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orrenm

Pages...for iPhone?

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I've had my iPad for a while now, and I still can't imagine it as a serious writing tool. I find it less suited for serious long term work than a full-sized computer and I am far from convinced that I could really make use of an iPad writing tool such as Pages for iPad.

 

So is this really Pages...for iPhone?

http://9to5mac.com/iwork_for_iphone_plan

 

 

Orren

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Even if Pages for the iPhone is fake, which I strongly suspect it is, there is probably someone out there who thinks this is a good idea. It's all about moving the product out the door and making a few bucks in the process. ***sigh***

 

As for whether the iPad is a good writing tool: I give it a poor-to-fair rating. It's not horrible for a once-over markup, then make the actual fixes on your desktop. But being able to write and send, say, a short e-mail is just the icing on the cake. The iPad is for reading books, browsing pictures, browsing the Web, and watching movies. It's largely an entertainment device—and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if iPad 2.0 had a camera for video-conferencing, and maybe even a digital tuner for TV (well, there's always HULU).

 

- Thoth

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Even if Pages for the iPhone is fake, which I strongly suspect it is, there is probably someone out there who thinks this is a good idea. It's all about moving the product out the door and making a few bucks in the process. ***sigh***

 

As for whether the iPad is a good writing tool: I give it a poor-to-fair rating. It's not horrible for a once-over markup, then make the actual fixes on your desktop. But being able to write and send, say, a short e-mail is just the icing on the cake. The iPad is for reading books, browsing pictures, browsing the Web, and watching movies. It's largely an entertainment device—and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if iPad 2.0 had a camera for video-conferencing, and maybe even a digital tuner for TV (well, there's always HULU).

 

- Thoth

I would agree, with a couple of exceptions. Big one is that I really do use iBooks to edit my work and Pages to do preliminary read-throughs on my critique partners' chapters, as well as to take more detailed notes on my own work. I also find it useful under some circumstances (not others!) to have instant access to my e-mail. For example, right now I am waiting for a somewhat discombobulated friend to confirm coffee tomorrow at 10 am....

 

And it is useful to know that I can access Safari and answer posts like this in the evening instead of taking time from work.

 

But Pages on the iPhone? Seems to me like a bridge too far. ;)

M

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I would agree, with a couple of exceptions. Big one is that I really do use iBooks to edit my work and Pages to do preliminary read-throughs on my critique partners' chapters, as well as to take more detailed notes on my own work.

This is easier for you on your iPad than on your laptop/desktop? Is it because it's more mobile? (You can edit on the can, etc.) I find the difficulty of doing any serious typing on the thing outweighs the mobility advantage. But that's just me. My corrections can be long (like adding a new Section, long).

 

I also find it useful under some circumstances (not others!) to have instant access to my e-mail. For example, right now I am waiting for a somewhat discombobulated friend to confirm coffee tomorrow at 10 am....

I wish you luck with that. Perhaps the coffee will recombobulate* your friend.

 

And it is useful to know that I can access Safari and answer posts like this in the evening instead of taking time from work.

Ah. The luxury of working from home (most of the time).

 

- Thoth

 

*Yes, I know "recombobulate" isn't a word. But it should be. It's so darn cute.

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I really do use iBooks to edit my work

 

How do you use iBooks to edit? I didn't think it included any markup features.

 

I also find it useful under some circumstances (not others!) to have instant access to my e-mail...And it is useful to know that I can access Safari and answer posts like this in the evening instead of taking time from work.

 

I agree that these are wonderful things to have at one's finger tips. :) But I'm not sure how this is somehow different from owning either a laptop or even a smartphone, which also gives you easy and instant access to email and fora*.

 

Orren

 

* Right now, the only way to access the Storyist forum on a smartphone is via Mobile Safari (or other mobile browser) is quite tiny, as you'd imagine. However, there is a fantastic iPhone app called Tapatalk that acts as a "fora wrapper" which makes fora such as this one extremely readable. On the server side, the admin installs a few modules and then readers with Tapatalk can do nearly everything that they can in the web version inside an extremely mobile-friendly application. Both fora I moderate, Logic Users Group and Mac OS X Audio, take advantage of Tapatalk. Tapatalk used to just be for vBulletin and phpBB boards, but it recently added IPBoard support, so it's a possibility for Storyist. :)

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How do you use iBooks to edit? I didn't think it included any markup features.

 

I agree that these are wonderful things to have at one's finger tips. :) But I'm not sure how this is somehow different from owning either a laptop or even a smartphone, which also gives you easy and instant access to email and fora*.

