So, long story short, my mother totally tricked me into buying a tablet. I never really wanted one, but when life gives you lemons, etc, so I decided to look into using it to work on stories virtually anywhere. I started using a cloud storage service to store my stories, encrypted, online so I can sync things between computers and access them wherever.
The thing is, that's great and the first legitimate use cloud anything has been to me, but it's still awkward trying to work on anything other than a laptop or pc on a desk with a traditional keyboard.
So it is somewhat not that amazing to me, and I wouldn't do it without the ability to protect my documents on MY end (looking your way, Dropbox). But maybe this tablet could help out, I thought! Maybe I could get more done with a larger mobile device! Those days spent away from home or busy at class and work? Maybe this could help me properly work on things without picking up a big laptop or whatever.
So yeah, just took a look into that and I'm reminded of why I want to smack people who claim tablets and shit are somehow replacing proper computers now. The way of the future, blah, blah.
First of all, I needed a word processor that isn't garbage and can open encrypted documents. That, obviously, is the first step to letting me efficiently use the tablet for protracted writing sessions. I've tried several before, and only a few were made well and could edit protected documents, thereby working within the parameters set by my storage and backup model. KingSoft has made a good one.
But then you need a remotely good keyboard app. As a writer, and prolific user of chat programs, I really appreciate good keyboard apps for these devices. I am a huge supporter of SwiftKey, so I thought I'd be totally fine, whether using fingers or a stylus. But nope! There was no prediction or auto correction, and without those, trying to type at any speed was fucking impossible. With prediction gone, Flow was disabled too. No way to fix it. No reason for these things to just not work for some apps, it's just a thing that happens in the world of tablets and phones.
Meaning, impossible to work with. I'm serious, just try it!
To my immense relief, Swype worked much better, but there's still a variety of issues. Back spacing is a pain, no auto insert of spaces... thankfully, auto correction and swyping work okay, meaning punctuation is no issue and words can be put down fast.
This is upsetting, because I had to trial multiple apps just to be able to do the barest word processing functions. Not cheap, random apps with no reputation, but the best available. Even still, the limitations and awkwardness of trying to write on a touch screen even with accessories... bah.
By the way, picking between Swype and SwiftKey is normally impossible. They are both excellent. If anything, though, I'm sad SwiftKey didn't work for me, since the non stop Flow function could have been amazing. If you use an Android device, you owe it to yourself to try both. While they both have problems in certain word processing applications, they rock for everything else.
The default keyboards suck compared to them.
Switched between the two just for kicks while writing this, actually. But whichever you use, and I'd love to get into the nitty gritty about what the do differently later, you're still going to find it hard to write novels on a fecking tablet. Or email. Or work on spreadsheets. Or edit and manipulate text. Or anything serious, really. Laptops and desktop machines will be around for a long time yet, for people that have to do real work. >:3
Mobile computing is awesome, but we need to be aware of, and anticipate, its short comings. Especially with regards to touch devices. Same with all this weird, silly crap that's bring pushed nowadays, like the Xbox Done and its retarded Kinect "tea earl gray hot" (quoth the Yahtzee) nonsense that's less efficient or desirable than a flipping on button.
I'm not a boring old man afraid of these new technologies. I've used them as much or more than anybody else. Nor do I like raining on anyone's parade. Just saying... they're not replacing anything anytime soon. Except for morons who don't use their machines for anything to begin with.