Most people consider the now popular iPad and similar tablet devices primarily as entertainment and communication tools, used often but mainly for playing games, watching videos or accessing social networking sites. Even so, sales of these newfangled tablets have been phenomenal, as they caught the fancy of mostly young teenyboppers who are eager to try out the latest techno toys.
Being larger and more full-featured versions of smartphones, the ubiquitous iPads also attracted the attention of yuppies and older professionals. The iPad can certainly be made more useful than just playing Angry Birds, or getting a quick Facebook or Twitter update, or reading the latest Ebook bestseller while on the go. These ultraportable devices – although admittedly less functional than desktops and laptops – also have office suites, photo/video editing utilities and other apps that some business people may find useful one way or the other.
Aside from the standard word processing, spreadsheet, and other mobile-office applications, the iPad boasts of numerous apps for common business tasks, such as contact and calendar management, calculation and conversion, voice and video recording, or for taking notes.
The Office suite and other tools help increase productivity for employees, particularly for those who are frequently out of the office. Executives can read reports, view spreadsheets, create or revise Keynote decks in-between meetings, or further polish a speech while on-the-go. Sales personnel can easily retrieve the latest product prices, current inventory levels, or updated shipping schedules even while conferring with a client, ensuring accurate information and minimizing delays in closing deals.
Reducing Costs and Losses
In addition to faster closing of transactions, the company minimizes costs in various ways when using the iPad. Employees need not bring voluminous papers to meetings and spend precious minutes looking for information from stacks of papers, as documents can be digitally stored in the tablet computer and needed information retrieved in a flash. Moreover, brochures, presentations and other documents can be exchanged digitally, thereby reducing printing and other expenses.
Even traders, investors and analysts who are away from trading floors for some reason, such as a coffee break, can easily access the latest financial information about various industries, and not be caught unawares whenever there unexpected turns and bumps in trading.
Nothing would impress restaurant customers better than to hand them an iPad, let them view the food and wine choices, and allow them to actually order their selection by just pressing the menu on the tablet screen – it certainly makes the restaurant trendy and forward-looking. The iPad menu can be customized not just to provide the photo and price of each item but also additional details like ingredients and nutritional information. Once finalized, the order is automatically sent to the kitchen and bar for filling up the order, and cashier for bill preparation. A similar setup can be done in appliance, jewelry, electronics stores and many other stores.
Tablet computers are expected to become more popular in the coming years, and it certainly augurs well for businesses to leverage and use these gadgets to ensure business growth. One is likely to find software suitable for the business from the nearly 90,000 iPad-specific apps in the App Store, or have one custom-designed if nothing fits the company’s specific needs.