There & back again – Part 1: Getting data to the iPad
Mar 22, 2012 8:33 AM
So you've loaded JMP’s new Graph Builder app onto your iPad. But now you want to use it to analyze your own data. How can you get your data onto the iPad so you can do something useful with it? And once you've done that, how do you share the graphs you built?
Today, let's tackle the first of those questions: moving your JMP data table to the iPad. There are several ways to do it. Some are easy; some are more difficult. But let’s go through all of them so you'll know what your options are.
iTunes — Tried and True
The basic way of moving data from any desktop app to its iPad cousin is through iTunes. This may not be immediately obvious, but it kinda makes sense in a weird way: You use iTunes to move your music and your photos to your iPad, so why not use it to move your JMP data tables, too? When you plug a cable from your iPad’s dock connector into your desktop’s USB port, iTunes most likely pops up automatically. If it doesn’t, just launch it. Under DEVICES on the left sidebar, your iPad shows up as always. Select it and then choose Apps from the row of tabs across the top.
Scroll down a bit in this window to the File Sharing section. Like the screen says, you can see a list of your apps that support transferring documents between your computer and the iPad. I have not yet transferred any JMP data tables to my iPad; but if I want to do that, I simply drag the tables into the big empty list on the right. Then I click the “Sync” button, and the tables are copied to my iPad.
Here’s what iTunes looks like after I’ve synced Flights.jmp, Quake.jmp and Solar.jmp to my iPad. But where on my iPad did they go? When I open Graph Builder, I don’t see them. I have to first tap the + icon on the Graph Builder bar and then choose “Copy From iTunes.”
Now I see them! I tap each one I want to copy and then tap OK; they are instantly added to my gallery. From there, I just tap the one I want to open, and I can immediately see all the Graph Builder graphs that were saved with the data table.
Whew! That’s a lot of steps, and it requires a cable. (You can at least forego the cable if you check the “Sync with this iPad over Wi-Fi” option in iTunes.) But on the upside, you don’t need to use an intermediate server to get the data from here to there.
Mail — Super-convenient!
Let’s try a different method, one that has far fewer steps. Simply email the data table to yourself (or to someone else, for that matter). Here’s an email from a colleague that includes a JMP data table as an attachment. I simply tap the attachment and choose the option to open it in Graph Builder.
Presto! I’m off and running.
This is too easy. But it does make you pass the data table through your email server. And it might require a network connection if you haven’t yet downloaded the attachment from the server to your iPad. But what a convenient way to share!
Website — One-to-Many
This method is not for everyone, but some people will find it incredibly useful. If you have a website that you can upload files to — a wiki, a blog, etc. — you can leave a JMP data table there for other users to download. On their iPads, these other users navigate to your website in Safari and then click on the link to download your data table. Safari asks them if they would like to open your data table in Graph Builder. Try it on your own iPad now by navigating to our JMP Graph Builder Samples page. Tap one of the blue “Download” buttons, and you’ll see a dialog like this.
This is a very convenient way to distribute a JMP data table to many people at once. Most high schools and universities these days have websites where instructors post their lesson plans. If the lesson involves analyzing some data that the instructor provides, what better way to distribute it?
Further Down the Road
We are working on new ways to move your data to and from your iPad. I can’t give too many details right now because the future is a bit cloudy. But look for an update to Graph Builder in the coming months with even more options.
And tune in tomorrow for Part 2: Sharing your results.