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Why Do You Recommend an iPad? Which iPad Should I Buy? Why? When Should I Get an iPad? What If I Don’t Like Apple? What If I Already Have an Android? Can I Work On My Laptop?


Why Do You Recommend an iPad?

This FAQ post primarily refers to iPads in reference to the transcript proofreading course. It is not necessary or required to purchase an iPad to become a proofreader in any way, shape, or form; however, to proofread [transcripts] in PDF format, many of our students have followed the advice in this article. There are other software options that allow PDF annotation that cost more and/or may not have the same features or functionality as iAnnotate.

I don’t recommend an iPad just ’cause it’s an iPad. I recommend it because Folio makes an amazing app called iAnnotate.

It’s only $9.99. And it is incredible.

This fantastic, powerful little app allows you to:

  • Open PDF files directly from an e-mail into the app.
  • Create your own toolbox with things you use most often to annotate.
  • Personalize “stamps” so you don’t have to type out “add comma” or “delete comma” over and over again.
  • E-mail the job directly from the app.
  • Highlight words to check the dictionary for their spelling (if it’s not found, there’s a good chance it’s not a word).
  • Google directly from the app. Highlight the word and select “Google”. Helps a lot if you’re checking on spelling and proper names.
  • My personal favorite feature: you can choose to send “Annotated Pages Only” and the app will attach a file containing only annotated pages into the e-mail you’ll be sending to your client.

Key Features of iAnnotate 4.5

iAnnotate 4.5 has some new features. The first one is the ability to merge PDFs. Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to use this feature. This was a little disappointing as it would have been interesting to see how this would work. The instructions were not included in the reference guide.

The second new feature is the Advanced Library Search. When you search for a specific word in your document, the results pull up sentences with the used word, making it so convenient and easy.

The final new feature is the Navigation Panel. This new feature allows you to find results in your document or your library much faster. The navigation button will enable you to see all the pages at once making it super simple to select your page destination. I am a huge fan of this new option!

Do I Need Wi-Fi to Use iAnnotate?

You only need Wi-Fi to download and send files. Once the files are downloaded, you can work in iAnnotate anywhere — long flights are my favorite!

Which iPad Should I Buy? Why?

I recommend an iPad mini. The size is perfect for traveling and proofreading anywhere (my specialty!). The screen isn’t that much smaller than the full-sized version (you’d be surprised), and I’ve used both.

If you can get to an Apple store to test out both in your hands, do that, and you’ll see what I mean. My students who took this advice and went with the iPad mini are so glad they did.

If you plan to be out of Wi-Fi zones for long periods of time, you may consider the cellular version, but it’s 99% of the time unnecessary. Even if you’re in the car, these days it’s possible to use your cell phone as a hotspot to download files quickly as needed.

Apple has an awesome comparison chart for the current iPad versions.

Where Should I Buy an iPad?

Amazon is always a good bet. You can also check out Gazelle for pre-owned ones that have been refurbished. Apple has refurbished iPads as well that have the same warranty as a new one.

What if I have “fat fingers”? What if I have bad eyes?

Yes, people ask me that! Ha! You can always err on the side of caution and go for the iPad Air. It’s slim, and doesn’t weigh too much more than the mini. I always say, “You won’t hate it!”

Like I mentioned above, check out the Apple store if you want to test them all in your hands. Keep in mind, too, that you can zoom in on iAnnotate while you’re reading documents, and when you turn the mini to the side, the text is even bigger and you can zoom more — it gets REALLY big. If you’re reading books, you can increase the font size as well.

You can also use an Apple Pencil or stylus.

What if I hate Apple/have an Android?

I teach several methods in the courses, but my favorite is iPad. Why? BECAUSE OF iANNOTATE! It is really that amazing.

Don’t believe me? Think I’m probably just another Apple freak? Here are some exact quotes from some of my students in regard to the app on Android:

Used an Android until my iPad arrived. There is simply no comparison between the 2 apps because the Android version is so far behind. The iPad app is lightyears ahead and allows you to be more time efficient.

iAnnotate for Android sucks. Can’t make any stamps, customize the toolbar, etc.

