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Wednesday, 27 November 2013


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I bought an iPad Mini last night, spent several frustrating hours trying to put in all the required passwords, gave up and took it back to Best Buy this morning.
I refuse to use anything that's so user unfriendly. To Hell with it!

I bought an iPad a couple of years ago. It crashes constantly now. Never again.

I need more information, and it's surprisingly hard to come by. Like, why is it important to hold the iPad with one hand? Do you often go around holding it up in front of you, rather than resting it on something? A typical hardcover book weighs 1.5 pounds, or about the same as the iPad weight that you think is a bit heavy. But the weight of a hardcover novel never seemed particularly onerous to me.

Would 128GB of storage be enough for an average guy like me? Is there a USB port so you could off-load some of your storage to flash drives?

Also, is there a power supply like with a Mac Air, or just a plug-in cord? The thing about the Mac Air is that they get away with these super-light-weight claims, but don't mention that the power supply weighs a half pound.

Are there any photo processing apps with the iPad, or do you just use if for display? Once you have stuff on the iPad, how do you get it off? E-Mail it to yourself?

This stuff (including the weight stuff) is important to me because I have been looking seriously at the 8GB RAM/512GB storage Surface 2 Pro from Microsoft. But, it weighs (gasp) 2 pounds!!! Which is still less than the Mac Air, even without the power supply, but quite a bit more than the iPad. And it runs the full Windows 8.1, as well as all Windows apps, like Word, Lightroom and Photoshop, and comes with a Wacom-designed pen. But, the screen isn't as good, I guess (it's called "full HD") and it's much more expensive than the iPad, and it doesn't come with cell hookup capability. Do you think you could comfortably read a digital novel with a 2-pound reader?

Does the iPad work with Pages, and if so, is the iPad version of Pages compatible with Word? Can you use a decent keyboard with the iPad?

I manage nicely with the 3rd-gen iPad and 32 Gig by occasionally riding the iPad of "cruft". I've always wondered how people manage to fill up 64 Gigs (or more) -- what have you put on your iPad? (reminds me of some Mac ads of the past …)

I had an iPad 3 with Retina display. I loved it though I agree it was a little on the hefty side. I found in the end even though I have a smart phone, and several laptops the iPad generally became my favorite for many activities and surprisingly for reading. I have a kindle touch I bought on ebay for beach reads, about the only place I found the iPad to fall down and I was less concerned about my $30.00 Eink device on the beach than my iPad.

Of course "I had" is the key statement from above. I now have an iPad Mini with Retina display. This really hits the sweet spot for me. Still a gorgeous display (though supposedly less color gamut) but lighter and smaller so it really goes everywhere. Paired with my Nex-6 and a couple of lenses it all fits in a small case and I have a very compact setup.

I upgraded to an Air, from the original iPad. Big improvement in speed and graphics, along with the reduction in overall size and weight. Set up was a breeze. At the same time I upgraded my wife to the mini with retina. She loves the hand hold improvement of the mini and I get the side benefit of access to both current versions of the iPad. Debated getting more storage, but actually went for less - the 32gb seemed to be the sweet spot. If I did image editing I would stay at 64 or maybe do the same 128gb upgrade you did Ctein. While the Air is by no means perfect, I am glad I did the upgrade.

I was an early adopter of the original iPad, ordering it on the first day it was announced. I had mine so early the people on the subway would point at me when I took it out of my camera bag and sat down. "Look, that's the new Apple thing."

But I never upgraded. I was close to moving to the first Mini for all the obvious reasons -- weight while reading, portability on the commute, etc., but I refused to buy anything without the Retina screen. So when this new Mini was announced with the Retina screen, I jumped on it. Mine arrived last week, fully decked out with T-Mobile cellular and twice the memory of my original iPad.

I love using this thing. But what may not be obvious to people who've upgraded regularly is how damned fast it is. It's way way (way) faster than that original iPad. Totally snappy.

And it fits into the inside pocket of my leather bomber jacket.

Worth waiting for.

I am still on iPad 2. This looks like a worthy upgrade, finally. But. There is nothing wrong with my iPad2. I hate to upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. So I pass again.

Suggest going to an Apple store rather than Best Buy.

I bought a iPad Mini Retina last week, had all my Apple passwords (2) and my email password installed and had downloaded several programs within 20 minutes after entering the store (not from having the box in my hands). They were very helpful and I am using it every day.

