In 2010, Apple heralded the iPad as the device to revolutionise the laptop era for consumers. Now with the launch of the iPad Pro, the company is set to address the ‘prosumer’ in the enterprise and move closer to achieving that goal. Combining power with new input devices and a platform designed for mobile, it is hoped the iPad Pro will enable businesses to be flexible in how and where they work.
But for businesses looking to become more mobile, is the iPad Pro the right option? And what has changed to make it enterprise ready?
One of the biggest factors delaying the widespread adoption of tablets in the workplace has been its processing power. Previously, tablets were used for media consumption only; however, as processing power has increased, this is no longer the case.
As well as viewing media, creative professionals can also edit videos and content too. In fact, the processor in the iPad Pro allows for video producers to edit their work on the fly, with the ability to run and edit three 4K video streams at once. Devices like the iPad Pro are freeing people from the confines of their office and allowing them to work wherever they may be.
Along with the iPad Pro, Apple also announced two new devices that can work in conjunction with the device. The Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil add extra flexibility to business users on the go. The Apple Pencil for example, will enable designers to draw, take notes, mark up documents, and annotate photos. Unlike a PC and stylus combination, which has your hand in one place and the image created in another, the iPad Pro and Pencil make it a more natural experience.
Earlier this year, Apple invested in its app ecosystem, doubling the size that was allowed in the App Store from 2GB to 4GB. By doubling the size, app developers have much more freedom to create very powerful apps that have all the features you would expect from a standard desktop program.
With iOS 9, app thinning has now been incorporated and this means iPad Pro users can benefit from only having the elements needed for their device download, further improving the way programmes run on the new iPad. Large and powerful apps such as Salesforce and Evernote and other enterprise apps will be free to become bigger and more powerful, allowing sales teams to do more away from the office. And with big tech names like Microsoft also creating specific apps for the iPad Pro, we could soon see tablets becoming the go-to productivity device.
Apple devices are well known for their simplicity and ease of use – one of the key drivers for its adoption in the enterprise; however, managing and setting up multiple devices for any business is no mean feat. This is where third-party software solutions, that can manage the deployment and security of both apps and devices and scale as organisations grow, can further enable businesses when adopting the iPad Pro.
Apple has not been the only one interested in growing its enterprise offering. Microsoft has been equally interested in maintaining its grip on the business sector. However, while Apple has taken its mobile offering and made it business friendly, Microsoft has come at it from the opposite angle, taking their business platform and making it mobile. Although on paper this may seem only a slight difference, the real world results are quite different.
Apple is able to deliver a harmonious user experience with apps that are tailor-made for its mobile platform and therefore specific to particular devices. Microsoft, however, is trying to shoehorn one app across a variety of different devices, meaning that mobile and desktop devices are lumbered with the same app, regardless of their use case. From a business user’s point of view, this creates a less than perfect situation which can be difficult to use.
As is often the case when looking at new hardware, it often boils down to the user’s needs. In the enterprise, the key focus should always be on making life as easy as possible for an employee. For the businesses looking to become more mobile, there have never been so many options available, but device and application management for the iPad Pro will be vital to the success of the business.
Mia Harper, Marketing Manager, EMEIA & APAC at JAMF Software