Friday, November 30, 2012

Writing a blog post from my iPad

I have to admit that after using the iPad a little, I got to enjoy it and find some uses for it. Most enlightening was using it with a cover. Without it, the iPad is just a thing to make your hands tire; with a cover one can place it somewhere, watch a movie, hold it in a myriad of ways and alternate the muscles needed to support it, if any. I still hate Apple and everything it stands for, but I'll admit that I stopped disliking my iPad.

I was thinking the other day what would my father do with a device such as that? His job at the moment is a translator, that even without it, he would like to comment on things and write content. So I have experimented by writing a blog post on the iPad (see previous post) to see how it holds for data entry.

My conclusion is mixed, but it borders on the positive. The first thing to notice is that, since I was writing English, the autocomplete was very helpful. I doubt that it would have been as easy to write in Romanian, for example. Then, the solution for writing on the iPad was not the split keyboard (keys too small and cumbersome use), but placing the device on my belly (in it's cover that allows for this) and typing with two fingers. The writing went pretty fast, but my hands soon got tired. I had to pause at regular intervals. That is not something bad when creating, though.

Of course, there have been problems with stuff like punctuation or writing non letter characters. Writing about code on the iPad would have been suicidal, I think. Also, I was a little put off by the fact that the blog post entry did not look too good on the iPad browser (the interface on the right, like labels, was inaccessible). I know this is a Google issue and they should fix their Blogger interface to fully support devices like the iPad, but also an Apple issue, since that interface works in every desktop browser and it should have worked in Safari as well (btw, have you seen how cool and cross browser is my blog even on the iPad? :) ).

Bottom line: I really would have wanted to say using a keyboard is so much better, but with my incredibly bad typing I have to always backspace and fix words, while in the iPad autocomplete enabled, one "key" at a time writing style, this was a non issue. My hands got tired though, even if I found a relatively comfortable position and in the end I had to Publish the post from the desktop just because I also needed to set the labels for the post. Overall, a usable experience.


Greg Chow said...

I agree. It is that little bit more difficult to write on a touchscreen keyboard. Autocomplete is a godsend. Great article!