30 Days With the iPad: Day 4
I know I am only four days into 30 Days with the iPad, but I am already developing a list of issues and annoyances. Let's take a look at some of the problems I have encountered so far with using the iPad as a Windows 7 notebook replacement.
Let's start with the virtual keyboard. I have an issue with it, but not the issue you might assume. I don't have any problem typing on it. I can type at a pretty decent pace tapping away on the iPad glass.
My problem with it is two-fold. First, when the virtual keyboard is in use, it takes up half of the display, leaving little room to actually view the content I am typing. A second, semi-related issue is that because my display is also my keyboard and I have the iPad laying on the desk in front of me, the viewing angle sucks as a display.
I might not mind it as much if it were a dual-tablet solution where I have one tablet for viewing and a separate tablet for typing. At some point, I will probably at least experiment with one or more of the available wireless keyboards available for the iPad and cover the pros and cons of using one of those in place of the virtual keyboard.
I am finding the iOS autocorrect feature to be a double-edged sword. I have come to rely on it to some extent when texting or typing on my iPhone or iPad in a more casual sense. I will fat-finger a word and just expect iOS to fix it for me without giving it another thought. But, when typing longer content I find I have to be much more vigilant about paying attention and making sure the iPad doesn't automatically "correct" words to be something different than I intended.
Then there is the problem of actually creating and posting the articles. My normal workflow is that I write my articles and posts in Microsoft Word, save the file locally, then copy and paste the content into the PCWorld tool online to publish the post to the Web. Now that I am using the iPad, I don't have Microsoft Office available, and there are issues with using the PCWorld online tool.
I have a few different options available to me as Microsoft Word alternatives--the iWork Pages app, DocsToGo, or using Google Docs or Office 365 from the Safari browser (or an alternate iPad browser). Unfortunately, all of these options have issues of some kind.
The problem with the apps--Pages and DocsToGo--is that there doesn't seem to be any way to insert links. You will notice that my articles all contain links to relevant sites and information scattered throughout. It is a problem trying to rely on a word processor that can't insert links.
I can write the post in Google Docs, but only in the Mobile mode, which also doesn't provide a means of inserting links. When I tried to switch to the full desktop mode of Google Docs, I got an error message. When I tried to use the Office 365 Word Web app I also had some issues and errors.