Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘tablet computing

Think Big, iPad Small

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It’s a big day in tech, all the way around.

We’ll continue our mission to “Think Big” here in Las Vegas at the IBM Information On Demand 2012 event.

We’ll also get a glimpse into how big the mobile market is becoming as Facebook announces its earnings after the bell later today.

But of course, one of the biggest stories of the day has to do with the downsizing of one of our favorite tablets, the Apple iPad.

Rumors abound about the new iPad “Mini,” which I very look forward to referring to as my “MiniMePad.”

If you’re using an Apple device (including an AppleTV), you should be able to tune in to watch the announcement live starting at 10 AM PST.

If not, there will be shortage of bloggers out there giving you the blow-by-blow.

Why am I so interested in the Mini iPad?

First, Apple set the bar for tablets with the original iPad, which I still use to this day.

Second, the smaller form factor is raising a lot of questions about price. Can Apple afford to take down the price from $499 to the $200 range, especially when their iPod Touch is still priced at $299 (the last time I looked…I can’t look this morning, as the Apple store is down getting busy for the Mini introduction).

I’d say the question more is, can they afford not to? Like the early browser wars, this is a market AND mindshare battle.  iOS and Android are lined up for a full cage death match, and if Apple’s to maintain its market share lead of 69.6% (as of Q2 2012), they’re going to have to compete aggressively on price.

The new Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDs are coming in at under $200, and while I doubt that’s a price Apple can match, they’re going to have to strive to stay somewhat price competitive, figuring the Apple premium could be worth $100 per unit or so.

Third, the original iPad was the starting line of the shift away from desktop-centric technology, and as Microsoft attempts to come into this market with its Surface tablet, a key question emerges: Can Apple continue to entice productivity hounds away from the Microsoft ecosystem, despite the advent of the Surface, and stay price competitive in a burgeoning competitive market?

As for me, you might ask, will I buy one?  I’ll never say never. The iPad has become a full-on personal entertainment and productivity workhorse for me, an elegant blended use case of both the personal and the professional.

I watch movies on the thing, I use it for blogging and broadcasting, I play games, I do email, I read books, I hold conference calls.  There’s not a lot I can’t do on it.

So, I can easily justify the upgrade, and I’d love to get a faster iPad, but like with the original, I may wait for an initial software upgrade so Apple has the opportunity to work some of the kinks out.

Then again, I may not.

In Search Of The Mobile Enterprise

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The new mobile business model — with anytime, anywhere transactions and a blurring of lines between corporate and individual — can make your IT organization feel like it has lost control. For all the good that comes with mobilizing your workforce, there are challenges: maintaining security and compliance, managing multiple device platforms and addressing complex mobile requirements.

You can’t throw a rock these days without hitting a new smartphone or tablet device.

Last week, it was the iPhone 5 and the new Kindle Fire HD. Tomorrow, HTC’s expected to introduce some new mobile products.

And Apple still has yet to introduce the Apple “mini” iPad, currently expected in October.

The move to mobile computing raises some intriguing questions about the nature of work. What is it? Where does it take place?

As someone who’s worked their entire career at IBM, I can certainly attest to the idea that here, increasingly, work is not a place you go but what you do.

I’ve spent nearly nine full years working from my home, and several of those years, spent at least a week a month living (and working) in airplanes.

As the IBM “Services for the Mobile Enterprise” team recently observed, the new workplace is now undeniably a mobile enterprise.

CIOs On Mobile: 66% Plan To Increase Mobile Investments in 2012

Which makes it no big surprise that 66 percent of CIOs plan to increase investments in mobile services in the next year.

And of course, there’s the “BYOD” movement to contend with (“Bring Your Own Device”), with employees expecting whatever device they have to fit into their corporate environment.

This new mobile business model, with anytime, anywhere transactions and a blurring of lines between corporations and individuals, can send IT folks into a conniption fit.

Despite all the goodness — for employees, management, and most importantly, the bottom line — there are challenges that accompany this mobilization of the workforce.

Issues such as maintaining security and compliance.  Managing multiple device platforms.  Addressing complex mobile requirements.

IBM recently released this interactive infographic that has some interesting statistics I thought worthwhile sharing here.

To start, 35 percent of the world’s total workforce is expected to be mobile by 2013.

Here in the U.S., up to 72.2 percent of workers are already plugged in remotely.

This year, some 43 billion mobile applications are expected to be downloaded.

And yet on average, mobile workers spend only a total of 28 minutes a day on technology distractions…there’s too much work to do, otherwise!

The Mobile Upside: 240 Extra Hours Worked Per Worker Per Year

And here’s the upside bonus for you managers: Such mobile workers work an average of 240 extra hours per year.

But as the infographic observes, with those benefits come expectations.

This new mobile generation of workers demands flexibility. Today’s employees expect to use their own devices and applications at work to access information and social networks at will. They even value this flexibility more than a higher-paying salary (Can you say “Mobile enables work/life balance?”).

Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report in 2011 found that 66 percent of workers said they would take a job with less pay and more flexibility in device usage, access to social media, and mobility than a higher-paying job without such flexibility.

