iPad – Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business

I am a Windows guy at heart and don’t care much for the zealotry surrounding Apple products; however, I can’t begin to tell you how much I love my iPad.  Aside from all the personal entertainment value it brings; games, music, photos, video, books, it has brought an equal amount of value to my business.

It Just Works:  It doesn’t take a team of IT professionals to consult with me to make the purchase, hook it up or to keep it running.  Therefore its costs are largely fixed which is good for the bottom line and the satisfaction I get from not having to fuss with it is priceless.

Laptop Replacement: The iPad replaces 95% of what I use to use my laptop for.  True, I will still bring a laptop on a long trip if I have serious computing to do, but the reality is that most of us use a laptop for is keeping up with e-mail when we are out of the office.  While the phone can do that same thing in a pinch, the screen size and tiny keyboard renders it very inefficient.

Convenience:  Laptops require mice or the clunky use of the track pad, you have to lug a small suitcase with you, big power cord, long boot-up times, short battery life, connecting to the Internet isn’t hard but it isn’t effortless and it isn’t easy to do in a car – yuck.  An iPad requires nothing.  Flip the cover open and you are in.  Put it under your arm, in your backpack, it’s light, run it in the car, bus, taxi, plane.  Small enough to be easy, large enough to be useful.

Built-in Productivity: Built-in wireless and cell phone connection to the Internet is a must have.  If you can’t be easily connected, it defeats 50% of the purpose of having the device.  E-mail, calendar, contacts, web and maps are all critical to our businesses and all are infinitely more useful when connected to the Internet no matter where you are.

Productivity Apps: DropBox (www.dropbox.com):

This free app and service allows to you store and share files and folders as well as synchronize them with multiple devices across the Internet.  So your phone, laptop, home computer, work computer, iPod Touch and iPad all have the same files on them – like magic!  Absolutely great for documents you are working on or that you refer to regularly and can be selectively shared with other people too.

Productivity Apps: GoodReader (www.goodreader.net):

GoodReader allows you to open and view different types of documents.  It supports PDF, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, iWork 08/09, high resolution images, audio, video, and text files.  It can even be used in conjunction with your shared DropBox files.

Productivity Apps: Square (www.squareup.com):

Square is a free hardware reader and free app that allows you to swipe and process credit card transactions in the field.  When you swipe a VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card, there is just one simple 2.75% fee.  If you enter credit card numbers manually, your cost will then be 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.  There are no monthly fees or hidden costs and signup only took me 5 minutes.

Create Your Own Custom iPad Software Using FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go (www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-go):

Using FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go unlocks the ability for you to easily build custom software applications for use on your iPhone or iPad as well as your Windows or Macintosh computer – no programming experience required.  With this software and only the technical skill level required to use Word and Excel, you can build your own iPad application.  Imagine creating an app that could be simultaneously accessed and shared by your office staff, subcontractors, remote sales people and technicians in the field on any number of devices.  You could build a system to track prospects at a trade show, process sales transactions, fill out surveys, complete work orders, manage on-site event details, check inventory levels – the uses are limitless.  To review some starter templates and get more ideas for creating custom iPhone and iPad software using FileMaker Pro and FileMaker Go, visit www.YourAppService.com

Because of the iPad’s ease of use and tremendous value that it brings to both our personal and business lives, I strongly believe we are seeing the very beginnings of the next computing revolution.  This is a wave that I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of and one that my life and business has benefitted from.  Now the only trick is to figure out how to get it away from the kids!

For more information about creating your own custom iPhone and iPad application for at little as $349.95, contact Josh Mazur at sales@productivecomputing.com