Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Painted on my iPad Retina using ArtRage

I received an email from a friend a couple of days ago, saying that a mutual friend was having problems with her computer and didn’t like typing and blogging with her iPad. Her computer has been in the shop for weeks, and she doesn’t like typing on her iPad, because it keeps filling in words she didn’t intend to type. Also, she can’t figure out how to load photos onto her blog.

Here is part of the email I sent to her…

Hi P—–,

I have fallen behind in following my favorite blogs since my recent trip to the Yucatan and D.F., so didn’t realize the extent of the computer and iPad problems you’ve been having. I did get an email the other day from N—– saying you needed some help with your iPad.

I’m afraid I can’t be very much help where your first generation iPad is concerned. My first was second or third generation.

I wholeheartedly recommend a newer iPad over a computer.

That’s because I am a dyed in the wool convert, and you know how they can be. It’s also because I don’t know everything about your needs, etc.

That said, let me make my case and offer a few suggestions…

On my recent trip, I left my laptop at home. And I didn’t miss it for a moment. I used my iPad and my iPhone for everything. Last year I spent a month and a half in Mexico and a month and a half in Spain. I lugged around a laptop, a couple of hard drives, a camera, chargers and cables, etc. and I did almost everything on my iPhone and iPad.

I am at this moment sitting in my easy chair in the living room, writing with one finger on my iPad about as fast as I can think. It did take some getting used to, some practice, but I now actually prefer it to a keyboard.

I draw on both devices, and have even done paintings on the iPad. ( See above) I do both photographs and video on the iPad. HD video. It is, of course, many other things as well. My darkroom, cutting room, library, encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus, radio, entertainment center, movie theater, archives, outlet, post office, museum, travel agent, classroom, personal tutor, catalogs, magazines, weather center, gallery, portfolio, notebook, newspaper, recorder, personal secretary, alarm, clock, sketchbook, easel, navigator, flashlight, even my carpenter’s level, and so much more. And it is virtually always with me.

With 128gb of storage along with iCloud and Dropbox, I have plenty of storage for now.

I do still need a computer and a couple of two terabyte hard drives to store and access my photos stretching back to before the dawn of digital. But I’m looking to eliminate the need for those as soon as feasible.

Yesterday, in fact, I had to dig out my laptop, hook up one of those external drives and locate some images from a trip I took eight years ago. As soon as I was finished, back in the closet it went! Oh, and when I turned it on, I had to work through a couple of hours of updates, viris scans, crashes, restarts, etc. all in the odious Windows Eight.

I encounter virtually none of that with my iPad!

Now, I have always been a Windows user, with the exception of two times thst I bought Macs and promptly ditched them. Macs did do things better, but Windows could do so many more things.

Then I got my hands on an iPad. That, for me, was the beginning of the end for Windows machines. The iPad, with all those apps, could do more than Windows. And a lot cheaper. Free! A dollar. Some, gasp, ten dollars. With free and frequent upgrades! And even the operating system upgrades are free!!! Compared to Windows software costing fifty, a hundred bucks and more? And expensive annual upgrades?

I have traveled with laptops, notebooks, nebooks, ebooks, and iPads. Believe me, an iPad is a lot easier on the back than any of the others.

At this point, about the only thing lacking on my iDevices is a powerful optical zoom lens. That’s not really a necessity, but something I find convenient. Besides, I understand that Apple is working on one that will fit inside the iPhone.

True, the iPad is an expensive little machine. Unless we consider the cost of software and upgrades, the need for a separate camera and video camera (and their added weight and bulk), and all the other things that it replaces. Add to that the frequent repair costs on a computer, and the iPad starts to look like quite a bargain.

I realize, of course, that just because it’s a bargain doesn’t necessarily mean it’s affordable.

I don’t have the newest model. I have the iPad Air, and now there is the iPad Air 2. Not that much difference, so I will wait a model or two to upgrade. I did recently move up from an iPhone 4s to a 6plus. A huge difference, and well worth both the wait and the cost.

I believe that if you can get your hands on an iPad Retina, the model previous to the Air, you will find your need for a laptop evaporating while your capacity for both work and enjoyment expands. With the latest iOS, that machine would serve you almost as well as the very latest, and for substantially less momey, with the camera being the main difference. I know the difference between my Retina and my older model, especially with the newest operating system is like night and day.

You may not need 128gb of storage. I would advise you get the most you can possibly afford, though, as enough seldom is enough for very long.

OK, enough of my fanboy rant. Time for some specifics.

Getting photos onto your blog. I use an app named Blogsy. (Check it out at Easy peasy, as they say. Plus the developer provides free, easy to follow, complete yet concise video tutorials. Blogsy also makes loading videos onto your blog a snap.

The problem you’re having with the iPad supplying incorrect words can, I believe, be easily remedied by setting a switch in settings. On mine, it’s: settings / general / keyboards / auto correct off and predictive off.

For writing, I suggest using the app Textilus. It’s free, by the way, for now. Regularly five or six bucks. It’s what I’m using to write this.

Both of these apps require iOS 7.0 or later. I don’t know what you are using. If you aren’t sure, you can go to settings / general / about.

Well, P—–, I hope this is of some use to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help out any other way.




I later found out that her first generation iPad can’t be upgraded to iOS 7.0, a minimum requirement for both the apps I recommended. I have no connection to nor do I receive any compensation for any of my recommendations. These are simply some of the tools I work with on a daily basis and they have been arrived at after considerable trial and error.


I realize that many professionals have heftier requirements, like Photoshop, dslr cameras and more powerful computers. I don’t, and I don’t believe most people, including a lot of professionals do, either.


That’s my two cents.


What’s yours?


What does a man need — really need? Sterling Hayden