Apple’s iPad has been around for 7 years now, and while an imperfect device, has made inroads into business to a great extent.
However, I think they’re still missing the boat for true corporate usage, namely as a fantastic thin client device.
With the release of the $329 iPad, we now have an extremely capable device for not a lot of money. While it can easily do Microsoft Office (well, it’s version of it, anyway), Google Docs, and even iWork, the really useful aspect of it are the many wonderful virtual desktop clients available.
My company uses Citrix XenApp, but there are also solutions by VMWare and others that make working remotely a lot easier.
The problem? Highly limited bluetooth mouse capability. While any bluetooth keyboard will work (and work wonderfully, I might add), the only bluetooth mouse functionality that I know of is the Citrix X1 mouse, which only works with Citrix, is poorly built despite its high cost, and is sketchy in functionality.
If Apple were to put in-app mouse functionality as an option for app developers, it would broaden the iPad’s functionality greatly for both business and education.
At the current low price, the iPad can directly compete with Google’s Chromebook, while offering a lot more offline functionality than ChromeOS currently does on most ChromeBooks.
I hope this is a direction they go. If they did, I’d immediately be able to stop traveling with a laptop, which would be fantastic.