Using an ipad


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Using an ipad

  1. 1. ==== ====Important information many people dont know about, Click Link: ====The iPad is essentially an iPhone on steroids. Weighing in at 1.5lb (0.68kg) it has a 9.7" multi-touch screen, speaker, microphone, compass, accelerometer, (so it knows if its being tilted androtates the screen accordingly), Wi-Fi (the faster 802.11n standard) and Bluetooth. It comes withthree storage capacities built in - 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, and is also available with 3G, allowingfor internet access when outside of a Wi-Fi environment. Its powered by Apples own A4processor which has been specifically designed for the iPad/iPhone operating system and offers10 hours of runtime and a month standby. Most importantly, its downwardly compatible withalmost all of the iPhones 140,000+ apps, which means that if you already have an iPhone, assoon as you buy an iPad and plug it in all of those apps will be available on there as well. Althoughit has an on-screen keyboard that may not appeal to many, its not far removed in size to a laptopkeyboard, and there is an external keyboard accessory for use when desk-based.Lets start by covering what the iPad cant do. Its not a PC or a Mac and doesnt run Windows orMac OS, or offer multi-tasking (although the rumour mill suggests that the latter may be addressedin future updates). On the iPhone the OS is locked down to the point that each third partyapplication can only store information in their own sealed area, unlike a PC where MyDocuments can contain every file type and be accessed by all applications. Its likely that the iPadwill continue this tradition, with Apple already confirming that it will rely on iTunes for syncing witha PC. Also, due to a long running spat between Apple and Adobe, the iPhone/iPad does notsupport Flash, which rules out access to any websites that rely on it. Apple has been criticised andapplauded in equal measure for ring-fencing access to their hardware and software. While itconsiderably restricts third party development flexibility, it does provide an extremely stable userexperience which, unlike a Windows machine, does not degrade over time as more software isinstalled.During Apples launch it was clear that Apples own 1GHz silicon was delivering quite a punch.Applications launched instantly and graphically intensive tasks ran smoothly. Couple a fastprocessor with a large rotatable touch screen and you have a product that lowers the technicalknowledge usage barrier and can provide an intuitive user interface which 75m iPhone usersalready know how to use. For example, recently I reverted back to my previous smartphone -using the menu system was like wading through treacle and it was missing many of the additionalapps that Id come to rely on. The biggest difference was speed of information retrieval. Forfrequently performed tasks such as retrieving a contact, checking email or a quick web searchthere is no comparison. Tasks that I achieve with the iPhone within 15-20 seconds I would nothave seen change out of a minute, if not more on the other phone, and this is likely to improve onthe iPad.What tasks could the iPad perform?
  2. 2. The key here is to identify what it does as well, or indeed better than existing technologies. In theirlaunch event Apple demonstrated iPad versions of iWork, their office suite (covering wordprocessing, spreadsheets and presentations), with each application being available for just shy often dollars. While you probably wont get all of the extra templates, clipart and additional bloat thatcomes with traditional Office suites you could argue that most people dont use many morefeatures than font sizing or basic formulae. The iPad ships with the same basic PIM apps as theiPhone e.g. Calendar, Contacts, Email (including MS Exchange support) and Notes, all of whichwill sync with a PC or Mac through iTunes. The iPhone configuration utility allows enterprisedeployment, providing easy configuration for individual business settings such as email and VPNaccess. So for the majority of users it will tick the basic office requirements.As a presentation tool the iPad excels. It can be connected to an external display, but wouldequally be suited for one-to-one presentations, ideal for sales staff or board meetings. Dataretrieval is also a strong suit; it provides quick access to document, image, audio or video libraries,doing away with the need for storing large amounts of paper. Expect to see estate agents withiPads under their arms from April onwards! It would be equally at home in a manufacturing designoffice, providing a quick method of viewing product images or technical information.The iPad supports the popular ePub electronic document format. Publishers will quickly movebooks, magazines and newspapers over to the format, so people will soon become accustomed toreading on the device as opposed to traditional paper-based media. This will provide companieswith an easy way of creating large catalogues in a format that users can digest in a traditionalmanner. Companies that produce catalogues (such as electronic components or manufacturingconsumables) will no doubt warm to this as printed versions are very expensive to produce, andalthough they will already have full e-commerce on their websites, there is a reason why they stillproduce printed version - many