Using your iPad for (mostly) business ??

Discussion in 'iPad' started by OldManJimbo, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. OldManJimbo macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    California Coast
    #1
    Help a guy out - I am leaning toward a scenario where I dump my Verizon "smart"phone, replacing it with a very basic voice/text phone and going with an iPad for all the productivity functions.

    I'm already a Mac addict, using Pages, Keynote, Numbers on my MacBook and synching to MobileMe when I travel.

    So - I'd love to hear from people who are using the iPad primarily for business. How is it working for you? Good, Bad, Ugly. Pros and Cons?

    WiFi only VS 3G version - I am not planning to get the 3G model because of AT&Ts dataplan and crappy coverage.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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  3. undrpsi macrumors regular

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    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gastonia, NC
    #3
    Ok. I did not purchase this for work mainly as a glimpse into what the future of mobile computing may be.

    Having said that.

    I am at work now and my iPad is in a dock. Playing random pics in a slideshow while rocking to iTunes (which has always been able to run in background).

    I purchased Apple's "Office" (Keynote, Numbers, and Pages). Still a work in progress...but.

    I have MSDS and Technical data sheets of all my resin products on it. I can show them to customers, print (with work-arounds), and quickly access them while I am on the phone. Better than pulling out a 3" 3-ring binder.

    I have tiered price lists for all my products. I can access them anytime I like...again...no pulling out a 3-Ring binder. I can also select 'which' price list to use. So, if I am at customer A who has a 15% discount due to purchase quantities I can pull up pricelist "XXX15" and conversely if I am at a customer's who only gets 5% I pull up "XXX5" pricelist.

    And then there's the scheduling, Exchange push email, contacts...etc.

    Right now trying to get Bento up to speed. Loved it on my MBP...it's "meh" on the iPad (very simplistic version).

    I usually keep it docked and have an Apple BT keyboard to use it while on my desk (along with my workstation).

    I am amazed who easily this can be used for business...it was a 'drop in' fit.

    As far as the 3g. Personally ATT can suck it. Removal of the on/off contract option only 27 days after release was a real "FU" to me. Not only that but I am in a big metal building where ATT reception is 0. My company just switched to Verizon which, not only works great inside, but has true unlimited data plans for $29.99 ( http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/plansingleline.jsp?lid=//global//plans//individual ) that can be 'shared' using a cradlepoint (portable wifi hotspot). I got a free blackberry when we switched and purchased "Tether" ($49) so I can use it as a USB or wireless modem for my laptop. If you actually sign up for a tethered connection or pick a phone that comes with a wireless hot-spot built in Verizon will cap you at 5gigs.
     
  4. Mitchrapp macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    #4
    I'm sure an iPad can do as much as a smartphone and more, right? That's the only thing that needs answering.

    Nothing wrong with having a phone be used, well, just as a phone ;). That's my method for years.
     
  5. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    California Coast
    #5
    I like the idea of multiple sell sheets depending on the client's status.

    Stick with Pages - it's a good replacement.

    Any issues or concerns related to only having one app open at a time?
     
  6. Mitchrapp macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2010
    #6
    I don't think so (about the one app at a time). And with the fall update, it becomes that much easier.
     
  7. undrpsi macrumors regular

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    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gastonia, NC
    #7
    You can easily make personalized pricing sheets. Keep track of their custom parts that are sold under blanket orders. Edit your data sheets for them...etc.

    Pages is good but I have to upgrade my mac to Work 09 now. Work 08 can't be opened (??!!!??) and older office docs have formatting issues..oh hell...almost everything has formatting issues which is my only complaint really.

    As far as having one app open...well...sitting in someones office using one app (or screen) at a time allows you to keep the conversation on track and targeted to what you want to tell them. Get it? (very few distractions).

    Also, a lot of my clients are high tech (I work in the plastics fabrication market). Most, including me, have 2 or 3 computers on their desk. They appreciate the iPads form factor. They think it's great I can keep everything on it...and yeah, sometimes we'll BS for 30 mins about it. Think about this...if you are purchasing high end industrial materials (!$!$!$) and you have a salesperson with a paper filled 2" Binder and a competitor who has everything stored in a legal pad size device...who is gonna leave a more "organzed and modern" feeling? I am sure I have made several sales just on pulling the iPad out and quickly accessing data off of it. I have even helped 2 of them get their own iPads up and running.

    edited..
    You know, I need to get off my high pissed-off horse about ATT. You will be better off getting the 3G if you are going to be at your customer's and not have access to wifi.

    Just ATT leaves a bad taste in my mouth (insert crude sexual joke here).
     
  8. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    #8
    I have some powerful videos at my disposal for the selling process - how is the speaker on the iPad? Can it be used to play a video for one or two people?
     
