Are iPad’s Now Required For Business Meetings?

by C. David Joyce | February 25, 2012 10:10 am

How Apple’s tablet has put pads of paper and laptops to shame!

The iPad was launched with much poo-poo’ing from the PC crowd and a lot of head scratching from their own Mac crowd. Was it a tablet laptop? Was it a new form of  “netbook?” Or was it just a big iTouch for people with bad eyes?

Despite a lot of questionable press, the iPad sold more than a million units its first month, and it sold more than 3 million in less than 3 months. Its launch was a huge success by any standard.

What the world quickly learned was that the iPad is not a laptop. It is not a tablet as the PC world knew it. It is, instead, a multimedia device that is both easy to use and cool to have. Through either a wireless communications plan or a local Wi-Fi network, the iPad connects you easily to the web. Through any one of the millions of apps available, you gain productivity. And lastly, it’s an entertainment device allowing you to listen to music, watch TV and movies, read books and magazines, or play countless games.

During the first week of release, iPads began showing up in business meetings. Granted, it was mostly by early adopters who did it for the cool factor as much as anything else. But within a very short time, business professionals began to see additional benefits.

For some reason, laptop computers never really became a mainstay of business meetings. Some have postulated that the screen was obtrusive, making meetings less personal as people were “hiding behind” screens. But more and more, business people needed to connect to the Internet in meetings, and it was not easy or convenient. This may have been due to the security issues of wireless networks in corporate environments and the fact that cellular connections not taken off yet and become commonplace. Also, not all laptops owners carried around a cellular network device (Mi-Fi).

iPads seemed to blow past laptops, and surprisingly, a lot of “pad and paper” people have made the migration to them. While not quite as fast as a paper and pen, the Notepad application, or “app,” is generally sufficient for taking basic notes. Programs such as Documents To Go, Office HD, and iWorks give the user access to documents as well as some advanced tools such as word processing and spreadsheet software. Calendars are even easily piped into iPads now.

Another key factor toward its success is that iPads work very well with most corporate Exchange servers, making business email a breeze to send and receive through your iPad.

So, next time you’re looking for a pen and paper to bring to the meeting, try taking your iPad instead. There are many iPad stylus’ that you can purchase if you can’t seem to leave the pen. And hey, if the meeting is ever boring, there’s always the Netflix app! •

On The Horizon

Apple has never been good about releasing any information regarding new products before they come out, but the rumor mills are buzzing about several anticipated iPad items.

iPad 3

The newest version of the iPad is rumored to be almost here. Mac bloggers are going crazy about this, with lots of chatter about new Retina displays, faster processors, and a higher megapixel camera.

iOS 5.1

Apple is will be releasing a highly-anticipated new system software (iOS) for the iPad, iPhone and iTouch. While features of the new software have been kept hush-hush, it is believed that it is not a small upgrade but a pretty significant jump in functionality. While no firm date has been announced, it will be sooner rather than later.

Microsoft Office for iPad

Business users and consumers alike are anxiously awaiting the inevitable release from Microsoft. If the rumors are correct and Microsoft introduces and Office version for iPad to coincide with the iPad 3 release, the business and educational communities will surely make it a best-seller. •


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