Why iPad is conquering the workplace

Why iPad is conquering the workplace

Since the iPad first shipped in April of last year, the tablet has been slammed by critics as a content consumption device, a feature-limited Tablet PC and a pointless plaything for rich yuppies.

Apple itself positioned the iPad as a living room knee-top device, something for mindlessly flipping through apps or games while watching Comedy Central. Steve Jobs even introduced the iPad while sitting on a padded living room chair.

All this spin makes our friend, the iPad, come across like some kind of lazy slacker. In fact, the iPad has become a hard-working professional. But why? 

Continent, Delta and United Airlines have replaced their (heavy, expensive) pilot flight manuals with iPads. All pilots now just carry an iPad instead of a bag full of books and binders.

British Airways is using iPads for cabin crews to access the airline’s database of customer data, including who’s traveling with whom, executive club status, special meal requests and other information that makes flight attendants seem like they care about the passengers.

While official implementation of iPads at hospitals is slow, doctors are buying their own and bringing them to work. It replaces the clipboard they used to carry, but brings a universe of highly usable data access.

A sub-industry of medical apps for doctors has emerged in the past year.

Schools all over the world are replacing textbooks with iPad-based curriculum. Apple told the Associated Press that they are aware of more than 600 school districts in the United States that have initiated “one-to-one” programs, where each student is given an iPad to use all day.

Yale Medical School is replacing its entire paper medical program with iPad-based curriculum.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team distributed an iPad to each of its 90 players, complete with the team’s playbook as an app.

A new iPad app called Directors Desk is designed for anyone who sits on a board of directors. It’s for taking notes, presenting, voting and tracking meeting schedules.

These are just a few examples that illustrate a huge cultural movement toward the use of iPads in professional workplaces.

So what’s happening here?

It used to be that professional mobile devices were specially designed, purpose-built vertical devices that cost four times as much as comparable consumer devices. They came as part of an integrated front-end, back-end “turn-key” “solution.”

I think that what companies and organizations are discovering is that it’s more important for professional mobile devices to specially designed for the user, rather than the task.

iPads are ideal for many professional applications because they’re cheap, they don’t require much training, they’re easy to build apps for, they’re small and light and everybody loves using them.

The concept that mobile devices should be human compatible, rather than purpose built is incredibly threatening to the entire IT industry, which is built on the concept of high-margin, low volume products — not cheap consumer gadgets available at BestBuy.

It also raises something of a philosophical issue regarding whether interface devices like the iPad are part of the organization or part of the user. Here’s what I mean.

Let’s say Janet works in the marketing department of Company X. She uses a variety of tools to do her work. And there’s an invisible line between the tools that are part of Janet, and the tools that are part of Company X. The server that Janet accesses when she searches the company intranet — that’s on the company side of the line. The eyeglasses she wears in order to read the document she’s searching for — that’s on the Janet side of the line.

So which side of the line is a mobile tablet on? Is it an enhancement to the company or an enhancement to the user?

IT pros might say it’s all about the company. Tablets have to support the primary goals of IT control, security and customizability.

The iPad-at-work phenomenon, however, asserts that tablets are user enhancements, and that their most important qualities are usability and user empowerment.

But there are also major benefits on the IT side. The biggest two are cost and speed of implementation. The airlines, for example, were able to buy iPads by the truckload, and also ready-made flight bag apps from the leading aviation supply company, Jeppesen.

The time from evaluation to implementation can be measured in days, rather than months.

An iPad eliminates most of the hassles associated with testing, rolling out and training for a new platform. A huge number of employees are probably already using them. Apps make upgrades painless. And they’re cheap.

The use of iPads in professional workplaces is one of the most under-appreciated phenomenon in technology today.

This consumer appliance designed, sold and marketed as a fun way to play games, watch movies and read vampire fiction around the house is being relied upon by people with lives in their hands — doctors, pilots and others. Professionals are turning to this consumer toy as a way to enhance their careers and serve their customers. And everybody seems to be very happy with it.

So here’s my question for you: Do YOU use an iPad in your professional career? If so, please tell us how!

Related
  • Kevin Donnay Clarke

    I’ve recently switched my paper based to-do & meetig notes to my iPad. Those functions are not currently provided by my firm’s IT department, so no threat to the services they provide. 

    Looking forward to the iOS pilot of mail / calendaring to be complete so I can sign up for greater connectivity.

  • Anncaudle

    I am an artist. I use it to show my portfolio to clients and take photos and video clips to paint from later. I can edit, merge, enhance a photo and crop it to fit my canvas. I can sketch on my ipad and make notes for painting later. I can update my blog and facebook and otherwise share my artwork.

  • robgilgan

    I’m a communications specialist. I manage meetings, take notes, create minutes SimpleNote), write articles(Pages), manage several email accounts, reference information, create wireframes and flow charts (OminiGraffle), access my home computer (Logmein), record interviews (FiRe) and manage my task list and calendars (SmartPad). I’ve booted my laptop twice since I bought the iPad in April 2010, once to see if it still worked.

