It has been sometime since I wrote the last post in the Living In The Cloud Series. With iPad in my hand, I thought it is time to revisit this series and talk briefly about how iPad fits in a life on the clouds. When iPad was announced, I wrote a post about how iPad might fit in the life of SaaS junkies.
However, my experience with using SaaS apps on iPhone left a lot to be desired. I found the iPhone screen to be too small to have a strain-free experience. I also wanted the keyboard to be a bit bigger to suit my fingers. At times, I also want better processing power to have a more seamless experience. With iPad, I get all of these and more. It is a perfect mobile companion for heavy SaaS users without the clunkiness associated with netbooks. In short, iPad is a great device for any SaaS junkie and, in some ways, magical.
Being a SaaS junkie myself, I thought I will come back and report the overall experience so far. I considered living only by using iPad but it is not working out because iPad doesn’t have multitasking and I need it as a part of my workflow. I can’t live exclusively on iPad but it has taken over significant portion of my work/personal life. In this post, I will discuss the pros and cons of using iPad and the cloud from my point of view.
As I usually do in this series, the following video highlights iPad for those who didn’t get a chance to play with it.
Like other posts in this series, I will list out the pros and cons of iPad from the point of view of someone who lives on the cloud
Pros:
  • Form factor, form factor, form factor. The form factor of iPad changes everything compared to the iPhone experience. Even though iPhone has revolutionized mobile landscape and changed the way people worked, the small form factor of iPhone made it difficult for the mobile workers to get higher efficiency with their productivity. It was good for a quick email or a quick note or even a quick browsing but one cannot rely on it completely. iPad’s form factor changes everything. Yes, you still cannot write an entire book using iPad (well, you can do it but it is not something you will enjoy compared to doing it on a laptop or desktop) but you can do most of the daily tasks. Though there are stories of some people tried running a business with just iPad and stranded Norwegian Prime Minister actually running the government during the ash delay, it still cannot be your only device but it is good enough to carry out most of your daily personal and professional tasks
  • Though iPad doesn’t support multi-tasking, it is a device that could do multiple functions. In fact, iPad is my document reader, ebook reader, television, music player, telephone device, mobile email reader, laptop in most cases, etc.. One single device that completely replaces the functionality of multiple devices in my life
  • I rely on SaaS for most of my application needs but iPhone or any other Smartphones were not comfortable for me as a SaaS user. The larger screen size of iPad makes it a perfect mobile device for my SaaS needs
  • For those who live in US, the 3G data plan is one of the cheapest. It took away the need for my data card and saved me some green
Cons:
  • Lack of multi-tasking is the biggest problem with iPad. Hopefully, this will go away soon with the OS update
  • Close integration with iTunes is a big problem for me, especially while transferring the documents I need to take from others when I am away from my computer. I have to load it to my cloud storage first and then get it on to my iPad
Well, I can write a long post on the topic but my idea is to offer a short take on the pros and cons of iPad from a web worker point of view, especially the one who lives on SaaS and other form of cloud computing.
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Krishnan Subramanian

Krish dons several avatars including entrepreneur in exile, analyst cum researcher, technology evangelist, blogger, ex-physicist, social/political commentator, etc.. My main focus is research and analysis on various high impact topics in the fields of Open Source, Cloud Computing and the interface between them. I also evangelize Open Source and Cloud Computing in various media outlets, blogs and other public forums. I offer strategic advise to both Cloud Computing and Open Source providers and, also, help other companies take advantage of Open Source and Cloud Computing. In my opinion, Open Source commoditized software and Cloud Computing commoditized computing resources. A combination of these two developments offers a strong competitive advantage to companies of all sizes and shapes. Due to various factors, including fear, the adoption of both Open Source and Cloud Computing are relatively slow in the business sector. So, I take it upon myself to clear any confusion in this regard and educate, enrich and advise users/customers to take advantage of the benefits offered by these technologies. I am also a managing partner in two consulting companies based in India. I blog about Open Source topics at http://open.krishworld.com and Cloud Computing related topics at http://www.cloudave.com.

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