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"The iPad as a fast, precise tool for creativity"

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Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Dec 7, 2018 at 03:01 PM


This may be a wee bit off topic, but still may be of interest here:


This is an article about a theory of making tablets competitive with desktop computers as tools for creative work. Their model adjusts the concepts of how apps should work. For instance, the app this author’s team created requires a stylus, rather than treating it as an optional accessory. Also, they expect users to read the manual—this way they do not have to build a dumbed-down app that can be used by anyone who downloads it.

I found many of the ideas to have merit, and the app they’ve built is intriguing. But one thing the author doesn’t seem to take into account is that most work is done at desks. A tablet is good when you’re on a bench or at a coffee shop, but is more awkward at a desk than a traditional computer, unless you prop it up and add a keyboard—essentially making it into a desktop computer.

I am wondering what others think?

Steve Z.


Posted by Hugh
Dec 7, 2018 at 03:42 PM


The application and the experience surrounding its development sound very interesting, Steve - and many thanks for highlighting them.

For those interested in the development of tablets as potential replacements for desk- or laptops, another source is the free MacStories (https://www.macstories.net) and its subscription weekly newsletter Club MacStories. Federico Vittici has been using an iPad Pro as his primary computer for well over a year, and in the latest edition of MacStories, he writes about his experiences with the tablet’s 2018 edition. In his writings he has covered the compromises and roadblocks involved, as well as the benefits.


Posted by Hugh
Dec 7, 2018 at 04:02 PM


Stephen Zeoli wrote:

>I am wondering what others think?
> >Steve Z.

I do like the iPad Pro for work, but in certain relatively narrow ways.

I like handwriting, and that’s the main use I’ve made of my iPad Pro so far, along with the ability to proof-read and annotate previously written typescripts. I also like the iPad Pro’s relatively distraction-free interface. I like its relatively long battery life. And with future editions of iOS and future software developments, the computing power it contains may start to become important for me. I can foresee that more sophisticated applications on the tablet, perhaps like the Dossier prototype described in the article (something a little like the Mac application Curio, I think), may begin to be released.

But I also like quite a lot of screen space, even for writing, and even the 12.9inch iPad Pro doesn’t feed that need. Perhaps I’ll just have to wait for foldable screens before tablets fully satisfy my computing requirements!


Posted by Franz Grieser
Dec 7, 2018 at 04:26 PM


Working on the iPad?
I use mine for reading (Kindle and PDFs) and notetaking. But sorely miss a decent keyboard (and I tested some of them). Handwriting is not for me. And I want a real big screen, better: 2 screens. So: No serious working on the iPad for me.

When you asked, Stephen, immediately Federico Viticci came to my mind. Funny: His working process is discussed in the “Writing Workflows” draft (see the other thread in the forum). Even more funny: In the chapter “Writing on the edge” (whatever that is).


Posted by Hugh
Dec 7, 2018 at 04:44 PM


Franz Grieser wrote:
Working on the iPad?
>I use mine for reading (Kindle and PDFs) and notetaking. But sorely miss
>a decent keyboard (and I tested some of them).

Have you tried a Brydge keyboard, Franz? Expensive, and from reports I’ve seen (chiefly on Amazon), one or two of those built before Christmas 2017 may not have been entirely reliable, losing functionality in certain of the keys. But now, from my reading, better than the rest.


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