My iPad Workflow

201005151632.jpg by Richard Gayle

So, I have had my iPad for a couple of weeks and am getting a better handle on what I can do with it.

First, it is not yet a replacement for my laptop. That is not too surprising. My laptop is based on very mature type of OS – the Mac GUI has been around for 26 years now – and pretty mature software – the iWorks package are several years old and they are probably the newest of my major applications. Word and Office are decades old. I figure that the iPad apps will get much closer to their more mature cousins in a few update cycles. We have already seen one for Pages, Keynote and Numbers, with actual improvements and addition of features, not just bug fixes.

My normal laptop workflow uses a lot of Keynote, Word and Excel files. So my main concern has been how well this translates to the iPad. So far, reasonably well if you stick to pretty simply things. Keynote, Pages and Numbers for the iPad do not yet come up to the level that their laptop versions do. But they work pretty well in a pinch and in settings where pulling out a laptop may not be useful.

For example, I was as a forum on Wednesday put on by Xconomy that had normal theater seating. No way could I use a laptop there. And even if I could, no access to a plug meant my laptop would die before the forum ended. A netbook would have been perilously perched on my lap.

But I could easily put my iPad on my lap. And there was free WiFi. So I tried to tweet the forum, which worked pretty well, as you can see. Of course, using Twitterriffic for the iPad made it a really nice experience. Composing Tweets was easy but also following everyone else who was using the forum’s hash was a lot of fun. And the added space on the iPad meant the words were large enough to easily read.

While I adjust my workflow to meet what the iPad is capable of, it is really great to see a new setting where I can still work. And during boring talks, I can get some work accomplished without having a huge laptop sitting unsteadily on my lap.

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