 

Orren

I save the Storyist file as ePub, load it onto the iPad through iTunes, and click on any paragraph that I think needs work, then add a note saying what I think is missing. Since I can't get caught up in the cycle of endless rewrites, it's a good way to stay focused on overall structure.

 

There is no difference from laptop/smartphone for some people, I'm sure. I prefer the iPad because I can sit on the couch with it and read in the evenings (possible with a laptop but not as comfortable), the keyboard is big enough to type on with relative ease, and I have no interest in smartphones and don't own one. I also much prefer the backlit screen for reading books: it does not give me eyestrain, whereas staring at gray on gray for hours at a time was something I just didn't like, whatever its putative merits.

 

If I did have a smartphone, I'm not sure I would have bought an iPad. And if I used my laptop a lot, I probably wouldn't have bought one either. But as it is, I can keep the 7-year-old laptop going for a few more years for those times when I'm traveling and desperately need it, while I use the iPad every evening for one thing or another.

 

Your calculations may differ.

M

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... the keyboard is big enough to type on with relative ease...

That's the big issue for me. I've tried a stylus (several, in fact) and just couldn't get comfortable with the peck-peck-peck method of typing for more that a paragraph or two.

 

Darn my large masculine fingers.

- Thoth.

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Hi M,

 

Thanks for the explanations! One question:

 

There is no difference from laptop/smartphone for some people, I'm sure. I prefer the iPad because I can sit on the couch with it and read in the evenings (possible with a laptop but not as comfortable), the keyboard is big enough to type on with relative ease, and I have no interest in smartphones and don't own one. I also much prefer the backlit screen for reading books: it does not give me eyestrain, whereas staring at gray on gray for hours at a time was something I just didn't like, whatever its putative merits.

 

What I don't understand is that all smartphones and laptops also have backlit screens. I've got iBooks on my iPhone and it's just as backlit as it is on my iPad. And Stanza is just as backlit on my MacBook Pro as my iPad. Is there something specific I'm missing in your comment?

 

BTW, I've had the same experience as Thoth vis a vis typing. I am a relatively proficient touch typist and the iPad, even in landscape mode, is simply too small for me to really touch type at speed or comfortably. I find myself trying to type quickly by using a sort of homespun hybrid of pecking and touch typing using about 2-3 fingers on each hand, and it gets straining after a few paragraphs.

 

Orren

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Hi M,

 

Thanks for the explanations! One question:

 

What I don't understand is that all smartphones and laptops also have backlit screens. I've got iBooks on my iPhone and it's just as backlit as it is on my iPad. And Stanza is just as backlit on my MacBook Pro as my iPad. Is there something specific I'm missing in your comment?

 

BTW, I've had the same experience as Thoth vis a vis typing. I am a relatively proficient touch typist and the iPad, even in landscape mode, is simply too small for me to really touch type at speed or comfortably. I find myself trying to type quickly by using a sort of homespun hybrid of pecking and touch typing using about 2-3 fingers on each hand, and it gets straining after a few paragraphs.

 

Orren

Sorry to be unclear. The Kindle 2 (which I bought refurbished last fall, badly misjudging when Apple would get its act together and produce a tablet), as well as the Barnes and Noble nook, Sony e-Readers, and the new Kobo reader are all eInk screens. They are supposed to be easier on the eyes, but I haven't found that to be true. But then, I usually read in fairly dim light, not in bright sunlight.

 

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I have small hands, so I can touch-type if I have the iPad positioned in landscape mode. In real life, I keep typing to a minimum, because I also have three lap-cats who take umbrage if I disturb their lounging in any way. So I mostly read and type short notes in iBooks. If I want to type a longer note in, say, Pages, the cats have to adjust, but man, do they complain (they're Siamese).

 

But even with small hands, the iPad is not as convenient to type on as a physical keyboard. It's merely tolerable. As a reader/surfer/video and audio player it works much better.

Best,

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<

:)

 

(Perhaps I can get a tiny piano for you for your birthday.)

BTW: Kindle 3 is due out July 7, 2010.

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Am I mistaken in saying that you can use a USB or Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, such that it is just a giant screen?

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Am I mistaken in saying that you can use a USB or Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, such that it is just a giant screen?

