Suggestions for Tablets To Use While Chasing?

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Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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If you don’t load it up with a billion apps it should work okay. The problem I found was Apple rolls out their updates fairly regularly, so by the time four or five major versions have passed since you bought it, the OS becomes too robust for the hardware to handle. I’d say since I started owning iPads the shelf life is generally 3 years or something close to that. Now they have iPadOS instead of iOS so maybe it’ll contain more targeted features than when it was the latter. There is nothing worse than the premium you have to pay Apple to own a new one.
 
Sep 25, 2006
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Minneapolis, MN
If you don’t load it up with a billion apps it should work okay. The problem I found was Apple rolls out their updates fairly regularly, so by the time four or five major versions have passed since you bought it, the OS becomes too robust for the hardware to handle. I’d say since I started owning iPads the shelf life is generally 3 years or something close to that. Now they have iPadOS instead of iOS so maybe it’ll contain more targeted features than when it was the latter. There is nothing worse than the premium you have to pay Apple to own a new one.
Do you think it's worth getting a newer version of an iPad? The newer models seem to be running $450+ vs. $200-300 for the previous model.

What do you guys use for GPS? Do you have a separate GPS unit on the dash or do you use the maps on your tablet and toggle between radar and GPS?
 

Mark Blue

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Feb 19, 2007
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I’d say if you have a good job and can afford it go new. GPS is called “Location Services” on an iPad. I just turn it on in RS and the dot tracks my position relative to the storm. You also can use it with the Maps program that comes with iPadOS or Google Maps if you prefer. A few years ago I said on this very forum I’d never stop using a laptop while chasing but as soon as I saw how easy it is with an iPad I was an instant convert.
 

James K

EF3
Mar 26, 2019
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Marc R. O'Leary said:
@James K maps.me app is downloadable and generally well liked by forum members.
Thanks.. I downloaded it & was going to install. But as I commonly do, did some searching on it...looked good until I read this: "Maps.me was acquired by Mail.Ru Group ".
I'm going to check out one called OsmAnd next.
Looks like a number of thes apps & websites get their map data from the OpenStreetMap Foundation.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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Michigan
The problem I found was Apple rolls out their updates fairly regularly, so by the time four or five major versions have passed since you bought it, the OS becomes too robust for the hardware to handle. I’d say since I started owning iPads the shelf life is generally 3 years or something close to that.
Wasn't there a big uproar a few years back about Apple deliberately slowing down older devices? Something where they said it was to protect the battery, but lots of others seemed to think it was to force upgrades to newer hardware? Was that just phones, or were tablets included as well?

I do know this: I originally used my iPad for chasing and work early on, and I got the 'Apple Battery Swell' so bad that it started to separate the case and pop the display off the frame. Turns out, battery swell is pretty common, and if you take it to an Apple store, they'll take the swollen unit and, in lieu of replacing the battery, give you a 'new' refurb unit with a new battery for $100. So even though the original iPad purchase was several years ago, the one I use now is only about a year old. And it performs like a new out-of-the-box unit. [EDIT: the $100 for a 'new' refurb is for iPads that are out of warranty, like mine was. For in-warranty units, I'm pretty sure you won't pay extra.]
 

James K

EF3
Mar 26, 2019
264
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Colorado
Chris Demeniuk said:
Wasn't there a big uproar a few years back about Apple deliberately slowing down older devices? Something where they said it was to protect the battery, but lots of others seemed to think it was to force upgrades to newer hardware? Was that just phones, or were tablets included as well?
The news articles I saw only mentioned iPhones, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was all devices. (and apple would never admit it, but everyone knows the true reason was to try & force upgrades .lol. )

I do know this: I originally used my iPad for chasing and work early on, and I got the 'Apple Battery Swell' so bad that it started to separate the case and pop the display off the frame.
I got a Samsung tablet (no cost) where that had happened...I replaced the battery, and yeah it physically works no, but part of the screen no longer responds to touch. I'd actually prefer the larger 10" screen on that one (as a weather tablet) to the 7" Asus I'm using now.
 

Mark Blue

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Dean - I looked online in the Apple Store and they have a glut of every single iPad in new and refurbished. I'm going to say get whatever floats your boat as they must not have sold as many at Christmas as they had planned on.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
If you don’t load it up with a billion apps it should work okay. The problem I found was Apple rolls out their updates fairly regularly, so by the time four or five major versions have passed since you bought it, the OS becomes too robust for the hardware to handle. I’d say since I started owning iPads the shelf life is generally 3 years or something close to that. Now they have iPadOS instead of iOS so maybe it’ll contain more targeted features than when it was the latter. There is nothing worse than the premium you have to pay Apple to own a new one.
Expanding on what Mark said about iOS updates, there may come a point where the most current version of RadarScope (or Google Maps, or any other app you are depending on for chasing) only works with the newest (or relatively recent) iOS. So if your iPad can't handle the newest iOS, it's not even like you have the option of just avoiding the upgrade.

I know affordability is a concern, but I generally caution against being "penny wise and pound foolish" with technology purchases. You just end up being sorry a year or two later and buying another device. Things become outdated faster than you expect and it's just a hassle. It's easy to say you are only going to use it for a specific and limited purpose, but that could change and you want to keep your options open. Once you have an iPad you may find that you enjoy it for many more things than just chasing. I would definitely get the newest version, with the most memory, that you can afford without putting yourself in a difficult situation.
 

Mark Blue

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I think the same way about buying new and not just getting the entry level model with 16 GB of memory. iPads don't include a memory card slot, or at least they didn't last time I seriously checked into them. You can get an iCloud subscription for 0.99 cents per month for 50 GB, so there's always a wayif you run out of space.

You also don't have to buy the largest iPad Pro and max out the memory, but somewhere in the middle is probably best. The iPad Pros are heavier too so it can make you wrist or arm sore if you use it all day like I do. Now that iOS has been supplanted by iPadOS it remains to be seen if they'll become even more power hungry. The solution is to close the apps all the way out when your done by double clicking the Home button then dragging the apps up to shut them down. My wife has like a dozen apps open and as many tabs in Safari, so everytime I pick hers up up I go into cleanup mode right away. Whatever you buy just pay attention to the CPU version even more so than memory to ensure it'll have some useful life left in it, especially if you buy a recertified model.
 
May 18, 2013
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there may come a point where the most current version of RadarScope (or Google Maps, or any other app you are depending on for chasing) only works with the newest (or relatively recent) iOS.
I can speak from experience (at least on Android) that James is correct. I purchased a Galaxy S5 about 2 years after it came out (I wanted a replaceable battery and I am cheap). RadarScope worked great for about 2.5 years, then new RS versions started having problems. The old hardware and phone OS (which could not be upgraded anymore) just couldn't support the current app version. To their credit RS tech support tried to help me and did get me past a few things, but they just can't test their app and make it work on every phone ever made for ever. Not to mention both Apple and Google are constantly changing things, so supporting old APIs is hard for APP makers. I'm not suggesting you buy the latest greatest model of phone/tablet, but just be aware that for every year you go back on the original model purchase, you are probably taking a year off the other end.