I’ve decided at the suggestion of my colleague to write a series of articles around how you can successfully use an Ipad at work to improve your productivity. I will discuss applications, accessories, uses, and even a bit about etiquette. These will all be based on my own personal experiences with my Ipad that I purchased a few months back. Many of the things I write in this series can apply to Android or Windows tablets but you will need to do the leg work to figure out what the Android/Windows alternative to my Ipad recommendation is.
To kick off the series I’ll discuss why I decided to get a Tablet and why I chose an IPad instead of an Android tablet.
Why I bought a tablet
Tablets are something I’ve been interested in for quite some time having written a post back in April 2011 discussing if you should buy a tablet. The conclusion I came to is that tablets were a novelty and not really necessary. Of course about 6 months later I changed my mind and bought one. The big inspiration for me centered around meetings. I spend every day meeting with clients, taking notes, discussing ideas, and trying to engage with them. I found that having a computer in the room clicking away formed a barrier between me and the other person in the meeting, it also proved to be a distraction. I would easily lose focus and check an email, or look something up on the web. My eyes would constantly go between my client and the computer sending a very clear message that they were did not have my 100 percent focus. In short, I was being rude and I didn’t think I was going to do anyone any favors by continuing this behavior.
Instead of a computer, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to bring a pen and paper into a meeting to take notes. I did this for years, but I tended not to reference my notebook later on and seldom took the time to transcribe my notes back into my computer. It was tedious for me so I seldom did it. I wanted to go purely digital where I wrote things down once and was able to file them right away for future use.
This is the perfect niche for a tablet. A tablet is about the size of a notebook and you can easily lay it down on the table beside you. This removes the wall that a laptop screen erects between you and the person you are speaking with. If you use a stylus, you can actually handwrite notes on the tablet which is even better as this shows you are taking notes and not surfing the net or checking email.
With a tablet I could do all I wanted around meetings with none of the drawbacks I was currently experiencing. This pushed me over the top and made me decide to make the purchase as I felt I had finally come up with a legitimate reason.
Why an IPad
I did a lot of research between IPads and Android Tablets, at the time nothing of value existed with a Windows OS on it. There were quite a few really cool Android devices on the market with really compelling features and price points. In the end it came down to the following factors that made me pick an Ipad.
- There is one size for the Ipad . This makes it easy for a developer to optimize their applications for the IPad. They can spend more time improving their application instead of working on compatibility across many devices of varying size.
- There is one company that controls the updates. One of my biggest complaints about Android is all of the skinning and customization that an OEM does on the device. Often times it is to such an extreme that Google updates are not released until the device customizations can be updated to work with the new functionality. This can lag months behind Google releases, if the updates are ever released.
- Operating system fragmentation for Android. With so many customizations and variations, there is no guarantee that the latest and greatest apps for Android would work on the device I selected. Since it is the apps that make the device worth while, this was very important to me.
I personally like Google’s open model and think it has the potential to be superior to Apple in the future. Unfortunately the “improvements” and customizations that companies and mobile carriers do on these devices fundamentally detract from the user experience and the faith that a device can stay up to date with the latest Google release and features. Show me a base Google tablet with a standard 9.7in screen, no OS customizations, and will be compatible with Google upgrades for at least two years, I’ll show you a tablet that is really worth sinking your money into.
Otherwise, if you can afford one and you are not anti Apple I still believe the IPad is the way to go.