Some Recommendations for Technical Apps for the iPro

Discussion in 'iPad Pro Forum' started by Tuttle, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Tuttle

    Tuttle
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    I would like to share my experience with using the iPad, from the original version through my current iPad Pro insofar as good apps go. I mean, of course, in addition to Goodreader---which someone once called the "swiss army knife" of iPad apps!

    I use Goodnotes every day to do handwritten math and other work related to my research on electromagnetic field theory. I have found that it works very well with the Apple Pencil, though there is a current glitch in pasting using the pencil. (Steve, the developer, says that an update is imminent.) I know that the subject of handwriting apps is highly ideosyncratic, but Goodnotes is certainly "good."

    For doing illustrations of publication quality, I have found that Inkpad is nothing short of great. It is easy to learn, nothing at all like autodesk or the like. Of course if you are a mechanical engineer or architect you will probably find it confining. But for the kind of things we electrical engineers do it works fine.

    For writing technical papers, teX is one of the most ubiquitously used text editors---and Tex Writer is an excellent implementation for the iPad. I gave it five star rating in the app store when it appeared and have no reason to regret it. There are several other teX apps available now. I tried them all early on and liked Tex Writer the best, though that opinion is a couple of years old. I only wish my Apple keyboard had the teX symbols more easily accessible. Since it does not, I use the virtual version supplied by the app.

    As an afterthought, I should mention Tex Equation, which is useful for writing math to be imported into Inkpad to place on drawings created there.

    That's all I can think of now, but I hope others will chip in and add their own evaluations for their special interests.

    All the best!
     
  2. twerppoet

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    While I don't use vecort based drawing apps often, I've found Graphic by Indeeo to be a bit more intuitive than Inkpad. It's also offers tools somewhat more inline with techical drawing, while still not being a full on CAD app.

    Goodreader has just been updated for the iPad Pro, which is nice; though I find fewer reasons to use it than in the past.

    MagicPlan does a pretty good job of making floor plans. The built in camera/measuring method is good enough for a room. I find a laser mesearing tool (they're cheep) is better for doing a full floor (so rooms match). The outside property tools are weak.

    That's all I've got. I don't do much technical work these days.
     
  3. Tuttle

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    I haven't kept up to date on competitors for Goodreader. There are certainly a few things I am unhappy with---like the handwriting annotation. I'd be interested in what you recommend as an alternative.
     
  4. twerppoet

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    Well, I've never used GoodReader as my main PDF app. Really, all I've used it for is those little tasks like zipping files, or downloading files from the internet that I can't seem to grab any other way. You could say that if GoodReadder is a Swiss Army knife, then I keep it around for all the little tool blades. When I want a knife, I use knife built for the job.

    For PDF's, I mostly use PDF Expert. I like it's tools better, and it lets you edit PDF files on the page level (add, combine, reorder, and remove pages).

    If I were going to keep and organzied a bunch of different document types in one place I'd Probably use Documents by Readdle. If you have PDF Expert as well you get it's fulls set of PDF annotation tools (instead of the more limited set in Documents). It also acts as a document source, so getting files in and out of othe apps is easier (if those apps suport document pickers).

    I have Documents, but I almost never use it. Because I don't need it.

    For long term reference manuals in PDF format, I just put them in a manuals collection iBooks. My equivilant of a dusty shelf in the house for stuff I'll probably never need.
     
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  5. Tuttle

    Tuttle
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    How is handwritten annotation in PDF Expert---using the Apple Pencil?
     
  6. twerppoet

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    The Pencil is accurate, but a bit over sensitive and no smoothing. My writting looks more spastic than it does in other apps that specialize in handwritting (Penultimate, Notability). My writting in GoodReader actually looks a bit better, but I don't like the way the pen tool works.

    So maybe it is not the best fit for you.

    Hold in mind I don't do a lot of annotation in either app. Most annotation I do is on screenshots, so other apps.

    image.png
     
  7. chowdown

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    Hi Tuttle, I haven't been on this forum for a very long time but I remember talking to you in the past on this topic.

    I am a maths teacher and composer. I've been using GoodNotes(3 and 4) for years. No other app approaches it for handwriting, PDF annotatation and whiteboard presentation. I am dumbfounded that Steven Chan doesn't push the education aspect of this app more emphatically.

    For nicely printed out equations I use MathPad in tandem with GN4. It can be a bit hit and miss in that you have to judge size by eye, but I've developed a fairly workable system. That said, I'm going to give teX and a Tex Writer a good look.

    In order of frequency of use, these are my PDF readers of choice: iAnnotate, GoodReader, PDF Expert and Documents. I use them a lot, often simultaneously.

    I am up for a new iPad in the next few weeks. Given my requirements and your experience (and ignoring the cost aspect), how fervently would you recommend the Pro over the Air 2/3?
     
  8. Tuttle

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    My apologies for not answering sooner. I haven't checked the forum in a while.

    I don't know much about the Air. I have owned the original iPad, iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPad mini. I think the iPad Air is, in the main, much like them

    The iPad Pro is a quantum leap upward for technical work in my humble opinion. With the other iPads you can never really work with an entire pdf page at one time. (Certainly I can't, though my eyesight is aging perhaps even more rapidly than the rest of me.) And there us simply no comparison when it comes to handwriting and styluses. The other iPads only work with a fat finger substitute whereas the Apple Pencil has a fine nib and actually gives you the resolution and inking speed you need. Other attempts for the conventional iPads (such as Adonit Jot) just don't work.

    For a math teacher, the Pro and Apple Pencil combo just can't be beat. When it comes to music you'll have to talk to someone else!.
     
  9. Andy847

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    I know hearing the rumors about the Ipad Air 3 having pencil support, and a lot of the IPP features and hardware, had me wanting to wait for it to come out next month as maybe a cheaper option. To be honest when in best buy earlier this week and I saw how small the Air 2 looked on display next to the IPP, not at all interested. In split view or just having the two windows open together, the area is so much smaller on the regular IPad Air size, compared to the IPP which has plenty of drawing space for me when it was in the split view. I don't think it's smarter to go with the Air 3, because you lose so much valuable space, especially if doing technical programs or Art programs.

    I'm still missing my IPP, but waiting until the fall most likely, because as of now, no Android tablets from Samsung in the Note line of tablets scheduled for the future. Just a new one with Windows, which I definitely don't want. Too much like the SP's I tried. Hoping the IPP gets updated apps faster by then and doubt it will do what my Note tablet can do, but I may still repurchase, because it was a great tablet, with great screen, sounded great, and the Apple Pencil was very nice. Hard to be patient, but my old tablet still working, so don't really need a new one yet. May consider just the 32gb next time, the 128gb was nice to have, but the price is so high. Even with the 32gb.
     

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