Author Topic: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review  (Read 20032 times)

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Offline Peter Halle

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Hopefully on Sunday I will be posting a review of the iPad as a tool for contractors based on my usage and comments from customers and vendors who have seen mine and what I have set up.    Is there anything that you might be interested about in particular?

Peter

EDIT:  Here is the review thread:  iPad Review Thread
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 12:40 PM by Peter Halle »
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

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Offline jonny round boy

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2010, 04:06 AM »
The iPad looks really nice, and I've heard it feels really nice to use, too. But the killer for me is that you can't have 2 programs open at once. Is the lack of multitasking an issue? Are there ways round it? For instance, can you cut'n'paste from say, a text document or webpage into an e-mail easily, or is it a pain to have to keep opening & closing programs?
Festoolian since February 2006

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Offline woodguy7

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2010, 06:26 AM »
Yea, good question Jonny.  Also, someone told me you cant play some videos on it ?  That would be a killer for me  [smile]
If its made of wood, i can make it smaller.
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Offline Chris Meggersee

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2010, 06:44 AM »
Does the Ipad have Flash or Java yet? If I remeber that messes up some websites. How has the Ipad got around that issue?
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Offline jonny round boy

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2010, 06:55 AM »
Does the Ipad have Flash or Java yet? If I remeber that messes up some websites. How has the Ipad got around that issue?

No, Apple refuse to support flash, which means that any website thet uses flash can't be displayed. Apple are supporting the new HTML5 standard, which is a better alternative to flash. YouTube have already switched to this I think. Steve Jobs has said that Apple will never support flash...

Don't know about Java though...

On a related note, I'm thinking of getting a new phone, but spotted the brand new (released yesterday!) Dell Streak. Looks very nice, does everything the iPad does, has all the features that the iPad is missing, and it fits in your pocket!
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline Chris Meggersee

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2010, 09:23 AM »
Does the Ipad have Flash or Java yet? If I remeber that messes up some websites. How has the Ipad got around that issue?

No, Apple refuse to support flash, which means that any website thet uses flash can't be displayed. Apple are supporting the new HTML5 standard, which is a better alternative to flash. YouTube have already switched to this I think. Steve Jobs has said that Apple will never support flash...

Don't know about Java though...

On a related note, I'm thinking of getting a new phone, but spotted the brand new (released yesterday!) Dell Streak. Looks very nice, does everything the iPad does, has all the features that the iPad is missing, and it fits in your pocket!

Yeah thats what I had thought being the owner of an Iphone 3g :/ wishful thinking I guess.

Anychance you are willing to wait to see what the new Iphone is like before making your choice Jonny?
PS300EQ Jigsaw - OF1010EBQ Router - DF500 Domino - RO125FEQ Sander - C12CE Drill - TS55EBQ Saw - CT22E Dust extractor - DTS400 Sander

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Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2010, 09:48 AM »
Does the Ipad have Flash or Java yet? If I remeber that messes up some websites. How has the Ipad got around that issue?

No, Apple refuse to support flash, which means that any website thet uses flash can't be displayed. Apple are supporting the new HTML5 standard, which is a better alternative to flash. YouTube have already switched to this I think. Steve Jobs has said that Apple will never support flash...

Don't know about Java though...

On a related note, I'm thinking of getting a new phone, but spotted the brand new (released yesterday!) Dell Streak. Looks very nice, does everything the iPad does, has all the features that the iPad is missing, and it fits in your pocket!


That's what they always say...

Offline jonny round boy

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2010, 09:49 AM »
I know what the new iPhone is like, since that bloke left one in a bar...

If I was going to get a iPhone-sized smartphone, I'd go for one of the HTCs over the iPhone anyday. I've had several HTCs in the past, and they've always been fine for what I need. I don't own (or have ever owned) any Apple products. I'm not against them, I think they're VERY well designed products, but they don't do anything that other products don't do, and they come at a price premium I'm not prepared to pay. I think of them as a perfect example of 'style over substance'. My father-in-law is an Apple geek, and owns one of pretty much anything they've ever made, including the iPad. Sure, it's really nice, but it's lacking in quite a lot of areas. By the third or fourth generation I might be interested, but by then rival products will also have improved...

