iPad 2 --> Surface 2 ...looking for tips for a good transition!

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface 2' started by JuryDuty, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. JuryDuty

    JuryDuty New Member

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    I have a Surface 2 on the way and am very excited! I've been using an iPad 2 for two years and am looking forward to trying Microsoft's tablet.

    Here's how I use my iPad:

    1) Writing--I'm very excited to have the full version of Word on this--will be a MUCH better experience than the iPad.
    2) Email--mostly gmail, but also from my company's exchange server. I'm hoping this will be an easy set-up.
    3) Music--All my music is in iTunes and I want to keep it there. Given that, what's the best way to sync it with the Surface 2?
    4) Games--I love Plants v Zombies 2 and Injustice...don't think they're on the Surface 2 yet...any other great games?
    5) Evernote--my life is in this thing. I hope it transitions over well.
    6) GPS--I assume I can get a good GPS on the Surface 2?
    7) Banking, reading, etc--I know a lot of this is app-dependent, so that'll hopefully come in time.

    Would love to hear your experiences, any tips and tricks you like, etc, that can help me set up and be successful faster.
     
  2. Name Taken

    Name Taken Active Member

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  3. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    (1) Absolutely yes. I'm planning on attempting Nanowrimo this year entirely on my S2. :)

    (2) This should be quite easy to set up in Outlook RT. I'm still in the process of transitioning over my 5 email accounts, though... :eek:

    (3) Unfortunately, I don't know of a good way to sync iTunes on the Surface, as I don't believe there's an iTunes app. :(

    (4) Halo Spartan Assault gets consistently good ratings, but I'm not into shooters. I enjoy me some Angry Birds. PinBall FX is fun, but I stick with singleplayer so there's only one pinball board available there (I never sign into the Xbox account thing for my games). Ilomilo also gets good reviews--I just got it and am attempting to learn the rules; graphics are nice. Lots of racing games, puzzles, solitaire-type, etc. I suggest looking for game app reviews since searching is a bit of a pain since MS removed subcategories from the store.

    (5) It is in the app store, yes, but I've never used it. OneNote included in Office is pretty good too.

    (6) No GPS.

    (7) This is where you will need to shift your mentality: The reason why Windows RT is quite a step up from iOS and Android is that it includes not only MS Office RT (differences from full) but a full web browser. The only thing Internet Explorer RT version cannot handle is Java (that I know of). This is also why many "web service apps" are redundant and why those complaining about the lack of Facebook*/Youtube/etc. apps miss the picture--those websites work fine in IE. My own bank and credit card sites are fully functional in IE11--this isn't a mobile browser. That said, you will sometimes come across compatibility issues because IE11 is very new, in which case you will have to become familiar with the "compatibility" and "trusted sites" options.

    Now, when it comes to apps that aren't "web service clones," like readers, there are certainly a number of options, and hopefully you can find something that fits your needs. Do check the apps subforum as well.

    Surface now comes with help/tutorials on how to use it, but you can find some tips on Youtube as well; just be sure to look for Windows 8.1 videos. The swipe gestures are something to get used to but will become natural with a little practice and mindshift. For example, the Charms bar on the right includes the global search function, which you use inside both apps and OS and everywhere else; this is why apps like Nook generally don't come with a built-in search, as it's part of the OS. If you don't want the search to be global (by default it also searches the internet, which I don't like), you can disable a lot of things in options.


    *Forgot to add that there is an official FB app in the Win store now. Also, multi-tasking with snapped windows is A Big Thing, be sure to practice that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  4. hypokondriak

    hypokondriak New Member

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    I *think* (maybe someone else can confirm) that if you set your itunes collection to download MP3 you could just upload that music to your xBox Music account for free. You would just have to do this every time you get a new album. I use Google Play All Access now, but I had it upload all my iTunes music one time automatically and haven't looked bad. I think the streaming options you get with something like Google Play All Access saves heavy music listeners in the long run. My music buying is now $9.99 a month tops, except for the few albums I cannot stream here and there. I also buy albums from smaller bands/labels and upload into the cloud for free. No $25 a year fee like with iTunes Match.

    Sent from the SurfaceForums.net app for Windows 8
     
  5. hypokondriak

    hypokondriak New Member

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    One other option came to mind after hitting send. If you have a desktop machine where you do all your purchasing and you went with Google they have a plugin you can install that you tell it where your iTunes folder is and it automatically uploads to the Google cloud for you. Then you can just open Google Play using the desktop version of IE and play your music using their HTML5 browser. The other nice thing is you aren't wasting local storage with this, with the obvious challenge of playing music if you don't have network. That's pretty rare for me, so having everything in the cloud is how a 32GB Surface 2 is plenty for me.

