Apple's iPad has a niche in a lot of professions

For students, lawyers, real estate agents and others, the iPad fits a niche

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Some of these tools include terminal emulators, network testing and monitoring apps, applications for managing specific types of network devices, and even remote desktop apps that allow users to log into workstations and servers and manage them as if they were sitting in front of them. These tools can be helpful for IT workers on call because they allow for diagnosing and, where possible, resolving problems remotely. That's useful when tech employees are out of the office, on the road or dealing with a problem that strikes at 3 a.m.

Many of these IT tools are fairly useful on the iPhone, but the screen's small size can be a limitation. Simply put, the larger screen -- and the ability to view a complete display over a remote desktop or virtual network computing connection -- will be a major boon for tools used by IT professionals. The ability to build more complex user interfaces also has the potential for richer network monitoring and troubleshooting applications, and it will help users view more complete data such as network map diagrams, usage reports, help desk systems and technology references. All of those will make doing almost any type of IT task remotely easier.

Ryan Faas is a freelance writer and technology consultant specializing in Mac and multiplatform network issues. His most recent book is The iPhone for Work, published by Apress. You can find more information at www.ryanfaas.com and can e-mail Ryan at ryan@ryanfaas.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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