iPad HD Remarks

OK, assuming the rumors are right and tomorrow’s announcement will be for an iPad HD with a Retina or near-Retina display which should make Scrivener for the iPad look absolutely fabulous, I’ll start off the discussion with a pair of writing-related questions.

I. For someone using an iPad mostly for writing, how much storage is enough? My second-hand iPhone 3GS came with 16 GB and I’m only using about half of that for my writing notes and an overabundance of apps. If the rumors are true, going from 16 GB to 32 GB comes at a hefty $100 charge. Text doesn’t take up much space. Can a writer get by with just 16 GB? As a laptop user, that sound ridiculous, but tablets do seem to be different.

  1. There is an interesting discussion at the end of this article:

techcrunch.com/2012/03/05/the-ba … e-haircut/

In which John Gruber posts:

Followed by a Maxim Harper who responds:

Is anyone finding that they can master merely touching glass as sufficient tactile feedback to get fast typing?

I’m skeptical since that on-screen keyboard is missing a lot of keys. Some, I suspect, can type letters at 110 wpm, but add in numbers and punctuation beyond periods and you have to bring in an aux keyboard, which should slow typing down quite a bit.

For what it is worth, I had been planning to get a refurb iPad 2 when the iPad 3 came out. But the HD screen, the faster CPU/graphics, and the unchanged prices have me thinking of going for the iPad HD. Even if it doesn’t offer any features I must have, it will have a longer lifespan before Apple drops iOS support and a greater resale value.

Also, when I do the math, I see this iPad as a purchase in place of a MacBook Air, at least for a year or more. Seen that way, a total cost of about $600 looks good in comparison to about $1200 for the laptop with enough memory. And of course I can only think that way because Scrivener for the iPad is coming. For that, we can thank Keith’s willingness to expand his development team.

Feel free to use this forum entry to post your own views, pro and con, about the new iPad HD, and how adaptable it is to writing.

–Mike Perry, Seattle

If you have or might get an iPad, you might want to run quick like a bunny to the iTunes store and pick up Splashtop Touchpad, marked down (perhaps briefly) from $4.95 to free.

itunes.apple.com/us/app/splashto … 83034?mt=8

It as one of iTunes top 20 bestsellers last year. Here is their summary of its features:

It also works with iPhones and iPod touches. In fact, reading the reviews, it seems to be an iPhone app that also works on iPads, so it may not take full advantage of the iPad screen size, at least yet. I like the idea that it might let me have multi-touch without upgrading my Macs.

Also on sale, but apparently not free are some of the developer’s other products, including Remote Desktop, CamCam, Touchpad, and FileHound.

I can buy that. I had a lot of practice typing on “nothing” from a multitouch full-size keyboard/trackpad/gesture interface. With that thing I was able to get upwards 70wpm after a few months of usage. It was in some ways more difficult than the iPad because it used a “hand shaped” keyboard, so all of the old finger movement metrics were a bit “off”. Making it hand-shaped was a kind of good idea, if that was how we all started out, and I think with keys you can get away with that easier, but without any tactile keys it made for a lot of typos. The iPad’s square keyboard design is less ergonomic, but feels more normal. On the other hand, it’s cramped and for myself it’s impossible to keep my wrists at a natural angle, so while I could type all day long on this other keyboard, it gets old pretty fast on an iPad. But like I say, 70+ wpm, on the iPad it’s probably more like 60, so I can definitely buy that teenagers can get full typing speed on these or even iPhones.

What frustrates me the most is the software itself. The form factor isn’t so bad with practice, it’s the underlying keyboard that’s a huge pain to use. That every other writing program has an auxiliary row is pretty much testament to how bad it is. The most frustrating thing about this amazing multi-touch technology being in Apple’s hands is that they are so anxious to keep things 6 year old simple. It’s like their one mouse button nonsense, now carried over into multi-touch—but the real pity is that nobody else can use that technology as they own all of the patents. Using that old keyboard based on the tech they bought was like Minority Report. It made using your computer a whole new experience. People would just drop their jaws when they saw me using it. Windows thrown around and reshaped as I threw them, being able to move a paragraph to another window and keep typing an instant later as I never left the home-row to do so. Hundreds of gestures (which are remarkably easy to remember). It was the purest interface with a computer that I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. So seeing what Apple has done with multi-touch is like someone with the patents to molecular harddrives using them for nothing but decorative LED belt buckles.

iPad is a good device for writing. If you don’t have one, get an iPad3. I have an iPad2 and I am pretty happy with it (I won’t upgrade). I don’t type fast and never really measured my performance on it. But it definitely is a useful device. You can get a lot of work done on it

On memory storage: go for 32 Gb. 16 may be enough, but what if it isn’t? I have a 32 Gb, and it’s fine.

Please stop giving them ideas.

Yes, the more I see an iPad as a viable replacement for a laptop, the more inclined I am to go with an iPad 3 and even perhaps go to 32 GB.

I just wish Apple didn’t have such a stupid pricing scheme. Adding 16 GB costs $100. After that, adding twice as much, 32 GB, costs the same $100. That makes for uncomfortable choices and I hate those. And given that I’m a hard sell anyway, it defeats Apple’s purpose. Give me bad choices and I often don’t buy at all.

