Yep, I went and did it. I bought an iPad. I bought the iPad Air (Amazon affiliate link) 10.9-inch screen, fourth generation.
For many years I’ve been debating whether or not to transition from Microsoft over to Apple. I knew Apple had great products and my lack of transition had nothing to do with whether or not it was worth it. It was more like the expense of the computer and retraining myself by weaning off of a Windows environment and moving on to an Apple environment.
Back when I first started thinking about the transition, iPads weren’t even a thing. My option back then was a Macintosh. They were costly and I just could not justify spending thousands of dollars on a machine, not to mention having to purchase all the necessary software to go along with it.
Planting an Apple Seed
When I purchased my first Apple product in 2016, an iPhone 6S Plus, I realized just how wonderful living in the Apple environment could be. The only problem with buying an iPhone is that it wets the palate and you want more
Additionally, since I purchased an iPhone, I felt it necessary to convert the rest of the family to iPhones. Features such as texting and FaceTime work better if we’re all on the same platform. So yes, there was that expense also.
Nurturing the Apple Seed
Because I had one foot in the iOS world and the other firmly planted in the Windows PC world, I found simple tasks like texting from my PC to be impossible. In my Android days, I could send texts from my computer (I never warmed up to thumb typing using the on-screen keyboard). I learned to adjust, but I wasn’t happy about it.
Fortunately, I discovered the Facebook Messenger app. That helped quite a bit, but some folks are not familiar with or choose not to use the Messenger app. So, I have to resort to thumb typing to those Messenger holdouts.
In addition, to the inability to send texts through a PC, I discovered iMovie, which is a neat little app, but I’d prefer to use it on a larger screen.
Replacing a PC
I’ve tried time and time again to purchase devices that would give me the power of a PC with the portability of a small device. My ultimate goal was to work from anywhere. In an attempt to accomplish that task I’ve purchased the following:
- Notebook – Ugh!!
- Samsung Tablet – I was very disappointed
- Amazon Tablet – An Amazon tablet can never replace a PC and wasn’t designed to do so. Talk about learning the hard way.
- Chromebook – I never got around to writing a post about the Chromebook because our relationship was short. There was a mutual dislike.
I even tried to work from my iPhone (with varying degrees of success).
The biggest work challenge was coding and maintaining websites. I’m not talking about writing posts to a blog. Blogs are easy because the WordPress interface allows you to add new blog posts from anywhere ( I read about an RVer who used an iPad exclusively for a year for blogging. I also read about people writing novels on an iPad). Hand-coding a website is a horse of a different color. You need an HTML editor and a way to upload files to the server, not to mention the ability to preview the coded page before upload.
To do that on an Apple meant having to learn a new set of apps. I’ve grown fond of Notepad++ as my PC’s HTML editor. The beauty of Notepad ++ is you’re able to review your edits within the program and upload it to the web server. Trying to find that in another app was not and is not easy.
iPad – The Time was Right
As Apple kept innovating, their devices got smaller, more powerful, and…there were one or two within my price range. Whoo Hoo. When I looked at the iPad Air, I realized it was the perfect size for portability, has enough power to allow me to do what I need to do and, I found an app, Textastic, that allows me to code HTML, preview it and upload the files to a server. Things were beginning to sound too good. Although, there was one last hiccup.
In an earlier post, I mentioned I have a rather large Journal that I’ve been updating since 2001. I use Adobe FrameMaker for that journal because it’s the only PC program that can handle a 2,500-page document without a problem. Switching from Windows to iOS means I’ve got to find a stalwart for the job. Fortunately, I think I’ve found that stalwart. It’s called Day One Journal. It’s a program for iOS and I’m loving it! I’ll give more details on that in a later post.
Ducks All Aligned (iPad Here I come)
With my journaling, HTML, server upload, and writing issues all resolved, I couldn’t find a reason why I shouldn’t buy the iPad Air. Pricing had come down so I no longer had to spend thousands of dollars to purchase a fine Apple product. So I bought it.
Now that I’ve given you my long and drawn out history as to why I didn’t and finally did buy an Apple product, in the coming days you can expect to read about my iPad tips, tricks, questions and frustrations. I’ll also share this PC grandma’s journey into Applehood.
By the way, my first challenge is finding what to do about my voice recognition software. Nuance’s NaturallySpeaking operates on Windows PCs only. They stopped supporting iOS. While Apple does have a built-in ability to use voice dictation, their features are pale in comparison to Nuance’s program.
And so it begins…
(BTW, I created this entire post using an iPad. It took me FOREVER!)