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iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Fri May 18, 2012 4:02 pm

Is there such a thing? I have been noticing an increasing number of these flat pad things, but a majority of the software seems to be for iPads, especially those apps for controlling DAW software. Are there similar pads that are PC and not Apple?

I have seen so many but the choice is really confusing, a friend of mine bought an Arnova 10 and it looked very impressive, but I looked on the internet and whilst many users were happy with it, they all said some aspects were sluggish.

Is there any particular make/model I should look out for. What OS? - Android4 at least?

what processor/RAM/storage etc?

Any guidance greatfully appreciated
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Scope » Fri May 18, 2012 5:29 pm

Tried a quite few, got to say :-

The good - They are well priced, look good and for basic tasks are adequate.

The bad :- Most are under powered in terms of CPU, GPU and ram.
Most seem to run 'lumpy'.
All the best apps are on IOS.

Basically, if you want one that actually does what it claims, you have to buy the iPad.
Everything else is a disappointment. ( Andriod is not that good... )

If you can wait :-
M/s are going to release Windows8 in 2013, which is radically different to all previous version of Windows.
This OS is geared towards touch control, so I'd fully expect the one or two of the iPad clones to ditch Android in favour of W8.
When they inevitably do, the Market Place, ( M/S's version of the App Store) will take off properly and within a year or so , will have the kind of apps you currently only see on the iPad.

I guess it all comes down to whether you want an effective device now, or in a couple of years.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri May 18, 2012 6:09 pm

Scope wrote:
M/s are going to release Windows8 in 2013, which is radically different to all previous version of Windows.

I don't know what cut-down version will go on tablet computers. But anyone who's played with the preview Windows 8 on a real computer will know that something looking and acting very like Windows 7 is only one layer beneath the touch-screen stuff.

Luckily, it IS still there. So we can continue using our heavyweight programs, while tablet owners can go straight from the touchy top layer to their world of "apps" and media storage.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby johnny h » Sat May 19, 2012 2:42 am

OneWorld wrote:Is there such a thing?
Short answer no. All the best apps are for the iPad and it's a pretty good deal for the quality of the hardware you get. Android is a cheap rip off and just doesn't work so smoothly. More importantly, the apps aren't locked down so there is little incentive to bring out the best apps for it.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Sat May 19, 2012 6:51 pm

Yep, seems like the Xoom is the most highly regarded but not worth busting a gut for as regards music apps
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Will_m » Sat May 19, 2012 9:16 pm

johnny h wrote:Android is a cheap rip off and just doesn't work so smoothly. More importantly, the apps aren't locked down so there is little incentive to bring out the best apps for it.

That's completely wrong in my opinion, android for me on smartphones is way ahead of iOS and this is reflected in the fact that iOS sometimes "borrows" android features like the new notification bar etc. I've not experienced android on a tablet so I can't comment, there are some tablets with more hardware power than the ipad too so I don't think that's a failing either. Where it is let down is in the lack of music apps compared to those for iOS, which is very far ahead.

Windows 8 might change this, obviously being geared towards a tablet experience but we'll see.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Chevytraveller » Sat May 19, 2012 10:18 pm

Will_m wrote:
johnny h wrote:Android is a cheap rip off and just doesn't work so smoothly. More importantly, the apps aren't locked down so there is little incentive to bring out the best apps for it.

That's completely wrong in my opinion, android for me on smartphones is way ahead of iOS and this is reflected in the fact that iOS sometimes "borrows" android features like the new notification bar etc. I've not experienced android on a tablet so I can't comment, there are some tablets with more hardware power than the ipad too so I don't think that's a failing either. Where it is let down is in the lack of music apps compared to those for iOS, which is very far ahead.

Windows 8 might change this, obviously being geared towards a tablet experience but we'll see.

While Johnny's statement might have been a little harsh, it is true to say that Music development the Android platform has been hampered by a number of issues of Google's own making.
It is true to say that many developers have been put off by Google's inability or otherwise to minimise piracy of any software.

The bigger issue for music apps is the fundamental latency issues with the platform. Now while this may not be an issue for you average user, this is a BIG issue for music app developers.. this problem is also compounded by the variety of Android hardware available and not solved simply by making the hardware "faster".
If Google ever get round to addressing this issue then we will also need to see action from hardware manufacturer to adapt to the new architechture.

Sadly, from a Music app developers point of view this makes Android "dead in the water" and IOS the only real option.


