[OS X TeX] iPad?

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Thu Apr 23 07:15:58 EDT 2020

Hello David,

On 23 Apr 2020, at 7:32 pm, David Craig <dac at panix.com<mailto:dac at panix.com>> wrote:

So, I’ve finally caved.

The need to be able to deliver mathematics and physics remotely has finally persuaded me to purchase a tablet, so an iPad and an Apple pencil are on their way.

Last I checked, TeX options for iOS were, well, not great, and code editors even less so.

What are people doing THESE days, if anything? What are the best options out there?

Do you really need a TeX processor on the iPad ?
The iPad is great for presenting material but not so great for creating, it since it is so difficult
to use its file system that is oriented to associating files to individual applications.
That’s quite a retrograde step for things like TeX where you create in one application for use in others.

I use TeX on the laptop (or desktop) and email the PDFs to myself via an iCloud account,
so that I can deliver tutorials with typeset mathematics for the questions, and have plenty of space
to hand-write solutions with the Apple pencil. A single page is allocated to each exercise/question.

Presenting the tutorial via Zoom, the laptop is the host machine with the iPad also joining as co-host.
This way you can switch between different views quite easily.
My laptop is too old to do AirPlay, else that might be an easier way; but it really isn’t necessary.

Also, an iPad can be setup as a document viewer allowing its main camera to catch normal
hand-writing on a piece of paper – horrors  !!!  such antiquated technology !!!  :-)

An issue that I’ve found is that Zoom will not record to the Cloud from multiple sources,
but it will record all streams to a local machine.  (This may be an institutional security setting.)
So if I know I’ll need to do hand-writing, then I record locally and later transfer the result
to the University’s cloud-based server to make the recordings available to students.

A second PDF can have the solution to the exercise as well.
Often there is room to have the question, space for working,
then a fully typeset solution below that only comes into view with scrolling.

Ideally, I’d like to set things up so I can edit the same documents on either the iPad or my desktop/laptop without having to fuss with making changes if I move between devices.

Yes, that’s probably possible; but do you really need this?
Can you be sure that you have the same packages and other resources – included graphics, etc.
available on both/all platforms?

I prefer to make in one place and view on whatever devices I have available.

That means being able to input my own macros, bibliographies, and such. So, for example, if I have something in Dropbox or iCloud Drive the same reltaive path will work on either device. Is that sort of thing possible in iOS these days? Or is that still a pipe dream?

I’m pretty sure it’s possible, but harder than necessary to maintain.
It also means that you are bound to the Cloud.  What if it your internet goes down?
Can you still work, confident that you have everything you need, at the most recent version?

For me, I do a lot of macro/styles/document-class programming and development.
Relying on the Cloud is not an option that I’d be prepared to factor in, and certainly not want to commit to.

David Craig

Hope this helps.
Stay safe.



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Dr Ross Moore
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
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