    However it does appear Google Play has a bug with IE11 - I've been working with support since Friday on this. There's an article from The Register that basically has Google and Microsoft pointing fingers at eachother over some of the Google Services breaking. I imagine it will be fixed soon, but just in case you try this today.

    Sent from the SurfaceForums.net app for Windows 8
     
  6. WillysJeepMan

    WillysJeepMan Member

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    Here's my thoughts (from someone who currently owns 3 Android tablets, 2 iPads (2 and 4), and Surface RT:

    1) You will find the writing experience on the Surface no different than working with a notebook or desktop PC. Make sure to get a TypeCover2. The combination is amazing. You'll find the trackpad a bit small to use for long periods of time, but a bluetooth mouse works quite nicely.

    2) I've set up a live tile to the GMail website so I get full access to the web interface. The Metro Mail app is... meh... but Outlook is pretty nice.

    3) You may be highly frustrated with that. I was just working on this last night. Very frustrating that there is no viable way to export playlists from iTunes to put the playlist and files on a SD card. Part of that difficulty may be because I'm going from iTunes on a Macbook.

    4) I'm not much of a gamer...

    5) Evernote is there.

    6) no GPS in the Surface hardware

    7) Having IE that is capable of displaying full websites (except those with Java) is a benefit. You are correct regarding the experiences on the Surface depending upon the apps. That's a major point of irritation for me. I find that the 16:9 Aspect Ratio of the Surface is not very comfortable for reading. Too wide in landscape, too narrow in portrait.

    I love the flexibility of connectivity... microSD, usb devices work: (microphone, USB thumbstick, harddrive,mice, keyboard, etc. ), external 2nd monitor support at full resolution (amazing!), TypeCover2, printing to virtually any printer. Wonderfully freeing (coming from iOS).
     
  7. The White Falcon

    The White Falcon New Member

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    Subcategories are still in the store. Swipe down from the top to pull down the menu.
     
  8. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Those aren't subcategories; I mean subcategories under the main categories. When I'm already in the Games category, for example...

    But hey, I just found the subcategories. Apparently you must first go to SEE ALL after swiping from the right, and then the subcats are in the drop-down list. Ha.

    Screenshot (10).png
     
  9. JuryDuty

    JuryDuty New Member

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    :shocked: No GPS?! Seriously, that's a major oversight. Every phone has GPS. Why would they leave that out? That means no location-based anything...and I'll have to keep my iPad around when I need an in-car GPS. Geesh!

    I can shift with that...but can you install extensions, such as LastPass?

    I actually have all my music going to Google Play right now...but I like to use my iPad as my in-car music, too, so I need the ability to not always have it streaming since there's no LTE on this. I may just have to drag a few albums over.

    One thing I love about my iPad is that I have all my mail in the standard mail app--both my gmail and my work's Exchange mail. Very slick, rather than having two email boxes. As long as Outlook can do that, I'm good (though I like the slimmed down mail interface...).


    That will all be SOOOOOO nice. I'm actually thinking the Surface is less like my iPad (because of the GPS and music connectivity) and more like my laptop. In fact, it's like a lighter, sleeker, much more powerful laptop. I think if I start thinking in those terms, it's going to be perfect for me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013
  10. The White Falcon

    The White Falcon New Member

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    This. It's the closest to a true laptop replacement I've encountered. I've been doing schoolwork in PowerPoint recently, and it's been wonderful.
     
  11. beman39

    beman39 New Member

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    NOT having a GPS is not a big deal, like you've said yourself, every phone has a GPS and you can use that, also I have my Surface connected to my phone vie hotspot so I can use Gmaps to find directions to where ever I need to go... and I don't have to repeat what the others have said :wink:
     
  12. JuryDuty

    JuryDuty New Member

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    Well, I just meant every phone has GPS--so it should be easy to include. I actually like the GPS in my iPad because it automatically does things like find the theaters close to me without needing input. Personally, my phone doesn't have a good GPS on it, so it's more important to me in a tablet. But again, as I'm shifting my thinking about how I'll use the Surface, I'm seeing how it'll replace my laptop more than my iPad...and by the time the Surface 3 comes out with LTE and a GPS, I can get rid of everything for that if I like it enough.

    Believe me when I say I'm ready to leave the "closed" Apple ecosystem behind. I appreciate that everything just "works" in that ecosystem (for the most part), but there's so much more I want to be able to do--like use a full version of Word--that I think the Surface will excel at (no pun intended).
     

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