  9. Mitchrapp macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 2, 2010
    #9
    The speaker is freakin' awesome. I don't use headphones at all on this device.
     
  10. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    #10
    Hah - not just awesome, but freakin' awesome.

    Now, that's an endorsement. You guys are making it harder and harder to say NO.
     
  11. undrpsi macrumors regular

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    Mar 28, 2010
    Location:
    Gastonia, NC
    #11
    Ha!
    My three outside salesmen are stroking me like 2 year olds on Dec. 24th!

    They really like being able to carry them around with customer specifics, calendars, contacts...etc.

    YMMV...but I think this thing could really rock for outside sales. I know it's great just as a desktop 'info caddy'...
     
  12. Pkaras macrumors newbie

    Pkaras

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #12
    I'm admittly new to the apple scene. Loved the iPhone and thought the iPad would be a great tool to use for work.

    I travel a lot, as well as attend many onsite meetings and presentations. The iPad has...to an extent, revolutionalised the way I work.

    Meetings: I use pages to take notes, keynote to show presentations and I have demonstration video's loaded for customers/colleagues to view.

    Travel: I can now happily sit in a departure lounge for hours (as is sometimes the case) and not have to worry about finding a powerpoint for my laptop (which now travels in my checked luggage). I happily whittle away the hours on email, typing documents/notes for eventual transfer and best of all, I don't drain the resources on my phone, which is now reserved primarily for calls and texts.

    It also doesn't hurt that long flights are now much more amusing with the addition of games, movies, tv shows and anything else you can throw at it.


    And just so everyone knows, I work for HP, so laptops should be my preference, but honestly, I love the fact that I am no longer reliant on a heavy, slow (in comparsion) and resource draining machine anymore.

    I'm based in Australia, and I'm the only person I know or met with an iPad, and even though I love it, I feel that most people could get by without it. Using it for work is what justifies the purchase for me and I couldn't imagine going back.

    If however you simply sit in an office all day and have a Desktop/laptop/notebook, then I don't know how much assistance its going to be.

    Hope that provides some insight! :)

    Paul
     
  13. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    California Coast
    #13
    Thank you Paul -

    By the way, Perth is one of the cities on my "bucket list." I want to ride the train from eastern OZ to Perth. Someday.

    GREAT personal story on using the iPad in business. Your situation is similar to mine.

    Question(s) -

    Do you have the 3G model or WiFi only?
    Any drawbacks to having one app open at a time?
    Any comments on memory size? 16, 32 or 64?
     
  14. Pkaras macrumors newbie

    Pkaras

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    Jun 24, 2010
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #14
    Hey mate.

    Perth is a great city, but I don't know if I would want to travel cross country on the train. You would enjoy driving much more.

    I have a 64gb 3G model. Use wifi at home but honestly, Australia broadband infrastructure is terrible. Free wifi basically doesn't exist. Thankfully the mobile broadband plans are not to pricey and I have yet to notice any dropouts.

    I actually like that I can only open one app at a time. Multitasking would be nice purely so I can access my music without quitting an app. I am a Information Management consultant so its quite interest talking to customers and colleagues about Interacting purely with the content.

    Would definitely go with 64. I am yet to use it all but I like having the so ace at my disposal as I am currently converting more than 1TB of movies and tv shows to be compatible on the iPad. Travelling is now a breeze!!!

    Pk
     
  15. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #15
    I can really only speak to this part, i have a dataless Verizon Smart phone (my contract is from prior to nov 2008 so i don't have to have it and that still applies out of contract) and a 3G ipad. No contract was the only way you'd get me to AT&T, it's been as bad as I expected since i know can't cancel - but i have unlimited on the go data for $30 for now.

    I couldn't make due with a wifi ipad, i just don't have anywhere i go that offers wifi. I have used an iPod Touch for most stuff since last July so i knew the 3G was what i needed.

    I am active in Civil Air Patrol and have a boatload of PDFs on it, it works great and everyone is always wanting to look something up on it when we are at an event. The forms i have don't work well on it since i can't fill them out. I'm pondering Quick Office or something to see how it does filling the word docs in, but i'm not in a hurry for that until really i get some sort of printing.

    I look at what we can do with this thing, and wish i'd had such a solution for our field (literally, we were in Ag! LOL!!) salesmen back when we had the family business. Man would some things have been wayyyyy easier.

    I'm trying to move everything paperless and just carry it all with me on the iPad. It's a slow process right now, but I see it being doable. Actually overall i'm barely scratching the surface of what i can do - more possibilities than time right now.

    My only wish for a camera is to take advantage of the various receipt "scanners" available. That would just rock. I need to remember that my pocket camera has a document setting - that might work when/if i ever get the camera connector.

