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iPad as only computer?

1791 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 29, 2013 11:34 AM by F J Poblam RSS
Jim Alden Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 13, 2011 12:36 AM
I think the iPad would be plenty computer for my parents, who mostly just browse the internet and check/send email, but how would they get their photos and music on it? Could they transfer these from their old iBook? For pics they take on their digital camera, can they download them from the camera to the iPad? Also, if you get attached files in email, can you save them to an iPad? Is there stuff I'm not thinking of that they just can't do on an iPad?
iMac Intel Core 2 Duo (white), MacBook, mac mini, iPhone, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • kirisilvermane Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 13, 2011 12:47 AM (in response to Jim Alden)
    yeah its alot of computer! LOL
    ok lets get started:
    photos can be transferred either wirelessly via APPS or via the Camera Connection Kit which will accept USB direct from digital camera or SD card.
    depending on your book reader will depend on whether you can transfer to the Ipad. currently KIndle is available on Ios systems and it carries your kindle library with it; syncing and keeping it updated across all platforms. and you can import PDF files into the iBooks; as well as a few of the other standard ebook formats. however that would need to be done via a pc and Itunes.

    and that will be the stumbling block!! Ipad NEEDS a computer to set-up and activate it; to back-up and restore, and in some cases enable transfer of files via the app sharing system.

    email systems will work pretty much as expected; things like office attachments and suchlike can be viewed and worked on with various Apps.

    music can be downloaded direct via iTunes on ipad but stuff already in digital foprmat will need to be transferred from itunes on a computer system again.

    so whilst its alot of computer and possibly enough for a "basic" cannot exist "in and of itself" as of yet! so they would still need a main computer to perform some of the functions they would require.
    pc, Windows 7
  • King_Penguin Level 10 Level 10 (92,525 points)
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    Jan 13, 2011 12:54 AM (in response to Jim Alden)
    There are minimum specs for the computer - for Mac you need a USB 2.0 port and
    Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later. I don't know whether your computer meet these requirement, or whether (if needed) it's OS could be upgraded. A computer is needed for the initial activation of the iPad (though that could be done in an Apple store or you could do it), it's also needed for making backups (and potentially restores).

    You can download photos to the iPad, either via iTunes ( or directly via the Camera Connection Kit ( If you then want to copy those pictures off then you either need a computer to sync them to, or you might be able to email them as attachments - you can't, for example, attach a flash drive or external drive to the iPad and copy the pictures (or anything else for that matter) to it.

    Email attachments can be saved into other apps e.g. PDFs can be copied into iBooks (which is a free app), or something like Goodreader. Pictures can be saved to the built-in Photos app.
    iOS 4, Windows 7
  • Demo Level 9 Level 9 (73,845 points)
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    Jan 13, 2011 1:31 PM (in response to Jim Alden)
    The iPad is a wonderful device. They are amazing to use while you are away from your computer, for things like reading a book or magazine, or watching videos in your bed, scrolling through photos, listening to music, but IMHO, it makes no sense to own an iPad without also having the computer to sync and back up. True there are ways to transfer photos and they can download apps after it's activated and so on, but while the iPad will meet your parents needs for what they do on a computer, they still need a computer to sync, backup, restore, whatever. They are not meant to be used as a standalone device but to be used in conjunction with a computer.
    MacBook Pro 13", Mac OS X (10.5.8), Intel iMac (Tiger 10.4.11) MacBook White 13" (10.5.8) iPad 32g (iOS 4.2)
  • Philly_Phan Level 6 Level 6 (11,010 points)
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    Jan 13, 2011 1:35 PM (in response to Jim Alden)
    I can add only that I agree with everything that the others said. An iPad needs a computer as a "mother ship."
  • David M Brewer Level 6 Level 6 (9,185 points)
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    Jan 13, 2011 2:48 PM (in response to Jim Alden)
    Maybe the new Mac Air will fit their needs... The 11 inch model isn't that much bigger compared to the iPad.
    G-4 1.2 GIG, 1.5 GIGs of Ram, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Quicktime 7.6.4, FCS2, nano 5th, iPad and a bunch of other stuff...
  • F J Poblam Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 29, 2013 11:34 AM (in response to Jim Alden)

    Back to this issue, much later. I'm about to set up my iPad2 for my mother-in-law. Her needs are simple in the extreme. She's not computer savvy in any way, shape, or form, and we're hoping the iPad will be a viable replacement for her Windoze laptop. What does she need? Read, reply to, and delete email. (This may include downloading and viewing photos — and *if easy enough* saving them). Go to the browser and pay a bill or make a purchase once in a blue moon. Scroll through simple TV guide, news, weather, stock watcher apps that I will set up for her. That's about it. I've already installed iOS7, I'll set up her mail and WiFi and autoupdate for apps.


    Does that sound good enough for a standalone iPad? Does it sound feasible?


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