My iPad mini just arrived! I did a happy dance, and my husband looked at me funny. He doesn’t understand. I’ve been proofing on hard copy and on an Android tablet. I am SO excited to use iAnnotate on the iPad mini. I’ll finally have the best tools for the task!

I sold my Samsung Galaxy tab and caved to buy the mini instead. Tried iAnnotate on the Samsung and just didn’t do it for me. Much easier on the iPad.

Can I do this work on a PC?

For general proofreading, you can absolutely work on a PC using Adobe, Microsoft Word, or Google Docs. I have tutorials within the course that show you the basics of how to use each tool. However, some students swear by using a tablet to proofread. It’s totally up to you!

For transcript proofreading, you can do the work on a PC, but it is just significantly slower and less efficient, plus you don’t have the “like paper” feel of the iPad. It’s also been passed around quite a bit in the court reporting world that reading from a desktop computer screen (NOT a tablet) can cause your eyes to glaze over things easier than on paper or a tablet screen. I’d strongly recommend going with the quickest, most efficient method you can if you’re serious about doing this kind of work. The more time you spend fiddling with technology or doing things in a more old-fashioned way, the more time it will take you to earn your money. Remember, you’re paid per page, and if it takes you longer to mark up the jobs because you’re not doing it the fastest way, your bottom line stays the same, but it just takes you longer to earn it.

If you’re desperate to start learning how to proofread via PDF but want to wait to get an iPad later on (and you understand that the following recommendations are not as fast or efficient as the tried-and-true iAnnotate iOS version), you can check out these apps:

Is proofreading on an iPad secure?

See this post to find out.


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  1. I am considering taking your course but I would like to research options for proofreading on my laptop first. I do not own an ipad and need to keep my initial costs low. What application would you recommend to use on a Windows laptop for proofreading?

    1. Some of my students are using Drawboard PDF. It works — but it’s not ideal. I believe it lacks certain built-in features of iAnnotate, such as the option to send annotated pages only, create stamps so you don’t have to type out the same corrections all the time, etc. I just really recommend iPad because it’s the fastest and most efficient way. Doing it another way is absolutely an option, but it’ll slow you down.

  2. I appreciate the feedback Caitlin. I’ve researched purchasing an ipad but I may have to start out without one.

  3. Until we move, we only have satellite internet. Can you still do this business if you do not have cable or DSL? Does iAnnotate run off of a cell tower? We have bad cell service out here in the country. Thanks!

    1. No, it doesn’t 🙂 Just any old internet connection or wi-fi will do. They have it at McDonald’s, Starbucks, Target, everywhere these days 🙂 You also only need the internet to download and send files. To actually work on the files in iAnnotate, you don’t need the internet. That means you can work on airplanes, at the beach, etc. 😀

  4. Can the course also be completed on an ipad, or do I need to use a desktop?

  5. iAnnotate really is the best. I wanted to mention that their customer support is awesome. I even send them ideas for the future. I seriously bought my iPad just so I could get iAnnotate. For cheaper options, I believe they are still selling the iPad 2. It’s not a mini, but it is cheaper. Also, I like my iPad Air. I like the bigger screen. When it comes to proofing, I don’t want teeny words.

    1. You made a great choice!! It IS the best!! I love their customer service, too. Yep, the iPad 2 is still available. I don’t know for how long, though. The words are a bit smaller, but not as small as one might think. You can zoom in on the PDFs. Also, turning the iPad horizontally makes the words extra large (on either model).

  6. I was looking into this a little, and I found an iAnnotate PDF (among other editing apps) for my iPhone 5c. Is that the same thing as the iAnnotate for iPads? Can I use my phone, at least for now? Until I’m making enough that I can afford the iPad?

