Making the iPad 2 my primary computer

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by manerd, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. manerd

    manerd iPF Noob

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    I am trying to see how far I can go in using my iPad 2 as a primary computer. The vast majority of my hundreds of documents are in Microsoft Office formats. I have downloaded test files of Excel and Word documents to Dropbox and have installed iWork apps (Numbers and Pages) on my iPad 2. I am able to open docs from Dropbox into the Pages an/or Numbers apps and then work on them. However, I am not then able to re-export/save them to Dropbox. I understand that a major drawback of using the iWork apps is that the documents cannot be saved anywhere except into iCloud. I thought of trying to use iCloud instead of Dropbox to store my files, but iCloud does not permit directories; thus putting my hundreds of documents into iCloud would be incredibly chaotic and would make it almost impossible to find specific docs due to the lack of a directory hierarchy. So far the best work around I have come up with is to store my docs on Dropbox and preserve the directory structure (and thus order) and open/import them and work on them within the iWork apps on my iPad2; after which the modified docs would then automatically be saved in iCloud. I could then email them to myself and upon returning to my office I could open them on my office computer (from the email) and then save them to Dropbox. Has anyone found a more effective way to use an iPad 2 as a primary computer when most of their docs are in Microsoft Office formats (xls, dod, ppt)?
     
  2. BranFlizGames

    BranFlizGames iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2011
    Messages:
    18
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    La Crosse
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    There is a pages app for ipad...have you tried that?
     
  3. KingR

    KingR iPF Noob

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    Primary computer, but it just can't do everything I need

    Eversince I started unsung my iPad 2, I could see it being my primary computer. It's number one feature is it's convenience! Unfortunately, without a regular keyboard, my typing isn't as fast on it compared to when I use my iMac or iPhone. Also, as you pointed out, there are software limitations.
    I love my iPad 2, best thing ever, but for me there's no end in sight for a full computer; iMac or new MacBook pro :)

    Good luck!
     
  4. richsadams

    richsadams iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    3,500
    Thanks Received:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NW Left Coast
    Ratings:
    +99 / 0
    Welcome to the forum! There are a lot of great people here willing to lend a hand anytime. Often using the Search box (at the top-left of every page) will lead you to the answers you're looking for. If not, feel free to post a question in the appropriate area.

    Please take a moment to view the information here to get the most out of your iPad as well as our forum:

    Forum Rules - Please read
    Hacking Rules - Please read
    iPad for Beginners
    Free iPad User Manuals
    Download The Official iPad Forum App

    With respect to your post...Dropbox is a very good option. I've been using it for a couple of years at least and it works very, very well with any number of office apps available for the iPad. Although the name sounds as if it's designed for storage iCloud is primarily designed to sync files between devices. Although it has a 30 day photo storage and backup capability it's not intended as a file repository. More here:

    iCloud: Backup and restore overview

    Apple - iCloud - Learn how to set up iCloud on all your devices.

    Here's some more information about iPad Apps for Business Use:

    http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-business-education/22431-hi-all.html#post157114

    Here’s another post with additional info:

    http://www.ipadforums.net/iwork-forum/36629-office-app-comparison.html#post256794

    Hope that helps.

    Welcome again and enjoy!
     
  5. hinke00

    hinke00 iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    23
    Thanks Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0
    Im trieing to achieve this too. Im a university student, so sometimes i need pages to create docs. For file managing there shoupd kbe some app which allows us to store files in folders like with pc. Or it not necessarily has to be folders, it could be an app like ibooks, with the name idocs. Thats simple and fits to the ipad well. Hope it will be possible soon.
     
  6. retexan599

    retexan599 iPF Novice

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    86
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    I decided to use the Quickoffice app on my iPad along with Dropbox; QO connects both ways with Dropbox as well as preserving my folder structure. QO also works directly with .docx files whereas Pages does not export .docx (goes to .doc). Further, QO will work in landscape orientation whereas Pages only in Portrait. So far so good.

    Sent from my iPad 2 using iPF
     
  7. jsh1120

    jsh1120 iPad Addict

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Messages:
    1,292
    Thanks Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington USA
    Ratings:
    +87 / 0
    As long as I only need to drive to the market, go out with my wife for the evening, and take a Sunday drive, all I need is my Mazda RX-8. When I need to haul stuff to the dump or make a trip to Costco, I need a pickup. Apply this metaphor to using the iPad as a primary computer. If you never need to go to the dump or to the "big box" store, it works fine. Otherwise, you have a problem.

    It would, of course, be delightful to have folder-based file management features on the iPad. But that is a long step toward a common file system (like a PC). And that is something that Apple is very unlikely to allow for "philosophical" reasons. The best one can hope for, I suspect, is that hierarchical folder management will be enabled within an app (like Pages.) And that would still mean that word processing, spreadsheet, presentation documents could not be maintained in the same file structure.

