Apr
12

Can I Do Real Work From My iPad? Part One: Hardware

Can I Do Real Work From My iPad? Part One: Hardware

April 12
By

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the Baroan Technologies blog

The quick answer is “sort of”. Let’s explore what I mean.

First, I’ll lay out the scenario that required me to work from my iPad. The other week, my computer broke and for whatever reason our IT guys couldn’t find the problem. Sometimes you just can’t find the issue or it takes a long time to fix. It happens.

While my computer was broken, I had to work using a pen, paper, and my iPad until mine was fixed. My computer is Windows-based, but iPads, of course, run iOS. Many of the issues I encountered came because the Apple Reich doesn’t play well with others.

In order to do real work, I found my iPad extremely limiting, even once I got some tools to make it a little better. The majority of them came from the lack of a Microsoft Office app, which for some reason Apple and Microsoft won’t work together to produce. But for now we’ll focus on the lack peripheral hardware.

The first challenge was using the iPad’s onscreen keyboard. I’m a writer, so my job largely consists of writing, editing, and manipulating text using Microsoft Word or Excel. The onscreen keyboard is fine for sending a short email, but just doesn’t cut it for proper word processing. Luckily, iPad is Bluetooth capable and for $100 you can get an awesome and highly-rated Logitech Bluetooth keyboard cover that makes word processing much better and also keeps your screen protected. Problem one solved.

Another thing you need to get real work done is a mouse. Touchscreen technology has come a long way, but to quickly and effectively click boxes in a spreadsheet or to edit, cut, and paste pieces of text, you really need a mouse. Unfortunately, with the iPad, you can’t currently use a mouse through Apple-supported methods, which is sad. Other tablets have USB ports that you can easily use to plug in a mouse. Way to go, Apple.

Those are the solutions on the hardware end, good, not great. Stay tuned for my next post on downloadable software that can help you get the job done on your iPad.

Photo Credit: Yutaka Tsutano via Compfight cc