Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Rise of the Tablets

Mobile computing has become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Today there are a number of choices for staying connected while on the go - smart phones, netbooks, laptops, and tablets among others. All of these devices are capable of accessing the Internet using wifi hotspots and the increasing speeds of cellular networks. Tablets are on the rise as the device of choice for mobile computing. - whether at home or on the road.

Tablets are not a new entrant to the mobile computing market. They've been used in many industries for years. Recently, however, tablets have become lighter, thinner, and more powerful. It seems that since the introduction of the Apple iPad, the tablet market has boomed. Google, Motorola, HP, Microsoft, Amazon, and Samsung are among the latest companies who have jumped into the tablet market. This is great because healthy competition in the marketplace often tends to be a win-win for the consumer by way improved quality, development of new products and services, and often lower prices.

Today, tablets have become highly sought after for not only entertainment, news, and email but also mobile communications, collaborations, and other businesses uses. People have become more mobile and the experience of working on the go has been improved.

Consumers are using tablets mainly for personal reasons such as access to the internet and checking email. However, tablets are good for all types of media consumption as well as picture and video capture, social networking, communication, gaming, and mapping/route planning. Tablets are also becoming more popular with businesses. You can find them in a number of industries such as healthcare, retail, field sales and service, legal, marketing, etc. Doctor offices and hospitals are using tablets for medical reference, to view and update patient care information, read diagnostic images, and to e-prescribe medications. You can also find them being utilized by patients in waiting rooms and by staff when scheduling appointments. In the legal profession, tablets can provide access to documents and depositions. Sales and service forces are making use of tablets in the field for presentations and video conferencing, as decision tools and reference, and for configuring price quotes. Retail sales teams are employing tablets on the floor as a sales tool and marketing teams are use them for digital signage, interactive brochures, creative reviews, and at tradeshows.

iPads are leading the way among consumers and small businesses as the tablet of choice, for right now at least. The great app selection has helped hoist Apple to the top of the marketplace. App availability is key for many tablet users - both personal and business users alike. There are apps for ordering meals at NY airports (partnership between Delta and OTG Management) and in-flight entertainment, for mobile videoconferencing and access to business intelligence data, and even for enhanced local destination advice for concierges. There are apps for just about anything you would want to do and an increasing number of tablets to choose from.

Tablets can do most of the work that's already being done on laptops and PCs, but not yet as quickly or efficiently. Many of the most common business applications are also available for tablet users by means of the myriad of downloadable apps. Many companies have already upgraded their applications and processes to allow for easier web integration and more flexibility for tablet users - and many more companies have plans to do so.

In deciding whether a tablet is right for you or your business, visit Jason's Aug 2011 blog entitled "Do you need a tablet?" User experience, price, ease of use, and access to music, books, photos, apps etc are just some of the decisive factors in selecting a tablet to meet your needs.

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