  • Mary

    This article is absurd.

    First of all, do you realize that flight attendants have heavy manuals too?  I love how this is worded JUST towards pilots.  Flight attendants are there for your safety, not just service.

    Also, this:

    “British Airways is using iPads for cabin crews to access the airline’s database of customer data, including who’s traveling with whom, executive club status, special meal requests and other information that makes flight attendants seem like they care about the passengers.”

    Seriously?  “makes flight attendants seem like they care…” for real?  Seem like they care?  They DO care.  It’s their job.  Although some may seem rather snobby, take a moment to realize what they deal with on a day to day basis.  Caring for your safety is their main priority.

    UGH.  This just makes me mad.

  • Lnbrewe1

    I’m in graduate school studying speech-language pathology. The iPad opens many doors for all patients, young and old. I use the iPad daily while working with individuals who have communication disorders. It’s amazing

  • DJO

    I work in an engineering department of a company that manufactures aircraft. I started using my iPad to organize my work and status the boss. My increase in productivity and organization was noticed and now I organize a small engineering unit of about 8 people.

  • Kuhnaydeein

    The flight attendants may care, but currently, they don’t seem like it. They’re too busy trying to remember everything and everyone’s special orders etc. Makes them seem distant and irritable. What the author is saying (as I read it) is that their job is so much more fluid with the advent of the iPad that they now have the ability to care, and do something about it.

    Therefore, they now seem to care.

    Not a difficult theme to grasp from the article.

  • Adam Kozlowski

    A digital printing equipment producer from the US – Gandy Digital – launched their new machine with its control panel being an iPad. No clunky PCs.

  • sami5001

    as a medical student, not only the iPad but iOS in general has been a crucial part of my day-to-day tasks. where now about 60% of medical staff and students use a smartphone in EU, an 80% and increasing cut of the iOS platform does further validate the advantageous use of iOS devices…
    it’s just amazing how well the apps are conceptualised for healthcare. and with time iOS is getting more and more advanced. since iOS 4, the integration of iPhone with actual 3rd party hardware like blood pressure machine, portable ECG, etc. is just too good to be true :D

  • Imu

    U know i am just fifteen years old nd having a Ipad 2… Bt i dnt jst play with it, i also use it in academic fields jst like everything… I would say
    “u can do everything except bath, eating or such things!!!”

  • Rob Madrid

    As an ESL teacher to businesses in Madrid I have combined a CD player, TV, DVD player as well as a PC all into one. But the biggest advantage is video, no need to bring along a PC to show videos. On the other hand my sister in law as music teacher uses YouTube via the iPad to show students the proper way of playing something, had made her job immeasurably easier

  • James

    you’re seriously comparing trolley pushers to pilots?

    yeah, good luck with that.

  • Cody

    Or obviously spell…shouldn’t the iPad help with that?

  • asbestos_man

    I am a director of training at work and I lead 13 business units and about 300 people total and the iPad has been a godsend for me.

    While nothing changed in a macro sense, the tools have been combined in one place and that’s where I get the biggest impact. Instead of a day planner, a few notepads, my laptop for calendar and email and what ever other tools I’ve tried to use I just carry my phone and my iPad.

    On a side note, they should have a referral program. In the last week our architect, CFO, lead hardware support guy and our build-out partner bought an iPad after I gave them a workflow demo.

    I’d say conservatively it saves me 10 hours of work per week. That’s a solid number and more than makes up for the initial cost. Our VP of Ops wants a demo and a few of our other department heads are next in line :P

    My typical tools on the iPad are:

    Toodledo tasks via ToDo
    Logmein
    Jump Desktop (RDP)
    Print to PDF (used in conjuction with either neu.Annotate or iAnnotate for marking up plns and such)
    NoteTaker HD for written notes
    iThoughtsHD for goal setting and mind mapping
    JotNot Pro (while not technically an iPad app, it works well) for taking pics of stuff and turning it into PDF’s
    Words with Friends and Risk for potty breaks :P

  • CharliK

    Flight attendants deal with as much paperwork and procedures as pilots so yes.

  • CharliK

    Maintaining and distributing call sheets, demoing complex fx and stunt shots to the actors, logging shots, etc. Just the other day the director and I did wardrobe approvals via FaceTime for a unit across town

    The iPad has been one of the best things to hit sets in a while

  • 300AShareMakesMeSmile

    It doesn’t matter what the iHater jackasses say or believe about the iPad, whether it’s useless or overpriced or only good for this or that or absolutely nothing.  The iPad is selling like there’s no tomorrow and making Apple truckloads of money.  The Windows netbook platform is in total collapse.  Consumers are buying the iPad and they’re using it.  So what if a handful of no-nothing pinheads are iPad detractors.  Do you really think these idiots are going to change the iPad’s sales success with their narrow-minded attitudes?  Hell, no.  These knuckleheads that continue to say the iPad is a useless toy might as well be the same as those nincompoops that swore the world was flat or that horses would never be replaced by automobiles.  For every doofus that knocks the iPad there must be ten consumers or businesses that are buying them.

