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It is school season, and while many are hailing the iPad (and other e-readers) as a saviour to students who were carrying textbooks around campus, can it actually be used for school?
Ideally, the iPad is a content consumption device. I love to play a few games, my son loves to watch YouTube videos and my wife uses it to scan Facebook.
I havent really used the iPad to create content, so I'm testing out a few apps to see if you can pack JUST an iPad for back to campus.
When it comes to reading texts AND taking notes or writing reports, having JUST the iPad around doesnt work.
You can use it to take notes in class, if you practice enough, but when it comes to writing reports, you'll want another machine to write on while your iPad displays your e-research like an extra monitor.
I took a typing test on my Macbook and again on my iPad. I scored 64 wpm with 4 errors on my Macbook and 47 wpm with 8 errors on the iPad. Actually, those errors would have been double or triple that if not for the predictive nature of typing in iOS - get it close enough and the device will auto correct for you.
Dont get me wrong, the iPad can still be a content creation device, just have a scan of any episode of this season's Entourage and you'll notice the iPad sticking out of a keyboard. It's that keyboard attachment that makes life easier to get the words into the iPad, but you're still stuck inside one app at a time with little ability to roll between programs.
If all you want to do is sit down in a cone of silence and crank out a couple pages of your manuscript, or if you're taking notes without any ancillary research needed, and you have the room to pack the keyboard along, it makes for a great package.
Here are some more ways to edit documents on the iPad:
The advantage here is free and universal cloud storage. Edit something in Google Docs on your iPad and it's available instantly anywhere you need it to be without doing any extra synching. There are some unofficial apps to get you Google Docs access on the iPad, the official one is still coming.
Because you can't multitask on an iPad, it is a great place to zone in on your creative energy. But even if a fanciful text editors has too many buttons to distract you, try Writer, a clean page that will just let you write.
For now, getting physical copies of documents off the iPad can be the biggest hassle as printing from the device won't happen until the iOS4.2 update later this year. That explains why each editor has a way to synch files across the cloud to be accessed elsewhere.
How do you use you iPad? Have you used any of these or have another suggestion for content creation?
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