Last Saturday at 6:30 p.m., I walked into the Apple store in San Francisco and purchased an iPad (64 gig). Zero wait. I took it to my hotel room, set it up, and downloaded the many apps I use on the iPhone.
First impressions: Very cool tool. I downloaded my photos, and they look amazing. I set up my email account and downloaded photos from my laptop and a few TV shows, like The Colbert Report. Videos play instantly. The full-screen mode is stunning. The built-in speakers are good, but I get a better sound experience by using my headphones. I purchased an iPad cover, which has a very smart feature: You can slip the back cover into a slot so that the cover turns into a stand. This is very useful when you reply to emails; the keyboard pops up on the screen the moment you hit the reply button.
Applications I like: Social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Hootsuite, are basic. For news, I downloaded the New York Times, NPR, and LeMonde. For business, I use GoToMeetings (yes, you can log on to a Webinar). I also use WebEx, a calculator (Digits), and Mindjet. I tried Salesforce.com, which works on my iPhone, but it only shows the opening screen on the iPad. Marc Benioff blogged about the iPad, but he seems to have missed checking his own app. Our own Sales Strategizer Pro works very well.
I also use two book readers: iBooks and Kindle. Kindle proved to be difficult to download. I had to deactivate my first Kindle to be able to read books on my iPad, and I needed to call Amazon’s excellent customer service. It’s great to have access to a competent person.
I find Apple’s iBooks app much easier to download and use. I particularly like the fact that you can download a fairly substantial book sample (the first 40 or 50 pages). My iBook bookshelf looks impressive, although I purchased only one book,The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together.
For travel, I use Google Earth and AccuWeather. Someone told me that you could use Truphone to convert the iPad into a phone, but I wasn’t able to make it work. Surfing the Web is really fast and easy. The iPad is moving us into a new era.
Now that I have used the iPad for three days in a variety of business situations, I can say positively that laptops will go the way of print.
The iPad is superior to a laptop in many ways:
1. It’s lighter than a book. You can take it anywhere.
2. Laptops are not designed for sharing. The iPad will pull people from isolation to a place of co-creation.
3. Laptop screens are not dynamic. The iPad screen automatically orients itself in relation to your movements. The image on the screen flips from horizontal to vertical and from top to bottom automatically.
4. As I walked through the hotel lobby, I noticed a number of people sitting in the Wi-Fi zone hunched over their laptops. It dawned on me that laptops force their owners to conform to them, while the iPad follows its owner’s posture.
5. Laptops emerged at a time when the world was still linear. The iPad allows people to leave that static world so they can connect with the dynamic flow of human intelligence online and offline.
6. Laptops run on a limited number of software programs. The iPad runs more than 100,000 applications. I currently use 44 iPad applications. Apps will become a commodity like Kleenex. If you feel the urge to sneeze, you grab a Kleenex and toss it. The iPad is very similar. If you feel the urge to paint, you can download a dozen different apps. Download one, release the inner artist in you, and turn your first painting into a screen saver.
The Viral Growth of the iPad Is Huge This morning I met with Chuck Dietrich, the CEO of SlideRocket, a dynamic startup in the online presentation space. I brought my iPad; he had his laptop. During our conversation, we discussed how many different tasks salespeople need to perform to drive customer value. The conversation brought to mind an interesting chart I received in an email the same morning. I pressed the start button on my iPad, and it came to life instantly (there is no staring at a blank screen for two minutes). Within seconds, I pulled up the email, clicked on the message, and handed the iPad to Chuck, who studied it and asked for the URL so he could share it with his team. I simply forwarded the email and the conversation resumed.
The iPad added instant value to the conversation, and it blended in naturally, which added a touch of elegance to the discussion (and of course a little iPad envy). In this case, the iPad delivered content in real time. In effect, this experience would not have been possible with the use of a laptop. After all, who would want to wait two minutes to make a point? The iPad is a time-creation machine, while your laptop steals two minutes of your time every time you turn it on. And that’s a turn off.
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