    1. Be sure it’s the Branchfire version of iAnnotate. I don’t think they make it for iPhone, so it’s likely another app altogether. I wouldn’t recommend using a phone. It’d be better to use a laptop than a tiny screen 🙂

  7. Hi Caitlin,
    just wondering if the app is available for the Mac laptops at all? I’d prefer to keep initial costs down and as I was looking through the FAQs have come across this thread… just as I was about to invest in the course, the idea of having to invest in an ipad at the same time is a bit daunting!!

    Cheers, Kate

    1. It’s not, but with some tweaking you can still do the work. I did it on my MacBook for about six months before I even knew about using an iPad. I used Preview. There is a video in Module 3 where I teach you how to use Preview 🙂 There is a free app you’ll need called PDF Merger Free that will allow you to pull out the pages you mark (meaning you have to keep track of what page numbers those are). It’s a pain, but it works.

    2. Hi Kate,

      I just graduated from the course a little over a month ago, and I’m using Preview on my MacBook Air. It takes a little longer, I’d have to assume, but I’m in the same boat. I’d like to buy an iPad at some point in the future, but for now, the laptop works fine! 🙂

  8. Will the oldest version of the iPad mini work? Will it limit me in any way?

    1. I don’t see where this question was answered? I believe I have the oldest version of the iPad mini and need to know if it will work.

  9. I’ve never had a tablet so I don’t know how they differ from computers as far as clearness & eyestrain. I like the idea of the iPad mini because I think it would be comfortable to hold (like my kindle is). The question above in your post mentions the iPad air in regards to fat fingers & bad eyes. Can you explain that a little more? We don’t have an Apple store anywhere close to us. I’m just starting the course & want to get the one that will be best for me & that I can afford.

    1. Do you live near a Best Buy? That’d be a good place to go check ’em out in person. Another solution is to use a stylus — it makes everyone’s fingers very slim! Haha. You’ll have to assess your eyes on your own, but if you’re in doubt, go bigger. If I need the size bigger on my mini while using iAnnotate, though, I turn it horizontally and it’s MUCH larger. So either model would work just fine with adjustments. I just find the mini SO much easier to hold and travel with.

  10. Love this post and the comments from others! One thing that has been stopping me from actually enrolling in the course is the fact that I can’t afford to pay for the course AND buy an iPad. It’s one or the other. Of course, I need the course. And of course, I need the iPad. But the fact that others have been using different apps such as Notable pdf and Drawboard pdf, makes me think I can at least get started until I am able to purchase an iPad.

    1. I just added Notable pdf to my Google Chromebook. I will play around with it to see what features it has. Thanks for this Caitlyn. I keep making excuses not to enroll in the course, and you keep finding a way to make me want to enroll!

    1. You *can* use the MacBook, but it doesn’t have capability to run iPad apps on it, so you wouldn’t be able to use iAnnotate. One of the tutorial videos in the course shows how to use Preview on Mac to mark up PDFs. It’s quite a bit more cumbersome, but it works 🙂 I used my own MacBook for about 6 months before I got an iPad (however, if I had known about iAnnotate sooner, I’d have bought an iPad sooner ;-)).

  11. I’m looking at a refurbished iPad mini 2 because it’s a little less expensive than the new ones. It has iOS 6. Will iAnnotate run on that? I have an older iPhone, and I can’t get some apps because I don’t have iOS 7 or higher.

  12. I know many people maybe looking for an ipad before starting this class.
    Staples offers $150 Off Select Apple iPad Air 2 WiFi Tablets with prices starting at $349.99. Shipping is free.
    These are new ipads not refurbished.
    You can sign up for Staples rewards and also go through either mypoints of ebates for money back or points.
    I hope this helps some of you!
    Now I need to save for the class!

  13. Hi Caitlin,

    Does your iPad mini include the retina display? Also, would you recommend getting a later version like the mini 3 or 4 now?

    Thanks!

    1. I have the mini 2, it does have retina, and it is the exact same as the mini 3 except without the touch-ID feature. Not worth the extra $100 in my opinion 😀 Not sure about 4 … is there a 4 already??

  14. QVC and Evine Live shopping channels both have iPads for 6 easy payments. Evine’s “Today’s Top Value” is an iPad Air 2 starting at $596 which would be $99 payment a month for 6 months, and the iPad mini 2 is $399 with a $66 monthly payment for 6 months. Just an option to make it easier to manage the expense.

