1. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Writing on tablets...any thoughts?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by LinnyV, Jul 22, 2016.

    Hi everyone...

    This is Software, but I didn't notice a hardware section, so I'll ask here instead.

    I am in the market for a tablet - I've never had one. In my other thread regarding Google Docs, which I am using actively now and love, I've decided to step up my mobile writing game. I prefer to write away from my laptop when possible and find most of my inspiration and best ideas are not written at my desk. Also busy life work-wise so I squeeze things in at odd moments.

    I've decided I am going to get with the program even though I am not a device person. I want something that is small but substantial enough (keyboard convenience) that I can whip it out at cafe and tap away.

    I'm keen on the latest iPad Pro (http://www.apple.com/ipad-pro/) because of that funky keyboard cover system and also it has a stylus that might be useful. I just want something that I can shove in my handbag and be on my way. For this tablet, I am also unsure if I should go with the bigger model but the extra size of keyboard is tempting. I am hoping the smaller size will do the job...

    So does anyone do a lot of writing on their tablets, and if so, what are the things I should look for? As always, personal experience and recommendations are appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Linny
     
  2. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've thought about this, too. What's held me back is that—being a touch typist—I'm not sure I could type comfortably on a tablet screen (or an add-on keyboard, for that matter) that gave me zero 'feel' feedback (feelback?). I don't even like the keyboard on my laptop with its chiclet keys so I plug in an MX Cherry mechanical keyboard which is the next best thing to typing on a typewriter circa 1975 like the IBM Selectric I used for years before switching to a computer in the mid-1980s.

    But if that doesn't bother you, I don't see why a tablet wouldn't work quite well.

    I don't know the quality of voice recognition on Apple products, but if it's as good as that on my Android phone, that might be an option instead of typing. But if you go that way, you may not actually need something so large as a tablet... unless you want to see the words you've dictated on a more-or-less page-sized display.

    As for add-on keyboards, in my search I don't remember finding much other than those offered by Apple and even the ones I did find didn't look very comfortable for typing. I looked at several tablet/laptop hybrids but nothing really stood out as a reasonable writing tool.

    So, if the Apple has your eye... :)
     
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  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I type a lot on a Galaxy Tab S2. Keyboard didn't take too much getting used to. Making sure you have a keyboard that works well for you is probably the primary consideration.
     
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  4. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    Not a tablet but I still have my old Kyocera Rise, because the slide out keyboard is so much better for writing on the go than the touchscreen on my current phone. In fact, I'll probably keep it with me even after I replace this phone.
    I don't care for Apple products, personally. It probably wouldn't be so bad if I wouldn't have to drive hundreds of miles to an Apple store to work on them when problems occur. Androids, to me, are just so much easier to deal with, to customize to your preferences, and to fix. Because when Apples crash, they leave a smoking crater.
     
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  5. BWriter
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    BWriter Member

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    I have a kindle and my phone has word on it. I don't know that much about technology but I don't think that it matters to much. As long as ithas an on screen keyboard and there is a way to move files between decices thats all you need, isn't it?
     
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  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Not me. I can't write on an onscreen keyboard.
     
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  7. Raven484
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    Raven484 Contributing Member

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    I use my ipad for idea creation. full typing on a touch screen takes a lot of getting use to. I have had an ipad for 4 years now, and if I had to type my wip on it I would blow my brains out. A smaller laptop or like above, a note pad with portable keyboard is probably your best why to go.
     
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  8. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    I have a tablet (Samsung Galaxy Tab 3) and in all honesty, I really don't like writing on it. I think because my brain doesn't process it properly as a writing aid. oddly I find writing on my phone (the Galaxy A3) good, and I use Google docs to copy stuff across, (especially as it will connect automatically) but that doesn't mean to say that you wont like it.

    I have heard good things about the Surface Pro (by windows) for writing/editing/other shenanigans, and it has a keyboard option too that might be useful.
     
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  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Surface Pros and Surface Books are both good devices that would work quite well for writing. They're substantially more expensive than a good Android tablet and keyboard, though.
     
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  10. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    About a year ago, a new craze swept over the cultural elite. Everything had
    to be authentic. You weren’t anything if you didn’t have a vintage hessian bag
    or didn’t eat wild mushrooms on rustic toast. Eventually people began trying to outdo
    each other. I remember a couple of poet friends. One had reverted to typewriter;
    the other, in a bid to be more authentic, began writing with pen and paper,
    and then quill and parchment - on and on it went.

    It seemed like a good opportunity to win some social currency. So I began making
    my own clay tablets*. I responded to texts and emails with a clay tablet through
    the letterbox - it became a kind of trademark. I quickly moved onto Sumerian
    cylinder seals before anyone could trump me.

    I spent 3 months writing on clay tablets by candlelight. It was a humbling experience.
    I had just finished my first book, and was about to show the world what true authenticity
    really is, when an Australian playwright turned up at our parisian-style cafe and declared
    that she was doing all of her writing on the walls of caves in the manner of early man
    so as to achieve, what she called, a state of Authentical Bliss. From thenceforth all her plays
    would be performed in caves with authentic acoustics. Later on I cried myself to sleep.
    I felt a bit like Eric Clapton when Hendrix came to England that time.




