More thoughts on the iPad…

A colleague who read my iPad posts, asks:

1) Would you use an iPhone as well as an iPad or could you get away with an iPad a simpler smartphone / phone? .

Strange you should ask that. I was wondering it myself the other day. Especially as I have a BlackBerry that is perfectly adequate for most purposes, several Nokia eSeries devices I could use instead, and an Android phone I would really like to find time to play with – so why would I get an iPhone too (especially as I didn’t actually pay for any of those other devices). Yet I still find myself tempted every time I see one.

One challenge is: I don’t always want to carry a bag – and the iPad doesn’t fit in my pocket. If I don’t go out expecting to use the iPad (e.g. going to the coffee shop to catch up with my social network or read the newspaper) then I don’t always want to carry it with me. But there is almost nothing that the iPad doesn’t do better than an iPhone would … well, apart from making calls of course … and taking photographs … and videos … and fitting in my pocket.

So, I would use the iPad for preference when I am carrying both … but I would carry an iPhone when I would not carry an iPad.

Let’s face it … (sacrilegious though it is) … one SmartPhone is pretty much as good as another for most purposes. It’s like deciding whether you want a basic BMW 3-series, or an M3 (or, indeed, my old 840). Who wouldn’t want the M3? But the reason for choosing it instead has nothing to do with getting from A to B.

Image … Brand … Style … and that warm feeling inside that I used to feel when I came round the corner and saw my 840 sitting there waiting for me. It was summed up in the MasterCard advert … Priceless.

Of course, the BlackBerry or Android or some of the Nokia Smartphones have their own brand image too … and it is going to be really interesting to see what RIM can do with the "BlackPad" and Nokia when their Tablet devices appear … as well as what innovative startups can do with Android on Tablets. Each will have its own brand image … and appeal to people wanting another style.

The iPad is really my only Apple device. There is a MacBook sitting on the table … but I bought it for M not me. There is a lifestyle decision to be made – buy into the Apple brand proposition, and then it make sense to be MacBook and iPhone and iPad (and Apple TV and ….) But you need to accept that it is a form of (voluntary) lock-in. An easy life. Devices that just work … and work together.

I don’t mind that – after all, given the choice (and ignoring cost) I would always buy BMW, or a Bang & Olufsen…

But there is a little devil sitting on my shoulder screaming about openness too. I don’t care about that in cars, or Hi-Fi’s – there I am just a user – but I do care (a little) when it comes to IT.

So I probably wont buy 100% into Apple until I retire.

Until then … it is hard to justify investing in an iPhone when I could do 80% of what I would do with it on an iPad plus any of the SmartPhones in my drawer.

So I won’t invest my own money in a work MacBook either (… but if IBM ever offers to buy me one, then I will jump at the chance!)

2) How does the iPad fit in with the IBM LN Traveller? See also IBM iPhone special offer!

Lotus Notes Traveler support the iPad.

It uses the built in e-mail/calendar/contacts client (basically the support Apple built in to talk to Exchange). So the existing support Notes Traveller had for the iPhone exploits the iPad perfectly. Like the iPhone, the iPad supports multiple mail accounts, and these exist separately from (but in parallel to) any private mail accounts. So you can switch between private and business inboxes as you wish.

I am not sure what IBM UK will offer for employees wanting to access their e-mail from a privately owned Apple devices. I am hoping that once the service is up it will be open to everyone, not just people who subscribe to the IBM-Vodafone iPhone scheme. In which case it will just work with the iPad.

You will need to install a security profile on the device to confirm to IBM Security rules (password strength, automatic locking, etc.), and I am not sure how device wipe will work on an iPad. Initially the service will probably be limited to e-mail access, due to some security concerns about allowing generic w3 access (which would allow use of Lotus Connections, Lotus Sametime, etc.) But I am hopeful that we will find a way to relax that over time.

The IBM CIO’s strategy is clearly to allow private Smartphones to be used for business purposes. This is a natural extension of the existing strategy that most IBM employees use home broadband so it does not make sense for IBM to pay for it. Similarly, most employees will want a personal Smartphone, so it makes sense for IBM to allow them to use that instead of dictating and funding a SmartPhone choice. This is already permitted with personally funded Apple laptops.

3) Can you conjugate an APPLE device?

Absolutely (or rather, my son can – he is the Latin expert in the family … I didn’t learn Latin at school).

Hence I am iPadding a blog post now while the lady at the next table iPhones the web to research the MiFi device I told her about, and a few of weeks ago I iPadded this post about my PaddyBag.

The iPod Touch is a but harder to conjugate however (and, I still think, a branding aberration by Apple).



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