 

You are not mistaken. :) Not sure how well USB keyboards work with the USB Camera kit, but certainly bluetooth keyboards can be used just that way. The problem is, as Margueritte pointed out, one of the great strengths of the iPad is to be able to relax stretched out on the couch with it. Sure, a bluetooth keyboard eliminates the issue of trying to type on the touchscreen, but now you're trying to juggle both a keyboard and a tablet on your lap. Once you decide to simply prop your monitor up like a picture frame and just use the keyboard on your lap, you might as well use a laptop. So for my usage, I'm not particularly interested in trying a keyboard with an iPad. I'd much rather take advantage of the iPad's form factor for browsing and light typing, and just rely on my Mac Pro or MacBook Pro for serious text entry.

 

Orren

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Am I mistaken in saying that you can use a USB or Bluetooth keyboard with the iPad, such that it is just a giant screen?

Hi, SP, Nice to have you back.

Hope the schoolwork leaves you alone till Sept.

How many years before graduation?

M

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This is easier for you on your iPad than on your laptop/desktop? Is it because it's more mobile? (You can edit on the can, etc.) I find the difficulty of doing any serious typing on the thing outweighs the mobility advantage. But that's just me. My corrections can be long (like adding a new Section, long).

 

 

I wish you luck with that. Perhaps the coffee will recombobulate* your friend.

 

 

Ah. The luxury of working from home (most of the time).

 

- Thoth

 

*Yes, I know "recombobulate" isn't a word. But it should be. It's so darn cute.

Missed this post, somehow. No, it is easiest to edit on my desktop, then my laptop, then the iPad. No contest. My point was that in the evenings I would not be editing on either desktop or laptop. I would be reading a book or watching a DVD or editing on paper. Compared to those choices, editing and reading my own work on the iPad is better. Not perfect, but better.

 

I work on my desktop from 9 to 5. I don't want to spend all evening on it, too. Too much like work. But that's just me. Other people may feel differently.

 

I can edit on the Kindle, too, but it tends to crash after note #10. And it is (for me) a less enjoyable reading experience.

 

"Recombobulate" should absolutely be a word. The coffee did exactly that. :)

M

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The web browser on the Kindle is also terrible. I stopped even trying to access the Storyist forums, because the effort reset the Kindle every time....

M

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The web browser on the Kindle is also terrible. I stopped even trying to access the Storyist forums, because the effort reset the Kindle every time....

M

Perhaps the Kindle 3 will be better.

T

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Perhaps the Kindle 3 will be better.

T

Maybe it will, although I don't plan to find out. I did realize after posting that my Kindle is refurbished, so that could explain some of its issues. I think others have complained, too, though.

 

Either way, I'm happy with my iPad, and I will still use the Kindle for, say, daytime reading in the park. I like the Kindle for Mac/iPad app a lot, although not quite as much as iBooks. Selection is better, though. And although I mostly do use either iBooks or Kindle, I like that the iPad is not limited to one book supplier: I also have the B&N eReader and the new Borders one, which I use so far to compare prices. (Someone will have to come up with an app that reminds you where you stashed a particular book!). :)

M

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... Someone will have to come up with an app that reminds you where you stashed a particular book!. :) ...

Good idea.

Here's another. After I inherited my father's library (roughly 1,100 books) I had shelving built all over my home for my 2K+ inventory. Then (actually during) I used FileMaker Pro to create a Book database that included a "Physical Location" field. I suspect you're like me, M, and have stacks and stacks everywhere waiting to be properly shelved. When you do, build a database. I've found my database invaluable. Will FileMaker or Bento work on the iPhone or iPad? (I should probably check that out.)

 

Anybody know a good database app for the iPhone or iPad?

-T

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Good idea.

Here's another. After I inherited my father's library (roughly 1,100 books) I had shelving built all over my home for my 2K+ inventory. Then (actually during) I used FileMaker Pro to create a Book database that included a "Physical Location" field. I suspect you're like me, M, and have stacks and stacks everywhere waiting to be properly shelved. When you do, build a database. I've found my database invaluable. Will FileMaker or Bento work on the iPhone or iPad? (I should probably check that out.)

 

Anybody know a good database app for the iPhone or iPad?

-T

There is a Bento for iPad. I think it sells for about $10 (could be $15). If you like Bento, I'd definitely look into it.

