In April I wrote a post about my thoughts on the iPad, where I concluded it really wasn’t suitable as a work device, beyond checking your email and calendar. Do I still feel that way a month later? Sort of, but things are looking up.
As with any platform, it’s the applications that make or break the device, and the iPad is no exception. In the past month I’ve discovered two applications I now constantly use for work, Corkulous and Todo.
Corkulous is a virtual corkboard that lets you use sticky notes, pictures, tape, paper, thumbtacks, and contact info to map out ideas and projects. You can create boards within boards, and email and share any boards you create with other people.
Todo is a a to-do list application that incorporates GTD methodology and task management. It doesn’t synchronize with Tasks in Google Apps, but does a great job of keeping my multitasking in check, allowing me to concentrate on the task at hand rather than constantly worrying about what I’m supposed to be doing that I’ve forgotten.
Both Corkulous and Todo are made by the same developer, Appigo, a fact I didn’t realize until after I’d started using both programs. So, a shout-out to you good folks at Appigo for helping turn the iPad into a useful work device.
But there are still a lot of things the iPad still won’t do. You can’t edit your Google Docs, can’t participate in Google Sites or Waves, can’t browse your files on your R: or H: drives, can’t edit MS Office documents without converting them into another format, etc. I’ve become a bit more proficient with typing on the iPad’s on-screen keyboard, but it’s still a pain to use it for intensive notetaking. In short, the iPad can be an addition to your existing computing tools, but it’s not a replacement, and likely won’t be for some time to come.
If you’re looking for something small and light that can replace much of what you’d use a full-featured laptop for, consider the new Dell Latitude 2110 netbook. It’ll do a lot of what the iPad can’t, and for less money than the cheapeast iPad. In fact, a combination of a netbook and an iPad for the price of a full-featured laptop is tempting proposition.
As for the iPad itself, I didn’t bring it to work one day last week. I didn’t miss it at all at the office, but couldn’t wait to pick it up when I got home.