Tag Archives: ipad

Mobile scribbling

Apple iPad Tablet Concept Photo Giddy via Compfight

Yesterday I talked about how much I use my iPad these days and it got me thinking about how the iPad has changed how I write. Years ago, I used to write exclusively on my desktop PC. Then I bought a laptop, and began to use that more for “on the road” writing, with editing still done on the desktop. These days much of the quick writing is done on the iPad instead and, after much trial and error, I’ve come to rely on three main apps.

(NB: I still use the desktop – and in particular Scrivener – for anything that requires heavy formatting, organising long documents, and editing. The iPad is just for getting the words down in the first place!)

pages 1. Pages

Price: £6.99

Pages is the most expensive writing app I own and ironically it’s the one I tend to use the least, although that’s more because it doesn’t entirely suit me personally instead of any inherent fault with the app. If you’re looking for a proper word processor, with easy and comprehensive formatting, Pages is for you. You can export documents in Pages, Word, pdf, and epub formats.

Notebooks 2. Notebooks

Price: £5.99

The big draw of Notebooks is the fantastic integration with Dropbox, which makes sharing documents between multiple devices a breeze. You can write in plain text, rich text, or markdown, and organise files into folders to your heart’s content. I’m not a huge fan of the writing environment but I love the organisational functions of this app.

iA Writer 3. iA Writer

Price: £2.99

The cheapest of my three main apps and the one I use the most on days when I just need to get some words down. If you need a clean, distraction-free app, iA Writer is a winner. I’m never going to be doing heavy editing in this app and formatting is a no-no, but it’s still a pleasure to use.

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Written on tablet

The Future of Computing Andy via Compfight

Why tablets are killing PCs – a few years ago I would have disagreed vehemently with anyone who suggested that one day I’d be spending more time on my iPad than I ever do on my laptop, but over the last two years in particular it’s become a big part of my life and my laptop is mostly gathering dust in a cupboard.

The desktop PC still gets plenty of use – for gaming, and a couple of applications that only run on Windows. “Serious” writing gets done on the desktop too, thanks to Scrivener. Everything else? Well, I could get out the laptop, plug it in (the battery life is terrible), wait for it to boot, wait for it to find a wifi signal … or I could pick up my iPad and with a couple of clicks do what I want.

In the morning I read the news on my iPad while I eat my breakfast. I use it to write and keep on top of my emails while I’m on long train journeys. I watch TV on it when I’m stuck in hotel rooms (thank you, iPlayer). I keep it next to my desk so I can quickly research and reference while writing fullscreen on the desktop. It works for me in a way my laptop never did. And tablets in general seem to work for a lot of people, from the technically literate to people who do just need email and access to Facebook.

I’ll freely admit to being a geek. I love it when technology makes people’s lives better, even if it’s in a relatively minor way.

NB: I’ve never owned an Android tablet so I have no idea what they’re like or how they compare. I have no strong feelings either way.

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