The iPad Has Landed

So, the iPad has finally landed!

And to refer back to the title of my post back in April, has it come crashing down to Earth like a huge white elephant, or elegantly applauded in as yet another Apple master stroke?

Before I answer that I’ll come clean and admit that I got one on the day they launched.

The Good

1- They are an extremely good presentation tool. Visually everything just comes to life on the screen. Keynote (Apple’s version of PowerPoint) can do some wonderful things and smart Australian companies will be working on some presentations for this tool and rolling them out to their sales force as I write this. If (like real estate agents) you’re presenting one-to-one, or one-to-two, there’s no better tool.

2 – The size “just works”. I was struggling to see where it would fit in the market if you already had a small laptop and an iPhone, but as soon as I saw one I instantly got it. The size is perfect. It’s not (as I feared) just a laptop without a keyboard. It’s small and slim enough to be a genuinely different product.

3 – As with all Apple products, it’s intuitive. It’s interesting that many of Apple’s products don’t even come with an instruction manual.

4 – It’s not all about fancy games and funky Apps. This thing has got some business grunt. Apps I downloaded on day one included; Pages, Numbers and Keynote (Apple’s version of Microsoft’s Word, XL and PowerPoint), as well as PDF Viewer, GoToMeeting and an App called DocsAnywhere, which enables you to sync the documents on your PC or MAC with your iPad, via iTunes.

5 – For the iPhone owners amongst you, some of the features you already know and love just work much better on the bigger version.

6 – It’s fast, particularly in WiFi mode, but it seems pretty slick in 3G as well.

7 – Battery life, the Achilles heel of the iPhone, thankfully the iPad doesn’t suffer the same problem.

The Bad

1 – You can only do one thing at a time and can’t jump around from one application (or program) to another like you can in Windows. If you want to quickly dive out of “something” to do “something else” for a few seconds, you can’t without closing the program you’re in.

2 – You have to get the WiFi/3G version. If you get the cheaper WiFi only version you’re wasting your money, as the device will not be anywhere near as mobile as you need it to be. Think iPod Touch (WiFi only) versus iPhone (WiFi/3G), there’s just no comparison.

3 – Touch screen keyboards are just not that great.

So, the verdict? For this industry I think they’re a great investment for an agent, assuming that you (or your business) is prepared to work hard to create the tools that will make the iPad really blossom.

A win for Apple I think.

iPad, iPhone

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About Pete Richards

Pete Richards is Head of Marketing for McGrath Estate Agents, and has been operating as a marketing specialist within the professional services sector since 1997, despite originally qualifying as a Mechanical Engineer. Pete joined McGrath in 2007, having previously held senior marketing roles within the recruitment and HR outsourcing sector, both in Australia and Europe.

14 Responses to The iPad Has Landed

  1. Robert Simeon June 7, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    Thanks Pete,

    I ordered the WiFi/3G version online and missed the cut 🙂 They sent me everything else thus far except the iPad 🙁

    What type of SIM card did you use as I keep hearing the mobile phone cards are the best for the iPad application?

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers

  2. Pete Richards June 7, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Yep, we’ve also still got a few on order that are showing “June” as a delivery date, not sure when we’ll finally get them.

    You do need to get a “micro-SIM card”, which is smaller than a standard mobile phone SIM. A bit of a rip off I think, and I’m sure there’s a bit of global back scratching between Apple and the telcos.

    The units we have here at McGrath have been working with Vodafone, Optus and (as of today) Telstra’s micro-SIMs. I’ll be using the Tesltra one long term as the Telstra 3G network simply has better coverage. If you travel around away from metro areas, like it or not, Telstra seems the way to go!

  3. Glenn Batten June 7, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    I think the key for the iPad success for a whole agency will be the technical skills, support and knowledge by the back office staff. Otherwise the iPad will be more for the individual than a whole office.

  4. Nick June 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm #

    Right now, for a real estate business, the iPad is a very shiny paperweight.
    It has potential, but right now its niche isnt worked out terribly well and there isnt any way to use it to its potential yet.