If I did get a Streak, I'd probably get it on a data-only plan & keep my existing phone. But it would be an extravagance, I don't need it.
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline jonny round boy

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2010, 09:53 AM »
does everything the iPad does, has all the features that the iPad is missing

That's what they always say...

That's because it's true!  [big grin]

Additional storage, removable/replacable battery, still camera, video recording, plus a lot more, and you can make calls on it too...
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 09:53 AM by jonny round boy »
Festoolian since February 2006

TS55R EBQ saw - CTL26 - CTL Mini - OF1400EBQ router - KS120 Kapex SCMS - ETS150/3 sander - RO90 sander - DF500 Domino - PDC18/4 drill - PSC420 jigsaw - OFK500 trimmer

Wish list (in no particular order!): Anything not listed above....

Offline justinmcf

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 03:54 PM »
does anyone find it strange the ipad does not have a camera?

mr jobs might think its pretty smart leaving it out, but i would never buy the ipad without this feature.

maybe apple think, "it worked for the iphone so lets do the same crap features for the ipad".

justin.

Offline Chris Meggersee

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2010, 05:10 PM »
does anyone find it strange the ipad does not have a camera?

mr jobs might think its pretty smart leaving it out, but i would never buy the ipad without this feature.

maybe apple think, "it worked for the iphone so lets do the same crap features for the ipad".

justin.

I don't think it's strange. To me it's meant to be a tablet pc not a camera or a cellphone. What is strange is that I've heard that apple left the "camera" icon in the OS that they used for the ipad... can anyone say cheap iphone rip?
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Offline John G

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2010, 05:57 PM »
Peter

I use evernote on a PC and would like to here how that works on the iPad.  The current version won't support handwriting, but that is apparently on the cards

There are a number of other handwriting apps available now - I would be fascinated to hear how handwriting worked both with a finger and a stylus.

Could it replace the notepad I always walk around with?

cheers
John
TS55, MFT, OF1400, Domino, RO150, RTS400 and a race between a growing collection of clamps, guides etc and additional systainers...

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2010, 06:22 PM »
John,

I do have ever note on my iPad.  I had it for my iPhone, and when I synced the iPad to iTunes the first time all the apps I had purchased for the iPhone installed on my iPad - for free.

I don't have any handwriting apps installed, so I can't comment.  I may look at a couple quickly.

To answer your question about replacing your notepad that you walk around with - I personally believe that it has the possibility - but have to be a judge of that.

My review will be geared towards someone being out working in the field during the day, tracking expenses and time, making sales call on potential clients, handling estimating and presenting estimates and invoices, eliminating paper notes, and adding a bit of a wow factor that will get potential new clients to see you as different from the others.  That is my goal anyway.

It will not be a sales pitch for the product.  There is a lot of hype out there.  There is much focusing on Flash, Java, multi- tasking, cameras, etc.

How about this for a teaser.  Yesterday, I realized that I needed to make some adjustments on my TS-55 that I left on the job the night before.  I had two choices - one was to print out Rick's supplemental manual, which would take up space, get wrinkled, get ruined by a spilled soft drink, or, I could download the manual to my iPad and view it anytime I needed it.  Guess which one I did?

Tomorrow will be fun.


Peter 
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline WarnerConstCo.

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2010, 06:24 PM »
I am about ready to go ballistic at my at&t store, the coverage keeps getting worse.

I now hate at&t [mad]

Offline Sometimewoodworker

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2010, 09:29 PM »
Yea, good question Jonny.  Also, someone told me you cant play some videos on it ?  That would be a killer for me  [smile]

It is interesting the FUD that is spread.

The iPad is one of the best gadgets for watching video with the caveat that it will never do flash.

One purchaser who was flying to China got 12 hours of video from his.

probably a good idea to find out what it can do is to go to

http://www.apple.com/ipad/guided-tours/
Jerome
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Offline chelseaboy

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2010, 03:08 AM »
Yea, good question Jonny.  Also, someone told me you cant play some videos on it ?  That would be a killer for me  [smile]

It is interesting the FUD that is spread.