    Please ignore iPad-hating knuckleheads because they don’t have the intelligence to see what going on in the world around them.  Apple will likely sell 45 million iPads this year to both consumers and businesses.  When Apple gives out the year-end figures only the ignorant dimwits will continue to say that the iPad is a useless toy and that ONLY iSheep are buying them.

  • Callum Kerr

    I’m a website designer, and the iPad has changed the way I run my business. Instead of listening to a client describe the appearance, or me describing the appearance of a website to them, I can whip out my iPad to quickly and accurately draw what it will look like. It pretty much eliminates the back and forth “that doesn’t look right” or “that’s the wrong colour for that background”. It saves me at least a days work in a project, and I owe it all to my iPad.

    My clients also love it too, I’ve noticed they become a lot more involved when the iPad is in use. I just can’t stress how amazing the iPad is, it’s definitely going to change the way we run our lives in the future, it’s already happening to me. 

  • tvopdx

    LOL u dnt no new spell?

  • Mike Elgan

    Wow. That’s cool. 

  • GDal

    Thank you for writing this article. I will be linking regularly to it.

    It amazes me how ignorant the detractors are, arguing about the consumption market, and then dismissing the adoption as either stupidity or brainwashing by Apple. Even the adoption by major airlines seems to bring comments of them being used by stewardesses for their drink carts.

    As I comment regularly, businesses care about fast deployment of easy to acquire and use devices that reduce costs and boost productivity. Whether it’s purpose-built is never the deciding factor.

  • Mike Elgan

    It’s Hollywood totally Apple obsessed anyway? : ) 

  • Notmycow

    I am a college professor, and I use my iPad (nought for personal use) to run the PowerPoint slides for my lectures, to help grade papers through a tool called Essay Grader, and to revamp my course website on the fly at work via LogMeIn to the desktop that is running DreamWeaver. I also use it to take notes at faculty meetings.

  • Mike Elgan

    That’s amazing. Any plans to roll them out to users? 

  • Mike Elgan

    Wow. I hadn’t heard about that one. 

  • Mike Elgan

    So you’re saying that the company made this database available because it *makes* flight attendants care? Mary, it enables personalized service, which makes passengers feel cared for. That’s its intent. 

  • Sbarlow

    Our CEO uses his iPad for email, presentations to investors, etc while on the road instead of lugging a heavey laptop. We expect iPads to be used on our Aircraft in the not to distance future

  • Gouldsc

    What apps are you using to do this?

  • Raheem

    I’m a cartoonist and illustrator and I have gone paperless since I got my iPad 3G. I use it for all of my comics, illustrations and paintings.

  • ericthehalfbee

    I use an iPad to store electrical wiring diagrams (PDF’s) instead of relying on dozens of heavy binders. It’s easy to carry to the area I’m working in and I simply hang it up where I’m at and can easily flip from page to page. It has proven to be a huge timesaver over printed manuals, and this single feature alone makes it worth the $500 it cost me (plus the few hours of transferring the files).

  • foust

    I am a Captain on board an Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV).  I use my iPad to link to my shipboard systems. Regardless of where I am on my ship, I have total situational awareness, the latest charts, weather, and navigation information at the touch of a finger.  We use proprietary applications as well as some amazing commercial apps.  I marvel that my bridge with several  hundred thousand dollars worth of electronics can be remoted to this amazing piece of hardware.

  • asbestos_man

    We are in strange times currently. Quite a few in our leadership positions are almost tech illiterate and almost hostile to new technology. It took 3 years to get our execs to switch to smart phones. Once that took, it’s been a bit easier.

    One problem I am seeing is there isn’t a reliable or available way to teach people the “whole body” approach to using tablets or even smart phones. Most of what I have seen is per app based versus ecosystem based. Most of the training we do is how to accomplish a specific function on devices instead of teaching and allowing people to be creative with and play with them.

    Also, much like training, the bean counters look at the immediate impact and if it takes 3 to 6 months of practice to increase productivity, that may be too long due to some upfront costs, shortsightedness or even capital pressures.

    I’ve actually been toying with starting a small consulting firm specifically aimed at teaching professionals how to smartly integrate technology into their day to day workings.

    Generally there is a narrow age gap of people that really understand how the tech works. I’d say between the ages of 30 and 40. If you think back to when computers where still a bit of a challenge to learn how to use, those individuals who stuck with it for what ever reason are much more able to pick up the flow.

    People older than that aren’t as comfortable using tech as much. People under 30 have always had relatively user friendly computing so they look at it in more of a “yeah, so what” kind of way. Of course, this is a dramatic generalization and there are people on both sides of the spectrum that don’t fit this.