  15. Can this course be completed exclusively on an iPad??

  16. Can this course be done on a Samsung Tablet? I just bought it about 3 months a go.

    1. A Samsung is an Android, so what was mentioned about an Android in this article would apply. It can be done, but it’s not preferred. iAnnotate for iPad is the best there is.

    2. Caitlin,
      Can the proofreading be done in Word in Windows?
      Judy

      1. Yes — just keep in mind, reading on computer monitors is harsher on the eyes than devices made for reading such as the iPad. I don’t think it’s ideal at all.

  17. Hey y’all – I’ve been looking at the iPads (Air2 and mini) – was going to go with Air2 til I saw Caitlin recommend the mini for proofing…I’m gonna go try both of them in my hand. People were talking about prices. If you’ve got T-Mobile (and perhaps other carriers do this…it’s just that I have T-mobile), you could do several of the minis for $0 down and $25/month. (It’s a little more expensive in the long-run, but your cash isn’t tied up….so if cash flow is a consideration in starting the course, this might be a way to do both. Check it out.

  18. Hi,
    I just bought the mini iPad to see how friendly it is compared to my Android, to see how easy it might be to learn iAnnotate & determine if could do this. My answer so far is yes, this is doable for me but there is a learning curve. It isn’t nearly as complex as my Android, however.

    Anyway, I bought the mini at Best Buy & their return policy right now is greatly extended due to the holidays. Normally, their return policy is 15 days. If you buy after Nov 15, you have until Jan 15 to return it.

    I asked if I would be able to buy it cheaper on Black Friday & they said their Black Friday prices for this notebook are going on now.

    Just thought you’d all like to know my experience.

    Happy Thanksgiving,
    Judy
    Alexandria, VA

  19. I only saw one comment/question about using MS Word to do proofreading. I know you don’t recommend the desk tops for strain and fatigue reasons, but is that pretty much the only reason, or are there other more technical reasons?
    I’m limited to being home most of the time and simply for me a desk computer is my element. I’m used to quite literally hours in front of one. It’s that or a lap top. Also, I rather enjoy MS Office and all it’s little trinkets and toys. But, I’m not against learning a new toy. Just needing to know where I can start so I can play how to get to where I want to be. Thank you.

    1. There are some reporters who are cool with proofreaders using Word. It is more time consuming. Also, depending on the age of your computer, the monitor’s light can be hard on the eyes, and there is lots of scientific data on computer screens up to about 2007 indicating that it’s easier to miss errors on monitors. For newer monitors, this information is now outdated, BUT there are still reporters out there who believe it’s true and want proofreaders to read on paper only. The numbers in this camp are dwindling, though, especially with devices like the iPad which are made for reading. You can always try it with your computer and see how you do — you’ll know in the practice transcripts if you’re missing stuff or not.

  20. This is a very interesting and informative article about mini iPads, especially the one you recommend. I copied the name of the Apple mini iPad you recommend (the 16GB one), and I’ll check this one out in Wal-Mart, for now since I live closer to that store that Best Buys. I’ll hold it to get a “feel” for “what I’ll be using in the near future,” and take it from there. Although obtaining both the iPad and your training is beyond my means for now, I’ll just keep on investigating my options and go from there and eventually I’ll get to actually purchase both the iPad and your awesome training.

  21. I, too, am used to working on my PC laptop and don’t own an iPad. If I start the course using MS Word and my PC, will I be able to access the lessons where you discuss the iPad and iAnnotate at a later date? I will likely get an iPad as soon as I can afford it. But I will probably need to begin with my PC.

  22. Assuming I have the tools needed and finished your course, what steps would I take to find clients? Is there a website that posts jobs or a job board that one could go to and see available work? Does one mainly seek work with local clients or can clients be anywhere?

    All the posts from people considering this opportunity are mainly about the tools needed and your recommendations. Unless I missed a section on getting clients, I’m asking how will I take all this valuable information and turn it into cash?

