remotely as bad as most Apple Fanboys here badmouth it. You could also be free and install Ubuntu 10.04 on that notebook - it's a great FREE (as in beer AND speech) platform and as usable as Windows and OS X.

    But the iPad... If you need an excuse to buy it, then the only one I can come up with is that you want a small surf board for your bed room.
     
  21. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #21
    Lots of mixed responses here, I thank you all for the input.

    I should explain that, of the three courses I've chosen, only one requires me to do coursework, the other are 100% exam at the end of the year, and the coursework I do have to do is researching then writing case studies based on that - no complex table formatting or anything is needed there.

    The other lessons will simply require me to make notes.

    I am aware that the netbook runs a full OS (Windows XP in my case) whereas the iPad does not, but I don't think I need a full computing platform for typing things out, which is why I thought about using the iPad like this in the first place. And, of course, the battery lasts a lot longer and there's textbook apps avaliable for it too.

    As for citations - I'll type a list out manually like I did anyway when I using Microsoft Office, I don't see why I need any special features for that.

    I'm not suggesting I use the iPad as a main machine at all, either - my house has no shortage of computers, both Mac and PC, to use for "real" computing stuff.

    I should be getting my very own iPad in a few months' time, so I guess I'll play around with it then and see what I think of it, and of course see what software updates add to the functuality.
     
  22. xraydoc macrumors 604

    xraydoc

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    #22
    ^^ except typing on a netbook mini keyboard for hours wont be any better than the iPad's on-screen keyboard.
     
  23. 0dev thread starter macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #23
    Very true, I used the netbook in school for a few months and still don't type too well on the keyboard. The iPad keyboard is heaven in comparison.
     
  24. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #24
    This should probably go in the iPad app thread, but I've been trying out the Notebooks for iPad app and it seems to work a treat. It's text only so doesn't do embedded images** (in pdfs for example). Notes are arranged in 'books' which you can then mount on your Mac via wifi and treat like an external disk you just drag txt, rtf, pdf and other files on or off of like any other hard drive. You can also sync a book wih a folder on your Mac, but the notes lose their formatting (font etc) doing it that way as far as I can see.

    http://www.alfonsschmid.com/Notebooks/Notebooks_for_iPhone.html

    Then there's things like AudioNote which lets you record a meeting or lecture and sync the audio with the notes you take so you can re-listen etc.

    http://luminantsoftware.com/iphone/audionote.html

    PDFs and suchlike with embedded images for textbooks - GoodReader for iPad to arrange and read and maybe iAnnotate PDF to scribble and write on your PDF files. Again with GoodReader, you can transfer files easily like with Notebooks.

    Printing and suchlike I don't know enough about about yet.

    ** edit - embedded images in rtfd files for example are stripped out when your transfer it over and simply added individually to the book list instead along with the note itself so you can still see and refer to them.
     
  25. BacklitFirefly macrumors 6502

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    #25
    There is nothing whatsoever wrong with typing up your own little citations instead of being able to instantly format text as citations. Might take a little longer, but I think we all need to slow down and enjoy life more anyway. :cool:
     

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