Today I took the plunge and wrote my sermon on my iPad. It’s a “doable” experience, but not one I’d want to repeat over and over again just yet. Let me share my two biggest reasons why I don’t think it’s quite “there” yet.
- There aren’t any windows. I know, on the iPad that’s a feature rather than a bug – but the nice thing about windows is the ability to look at information, and enter in data in another window without have to completely switch screens (or do so seamlessly). Also, I keep IM open while I’m working and I miss seeing my IM client there while I’m typing away. Most of my problems will be handled in iOS 5 this fall, switching apps seamlessly will be a simple swipe-gesture, and the new alerts set-up for iOS 5 will solve my IM dilemma. Right now, however, working collaboratively between processes is rather disruptive.
- The writing apps aren’t quite up to snuff. I use Documents to Go as my word processor. It’s not awesome, but it does outlines, is synced to my Google Docs account (though it really should sync the doc automatically when it’s saved, rather than syncing only after the document is closed), and has a good set of features. It’s not as stunning to look at as Pages, but it actually has the features I need. The problem is, the keyboard support is pretty awful – the typical formatting shortcuts don’t work, and neither does the “save” command (which is needed, I lost whole paragraphs because the app didn’t suspend properly when I went to go search something in my Bible app). Also, would it kill Documents to Go to have a setting to enable typographic quotes? It just looks nicer. This writing experience needs to improve significantly before I move over to writing sermons on my iPad full-time.
So, that’s where I am. I could keep my MacBook shut down all week and just write on my iPad – but the disruptive way of collaboratively working between processes, coupled with weak apps for document generation, make it an undesirable option. I actually had considered using Google Docs directly on my iPad, but the desktop version is suddenly not working properly on my iPad anymore! I’ll keep looking for tools that make sermon-writing on my iPad a more enjoyable experience, and will revisit the process when iOS 5 comes out in the fall.