    *I made my own stylus too.
     
  11. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    @Sack-a-Doo! - thank you for responding, the interesting little tid-bits of info you learn about your fellow forumers are always fun to read. hehe

    Keyboard comfort is a big deal for me but I'm not so specialised I need circa 1975 comfort. ;-)

    I dislike the ones that feel clunky or hard on the finger tips but as this is meant to be a tiny thing, I'm willing to compromise on that as long as my fingers will actually strike the keys in the right places. It would be a vast improvement to typing with my index finger on my iPhone.

    I think I'm just worried I'll end up spending a big wack of cash fussing about keyboard availability but end up defaulting the touch screen - which I already do on my iPhone. That's why I'm posting here in the hope I get a few of hands raised saying, "I totally use the keyboard accessory/extension and not just the touch screen." I'm looking for assurance before I hand over my credit card! :unsure:

    I never considered voice recognition... hmm...I've never dictated my own stories but I already see the value of it when playing with words in poetry. Thanks for pointing that out too!

    @Steerpike - thanks as always, so that's a YES! :)

    @ManOrAstroMan - thanks for commenting. It actually took me ages to get into the Apple craze, but once I got my first iPhone I did enjoy the elegance and ease of use. As far as devices, I am a very much firmly in the Apple camp. I find it very intuitive and it would make sense I couple it with my iPhone. The only thing that might bother me is the sense that these products may not as long lasting as they should be. I've noticed the iPhone and even my laptop seems to have battery life issues that doesn't seem warranted after a couple of years - iPhones earlier. But that's possibly me being cynical in the belief they want us to keep buying the latest and greatest. The thing to get use to with the Apple devices is back up, which I am still not the best with. But yes, the closed off nature of Apple products makes it a pain when problems occur. Anyway, I digress....

    @BWriter - thanks for commenting. I already use my iPhone and it does all that minus me needing to moving files anymore since I'm only using Google Docs. The problem with onscreen keyboard for me is it feels restrictive and slow. Ironically, I feel like a bit of a cave woman typing with my index finger. I'm rather attached to the physical keyboard concept. ;)

    @Raven484 - thanks for commenting. I think I'm going to end up tossing between the iPad Pro 9.7 or the Windows Surface line. Since I've written more on my iPhone in the last month than my actual laptop, I think my mind won't explode. hehe At the moment I'm using my laptop to extend and clean up scenes but initial inspiration has been written away from my desk. I think it's more about capturing inspiration as they flitter through my mind as oppose to the typing discomfort. On the laptop I am foruming (like now) or staring blankly at Scrivener.

    @ChaosReigns - thanks and same here, it's because I oddly find I am more productive on the iPhone than anywhere else that I am considering an upgrade to tablet. My iPhone is my everything device.

    About a month ago I looked into the Windows Surface Pro, that one with the weird hinge system which honestly, which is a bit of a turn off. I'm not nice to my toys, they get thrown and banged around and that design looks like something I could break. I also read it runs hot and that makes me think whirling fans (if it has them) or some sort of noise that will drive me nutty. The key reason I was really into it was the idea that I get mobility with serious power... It's also expensive when I add all the bells and whistles. I would have bought it now if not for the issues I mentioned.

    It's still under serious consideration as the eventual full replacement for work, writing, playing and mobility.

    @Solar

    LOL... I read this when I woke up. Thanks for the chuckles.

    Hopefully, you've recovered from crying yourself to sleep being out authenticated by your peers. If not, then might I suggest you just go back to the beginning of time of story telling and tell your friends you will now shun all forms of writing (especially that on cave walls because it could be seen as vandalism), and will only speak your story as it comes to your mind? It would be a good exercise in memory, or really, you can just make shit up and no one will know the difference. The real challenge is to get them to listen before their eyes glazes over and for them to remember. After all, how will you become 'published' in the oral sense if no one repeats your amazing story? As for your responses to emails, it might get a little wearing on your friends that you would drive to their doorstep to answer every reply in person. Just tell them that you are getting in touch with your humanity and that it doesn't get more authentic or real than YOU, in the person, right in their face, telling them word for word how you felt about what they wrote to you. Don't forget to sign off, "I look forward to your reply" before you leave. :-D

    As for your clay tablets. Unfortunately, I don't think they will work for me. I am part of the the "Give it to me NOW!" generation. To have to make them and then scribe them would be too much an overhead. Especially, since I like to procrastinate and stare into space for ages before I write a few words. I imagine these clay tablets will dry before I write much. It just wouldn't work. Editing my rubbish alone would kill me. Although, I might do something like this with my kids. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
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  12. bonijean2
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    bonijean2 Senior Member Supporter

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    I use my Kindle all the time and purchased a compatible keyboard/cover from Amazon that makes typing quite easy.
     
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  13. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL :)

    Yeah, what I meant was that I have yet to find a chiclet keyboard that's easy to type on. With laptops, they try to make everything flat including the keys and without those little 'wells' (don't know what else to call them) on standard keyboards, it's hard to know where my fingers are without looking at them.

