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Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dr. Bob Spencer on the iPad

The following is posted with permission from Dr. Bob Spencer

The iPad for business movement, like most things these days, is evolving more quickly than expected (remember the Netscape year – 9 months? Well the new product life now is estimated at 6 months!).

Below are links for Citrix on iPad as well as a demonstration on VMWare VDI via Citix for remote Windows application processing. Two excellent options to run Windows based apps via the iPad as well as iPhone (yes, Citrix app via iPhone – maybe not practical for accounting apps, but works nicely for account/sales reps in the field that need to look up account info/balances or place an order!)

I have received lots of interest and comments about the iPad and was it business ready - and the answer is for some uses and growing daily.

I am testing the iPad Keyboard Doc as well as the VGA adaptor and Camera media adaptors to see how far we can push those. From my prospective, I would love to be able to present from my iPad to my projector in seminars. I can tell you that the iPad Keyboard Doc works very well for data entry (Pages, Spreadsheet updates etc.) which would make the Citrix approach more viable.

Always keep in mind that the iPad is not a replacement for the desktop or laptop for most office workers. The iPad is not a volume data entry or computing device – it is a light entry and information retrieval device.

Which unit should you buy? With the type of apps coming down the road - and there is a lot of them! I am telling people to not short themselves, if you can afford it and plan to use it for business, get the 3G 64 model, even if you don't plan on using the 3G.

Finally, if you are not sure about mixing the Apple and PC worlds - hang in there until late June and early July and you will be Tablets and Slates from a number of PC providers as well as Cell Phone companies running Windows 7, Google Android and Chrome, WebOS and more. Fun times ahead!

As a side note, I do not plan to subscribe to the 3G network service initially, but that is because I have Sprint broadband and a MIFI card; the MIFI uses my Sprint service (Verizon has something similar, but not ATT) and is a credit card size device that is a true WIFI switch that supports up to five active users, so my laptop, iPhone, and my iPad all can use it to access the web at the same time.

If you want 3G service for when you travel, you have options. The ATT service for the iPad is not an annual contract but month to month, and you can take the basic service for on the road, and then use WIFI when it is available to keep cost down. If you need more usage one month over another, you can also up the monthly fee for one month only, and then go back to the minimal as needed. Or, drop the service altogether for the off months and use it during the heavy travel season. Pretty flexible. But, as noted I do not plan to subscribe because the MIFI is awesome.

Sprint also has the Overdrive device; which is similar, but supports 4G where available. I tried that one first, but as with the USB version of 4G which I tried, I was not happy with it. If you are in a 3G area only, service was choppy and the device seemed to keep trying to find a 4G connection which degraded the 3G side. Just my experience and general comment.

Dr. Bob 5.23.10

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