The iPad at seven months in the wild -- what industries have changed
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The iPad at seven months in the wild -- what industries have changed

By Terry Jarrell
Apple Consultants Network

Thinking back to this past April, it's hard to believe iPad has only been with us a little over 7 months. The world has changed considerably since then with the explosion of the Apple App Store, and so many others scurrying to release their take on the most successful electronics device in history.

The real story is in iPad users themselves and how there has been an awakening, in a major way, to so many professional industries that had previously been stuck in older, inefficient ways of doing business.

It doesn't take a wild imagination to imagine medical professionals loving iPad. The MacPractice app for iPhone was released a couple years ago but now, the iPad app really brings this functionality home. Med pros can access their patient data literally from anywhere they have an Internet connection, safely and securely. The larger screen is perfect for viewing photos and interact with other intricate information in their database that is pertinent to their work.

Another professional group that we have seen come alive more than any other is legal. While we have enjoyed working with attorney clients in the past, iPad and some apps in particular have brought such incredible utility to their work, they are converting their offices fully to Mac now that they understand the benefits of the system and relatively low total cost of ownership.

Legal pros are enjoying apps such as Dragon Dictation to fire off a quick summary to their office managers while working away from the office. Then, when they get back to the office, their document has been prepared and ready to sign and ship. Some have pointed out the way they use handwriting apps such as Penultimate or the fantastic Note Shelf for jotting down notes with a stylus from Targus or Pogo, or for even more audio tagged detail, Live Notes.

Live Notes is a very cool app that also records your ambient audio, linking it with your handwritten notes. Audio is synced with what you were writing and is very useful when drawing diagrams or other notes where tagged audio is useful. If you have ever used a Livescribe Pulse pen you get the idea.

Restaurants are also keen to how iPad can be beneficial. Everything from order taking by wait staff to product display is being planned and deployed. We recently demonstrated how much more impact a visual representation of attractive menu items look on iPad's beautiful screen compared to conventional, text oriented paper menu.

A simple tap can place an order, sent to the kitchen, by either wait staff or diners with an iPad anchored at the table as a sort of kiosk device thereby increasing sales and serving the customer faster, more accurately and efficiently. How can you resist that slab of cheesecake for dessert after watching it spin and dance on that hi-res display through your main course? A picture is worth a thousand words, 'eh?

Still taking baby steps just being loose in the world for a little more than half a year, just imagine what other creative uses we will see this time next year, or several years out. iPad and great apps will continue to shape the way we work and play and the best is surely yet to come!

 
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