I decided to get an iPad. I wanted it specifically to use as a platform for work. I wanted to see if it could hold its own against my MacBook Pro for the usual daily tasks around the office as well as use and evaluate it as a platform for potential customer applications.
So, I took it to work today and left my MacBook at home. And guess what? With the exception of one critical type of task, there wasn’t a single thing I needed to do that the iPad didn’t handle fine. I scheduled two meetings, answered all my email, previewed two presentations, worked on some content in our Wiki, made a couple of phone calls (Skype), and checked the traffic on the way home.
That involved using only one app that isn’t part of the basic, out-of-the-box iPad, and that was Keynote from the iWork suite. It happily worked with the Exchange server in the office, the MediaWiki install, and even hooked up OK to the projector for briefings.
What it couldn’t do, even with the full set of iWork apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) was anything resembling a decent outline. No concept of outlining exists anywhere that I could find, at least not in the sense that MS Word or PowerPoint can perform. And it’s not a function I can do without on a regular bases.
Outlining in a Wiki is possible, but difficult to share (and preview, and reorganize, and restyle, etc.) and requires a live network connection of some sort. But the stock iPad plus iWork apps just can’t. Not in any useful way.
The device is pitched to students and teachers as a great note taking tool. I say BS. It’s not, unless what you are writing is a disorganized pile of text.
I know there are several 3rd party apps for outlining, but they suffer from a distinct lack of integration with iTunes and the iWork online site for file sharing. And I really don’t think this is a feature to be omitted from the iWork apps.
But in the absence of this feature, I’m still going to have to drag my laptop to meetings unless someone has a better idea.