Additionally, we have built a series of custom apps for our organization that replaces our decision support, ERP reports and several other ready references. Our tech plan and project-by-project fiscal analysis is in iBooks. Dropbox is great for file sharing.
You mentioned that you're a big FaceTime fan, and the iPad 2 brings FaceTime to the tablet. How important is this feature?
Rennie: FaceTime delivers a good, quick videoconference from any wireless environment. It has become a favored tool for work. We do quick video conferences and show whiteboards and physical spaces. When I travel, it's nice to call home and see everyone. I use FaceTime at least three to four times a week.
Did you get any accessories with your iPad 2?
Rennie: I didn't get a keyboard because the virtual keyboard works fine for me. I did get a camera connection kit ($30)and a HDMI digital AV adapter ($40) to connect to large monitors around the office and in conference rooms. (Check out these five iPad productivity tools for under $5, reports CIO.com.)
What about Apple's magnetic "smart" cover ($40)?
Rennie: I have a problem with the awkwardness of the cover. Although it appears to be a great idea, it starts to lose its luster when you are holding (the iPad) in your hand and walking around. The cover is kind of clumsy. I've also had the cover disconnect at the magnet hinges a few times. It's a little weird on airplanes where the absence of rigidity of position is problematic.
I am trying to adjust to the cover, but if I don't really soon then I will start evaluating other options.
On the iOS side, Apple apparently will introduce iOS 5 at this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference. From a CIO's perspective, what do you want to see?
Rennie: I know the iPad is an individual's device, but it is also great for classes, labs and healthcare applications where having more than one user per device is essential. Yet there's no easy way to share an iPad across classes and work shifts that keeps common data and apps and allows multiple authenticated users with their personal profiles.
For example, with an iPad in a clinical or medical environment, you'll want to keep the patient information and charts (the same for workers changing shifts) but would like the user to authenticate and have their unique calendar, email and subscriptions. This would make enterprise management of the devices a lot easier.
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