Wednesday, 9 November 2011

To iPad or not to iPad

Next session was called iPads and beyond. About 80% of the 300 people in room have tablets, 90% of them iPads. But then most are IT Execs, and it is a session about iPads, so probably not representative of general population! 

In general, 75% of current tablets are iPad, 20% android. Problem with android is that it's been fragmented, and originally wasn't designed for tablets. Also high price. But will increase and Gartner expect it to reach parity with iPad by 2015. Microsoft is completely missing from scene but may appear with Windows 8. Many new devices and hybrids will emerge over the next few years and hit the consumer market.

The session looked at tablet use in the business world. Very corporate, and all about security, control etc. Quite different to the world we operate in in HE. 

Some  interesting observations, not all I agreed with. 
Good for documents, especially annotating, easy with touch screen, gestures.
Good for content consumption, but not for creation.  This I definitely don't agree with. I find it easy, and  I like the softkeyboard. I can type on it as fast as on a hard one. You've only got to look at all the blog posts this week, all typed during the sessions, on an iPad. It's different sure, but you soon get used to it.

File sharing can be an issue. Dropbox is one of the most common apps on iPads. But according to the presenter, it is the most insecure service you can think of. Again,  I don't entirely agree, I can think of others! Picked up by a questioner at the end, it was pointed out that it is no more insecure than a USB stick. 

Their good graphics capability makes them ideal  for dashboards, business analysis etc. Many of companies are putting in lots of work to optimise dashboards for tablet use. 

Enterprise application vendors already developing mobile and cloud apps including SAP, IBM
We should be talking to all of our vendors and asking them for their plans on mobile, tablets ands cloud

Lots of stuff on  risks and challenges which are intrinsic to consumer mobility. Mobile device management is important, but lots of cloud based services out there to use.  We need to evaluate the  risks in security, compliance, costs, HR, and identify mobile policies to regulate deployments, usage and support. 

Policies are not just about technology but people as well. 

Surprised that there wasn't much about the conflict between work and private use, and BYOD.  Most of us have tablets with a combination of work and personal apps and data on, including photos, games, music, work files, emails. 

Of course, there's also the debate that always happens about why an iPad? Why not a laptop, smartphone etc. Personally I think you should use what you want. I don't use an iPad because it's cool, I use it because it's great! I don't take a laptop away with me anymore, and most days don't take one to work. The killer for me at conferences like this is the ease of use, and the battery life. I can easily get 10 hours out of it. Gone are the days when I'd be wandering round after a couple of hours looking for a power socket. 


George Credland said...

"I don't use an iPad because it's cool" -> "I don't use an iPad just because it's cool" surely? ;-)

Will the mix of home v.s. work use change if the apps stores become compromised?

At the moment the apps are relatively trusted so its not such an issue to try out games etc.

Bob Booth said...

Best thing about iPads for me is their portability, I didn't realise how bulky laptops were till I got an iPad.

However, the thing against the iPad, and I think I might agree with the speaker here, are the sheer number of websites that don't work correctly in the iPad web browser.

Luckily I've had change to try a Macbook Air and they are a dream. So light and portable but with a fully functioning web browser.

If Apple sort out their iPad web browser they'll be invincible. If Android or even Microsoft beat them too it Apple may lose the market...

Chris Sexton said...

Do you mean the browser, I personally haven't had any problems with it, or flash? If its the latter, this will probably help

Ruth Stanley said...

What Bob said! I think if I had the option I'd definitely go for the MacBook Air, it's fantastic - but the ipad is so much more portable than a standard laptop, even those super-small ones. I was sceptical of tablets in the beginning I must admint, but am definitely a convert. It's brilliant for showing pictures to people as well - I took it to the US for our annual US alumni event and it was great for showing alumni high-quality pics of the University.

James C Ibbotson said...

Nice little blog about Enterprise level ipads !