Using Only An iPad For A Day

iPad

I think that I have tried this test before but to my defense, I was trying it for a week. During this test, I think I will scale this back a little. I will be going for one day.

Now everyone knows what I do for a living. I am a Technology Manager for a company with a World Wide reach. On my daily task list, I never know what will come up. I can be working on a server one minute and then have to work on a router in another country. So I will not only have to think about local connections I also have to consider dealing with remote connections to other parts of the World.

So you might ask why I am doing such a test? I want to be able to grab the iPad and toss it in a bag and know that I can be of use outside of the office and away from any so-called normal computers.

I am starting already this morning by posting this to the blog using the iPad. If you are wondering about the keyboard I am using it is just a Bluetooth keyboard I found on Amazon for about $10.00.

I will attempt again to connect this iPad to a larger monitor and see if I can get that to work? I will give you more updates as I run into issues during the day. Keep your fingers crossed.

Listening to Music While Using iPad

I wanted to see if I could listen to music while working on the iPad. I am currently typing this post while listening to Amazon Music. So the answer is yes, the iPad will multi task for this purpose.

I also just discovered another cool trick. I took a screen shot and saved it to my One Drive account. I was than able to add One Drive to my WordPress blogging app. This allowed me to add the screen shot above to this post.

When you begin to force yourself to use a device for a week I feel you will learn more of it’s capabilities. We often buy these devices with some use in mind and they are built for so much more.

Do I feel that it is a computer replacement? That depends on what you do with your laptop? But for now I will keep working to see what the iPad can do for me.

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ChromeBook or iPad

ChromeBook or iPad

I have set myself up for a challenge. I am calling it one week in. In what you might be asking? I want to try to be all in one of the newer OS’s that have been said to be a replacement for the standard computers that we have been using for years. The two OS’s I am challenging myself with is the ChromeBook and the iPad IOS. I have to admit I am already having some anxieties over only using one device for an entire week!

This post is being written using the iPad. Normally when I write I use the program Grammarly. I just installed the Grammarly keyboard which seems to be working. However, it will not allow me to use my external keyboard. I am touch typing this with the on-screen keyboard.

So why do I want to do this challenge? Mainly to see if a normal computer can be replaced by one of these newer devices? So today I will be removing my trusty MacBook Air from my laptop case and I will be carrying and using a ChromeBook for the first week. Next week I will switch over to the iPad. I will blog each day to let you know where I am with the test.

As for this morning post, I am using the Word Press app on my iPad. I hope you follow me on this test and once and for all we together will see if one of these new devices can in fact be used for day to day computing without using a normal Mac or Windows PC?

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Happy Holidays Did You Remember Batteries

Batteries Chargers

It seems like today everything takes a battery? From a simple toy for the kids to that toothbrush you bought your spouse for Christmas. I remember years ago we forgot batteries for the kid’s toys only to be rushing out Christmas morning to buy some at a high priced convenience store. Now we move years later and everyone in the house is looking for a plug to charge something they are carrying or wearing. I guess the one positive thing to come out of all of these gadgets is that the battery companies and seeing stock prices go up, and that is good.

I find myself each night as many of you. I plug in my laptop, plug in my phone and take my watch off and connect it to its little cradle.  Then I can safely go to sleep knowing all my gadgets will be ready for me in the morning. One of the worse feelings is waking up and finding the plug was not all the way on my phone and it is running on fumes. Never fear I can plug it into my car on the way to work. Yes, we have become a battery/charger nation.

Sometimes I have to reflect back on the simple days. When you had to get up to change a channel on the TV, and when the phone rang we didn’t ask who’s phone was ringing we ran to the kitchen to answer it. When we left home we worried everyone was in the car not who gets to the car chargers first. But I must say I do enjoy the convenience of having a world of information in my pocket and now on my wrist. And I can honestly say since I have had my smartphone I have never been lost anywhere.

Let me hear how you handle a plugged in charged world that you live in? And have you ever thought of investing in a battery company?

