Apple to target iPad at business users through new features - sources

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple's new iPad isn't just a new product for consumers; the company is targeting the new device at business users with features designed to make it attractive to the enterprise market, AppleInsider has learned.



Apple has long had a business sales group ready to sell Macs to any interested companies, and with the release of iPhone 2.0, the Cupertino-based company made it very clear that it wanted the iPhone to fit the needs of corporate users.



That has helped stoke a healthy interest in the iPhone platform among companies who develop custom mobile software. Apple hardened the iPhone's security profile, added Exchange support, and created mass configuration and deployment tools for the device.



For the iPad, those same corporate-friendly iPhone features will all continue to work, thanks to the iPad being build on the same software foundation. However, the iPad adds a variety of new things that business users should find very attractive.



iPad in the Enterprise



For starters, Apple has ported over iWork, its Office-compatible productivity suite, while giving it a multitouch makeover. Aligned with the idea of using the iPad as a Keynote presentation tool, the iPad now supports VGA output for driving a projector directly. Users can markup slides and point with a virtual laser pointer as the presentation continues.



Sources who talked to Apple's business unit also say the company is working on some additional features that haven't been publicly announced yet. These include support for direct network printing from iPad apps, as well as support for accessing shared files from a local file server.



The iPhone can already access files in users' mailboxes or stored on web servers; using Apple's free iDisk app, it can also access files from the WebDAV-based MobileMe cloud file server. The company is said to be creating a similar app to access standard local file shares within an office setting, which would be a rather trivial undertaking given the iPhone OS' existing savvy with reading iWork, Office, PDF, and other common file types.







The iWork apps Apple demonstrated each load their documents without needing a conventional file browser. Just like the iPhone's existing Photos, Notes, and iTunes apps, their documents are managed by the app itself, rather than being strewn around a filesystem for users to organize on their own. The iPad will sync documents with iTunes just like the iPhone currently does, in addition to accessing cloud, web, and local file shares.



Google plans to implement a similar app-centric method for working with files on its forthcoming Chrome OS operating environment for netbooks, rather than defaulting to a 1980s style "look for your files on your drive" interface that Macs and PCs have used since the dawn of computing.



Watch the iPad cold boot in under 15 seconds



iPhone in the Enterprise



Unlike Google's overlapping Android and Chrome OS initiatives, Apple has a unified operating system strategy that scales from the iPhone to the iPod touch to the iPad, and it enjoys a clear head-start in both apps and in Enterprise sales. By the end of 2009, Apple was estimated to have sold 2 million iPhones to corporate accounts, giving the company a 7% share of the enterprise smartphone market. Another five million iPhones were estimated to be in mixed business use by individuals.



In its most recent earnings report earlier this week, Apple noted that the iPhone was ranked #1 in satisfaction by JD Power and Associates for second year in a row, and was rapidly growing in the enterprise, with 70% of the Fortune 100 companies in the US now actively piloting or deploying it. Internationally, Apple's COO Tim Cook said about half of the Financial Times 100 companies are doing the same.







Asked by a Goldman Sachs analyst about what the company was doing to drive higher corporate growth, Cook answered, "We've done a tremendous amount on the product side itself, implementing tons of features in the latest OS for iPhone that our enterprise customers had desired."



For more on the iPad, see AppleInsider's hands-on preview.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 282
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    The 'Pad is a toy. It is not suited for heavy-duty use. I think that emphasizing business use is a huge mistake. I was very surprised when iWork was emphasized, given that the device has dodgy input and output, and no ability to multitask.
  • Reply 2 of 282
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Microsoft Office inside is what is needed. Compatible with Mac, of course. And starting with PowerPoint for presentations. The standard is PowerPoint, not Keynote, even being the latter much better and intuitive that the former. Those are the real facts!
  • Reply 3 of 282
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,756member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    The 'Pad is a toy. It is not suited for heavy-duty use. I think that emphasizing business use is a huge mistake. I was very surprised when iWork was emphasized, given that the device has dodgy input and output, and no ability to multitask.



    So how do you like yours? I'm still waiting to get mine.
  • Reply 4 of 282
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    So how do you like yours? I'm still waiting to get mine.