    I’m really excited about your course but I’ve read so many negative articles on working from home jobs. I am disabled and working at home would be a dream come true, especially if it’s something I would enjoy.

    Thank you for your advice.

    1. Hi, Roger!! I don’t publicize the “how to get clients” part. The reason why is many people wouldn’t bother learning how to do a good job and would just abuse the marketing information to make a quick buck. So I have to be very careful with it. We include a HUGE module on marketing within the course; in fact, I just added over four hours on LinkedIn marketing and finding clients using that platform. It’s really awesome stuff. Clients can, indeed, be anywhere — you’re not limited to local areas. You may be interested in checking out the “Finding Clients” FAQs section on the site. Find it here: https://proofreadanywhere.com//category/faqs/finding-clients-faqs/ Check out the Reviews area in the navigation menu, too, for more assurance that the course really does cover this area 🙂

  23. Caitlin,

    Still devouring your inspiring information so I can convince myself I’m on the right path. Looking good!!!! Your book list is most helpful, but I have a couple of questions.

  24. Sorry …. hit the wrong key and sent my comment prematurely. Two questions regarding your book list, #1 Do I need both the Morson’s English Guide as well as the Gregg Reference Manual? #2 I already own the Gregg Reference Manual, Tenth Edition. You listed the Tribute Edition. Is there enough of a difference between the two versions to warrant the $70 expenditure? Thanks for your help.

  25. Hi Caitlyn,

    What about the regular iPad 2? Will that work?

    1. Yes — as long as you can still update the iOS to work with the app 🙂 The only iPad I know of that does not update anymore is the original version 1 iPad.

  26. Hi Caitlin.
    I just read where there is now a new revamped iAnnotate from BranchView for Android. Have you had a chance to test it out and see if this new vesion is better and/or close to the iPad version?http://thenextweb.com/apps/2015/02/16/completely-revamped-iannotate-finally-brings-full-pdf-tool-set-android/#gref
    i’ve almost gone through the 7-day course and very interested in taking the full thing. I have a Dell 2-in-1 PC laptop. I would rather use that at least until i have earned enough to get an iPad.
    thanks for all you do!

    1. Hi Aurora! I am an iOS user (haven’t owned an Android or Windows device since 2008!) so I can’t comment on the revamped Android version. The article doesn’t say anything about them having added Stamps, which is the major timesaver feature in the iOS version. So if you have a 2-in-1 laptop that allows you to download Android apps, why not give it a shot? It’s free 🙂

  27. What do you recommend for anti-virus for iPad mini? I bought a mini 3.

  28. Re: Using public WiFi. Is it not true that others might be able to snoop?

    1. Hi, Mary!

      Doing anything over public Wi-Fi does hold the risk of invasion of privacy. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that if you do proofread in public that you take the necessary precautions to protect your device. 🙂

  29. Hi, I went to purchase the iAnnotate for my iPad mini – but noticed that they just updated the version to 4. Some of the reviews talk about how they have removed some key features that you specifically mention liking this app for such as ability to download a file for editing offline. Have you noticed any big differences with this latest version? The other app that I have heard good things about is PDF expert, but not sure if it offers the same features. Thanks!

    1. I’m still using the old version myself 🙂 I have downloaded both, though. There’s always a chance that the old version will become unsupported in the future. I do know that Branchfire is really good about updates and adding features, though. It seems odd that the new version wouldn’t allow you to annotate a PDF without an internet connection, though…

  30. Hi Caitlin,

    I just purchased my iPad and am ready to install iAnnotate. Should I install the latest version (iAnnotate 4) or use the previous version? What do you recommend? Thanks. 🙂

    1. Hi, Giana! I’m a PA Team member, graduate of the course, and working transcript proofreader. 🙂 You should get iAnnotate 4 which is what Branchfire just recently released. Honestly, as it stands right now, it’s got some bugs, but Branchfire will eventually be discontinuing its support for the previous version, so it really doesn’t make sense for you to wind up purchasing both. Bugs aside, iAnnotate 4 will be serviceable as you step through the course, and Branchfire is also working on resolving the issues that exist with it.

