The Return of the Apple iPad
By Jim Lundy
This week, Apple held its Worldwide Developers Conference. It was packed with news about upcoming releases of iOS 11, MacOS, and new hardware products. One of the major takeaways from the event is that the iPad is back and that Apple is refocusing it for business buyers.
Their moves to focus more on the iPad may be a response to Microsoft pushing hard with its SurfacePro. So far, Apple has refused to acknowledge the 2-in-1 PC device, which is a laptop with a touch screen. Instead, Apple is focusing on turning the iPad Pro into more of a business device.
New iPad Pro 10.5
The new iPad Pro 10.5 is the updated smaller version of the larger iPad Pro 12 inch. While it is newer and faster (e.g., 64 bit A10x processor), the larger size versus the 9.7-inch device from last year means that a full virtual keyboard can be displayed onscreen. Power users will like the Apple Smart Keyboard or the third-party ones from Logitech, Targus, and ZAGG.
On top of that, the retina display of the iPad continues to lead the industry. The brightness and the resolution makes it ideal for people on the go interacting with others.
The iPad Pro will be more appealing for business use because of the new features coming in iOS 11:
- File Sharing: Users can now share files on their iPad; it resembles the Finder on their Mac.
- The dock is customizable and can include apps and documents.
- Drag-and-drop users can now drag and drop across apps.
- App Switcher: Makes switching between apps easy (users do a double swipe).
- Siri is more natural sounding.
The Benefit to Business Users, Including Sales
For people on the go, the biggest feature many take for granted is the built-in cellular connectivity. Apple has offered this for years and Microsoft has yet to offer it in the Surface Pro. The speed of opening applications and the clarity of the display helps to keep customers engaged.
The Apple Pencil will make it easy to take notes and this is something we’d recommend people try. The last key point is all-day battery life, which while many take for granted, is the real deal with Apple iPads.
Getting Started with Tablets
The iPad Pro is out and enterprises with professionals on the go need to look at upgrading older tablets, many of which have been in service for several years.
For those that have not made the switch, doing a pilot to see how tablets can increase productivity for mobile users is a good next step.
Apple is refocusing on the iPad and the iPad Pro lineup is now poised to challenge laptops for the mobile professional.