people still prefer to view information in a book-style format. Thiswould also lend itself well to stock control, providing stores staff with a simple checklist interfacewhen performing stock checks.All versions of the iPad have the accelerometer and compass facilities, and the 3G version opensup further possibilities, as it includes assisted GPS. Many of us already take the likes of Googlemaps on our mobiles for granted, but when GPS is embedded into a device implemented atenterprise level this stretches the boundaries further. Imagine an application that provides relevantinformation to a user when they arrive at a specific location; perhaps a salesman visiting aprospect/customer, or branch data when HQ staff visit. Devices that know where they are couldalso be used to direct the user to items of interest/relevance around them, although the sensitivityis not good enough for this to locate items on a shelf, for example, and GPS does not always workinside buildings.Integrating the iPad to custom requirementsIf you walk through the stages of production within a manufacturing organisation and analyse therole of software at any given part, most of these relate to the supply of information; either to orfrom the user. Whether it be in the store room, by a machine tool, booking goods out or back infrom subcontractors, despatch and through to accounts. This information will either be fed into anenterprise system (MRP, ERP) or to a more localised system (stock control database, machinetool control software, order management etc), and this is where the work needs to be done if theiPad is to be of any real use. Many software companies are using Apples software development
  3. 3. kit (SDK) to develop apps to interface with their products. Although these apps are oftenlightweight versions of their PC cousins and optimised for the iPhone it is likely that these will bereworked to take advantage of the iPads display. We can expect apps covering all mainstreamsoftware applications, however more niche products are unlikely to have iPhone/iPad siblingproducts, as the take up rate would not warrant the development costs.What if you cannot develop or obtain an app to connect to an existing software system? There is athird option; we have already ascertained that the iPad is a competent web client (if Flash isntrequired). Invariably the system you want to connect to will have a database, which in turn willhave ways of getting data in and out (generally using common connectors such as ODBC), so arelatively simple solution would be to build an intranet that communicates with the application.Windows Server comes with IIS (Internet Information Services), and any of the web centriclanguages (PHP, Cold Fusion,.NET/ASP etc) will be able to connect to a database easily. TheiPad (or any other device) could then interact with the software using a web browser. Although thisstill requires a considerable level of technical skill, its likely to be a far easier and more cost-effective skill set to source than developing an iPad-specific app and will result in a more flexiblesolution that other devices can take advantage of. It would also be easier to manage from asecurity aspect, as the network administrators take care of user access control to any given dataresource on the local network.If Apple is serious about the business angle of the iPad they will need to provide companies withmore information on controlling user access, tracking usage and locking down features on it(which, to be fair they have done with the iPhone), otherwise no doubt the wide range of availablegames will find their way onto it and eat into productivity. Another major concern is that they will bea target for theft. Its likely that you will be able to password protect it and, as with the MobileMeservice on the iPhone, locate it if stolen (3G only) or remotely wipe it, but thats little consolation.In recent years Apple products have become über chic and this is something manybusinesses will want to harness. Its more likely that iPads will find homes in the boardroom thanon the shop floor, due to environmental factors alone, but for facilities that already keep theirproduction areas spotless this could be seen as the device that makes them look just that little bitmore cutting edge than their competitors.SummaryThe debate is raging fiercely in the blogosphere as to whether the iPad is a game changer or not,but in my opinion it is. Apple said that they would not release anything equivalent to a tablet or anetbook until they could deliver something that did everything well. Given what is already knownabout the iPhone and what we currently know about the iPad, reasonable assumptions can bemade about the iPads suitability for a given task. There will be of course many tasks that willalways be faster or indeed only possible on a desktop/laptop than the iPad, but as a high speed,highly portable (and highly desirable) media consumption device the Apple iPad will set thebenchmark by which all others will be measured.About the Author
  4. 4. Martin Bailey is the author of several marketing and IT sector books, and is the MarketingManager for JETCAM International s.a.r.l. - CAM, nesting and material management software) and123 Insight Ltd - MRP, ERP, CRM and Accounts software). More information about the author isavailable at Source: ====Important information many people dont know about, Click Link: ====