    But otherwise, it rocks! :D
     
  16. OldManJimbo thread starter macrumors 6502

    OldManJimbo

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    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    California Coast
    #16
    I love this string - we each have different styles and what's important/useful to one is not as much to another. Good open dialog about strengths/weaknesses of the iPad.

    I don't consume much entertainment content, so the music/video aspect is not as critical. But I am a connection junkie, so the WiFi/3G issue is something to consider.

    In anticipation of moving to a WiFi Only situation, I have started to make mental note of places I travel where relying on WiFi only would be a problem. Other than being able to access email while in my car, there aren't many places I go where finding WiFi would be difficult.

    The absolute biggest plus for me would be the seamless connection of my calendar and contacts. My business is 99% relationships [personal strengths consultant/trainer] and I've yet to find a phone/device that will play in the sandbox with my Mac. [Other than the iphone which I refuse to buy because AT&T is SO incredibly bad where we live]
     
  17. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #17
    Definetly a good thing to track. I have to laugh when everyone says there is free wifi to use in most places. Nope, I can say with certainly that the places i spend 12 hours a week in don't have wifi available. So for me it was either, new smartphone with data, mifi or the iPad 3G. I actually probably would have gone with the Virgin Mifi had it been available before "now". You might consider that as a backup.

    http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/23/virgin-mobile-launching-prepaid-mifi-next-week/
    http://www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband (pricing should be the same as this)

    Bwahahahahaha..... i just saw you are on the CA Coast. We were in SB County doing 1/2 our work in SLO County. At that time, there was ZERO AT&T service in SLO County. AT&T couldn't understand why we weren't switching to them for our mobile use. Um, we'd like our employees to be able to make calls?????
     
  18. dstrauss macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    #18
    I've been using a 64gb 3g iPad for a month now (just got my notice that my unlimited contract rolled over successfully last night). It is an awesome netbook replacement if you add the following "gotta-have" apps:

    DocsToGo Premium (far superior to Pages/Numbers if you use MS Office)

    Dropbox

    Goodreader

    MobileNoter (if you are a OneNote user)

    This gives me a near full replacement even for my notebook, which now stays at the office more than I ever imagined. The $14.99 for DocsToGo is a blessing. You can open nearly any Word, Excel, or Powerpoint doc or docx and handles PDF's very well; including email attachments. Dropbox gives you universal storage (up to 2gb free) on their servers to coordinate with your desktop, laptop, iPad and even your smartphone. Goodreader is misnamed, because it gives you a psuedo file system for the iPad. MobileNoter is great for those folks who are OneNote addicts.

    One I left off the essential list is iAnnotate PDF - but if you do a lot of work with PDF's (like those tables and sale sheets) it is a MUST HAVE for viewing AND ANNOTATING PDF's right on the iPad.

    Apple has hit a home run with this thing, mostly because it forced developers to be creative in writing gesture oriented software. This is way better than the early days of computing (I was there with PCjr and Commodore 64) because the software is low cost, light footprint, efficient, ANTI-BLOATWARE that gets specific tasks done well. I may not make it with iPad I, but I truly believe that with iPad II next year I will no longer carry a notebook. In fact, if its a 4 day weekend my HP 2730p is going to stay in in its docking station (especially once GoToMyPC releases its iPad client!):D

    PS - forgot to mention 3G data. Although I'm really PO'd about not being able to stop and restart as needed, for the time being I have decided to stick with it full time. I've found my use of data on my iPhone 3g has shrunk dramatically (mostly Exchange email) since I bought the iPad, and I may throttle back on my unlimited plan on it. Although I'm usually in a WiFi zone (office ro home; sometimes B&N or Starbucks) I realy do enjoy the flexibility of firing it up wherever (cough, cough) I can get an AT&T signal.
     
  19. RobBookPro macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #19
    The other day I arrived around the corner from where I was meeting a client and realised that I completely forgot to print off the paper work I fill out of all of their details and sales.

    In 10 minutes I created a numbers spreadsheet with all of the fields necessary and just typed in the data right in front of them. Having the ipad flat on the desk is great as it doesnt create a wall like a laptop does.

    While I was still sitting with the client I emailed a PDF copy of the document to both them and myself and walked away a happy camper. and a bit richer.

    iPad for work? You bet.
     
  20. Mike in Mass macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2010
    #20
    I too purchased an iPad for work. Like the poster above I use DropBox for seamless file sync between my windows laptop and QuickOffice for basic word processing and spreadsheet work.

    I got the 64g 3G unit to make sure I have enough storage space. But now with DropBox I can't image filling this thing up!

    So I have my " media consumption device" for my 6 hour flights to the coast and my ultra cool and light weight "office" device.

    Now if there was simpler way to print everything would be perfect...
     

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