About the iPad

8 10 2014

People once marveled at the interactive tablets carried around by characters in Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, or the touch screens in Spielberg’s Minority Report – dream futures that have become reality.
In 1983 Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stated that his ultimate ambition was

“to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes…”.

That vision would take him 27 years to realize. With the launch of the iPad in 2010 Apple’s engineers again demonstrated their formidable skills.

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.

Within a few years the early idea of Steve Jobs hit the computer industry to the core and the list of MUST-HAVE-Devices was complemented by a tablet and analysts started talking about the Post-PC-Era.

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With the release of the iPad, mobile devices reached a new quality because of it’s screen size and the possibility to operate them just with the fingers, without any peripherals. They initiated a shift in paradigm of teaching and learning as well and from that time ‘people could hold the internet in their hands‘.

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Historically the term first originated when Apple‘s founder Steve Jobs discussed the future of personal computing during an interview alongside Bill Gates at the fifth All Things Digital conference in 2007. At that time he described

“a category of devices that aren’t as general purpose, that are really more focused on specific functions, whether they’re phones or iPods or Zunes or what have you. And I think that category of devices is going to continue to be very innovative and we’re going to see lots of them,”

Jobs said.

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Apple’s been kicking around the idea of a tablet since at least 1983. From real, physical prototypes to out-there ideas such as the Knowledge Navigator – the company has, somewhat unsurprisingly, seen fit to investigate the possibility for almost as long as it’s been around. For one reason or another, though, they’ve never actually produced a device which saw the light of retail day (besides the Newton). Perhaps that’s part of the fascination that Apple fans have with the product a it’s been rumored so long, and seemed on the verge of actual arrival so many times that it’s become a Holy Grail of sorts for the tech community.

Optimizing the workflow …

On the go, in the air, simply everywhere an iPad may help to optimize workflows in all areas of our lives. Apple published tons of information about the application of it’s jack-of-all-trades. You can find some interesting documents when you open the iBooks app and search for ‘ipad at work’.

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In 2011 the Federal Aviation Administration approved the iPad for in-cockpit use and many airlines, starting with Alaska Airlines, began to optimize their pilots workflow.

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At United for example, the iPad became standard equipment on the flight deck, providing pilots with one-touch access to charts, maps, and other crucial navigation tools.

In a business where extra weight translates directly into extra costs, choosing iPad means fewer pounds on every route United flies—not to mention less baggage for United pilots to lug through the airport.

“A pilot’s flight bag weighs about 45 pounds,” says Captain David Sambrano, who has flown United planes for 22 years. “With iPad, we get rid of that big 45-pound bag. Being able to take all those books and charts and bring it down to about a pound and a half is incredible.”

Eliminating all that paper translates into serious savings, says Captain Joe Burns, Managing Director of Technology and Flight Test, another 20-year United veteran. “With iPad we’re able to save 16 million sheets of paper a year. Just removing the weight of that paper works out to 326,000 gallons of fuel saved per year.”

But replacing traditional flight charts with electronic documents on iPad does more than merely lighten the load. It also helps United pilots pinpoint essential flight information the moment they need it.

“In the past we’d have to pull a binder out, find the airport and the approach code, pull the paper out, clip it onto a chart holder somewhere, then enter that data into the flight control computer on the aircraft,” Burns recalls. “We view iPad as a big safety and time saver.”

“The iPad display allows us to see the chart very clearly,” Sambrano adds, “and it’s readable in different types of lighting, which is extremely important. And you can get to that particular chart or that particular piece of information so quickly.”
(Source Apple)

iPad in education …

The iPad can be a transformative tool in education as it can house all resources (books, readings, video, audio), connects to the internet for doing research, provides a vehicle for maintaining communication, replaces ‘dead tree’ paper versions of resources and does it all in an easy to carry around, quick starting, and simple interface.

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Using an iPad in classrooms is a paradigm shift from didactic models of ‘Teaching’ to constructivist models of ‘Learning’. Technology has always been good that and that’s one reason schools began investing in computers in the 70s and 80s. But the iPad brought that engagement to a very personal level.

It’s because a touchscreen is much nearer to human activities than any other device or textbook could be.

What we do is mostly what we do with our hands. It’s our first approach to new things.

Creating artworks, modeling new devices or writing down all the ideas leading to the E=m c c equation on a sheet of paper while walking through the room and reflecting our thoughts is almost always done by hand.

Apple-IBM …

In July 2014 Apple published a press info about

Apple and IBM Forge Global Partnership to Transform Enterprise Mobility

What does this mean?

IT departments and tech purchasers will now enjoy

  • the reliability of IBM’s enterprise solutions on Apple’s platform
  • powerful mobile device management
  • tailored services and support
  • the most secure mobile operating system
  • easy to use devices with lots of new tailored business applications
  • an incredible lifetime cycle because of high build-quality and less fragmentation of the OS

Apple’s devices were already in use in many enterprises but now the footprint is institutionalized.

Some tidbits …

Call it innovation, evolution, improvement or whatever you like, the first iPad is quite different from the actual model, the iPad Air, if you take a look at the details.

1st Gen iPad Air
Power 25 Wh 32 Wh
Memory 256 MB 1000 MB
Display 132 ppi 264 ppi
Weight 730 g 478 g
Storage 16,32,64 16,32,64,128

The most impressive developments of Apple’s engineers are the Retina display and the 64-Bit-Processor which opens the door to high-performance software applications.

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Build-quality, performance, and the operating system show us what Steve Jobs had in mind when saying “to put an incredibly great computer in a book that you can carry around with you and learn how to use in 20 minutes.”

Summary …

A shining example for disruptive technology developed by a company with a strong focus on high-quality products serving people and enriching their lives.

Related links …

iPad @ Universities

iPad @ School

iPad in education

iPad in cockpits

Thanks for dropping by.


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