    Some laptops have them, but they aren't deep enough for my taste. The only keyboard I found really appealing was the one on the MSI GT80, but at a starting price of $2400, I can't go there... yet. Besides, it's more of a luggable than a laptop, anyway.
     
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  14. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    Screw a keyboard, get voice recognition software and stare daggers at anyone whose too loud and interrupts your writing.
     
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  15. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Okay... I googled that laptop and it's a gamer machine! I was imagining you as an old fashioned gentleman with some sort of type writer clone and now I've got you playing computer games in my head. hehe

    *stares daggers at Chained*
    I sincerely hope you are not referring to your infamous word quota. I've always been suspicious of your accounting of that target. Talking nonsense to yourself using voice recognition software doesn't count!
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  16. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I am kind of old (60) but younger people often forget that computers were around in the early 1980s. Oddly enough, my father got me interested in them in 1985 and I've been an avid user ever since. I've even had several jobs where programming featured large in my job description. So, just because someone remembers the 70s doesn't mean they only got into computers when their grandchildren got them an iPad for Christmas. ;)

    As for gaming, I don't (although my wife does) but gaming machines are the only ones built with the idea in mind that you'll be using it for more than a few minutes at a time. Comfort, in other words.
     
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  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I've used a tablet and phone to write, on and off, ever since this became a thing you could do. There's a convenience factor, but for me personally it's not something I would think of as a go-to dynamic. Scrivener just came out for iOS, and yes, I did immediately buy it because I am a huge Scrivener fan, and I want to support the people who make this software, but it's not going to revolutionize my writing life for the following reasons:

    1) If I'm at home, I have several MBP's and a Mini and an iMac that all run Scrivener. How would sitting at a tablet with keyboard be any better?

    2) When "on the go", which would seem the time one would really make use of a more portable writing solution, I'm rarely in a position where I can (or want to) write. I tend to be the person driving when driving is in the equation, so that's out, and if I'm not driving then I'm talking to whomever is driving or to others. This leaves pretty much just the checkout line at the grocery story as a prime moment for writing on my phone and inspiration has yet to strike during that moment.
     
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  18. bonijean2
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    bonijean2 Senior Member Supporter

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    If you have a Kindle just order the "Bear Motion" keyboard/cover from Amazon. It is only $25.99, has Bluetooth, holds the screen up while you type and works really well for writing when away from home.
     
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  19. Iain Aschendale
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    Iain Aschendale Contributed Member Contributor

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    My dad is in his early 70s, and we had a TRS-80 Model 1....
     
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  20. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    I used to have an Asus transformerbook. It's basically a tablet with a detachable keyboard (that needs no charging). The keyboard acts as a cover for the front, which was very convenient. It has a browser so my google docs worked perfectly. I decided to use it over an iPad specifically because 1) there is no iPad that has an attaching keyboard that needs no recharging the way my Asus transformer did and 2) if I didn't have access to wifi (you have to have access to wifi to use google docs, or pay an arm and a leg for cellular service) I could simply use wordpad, which every Microsoft system (my asus transformer used windows OS) to type

    Furthermore, since it was technically a "pc" OS, I installed Dragon Naturally Speaking on it, and throughout the day I'd just talk to it whilst standing looking very professional (I worked at a furniture store) so throughout the day I could write or take notes without even typing

    I also loved that it was reasonably better for my purpose at a much better pricetag, and was taken aback by how resilient, fast, and overall the high quality of it.
     
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  21. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    @Vagrant Tale - Thanks for sharing. I have to agree as far as budget that I should consider a cheaper alternative and I'm not against the Asus brand. I'm still chewing my nails over the final decision. And I really like the idea of you talking your notes throughout the day. I think from this thread, I'll really take into account the voice technologies. I never considered it originally because bloody Siri never does what I tell her! She has tried to call my mother-in-law and I've not trust her to listen to me since. hehe
     
  22. Vagrant Tale
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    Vagrant Tale Active Member

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    hahaha yeah I had a similar experience with siri, love her to death but man she's a rockhead sometimes!

    Remember that the dragon naturally speaking program costs money as well, don't forget, it ran like $60 when I bought it I believe. Definitely was worth it for what I use it for, but remember it also isn't perfect. Fortunately you can voice train it as much as you want, so for me the only issue really was spacing between paragraphs and such, which you can teach it how to do with your voice easily enough.

    Anyway, let us know what you decide!
     
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  23. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm furiously studying Hindu philosophy in an attempt to become god.
    And when I do become god, I'll waltz into the cafe and say to my peers,
    'In the beginning was the word . . .'

    Beat that y'suckers.
     
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  24. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Umm.... I really hate to rain on your parade. I only know this from an Indian friend, but he once told me there were millions of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I just googled to confirm the number. It looks like there are 330 million. I'm not sure how authentic you'll be when you become the 331 millionth God.

    You might want to check that none of your peers are one already... :p
     
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  25. Solar
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    Solar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Those are all manifestations of Brahman.

    So I know where it's At man ;)
     
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