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Making a new friend and exploring the iPad as a window into real real-time computing

Earlier today I was joking on Twitter with @viatorius (aka Matthias Wild) a fellow SAP colleague working in SAP IT Business Intelligence that my desk:
(See this picture of my desk)


looks somewhat like the “magic” desk in this ingenious real real-time computing video:


Joking aside, I’ve been using the iPad shown above now for a couple of days and even with missing flash support and no camera I still find the device amazingly simple and useful. As it gives access to applications running in a cloud or whereever, it actually really might be the closest you can get today to a desk environment that works as portrayed in the video.

While the iPad couldn’t fully replace my computer at this point, it still comes quite close. For the last few evenings I left my computer in the bag and used the iPad exclusively as an evening/home computing device and it allowed me to do almost anything I need. On top of that yes, it is a great devide for gaming or educational games for kids also.

Wanted to share a few screenshots of things that in my opinion work great on an iPad:

Obviously being on SCN, we got to start with that. 🙂

Reading SCN blogs through an RSS reader
My favorite RSS reader app is called Newsrack. RSS readers exist since a long time for iPhones/iPod Touches, Blackberries, Android etc. however the small screen makes it challenging to enjoy e.g. reading a blog.
With the iPad, it’s a great experience all around:image


Of course you can do all your Google Reader reading through such an app, here’s another “Newsrack” shot, it keeps track of what you read or didn’t, you can share things through all kinds of means very easily:  image


So far only a handful of Twitter clients have made it to the iPad. Tweetdeck is one of them and it’s a great one. TweetDeck for iPad is georgious and very intuitive to use at least in vertical mode. Horizontally I haven’t fully understood it yet I think 🙂

Here’s how you would look at a Tweet in detail and be able to reply/retweet/favorite/eMail etc. the tweet:



Another Tweetdeck example of looking at an attached link, the link just opens up in the upper part of the screen, which is good enough to read most pages. You can open in Safari from here, which is helpful if you want to stay on this page/site for a while. Altogether very intuitive!



Of course you can eMail from the device. The last few days I’ve been doing lots of my eMail from this device and I have to say, it really works well to type even some longer thoughts on the iPad keyboard. If the device is connected to e.g. a corporate eMail account it integrates very well to your corporate addressbook or eMail folders you might have in your account etc. Another good one!



You can browse the web and again once connected to e.g. a company WiFi, you can browse the intranet as well. Basic certificate support is available and works. Here’s an example browsing an intranet site:



Many other apps are just beautifully done and make great use of the bigger screen. Here’s an example of WeatherBug, the map that it displays on the left can show all kinds of animation for temperature, rain, humidity and more. The right side has all you want to know about the weather today or in the next couple of days, great app!



Last but not least, of course yes, the iPad is great for games too. One of my favorites is Flight Control, it’s great on the iPhone/iPod Touch, but even better on the iPad, it even has a multiplayer mode, where you can play it with two folks against each other on either one or two iPads:


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