AMITIAE - Wednesday 20 April 2016

Cassandra: Much Work no Play - the iPad Pro is not a Dull Toy - plus Search in Safari

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Just to explain the title, as some accessing this may not be native speakers and the proverb may not be accessible to all. "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" refers to a need for relaxation: we must get away from work sometimes. The iPad Pro is a device that allows play, but also certainly allows productive tasks, despite what some doggedly insist.

I was at work today but had decided not to take the MacBook Pro. All the tasks I had to accomplish were done using the 9.7" iPad Pro. Some who claim this device (and its larger cousin) is just for play have been unable to show that they have experienced the device over an extended period and claim that iPads are just for play.

I am loving the experience with the iPad Pro devices I have been using since late November (12.9") and in recent weeks with the new 9.7" version. They do however need some change in work styles, particularly dumping the desktop attitudes. Working methods are never going to be the same as with a Mac running OS X (or a PC), but that does not mean iOS devices do not allow their users to be productive.

iPd Pro models
iPd Pro models - Image Courtesy of Apple

A Mechanical Engineering student in one of my classes has a 12.9" iPad Pro and accesses all the necessary materials provided by the faculty (mostly in PDF format) as well as the many other tasks students needs to do, including of course, social networking and games.

I deliberately took the 9.7" iPad Pro to work today. A presentation I wanted to run was synchronized to iCloud and I could save myself the weight of the MacBook Pro. I also have student marks in spreadsheet software in the cloud, so that is another example of productivity I experience, without touching on the writing apps and the photography (including RAW images from my Nikon).

In the afternoon, I took some time to use Safari (more work, no play) and considered the Search feature, which I use often on the Mac, but could never remember using on iOS devices.

Search and the Smart Keyboard

Using the Smart Keyboard, I tried the Command + F key combination, which brought up a small search panel at the bottom of the screen. If the feature exists, I reasoned, it must also be available when the keyboard is not being used.

I spent a few minutes trying gestures and tapping the screen, before I found the answer (Dvanesh Adhiya, iGeeksBlog). He details the process on the iPhone, but the same Share button is used on the iPad, although this is on the top of the screen with the larger device.

Search and the Smart Keyboard

The icons shown when Share is pressed include a spyglass and it is this that reveals the same panel for a text search within Safari on the iPad. This panel is much neater when the Smart Keyboard is used. When this is not available, an onscreen keyboard is shown so that users may enter text.

Search and the Smart Keyboard

Not playtime at all.

Oh, and I wrote all the above on the iPad Pro as well.

See also:

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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