    Someone could make a killer real estate management system for it however.

  5. Peter Fletcher June 7, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I’m a big fan of the iPad. It’s what I’m writing this comment on. And that’s exactly why they’re great. They provide a relevant, useful tool that fits between the iPhone and a laptop. The former is too small for web browsing and activities that require any significant degree of text production, the latter too big to carry around to coffee shops and the lounge room. The iPad is perfect for work-lite scenarios where a small gap in a day can be used to connect with someone on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, send an email, check your Google Analytics or find our what new properties have hit the market in your area.

  6. Greg Vincent June 8, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    One of the complaints for the iPad was they couldn’t run Flash, check out this video about Smokescreen http://vimeo.com/12014368 (It’s a quick demo of a Flash banner ad running on an iPad using Smokescreen by RevShock).

    A tiny insight into a whole new world of programming that is either currently taking place or will be taking place behind the scenes as a result of the iPad.

  7. Nick June 8, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Peter Fletcher you’d think so but I’m the proud new owner of a Nokia N900 which is a Nokia concept phone. Its one of the fastest phones avaliable with a gig of memroy and it runs Linux. Same size screen as a iPhone but significantly higher resolution and it multitasks better than most computers.

    You’d think such a small screen isnt good for surfing, but its actually very good. Much like a normal computer. It actually runs Firefox and renders websites to about the same size as a laptop. Plenty of trickery makes it usable on the small screen.
    Its a unique way of doing it but it works. And it fits in my pocket unlike a iPad.

    Greg the ironic thing about smokescreen is that its basically only usable for ads. Its far too slow for anything bigger. So yay the iPhone can now have annoying ads.

    Yes the N900 has flash and yes I am posting this comment on it. 🙂

  8. Greg Vincent June 8, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    That must be why they called it Smokescreen Nick. lol 🙂

    It will be very interesting to see some of the apps that get developed specifically for the iPad. Even more interesting will be how the newspaper companies try to capitalise on it.

    I get what you mean about the annoying ads, check this out…

    News Limited launched an iPad app and it copped a serve from a number of critics. http://smarthouse.com.au/Content_And_Downloads/Industry/B3R8A8U7?page=1

    “Another reviewer wrote “I have been waiting for this app and loaded it today. Unfortunately more disappointment than I expected”

  9. Nick June 8, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    Wow. News Ltd has replicated the experience you get from a paper newspaper that precisely on the iPad? Thats impressive work!

    😛

  10. Mac June 9, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    I would have thought that Flash would almost be a necessity at the moment given the massive increase in online video. So, until HTML5 gets a foothold in a couple of years and obviates the need for Flash, the iPad will sell across the marketplace but will be held-back in real estate.

  11. Nick June 9, 2010 at 1:20 am #

    Mac as of last month, 26% of video on the internet was HTML 5 (and thus iPad) compatible. Thats grown from 10% in January.

  12. Mac June 9, 2010 at 1:36 am #

    That’s interesting isn’t it Nick. Unfortunately old IE’s don’t support it and as a real estate professional you would appreciate that we couldn’t ‘back’ anything until a heap of old IE’s either 1. become back-compatible (not going to happen), or 2. a large % of the old IE’s are replaced.

    (Ps Where is your info from? Do you have a link please?
    You seem to be right into real estate at the moment. What group do you develop for? Do you have a personal contact you can list here?)

  13. Zac Janes June 9, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    The multi-tasking issue will be solved when OS 4 (now officially called iOS 4) comes out. That’s planned for the iPad later this year.

    Shame the 3g carriers aren’t exactly ‘cheap’…

  14. Nick June 9, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Mac, IE 6 is completely dead and IE 9 will support HTML 5 video which will be soon.
    Flash isnt going away just yet, but HTML 5 video has several benefits which means it will be adopted quickly.

    The video survey was done by Mefeedia who index online video.
    http://blog.mefeedia.com/html5-video-stats

    I am a developer for Luxury Homes Australia and RealSauce. RealSauce provides IT services for real estate. You can contact me on nick@luxuryhomesaustralia.com.au

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