Hmmm. The last time I bought an iPad, it took about 5 minutes to set it up from start to finish.

All I want is an iOS update that will allow me to import only the JPEGs from my JPEG+RAW captures. Or a simple 3rd party app that does it using the camera connection kit.

Dear John,

I tend to be holding the iPad in one hand any time I am using it where it isn't in my lap or on a table in front of me. There is a difference between holding an iPad and a book. When you're using the iPad, you're typically holding it by one edge between your thumb and the palm of your hand. A lot different from cradling a book.

If you're just thinking of using it as an e-book reader, then that's different. More cradling. But if that's what you're mostly interested in, unless the smaller screen really bugs you, you'd be a lot better served by an iPad Retina mini. It's REALLY easy to carry around and handhold.

Unless you're a total computer packrat like me, or you make a HUGE number of photographs on a typical trip, an “average guy” like you doesn't even need 128 GB. You can buy external drives for the iPad, but they have to be custom-designed for it; there's no standard USB or SD interface that lets you use generic flash drive. Consequently, the externals are pricey.

The iPad USB charger weighs 3 ounces and is 3 cubic inches. If you already travel with a USB charger, you can use it with the iPad cable. It'll charge much more slowly–– overnight for a full charge–– but it will work.

I haven't started investigating photo processing apps much yet. That's one of the reasons for the new iPad (I also bought the camera adapter SD card reader this time for the same reason). Stay tuned for future reports

The only program that is 100% compatible with Microsoft Word is Microsoft Word. Cross-app compatibility entirely depends on what subset of the Word functions you end up using. I really hate invoking the cliché, but in this case Google really CAN be your friend. Searching on "Can pages read microsoft word documents" will turn up lots of reports on the degrees and kinds of compatibility, which may answer your question. If not, we can investigate this in private.

Any Bluetooth wireless keyboard will work with the iPad. You can get full-size standalone ones or iPad-width ones that either wrap around it as a case or snap on the front as a cover. I am seriously contemplating getting the snap-on Logitech keyboard (http://www.zdnet.com/logitech-ultrathin-keyboard-cover-and-ipad-air-thinner-than-a-dime-7000023654/) … but I'm not sure I want to be adding several more ounces and millimeters to what I'm normally carrying around. I am torn.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 

FWIW, the iPad does run Pages. And with the recent release of iWork Pages on your iPad and Pages on your Mac are using the same underlying file format and the iCloud-based file sharing is a lot more transparent.

Pages also has decent facilities for importing and exporting Word format files. This works OK, but is probably not the best solution if you are really doing shared work with someone else who must use Word.

I own the original iPad.. too clunky and heavy, not mentioned the hassle of uploading everything through iTunes. So after it was outdated (no more iOS update), it just sits in the drawer. Just recently using it again to read ebooks about watercolour drawing, and I have to admit iBook is the best reader app out there (I also use Aldiko, Kindle and Google books app on 7" android).
So now I'm considering an upgrade to Air *sigh*

You can buy external drives for the iPad, but they have to be custom-designed for it; there's no standard USB or SD interface that lets you use generic flash drive. Consequently, the externals are pricey.

... and that was the killer for me. There was just too much I couldn't do without significant additional expenditure. So I sold my iPad2 and bought a ChromeBook - which just has everything built in. With the money left over (yes, left over) I bought a 7 inch Nook HD which serves for convenient reading and entertainment.

Of course I'm limited in the software I can use on the Chromebook (though I find Google apps easily cope with 90% of my non photo-editing needs). When it comes to photo editing I'm still very much desktop based, so the quality of the iPad dispay is not a critical factor for me.

No iPad Air for me until Apple figures-out how to fix Mavericks. I’m getting tired of the trash the “networkinterfaces.plist” file, unplug and plug-in the Ethernet adapter, reboot, pray and repeat, just to get online drill, but I digress.

I still feel that Apple offers the best experience in computing, but dangnabbit. Sorry, I just needed someone to talk to.

Dear jeff1000,

I sympathize. I'm going to have to move my iMac from Snow Leopard to Mavericks and I am not looking forward to the experience. I can understand you not wanting to undertake dealing with a new machine until you've debugged the old one.

(To be clear, for readers who don't know, the iPad doesn’t run Mavericks. Like all Apple's mobile devices it runs iOS, which is in no way dependent on Mavericks.)

pax / Ctein

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