 

The cataloguing idea is great, but I can't find time to shelve the books. When will I find time to catalogue them? :)

Best,

M

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Hey

Personally, I'd like to see pages on the iPhone as well as Keynote for the following reasons:

 

I'd like Pages to have a document creation app that will easily transfer my files from one thing to the other.. Desktop, iPad, iPhone... I don't use pages on my desktop right now, but hey. I probably wouldn't do vast amounts of writing on the iPhone, but as someone who writes bits of poetry down on the go having something that I could write a few formatted (bold, italic, indent) lines of an idea down that could easily be transferred to the other devices for further editing would be really handy. Especially if they were to implement wireless syncing, or I start using drop box or something.

 

It would also be handy so that I could read and annotate other files I'd created on the go when I didn't have either my iPad or my computer. This is assuming it can do word docs? Can it?

 

I'd like Keynote, even if it doesn't do much creation, just so that I could have a slide show of my portfolio to have on my iPhone instead of having to create a movie or just have a folder of pictures.

 

 

 

As to Bento.... personally it isn't something I can use because it doesn't have the capability to make/edit/add the things I want or add the types of fields I want, but if it's something you can use, more power to you. As for the iPad version. I can't give it a good recommendation unless you're doing really simple stuff, but I would go to a Mac store (I saw it on iPads at my local store) and try it and read lots of reviews of it before you buy it. I looked at it and was sorely disappointed. It's very cut down and lacks a lot of function. There are a lot of people who are unhappy with it, but there are some who like it. It may do what you need, but if you do a lot of customizing or have multiple pages within a record and stuff, you may be disappointed. It is also rather poorly designed as far as good use of screen space and the way things move/scroll/work etc, though it does look fairly "pretty". Of course, it might have been updated by now.

 

I'm interested in hearing about any other database programs for Mac & iPad anyone knows about.

- Jools

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Oh and as for typing..... I think anyone with larger hands won't like it and anyone with smaller hands won't mind, so I would rate it as Poor-Fair for larger handed people and Fair-Good for smaller handed people. I definitely see myself doing some writing on it. I've used the iPad as my only computer for a week and it hasn't bothered me too much. I also just got Pages and some other apps for typing, so I'll be doing more now.

 

I think what annoys me more than actual typing is moving around in text, especially in things like facebook comments or this thread reply, because they don't have scroll bars. Using the magnifying glass to move up in text doesn't work very well and since there aren't arrow keys that's the only option other than deleting everything and starting over. That and the fact that it still doesn't capitalize I's regularly and doesn't correct easy mispellings like hsve to have or sbout to about (or even have them in the replace option) is why I don't always want to do things that involve that on my iPad, rather than the fact I find typing a pain.

 

I guess in the case of the iPad/iPhone small hands are king. :)

- Jools

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It would also be handy so that I could read and annotate other files I'd created on the go when I didn't have either my iPad or my computer. This is assuming it can do word docs? Can it?

 

Yup.

 

Keep in mind that there are other office applications for the iPad besides Pages. I use QuickOffice but there's Doc2Go (which is a business favorite) and Office2 HD (a friend's favorite). These will also open doc (like Pages), ppt (like Keynote), and xls (like Numbers). The main advantage is that whereas buying the whole iWork suite is $30 (or just Pages + Keynote is $20) these applications are $10 or less to open all formats. And all of them review as well or better than Pages.

 

I think the only reason to get Pages is if like M you do use it on the desktop.

 

Orren

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There is a Bento for iPad. I think it sells for about $10 (could be $15). If you like Bento, I'd definitely look into it.

Thanks. I definitely will. :)

 

The cataloguing idea is great, but I can't find time to shelve the books. When will I find time to catalogue them? :)

I conscripted some of the grandkids. They loved the project. (Weird kids, but useful.)

- T

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I think what annoys me more than actual typing is moving around in text, especially...

Yep. The iPad still has a ways to go before Jobs can claim it as truly "magical".

 

I guess in the case of the iPad/iPhone small hands are king. :)

- Jools

Or Queen, in M's case and yours.

- Thoth

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If there were trials of apps.... I'd give those a shot. They don't edit any iWork files though, only view, so if I did do anything in Pages, I wouldn't be able to edit it. Also, how do they display and create Power Points? I got keynote so that I would simply and easily make a slide show of images of photos for a portfolio and then show it off. When showing something like that, prettiness and ease of getting to it matters quite a bit if it's a professional contact, and I'm not sure how those apps would work for that. Having been able to see and get a bit of a feel for keynote and pages before buying them, they're what I've gone with for now. Of course, if they don't work out the way I want, I'll be back in the market. Of course, I think they all have their inherent problems, especially with importing and exporting, so really it's choosing the programs who's problems interfere with your workflow the least. :)

 

- Jools

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