What does the new iPad mean to business?

Expect it to push the bring-your-own-device trend in the workplace

1 2 3 4 Page 3
Page 3 of 4

Companies that already have a significant iPad population and the needed back-end support for them through mobile management platforms, business volume purchases of iOS apps and support processes will be less likely to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon. The number of iPads in the workplace, whether employer- or employee-owned, at the end of 2012 is likely to determine which tablet dominates the workplace for the next few years.

It's easy to assume that Microsoft will make quick headway, but it's far too early to make an accurate call on this. This is doubly true if you consider that low-cost Windows on ARM (WOA) tablets won't come with support for enterprise management or Active Directory integration. These tablets will likely be the ones to compete with the iPad on cost and features because x86 tablets running Windows 8 and offering full Active Directory and group policy support are expected to cost significantly more.

In fact, Apple's mobile device management (MDM) framework in iOS seems likely to provide more enterprise capabilities out of the box than WOA tablets. Paired with an MDM solution, which many businesses have already adopted for iPad and iPhone users, the iPad may be a more enterprise-grade tablet than low-cost Windows alternatives. Every iPad that Apple gets into the workplace this year is a tiny bit of insurance against losing market share down the road.

AirPlay + iPad = Apple TV at work?

One of the features I highlighted when Apple unveiled OS X Mountain Lion last month was the ability to create a wireless presentation system using the Apple TV. The same thing can be done with iOS5 on the new iPad, the iPad 2, or the iPhone 4S -- all of which support wireless video mirroring of the device display to any HDTV. Older iOS devices can also wirelessly display content via an Apple TV using AirPlay, though only with apps that specifically support AirPlay and with some limitations on what can be displayed.

This makes the Apple TV, which was just updated last week, a potentially useful device for business, whether paired with an iPad, iPhone, or Mac. (You'll be able to mirror a Mac's display via AirPlay when OS X Mountain Lion ships this summer, though there are a couple of work-around apps that do so already.) Apple isn't really pushing its "hobby" device as a business solution, but the fact is that the Apple TV works great as one. And Apple's reticence to do so hasn't stopped some companies like business intelligence developer MicroStrategy from building Apple TV/AirPlay support into their products. The video on their site really drives the point home.

That said, the third-generation Apple TV doesn't offer a big leap in business potential over its predecessor. The main change is that the device, like the iPad, offers higher-resolution capabilities and can finally reach full 1080p HD output. That's more likely to be of use for home theater than in a conference room.

Apple Configurator as a mobile management option

Apple Configurator is a new free app for Macs running Lion. It allows a single Mac to manage an unlimited number of iPads and other iOS devices (though only 30 can be connected and managed at a given time). Configurator is based on the features of the iPhone Configuration Utility, Apple's first stab at iOS device management. iPhone Configuration Utility is still available for OS X and Windows and has been updated for iOS 5.1.

1 2 3 4 Page 3
Page 3 of 4
7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon