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ATPM 16.10
October 2010


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The iPad Chronicles

by Robert Paul Leitao,

On the Road

I’m attending an off-site conference for work and brought along my iPad as an all-in-one productivity solution.

For the first time since purchase, I activated the 3G service. The process was almost uncomfortably easy. I need to remind myself to cancel the service before it automatically renews 30 days from today. The 3G service is fast and responsive.

Equipped with the iPad keyboard dock, I’m able to quickly respond to e-mails, and I’m using the keyboard to type this. I’ve also been using the iPad and keyboard dock at work for the past few weeks. At first, I thought moving between the touch screen and the keyboard in the absence of a mouse would be awkward. Quite the contrary. Pinch and zoom is a decided benefit in reading correspondence and in composing responses. If I have a lament, it’s that the keyboard dock cannot be used while the iPad is enclosed in the Apple case; portrait positioning is the only option.

Just for sport, I want to see how far I can stretch the 250 MB 3G data quota for $14.99. No media-rich Web sites or apps until I’m back on Wi-Fi.

A Road Warrior’s Toolkit

I don’t know if it’s one of Murphy’s Laws, but work crises tend to rise in degrees of severity proportional to one’s distance from the office. The phone calls started yesterday about 8 PM. By 9 PM today, there was a second problem that needed immediate attention.

I had desired to relegate checking office e-mail correspondence to the late evenings in order to focus on the content of the multi-day conference at which I’m in attendance. Circumstances denied me that choice.

This morning I was sitting in the front row of a conference workshop session while configuring my iPad to send and receive office e-mails rather than use the Web interface for correspondence. In less than five minutes, about 50 e-mail messages came streaming into my inbox. It was the 24 messages about a singular issue that captured my attention. Within 15 minutes, while listening to the workshop speaker, I had dispatched responses.

Following this early morning session, I learned that the iPad is a wonderfully stingy device. I set myself up in an open area by the conference exhibits and the free Wi-Fi service kicked in. The iPad is programmed to switch to Wi-Fi from 3G whenever it’s available. It saved on the data quota on the monthly AT&T 3G plan while I kept working without interruption.

By early afternoon, it was beyond doubt that the best road warrior toolkits include an iPhone and an iPad. I was talking on one of the devices while reading and sending e-mails on the other. The PDF files that were sent my way were read and forwarded to the office for immediate follow-up.

I’m now used to having my iPad at the office all day. Today proved that the iPad can amply assist with crisis management from remote locations as well.

I’m seeing fewer notebook PCs at meetings and conferences these days, but smartphones are in abundance. Smartphones are good for quick notes and e-mail replies. I’m preparing this entry using the Pages application for the iPad. For the things I want to do, and for those things that just have to get done while away from the office, a smartphone is good. But an iPhone and an iPad in combination is simply better. Enclosed in the Apple iPad case and stowed in my bag, the iPad is lighter than any laptop I’ve ever carried and can be used to get at least as much done.

iPad Travel Essentials

In my travels with the iPad, there are three items I now consider to be essentials. The first item is iKlear. It’s no secret that the iPad’s screen becomes quickly smudged. Don’t even think of using a hotel towel to clean the face of your favorite Apple device. It’s a safe and effective cleaner for your digital gear. The cloths that come in the package pick up anything that’s been left on the screen.

The second item is the Apple iPad Case. Both my backpack and my business carry bag have laptop compartments that shield the contents from jostling and shock. The case is an extra layer of protection and assists in setting the iPad in a number of different positions for work or display throughout the day.

The third item is AppleCare. The 90 days of initial phone support pass quickly. I rely on the iPad at work, at home, and when away from both work and home. If an issue comes up, I want answers quickly. I consider AppleCare a necessary investment for Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

Over the next few weeks, I will be using the iPad VGA Adapter for Keynote presentations. I’ll provide feedback on the uses of the iPad as presentation device in a future issue.

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Reader Comments (5)

Oliver Texeira · October 2, 2010 - 12:41 EST #1
If I have a lament, it’s that the keyboard dock cannot be used while the iPad is enclosed in the Apple case; portrait positioning is the only option.

I use the Apple case and an Apple Bluetooth keyboard (not the keyboard dock). It allows me to position the iPad in landscape mode at a comfortable distance for my eyesight and to type easily on the full-sized keyboard.
Patrick · October 2, 2010 - 19:54 EST #2
"Within 15 minutes, while listening to the workshop speaker, I had dispatched responses."

I think you meant: "Within 15 minutes, while PRENTENDING TO listen to the workshop speaker, I had dispatched responses."

Also, you're infantalizing (or castrating) your employees back in the office. Your message to them is "You are incompetent, only I can handle important issues".
Charles · October 2, 2010 - 23:18 EST #3
Hah! Agree with Patrick's point. "Multi-tasking in Business is a problem, not a skill-set. And truly, what is SO important that couldn't be delegated if associates/clients know you're out of pocket for other biz? Beyond that, the essence of the post still comes across powerfully.
Robert Paul Leitao (ATPM Staff) · October 3, 2010 - 01:52 EST #4

I don't know the source of your misplaced anger. But you are reading far more into the text than was written.

Many of us are able to multi-task. For example, have you ever listened to the radio while driving or carried on a conversation with a passenger in the car while doing the same?

For multi-tasking in a work or work travel situation I do recommend the Apple iPad. It does make the process much more efficient. Multi-tasking is also what iOS 4 is all about. It allows for multi-tasking while using iOS devices such as the Apple iPhone and iPod touch. iOS4 will soon be available for the Apple iPad as well. I'm looking forward to the update.

In today's world it's not uncommon for people to use digital devices while attending workshops and conferences. Several fellow conference attendees were using laptops and smartphones for taking notes or transacting business while attending the same conference sessions.

Having attended many conferences with laptop in tow, I much prefer the Apple iPad. It's small size and light weight makes it an excellent work companion while away from home or office and when at home and the office.

In your post you made the curious assumption I have "employees." I don't.

I do have co-workers and colleagues. In today's fast-paced world (as I'm sure you know), it's important for each person to do their own work. Just because I'm away from the office doesn't make my work someone else's responsibility.

Alas, my co-workers and colleagues they have their own work to accomplish under tight deadlines and without being distracted or burdened by my assignments. As the text suggests, good technology can assist in resolving unexpected challenges especially when away from the office.

I won't assume that you have an Apple iPad or that you are in the market for such a device. But I do recommend the device as an excellent productivity tool especially when work needs to be completed from an off-site location.

It's especially helpful for those of us who don't have "employees" to do our work for us.
Grover watson · October 13, 2010 - 14:46 EST #5
I brought my iPad with me here to Thailand on my holiday. I'm finding it is just the right form factor for reading the online papers while I eat breakfast in the
morning and reviewing the photos I took the previous day. It was great on my non-stop flight from
LA to Bangkok until it's battery power died and my in seat power connection quit. I also noticed many iPad knock-offs for sale in Thailand using the android operating system. Steve Jobs lobs a deep one and the rest of the industry chases after the ball. The form factor has really knocked personal computing on it's tail.

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