When is an iPad not an iPad?

sj.jpgOk, per­haps it is actu­ally “magic­al and revolu­tion­ary”. Or per­haps we’re just mov­ing toward the day that yes, there really is an app for that.

Smart phones and tab­let com­puters are set to explode this year, but what will really move the hard­ware is innov­at­ive soft­ware cre­ated by developers who can see bey­ond the tra­di­tion­al fare that is cur­rently avail­able on the soft­ware menu. Con­tin­ue read­ing “When is an iPad not an iPad?”

Tablets will be the story this holiday season

The iPad has been out for a bit now, and it’s the tab­let that all the oth­ers will be com­pared against as they jockey for pos­i­tion going into the hol­i­day sea­son.

But over­all, I think this is the year that tab­lets finally start to make some head­way into the mar­ket­place; a mar­ket­place already crowded with Desktops, Laptops, Net­books and Data Phones.

So, why con­sider a tab­let? Here’s a few things to think about.

Middleground
Tab­lets won’t replace your main com­puter, nor will they replace your laptop. They’re not power­ful enough to do a lot of the work those com­puters do. But, they will fill in the middleground between your smart­phone and your com­puter, simply because they are smal­ler, yet not too small, and offer a great inter­act­ive exper­i­ence.

Tab­lets are  great to bring to meet­ings, light-weight and yet func­tion­al enough that look­ing up cal­en­dar con­flicts or tak­ing simple notes is a very simple pro­cess — and the tab­let is much less obvi­ous than a laptop when sit­ting around the board­room table.

Oh, and you smart­phone jockey’s out there, yes, you can do all that stuff on your hand­held Android/BlackBerry/iPhone, but the screen size is kinda lim­it­ing when you want/need to share the view.

Cloud­bust­ing
Using some cloud com­put­ing applic­a­tions such as Drop­Box, any notes you cre­ate on your tab­let are instantly stored in the cloud account and access­ible to your oth­er com­puters.

And, if you’re in that meet­ing and need to ref­er­ence some­thing stored on your desktop, you can use desktop con­trol soft­ware such as Log­MeIn Igni­tion (on the iPad / iPhone / Touch) or a VNC cli­ent writ­ten for your tab­let. A couple of quick touch­pad strokes and you’re work­ing on your desktop com­puter as if you were sit­ting in front of it.

Ok, those are the big reas­ons that a tab­let wins for me. And here’s a few more that are really just icing on the cake:

  • Inher­ently port­able — smal­ler form factor makes it easi­er to take every­where. My iPad is with me daily, where­as my laptop or net­book only came out when I thought I might need it
  • Cas­u­al usage — since it’s with me I use it more to jot down notes, surf, etc dur­ing oth­er­wise dead time
  • Tact­ile, friendly, enga­ging — a tab­let seems less impos­ing than a full-up laptop. People like to share work on a tab­let, it’s easy to hand around a meet­ing and soli­cit feed­back.
  • Port­able media — tab­lets are great for watch­ing movies or videos on the bus or wherever because they’re smal­ler and sleeker — no huge key­board to haul around in addi­tion to the screen.

So, in my humble opin­ion, yes, the tab­let will make some ser­i­ous inroads this hol­i­day sea­son, espe­cially if the price can stay low, the hard­ware deliv­ers, and the soft­ware is developed to live in this new middleground.

So that’s why a tab­let appeals to me, how ‘bout you? Are you in or out when it comes to con­sid­er­ing a tab­let in the near future?



This post of is one of many I pub­lish weekly at the Future Shop Techb­log. Read more of my stuff here.

Android, Blackberry or iPhone? Which is right for you.

Earli­er today I dropped in to the CityTV’s Break­fast Tele­vi­sion set to chat about the three main types of data phones.

Basic­ally we were look­ing at the data phones, and the types of people who each type of phone is best suited for — or not suited for 🙂




Here’s my notes from the early morn­ing chat:

Black­berry — Research In Motion — RIM
This is the ‘Go To’ busi­ness device. It’s the Star Trek com­mu­nic­at­or for the C suite set. You know you’re a black­berry type if you cov­et the device for the fol­low­ing reas­ons:

1) Huge busi­ness and gov­ern­ment pen­et­ra­tion — the key here is that most gov­ern­ment depart­ments and divi­sions, and the organ­iz­a­tions that do busi­ness with them have sim­il­ar tech­no­logy. They speak the same lan­guage, look at the same screens and share the same exper­i­ences.

2) Secur­ity — The Black­berry sys­tem is based on a pro­pri­et­ary serv­er tech­no­logy that routes all com­mu­nic­a­tion through a cent­ral serv­er sys­tem, man­aged by RIM. Black­Berry is basic­ally a totally integ­rated pack­age that includes phone, hard­ware, device soft­ware and hos­ted ser­vice, provid­ing you with a com­plete end-to-end email solu­tion.

3) Keypad — Though more recent mod­els use the touch screen inter­face sim­il­ar to the iPhone, the hall­mark fea­ture of the Black­berry over the years has been mini­ature chick­let-style key­board. This has caused numer­ous thumb-cramps over the years, yet some­how, the work of gov­ern­ment has been done. Go fig­ure.

Google’s Android
This is Google’s con­tri­bu­tion to mobile com­mu­nic­a­tions. If you remem­ber the old BASF com­mer­cial, Google doesn’t make the phone, Google makes the phone bet­ter. Google provides the oper­at­ing sys­tem, hard­ware man­u­fac­tur­ers provide the phone tech.

1)  You love the concept of an open and some­what hack­able phone oper­at­ing sys­tem. This lets you con­fig­ure the device to do exactly what you want, how you want.

2) You accept the risk of an open and some­what hack­able phone oper­at­ing sys­tem. This means that an applic­a­tion you add to your Android based phone could poten­tially cause you unforseen grief in the future. The Android store is open to any­one with min­im­al reg­u­la­tion and oversite. This is a good thing, and a bad thing.

3) You enjoy being at the bleed­ing edge of tech­no­logy. There is no finer place to be, as long as you really, REALLY, know what you’re doing with this tech­no­logy. There are dif­fer­ent Android devices run­ning slightly dif­fer­ent fla­vours of the oper­at­ing sys­tem. Yet, you know which apps will and won’t work on your phone. Yes, you are an Early Adop­ter..

Apple’s iPhone
This is the gold stand­ard by which all oth­er data phones are being meas­ured. Apple has basic­ally taken con­trol of this mar­ket, and for very many good reas­ons. Apple has cre­ated the tele­phone appli­ance.

1) an out­growth of the iPod — the iPhone is much more than a music play­er with a phone glued to it. It’s really a full-blown data appli­ance that you’d expect to see on Star Trek, but not only in the exec­ut­ive suite of cor­por­a­tions — the iPhone is the device for the rest of us.

2) The Apple store enabled a safe envir­on­ment for developers and con­sumers to explore the digit­al applic­a­tion mar­ket place for mobile digit­al devices. Apple ran the store, and had the right to approve applic­a­tions avail­able in the store. Put­ting the Apple repu­ta­tion on the line, applic­a­tions had to be safe, main­stream-accept­able, and tech­no­lo­gic­ally sound. You’d not get porn, vir­uses, or faulty pro­grams from the store on Apple’s watch.

3) It’s a data appli­ance. It must work. Every time. All the time. Apple guar­an­tees it. Your mom and dad could use it, and that’s what Apple’s bank­ing on. You don’t need an IT depart­ment to sup­port it (like the Black­berry) nor have to deal with eso­ter­ic inter­faces and com­mands (ala the Android). It just works.