    Are you implying that my surmises are not justified? Please go on.
  • Reply 5 of 282
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Microsoft Office inside is what is needed. Compatible with Mac, of course. And starting with PowerPoint for presentations. The standard is PowerPoint, not Keynote, even being the former much better and intuitive that the latter. Those are the real facts!



    I'm curious as to how it matters?



    You've got keynote on your iPad, and just hook it right to the projector ... so ...



    edit: unless you mean you are wanting to work collaboratively with people who only use Powerpoint, which I suppose is a good reason.
  • Reply 6 of 282
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    Can't access Active-X or Sharepoint properly from corporate world. Yeah yeah I know, but the reality is 90% of business uses Windows and their idiotic monopolistic browser locking technologies.
  • Reply 7 of 282
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Are you implying that my surmises are not justified? Please go on.



    Not even slightly justified. Shows completely lack of vision
  • Reply 8 of 282
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    The 'Pad is a toy. It is not suited for heavy-duty use. I think that emphasizing business use is a huge mistake. I was very surprised when iWork was emphasized, given that the device has dodgy input and output, and no ability to multitask.



    Perhaps you should give us your list of accomplishments and expertise that we can better accept your predications.



    I would suggest that anybody that is as learned as you profess to be would be more open and less dogmatic as you are. Your tirades against everything that is printed in a positive light about Apple, Jobs or its/his products is so demeaning that one has to wonder if you are as knowledgeable as you profess to be. An asshole, yes. A mentor, no. IMO.



    I am beginning to change my mind what the 'i' in 'iGenius' stands for. And it is not flattering.
  • Reply 8 of 282
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    Microsoft Office inside is what is needed. Compatible with Mac, of course. And starting with PowerPoint for presentations. The standard is PowerPoint, not Keynote, even being the former much better and intuitive that the latter. Those are the real facts!



    LOL, So powerpoint is the market leader by volume of sales, and therefore must always be the de-facto standard? Irrespective of the fact that it's not as powerful as keynote, doesn't look as good as is less intuitive to learn/use?



    There's a way to invoke progress. Apple sell 10 million of these a year, with iWork pre-installed (drop the price tag apple!) and we'll see what the future brings. Competition is good. Keynote will output to a half dozen formats (including flash, LMAO) and open powerpoint presentations. I think somehow, this is a major advantage.
  • Reply 10 of 282
    I need to confirm three things, and then this is my new work device.



    1) I can present out that VGA port so I can hook it to a projector.



    2) Exchange Email works just like it doesn on my iPhone, which my employer is actually moving us to off of blackberries.



    3) It connects to a cisco VPN just like my iPhone.



    That is 95% of what I use my laptop for, and I'll personally buy my own iPad to get rid of that stupid thing.



    The icing on the cake would be the ability to print things to a networked printer occasionally.
  • Reply 11 of 282
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pmz View Post


    Not even slightly justified. Shows completely lack of vision



    Yeah? What vision? Its easy to throw out open ended maxims. Can you give examples of the vision that eludes me?
  • Reply 12 of 282
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    The 'Pad is a toy. It is not suited for heavy-duty use. I think that emphasizing business use is a huge mistake. I was very surprised when iWork was emphasized, given that the device has dodgy input and output, and no ability to multitask.



    I can see many obvious business uses for this device as a complementary tool - not one to replace the laptop/desktop model. I don't believe apple are suggesting that this is anything more than a toy for the corporate market place as it can be in a domestic setting. As an email reader, web browser and to run presentations on, it's a fantastic toy.



    This thing has wireless network, 3G, blue tooth, it has USB and SD card adapters - what's dodgy about this level of input and output? Add to that a nice version of tomtom and the assisted GPS:



    Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)

    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology

    Wi-Fi + 3G model

    UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)

    GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz)

    Data only2

    Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)

    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology



    As for input, sit it next to a bluetooth keyboard, and away you go.



    What more connectivity do you want? Maybe a cranial implant so it can run on electrical impulses from the brain.



    If the 'pad has no ability to multitask, then care to explain how it runs it's own OS, alongside playing music in iTunes while reading a book? Do explain that one to me?
  • Reply 13 of 282
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Perhaps you should give us your list of accomplishments and expertise that we can better accept your predications.



    My accomplishments and expertise are important only if you desire to employ an argument from authority, which is an unreliable method.