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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Ojustaboo » Sat May 19, 2012 10:52 pm

Chevytraveller wrote:
The bigger issue for music apps is the fundamental latency issues with the platform. Now while this may not be an issue for you average user, this is a BIG issue for music app developers.. this problem is also compounded by the variety of Android hardware available and not solved simply by making the hardware "faster".
If Google ever get round to addressing this issue then we will also need to see action from hardware manufacturer to adapt to the new architechture.

Sadly, from a Music app developers point of view this makes Android "dead in the water" and IOS the only real option.


:bouncy:


Yep I agree 100%

I have a Galaxy Tablet, well I did until I brought an ipad, then I gave it to my daughter.

Android was great at a lot of things, there are also a lot of good apps available for it.

But when it comes to music apps, it's dead in the water.

Even if Google ever sort out the was Android handles sound, to be honest I suspect it will be too late. Bit like Beta vs VHS, Betamax was massively superior but VHS got the main market share, hence films were only made for that.

Two things I was looking at earlier, Omnisphere have an ipad app to control their software, Native instruments Imachine is also as the title suggests for Apple only with no hint of android versions to come.

Then look at synths, Animoog, Korgs iMS20, both superb instruments and no hint of android versions.

Before I got my Ipad, i felt it was just the music apps that let Android tablets down. When I got the Ipad I simply found it to be much smoother at whatever I did. OK, no flash, but most sites now (at least those I view) work fine on the ipad.

I tried every browser under the sun on my Android tablet, none worked as smoothly as safari does on the Ipad. It simply opens all web pages without hassle. I used to have to use one browser for some web pages and another for other pages on my Android.

Then there's games. While there are a lot of games out for both platforms, there are still a LOT that are only available On the Apple platform.

I hate what I call Apple fanboys and I love being able to customise things. I love Apple products, Microsoft products and I also run various Linux systems that I also love. Point being, I have no brand loyalty to any of them and think they all have their uses/place.

But if someone offered me £500 to ditch my Ipad and go back to an Android tablet (and gave me a brand new Android tablet free) I would turn them down. A few months ago I would have jumped at such an offer, but everything just seems to work hassle free on my Ipad compared to many hassles I had with various Android apps. And that's without taking into account music apps, add them into the equation and unless Androids music handling is fixed and music s/w writers decide to support it, I couldn't ever recommend one for any kind of serious music use.

I don't know what the windows tablets will bring, if they can run a lot of the PC s/w currently available, they might become a real ipad alternative at some point down the line.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Sun May 20, 2012 9:06 am

Hmmmm, seems like it's worth waiting to see if Win8 will see a change, but by the time Win8 has been released, updated, and Service x y and z are released, the iPad is going to be light years in ahead. MIDI was the makng of the Atari ST, to a lesser extent, music making helps the popularity of the iPad
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby ezza » Sun May 20, 2012 10:34 am

Why are you looking for an alternative? Is it price? Do you want a more open system than iOS or are you simply trying to avoid Apple?
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Will_m » Sun May 20, 2012 1:44 pm

I think the biggest problem on both platforms is that professional music making is so niche and probably rightly so. How many music makers actually want to write and produce music on a tablet? I can see some benefit as a controller or effects device but outside of that it all seems to be a massive compromise. I just don't see why music making needs to be that portable, surely something like a macbook air with a small audio interface offers twice the functionality?
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun May 20, 2012 6:03 pm

Will_m wrote:I think the biggest problem on both platforms is that professional music making is so niche and probably rightly so. How many music makers actually want to write and produce music on a tablet? I can see some benefit as a controller or effects device but outside of that it all seems to be a massive compromise. I just don't see why music making needs to be that portable, surely something like a macbook air with a small audio interface offers twice the functionality?

The adverts for all this "small" gear never show the attachments needed to make it actually work or connect to anything.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Sun May 20, 2012 6:41 pm

ezza wrote:Why are you looking for an alternative? Is it price? Do you want a more open system than iOS or are you simply trying to avoid Apple?

I'm just of looking what's out there, and if there is much on either platform that is compelling. For example the use of an iPad as a controller seems to be really popular - if I am to believe the adverts! and the I have seen a little app that has guitar strings on which you can sort of play as a guitar, there seems to be more and more soft synths coming out for portable devices.