The iPad is one of the best gadgets for watching video with the caveat that it will never do flash.

One purchaser who was flying to China got 12 hours of video from his.

probably a good idea to find out what it can do is to go to

http://www.apple.com/ipad/guided-tours/

Indeed my friend  [wink]

This is why apple refused to let the buggy, slow, memory hungry flash on its devices,

http://www.apple.com/html5/

Offline John G

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2010, 06:55 AM »
Peter

thanks - I suspect evernote is another of those tools,  you can't live without onse you've got into it.

a further question and a thought - about field working

"not dropping the iPad" - does it have any Kensington style hole in the case - where you could attach a wrist-strap?

downloading missing files (not quite the same as you said) I still haven't found my perfect (personal files) search application.  I am considering going back to Copernic as they now a have a mobile add-on  that would allow you to search your home pc (from say an iPad) and download the "found" file to the mobile device - I don't know if this would be something you'd use - or have any thoughts on?

cheers
John

TS55, MFT, OF1400, Domino, RO150, RTS400 and a race between a growing collection of clamps, guides etc and additional systainers...

Offline fshanno

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2010, 12:17 PM »
How about the HP Touch Smart?  You can load AutoCAD, Chief Architect, eCabinets, etc. on it.  It comes with a stylus and is designed to write notes and do sketching.
The one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history.

Offline GhostFist

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2010, 09:52 AM »
Ya I don't see the point in a tablet unless you can draw on it, and I don't mean finger painting. That HP Touchsmart seems a lot more versatile for a decent price. I use an apple Home computer, but am certainly not a fan of their other devices.

Offline Scribs

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2010, 10:30 AM »
Just my $.02 and I don't want to hi-Jack Peters review...(I'm very interested in his feedback to us).  I have one of the 3G ipads.  I don't go anywhere without it!  I certainly don't use it to the fullest capability, simply because I don't know how to yet or don't relize everything available [embarassed].  I can say this much, I have never had an easier way of staying in touch with people through email, research material costs online, locate addresses ( business/supplier/client), manage client database or send estimates and invoices I have created in the "pages" program!  I'm sure there is more, I just need time to learn and find the stuff out there!  I haven't yet tried to add the program many of you use, sketch up?  If I can, I'll report on that! I still hand draw[smile]. The 3G allows me to use it anywhere there is cellular service, though there is an additional monthly cost.  The smallest plan may work for many of you, as you can usually save your minutes by jumping on wifi hotspots all over the place and at home!  It will automatically do that for you if you tell it to.  Side note, the battery lasts forever!, or certainly all day until you can plug in at night again.  Even when I use the most battery draining functions, I've  never run out (  YouTube videos).  FYI, this and all of my posts have been from my ipad [big grin].  Yes, that means I, and you can read FOG all day, everyday from anywhere...  Probably not a good thing....  I think this has cost me more money on Festool than anything!
Hope this can help some of you out there make decisions and thanks to all of you that help me do the same with Festool purchases and building projects!  
« Last Edit: October 09, 2010, 10:51 AM by Scribs »

Offline JD2720

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2010, 10:57 AM »
Just my $.02 and I don't want to hi-Jack Peters review...(I'm very interested in his feedback to us).  I have one of the 3G ipads.  I don't go anywhere without it!  I certainly don't use it to the fullest capability, simply because I don't know how to yet or don't relize everything available [embarassed].  I can say this much, I have never had an easier way of staying in touch with people through email, research material costs online, locate addresses ( business/supplier/client), manage client database or send estimates and invoices I have created in the "pages" program!  I'm sure there is more, I just need time to learn and find the stuff out there!  I haven't yet tried to add the program many of you use, sketch up?  If I can, I'll report on that! I still hand draw[smile]. The 3G allows me to use it anywhere there is cellular service, though there is an additional monthly cost.  The smallest plan may work for many of you, as you can usually save your minutes by jumping on wifi hotspots all over the place and at home!  It will automatically do that for you if you tell it to.  Side note, the battery lasts forever!, or certainly all day until you can plug in at night again.  Even when I use the most battery draining functions, I've  never run out (  YouTube videos).  FYI, this and all of my posts have been from my ipad [big grin].  Yes, that means I, and you can read FOG all day, everyday from anywhere...  Probably not a good thing....  I think this has cost me more money on Festool than anything!
Hope this can help some of you out there make decisions and thanks to all of you that help me do the same with Festool purchases and building projects!  
 


