What can & can't an iPad do?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by ccf, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. ccf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #1
    The wife & I are thinking about getting an iPad. We'll either get the 16gb 3G or the 16gb without 3G. The wife knows nothing about Macs & I know enough to be dangerous, LOL (got an iMac for Christmas).

    What I'm curious about is what would we gain by getting the $999 MacBook Air? If we go the iPad route, we're getting one of those Zagg things which gives it a keyboard & cover. That puts the price about $599 or $729 depending if we get 3G.

    I've heard the iPad can't multitask. Is that true? One reason we favor the iPad is being able to use 3G when we need it without a contract. Anyway, any opinions on the basic differences between the iPad & MacBook Air? Btw, storage size isn't really an issue with us.
     
  2. Saberon macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 16, 2008
    #2
    iPad can multitask, it has iOS 4.2.1.

    What do you want to do on your device? Simple email/internet etc? Or do you need power to run applications and write? I would highly suggest you wait for iPad 2 though, it's coming very soon!

    Month to month 3G is very nice if you require access on the go. If you have an iPhone/other smartphone you may be able to tether to your iPad on the go.

    Give me a list of the top 5 things this device will be used for and I can help you choose.
     
  3. thesmoth macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #3
    Can't save files, can't really create content, can't use flash based websites.

    If you have a MS word file in your email, you can't download it and then open it on your ipad and edit it. You can do some complicated pain-in-the-ass work arounds with dropbox, but it's very cumbersome. It is an extremely locked down and limited system, and will feel very restrictive if you are expecting a regular computing experience. Think of it like an app machine, that can run any app you want from the app store (one at a time, with none of them really communicating with each other). It is multitasking, but really just a fast app switching system, so it's not like you can have two programs (say like you would have powerpoint and word open at the same time and transfer information between the two) and use them both at the same time. Look at the apps available on the app store and figure out if they can fit your needs. If they can't, then the iPad can't.

    If you need to do work/create any content, do NOT get the iPad. If you want to get a cool toy, get the iPad.
     
  4. Zackmd1 macrumors 6502a

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    Maryland US
    #4
    I agree on the toy but you can open a ms word file from a email and edit and save it in pages... I just did it an hour ago, same with power points.
     
  5. Tangy Anus macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2011
    #5
    I think it's funny when people with Macs think they're good at computers. They're MACS. They're meant for people who don't know their way around computers, for beginners. Try being a Windows troubleshooter. Then you'll see how much you don't know.
     
  6. Zackmd1 macrumors 6502a

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    Maryland US
    #6
    Tell me about it!! I'm the windows fixer for my entire family and I absolutely hate windows for it! To complicated for what a computer needs to do.:apple:
     
  7. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
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    #7
    I don't have the time or patience to respond to this, but just about everything this poster says is wrong or highly exaggerated. I'm sure others will follow with some corrections and balanced feedback for you nsuffice it to say: speak to people who actually have and use an iPad regularly to get some constructive input.
     
  8. ulbador macrumors 68000

    ulbador

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #8
    Ha. That's about the most silly statement I've read all day. Open up terminal.app. More complexity and power than any windows system I have ever seen.

    Poor design does NOT equal more power.
     
  9. Mc304192, Feb 15, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011

    Mc304192 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 15, 2011
    #9
    2 Weeks Real Use

    The following is based on my real/exclusive usage of an iPad and iPhone for personal and work purposes for the last 2 weeks. I shifted roles at work, and so have been 'office-less' and relying on my iPad and iPhone (which are connected to Exchange for work calendar and email) for all my computing needs.

    The iPad is a great device, but it does have it limits.

    - It works great for email (even large amounts of email, if you add the bluetooth keyboard). The built-in viewers are great for reading (not editing) Word, Excel, PDFs. I get about 50-75 emails a day that require 'real' responses, ie 100-200 word responses.
    - It works great for the web.. what's this "Flash" people keep talking about?
    - It works great for photo viewing
    - It works great for calendar (having multiple calendars is great and helps organize a family)
    - It works great for syncing with a Mac (if you have MobileMe -- for calendars)
    - It has local storage that benefits from cloud syncing (DropBox free, IDisk paid MobileMe, ReaddleDocs free app)
    - It works quite well for taking notes in meeting (if you're a good typist) using the on-screen keyboard. I don't use the bluetooth in meeting, too distracting. The iPad with on-screen is nice and discrete, and quiet.

    I use a combination of DropBox, Evernote and MobileMe for syncing. Evernote lets me take notes on my iPad or iPhone and have them in sync. Dropbox lets me upload docs (Pages/Numbers) and pictures of whiteboards and have it all in sync between iPad/iPhone. MobileMe syncs my personal info, calendars and email.

    So, what are the downs?
    - Pages and Number do not edit complex Word/Excel docs without mangling them. So, you can't really edit business-level documents that others want you to collaborate on. You can create them, they'll just be fairly 'basic' but noone will really notice. You just can't edit that amazing projection spreadsheet the project manager needs completed by noon.
    - iOS will 'multi-task', but it won't multi-task. So, what I mean by that is, yes, it can run multiple apps. But you can't really multi-task, ie have a web page open, read it, copy-paste text into a document, format that, attach that document to an email and blast it off. iOS will do all those things but on a notebook, it's a quick 10 seconds of keyboard shortcuts. On an iPad, it's a painful 5 minutes of trying to select the text, waiting for one app to suspend while the next loads, so you can painfully select the right insertion point to paste, and then a painful dance to get over to email, realize you can't just attach a local document, ... you get the point. And, having multiple docs open in Pages is a no-go. It takes too long to switch from one doc to another.

