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Holiday reflections

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Posted by Franz Grieser
Dec 29, 2014 at 04:34 PM

 

Thanks Paul.

I haven’t tried the Swype on my iPad. I had an early version on a PocketPC about a decade ago. You could “write” using a stylus (instead of tapping the mini on-screen keyboard keys), which was quite comfortable. But I prefer real typing on real keys :-)

 


Posted by Franz Grieser
Dec 29, 2014 at 04:36 PM

 

Dottore.

My iPad 2 works like a charm, I have no problems using the latest iOS (my system did not slow down). And I invested a in a number of iOS apps. So getting a better keyboard seems to be the best solution in my case.

Regards, Franz

 


Posted by Hugh
Dec 29, 2014 at 05:46 PM

 

Dr Andus wrote:

>If the speed of note-taking is key, another option would be to take
>handwritten notes on the BB Sync, and then sync the resulting PDFs via
>Bluetooth with iPad, PC, Evernote etc. But this leaves the notes in
>handwritten form, which may not be ideal if one needs to be able to
>search that text etc.
>

In my quest to find handwriting input that works, I’m hoping that the makers of the BB Sync enable its output to work with MyScript, a single firm that is the equivalent of Nuance voice-recognition in the handwriting-recognition market. I can’t remember who - but it was possibly you Dr A on this forum - pointed out that somewhere in their online promotional material BB had not discounted that possibility. I think the BB Sync’s predecessor, called the BB Rip (?), now withdrawn, did create files that could be converted into digital text with a MyScript application. But of course, much continues to hang on MyScript’s software really cracking the job of reducing the error rate for handwriting conversion.

>faster due to improvements, as opposed to degrade it, as is the case
>with iOS, Windows etc. updates. But it certainly hasn’t slowed a bit
>since January, when I bought it.

 


Posted by Hugh
Dec 29, 2014 at 06:00 PM

 

I wanted to add something about iPad keyboard cases (which is why there’s a second piece of Dr A’s post in my post above). 

To judge from amazon.co.uk, there’s increasing competition in the iPad keyboard case market. Father Christmas brought me a “mid-market” example, the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard for my iPad Mini. Not much time so far to really sweat it out - and certainly no time to test its longevity - but up to this point I’ve found it to be an addition that should encourage me to use my Mini as input device more often - I hope with iOS Scrivener and iOS Ulysses III in 2015. One criticism others have made of the keyboard is that it’s too small for typing - a criticism that presumably would apply to its competitors also - but so far I’ve not found this (although I’m not a key-butcher - I reserve that for pencils!).

 


Posted by MadaboutDana
Dec 31, 2014 at 01:32 PM

 

The very clever design of the Logitech ultrathin keyboard (which basically does away with the ‘Tab’ and ‘Caps Lock’ keys, or rather conflates them with letter keys) means that the main keyboard isn’t much smaller than a standard keyboard – certainly okay for touch typing.

Sadly, Santa didn’t bring me one, but then I already have a Logitech K810.

While the Logitech K810 doesn’t act as a baseboard for iPads or any other device, being a completely separate keyboard, it’s worth mentioning that many of the aluminium, ultrathin keyboards available for iPads act as perfectly stable platforms that turn the iPad into an acceptable notebook alternative. That’s the case for my iPad 2 keyboard, for example, which was originally designed by Zagg (and then appropriated by Logitech). And as others have mentioned, there are growing numbers of ‘folio’ or ‘clamshell’ keyboards available, too, which turn iPads into fully fledged laptops.

For those anxious about multitasking: many two-pane apps are already available for iPads. Some of them are very basic, simply consisting of two side-by-side web browser panes (that’s already quite useful, of course). Others allow you to take notes in one pane while browsing in the other. Still others support multiple functions – Tapose is a good example (and it’s much more stable than it used to be!) What’s more, many people forget or don’t realise that you can swipe from one app to another on an iPad, using a four-finger gesture. It’s a bit clumsy, but it works perfectly well.

Other apps, such as OneNote, Outline, MagicalPad or Notability, allow you to write on a whiteboard-like page, meaning you can place your text anywhere on the page. That means you can also place it in two columns, if you wish, or write your main text in one column and put notes and references in text boxes alongside it.

Finally, there are a number of writing tools that allow you to swipe or tap quickly into an accompanying browser pane: Editorial, for one. The latter also allows you to automate the whole process of copying browser references into the document you are writing, and indeed, supports complex workflows involving multiple apps (for more on this, visit Federico Viticci’s website MacStories.net: he is an inspiring example of somebody who does almost all of his serious work on an iPad Mini). Another valuable app for multitasking is the recently released Workflow, which allows you to chain together multiple complex actions.

So despite the iPad’s reputation for single-tasking only, there are plenty of options for alternative ways of working! And iOS 8 is already capable of multitasking, although this functionality hasn’t yet been released to the public (it was recently unearthed by a researcher, who posted up a working example, but I can’t find or remember the reference). Meaning that iOS 8.5 or 9.0 will probably allow users to work in multiple apps simultaneously. I’m looking forward to it!

Cheers,
Bill

 


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