Is the iPad right for your business?

Dropbox is just one of the many tools on the Apple iPad and other tablets that can be exploited by businesses.

Dropbox is just one of the many tools on the Apple iPad and other tablets that can be exploited by businesses.

Apple launched the iPad 2 tablet in March and just recently it was officially introduced in Malta. Last year Apple penetrated the market with the introduction of their first iPad, which roughly sold over 15 million. This year’s target sale is to sell over 40 million worldwide.

For some people, a tablet can be a replacement of their netbook or laptop while they are on the go. Looking closely at different product review websites, a lot of advantages are explicitly expressed compared to the traditional laptop and to the initial launch of the first iPad. The second generation iPad 2 is thin, weighs less, takes less space, has a large number of quality applications and gives you a 10-hour battery life.

This brilliant piece of kit suits everyone. There is no perfect answer, whether it will be of an advantage to your business, as it has lots of features, which are surely useful to every type of business.

Many say that one of the main uses of the iPad is for reading, e-mailing, and browsing. However, an interesting feature that can be used by business users is the dual cameras, especially the front-facing one. They are ideal for videoconferencing.

A nice application which will help you keep track of your contacts is a business card scanner. One of the business card scanner apps is WorldCard. This takes a picture of business cards and fills in all the relevant fields in the contact section, such as the name, phone, e-mail, company, and job title.

Have you ever thought of printing from your own device? Yes, the iPad 2 lets you print directly via Wi-Fi. With a few taps, apps such as AirPrint let you print without needing to install new software or drivers, and no cables.

Apart from several apps to boost your productivity, the iPad can be easily synced with Outlook, Facebook and Google Calendar to help keep track of your meetings and contacts.

How will the tablet revolution change the way we live? Imagine a restaurant for example where an iPad can reduce the need of waiters taking your order, as this can be done through the iPad which is wirelessly connected to an ordering system in the kitchen.

This would make your ordering faster and it would also make it easier to add an extra ingredient to your favourite pizza.

We can take this even further and have a secure payment gateway to pay your bill when you’re done.

One of the things which fascinates me in the iPad is that every person can use it to suit his/her particular needs thanks to the large number of quality apps in the App Store with hundreds of new ones coming out each day.

Other interesting apps include Skype, one of the most popular applications for video conferencing, instant messaging, calls and SMS texting.

Dropbox is a cloud service which lets you bring all your photos, documents and video anywhere. This application has still to set its roots in Malta, as it is not so popular at the moment.

However, all the people who use it praise it a lot. The best feature about Dropbox is that it lets you have a common repository on the cloud which can be synced from your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

TeamViewer is already quite popular with people who want to remotely access their computer at home or at the office from another laptop or computer. There is an app which enables you to view your computer from your iOS or Android devices. Evernote is an improvement on the traditional notepad as it provides an online notebook which lets you clip audio, text, images and more by saving it to a central web repository that can be synced with most mobile devices, PC and Mac.

Although this article is about the Apple iPad, most of the other tablets offer similar features and can also be used to make your work more effective and efficient.

Mr Sammut is an iPhone and iPad owner and works as a web developer.


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