    As the poster above notes, one can use a Microsoft Office emulator such as QuickOffice or DocumentsToGo to overcome some of the limitations imposed by iOS. And as long as the documents are not too complicated or too large, they work well. Otherwise, it's best to get a pickup.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
  8. oberkc

    oberkc iPad Fan

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    211
    Thanks Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Springfield OH
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0
    If a directory structure is important to you (and it is to me), I suggest skipping the iPad and going with a Mac or PC. I have found the workarounds (apps) to be less than satisfying in duplicating the files and directory structure of a real computer. If I had to make a choice of a single computer, it would be a laptop (PC or Mac).

    iPads are nice devices, but are supplementary. If you can afford both, great! If you can afford an RX-8 AND a pickup, even better!
     
  9. s2mikey

    s2mikey iPad Addict

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,495
    Thanks Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    Ratings:
    +161 / 0
    The directory/file managment, or lack thereof is probably the single biggest "snag" when trying to use the iPad as your only system. The other one would be working with a lot of very large files that would eat up your storage too quickly. Other than that, its probably doable to have your ipad as your only system. Of course, using DropBox or some other app like it is required to move files around but it does serve its purpose. We have laptops in the house and since I got the ipad, weve used them less and less. That right there says that the iPad DOES replace many of the functions we used to do with the laptops!

    As for the car thing? I have a Lotus Turbo Esprit...and a Nissan Sentra. Perfect combo :)
     
  10. oberkc

    oberkc iPad Fan

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2011
    Messages:
    211
    Thanks Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Springfield OH
    Ratings:
    +8 / 0
    I find the same thing...I use the laptop less than I used to. Yes, I can much on the iPad. It is a wonderful surfer of the web, for me, for example.

    However, there is nothing that I can do on the iPad that I cannot do on the laptop, but, there are some (important) things that I can do on the laptop that I cannot do on the iPad. For most, I still say: get the laptop if you can afford only one such device.

    As far as cars go, one must have a picup to be a perfect combo. Mine is honda insight (the original "real" one) and toyota tacoma.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
  11. AdmiralAdama

    AdmiralAdama Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    9,536
    Thanks Received:
    599
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Near the Ionian Nebula, still searching for Earth
    Ratings:
    +608 / 0
    Since August my PC's been gathering dust. :). AA
     
  12. RAC

    RAC iPad Junkie

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    615
    Thanks Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0
    I start up my notebook so infrequently ( at home) now that it spends half an hour every tine updating Windows, Norton and iTines when I do so.:)

    You do need applications such as Pages, Numbers and FileBrowser. These are the key apps I happen to use, there are alternatives that should be just as satisfactory. A Bluetooth keyboard is necessary for serious typing.

    FilesBrowser provides access to mt NAS, as a personal cloud space, mainly for my 80 GB worth of photos.

    Because I like to experiment, I also use a Linux box called a DreamPlug, running X Windows and with iSSH the iPad as a console. This provides the physical I/O that the iPad lacks, 2 x USB, 2 x Ethernet and 1 x SD. A bit geeky but is very useful for backing up large numbers of photos from SD to portable HDD, Ethernet access etc while travelling.

    I wouldn't use the iPad as a PC replacement for work, only for personal use. Pages and Numbers are no match for Word and Excel. The lack of access to a file system and network printers are also major issues.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Feather

    Feather iPF Noob

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Thanks Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Mount Lauren NJ
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0
    I just got the Ipad and wanted to do the same to make it primary. After working with it, it's a great little machine but I am thinking of returning it for a macbook air. I think there are too many limitations. One question...everyone is talking about the office apps. It sounds like a lot of steps...edit in one app, go to dropbox, issues with the cloud...are these issues also there when you work with the macbooks? Thanks
     
  14. s2mikey

    s2mikey iPad Addict

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,495
    Thanks Received:
    150
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    Ratings:
    +161 / 0
    The last few days just to try it, I have NOT started up our laptops in the morning. I used the iPad to read our local paper and that worked great. My daughter did some facebooking before school and thats about it. After school and work we eventually fired up the laptops for various tasks and some gaming but from a computing standpoint, the iPad has come darned close to replacing the laptops. So far. ;)
     
  15. richsadams

    richsadams iPad Super Guru

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    3,500
    Thanks Received:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    NW Left Coast
    Ratings:
    +99 / 0
    I have both an 11" Macbook Air and an iPad. I really don't have any "issues" with either one...they are just different machines with some commonality. I find I use them for different things with some activities crossing over if I have one or the other in front of me.

    If you're looking to use it for office applications primarily (particularly if you have to write a lot, use a lot of spreadsheets and/or create complicated presentations), then yes, I would highly recommend going with the Macbook Air (which is an incredible machine on its own BTW). On the other hand if you only need those types of applications occasionally, then the iPad is a terrific option and its form factor is hard to beat.

    Bottom line, if I had to have the full functionality of a computer on a daily basis then I'd go with the MBA. If I had access to a computer but wanted to supplement that with a device that can travel well, is very easy to learn and has multiple uses for light business and entertainment with an incredible battery life, then the iPad it is.

    Of course, if you were to have both... :)
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
can an ipad be my primary itunes computer
,
can i make my ipad into my primary computer?
,
how to make my ipad2 a computer
,
how to use an ipad as your primary computer
,
how to use ipad as main computer
,
i want to make my ipad the main computer
,
ipad 2 as primary computer
,

ipad as primary computer

,
making ipad main computer
,
using ipad 2 as main computer