Chances are you have seen (and probably wanted to touch) Apple's new toy. If you have been following Switchfast, you know we even gave one away as a prize. The iPad looks sleek, high tech, and incredibly interactive; but is it sensible for your business? As always, evaluating the pros and cons for your business needs are necessary to reach an informed decision.
Apple's iPad is incredibly lightweight and interactive allowing your business and its employees access to a plethora of information, all at their fingertips. Recall how cool it was when the iPod Touch came out, and everyone was thinking "it would be amazing if the screen was bigger." Well, the screen is much larger, crisp and vivid. The size of the iPad allows your employees battling with their email and electronic communications on their small phones a digital oasis for their fingers. Internet service for the iPad is a $30 no-contract unlimited data plan on a 3G network.
When comparing a netbook to the iPad, the netbook looks like last generation's technology. The wireless plans offered for a netbook can be pricey, and much of the time, have limited data transfer. The iPad allows the user to rotate the screen from "landscape" mode to "portrait" mode, depending on the user's preference, and can deliver sleek presentation capabilities that will engage your prospective clients. Your important files and folders can be stored with ease on the iPad's operating system, and allows your business to be more environmentally friendly by cutting your paper demands.
Thousands of applications can be run from the iPad, including the vast majority of the iPhone and iPod touch apps. A great starter application for your business iPad is the iWork application. It has programs such as Keynote, which is a great presentation software program. It is like Microsoft's PowerPoint, but leans more on the side of interactivity to create more engaging presentations. If you are in the architecture business the iPad is a must have. You can save your plans and sketches on your iPad and be able to present them to your clients on the go or in the field. You can find even more information about iPad business apps, just a click away.
As with every form of new technology, there are setbacks. One of the largest issues with the iPad is that the device does not have USB ports. This makes it very difficult to perform quick, large file transfer, such as your coworkers video presentation, or graphic design files. Printing for some is also unfavorable. Having to use WiFi or link your files back to your PC or Mac to print has turned many consumers away from the iPad. Third party application developers have been trying to develop a successful printing app, but the market is still open for a top notch solution. Some users find issue that the iPad's battery is sealed inside and cannot be replaced, making it questionable how long your device may last you before sending it away for repairs. The iPad's reliability in the business world is still being felt out, but other issues with the device can be seen at thenextweb.com.
Being an early adopter can be fun, and, depending on your business, may give you a tech advantage, but there are other ways to experience and try the iPad. Go to your local tech store and play around with one, or talk to an Apple representative about new features being offered. Encourage your employees to look at what the device has to offer and ask them to share their opinions with you. If you have any colleagues or friends that have an iPad, ask for their personal opinion about the device, and what they would like to see different with it. You can always go to Apple's website and look at a complete list of its specs and what it can do for your business. Ask questions and be informed about your next technology purchase, you may just find yourself very pleased with your patience.
Until next time -