Am not anti-Apple, but what attracts me about the PC platform is all the diverse software there is for it, a lot of it free - ok some isn't worth even giving away, but some is very usuable indeed, whereas there doesn't seem to be quite an active developers community for the Apple as there is for the PC.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Sun May 20, 2012 6:48 pm

Ojustaboo wrote:
Chevytraveller wrote:
The bigger issue for music apps is the fundamental latency issues with the platform. Now while this may not be an issue for you average user, this is a BIG issue for music app developers.. this problem is also compounded by the variety of Android hardware available and not solved simply by making the hardware "faster".
If Google ever get round to addressing this issue then we will also need to see action from hardware manufacturer to adapt to the new architechture.

Sadly, from a Music app developers point of view this makes Android "dead in the water" and IOS the only real option.


:bouncy:

Yep I agree 100%

I have a Galaxy Tablet, well I did until I brought an ipad, then I gave it to my daughter.

Android was great at a lot of things, there are also a lot of good apps available for it.

But when it comes to music apps, it's dead in the water.

Even if Google ever sort out the was Android handles sound, to be honest I suspect it will be too late. Bit like Beta vs VHS, Betamax was massively superior but VHS got the main market share, hence films were only made for that.

Two things I was looking at earlier, Omnisphere have an ipad app to control their software, Native instruments Imachine is also as the title suggests for Apple only with no hint of android versions to come.

Then look at synths, Animoog, Korgs iMS20, both superb instruments and no hint of android versions.

Before I got my Ipad, i felt it was just the music apps that let Android tablets down. When I got the Ipad I simply found it to be much smoother at whatever I did. OK, no flash, but most sites now (at least those I view) work fine on the ipad.

I tried every browser under the sun on my Android tablet, none worked as smoothly as safari does on the Ipad. It simply opens all web pages without hassle. I used to have to use one browser for some web pages and another for other pages on my Android.

Then there's games. While there are a lot of games out for both platforms, there are still a LOT that are only available On the Apple platform.

I hate what I call Apple fanboys and I love being able to customise things. I love Apple products, Microsoft products and I also run various Linux systems that I also love. Point being, I have no brand loyalty to any of them and think they all have their uses/place.

But if someone offered me £500 to ditch my Ipad and go back to an Android tablet (and gave me a brand new Android tablet free) I would turn them down. A few months ago I would have jumped at such an offer, but everything just seems to work hassle free on my Ipad compared to many hassles I had with various Android apps. And that's without taking into account music apps, add them into the equation and unless Androids music handling is fixed and music s/w writers decide to support it, I couldn't ever recommend one for any kind of serious music use.

I don't know what the windows tablets will bring, if they can run a lot of the PC s/w currently available, they might become a real ipad alternative at some point down the line.

Hmmmm, that makes me think a bit. Becuse what yo say about for example trying every browser going but none as smooth as Safari, says a lot. But so many websites are Flash driven these days (yes I know HTML5 is going to vanquish Flash, but it won't for some time yet) which as far as I know won't run on Apple machines? Though if the latest Apple OS's are Unix based, and Flash runs on Linux, so why not on Apple OS's?






I did buy a little portable device when they first came out, paid about £200 for it, it was worse than useless
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby johnny h » Sun May 20, 2012 10:22 pm

OneWorld wrote:
Hmmmm, that makes me think a bit. Becuse what yo say about for example trying every browser going but none as smooth as Safari, says a lot. But so many websites are Flash driven these days (yes I know HTML5 is going to vanquish Flash, but it won't for some time yet) which as far as I know won't run on Apple machines? Though if the latest Apple OS's are Unix based, and Flash runs on Linux, so why not on Apple OS's?
Flash does work on full apple computers and it's perfectly capable of running on iOS devices. However apple have decided that flash is the cause of much battery drain and stability issues and not implemented it. Flash on mobile is dead in the water anyway so it's really no big deal.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby ezza » Mon May 21, 2012 7:39 am

If you're interested in Windows tablets then I'm not sure you will benefit from the existing applications running on it from day 1. If the tablet uses an ARM processor then all apps will have to recompiled to work on it. Also Windows 8 for ARM will be more restricted than regular Windows - more like iOS. I'd wait and see on Windows Tablets.

I'd say if you want to get going now with no fuss and a big choice of apps and peripherals - go iPad.

If you have a specific use case in mind and there's a Android app that you know works for it go Android.

Otherwise wait and see.

