My iPad experience – part 2

That’s the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows.

I’ve had an iPad for about a month now. I remain convinced that the tablet format is a game changer. There are pros and cons and fans and detractors for various devices. In the long run it will be interesting to see how the market shakes out. There is of course the iPad, various Android devices (the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 just coming out now is highly anticipated), and the Blackberry Playbook. And don’t count out Microsoft. They will be late to the game, but their Windows 8 concept may gain some traction.

I’ll give some examples of how I have found it useful for work. Most of these things could be accomplished on a laptop – but a tablet wins out on portability, ease of use, and startup speed. One aspect that wins big time over a laptop is its unobtrusiveness. Using it when other people are around, such as in a meeting, or when giving a presentation, removes the barrier of the screen.

I recently gave a presentation on social media and the law to a client group. I have given that presentation before, and put it on the iPad to review it ahead of time and update my speaking notes. That was done at night and over a weekend. I then used it during the presentation to keep on track. The powerpoint was on a computer that was already being used for the meeting, but it is possible to connect the iPad to a projector to run a powerpoint.

Yesterday I was on a panel at a Chamber of Commerce presentation on social media. To collect my thoughts for that, I used the iPad to cut and paste and edit from the larger presentation. Then used it during the presentation for speaking notes, and to jot down some references from the other speakers.

It is starting to become a tool in my quest for a paperless office. It is very easy to use to review and mark-up documents, which can be then either emailed to myself or sent via dropbox to deal with in our document management system. I have been marking up documents for some time on my PC using a Wacom tablet. Using the tablet is just as easy, if not easier.

I have also started to use it to take handwritten notes when talking to clients. Old habits die hard, though, and I am not yet to the place where I automatically grab it instead of a pad of paper. Perhaps I need to keep it front and centre on my desk and put the pad of paper behind me.

To mark up documents and take handwriten notes (I’m a lousy typist – the on screen keyboard is actually quite easy to use) I bought a capacitive pen. You can use your finger, but I found that it is easier to use the pen.

For those wanting to know more about specific apps, here’s an article from entitiled How the iPad Can Increase Lawyers’ Productivity.

My iPad experience

That’s the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows:

So after talking about how tablets are a game changing technology, I finally made the plunge. It was a toss up between an Android tablet like the upcoming Samsung models, and an iPad2. There are pros and cons to each – but in the end either would be a good choice.

I’ve had the ipad2 for about a week now, and in many ways it truly is magical. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its frustrations – the biggest of which is how Apple designs it to depend on iTunes to share content. I’m not the only one to dislike iTunes – a lot of time and effort is put into creating apps that avoid its use.

I started off with the easy stuff. Reading newspapers for example on the pressreader app. I have actually cancelled my home delivery of the dead-tree version. Wired magazine has just announced that one can get its ipad version for free if you already have a traditional subscription. Reading those on the ipad is a superior experience to paper.

Flipboard is an excellent way to view things like twitter feeds and Google reader feeds.

But I didn’t get it just for that. My plan is to use it like a laptop outside of my office, taking it to meetings, and using it for note taking.

Dragon dictate works amazingly well, and you can simply email the result to yourself.

I have the wifi only version, with a plan to tether it to an Android phone once I get far enough into my current cell plan later this summer that I can replace my phone. (Unless Rogers is reading this and offers to let me upgrade early at a reasonable price.)

Since we are a Microsoft shop, like most law firms, one needs apps that can deal with Office documents, and handle file movement to and from the desktop so they can be dealt with within typical document management procedures. Dropbox is the tool that most use to synch files, but I’d like to try Microsoft Skydrive instead. That’s in part because of the recent issues with Dropbox about their ability to decrypt, and the challenges of using ones’ own encryption in an iPad/Dropbox/PC environment.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, I don’t think its wise to keep a lot of sensitive information on a portable device, so the easy ability to move documents in and out is important.

In a future post I’ll comment on my eventual solution.

And for those wondering, yes, I did download Angry Birds, and it is addictive.

Tablet wars continue

That’s the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows.

Several of us on Slaw are convinced that tablet computers are game changers.

Apple clearly has the lead with the iPad – with sales of the first version of around 15 million in the first year. While the iPad is the device that is setting the bar, and that all others are compared to, it is not perfect. Critics point, for example, to its lack of flash support and lack of usb connectivity. Others are scrambling trying to get into the market. As an indication of just how competitive the field is, consider the following recent developments.

The Blackberry Playbook is now available – but has not wowed buyers so far. Early reviews suggest that it is fundamentally well designed, but is still a work in progress.

Another competitor is anything running Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. The first was the Motorola Xoom. It has been described as better than the iPad in some ways, but still a work in progress. Some expect that upcoming Honeycomb models such as the Samsung Galaxy versions arriving June 8 will be a serous contender.

Adobe has just announced a development that may bring flash to Apple products.

And Apple just launched a lawsuit against Samsung claiming that its Android tablets violate various patent, design patent, trade-dress, and other IP rights of Apple. It is noteworthy that Samsung is a major component supplier to Apple. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

The bottom line is that we are in the early days of tablets, and it will take some time before the winners and losers are sorted out.

Tablets cut printing costs

That’s the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows.

Several of us here at Slaw comment from time to time on tablets, and the paperless office – but usually not together.

All Things Digital has a post entitled Use a Tablet, Save a Tree that talks about a Morgan Stanley prediction that the increasing demand for digital content will result in a 2% decline in printer supplies revenue in 2011. It suggests that this trend is one reason that Hewlett Packard is getting into the tablet market.

For the record, I’m impatiently waiting for the iPad2, then will take the tablet plunge. While one doesn’t need a tablet to go paperless, it is a useful tool to help in that quest. My thought all along has been to see what the competition is like when the iPad 2 comes out, and make a decision on which tablet to buy. But right now, it seems that while there will be some interesting choices, many won’t be available for a while. And while some of the competing products seem to have far better technical specs than the iPad, its the iPad2 that we must compare those to. I have resisted the Apple reality distortion field up until now, but am starting to think that at least on the tablet front, and at least for the near future, resistance is futile.

Apple’s iPad

That’s the title of my Slaw post for today.  It reads as follows: