multi-screen setup
Multi-screen setup - Macbook, iMac, iPad and iPhone

In a prior post, we addressed the similarities and differences between a laptop computer and an iPad, and whether could replace one with the other. While there are people who have gone to one device, most of us use multiple devices and jump back and forth between them.

Recent research from Google has discovered that “90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal.” So not only are we using different computing devices, but using them in conjunction. That means it’s not really a question of either or, but rather what do I want to do and which tools do I use to do it.

You can read more about Google’s research on there Google Mobile Ads Blog – Navigating the new multi-screen world: Insights show how consumers use different devices together.

 

Mobile device infographic
Infographic from Flickr by espinr

Mobile app analytics company, Flurry, has released a report saying that iOS and Android mobile devices are being adopted:

  • 10X faster than PCs in the 80s
  • 2X faster than the Internet Boom of the 90s
  • 3X faster than the recent adoption of social media

As we look and this explosive rate of adoption, Extension needs to be looking at how to connect with all these people using mobile devices by designing our websites with responsive design and mobile in mind, creating mobile apps and making sure our content is optimized for a smaller format (information is smaller chunks, etc.).

If you are not yet a mobile user, now is the time to find out what all the hoopla is all about!

Now this is what I call mobile video – a remotely controlled roaming robot consisting of an iPad on a stick attached to what looks like a mini Segway. The technologist in me loves the ingenuity behind this mobile video robot, but something about it just feels a little weird. What do you think?

The robotics technology boom is just getting started and we’ll be see lots more of this soon. I could definitely think of tons of different ways to use this, especially remote support. Think about it, being virtually there…but not. Strange and interesting indeed.

If you like to walk around when using a tablet, you might want to obtain a hand strap. Using a hand strap will allow you hold your tablet with one hand and not worry about dropping it.

Enter the Padlette.

The Padlette is basically a big rubberband which attaches to your tablet by stretching over opposite corners, put your hand or fingers through the loops and… viola!

Check out the video for more info.

 

 

Dog using iPad
EMDUG

Here are preliminary goals for EMDUG:

  • Encourage the effective use of mobile technology for Extension teaching, learning and communication.
  • Demonstrate tools and methods for the production and delivery of educational materials using mobile devices.
  • Provide an opportunity for attendees to share their experiences, tools and uses of mobile devices in personal productivity, communication, teaching and learning.
  • Encourage and incorporate the use of emerging mobile presentation and delivery tools.
  • Work in a collaborative, sharing mode, rather than as a “sage on the stage.”
  • Connect our discoveries to our jobs, products and passions.
  • ..And have fun doing it.

Please feel free to add your thoughts to this list.

 

–Jeff

iPad and laptop
photo by adacito - flickr

Ok, so many of you out there might be thinking the iPad would be a great replacement for your laptop. After all, it’s lightweight, has great battery life and does everything a laptop does, right? Well…kinda, sorta, maybe…but not exactly. Let me explain.

I too prefer carrying an iPad instead of an arm busting laptop but it has some limitations which are worth considering.

Internal Storage Space

Depending on the version, iPads have 16GB – 64GB of total storage capacity. That might sound like a lot, unless you work with many high resolution photographs and/or video files which can quickly eat up drive space. In comparison, laptops typically come with a 250GB – 500GB internal hard drive and are able to hold thousands of files.

Keyboard

The iPad comes with a touchscreen keyboard to enter text, which may or may not work for you. It’s usually ok for note taking and short paragraphs, but if you do a lot of typing, you might want to stick with a laptop or get an external bluetooth keyboard compatible with the iPad, at which point you lose some of the portability factor of the iPad, but it’s an option.

Transferring Files

With a laptop, it’s fairly easy to transfer files. For small files, you can transfer files via email or WiFi and larger files can be sent over an Ethernet connection, burned on a CD/DVD disk, USB flash drive or card.

On an iPad, transfers can be a little bit more complicated, especially since it doesn’t have on board Ethernet connectivity or a CD/DVD burner. You can use email to send small files, but for bigger files your options are limited to WiFi transfers, via USB (using the dock connector and iTunes) or using Apple’s IPad Camera Connection Kit which lets you transfer photos and videos from a USB drive or SD Flash card.

Software Applications

Another limitation you need to consider is what types of files you use and which software you need to create, read and edit them. Today’s laptops are powerful computers which allow you to use equally powerful programs to create complex content.

iPads, on the other hand, have limited processing power and many of the programs that run on a laptop, such as Microsoft Office, are not available for the iPad, although there are 3rd part apps which allow you to view and edit the files, but are still limited in functionality.

Conclusion

So, should you replace your laptop with an iPad? If you can live with the limitations, go for it, but for most people, a laptop should probably still be your main computer. Of course, having both a laptop AND an iPad would give you the best of both worlds – a powerful computer for your heavy duty computing needs and a lightweight tablet computer for emailing and web surfing wirelessly from your couch!

~ Victor Villegas

 Apple iPhone 5 mock-up by DavidMartynHunt
Apple iPhone 5 mock-up from DavidMartynHunt

Thinking of buying and Apple iPhone or iPad? Well, you just might want to hold off for just a little bit more.

There are indications a new iPhone and a possible new iPad Mini will be announced soon. Apple will be rolling out iOS 6 on Sept. 12, 2012, so the chances of these rumors being true are fairly high.

All this speculation has lifted Apple stock to an all-time high, raising Apple’s value to $624 Billion, making it the world’s highest, ever.

As an owner of iPhone 3GS, I’m looking forward to a new updated phone. As for the iPad Mini, I’ll have to wait and see. I’m not sure a smaller iPad would work for me. But then again, a lower price point might entice me.

~ Victor Villegas