My First iPad

Published December 18, 2020

Yep, I went and did it. I bought an iPad. I bought the iPad Air (Amazon affiliate link) 10.9-inch screen, fourth generation.Pondering

For many years I've been debating whether or not to transition from Microsoft over to Apple. I knew Apple had great products and my lack of transition had nothing to do with whether or not it was worth it. It was more like the expense of the computer and retraining myself by weaning off of a Windows environment and moving on to an Apple environment.

Back when I first started thinking about the transition, iPads weren’t even a thing. My option back then was a Macintosh. They were costly and I just could not justify spending thousands of dollars on a machine, not to mention having to purchase all the necessary software to go along with it.

Planting an Apple Seed

When I purchased my first Apple product in 2016, an iPhone 6S Plus, I realized just how wonderful living in the Apple environment could be. The only problem with buying an iPhone is that it wets the palate and you want more.

Apple

Additionally, since I purchased an iPhone, I felt it necessary to convert the rest of the family to iPhones. Features such as texting and FaceTime work better if we’re all on the same platform. So yes, there was that expense also.

Nurturing the Apple Seed

Because I had one foot in the iOS world and the other firmly planted in the Windows PC world, I found simple tasks like texting from my PC to be impossible. In my Android days, I could send texts from my computer (I never warmed up to thumb typing using the on-screen keyboard). I learned to adjust, but I wasn’t happy about it.

Fortunately, I discovered the Facebook Messenger app. That helped quite a bit, but some folks were not familiar with or choose not to use the Messenger app. So, I have to resort to thumb typing to those Messenger holdouts.

In addition, to the inability to send texts through a PC, I discovered iMovie, which is a neat little app, but I’d prefer to use it on a screen larger than the iPhone screen.

Replacing a PC

I've tried time and time again to purchase devices that would give me the power of a PC with the portability of a small device. My ultimate goal was to work from anywhere. In an attempt to accomplish that task I've purchased the following:

  • ASUS Notebook - Ugh!! What a waste!
  • Samsung Tablet - My first away from PC experience. It was fun but disappointing.
  • Amazon Tablet - An Amazon tablet can never replace a PC and wasn’t designed to do so. Talk about learning the hard way.
  • Chromebook - My shortest tech relationship. There was a mutual dislike.

I even tried to work from my iPhone (with varying degrees of success).

iPhone Workstation

The biggest work challenge was coding and maintaining websites. I'm not talking about writing posts to a blog. Blogs are easy because the WordPress interface allows you to add new blog posts from anywhere ( I read about an RVer who used an iPad exclusively for a year for blogging. I also read about people writing novels on an iPad). Hand-coding a website is a horse of a different color. You need an HTML editor and a way to upload files to the server, not to mention the ability to preview the coded page before upload.

To do that on an Apple meant having to learn a new set of apps. I've grown fond of Notepad++ as my PC’s HTML editor. The beauty of Notepad ++ is you're able to review your edits within the program and upload it to the web server. Trying to find that in another app was not and is not easy.

iPad - The Time was Right

Grandma, an iPad and the Internet

As Apple kept innovating, their devices got smaller, more powerful, and...there were one or two within my price range. Whoo Hoo. When I looked at the iPad Air, I realized it was the perfect size for portability, has enough power to allow me to do what I need to do and, I found an app, Textastic, that allows me to code HTML, preview it and upload the files to a server. As a matter of fact, I'm using Textastic to code this and other sites. Things were beginning to sound too good. Although, there was one last hiccup...my journal.

I have a rather large Journal that I've been updating since 2001. I used Adobe FrameMaker for that journal because it was the only PC program that could handle a 2,500-page document without a problem. Switching from Windows to iOS meant I had to find a stalwart for the job. Fortunately, I found that stalwart. It’s called Day One Journal.  It’s a program for iOS and I’m loving it! I’ll give more details on that later.

Image by Jose Gil

Ducks All Aligned (iPad Here I come)

With my journaling, HTML, server upload, and writing issues all resolved, I couldn't find a reason why I shouldn’t buy the iPad Air. Pricing had come down so I no longer had to spend thousands of dollars to purchase a fine Apple product. So I bought it.

Now that I’ve given you my long and drawn out history as to why I finally bought an Apple product, going forward it's all about issues, solutions, fun, games and whaterver elsemay come my way.

By the way, my first challenge was finding what to do about my voice recognition software. Nuance’s NaturallySpeaking operates on Windows PCs only. Fortunately, after much ado and testing, I found my iOS dictation solution.

(BTW, this is the first article I've ever written and coded usiong the iPad. It took me forever, but now it's the only way I write and code!



Last Modified: 25 September 2022

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