Mobile Presents New Challenges

So, as businesses work to embrace these new productive mobile work habits, they must also face the requisite challenges asscoated with the growing number of devices, networks, and applications. Enterprises need a solution that intertwines cross-platform compatibility, security, cost management, compliance, and the inevitable complexity.

By way of example, 21 percent of mobile workers say they have experienced a security issue related to their smartphone (lost, stolen, hacked, virus) in the last year alone.

Fifty-four percent of enterprises rate security and authentication as one of the two top concerns for their mobile environments.

Seventeen percent say they need to meet compliance/regulatory requirements in mobile environments.

And yet 45 percent of IT departments say they aren’t prepared policy- and technology-wise to handle this more borderless, mobile workforce.

Bridging Your Mobile Gap

To overcome those challenges, enterprises need an experienced partner with a strategy capable of spanning the distance between mobile advances and existing infrastructures.

Those early adopters are leaping ahead: They’re already experiencing 20 percent cost savings and productivity improvements.

And 75 percent of CIOs say mobility solutions are a top priority of theirs for 2012.

On the mobile front, IBM workers are walking their own mobile talk, connecting to 10 different networks located around the world, and with 100K+ of them connecting using their own handheld devices (using at least five supported device platforms).

IBM’s own app store, Whirlwind, offers over 500 applications and was recognized by CIO Magazine with the “CIO 100 Top Innovation Award.”

All of that experience IBM has had with its own mobile enablement has informed and shaped the company’s customer-facing mobile initiatives, both through product development and through the introduction of its mobile services offerings.

IBM can help your staff develop the right strategy and governance and deliver a wide range of mobile enterprise services to create a more productive, connected workplace.

You can read about some of those offerings here.

Below The Surface

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So Microsoft went and introduced a tablet computer, huh?

I watched some of the live blogging coverage from the Milk studios in LA, where the announcement was made.

And though it seemed like an interesting product, doing Surface means I’d have to do Windows, and I’ve done everything possible to minimize my exposure to Windows, and I’m going to keep it that way.

I learned as much as possible about Mac OS X.  I’m now getting much more familiar with Linux (Ubuntu 12.04, in particular). And so I’venot been in a steady Windows environment for some time now.

And you know what?  I really don’t miss it.

This has nothing to do with the old OS/2 v. Windows grudge match.

I’ve long been over that.  It simply has to do with what environment is it that helps me get my job done day in and day out, and be productive with minimum interference from  the realities and demands of the operating system.

And the UNIX-based Mac OS X does that.

So, for the most part, does Linux (although Linux can be a little more of a challenge until you get the basic hang of it as an OS).

Windows, on the other hand, I always felt was intruding in my productivity.

There was always something going wrong in Windows for me.  There was always something crashing.  Something needing to be moved from one place to another for something else to work.  Some file to associate with some thing to get the app to open. And on and on and on.

Mac’s don’t do that.  For me, Macs just work.

As much as I liked PC guy, Mac guy definitely won the computing platform war.

And I have a feeling that will be the case with tablets as well.

First, Apple has a two year head start.  Apple has a massive application install base, one that increasingly links the Macbook line with the iPad, and an audience of several million happy iPad campers.

But, admittedly, Microsoft does  have going for them the massive Windows footprint and install base of their productivity apps stretching eons into the past.

If they can convince the market the Surface is a productivity tool, and capitalize on that massive footprint, there could be a there there.

But if they think they’ll compete on a feature match as a leisure tablet device, I think the Surface will soon sink well below it.

Written by turbotodd

June 19, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Old New Toys

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I’ve been following this whole HP TouchPad fire sale with much amusement.

I stopped by my friendly Best Buy late last week to take a stroll and try to avoid temptation (it’s a willpower thing) to buy something, anything.

The HP TouchPads were sitting on their pedestal at the end of aisle, all lonely and glancing wantonly over the aisle at the iPad 2s, which had actual humans picking them up and playing with them.

The whole thing reminded me of “Toy Story 3,” where the old toys never get played with by the kids.  Only in this saga, the old toys were the new toys, and the new toys old, and it was the old new toys getting played with and not the new old toys!

Then, HP announces its decision that it’s going to sell of its PC unit (Wait a minute, didn’t we do that back in 2005??), and lowers the price on the HP TouchPad –- a liquidation event of the HP Way kind –- offering up 16GB TouchPads for a bargain basement $99!!

So, then the market, with complete rational unrationality, goes nutso, and the next thing you know, HP TouchPads are selling on eBay for upwards of $300!

Mon dieu, I love this industry.  And people wonder why I’ve stuck around here for 20 years?  It’s never a dull moment!

Although I have to say, I’m not completely in love with the fact that HP’s leaving the PC biz.

I bought one of their computers last year.  I’m an equal opportunity PC purchaser.  I own an Acer netbook, a MacBook and MacBook Pro, an IBM ThinkPad, the HP Pavilion, and this Dell Latitude that I’ve been using recently and am really digging.