    So, is the iPad worth it.. absolutely. But, just know that you'll hit the wall if you're trying to do a lot of true multi-tasking. If you can do your email, then check your calendar, then type up a document, then check the web, then email..repeat.. one app at a time, you're be in heaven.

    Oh, and get the 3G, without it, you'll really miss out on the "do it anywhere" ability of the iPad. Or, look at the Verizon iPad/Mifi combos, same price, but they have a nice 3GB/mn $35 plan. I wish I had gone that route.
     
  10. gatearray macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #10
    It would be awesome if you actually knew what you were talking about. :)

    I save files to my iPad all the time. I use an app called Goodreader, and it's as close to a filesystem as the iPad is gonna get at this point.

    Email me a Word doc and I will either open it directly in Pages to edit it, or I'll save it directly to Goodreader to edit it later, resend to someone else, upload it to my domain, iDisk, etc.

    Also, I create content on my iPad all the time, too. I make music, I edit photos, I write, I draw, etc., and I'm not alone.

    The iPad sounds like it would be a great choice for the OP and his wife. it accomplishes 90% of what most users want to do with a "computer" these days, and it does it quickly and easily with 3G and tremendous battery life.
     
  11. Tangy Anus macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2011
    #11
    Terminal is the equivalent of the Command Prompt, no? Windows has a command line input interface as well.
     
  12. hayesk macrumors 65816

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    May 20, 2003
    #12
    Multitasking is a red herring. You absolutely can launch two apps and copy and paste between the two. What you can't do is have a 3d rendering app render in the background while you do something else. But you most certainly can switch between apps quickly and move data between the two. And that is what most people are looking for with multitasking.
     
  13. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    San Clemente, CA USA
    #13
    Now that's a much more balanced and well thought out response.
     
  14. thesmoth macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #14
    I'm typing from an iPad now, and everything I said except for the part about downloading word docs is correct. It's an app launcher and mostly a toy.
     
  15. EazyWeazy3 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #15
    It does everything I want it to. Haven't found something it can't do as far as what I want it to n
     
  16. ulbador macrumors 68000

    ulbador

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #16
    Nope. Similar interface in that it is text based, but so much more.
     
  17. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000

    Uofmtiger

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    Memphis
    #17
    I would not call it a toy anymore than I would call a book, a magazine, a newspaper, a calendar, a photo viewer, a movie player, a music player, a map, etc... toys. It can be used to play angry birds, so you could say it plays games, so that feature is toy like.

    The logmein/Splashtop remote features let you log into a computer if you really want to edit excel on a 9.7 inch screen. If you conduct work (like excel) on the road with great frequency, I would still get a laptop. However, my laptop gets very little use now that I got an iPad, but I still use the desktop for excel, photo editing, and for streaming media content.

    I think that listing everything it can do would take forever because you would need to be familiar with the capabilities of every app.

    The real question is what do you want to be able to do with it?
     
  18. Ungibbed, Feb 15, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011

    Ungibbed macrumors 6502

    Ungibbed

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    #18
    The terminal.app is far more robust than the cmd shell in Windows.

    For windows users, the use of Microsoft Powershell and you will have "almost" the same functionality as the terminal in OS X.


    To answer the topic at hand, both have their virtues (iPad vs. laptop). I keep my iPad handy on my coffee table if I want to answer an email or browse the web without a fuss. I game on it, watch the occasional movie whilst waiting at the DMV. It essentially is a media consumption device in the addition to having some light ability for basic computing tasks.
     
  19. GfulDedFan, Feb 15, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011

    GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

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    Oct 17, 2007
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    Indiana
    #19
    Since I bought my iPad, I use my MacBook less and less. In fact, if I need to use my MacBook, I can use it from my iPad with SplashTop.

    The iPad doesn't replace a computer but it supplements it pretty great.

    Toy? Is a photo album a toy? How about a stereo? DVR? Live TV? Books/Magazines? These are some of the things I use my iPad for.

    Oh and surprisingly one of the things I don't use it for is to play games......


    Edit: Looks like UofmTiger and I were on the same thoughts... I just type slower.
     
  20. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    Aug 17, 2009
    #20
    Those lines in the path names, between the directories, lean the wrong way for Windows users. Nevemind the missing drive letters.
     
  21. zirconiawoods macrumors newbie

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    Feb 14, 2011
  22. Gryzor, Feb 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2011

    Gryzor macrumors 6502

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #22
    Is thread and OP for real?

    • iPad can do anything that the iPad can do.
    • iPad cannot do anything that the iPad cannot do.

    It's a personal entertainment device, not a business device. If they wanted it to replace a laptop, they would have given in a proper file system or sold you a Macbook Air...
     
  23. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816

    GfulDedFan

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    #23
    We'll just keep this your little secret.
     
  24. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #24
    Ignore this guy, he doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. Of course you can open a Word doc from an email straight into Pages to edit it.

    Ignore this guy too. The iPad is an excellent business tool. I use it for this purpose every day. It complements - not replaces - a laptop/desktop.
     
  25. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

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    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    London Ontario
    #25
    Only thing an iPad can't do for me is upload files to a website using just safari.
    Eg. I wish I could go to an image upload site, and when I click browse it would let me upload a file from my photo library.. Even better would be a 'documents' folder to store other file types and let safari access that as well...

    For me that would really blur the line between regular computer and tablet... A very simple "file system" with out giving too much access or over complicating things.

    Maybe one day :)

    I would also like to mention that the iPad has replaced my MacBook. I used the MacBook just for browsing, email, news etc. Now I do all that from the iPad. Got rid of the MacBook and there has not really been any " I wish I still had my MacBook" moments... Of course that depends on your needs.
     

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