"Your iPad sucks" - ?!? OK, I was just trying to be dramatic. I really like my iPad, but I've had a number of discussions with people recently who want to get rid of their laptops and only use their iPads. I don't think I'll ever get to that point. Why? Because I think the iPad is inadequate for some critical business tasks. Here are 6 examples:
- Working in more than one app at once. Sure you can switch around between apps on the iPad, but when you really need to have two apps open at the same time (for example, putting a lot of elements of data from a spreadsheet into a Word doc, that switching back & forth is maddening. The iPad's lack of true multitasking, along with its fullscreen-only presentation model don't cut it when it comes to multitasking.
- Managing files. Managing files on an iPad is very difficult - the security restrictions on iOS alone make this a nightmare. When you extend this to content-sharing / collaboration sites (Sharepoint is one example) it is very challenging to do any sort of complex file management. Even DropBox and iCloud, which are fairly iPad-friendly, make file management painful beyond a few rudimentary functions.
- Managing email, especially offline. My biggest pet peeve with iOS? I can't delete email when I'm not online. Often, I like to take advantage of flight time to clean up email. The iPad is fine for responding to emails but you can't delete or file email when you are not online. This makes it impossible for me to consider the iPad as my primary email client. Combine this limitation with the lack of good file management (for attaching files, for example), and it falls short of productive.
- Multi-channel social media. If you want to monitor multiple avenues of social media and online content, you're going to want a "real computer." If you want to monitor Twitter and Facebook, you can sort of do that with clients like TweetDeck. However, if you also want to follow a few RSS feeds, read a blog, along with monitoring Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Yammer, and things like that - and you want to do it while getting your day job done at the same time - you'll quickly hit a wall, even with the fancy new Android-like notification tray in iOS 5.
- Content production. Whether you are producing music, video, doing photo editing, etc. you will be far more productive on a real PC than you will on an iPad. Yes, I know - you can do basic editing, apply filters, and things like that on the iPad. But if you want to get real work done, pull out your PC.
- Spreadsheet work. When reviewing and editing spreadsheets, the iPad just frustrates me - I want to be able to zoom, move around, select multiple cells, look at function references while creating formulas, and things along those lines. I just can't do that on my iPad. Maybe I could use several iPads together…nah.
These are just 6 reasons I will be using my PC for real work. I'll still use my iPad for content consumption, meeting notes, on-the-fly research, etc. and taking advantage of its 10-hour battery life as much as possible, but I won't be ditching my laptop any time in the foreseeable future.
What about you - have you successfully moved away from computers to using your iPad as you sole / primary device? What have you learned and have you successfully overcome any of the obstacles above?