IPad Keyboards

Having a keyboard for an iPad is really just you trying to turn it into a laptop, Right? Not really it is just a way to make the iPad easier to use to create content. The only issue I have ever found with iPad keyboards are that most of them are not very good. I bought a keyboard that is blue tooth and sits away from the iPad. I find these keyboards are more like a normal keyboard in that the keys have some travel room. The ones like the picture above really have no travel on the keys. If feels like you are typing on a table top. I have also found most of those keyboards have very small keys. The best one I have seen and I can’t afford it is the clam shell cases. They turn your iPad into a MacBook Air look alike. From what I hear they are very good and allowing you to type just as you would on a normal laptop. The bottom line is buy and try. If you buy from Amazon you can always return it if it just does not feel right.

Google Chromebook or Windows Cloudbook

ChromebookorCloudbook

I have been reading across the web that Microsoft is releasing a Chromebook killer their words not mine on May 2, 2017. Will this be a knife in the side of Google or a knife in the side of IT Administrator in schools trying to rush to buy this new product? I wanted to give you my thoughts from the IT Administrator side. I have been working in the IT field in education for the past 20 years. Again these are my views on the subject.

I have been using Microsoft products since I started in computers some 30 years ago. I have watched the company struggle to innovate on every level. I am not saying their software is not great, I am saying they normally are not the first ones to the table or playing field. Does anyone remember Bill Gates saying “The Internet is just a Fad”? Well that statement didn’t work out to well. To catch up to other big players in the Internet field Microsoft began to give Internet Explorer away with Windows. If you can’t build something better then NetScape, just giving yours away and try to crush the computation.

Now let’s move forward some 20+ years. Google releases a Chromebook, at first not a promising product. I remember watching their product release and the Chromebook didn’t boot well and sometimes hung when trying to use it. After some years of work and getting the Chromebook to shine they started getting the attention of people like me, IT Administrators in schools. Why not give this device a try? Google has been supplying our education market for years with Google Apps and FREE email services, which I jumped on that wagon 15 years ago. This is a company that is building on a foundation and building slow and steady. Now let’s jump to today.

Now on May 2, 2017 it is said that Microsoft will launch a Chromebook killer? Microsoft has always tried to do this build off of everyone’s success. Remember they don’t innovate! I really don’t think the schools that have adopted the Chromebook will drop them to run back to Microsoft. I also don’t think that a brand new product to hit the market will be accepted with open arms by very many IT Administrators in schools. Will they get a few nibbles? Maybe? But I know the field well and I know the people doing this very stressful job and none of them need or want a new player in the field of Internet based devices.

A final thought on market share for education. The Chromebook has played a major role on cutting Apple and Microsoft into lower shares of the education market. Is it only price that sets these devices apart? I as a person who has had the pleasure of managing Chromebooks have to say it is also the ease of administration. I can go into one web based console and manage every aspect of the Chromebook. Recently we looked at changing from iPad’s to Chromebooks as a budget move. In our final minutes of crunching numbers Apple made a smart move, they lowered the price of the iPad. This will help them maintain some market share. Microsoft made a move such as this a few years ago by giving Office 365 to education for FREE. This will keep office products in the reach of shrinking budgets across education. But bringing a Cloudbook to the education market might just prove to be a little late to the game? Anyone remember the Windows Phone?

The iPad Lineup

iPad Lineup

Apple has been working on the iPad since 2009 with the first one being released in 2010. When it was first released I seen this device as many did as being a larger iPhone. But after time and using one for awhile I found that is was much more then that. I now feel that Steve was creating a laptop killer or is this what he was thinking? The truth is many of us will still need a computer of some kind either a desktop or a laptop. I feel this because most of us are use to a full keyboard and internal hard drive and the programs we have grown use to using. But I sat and talked with a teacher yesterday who teaches computer classes. As we were talking she felt that as the younger generation grows up the keyboard is becoming less important to them. We are raising a generation of touch typist. I see the kids today and I know my own kids can type pretty fast with just their thumbs. So will the iPad or tablet computers someday replace laptops or desktops with keyboards? Time will tell the story. But as you see in the picture above we can see that the iPad  first got smaller and now they are getting larger. I think Apple is designing these devices to capture a entire market of users who either want to carry something smaller or something to do your daily work on. For me I really like the device mainly because the battery will last all day. I still like having a keyboard but I grew up with typewriters. Will tablets replace traditional computers? I think time will tell.