    Much as schools embraced computers in the late 80′s and early 90′s, there needs to be a similar approach to mobile computing.

  • JairPadilla

    Unfortunately unless Apple changes it’s mind the Print to PDF app got pulled (see http://www.printtopdfapp.com/ for reason why). I got the app before it got pulled and it does every print conversion perfectly. I’ll have to find another to recommend to friends and colleagues now.

  • Neil Anderson

    From Gandy Digital’s website: Operation of the Pred8tor is made simple with the use of Gandy Digital’s own touch and drag GUI running on the iPad making it a true mobile operation; step and repeat, rotate, delete ripped images, create jobs and more. The iPad also comes loaded with video tutorials and a live diagnostic system making maintenance schedules part of the routine.

  • DJO

    Mike, I’m living what you wrote about regarding the question of who the iPad enhances, the company or the employee. I’ve brought a formerly “personal use only” iPad into work and not only successfully integrated it into my work life but I now find it indispensable to getting tasks done on the job.  The benefit of what my iPad brought to the table didn’t stop with just that single device. I also find that the iPad works best as part of a system that includes the ultra-mobility of the software-sharing iPhone, plus the heavy-duty file export, data manipulation and raw number crunching of an at-home Mac, plus business software from Omni Group that spans all three devices. But who does this system enhance, me or the company? I’d say both as it really takes down barriers of where you can add value to the employer. Putting a Gantt chart together can now be done very easily from the comfort of the couch. 

  • Jeff Richardson

    I’m surprised that you didn’t mention lawyers; there is so much to say on the subject that I run a website dedicated to lawyers using the iPhone and iPad.  The latest statistics indicate that 13% of lawyers use that iPad, and that data was collected largely BEFORE the iPad 2 came out so I’m sure that number is much higher now.   http://www.iphonejd.com/iphone

    -Jeff
    iPhone J.D.
    http://www.iphonejd.com

  • aardman

    You’re being mean.  When a plane has to perform an emergency procedure, like say a water landing, passengers’ lives are in the hands of your so-called pedal pushers.  Go ahead and apply to be a steward, go through the training, and actually work onboard an airliner.  Let’s see if you think trolley pushing is all there is to it.

    It’s okay of you’re completely ignorant about people’s jobs.  It’s not okay when from a position of ignorance you then start downgrading people’s worth.

  • Dennis

    I work in the government and I iPad has been very useful for me. I check my emails from there. I use the calendar to organize my schedule and sync it with my MacBook, google calendar and iPhone calendar. Keynote and keynote remote is very handy for slideshow presentations. Notes taking during meetings through notes and penultimate. FaceTime for videoconferences. I only have praises for iPad as a productivity tool itself.

  • Hafiz

    I’m a administrator and an educator. I normally use my ipad to teach my students as it is very convenient to carry from class to class compared to my laptop provided it can attached to LCD projector… I also used it as an electronic organiser, meeting presentation and sending emails to other admin members and teachers as well.  

  • Jammarshall1975

    I am an independent sales agent representing flooring manufacturers and use an iPad2 daily. I used to have to carry a large binder with many many pages of price lists to refer to as well as hand out, and a day runner to keep track of my appointments, contacts, etc. Anytime a price/product was changed, multiple copies would need to be replaced. Now I can easily revise products and pricing on the fly, email direct to customers as I am talking to them, and write all of my notes. Inventory has been a breeze, and taking orders more simple than ever. I currently use dropbox, quickoffice, goodreader, keynote, desktop.connect, and notetaker hd (easily the most used and my favorite productivity app). Plus, too many games and news readers for the down times during the day.

  • Blur1221

    I own a large eBay business where I buy used xyz and then resell on eBay. I had a app made fro me for 2k that inventories all of my products as they come in, I scan the barcodes with the iPad camera and it auto pulls the product information into my app. Simple easy and it really increased my productivity.

    My business partner also does come commercial contracting and he has had custom apps made for his guys who go on quotes and for managing his different crews.

    Overall it’s not even scratched the surface for what you can utilize this form factor of computer for. I really agree with Steve jobs comment on everything d when he said everyone will still have a semi truck (desktop laptop) for serious content creation but tablets and smart devices for everything else.

  • VKY

    what apps are you using on set? we’re looking for something to handle production scheduling, call sheets, budget in one package. I love the panavision app and need something for my producers. 

  • Mary

    No, I’m saying that this article (in my opinion) is making flight attendants seem like they do not care in the first place.  They care already, this app may make it more personalized for the passengers- yes.  But you need to realize that FA’s are not only there for service, they’re there for your safety.

    I wish the article also mentioned how heavy FA’s manuals are too.  I guess that’s what really hits me hard.  We have manuals too and they’re extremely heavy and require us to update them, by hand- and they get checked too.  If they’re wrong in any way, we can get in trouble BIG TIME.  So I just wish this article mentioned how airlines are doing this for us as well.  It’s not just the pilots.