  31. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, it is a great tablet but I NEVER use it. It’s just there collecting dust, so I am now taking steps towards trading it in for a used iPad Mini.

  32. What are your thoughts on an Acer 2-in-1? Its a laptop and an iPad. Thanks for your advice!

    1. A Windows-based system like that might work for you! The convenience of its hybrid functionality between a laptop and a tablet could be great. (It isn’t an iPad, though, which is an Apple product.) You’ll just need to find a Windows-based program for PDF annotation. This article lists some! 😀

  33. I’m going to have to use my PC or my laptop, at least to start. I was wondering if you have any thoughts or feedback about Foxit Reader for proofreading. Thanks!

  34. This seems more like an advertisement for Ipads. How much is the course start to finish, along with all the items needed?

    1. Hi Robin,

      This particular post focuses on what tools Caitlin recommends and why, so yes, it does seem a little like an ad. We get a lot of questions from students about what she recommends, though, so many students find it very helpful. You can spend as much as you like on equipment, software, and books, so I can’t give you a definite answer on how much those will cost you. That’s very much up to you.

      For more information on the full course and how much it costs, however, head over to our course overview page here:
      https://proofreadanywhere.com//online-proofreading-course-transcript-proofreading-theory-and-practice/

      Let me know if you have any questions! 🙂

  35. I’m in the course now, so quick question. I have an iPad from 2013 that they no longer make. Should I look into upgrading, or do you think it’s fine? Thanks!

  36. When I clicked your link for iAnnotate I received a message to search for the most current version (iAnnotate 4). I selected iAnnotate 4, but then noticed the original is still available. Does it matter which version I use?

    Thank you!

    1. Great question! There’s always a chance that the old version will become unsupported in the future. You should get iAnnotate 4 which is what Branchfire just recently released. Honestly, as it stands right now, it’s got some bugs, but Branchfire will eventually be discontinuing its support for the previous version, so it really doesn’t make sense for you to wind up purchasing both. Bugs aside, iAnnotate 4 will be serviceable as you step through the course, and Branchfire is also working on resolving the issues that exist with it. Hope that helps! 🙂

      1. Thank you for the quick reply! I now see that I did not read through ALL of the comments and questions for this post or I would have seen this question was answered MANY times in the last year! Sorry!!

  37. I apologize in advance because the answer to my question may already have been given in previous comments. But given that time has passed and they vary across the past two years, I’m hoping I can get the most current answer.

    I have a Chromebook and also a Kindle Fire, which I do most of my reading on. Is iAnnotate available on either of these? Or what’s the appropriate app/program that one would use for proofreading on either of these devices? I don’t think I saw anyone mention a Kindle Fire, so maybe it’s not possible to do this work on that device.

    I’ve gotten the point that the iPad approach is hands down the best, but like several others, making that purchase in addition to signing up for the course (if I decide to do so, which is a strong possibility) is not going to be possible right away. I’m definitely in the “take things as they come” camp so I’m ok with enduring some inconvenience and a less efficient process in the beginning. What I’m wondering, though, is whether the software you use is always a factor for your clients. Caitlin, you mentioned that some of the reporters (though few) actually prefer paper, but would others also generally have specific preferences for whichever software/app their proofreader should use? Maybe that would be part of the initial conversation before taking a job? Any feedback about transitioning from working for some time in another app/device to iAnnotate/iPad from any of your students who have had that experience?

    I’m hoping this info isn’t reserved for the “getting clients” module!! It’s really just part of the decision- making process for what I can invest in equipment, etc.

    Thanks for any help!

    1. iAnnotate is only available on the iPad. We do have some students who use the below apps on different devices:

      Drawboard PDF (Windows)
      Notable PDF (Google Chrome Plug-in)
      Xodo PDF Reader and Editor (Android)
      ezPDF Reader (Android)

      Also note that you will not need a device/app until the NextSteps level of the course. Some court reporters may have a preference for which software or proofreading method they would like their proofer to use. This would all be discussed when reaching out to possible clients. Hope that helps!

