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iPad - advice on best model, storage and case

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    iPad - advice on best model, storage and case

    Current looking to buy an iPad for use with the voice apps for someone currently going through the voice recording phase. In addition to this it will also give more freedom in terms of looking at photos / apps used to share news, videos on grandkids, etc as well as more mobility than the laptop used currently - and indeed lighter and more robust if falling than a laptop, where grip and dexterity is deteriorating.

    We identified that the standard iPad (vs. Mini) would be the best option with regard to screen size and readability, but not sure on the amount of storage that people would typically need with the voice apps.

    Can anyone advise if 32GB would be sufficient? Or are we best going directly to 128GB to cover our bases?

    Also if anyone has any suggestion on particular iPad cases/shells that may be particular useful / easy to grip, for MND sufferers?

    Thanks in advance.

    Welcome to the Forum, Brusseleir.

    If the person’s current laptop is Windows-based, it’s worth considering an Android tablet for ease of transferring data files and for continuity.

    As for memory size, it depends on how they use the tablet - using the Cloud obviously takes pressure off local memory - but you may need to do a quick tot to see if 32GB of memory is enough. If finances are tight, consider buying a reconditioned one - you can get so much more for your money.

    Yes, the bigger screen size, the better. The iPad Air is light but it is quite a bit more expensive.

    Many of the protective covers don’t offer much grip but you can always get some non-slip Dycem rubber from the OT, or buy it, and stick onto the case, rather than have to buy a softer protective cover.

    Bubble type or raised key keyboards are easier to use than the standard flat keys, which can need a definite hard push, if that’s relevant.

    If dexterity continues to be an issue, switches can be used to control a tablet, as can eye or head tracking. The person's SLT can assess and advise.

    Take care.

    Love Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.


      I use a iPad mini but voice banking came too late for me so I don’t know about storage requirements. The standard one is too heavy and cumbersome. It’s worth contacting the local speech therapy department and Matthew Hollis at MNDA. They will advise on support and help with funding.


        Hi Brusseleir and welcome.

        Ellie and Miaranda have offered good advice. I had my own iPad Air a few years ago but the storage was inadequate as I was adding photos and music. I was given loan of an iPad from the speech and language therapist but it was the heavier model which I found difficult to use. They then installed the speech app on my original iPad but the memory was insufficient to cope so I lost my music storage. I recently bought the new iPad Air with 128gb capacity so my advice would be to start large and avoid upgrading later. Expensive error.

        I’m going to do this even if it kills me!


          Hi Brusselier, I have my own iPad Air2 64k that I bought about 20016. I have predictable on it. I didn’t transfer my photo’s on to it. I’ve only taken a few pictures with it. I transferred all of the music from my phone to both my iPad and my laptop. There is a lot of it but no device is struggling. I have quite a few apps including Netflix, BBC News, The Guardian News and some from my teaching days on the iPad that can come off if ever I need more space but I’ve not had space problems yet.

          A word of caution: my husband bought a Windows tablet around 2017/18. He’s had 2 replacement batteries at £50 a time so far and he needs another as it doesn’t keep any charge so it has to stay plugged in. My iPad Air2 has had no issues in a longer time. They might be more expensive but you get what you pay for.

          I bought a keyboard for my iPad that makes it look like a mini laptop. But I’ve never used it after the first week of owning it because I prefer typing on the (touch) screen on such a small device.

          I recently changed from an Android phone (Samsung S9) to an iPhone (iPhone 11) in the belief that I’d be able to connect phone and iPad to make calls. When my IPad is on, if I get a call or a message it comes up on both my iPad and my phone. If you like a big screen or using the iPad keyboard in preference to the phone then it could be useful. I haven’t tried calling from Predictable yet. This is something that I’m keen to do. If it doesn’t work I’ll be very disappointed.

          I can still use my laptop as well as iPad Air2 and iPhone.

          Good luck with whatever you go for. Love Lynne
          ALS diagnosed November 2017, limb onset. For the 4 yrs previously I was losing my balance.

          I'm staying positive and taking each day as it comes.


            Thanks for your advice everyone. Much appreciated as still learning the ropes where MND is concerned as our mother is currently in the early(ish stages) following diagnosis at the start of the year. So all new for us, especially with the enforced inability to visit thanks to COVID.

            I think we're going to go with the iPad 128GB. I've learnt from experience that it's better to overestimate storage etc from the start rather than have too little, so best to be prepared. We'll also get a stand/case so it can be propped up when needed. Dexterity is ok at the moment most of the time in regards to typing (she can still use her phone) - it's more that she has fallen a few times and her balance is off at times.

            Appreciate the point about a Windows / Android device. Mum hasn't been using the laptop much yet - unfortunately as many of you will have experienced, everything stopped when COVID started so the start of speech recording etc was also delayed. So transferring should not be a massive problem. She does have an Android phone already but never entirely warmed to it so we're hoping the Apple interface will be easier to use. Also, she's always wanted an iPad (like her friends!) so considering current circumstances, we won't deny her!

            Thanks for the tips on funding. I think this is something we'll look into but for the moment will just go ahead before she does get started on the recording etc on another device. If nothing else it's a more portable alternative to having to move to the computer anytime she wants to look at photos, email etc.