    (Not trying to be rude, I just am very opinionated when it comes to this obviously because I’m involved with the industry…)

  • Choe

    I am a pastor and use my iPad to preach from, put my points on the projector, record sermons, pastoral notes, build sermon outlines, and look up Greek and Hebrew meanings on the fly during Bible studies. Plus many more applications I’m not even listing.

  • Currawong (Amos)

    I teach English in Japan. Whereas before I would write on a whiteboard, then photograph the board into Evernote on my iPhone, now I just type in large text in Pages on the iPad, then flip it up for the class to view. 

    For young students, the wealth of apps for learning English writing and spelling have been a huge hit with the kids. 

  • Ytmobileme

    The reason the iPad is so successful is because:
    1) You can carry all kinds of information you need with you including communicating in all forms:
    Sound, Video, Picture, or text

    2)Large enough screen to be able to work(ipad is basically a big iphone, but the screen size makes all the difference. You want to read a book on your iphone or your ipad?)

    3)Ever Lasting battery life. With 10 hours of battery life, you can use it the whole work day with no worries, on the opposite of laptops that are heavier, hotter, and needs to electricity source every3-4 hours

  • guest

    i think you should keep the new spell for texting

  • Chippie

    Ok, you’re right, but let nobody forget the ground engineer. They have to carry the most manuals you can imagine. The problem with that is, that all that manuals must by up to date and from the correct date. So in our big airline company we are working on it to have that manuals on iPads. But the engineer should always be sure that he’ve the latest revision on his iPad. That is the big problem on the moment, how can the ground engineer be sure he is working on a iPad with the latest revision of the manuals?
    But the manuals itself are working great on an iPad. Checking things, reading wiring diagrams it is so nice to do. No more printing and carrying paper with you just fire up you’re iPad.

  • Matteo

    I am a photographer, my portfolio is in my iPad, the pictures look better than the other pc screen, and the presentation is perfect.
    I use also for my mobile productivity, mail, blog, social, manuals, books…  everything… the PC is just for hard cpu works.

    Matteo

  • Harriman

    Mike, this is the same argument/discussion that we went through in 1978/79 when users starting buying their own Apple II’s and VisiCalc and carrying them into the office.  Then the IT demigods were protecting their turf of IBM 360′s, now its the server farm and the PC network that have replaced the 360.  In the beginning, IT tried every trick in the book to keep PC’s (back then they were called microcomputers) out of the office.  But the gains in productivity were too great and too easily demonstrated for management to ignore.  PC’s own the IT environment today, but the iPad is quickly replacing all of that desktop iron and the notebooks (and servers) that go with it.  To steal a phrase from another area “Information just wants to be free”.  It wants to walk around and be mobile.  And the iPad accomplishes that in spades.

  • blondepianist

    Working in IT, I carry my iPad around whenever I’m away from my desk. It’s a quick way to Google something I need to know, access the company SharePoint, and remote control the servers via RDC.

  • JairPadilla

    Looks like my previous post disappeared.

    @asbestos_man:disqus  looks like Print to PDF is no longer available due to Apple “policies” (see http://www.printtopdfapp.com/ for more information from the developer). To bad, as it works great and I’m glad I got it before it was removed from the store. Looks like I’ll have to look for another one that “just works” for friends and co-workers.

  • Barry Johnson

    Isn’t that the pilot from ‘The Event’?

  • Turns_downunder

    The Pad isnt the “be all and end all”. It doesnt play FLASH and there is other devcies out there that are faster, slimmer, lighter and have free apps!

  • Tibor

    I’m a lawyer, and use my iPads to store my client files when I go to court. The paper file rarely leaves my bag anymore. I can type up consent orders, settle them with my opponent while waiting, and email them straight to the judge’s associate from the bar table. 

    Pages and Goodreader are invaluable. Searching for a piece of evidence in a 50 page document is as easy as searching the PDF and highlighting it, rather than flipping pages and putting “sticky” notes everywhere. I even type my transcript of hearings on the iPad – never have to plug it in, use the bluetooth keyboard and there is no screen between me and the judge, as is the case with a laptop. When the day is over, I just email it to my barrister so he/she can prepare for the next day’s questioning, without having to interpret my handwriting!

    I regularly connect to the office via 3G if there is anything I need from my office computer.

    I am the secretary of the committee of a group of collaborative practitioners and ditched my bulging lever-arch folder and keep everything on my iPad, including Minutes, Member Register, etc.

    In fact, I was working on my iPad in line waiting for the iPad2 and made enough money standing in line to pay for three quarters of the iPad2!