  38. Do you still use the same model ipad or have you updated to the latest one?

  39. What iOS is required for iAnnotate? I’ve tried to find an answer in the comments but haven’t seen anything.

    Thank you.

    1. According to the iAnnotate page in iTunes, it looks like it requires iOS 8.0 or later. Hope that helps! 🙂

  40. Hi, everyone. Does anyone know if at this point in 2017 it’s wise to go with a later version of the iPad mini, like 3 or 4? I’m worried about how they tend to make older models obsolete, and the mini 2 came out in 2013… if I’m shelling out for a new device and they are all comparable in price anyway (which they are on Gazelle – thanks for that resource!), I want to ensure I won’t be putting money into an older version which then will have limited functionality. Thanks for any advice. -Susannah

    1. My advice with buying computers and tablets is to get the best and most up-to-date equipment for the price you can afford. 🙂

  41. Does anyone have experience buying from Gazelle? Where did you all get your iPads from?

  42. I just bought an iPad mini 2 16GB Wi-Fi from my local pawn shop for $130. Quite a steal based on the others they had there. It looks like it can be updated to iOS 10.3.3(Currently 10.2.1). It’s very fast and battery life seems to be very good. I will say I’m impressed by how well this performs despite it being 4 years old. It could be different I guess if I were to load it up with apps but this is for proofreading related only. I’m a heavy android user so this is a little new. I used an iPod touch a while back so it’s not completely alien to me. If anyone else is going to look at their pawn shops, make sure you test it out beforehand and ask about their return policy. Sometimes there could be something you missed at the shop. Now to wait for my bank card to reset so I can get into the course(stupid limit). Just wanted to put that out there.

    1. Good advice, Amber! It’s definitely important to be aware of the return policy when you’re purchasing electronics.

  43. Hi,
    With the introduction of Apple’s iPhone 8 plus and iPhone x, I was curious if anyone has tried using either or both of these as an alternative to the iPad mini. Also, are there any folks who use a full sized iPad or iPad Air/Pro? Thanks in advance.
    Dawn

    1. Personally, I use a full-sized iPad Air. It was what I owned when I started the course, and I enjoy using the larger screen. It may be helpful to go to an Apple store, Target, or Best Buy where you can compare the different products in person.

  44. Thanks for the information Caitlyn. I appreciate your quick response. I am enjoying your course. I went back over the previous units for the third time and am beginning to understand it better. I am looking forward to moving on.
    Thanks again.

  45. The iAnnotate app that Caitlin recommends requires iOS 9.0 or higher, so I would make sure whatever iPad you choose can support that operating system. 🙂

  46. Has anyone checked to see whether the Android version of this app has been improved in the 2+ years since this blog entry was posted? It would be nice to know. Thanks.

    1. I personally don’t know of anyone who has. If you decide to look into it, we’d love to hear what you find out! 🙂

  47. Caitlin,

    I am taking your general proofreading course, and am ready to start the practice documents. I purchased the newer version of iAnnotate and feel like I must have a real case of the stupids! I have used Microsoft Word for years, and use my iPad mini for all my day to day computer activities ( for 4 years). But, with all that, I am finding this app extremely difficult to make sense of! Can you recommend a good training video? Full disclosure, I’ve always proofed by hand on hard copy. Thanks in advance for any assistance!

    1. Hi, Jeannie! I haven’t specifically watched any video tutorials, but if you search on YouTube, you can find many videos people have posted about using iAnnotate (like this one). Just make sure to avoid any that say iAnnotate PDF because that’s the old version. You can also try posting in the PA Facebook group to see if anyone would be available to help you with specific things you’re having problems with because I’m sure many people have had the same problems. 🙂

  48. Hello everyone!

    I’m just preparing to move into Module 3 and have been reading all the questions and comments in this thread.

    Is the iPad mini 2 with iOS 9.0 or higher still the recommended iPad to purchase?