    Why not consider the message, and not the messenger?
  • Reply 14 of 282
    Does the author of this article know how difficult it is to actually point with a laser printer? I mean, those things are heavy man!

    EDIT: I misread, it's virtual. That would be fine.
  • Reply 15 of 282
    tummytummy Posts: 21member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post


    Can't access Active-X or Sharepoint properly from corporate world. Yeah yeah I know, but the reality is 90% of business uses Windows and their idiotic monopolistic browser locking technologies.



    I'm able to vpn and access our sharepoint just fine from the iPhone. I can't author any publishing pages due to the controls, but I can view sites, create list items, download files... The navigation works just fine. Search works. That covers the majority of use since there are very few people who author publishing pages on our deployment.



    If the browser is the same, just bigger and better, then I think it will work just ok with sharepoint for most.
  • Reply 16 of 282
    nkhmnkhm Posts: 928member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Yeah? What vision? Its easy to throw out open ended maxims. Can you give examples of the vision that eludes me?



    Maybe I can try - the vision to be able to hold something in your hand that has a useful screen size which can easily be taken into meetings to make notes, to check email, to connect to a projector, to look up reference material and to have a working day battery life, while being light enough to be carried in your standard briefcase without having to lug around a second case for your laptop all day.



    The vision to take a small device into any office and quickly pair with a blue tooth keyboard (and I suspect also a bluetooth enabled printer) to get some simple email typed, if the on screen keyboard isn't to your taste.



    The vision that all of this is costing only $10 more than a kindle DX, and costs less than a blackberry or iPhone on contract, so small companies can make savings and let their employees have cheap cell phones with cheap price plans, further saving costs.



    Just the first few thoughts off the top of my head.
  • Reply 17 of 282
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iGenius View Post


    Are you implying that my surmises are not justified? Please go on.



    The ball is in your court to explain your statements as you proclaimed them to be fact before all else.
  • Reply 18 of 282
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


    I can see many obvious business uses for this device as a complementary tool - not one to replace the laptop/desktop model. I don't believe apple are suggesting that this is anything more than a toy for the corporate market place as it can be in a domestic setting. As an email reader, web browser and to run presentations on, it's a fantastic toy.



    This thing has wireless network, 3G, blue tooth, it has USB and SD card adapters - what's dodgy about this level of input and output? Add to that a nice version of tomtom and the assisted GPS:



    Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)

    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology

    Wi-Fi + 3G model

    UMTS/HSDPA (850, 1900, 2100 MHz)

    GSM/EDGE (850, 900,1800, 1900 MHz)

    Data only2

    Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)

    Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology



    As for input, sit it next to a bluetooth keyboard, and away you go.



    What more connectivity do you want? Maybe a cranial implant so it can run on electrical impulses from the brain.



    If the 'pad has no ability to multitask, then care to explain how it runs it's own OS, alongside playing music in iTunes while reading a book? Do explain that one to me?



    This needs an usb port without a card adapter. This needs to access users's files, movies, pictures from usb storage devices and must also write on them. That's one of the main use that people do of their netbooks. And also, it needed an isight from day 1 since people mainly buy netbooks for messaging purposes too.
  • Reply 19 of 282
    igeniusigenius Posts: 1,240member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nkhm View Post


    What more connectivity do you want? Maybe a cranial implant so it can run on electrical impulses from the brain.



    If the 'pad has no ability to multitask, then care to explain how it runs it's own OS, alongside playing music in iTunes while reading a book? Do explain that one to me?



    I would like it to act as a USB host. I would like the ability to put files onto it directly from an external drive. I would like it to act as a portable external drive.



    And WRT to multitasking, you are correct. The hardware is capable. The problem is not the hardware, or the iOS itself, but instead, Apple's policy of not allowing customers to get the most out of their devices.
  • Reply 20 of 282
    Will the iPad have a decent PDF reader and editor (such as Preview)?



    I read and edit a lot of PDFs (journal articles, manuscripts, protocols, etc.) and the iPad would be a perfect device for this.



    I know that the iPad OS (3.2?) will include the capability to "share" a folder with a Mac... now if they'd only develop a version of Preview tailored specifically for the iPad, I'd get one ASAP.
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