  • Stephen Gaines

    i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $ 42.77 each and a $ 50 amazon card for $ 9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you. go here CentHub.c?m

  • Stephen Gaines

    `:.whoa.. i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $ 42.77 each and a $ 50 amazon card for $ 9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you. go here CentHub.c?m

  • Speech Dudes

    I too have an iPad, which I use for some stuff. I also have a really cool piece of technology called a “pen.” When used in conjunction with another slick gadget called a “notebook,” (not to be confused with a “notebook computer, which, amazingly, was actually so called AFTER this incredible little device that uses “paper” and “pages”) I can capture all my thought, ideas, even do some graphics, and all faster than my iPad! It’s truly amazing! I use it in meetings, conferences, presentations, even on airplanes during take-off and landing WITHOUT having to turn it off. I have found that I can take notes significantly faster with my “pen,” and if I use a “reporter notebook,” it is much less bulky and intrusive than the clunky iPad, which doesn’t fit in my pocket like the “pen” does.

    Although the iPad does lots of interesting things with pictures, sounds, and video, you’d be amazed how useful the “pen” can be. And here’s the kicker – you can buy them for pennies or even get then free from hotel rooms! There’s no need to recharge, unless you use the more high-tech option called a “fountain pen” (check Wikipedia for that one) that needs a replacement fluid called “ink,” and they work just fine in power outages, boats, even on camping trips in to the wilds.

    If you were lucky enough to learn to “write” at school rather than hit buttons on a keyboard, I highly recommend the “pen” with a “notebook” for all those situations when the iPad is too slow and too bulky. As a small, discrete, portable accessory device, you’ll be amazed by it’s versatility.

  • Mile L.

    but what is the IP address of your pen? how can you share your ideas at the speed of light? i have my grandfather’s “slate tablet” and his original chalk… so it sounds like you are ancient by trying to promote obsolete “pen & paper” some 80 years later.

    so catch up with society. the ipad will be the standard for the next 40 years for education and communicating, then some punk will bemoan the use of the ipad in 2050… it’s called “progress” … so write that down with your pen on paper, then tap your finger on it, does it pull up the definition? yes, or no? – that’s the problem with pen & paper, it keeps people dumb.

    lastly, you fully exposed your ignorance at the end… the ipad is certainly not slow, so it’s clear you have never used one… you’re just a curmudgeon that is bitter that a better world is being created by Apple.

  • Mensrea

    Also a lawyer. I use my iPad 2 with GoodReader for all of my docs, and my original iPad for notes, live research etc. I’m completely paperless in court and it is WONDERFUL. 1500 pages of paper could never be navigated so quickly before.

    I love the oblivious naysayers from day one, I knew from the moment I saw the iPad what I’d be using it for. It’s performance is unparalleled. I’ve been trying to get to this point for many years and wasted a ton of money on expensive, slow, hot tablet pcs with embarrassing battery life. UNUSABLE!

    I’m now good to go all day, reliably. Can’t beat it with a stick! 7 hearings, 500 pages each? No problem AND no back strain.

  • Jeremie

    I’m a graphic designer / photographer and I tend to travel around for my work. While I used to have to take a laptop with me, I now only take my iPad which allows me to do what I need to do when traveling:
    Make presentations
    Import, view and retouching pictures,
    Emails and skype communication
    Gps
    Notes, write offers, etc…

    I’m not using it in a specific way such as flight pilots, but it is indeed easier, because of the 3G, because of the weight (traveling with just a carry on is easier), etc…

  • Tgiencke

    I’m a nurse with an iPhone and an iPad. I keep about 30 pounds of medical reference and patient education material in each device if they were in paper form. Add to the weight savings is the ease of access to information with the iOS platform. Then their is the time savings of accessing this information in an electronic form.

    Both the iPhone and iPad have their +/- but the iPad wins out because of one issue. When looking up information and/or sharing information screen real-estate is a must.

    My main hope is for medical iOS apps, is for them to continue to get accreditation.

    If my employer said tomorrow that I could no longer use my iPad. I would look for another employer.

  • foust

    Those of us that use our iPads for work don’t need or even remotely miss Flash.  
    As to your other point about other products being faster, slimmer, you may be right, but for right now, the iPad works best for me.  The market seems to agree that the iPad is the best product in its space.  

  • foust

    Did you use pen and paper to write your post?  No? Somehow your point loses merit when you use a computer to write about the advantages of pen and paper writing.  

  • Speech Dudes

    Did I, at any point, say I use ONLY a pen and paper? Did I, or did I not, say that I have an iPad that I “use for some stuff”? Posting to a web site would clearly be the “some stuff” that I use it for – along with those things that cannot be done efficiently with a pen and paper. The point is that the iPad is one of many tools that folks can use and that at times, the pen is indeed mightier than the pad. That doesn’t mean the pad is “bad” or “wrong” just that multi-modal approaches to problems should always be taken into account.

