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When I worked in agricultural software back in the early 80's we already had things like "DataLog" - hand held data capture unit for use in the dairy - I can see how a tablet would be the natural progression ... but only if it's robust enough to handle the ...erm ... "stuff" that tends to get splashed around
There a number of people in our office who do use tablets productively, and not just to play games. As a matter of fact I’ve created an application so our product can connect to a tablet or smartphone to via Bluetooth and the really cool part is the devices allows the users of our product to spend less time in the hospital.
I can be maddening though when you are in a meeting and all eye's are on the smartphones or tablets in front of the participants.
I've only had mine since Christmas, so it's early days. But...
I use it for book reading (technical in PDF and fiction in mobi/epub) and it is very useful - much lighter than the equivelent paper and at 7 inch, it fits in a pocket.
I keep my calender, shopping list(s), contacts and music on it - which I used to keep on my phone, but this is a lot easier to read.
I use it for browsing tinternet - much better than the phone.
I use it for email - much better than the phone.
I make notes, I can get documents from my NAS (or any other source).
I can even watch movies / TV and play games on it. (It runs Doom!)
It's early days, but I suspect that it is going to surplant a lot of bits and bobs I used to carry about - which makes my work easier, and my life.
Admittedly, it's not an iPad - it's a Nexus 7 - but that's because I didn't want the over-hyped, over-advertised, over-blogged, apple "product".
If you get an email telling you that you can catch Swine Flu from tinned pork then just delete it. It's Spam.
Android devices are actual ok as it's easy to add files you need - pdf etc.
iPads on the other hand are an absolutely waste of space in an office, so locked down that the only use for them is as expensive coffee mat!
The iPad would have been a great bit of kit if it wasn't for the lack of a decent operating system and its lock down by Apple.
Have a Samsung pad and that is useful as an office tool, the iPad is there as we need it for testing HML5 apps and that's about it otherwise it would have been junked months ago!
I found my 10" android tablet awesome for reading comics and e-books.
I also use it for reading news on the internet in the morning during breakfast,
control if there is traffic before going out with car,
see the weather forecast in the early morning before going for a hike in the mountains,
play simple strategic games while I'm at the toilet (Star Traders, chess ...),
skype to a friend who resides in another country while I am on the balcony.
Once they spoke of I/O devices.
Tablets have (in my opinion) powerful Output capabilities, since they can show you everything as a monitor AND they are very portable (more than notebooks: I wouldn't use a notebook while in bed with my head on the pillow, or on the small kitchen table during breakfast); on the other hand, their Input capabilities are mediocre, since the touchscreen is useful for simple tasks, but is nothing compared to the combined power of the two towers ... sorry, I meant the combined power of keypoard and mouse.
So: good to get info, bad to put data.
This means that, if you want to use it at work, from my point of view, the tablet is useful to those people who look a graph, read a note, do many meetings and speak much (i.e. Managers, commercial employees) and is not useful at all to people who do really work, as programmers, back office, data input, project managers, etc).
BTW ... a device with big output and small input capabilities didn't kick other devices out of the market: it opened instead a new market segment, thus increasing so much the revenues of those who sold it. IF it would have been a super device which was powerful both in Input and Output, then, probably, it would have kicked out out of the market desktops, notebooks, netbooks, and the like: that would have been unwise for the profits of Apple, Acer, Samsung, etc...
Of course, that is my opinion: feel free to criticize.
Tablets are very well suited for jobs that do not involve creating much contents but are primarily consuming information. In my opinion tablets are great for reading books (pdf or whatever), browsing the net, watching a movie, looking at some fancy manager dashboard stuff... etc... you can imagine plenty of professional use cases for such patterns.
The owner and COO where I work will not be caught without theirs. They use it for up to date reports on the processes in the plant . Go to a sales meeting in any office and they have their tablet with fresh data on it to yell at salespeople, etc...A number of our traveling salespeople use them out in the field for the same reasons. Fresh up to date inventory at a click of a button.
Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder
Be careful which toes you step on today, they might be connected to the foot that kicks your butt tomorrow.
depends on the task. I wouldn't do anything heavy like programming or photo editing with it,but in my kids' school eg they use it for attendance records. it's good to get/store documents from the cloud and sales people could have their sales application on it. For presenting catalogs or information it is also useful.
I can imagine a bunch of other stuff, but you're right that it is not for the normal average office use.
Yes actually, I own an iPad, and a Nexus 7.
I've written an Android application which connects to a WCF Server and pulls data from our system.
A small learning curve using Eclipse and Android SDK + Java but nothing too major.
I use the calendar on mine, and I have installed several apps for things like document editing, drawing, weather, the cloud, etc. I also have Angry Birds (all of them), as well as Amazing Alex and Bad Piggies. I also have Python on there, along with Codea and a syntax highlighting text editor called Textastic. I do have a few other apps, mostly just for extending things. I have a graphing calculator there as well.
I also browse CodeProject on it as well. Just don't like the 'keyboard' on that thing, and I am thinking of getting an external one for it.
I can see why you're getting upset. However, I would like to say that there is a niche for these tablets to become useful in a work environment.
My buddy has told me on numerous occasions that when he has to run an inventory in a no-network zone he first writes everything down on a piece of paper. Then when he returns to his cubicle he writes down again everything in an excel spreadsheet and then upload it. He has made a mention of this to his supervisor and they are in the works of making a phone app for this and as soon as he is in wireless range all the info will be uploaded without him worrying about it. In his stressful environment this is much needed.
On the other hand in my work environment having a tablet is not practical at all. If you have one its most likely for entertainment purposes only.
I used to have pretty much the same opinion but have recently started looking at some areas of our work (servicing aircraft engines) where they make a lot of sense.
We need to reference electronic manuals, send emails, take photographs, use our ERP system for updating component records, all whilst clambering around / under a 3-ton mess of cables, pipes and very expensive metalwork. A tablet or pad easily wins over a laptop in this instance, it's just sad that they are perceived as executive tools, to be used by executive errrr, let's just say executives.
Email, Calendar, meeting notes, looking up stuff, taking notes, editing google docs, and then for dev it's purely for testing. I also do all my news reading on the iPad (which is why I also have an iPad mini).
In general, though, the ability to just pull out the iPad wherever I am and plow through a bunch of emails is huge, and the ability to do a little surface wiht a decent sized screen (no, not even the Galaxy has a big enough screen for decent surfing) makes a big difference in getting things done.