Is AT&T the only choice for a 3G provider?

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2010, 04:57 PM »
Scribs,

I don't think that there is a Sketchup app out there yet.  I think that Navicad has a sketchup file viewer.

Chris,

AT&T is the only service provider right now in the US.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline GhostFist

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #22 on: October 09, 2010, 10:09 PM »
i'd be surprised if you see a version of Sketchup for ipad/ipone as it's a google property and more likely to premier on one of their Android machines

Offline fidelfs

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2010, 11:27 AM »
Scribs,

I don't think that there is a Sketchup app out there yet.  I think that Navicad has a sketchup file viewer.

Chris,

AT&T is the only service provider right now in the US.

Peter

You cuould get a wifi Ipad and get a broadband from verizon or sprint (better networks) and you also could use a hot spot such as restaurants, coffe shops, etc.
There is never a situation where it can't be done with the right hand tool - even though it may be a lot more work.

Offline honeydokreg

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2011, 08:36 AM »
Peter finally read your review thanks and
Good help

I would NOT go with Verizon and the Mifi. I did and wish I had not get it built in with 3G. It is another device to charge up. Goes on sometimes by it's self and runs down the charge. Easy to lose and stutters

I had to go
That way cuz of my laptop connection. For wifi.

So stick with Att. But get the built in. Pay the extra bucks

I use my I pad at presentations all the time people love it
pay attention to the details.... they make the difference... festool does
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Offline Swingman

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2011, 10:25 AM »
Good review!

Been carrying an iPad (WiFi only/tethered to a smartphone hotspot when necessary) as a business device for about a month now (GC in new residential construction/cabinetmaker). Despite my initial reservations, I'm finding it has quickly become my preferred device, taking the place of a laptop for most onsite and shop use. For my purposes the ease of carrying and long battery life has more than balanced the few limitations in business oriented software (a SketchUp viewer would be icing on the cake at this point).

An increasingly important tool for me lately has been universal access to meeting notes across devices, particularly handy for sharing notes in those frequent client meetings. In that regard, one of the tasks I wanted a tablet device to accomplish, and without fuss, was the ability to take handwritten notes that could be instantly synced with laptop, office desktop, and smartphone.  After purchasing/trying just about every handwriting application available, I personally settled on "NoteShelf", used with a BoxWave stylus - an excellent combination for either print or cursive for someone who finds a pencil handier and faster than a mobile keyboard.

Used in conjunction with a ubiquitous cross platform app, "DropBox", my handwritten notes are immediately available as pdf's in the office, on the laptop, my phone, and best of all, to clients and helpers, almost all of whom are equipped with mobile access these days.

With the table market on the verge of exploding this year, I'd bet that this particular genre of devices are going to find a home in many more contractor's trucks. (not to mention that the ability to carry a photographic portfolio, and view it on that gorgeous screen, leverages the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words" to the max).

Karl Caillouet
http://ewoodshop.com

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2011, 12:09 PM »
Another application to look at if you have an iphone and a windows computer at home is Splashtop.  This app allows you to control your windows computer from your ipad.  I was running quickbooks earlier today and browsed the web including flash sites.  $1.99.

Peter
Disclaimer:  I have been involved with the development of some TSO Products.  I have offered thoughts and ideas freely.  I am not paid but I may receive products during the development process or afterwards.

Offline woodguy7

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Re: The Apple iPad as a tool for Contractors - A tool review
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2011, 12:30 PM »
Welcome to the FOG swingman

Woodguy
If its made of wood, i can make it smaller.
Shirt size medium
p.s- ive started reading these too