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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Initial impressions as a mobile author

I've only really been doing this mobile writing thing with any gusto for a few weeks, though I have dabbled in the past with various older devices (read: monstrously heavy laptops without WiFi, and backpacks full of reference books). So far, though, I can make a few basic remarks.

First: freedom! (Imagine that you hear Mel Gibson in the background, as Brendan Gleeson [Hamish] and David O'Hara [Steven] close their eyes in disbelief.) By that, I mean that this whole setup is really very freeing. Where "this whole setup" = an iPad (3d Gen) + any of several apps for editing text + WiFi at Starbucks + coffee. Or insert your favorite caffeine. And sub MacDonald's WiFi for Starbucks, or whatever other public WiFi hotspot you choose.

Second: I've been an Apple user since 1991, and a hobbyist developer on Apple products since 1995, and so most of my perspective on this process will be from the Alabaster Dais of the Apple. Whenever possible, I will endeavor to explain the process and tools in a platform-neutral way, but just keep in mind that I have an iPad, not a Galaxy, and don't run Android, so I don't necessarily know what Android apps can be used instead of whatever I've reviewed. With that said, I will at least attempt to note Android- or Windows-compatible apps when I can do so.

Third (and finally, for today): For anyone who might be on the edge of the hedge, deciding whether to jump into an iPad or other tablet device or swing for a full laptop, I will say that I use this iPad just about as heavily as a Laptop, and it serves outstandingly in the role of "Portable Computer." I will note that I don't use my iPad for photo storage, nor for music (I have an iPod, and that's where most of my music goes, and I do have a desktop computer with > 2.5 TB of storage). So, the lesson of iPad qua Laptop Replacement really applies primarily to people who have a computer at home they can use as a touchstone.

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