The introduction of the new Apple iPad (no name version) is now history. As we look forward to the initial shipments next week, there are some important issues for business users, and they are without question resolutionary.
Apple has proven time and time again that they “get it” relative to what the average person needs or wants – often before the individual themselves actually know that need to be relevant. Imitators have failed in large part because they’re migrating a laptop PC into tablet form factor. That’s a great example of “fail” or “not getting it.” The issue isn’t just the form factor. It’s the human interface and the methodology behind the software designed for it.
Initial business applications on the iPad have been oriented around sales orders, client tracking, finance, and other “PC like” activities. The emergence of the new iPad will create important new opportunities for business. First of all, the new iPad is fast. Much faster than previous editions. However, this increase is due to an improvement in the graphics engine layered into the A5X chip. The CPU is actually the same (specification) as the iPad 2.
The ability to manage significant amounts of data, such as HD video in conjunction with other functions is now a realistic opportunity. So, real estate virtual tours, for example, might enable an agent to deliver tours of homes to people while conducting a FaceTime chat with prospects. Real time inventory can be managed and updated. Walk down the aisle of a store and as you see quantities of product, the iPad app can visually track inventory levels and create new orders.
Typing has been one of the big issues for the iPad. Many people not big on typing have been attracted to tablet computers in general and the iPad specifically because they don’t use a keyboard (unless you so desire). Now, with the new iPad and iOS 5.1, you can speak into the on-board microphone and your instructions will be converted into text. This is a huge step forward and will spark all kinds of innovations.
For our iPad development team, the new iPad is really exciting. One of our projects is the development of an application that permits first responders to create journals of their activities. As an example, firefighters have as a matter of tradition hand written their incident and activity journals. There are no photographs, no videos, no other elements within the journal. Our new app “Command Journal” give a firefighter the ability to start a journal entry while on scene. The Captain or Incident Commander can record audio, video, take photographs, or important these types of materials from others. Back in quarters, the journal entry can be completed, including all of the digital media elements mentioned. Two years after the fact, an incident can be recalled, including the photos, video, etc. that make up a truly digital report. Best of all, the journal entry can be dictated, and the requirement for typing has been reduced to near zero. A tap here, a tap there, and a bit of voice over – voila! a fully complete incident journal.
Can you tell that we’re a bit excited about this?