/erol
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Richie Royale » Mon May 21, 2012 8:13 am

johnny h wrote:
OneWorld wrote:
Hmmmm, that makes me think a bit. Becuse what yo say about for example trying every browser going but none as smooth as Safari, says a lot. But so many websites are Flash driven these days (yes I know HTML5 is going to vanquish Flash, but it won't for some time yet) which as far as I know won't run on Apple machines? Though if the latest Apple OS's are Unix based, and Flash runs on Linux, so why not on Apple OS's?
Flash does work on full apple computers and it's perfectly capable of running on iOS devices. However apple have decided that flash is the cause of much battery drain and stability issues and not implemented it. Flash on mobile is dead in the water anyway so it's really no big deal.

More importantly, many websites have non-flash versions or mobile optimised versions.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby SecretSam » Mon May 21, 2012 9:37 am

Depends why you want a tablet.

If you are worried about weight and size, there is an 11" MacBook Air which is at least a proper computer. It has a real keyboard, so you can work on it efficiently. It has decent I/O. A fast processor and plenty of RAM. And it will run full music applications instead of cut-down 'apps', and it isn't restricted to 64GB of storage. And you don't have to go through a lot of nonsense with iTunes in order to get files onto it for reading.

On the other hand, if you want to be always connected (blah blah blah), then a smartphone lives in your pocket, and the iPad doesn't.

If you want to play Angry Birds and download apps that make the screen look broken when you tap it (ha ha ha), then by all means get an iPad. If you want to manage other people while traveling, it has a use too. On the other hand, if you want to generate anything creative or that can't be expressed in a few sentences, it's the wrong tool for the job. And if you want it as a control surface, there are plenty of physical control surfaces that do a more direct job for the money.

IMHO, iPads are for internet surfing, reading email, and playing kids' games. I have one at work (am in a software company so have to try these things ...), and that's where it stays. A solution in search of a problem.

[Mind you, I think Facebook is a waste of time as well: a whole industry built around pretending to be interested in other people's holiday snaps. So maybe it's just me.]
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Mon May 21, 2012 9:52 am

SecretSam wrote:Depends why you want a tablet.

If you are worried about weight and size, there is an 11" MacBook Air which is at least a proper computer. It has a real keyboard, so you can work on it efficiently. It has decent I/O. A fast processor and plenty of RAM. And it will run full music applications instead of cut-down 'apps', and it isn't restricted to 64GB of storage. And you don't have to go through a lot of nonsense with iTunes in order to get files onto it for reading.

On the other hand, if you want to be always connected (blah blah blah), then a smartphone lives in your pocket, and the iPad doesn't.

If you want to play Angry Birds and download apps that make the screen look broken when you tap it (ha ha ha), then by all means get an iPad. If you want to manage other people while traveling, it has a use too. On the other hand, if you want to generate anything creative or that can't be expressed in a few sentences, it's the wrong tool for the job. And if you want it as a control surface, there are plenty of physical control surfaces that do a more direct job for the money.

IMHO, iPads are for internet surfing, reading email, and playing kids' games. I have one at work (am in a software company so have to try these things ...), and that's where it stays. A solution in search of a problem.

[Mind you, I think Facebook is a waste of time as well: a whole industry built around pretending to be interested in other people's holiday snaps. So maybe it's just me.]

Good point, it is always better to be aware of what is avaialable, and matching that with need, rather than a 'top down' approach, where a user buys a device and then goes about trying to match it to their needs.

I just have this sort of notion that an iPad, or a PC equivalent will enable me to connect to the internet just to catch up with mail and have my daily dose of tub-thumping on SOS Forums, and to have a little studio that is portable, essentially it's use would be restricted to that, especially those apps that allow the device to work as a control surface for the DAW on my PC

Having said that, I suppose I could just buy a new laptop and put Reason on it, I'd have recording, synths, though not control surface.

ANd to a certain extent, I want one becasue I feel that constant need to keep up with technology, whether I need it or not LOL
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby robinv » Mon May 21, 2012 11:04 am

I think this discussion misses something very important - that you don't need a tablet to run Windows 8 apps. The beauty of W8 over iOS is that you can do it all on the one machine. All you have to do is connect up a couple of little touch screens to your main desktop and you've got all the control you could need. You could have your cubase mixer on one and Automap on another while running your project on your main screen. And if the apps do emerge from the Marketplace then you can run them at the same time as Cubase because you have all the power of an enormous desktop computer behind them - all midi integrated internally - it's going to be a beautiful thing and you can leave your ipad for email, facebook and playing games with the kids.



