In the six months that I have had my iPad it has enhanced my life more than changing or revolutionizing it. The device has extended the reach of technology from simply capturing and manipulating information to making it part of the way I work and working in new ways. Sure the more I work with the iPad the more I see some technical and functional limitations, but that is comes more from pushing the iPad into new business activities rather than the machine’s limitations in performing the tasks outlined below
Productivity tools are ones that most frequently complement/compete with my personal computer. Here the iWork applications have had the greatest impact. iPad versions of Pages, Keynote and to a lesser extent Numbers have extended what I can do not eh computer directly into the iPad. While each of these applications has been thinned to first on the iPad, they provide core functionality for most of the low intensity activities I can do on a personal computer. These tools are good for writing short documents, this blog post and sharing them with others has increased rather than restricted my productivity.
A special hats off to Keynote as it has transformed the 1:1 meeting experience. I can share a presentation with a colleague in a while new way via the iPad that is impossible on a personal computer. Sure Keynote needs to gain more features, but this capability is one thing that has changed the way I work.
Email and email integration is another boon from using the iPad. I am fortunate that Gartner allows me to connect the iPad to corporate email and that has changed my email experience. When I start out the morning its by browsing all of my email on the iPad for the simple reason that I can skim the mail within the time it takes my personal computer to boot up!
Media based tools have augmented my travel experience using the iPad. Watching videos, reading books, listening to music, etc are welcome extensions to my daily life. When I first got the iPad I wrote a post that the iPad is a media syringe, injecting media deeper into the daily experience. It is all that and more. I realized that one day when I was walking on a treadmill, listening to music not the iPad while I was reading a book. If you want media in your life this is one heck of a device for presenting it.
Hats off the the newspapers that have adopted the iPad. The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA today are to be commended for extending the reach to this platform. Hats off to Guardian Media for the Eyewitness app that provides a daily picture that reminds me that the world we live in is much larger than just me.
Particular recognition for a cool move goes to Amazon for making the Kindle App available on just about every platform you can imagine. There is wisdom in selling the razor (Kindle) and razor blades (content) there is even more wisdom in making your razor blades available for any razor.
These are a few of the applications I have found particularly useful in working with the iPad. The device has changed the way I work and more importantly the way I work with clients and others. As one CIO told me, these devices are better at consuming information than they are creating it, and I agree. I have always thought of the iPad as an extension of my work tools — something that makes other things that much better, and it is.
So what business applications have you found helpful on a tablet device? Suggestions and recommendations welcome.