Creating On An iPad


It has been said by many people that you can not create content on an iPad? I even read a large column once that said it is not a creation tool. I have to admit it is different. It is not a computer this is true. Although it is used as a computer by many people. The smart phone in your pocket is also a computer. It seems now a days that these mobile devices are used by more people then the desktop computer. But that still leaves us with the question. Can you create content using an iPad?

I am writing this post using only an iPad. I have to admin I am using a bluetooth keyboard. Using the onscreen touch keyboard makes typing a little harder. It can be done but it is different. I see many people as well as myself using the iPad to take notes during meeting and conferences. You have to admin they are lighter and take up less room on your lap.

The truth is I can not use the iPad to do all of my work as a technologist. I need certain programs that run on a desktop. And I always say, there is really no one device that can handle every type of computing. We are getting close, but it’s just not there yet.

My last thought is. You can create content using the iPad. It is different and there might be a learning curve. But it can be done. But keep your computer, you might just need it again one day?

Larger Phones Less Tablets?

Large Phones

I have the opportunity to get a shinny new iPhone 6 under the Verizon Edge plan. My first thought is that I know I want to get the 64 Gig. I have a 5C now with 16 Gig and it always seems full. As I have been looking at others who have the new iPhone I have been asking if I should get the Plus 5.5″?

The first person I talked to told me “YES!” She says that she never uses her iPad any longer. She tells me she can watch movies on it and read books. The next person I talked to said, “NO!” He said that he can’t use one hand to text while driving. Okay well not an issue. I don’t text when I drive and if I have to respond I use Siri. My daughter got a larger LG phone and she loves it.

My over all thoughts is that these larger phones and replacing the tablets. Normally if I take a class or sit in a meeting I bring my phone in my pocket and I bring either my iPad or Windows 8 tablet or laptop. It might be nice to just have my phone. I have started looking for some kind of keyboard for the iPhone 6 but then it would be just another item to carry. We will get more into touch typing another time.

So what do you think? Do you have one of these larger phones? If so maybe you can comment and give the readers your thoughts. And I do get one of these little monsters I will do a blog post using it. Then we can maybe find out if it will be my tablet replacement?

Creating On The IPad

I hear that Microsoft will be releasing a version of office for the IPad? They are doing this at the expense of their very own Windows tablets because they don’t have a full version of office yet for their own platform.

I wanted to write this today again not to give you the tech news that has already been reported. But to tell you we have been creating on the IPad ever since they have been released into the wild. There has to be ways to create on the IPad they have been and are used in schools since they were first put on the market. I want to give you a few programs that already work very well on the IPad.

DocsToGo: I have been using this app ever since I was using a Blackberry. The app allows you to create slide shows, write documents, and create spread sheets. Not only that it allows you to open all forms on Microsoft documents.

Google Docs: Install the app Google Drive and have access to all of your Google Docs on your IPad. You can even create new documents while on the go. And best yet they since up with your Google Drive on all of your devices.

Key Note, Numbers and Pages: These are native apps written for the IPad from the creator of the IPad. Yes Apple and if you have a Mac you can open these documents anytime on the Mac from the Apple Cloud service.

So should we really be excited because now much like every time in history Microsoft is jumping on the moving band wagon? Here is the real kicker that set me on fire. This is going to be a subscription based service. Which means folks that you have to pay a monthly or a yearly fee to use office on your IPad! Stick with the one time paid or FREE apps. You will be happier at the end of the day.

If you have any other ideas for creating documents, spread sheet and slide shows on the IPad please comment and let me know what you are using.

Apps