Notes from SF:

You look into the crowd at a enterprise tech conference, count the mobile devices, PCs and laptops. HP Slates were given away preloaded with the conference app. And then you listen to the message from the stage.

Yes, this was a conference in San Francisco. You would assume, so close to Apple that iDevices would rule. But was an enterprise conference. HP, Salesforce, Microsoft were sponsors here.

The audience members used overwhelmingly iPhones, I would say at least 75%. Laptops are increasingly replaced by tablets, and really there are only iPads. A few lonely Windows Surface devices. But surprisingly lots of iPads.

Then there was the messaging from the stage: People are now comfortably using the term smartphone, or rather phone. But there are no ‘tablets’. There are only iPads. The message is so strong that even with HP sponsoring the conference and giving away devices, it was incredibly hard for the speakers to use a generic term for tablet devices.

The iPad is the business computer for the enterprise over the next few years. Especially on the road.

This means, if you want to build a business app, you gotta target that device. It’s an expectation and has never been clearer to me.

I brought my iPhone, iPad mini and my MacBook Air to San Francisco. Totally overkill, I knew that. But what device to leave behind?

I barely needed my MacBook Air. I think I could’ve left it at home. If I would’ve only taken the iPad, I would probably want a keyboard for it. I’ve been browsing the options to see which ones make sense. A keyboard with build-in stand seems to make the device complete. Most people who are looking at iPads as replacements for laptops are focusing on the apps, the OS, multitasking features and on onscreen glass keyboard. But, I believe the one thing thing that’s needed to turn the device into a productivity tool is to find the right angle to do work on. The iPad on a desk just doesn’t work, it sits too flat on table.

We had a couple of product demos, but used the installed PCs at the demo stations. Our apps are web apps. No issue to login from a remote computer. All we need is a browser.

The iPad can’t easily do screen-sharing unless there’s an AppleTV on the other side, yet. If I could trust that I could screen-share for product demos I would totally go iPad only.

It also would be cool if Apple releases an AirPlay feature that doesn’t just mirror the device’s screen, but turns the actual screen into a keyboard, and the remote ‘AirPlay-ed’ screen into the actual screen. That would be incredible. TV’s in hotel rooms? Demo screens of any size. Boom, Game over.
And yes, I wrote this on my laptop, still.