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Can the iPad do this...?

Discussion in 'iPad for Business and Education' started by dmcglaun, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. dmcglaun
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    dmcglaun iPF Noob

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    I do not own an ipad, but am considering it as I've heard so many people say "It's the best thing I ever owned". I want to do three main things, and I need to know "can I do this?", and "what is the best free or paid app for it?".

    1) While I'm in the library, plug in a USB drive that contains my 10,000 excel files and open them so I can see what data I need to research that day. Laptop is possible, but very bulky and much less convenient. What I want to do is read only.

    2) While I'm talking to a client in a sales meeting, draw out a sketch a la white board, and have an app that converts that sketch (however roughly) to a Visio.

    3) While I'm teaching a kid math, write on the ipad like it's paper (multiple pages even cuz I write large...), save the graphics and notes along with the audio of our session, and then a) e-mail them to the kid later, and b) save them (converting my scrawl into math type would be primo) so I can collect them one day into a "this is how I teach these subjects in math" book.

    Maybe this is too advanced, but I need to know if for $600 I can do these things please.

    Thanks very much for the help!
    Dan
  2. GoPackGo
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    GoPackGo iPad Junkie

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    I'm pretty sure it can do numbers 2 and 3, but not 1. But don't quote me on it!

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
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    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  4. Poser
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    2nd Q...sketchbook pro might hook you up.

    3RD Q...chalkboard pro,... but there is so many apps out there, do your own research..or others can help you.
  5. sir_ben
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    sir_ben iPF Novice

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    For questions 2 and 3, there are surely apps for that. I've seen some apps that might get the job done. For the sketching stuff, I think Penultimate will do the job. For teaching math to kids, I think I saw something on an iPad commercial.

    For question number 1, you could use Numbers. You could import those spreadsheets via iTunes. Now that iCloud is up, you'll have no problem using and updating those files. I use Excel on my Windows 7 laptop in conjunction with the Numbers app on my iPad together with iCloud since it got rolled out and I can say that it works perfectly for my needs.
  6. jwt873
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    jwt873 iPad Enthusiast

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    The iPad has no USB port so you can't just plug in a USB drive.... There is a crude workaround using the camera connection kit but other methods of getting the files on the iPad would probably be better. I have the 3G version and I use Dropbox to access external files. (I haven't gotten around to figuring out how to do this with the iCloud yet :) )
  7. sir_ben
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    sir_ben iPF Novice

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    Another good way is to use the app GoodReader. You can sync a folder in GoodReader with your Dropbox account.

    Another is to use QuickOffice Pro HD. It can open Excel files from Dropbox and also save directly to Dropbox. So any changes you made will automatically show up when you open the file on the computer.
  8. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Dan,

    Don't want to rain on your parade and you may find ways to do what you want to do on an iPad but I'm skeptical.

    1) As others have noted, there is no usb port on the iPad. But since what you want to do is "read only" you may find converting the excel files into PDF's and storing them either on your iPad or in the cloud (e.g. Dropbox) will work for you. You would need an app like "Numbers" or "Documents to Go" only if you want to edit the files. However, I'm skeptical about managing the volume (10,000 files) you cite. Apart from the size of the data store you'll need (probably not a problem) you may find that the absence of a common file system on the iPad cannot be compensated for by the management capabilities of so many objects by an app like GoodReader. Not saying it won't work, but I'd recommend you explore those potential limitations. Few iPad apps, in my experience, cope very well with a "deep" folder structure and given the volume you're talking about I assume you probably have multiple levels of sub-folders. Or, if not, you have to be sure the app can handle hundreds or thousands of individual data objects at a given folder level.

    2) No problem with "sketching" diagrams on the iPad. Lots of apps like Notes Plus and Note Taker HD will support that feature. However, I don't know of any app that can provide a file that Visio can interpret (however roughly). But I haven't worked with Visio for a couple of years so perhaps converting the diagrams to PDF's might work. I'm skeptical, though.

    3) Again, no problem finding an app that enables you to handwrite on the iPad. And Notes Plus (among others) will enable you to record the audio of a session. PhatPad or WritePad (same company) will convert handwritten text to typed text but I'm not sure numbers and equations can be handled. I might suggest an alternative. Take a look at Khan Academy and see how Salmon Khan creates his great little YouTube videos dealing with math and science. You may find you could do the same.

    Bottom line is that I suspect you could do much of what you're aiming for on an iPad but I think it will be quite a project. For comparison sake you might want to look at the Lenovo X220T "convertible" pc/tablet. It's much more expensive than an iPad but it might give you an idea of how much closer you could match your use cases with such a device. And that might provide a reasonable basis for determining whether the iPad is worth the investment.
  9. dyenfd
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    dyenfd iPF Noob

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    I have an education training program that my students access - NIDA ILE. It can only be accessed via Internet Explorer. Is the any way to access this on the iPad? I'd like to require my students to have an iPad, especially since all of their textbooks are available for free via the Internet. Anyone know how to set up a work-around? I've contacted NIDA Corp. and they show no interest in making their system comparable with any other browser.
    Thanks for any help or ideas.
    Fred
  10. skallal
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    skallal iPad Fan

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    Concerning Visio, there is one app that purports to import and export Visio files: TouchDraw. But that is just one of the OP's requirements.
  11. dlo
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    dlo iPF Novice

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    I don't think at this time there is an IE browser for the iPad unfortunately. Why company is deciding to keep it as IE exclusive is beyond bizarre to me especially when it is known that IE is one of the worst browsers that are on the market.

    Just my two cents.

    Sent from my iPad 2 White 32GB WiFi using iPF

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