    Are there any new suggested businesses from which to purchase the iPad?

    Thanks a bunch!

    1. Hi! 🙂 I personally have an iPad Mini 2, and I’ve been proofreading for about a year and a half. It still works wonderfully! So I think it’s safe to say it’s a good one to purchase.

      I don’t know of any other sites that we’d specifically recommend, but this would be a great question to post in the PA Proofreaders group to see what great deals others have found. 🙂

  49. I’m wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a WiFi printer that is compatible with the iPad mini?

  50. Oh my goodness, folks – search your local Craigslist for iPads. I just did a quick search and found three 16gb iPad Mini 2 tablets for sale between $90-$120!

    Oftentimes people upgrade whenever something new comes out. I’m happy to take their perfectly good “older” versions for a fraction of the original cost.
    Makes sense to keep costs low, especially on the front end.

  51. I am in the midst of the practice module in the general proofreading course. Can I practice proofreading and using iAnnotate with my iPhone? Thanks

    1. iAnnotate isn’t great on an iPhone. If you have a laptop with Windows, we recommend PDF Annotator, but it costs a bit more than iAnnotate. That said, if you don’t have an iPad, the cost is nominal!

  52. Hi! I recently purchased the General Proofreading course and excited to get started! I’ve been trying to decide between buying a PC or MacBook. Needless to say I’m thrilled to have stumbled across this blog post, as I already have an iPad mini 2! I realize that this article was published in 2015. It is now 2021 and the latest version of iOS available for the iPad mini 2 is 12.4 Is this iPad still a viable option for using iAnnotate? Thank you!

  53. Just to chime in and share my disappointment. Apparently, there are two versions of iAnnotate, however, neither will operate on a system running on less than 13.0. I recently acquired an iPad Air and it's software operating system is less than 13.0. Alas! I will have to stick with Word 365 for now. **weeping in the background**

  54. Help! It’s 2022. I just purchased course. I saw some refurbished iPads on Amazon. I am lost on what specs to look for. Can you suggest one for today’s market?

    1. Hi Terri, the industry standard software for General Proofreading is MS Word using Track Changes. Be sure whatever you decide to purchase has storage, and the ability to operate whatever software you decide on.
      Do your research before purchasing anything.

  55. I'm just getting started on my proofreading journey (please forgive my ignorance) and thus far, I figured I'd be working primarily in MS Word (on my Macbook Air), only because I assumed that almost every client (especially businesses) are accustomed to MS Word and the "Track Changes" feature – so they can look at the workflow.

    Is my assumption wrong or are just about all clients ok with just being sent marked-up PDFs from iAnnotate?

    Long story short, I would much rather start things off solely on my iPad with iAnnotate so I can get my workflow on there up to speed and efficient.

    1. The industry standard software for general proofreading is MS Word using Track Changes. The more proficient you are in other software, the more clients you can market to.

  56. I just joined the group this week and am starting from Ground Zero with regards to the electronics as I currently have none other than my phone.

    SO….I’m looking for some advice.

    I understand that the mini is the “weapon of choice” but does it need to be the latest generation for me to be most effective??

    What about add-ons like keyboard, mouse, etc.??

    I’m looking to set myself up for success (I’m hoping for this to be my portable retirement career) and would appreciate any and all feedback.

    Thanks!!

  57. You're so gung ho for iAnnotate, I bet they know about your promotion of it. Could you put in a suggestion at iAnnotate's company that they program a Windows version? After using Windows for 39 years, I'm not interested in switching to Apple just for one app. I've installed Kami per your suggestion, but would rather be using the same app as you use in the lessons.

    1. We can put in a request to iAnnotate to develop a program for Windows, and I’m sure it’s been discussed over the past several years, but that’s a Microsoft thing, it’s not up to us! When Caitlin was a transcript proofreader, she used her iPad and the iAnnotate program because it was her preference. You can choose whatever program or app that works best for you, and Kami is a great one!

    1. You won’t be doing a lot of typing, mostly reading, so it’s entirely up to you and what you’re comfortable with.😊

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