Apple has a tendency to make their low-end device too stripped down (i.e. 2GB of RAM on a 11" MBA). It then overprices the upgrade for the MBA to a decent 4 GB. It’s that sort of game playing that has kept me from buying a MBA. I want an 11" with 13" specs.

For my desk, I also may get the next (Ivy Bridge) Mac mini. I’d like to get it totally bare, no RAM or hard drive. Again, it’s likely to be the same game. The low-end Mac mini is priced right but with inadequate RAM. Add Apple’s RAM and a decent sized HD, and it becomes far too pricey. At least in that case, I can add my own RAM and 8 GB of memory is now so cheap, about $50 from OWC, that it isn’t too painful. But I hate buying 2 GB of memory just to throw it away.

Those with tight budgets might want to check the iPad section of the Apple Refurb Store several times a day. Earlier today (3/6/2012), DealMac reported that Apple was selling 16 GB iPad 2s for $299. They sold out before I got there, but the offer will probably reappear again. That’s $200 off (40%) and perhaps a hint that if Apple keeps the 16 Gig iPad 2 around, it’ll retail for around $350. Doing that would give Amazon big headaches.

Alas, I gotta work tomorrow at a community center, so I’ll have to catch the iPad news at lunchtime. And if I elect to get one, my next move will be to get in line to become a Scrivener beta tester.

–Mike Perry, Seattle

Apple is a company. They will always try to screw you up :slight_smile:
You should think what you need, and see whether you can afford it. Pricing schemes are always a headache. I actually own also a 1st gen iPad with 64 Gb (the iPad2 was a gift, I wasn’t even thinking of upgrading). 64 Gb is a lot. When they gave me the 32 Gb iPad2, for a few days I thought “Is it going to be enough?” It is more than enough. I’d be a little more nervous with a 16 Gb though.

For the past 22 years, the one constant has always been, buy as much RAM as you can afford. Guess it is true for the iPad, too.

I’d say it depends highly upon whether or not you wish to store media on it. If you’d like to have your iTunes library available on the go, then buy as much storage space as you can afford. If you intend to primarily use it as writing tool with average number of installed apps, then 16gb could occasionally mean a little budgeting, but a safe bet. This is especially true as most stored writings on an iPad will be a fraction of what they are on a computer. Most will be plain-text, and the rich text formats are often stripped down to the bare essentials. You can store more plain-text (or streamlined HTML/etc) in 10gb or so then you’ll ever write in your lifetime. Now, on the other hand, if you are a writer that relies upon gigabytes of research in PDF format, I’d consider the 32gb. The 16 might be enough, but you might find you need to compromise on what you carry with you more than you like, after a few years of usage. Since referencing PDFs on the iPad is in my humble opinion one of its strongest points, that is something to consider.

Btw announcing it now. iPad HD is a blast!

There is much to be wooed by. :wink:

But, ugh, what an awful pun on the homepage.

resolutionary? yeah, quite lame… :slight_smile:

Also, it’s underlying message is a bit, well, crap. I mean was anyone really walking around saying, “you know I love my iPad2 but frig me look at the size of these pixels. I can’t get anything done.”?

No, but before the iPad, I didn’t notice anyone walking around saying, “you know I love my laptop, but just look at that keyboard, mouse, USB, firewire, ethernet and open OS! If I just had a dumbed down screen I could smear with fingerprints maybe I could get something done!” :wink:

That’s the thing about Apple, they give us what we want before we know we want it. To do that once or twice is a neat trick (remember pogo sticks?), but to do it so regularly is remarkable!

For the record, I think the new iPad is impressive and hope to buy one (but will probably need to wait for the next “remarkable” iteration). I can see so many uses for it in my daily workflow.

The RAM you can pay for is not the RAM you want to maximize. There are two distinct uses of what’s technically RAM (as in Random Access Memory) on the iPad: the 16/32/64 Gigabytes that you see listed in the specs, and the RAM that’s used by the processor at runtime, which you don’t see listed anywhere. It’s the latter that’s usually referred to as RAM, and on desktop systems, you want as much of that as you can get. The 16/32/64 Gigabytes refers to the SSD (Solid State Drive), which is a replacement for the desktop’s hard drive. It’s used for storing apps and files; more apps and more files means more SSD space. Buy as much as you need.

Oh, and increasing the RAM means decreasing battery life. Memory uses power whenever the device is turned on. More memory uses more power. For battery powered devices, the amount of RAM (as in not SSD) is a tradeoff: more RAM can make things run faster, but at the cost of shortening battery life.

… the result of excellent marketing.

Media outlets are reporting it as if it’s news! It’s a minor update to an existing product in a tech company’s catalogue!

I think we should take a leaf out of their book for our own marketing and home page. Suggestions:

Cork blimey!


Er… No, that’s me done.

After I saw that frightening Grand Central Station video, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve completely lost my grasp on reality (and that such might be a good thing). Has the rest of the world, outside of my small sane bubble, gone mad? Who gets that euphoric over a store opening? Were these actual people… or actors? Who stops by to buy an $800 device because they have a 30 minute wait between trains?

Hmm, another suggestion: Caulk Board. No, that’s been done.

I just gotta say it. You have been living on the Left Coast, in that bitty river port town, WAY too long!

Or else I have been living too close to Gotham for the same amount of time. :stuck_out_tongue:

I love my little bitty port town. Bilge rats on weed and all.