  • Speech Dudes

    I’m happy to be a curmudgeon and thanks for that ;) Your “clearly you have never used one” comment is unsupported by any facts. I have, in fact, two of them – along with a Galaxy Tab, an Androud phone, IBM laptop, HP desktop, and a selection of iPods. You assume too much about my hypothesized technophobia and perhaps missed the point of the post; that using ONE method of collecting and sharing information is more limiting that having multiple options. I can write at about 120 words be minute but not type that fact. The iPad’s touch QWERTY is not as responsive as ink on paper, and in certain situations (not all) writing in a pocket notebook is demonstrably faster. Assuming that one piece of technology can do “everything” is more of a sign of ignorance than being able to use many different options depending on the situation. That, my friend, is the way to a better world.

  • BG

    please… what can you possibly need to look up as a nurse?  just take the damn orders given to you by the doctor and follow them to the T.  quit second guessing him and do your job!

  • buggietechnica

    I never realized that calling it a content consumption device was a slam.

  • buggietechnica

    GoodReader and an iPad is about the perfect tool for so many jobs. 

  • Bob

    Great illustration of technique there: How to turn a potentially light hearted, clever post into an awkward hambone rant.

  • Tosha Oneal

    Great article.  I am a video producer and it’s easy to take the video on the iPad to the client – place it in their hands and allow them to review the video. At times it’s easier than asking them to download the file.  Showing them the video on my iPad is instant and the client and I are now able to discuss shot choices or sequences face-to-face.

  • Joefalco

    I have a suggestion for one thing you can do with that pen…..

  • Zulvianes Budiman

    Dude, save the paper for the trees please. You burning up our planet.

  • Derekden1

    How true! Love the humour and admire your logic. Sanity is making a comeback, at least in some quarters – I hope.

  • Callum Kerr

    I use iDraw, personally I think it’s fantastic. Obviously, the drawings are basic but I am able to give a really good idea on what it could look like, and that’s the key point. Clients get it, the love it, it saves me time, it saves them waiting. Win win.

  • FardanNaeem

    Apple’s iPad is not just the most popular tablet PC that has created a stir with its demand in the consumer market. It has presented itself as a revolutionary device for the IT sector worldwide. http://tablettechtoday.com/blo

  • FardanNaeem

    Apple’s iPad is not just the most popular tablet PC that has created a stir with its demand in the consumer market. It has presented itself as a revolutionary device for the IT sector worldwide. http://tablettechtoday.com/blo

  • Gregz0r1

    I work for fashion giant Burberry. Only 2 years ago, the corporate tool of choice, handed out to every executive, manager, etc, was a BlackBerry.
    Today, Burberry has gone all-in, with iPhone 4′s and iPads.
    Burberry stores have equipped their sales staff with iPads, so they can interact directly with the customer, showing them what items are in stock, with live inventory and imagery, not only in their store, but in any store, worldwide. And make bespoke orders, if items aren’t physically in their location.

    When HP launched their HP Slate 500, they quickly shifted from it being a consumer device, to one that is meant ‘for businesses’. The thinking, I guess, was that business don’t want products that are consumer-based(adhering to the common stereotype). The truth is, businesses want to use products, with a reliable and efficient infrastructure behind them first, but they also want them to be good, too, just like you and I.
    Which why you won’t see any company worth it’s salt, going all-in with an iPad rival, as there’s no faith in there being a reliable support and update system in place. HP could’ve been the one to leverage that, but simply chose not to.

  • Mike

    What good are free apps if they’re not good to work with? No competitor has anything even remotely as powerful as the iWork suite on his products.

    And they can only dream about services like documents in the cloud (part of icloud)…

    Sorry, but in my view, there is no competitor for the iPad, if you want to use it not only for videos and games.

  • Leona

    Road crews are using them onstage to deal with sound checks, levels ect and lighting rigs too, very clever and easy to use.

  • Gradyban

    I am a data analyst and I have ended up using the iPad more for work than for “consumer” activities. I use papers on the desktop to keep my PDFs of journal articles. I use Thinkbook for my daily todo lists (such a nice interface I overlook it doesn’t sync to other platforms), Omnifocus for my full todo list (all house and work), Week Cal HD to sync to my google calendar, iAnnotate to mark up PDFs, Goodreader for viewing non-PDFs, keynote for Presentations, MacJournal for notes, maxJournal for a daily journal.

    On the hobby side I have to mention I use ForScore to carry my violin music – giving me hands-free page turning using foot pedals! It works great! I also use Olive Tree Bible software as it hyperlinks to all the concordances. Handy for background reading before teaching. None of these really fit the “mindlessly flipping apps” category, but represent a fantastic access to information.