I bought the HP ‘cause I loved the keyboard – it felt just like the MacBook keyboard, only without the MacBook price.  Hey, when you write a lot, keyboards matter.

I think I got the HP Pavilion at Office Depot for also a good price, around $550 (with rebate).  Now I’m wondering if I can put it up for sell on eBay for $1,000, see if I can’t tap into some of that HP sentimentality!

Of course, I paid some beaucoup bucks for my first gen iPad back in April of 2010.  And I didn’t even have good reason to buy the thing – I just gave in to temptation.  But after over a year’s use now, and having traveled the globe with the thing, I have to say, I’m a pretty happy iPad camper.

I’ve used it for everything from reading books and magazines and newspapers online (my primary use), to playing video games, to watching Netflix, to writing blog posts.  Tablet computing’s time has come, although if you forced me to admit it, I’d explain that I really do miss the mouse while using an iPad.

Someone still needs to build the better mouse for tablets!

In the meantime, I’m going to share soon the fruits of another new technology experience I’ve had, that of working with Nuance’s Dragon Dictation 11 software.

People have worried me for years about the day I would start talking to my computer.  I’m here to tell you, that day has come — and it’s not pretty.

The moment it starts talking back, I’ll know I’m in trouble.

Written by turbotodd

August 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

The Mouseless, Keyboardless Tablet

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With the holiday lull rapidly approaching, it’s time to visit some of those technology issues that have either been backburnered or pushed to the side in favor of more pressing tidings.

First on the agenda is the whole tablet v. laptop debate.

My take is, the whole thing’s a non-starter.  There is no debate.

Call me old-fashioned, but I like typing on a keyboard.  The real deal, physical keyboard.

Way back, it was those old clackety-clack IBM keyboards that you could hear and feel the letters being impressed.

Before that, it was my first Compaq luggable.

And before that, it was an old-timey Remington Rand portable. On those, if you didn’t hit the key with a good, committed stroke, nothing appeared on the paper.

Paper, the young whippersnappers ask?  What’s paper?

That’s the stuff we used to write to one another on before there were iPhones.

Of course, I have an iPad.  I’m an early adopter, curmudgeon though I can be.

And you’ll have to pry my cold, dead hands away from my iPad.  I love the thing.  It’s a true Renaissance device.

I use it now for a variety of things.

I play NFL Madden 11 on it (which I bought on sale for $.99 at the Apple store the other day!).  I also play Angry Birds along with the rest of Western Civilization.)

I read and respond to emails.  I surf the Interwebs.  I chat with people.

I make Skype calls on it.  I watch Netflix.  I read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

I check and update my calendar.  I download and read PDFs.

I even use it to blog on occasion.  But typically only when my Apple wireless keyboard is nearby.

Maybe I’m too tactile for my own good.

I’ve tried using the Apple virtual keyboard (the “software”keyboard included with the iPad).  It’s fine for a quick two-line email.

It’s useless when I’m trying to write a long blog post.  My brain can’t seem to reach through my fingers into that glass surface.  The keystrokes just can’t find their way back into the blog post.

I don’t know how to explain it.  It’s a tactile thing.

I’ve also found the iPad useless for doing some of my basic everyday work, like building presentations and updating documents.

It’s not that the iPad couldn’t do it.  But when I try, I miss my mouse too much.

I find myself reaching for a mouse that’s not there, to do something on my iPad that I can’t do.

And why shouldn’t it be that way? I’ve been using a mouse for 20-something years!  It’s like an extension of my person.

And then suddenly, you want me to do real, productive work without a real keyboard and a mouse?

You might as well tell me to try and hit a 325-yard drive with my Odyssey putter!

I will say this: I recently discovered a phenomenal and simple word processing application for the iPad.

It’s called, simply, “Writer.”

It cost me $5 on the iApp store in iTunes.

In Writer, you can’t change the fonts.  You can’t do any bold or italicizing.  There are no windows or drop down menus.

You can work in one document at a time, and then save your work up into the Google Docs cloud. And it works beautifully with the Apple wireless keyboard.

It’s kind of like working back in Wordperfect 5.1 for DOS (which you’ll remember from a previous post, was my favorite software application of all time).

Because ultimately, the “Writer” application lets you focus on the one thing you need it most to do: To write.

Imagine that, a software application that lets you focus on the thing it was originally written for.

Now, if I can just keep from switching back and forth between it and Angry Birds I might actually get some real work done.

Blogger’s Note: Turbo’s taking some time off through early January to visit with friends and family, and to generally catch his breath.  He reserves the right in his holiday solace to blog as frequently or as little as his boredom and inspiration demands.

Written by turbotodd

December 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm

The Apple iTablet Podcast

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Scott Laningham and I got together via Skype this afternoon to debrief on the Apple iPad tablet announcement.

As I joked in the podcast, the iPad looks like an iPhone for for the Jolly Green Giant, but don’t mistake the seeming limitations of the razor for the giant opportunity to sell more digital razor blades.

Scott and Turbo Apple iPad Debrief Podcast (12:34, MP3)

Written by turbotodd

January 28, 2010 at 1:26 am

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