There is probably some rule against using my iPad the way that I do. Its never synced to a host PC, I don’t have any games on it, and I don’t have more than one page of apps/web apps. And yet, I’m quite content with it. Yesterday found me extending it a bit more, but nothing out of the ordinary – in a sense.
This week, I am teaching over at NC A&T on SharePoint. One of the people in the class has a veritable mosaic of screens she works with. One of those happens to be an iPad and she poked me with the knowledge that GoToMyPC’s iPad app was now available. This is great for me as with a few of my clients, I use GoToMyPC in a virtual setting. Hopefully, things work out so that I can get at least part of what remains in this week’s classes to be taught via the app on my iPad, while another PC is logged in and displaying things on-screen for whom I’m training.
The other thing, and I mentioned this, is that I don’t sync to iTunes. Yes, this means that my iPad ends up with the very generic and unmodified name iPad, but it also means that I can’t do updates unless I get on someone’s PC or get to an Apple store.
Since I was in Greensboro teaching yesterday, I made my way to the Apple store there and asked if they would do that for me. I lucked out that one of the Apple folks in front of me was doing iOS 4.3 updates to devices on the floor. That made me pretty happy as I was able to get an update and it didn’t even take 10min. Even better, this update didn’t wipe all the apps and preferences from my device – so I could continue on just as I live.
Living like this with the iPad (and my N97) pretty much convinces me that there’s not much that we really should need standard PCs/laptops for. Yes, there’s a need for input, or even a more comfortable working platform – but I really see that as the increasingly minority use for computers. What and where computers should be are devices that can easily be molded and adapted into whatever needs we have. In my case, I’d love to go back to a single device (dual 4in screened device would be great, running an open source would be better), but until then, I’m finding ways to expand and extend my computers. Its not normal, but its definitely extended.
I wonder what my class will think when/if I’m able to pull off working from this? Wonder if that will make them think again about the abilities of tablets in the workplace. Especially in their case, where most of what they will be working on happens in an enterprise-hosted space. Should be interesting to see where the future runs.
Side note: I really wish this latest version of iOS had those gestures. Besides allowing a bro to explore something else new with this iPad, I’m kinda certain that aside for a few cases, using gestures on a 10in screen makes more sense than not.