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ECPA Wire: Industry Issues

Have iPad Will Travel by David Lewis

Friday, February 4, 2011   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Sheri Toomb
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iPad Will Travel

David Lewis
Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Baker Publishing Group

E-Link, February 2011

Someone recently asked me if I've been leaving my laptop at home since the purchase of an iPad. My response was that yes, I'm now leaving my laptop at the office when I travel. I'd like to share with you my own personal style that allows me to do this. It may not fit your needs, but it seems to work well for me. Even though one has many of the same programs and apps on a smart phone I prefer the larger screen of the iPad for medium to heavy daily use while traveling. Yes, this iPad is a 3G model with 32 gigs of memory. Since it is used for a significant amount of email a small wireless keyboard was also part of the initial purchase. The keyboard is really helpful in taking meeting notes and doing quantities of email since one can type so much faster on the keyboard than on the screen.

The main reason I took a laptop on trips over the past two decades was that it was the best device to do email, work on spreadsheets and WORD documents, look at ads and covers on a larger screen, use PowerPoint presentations and have the "in office" experience on the road. I've been using a laptop since the early days of Prodigy and 800# phone modem using hotel phone lines. Even after the release of many excellent smart-phones, which are able to keep the email connection running day and night, I still carried a laptop for its larger screen and the PowerPoint presentations.

Now that the iPad has arrived is allows me to do nearly everything that my laptop did but in a much more compact and easier to use package. In my case, the iPad is a personal purchase – not a business expense. Since that is the case I'm very comfortable putting all of my personal email and personal apps on the device as well as my business applications. Company policy and my personal preference have been to keep any personal data off my company laptop. Now that the iPad is my own device I'm very comfortable combining all of my data on it. This is much more convenient to have everything on the one device.

People often ask me what apps I'm using to stay connected to the office. I'm happy to share a couple my favorites but there are so many possibilities that I'm still searching for better ones. My primary connection to email is using the basic email client on the iPad. It allows for as many different email addresses as you have. For me that is a single personal email account and a single work account. For reading most attachments to emails I've found Office2 HD gives me the most consistent response and view for WORD and EXCEL files. I've found it more reliable to carry the presentations on a thumb drive and use a local computer. I'm beginning to experiment with using QuickOffice for PP, but I'll need to purchase the appropriate cable to use it with a projector.

For industry news having the Linkedin app IN is very useful as well as "Twitter" and "Facebook". SKYPE makes a very good backup for outgoing telephone calls using the iPad when you only have a wi-fi signal. During the Digital Book World event in New York last week, these social media apps kept me up to date on that event, the people who were actively messaging from it as well as the industry action outside of the event.

What I give up when traveling with the iPad is access to daily interactive sales history files and the company database files. Fortunately my sales team in the office sends me specific information via email. It is not interactive but it is sufficient to know the basic details until I get back. Sometime in 2011 we hope to upgrade our system to allow access to these files via an iPad app.

For additional information about being able to use iPad @ work, check out the March 2011 print edition of MacWorld. 


Michael Covington says...
Posted Monday, February 7, 2011
In that case Pete, wouldn't the new MacBook Air be the best of both worlds?
Pete Larson says...
Posted Monday, February 7, 2011
I, too, get that question quite often, but my answer is still no. As you correctly pointed out, the iPad is a great tool to consume information, but not a great input device, even with the external keyboard. With its current configuration, there is no way to match the efficiency of the multitasking that's available on the laptop with the ability to manage data among several applications at once, plus the speed gained by using a mouse. That said, what is has enabled me to do is downsize the style, type and size of the laptop I carry. One of the most useful functions of my iPad is the ability to access the information, files, etc. that I now store in the cloud, especially when I am traveling. I have several sites where items are stored so I never have to be without the information I need. Plus, I can access that information from many different devices and locations.

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