The rise of tablets: why laptops and phones are no longer needed

Tablets are provocative beasts.

When you make a big one, people argue whether it can replace a laptop. Make a small one, and some users want it to be a huge phone. These conversations have been repeated since then-CEO Steve Jobs announced Apple’s groundbreaking iPad in 2010.

It was a meaningless conversation at that time. Only the most enthusiastic tech geeks doing certain types of work could even think of stunts that would replace a phone or laptop with a tablet. Despite all the stories, few have tried it.

The world and tablets weren’t ready, pushing iPads and other tablets into lean content-consuming device status.

But suddenly, the idea of ​​using a tablet as a work laptop or a tablet as a work phone makes sense for some users and is possible for most users. This is especially true for both this year’s 12.9-inch. iPad Pro or New 8.3 inches. iPad Mini 6 Announced this week.

The conversation on the iPad Mini 6 is hot right now, and I have some interesting questions about the phone network.

Why the iPad Mini 6 can replace business smartphones

The iPad Mini 6 has 5G data capabilities, but you can’t make calls. (Also, unlike the iPhone, the iPad Mini 6 doesn’t work on the Apple Watch and can’t run apps that require a phone number, most notably WhatsApp.)

However, the iPad Mini 6 is importantly similar to the iPhone. For example, it has the same A15 Bionic system-on-chip processor used in. Future iPhone 13 line up. A fire-breathing monster with a long battery life.

Unlike the iPhone, the iPad Mini runs both the iPhone and iPad apps and supports Apple Pencil. Its small size and pencil support are closest to what Apple has ever shipped to the Samsung Galaxy Note line.

The iPad Mini 6 can replace the phone, not because it has access to the phone network. (I can’t.) That’s because we don’t necessary Telephone network. All you need is the data portion provided by your mobile operator.

During the pandemic, a huge number of both face-to-face meetings and business calls were replaced by Zoom and other video conferencing solutions.. And during this crisis, the rise of unified communications tools continued and the possibilities accelerated. Unified communications, which integrates audio and video calling, call management, instant messaging, thread messaging, collaboration tools, and mobile communications into a single solution, replaces the last traces of analog communications with digital communications, replacing device types. Make it irrelevant.

Voice calls, video calls, messaging, slack, IMessage, FaceTime, Google Meet Or any number of services that currently make up how most business communication actually takes place.

But wait, you may say. I always call and text messages!I say: yes, but you don’t necessary Use it. It’s just a habit. It’s also easy to get in touch and communicate with colleagues, partners, or prospects when they’re not using the phone system.

In fact, even if you don’t have a phone, you can do it without anyone knowing or worrying about it. Virtual phone numbers are available from 5G and VoIP providers. Google Voice and Skype are the mainstream apps you may already be using, providing phone numbers that you can share and contact.

To explain my claim, consider this basic thought experiment. Which is disadvantageous to the business, inaccessible to the telephone system or inaccessible to zoom? The answer is clear. Not having access to Zoom would be a far greater disadvantage these days. You can make and receive calls over VoIP and other services, but without Zoom you will have to decline the meeting.

In other words, there are technologies, systems, and networks that focus on the features that your app replicates. Also, the best voice communication apps on any device are better than mobile calls over the phone network, but on tablets the front camera is the same but the screen is bigger, so zoom works much better on tablets than on phones. increase.

The iPad Mini 6 is the best ever example of a small tablet that can replace the phone. This is because the world is moving away from dependence on the telephone network and the iPad Mini 6 is the best small tablet on the market. (It will arrive next week.)

What happened on landlines is happening on mobile networks: The way people communicate for business is evolving away from mobile networks. One day we will wake up and find that no one is using it.

Why the iPad Pro can replace business laptops

later M1-based iPad Pro As it came out, I replaced my old laptop with an iPad full-time for work. In addition to screen quality and user interface elegance, my work benefits greatly from the flexibility of the model used.

For normal work, use a wireless mouse and keyboard like a laptop or desktop. But I also seamlessly switch to voice and touch and pen (or pencil if needed). It can be used with a lean experience for doing research, or with a pencil for taking notes or sketching ideas. I can take my iPad with me everywhere and work quickly anywhere.

I also noticed that while using the iPad, the phone was useless and tended to turn off. I use cloud services in multiple browsers and both iPhone and iPad apps. I join “phones”, make zoom and meet calls, participate in video podcasts, edit photos and videos, and manage spreadsheets and databases.

I’m currently using my phone for only two purposes. 1) Acts as a “server” for the Apple Watch. 2) Take a picture. The need to have an iPhone to use the Apple Watch is probably just an artificial limitation created by Apple to sell more iPhones. And, of course, the Apple Watch isn’t a business necessity for most people. We also don’t take pictures, which is a business need for most workers.

More importantly, almost all mainstream business features and usage models that people run on smartphones, desktops, and laptops can now be run on the iPad or another tablet brand.

This is a controversial point for two reasons. First, there are many professional activities that don’t really make sense on a tablet, or are so cumbersome and difficult to try an event. Some work styles require the largest screen possible, and tablets are best on the small screens of desktops and full-size laptops. Some professional applications do not run on tablet operating systems. Tablets aren’t really suitable for everyone.

And the second is those people exaggerate The difficulty of doing things differently than they always did. It’s just human nature.

In reality, in addition to a very powerful chip like the M1 and higher RAM (my tablet has 16GB), limited file management, mouse support, and other relatively new features on the iPad and other tablets. Means that for most people most of the time It’s perfectly possible to use a tablet instead of a laptop.

Most laptop users can use the tablet without missing out on features and, in fact, can benefit from the elegance of the screen and interface of the iPad OS.

Tablets are becoming more and more reasonable for business

People are habitual creatures and now tend to prefer to do things the way they used to. But the rules also apply to young people in the workforce. Many new graduates grew up almost exclusively using mobile phones and tablets. The use of things like keyboards and mice is not as rooted as the use of touch displays.

Each year, a generation of laptop and desktop users retires and a generation of touch display users join the workforce. (The tablet gives you both.)

With each passing year, mobile phones and text networks become less important, and tablets gain more power and functionality. Now you can see the main points of this column.

Of course, employees can choose their favorite device for personal use. But for companies that publish computers for their employees to use for work, tablets make more sense every day.

The tablet acts as a unified communications device, covering all forms of communication, including the equivalent of telephones and text messages. No telephone network is required at all. The tablet also acts as a laptop.

Perhaps instead of buying a $ 1,200 smartphone and a $ 1,200 laptop for employees, the company bought a $ 800 tablet (such as the iPad Mini 6) and a wireless keyboard, mouse, and earphones for everything. You need to cover your business base with one device.

Enterprises save a lot of money, facilitate the implementation of security systems for remote and hybrid workers, provide mobility and high-performance 5G communication tools, and satisfy both experienced and new employees.

This idea may or may not be desirable for your company. But it’s important to stop and be aware of the fact that the world has changed and tablets have changed.

Many may still prefer smartphones and laptops. But the new reality is, for the first time, we really don’t need them anymore.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

The rise of tablets: why laptops and phones are no longer needed

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