For years, we have been hearing that it’s the “year of the mobile,” but I think what is really happening is a conversion to tablet devices (not to be confused with a tablet PC – they run a stripped down version of desktop operating system software). The iPad took even Apple by surprise by selling 3 million units in 80 days and competition is quickly heating up. Cicso introduced an Android OS (‘Google operating system’) tablet last week and now the LG Android Tablet is next to join the race. Personally I’m a fan of LG products and would love to get my hands on one to compare it head-to-head to my iPad.
Both the Apple and Android platforms have very valid personal/entertainment uses (raise your hand if you’ve ever loaded a Disney movie on a phone/iPad to keep your kids amused in a restaurant…) – but finding solid business uses for these devices may prove difficult. Some of the major factors with mainstream business use of tablet devices resides with Internet connectivity, desktop/application compatibility, multi-tasking, and quality of applications on the market – not to mention the ability to administer the devices remotely from the IT department.
It makes sense that the tablet arena would be heating up between Apple and Andriod, as the smartphone market is experiencing the same battle. Currently I have a two year old RIM Blackberry Tour that has reached the end of it’s contract in August, and I’m looking to replace that with a Sprint EVO Android phone. Do I expect my new EVO to take the place of my primary computer (MacBook Pro) or tablet (iPad)? No. As sexy as the display is on the iPad or other Android tablet device, the fact is that it’s hard to consume information and multimedia on such a small screen.
What’s your take on tablet computing for business use?
“Some of the major factors with mainstream business use of tablet devices resides with Internet connectivity, desktop/application compatibility, multi-tasking, and quality of applications on the market – not to mention the ability to administer the devices remotely from the IT department.,”
I think most of those are valid to some extent except for the last one. Devices like the iPad are becoming more popular becuase they require no administration. The devices are simple enough for users to download and install (and un-install) and use apps. Nothing for the IT department to do. Maybe that’s the real problem.
Comment written on an iPad.
Agreed, nothing ticks off the IT department faster than lack of control (I know, I used to run some..) I still come across a good number of companies that completely control what types of applications can be loaded onto a company laptop, and I’m not sure I see the IT folks differentiating between tablets and laptops. Preventing viruses and data theft have been two top priorities with off-site equipment, and without the ability to lock down or control what goes in and out of the device I can’t see widespread adoption of the hardware.