  • ashley cross

    I teach first graders with the ipad.  I use it to control my whiteboard, essentially turning it into a smart board.  During center activities, they can’t wait until it is their turn to “play” with the ipad.  And by “play”, I mean review meaningful skills in an engaging, interactive way.  They scan QR codes that I create to direct them to websites, watch educational videos, or work a math problem on the screen.  They read their writing to the Dragon Dictation App, and it turns their words into text we can compile for a class book.  They monitor their fluency by recording themselves reading and playing it back to themselves. When we have a moment of extra time, they may learn a few words in Chinese or Spanish.  All in a day’s work.
    http://teachinghappilyeverafte

  • Jason

    I have a lawn care business here in Australia, and I pretty much run the whole thing on my iPad.
    From quoting and note taking while syncing to my iPhone (Simplenote), finding clients homes (google maps), invoicing (invoice2go), email, scheduling my staff’s jobs, printing the odd document (google cloud print and printcentralpro), banking, form generation and storage (pages & dropbox), and heaps more. Just about everything is backed up to the cloud or synced with my phone over the air so I am not completely lost if I don’t have it on me or it gets stolen. I’m not chained to a pc, way more mobile than a laptop, and so much easier to use than an iPhone, if I had known how good the iPad was, I never would have waited so long to get one.
    The device will change just about every industry.
    Now if I could just get it to mow lawns…

  • Vladislav Rakov

    I have some business apps made on my own on http://snappii.com. Actually I use them to help our clients find our cafe and the app includes locations,RSS tab,Discussions which are really useful.Now it’s difficult to imagine our life without Ipads and their fillings.

  • Guest

    Yes because the factories used to make electronic parts are clean?  Wow!!!

  • J Manseau

    Yes, I have been using an iPad at work since shortly after iPad 1 came out. As an EVP at a commercial bank, I use it to access e-mail, view calendars and read numerous documents. (PDFs, Word, Excel and PowerPoint) I virtually never print documents for a meeting any more.

    We probably have 10 iPads throughout the company and will probably add more as we grow.We are trying to use it for our Board meetings, without spending a fortune for some of the off the shelf solutions.

  • Scottrph

    Wow…what
    responses from the millennial’s, where is all that hate coming from?

    Burning up
    the planet by using paper? I thought trees were a renewable resource. I wonder
    if they read the California warnings “iPad – This device contains materials
    that have been known to cause warts, asthma, cancer, death”

    This is another
    example of group think, fads, fashion…you have to do the latest and greatest or
    you are not progressive?  Kind of like
    how many in the government think, the only way to address a problem is to throw
    money at it and if it doesn’t work you need to spend more money and if it doesn’t
    work you need to spend more money, etc. 
    All the technology in Washington DC, calculators, only have a “+” key
    and none of them have a “-“ key.

    These are
    the same group of people that sit at home and are really living because they
    have 958 friends on Facebook they have never met in the real world. 

    The iPad is
    just a tool, like a pen, hammer, wrench, and they are useful for specific tasks,
    no more, no less.

    I have to
    go do 60 miles on my bicycle with a group of real people, with real

  • shelpike

    I am an elementary teacher and I use the iPad to have students look up information that comes up during a lesson, I use it for email, calendar, collaborating with other teachers (Dropbox), storing thousands of pages of reference materials that I don’t have to lug back and forth and keeping a handy record of notes from all Prof. development sessions and meetings (PaperDesk). I also allow students to play math games on it as a reward. Students can record themselves reading (Audiomemo, Fotobabble) and use the speech-to-text apps to assist with writing (Dragon Dictation). Hoping to use Mobile Mouse to allow students to control the Smartboard computer from their seats with the iPad (depending on IT permissions).

    I use it to participate in online discussions for my Master’s of Education courses and to read and respond to teachers enrolled in an online course that I teach. I can get so much done while waiting for appointments that I don’t mind the wait at the doctor’s so much.

  • tschnick

    i use it to show video to prospects, and to skype with my support staff when on a sales call, and my prospect has a question i cannot answer. way cool and always a conversation starter….

  • CharliK

    Flash isn’t as big a deal as it used to be. Many sites have either App’d up to get around the Flash issue or switched their sites. 

    Heck even porn is dumping Flash and they were the biggest adopters of it for web video in the beginning. 

    And the fact that hundreds of iPads are being bought a week and popping up at all sorts of businesses while the other kids are canceling their tablets rather refutes your claim against the iPad as the ‘be all and end all’

  • CharliK

    Hmmm. if only Steven Seagal hadn’t gone reality tv. I smell the plot for Under Siege 3. 

    course he’d look like a total douche putting the Ryback on Justin “I’m a Mac” Long. Maybe they can get him some body guards for Casey to beat up

  • CharliK

    No to mention you can use them what it would look like when visitors go to the site on THEIR iPads. something not all designers keep in mind these days

  • CharliK

    Budget is still in the production office although they do email pdfs to us. 

    scheduling etc right now is just Pages and Numbers (it was word and excel) before. But we have a producers kid that wants to be an app designer trying to make us an app. If he can pull it off I’m going to push him to put it in the store for other sets. 

    demos are built on computer and exported out to quicktime 

  • CharliK

    Sweetie, unlike texting and tweeting, there’s no limits on how many letters you can use. So why don’t you try actually writing things out. 

About the author

Mike ElganMike Elgan writes about technology and culture for a wide variety of publications. Follow Mike on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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