...... this of course assumes that any of that would actually work - but it sounds completely feasible to me and i like to dream :)
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Martin Walker » Mon May 21, 2012 11:15 am

robinv wrote:I think this discussion misses something very important - that you don't need a tablet to run Windows 8 apps. The beauty of W8 over iOS is that you can do it all on the one machine. All you have to do is connect up a couple of little touch screens to your main desktop and you've got all the control you could need.

Now that does sound more sensible to me - why buy another computer when you mainly want a touch screen as a controller for your main setup :headbang:


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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Mon May 21, 2012 5:56 pm

Yep, good point, last thing I need is yet another gizmo when I will have something that will do it anyway
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby johnny h » Mon May 21, 2012 6:45 pm

robinv wrote:I think this discussion misses something very important - that you don't need a tablet to run Windows 8 apps. The beauty of W8 over iOS is that you can do it all on the one machine. All you have to do is connect up a couple of little touch screens to your main desktop and you've got all the control you could need. You could have your cubase mixer on one and Automap on another while running your project on your main screen. And if the apps do emerge from the Marketplace then you can run them at the same time as Cubase because you have all the power of an enormous desktop computer behind them - all midi integrated internally - it's going to be a beautiful thing and you can leave your ipad for email, facebook and playing games with the kids.



...... this of course assumes that any of that would actually work - but it sounds completely feasible to me and i like to dream :)

It's a little too early to speculate how well all that will work. There have already been some very fanciful headlines of 'iPad killer' concerning many different tablets from many different manufacturers. None of which have been worth the time of day for music related applications.

Right now the iPad is the only choice. However I would think carefully if you really want one. For me I like it because I travel on planes a lot and I use touchosc, and some of the music apps such as the tenori on are really good. But it's really not a proper computer so don't consider it a touchscreen enabled replacement for one. A MacBook air is also very light and much more useful for everyday tasks.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Mon May 21, 2012 10:02 pm

Yep seems likes it's a work in progress then
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby ezza » Tue May 22, 2012 8:59 am

Maybe you had something like this in mind?

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Slate_EP121/
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Wed May 23, 2012 6:31 pm

ezza wrote:Maybe you had something like this in mind?

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Slate_EP121/

That does look quite classy, and guess it performs as good as it looks? Is there as much music software for the PC Pad though, again going back to the DAW control surface type software?
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby Pete Kaine » Thu May 24, 2012 9:42 am

OneWorld wrote:
ezza wrote:Maybe you had something like this in mind?

http://www.asus.com/Eee/Eee_Pad/Eee_Slate_EP121/

That does look quite classy, and guess it performs as good as it looks? Is there as much music software for the PC Pad though, again going back to the DAW control surface type software?

It's got a PC chip in it and runs windows, so in theory it'll run your DAW so a controller app should be fine :lol:

That said I tried using win7 on a tablet and wasn't impressed so YMMV.

Android seems to be a wash out due to it being fairly hard to get audio signal latency down, althrough some people are starting to get around it however it still doesn't appear to be all that easy. Apps just sending Midi data through should be a lot easier to create, althrough the does seem to be a lack of them still as well so I might be wrong with that.

Windows tablets should come of age with Win8 apparently, but the verdicts of course out until they surface and people start writting apps for them.

So, err... yeah. Apple it is then if you need one currently.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby OneWorld » Thu May 24, 2012 9:52 am

Just got the payday itch - a friend of mine had bought an Arnova, and it looked quite good, that's what sparked my interest. As it happens, he has returned it to the shop now. So I'll hang on until the right apps and hardware appear. On seconds thoughts, I can't justify buying an iPad just to act as a controller.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby robinv » Thu May 24, 2012 10:24 am

OneWorld wrote:I can't justify buying an iPad just to act as a controller.

Then don't - buy one as a super easy, media consuming, kids amusing, game playing, synth fiddling, book reading, painting, animating, music playing, time wasting and life enhancing device of pure genius that it is :)

If it helps your music control then that's a bonus - and, incidentally, there's an app to let it become the Metro control part of Windows 8 - awesome.
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Re: iPad alternatives

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Thu May 24, 2012 10:41 am

OneWorld wrote:Hmmmm, seems like it's worth waiting to see if Win8 will see a change, but by the time Win8 has been released, updated, and Service x y and z are released, the iPad is going to be light years in ahead.

Yes, because they have to release a new version of the iPad each year to clear up the issues left-over from the last version.
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