Will DTG run well on a basic ipad (a10, 10.2 inch)

I’m thinking of getting a basic ipad (https://www.apple.com/ipad-10.2/) this memorial day sale. I already use Devonthink to support my research. Most of my databases are in the tens of gigabytes, though I suppose that I could winnow it down somewhat.
I’ve never used DTG, but that would be the primary reason for getting one. Can the 32 GB model suffice? Or would I be cramped for space, even if I was careful not to fill it up with movies?

This would be for trips to research libraries-- when they reopen. My primary computer, which works well enough, is an imac–not in the least bit transportable)

I kinda get the feeling you’ve answered your own question here; if your DBs are in the range of 10s of GBs then you’re going to be able to have one of those synced to the base iPad at most. I haven’t ever used DTTG with a DB larger than 20 GB (ie 10s of GBs), although I have no reason to suppose it wouldn’t work.

Or am I misunderstanding you - would you not be trying to carry DBs with you, but only gather data at libraries, adding it to developing projects whilst there? Then IIRC you could sync the DBs but not download the files (that way your structure would be available to you, but individual files would only download when you need them; I think that is not available for bonjour, please check that, or maybe @BLUEFROG could answer that; syncing DBs that size with anything other than bonjour may be difficult, you’d need an appropriate sync store)

If you need access to your DBs, I wonder whether the base iPad together with DT3 Server (at home) might not be the better solution? That may depend on WLAN availability where you do your work, and your network connection at home - but might be cheaper that the iPad which it sounds like you need (which from what you’ve written sounds more like 128 GB than 32 GB to me).

Maybe this also comes down to who you are. I like to have my music with me on my iPad, and a couple of medical ebooks. Those two things alone cover approx. 32 GB. I’m sure that if I had to fiddle my DBs so that the fit on the iPad the result would be that I didn’t have them with me.

I’m planning on going to libraries to seek out new material. If I had access to just the text portions of a 300 mb PDF+Text, that might be useful, as I could still use the search features. It’s a rather image heavy set of databases. (19th century magazines, mostly)

I run DT2g on a 2017 iPad (5th Gen) with 32 GB of storage. My main research DB on the Mac that is 33GB is synced selectively to the iPad and takes up only about 1.3 GB of space. Searching is still available becuase the files are indexed, but as you say, you’ll need to download files if you want to interact with them. I think that the current gen iPads Air pack a lot more processing power, btw – something to consider if you are buying a machine to last for a few years.

I would think there’s other considerations as well (no doubt you’ve mulled them over!). I spend (or did, before the world became a different place) lots of time in archives but never with an iPad as the main machine. They have become more usable as production machines with the support of a bluetooth mouse and hooked up to an external keyboard I think they may be viable. I’d consider screen real estate as well (what sort of work do you do, and do you tend to keep multiple windows open?). Also ergonomics are an issue here: I travel with a 13" MBP but for long library days always put it on some books and use a separate keyboard and mouse (which is why I don’t understand these dinky keyboard cases that are sold for iPads. Sure they are neat but they will kill your back and shoulders after a day of sustained work, I’d think!).

The other consideration is using DT2G as a note-taking app, which is possible but still a bit limited. There’s plenty of info on this forum about good note-taking apps alongside DT. I move between Ulysses for plain writing, but need at times to use Word if transcribing from manuscript (because of the need of superscript) or transcribe straight into XML (using oXygen) – not things I’ve attempted on the iPad. So have a think what other apps are mission critical to you, and how they work on iOS. All that said I love my iPad and DT2G for reading and PDF annotation (total gamechanger!), and occasional access to research files, and so the iPad is often with me on research trips.


Thanks for your insights-- I went with the 128 GB model.

Don’t forget to pair it with enough iCloud storage space as well :grinning: