iPad Blues with Document Management

I had another hour to kill, just me and my iPad. I thought I would check out GoogleDocs and other options. First stop was the app store. DocsToGo sounded promising but the reviews were mixed. The absence of spell check capabilities was bizarre, particularly since I was so used to the iPads intuitive correction as I typed.

Could it really be missing?  And then the reviews said the documents failed to synch on an iPad 2. Was it something about iCloud? So I took a pass. A further look at the feature list on the web site talks about entering text and automatic bullets.  What is clear is that this was NOT a full fledged WordProcessor, but rather a rough-draft creator or rudimentary editing tool.

Next stop was GoogleDocs. I saw some items in the app store, but a Google search suggested I should go straight to Google. I pulled up the google mobile site. The login went quickly. But the document editor was nothing but a giant text box. It was a mobile app version designed for a tiny browser. Every time I touched the screen a keyboard would flit on and off. With no formatting and a flitting keyboard, I was unimpressed. A subsequent review of the marketing literature shows that the Mobile edition is for “phones” and not really setup for Tablets.

There was a link to a desktop version. I clicked the link and magically menus and formatting tools appeared. The only problem was that when. I started typing, it crashed. The page reloaded. I typed more and it crashed again. And this was on an empty document. After 5 reloads and no progress, I gave up. I never like GoogleDocs on my desktop and liked it even less on an iPad.

Another Google searched turned up Pages. It turned out to be from Apple. And at $10 it was more than your typical app. On the app store it claimed Pages could open word documents. It was worth a try. I purchased the app. At 85 MB it was sizable. And that meant capable. On load there was an attractive styled document with pictures, beautiful fonts, a backdrop and a full toolbar.

As you scrolled through the document you quickly learned everything that you needed to know about operating the program. Within 5 minutes I was agreeing with the marketing hype that this was one of the most innovative word processors I had seen in a long time.  The system made sense.  It worked with the fingers, and not just the keyboard.  It was more than just a “text entry” tool; it was a visual wordprocessor.  I felt like I was in a scene from “The Minority Report”.  Substitute me for “Tom Cruise” and an 11″ iPAD for a Wall of Glass and you get the picture <g>.

The issue remains as to how it will handle the interchange between documents.  I could add pictures from my “camera roll”, but it was a little more complex how to get pictures from other sources.   For this article, I did most of the writing on the WordPress app for the iPAD.  But I finished up on my computer desktop when I needed to snag photos from the web.