Many users of Google Docs want to use it on their iPad and the only way available from Google is to use it in a browser window. We came across this article from Tony Bradley of PC World on using Google Docs on iPad which inspired us to write this blog.
When we polled users of Google Docs, these are the top five requirements:
- Access any document from my Computer as well as Google Docs and upload it to Google Docs from iPad
- Search content of any file on my Computer as well as Google Docs from iPad
- Edit content of any file on Google Docs right from within the app on iPad
- Downloading any Google Docs to iPad for offline viewing
- Additional security and control
In order to meet these requirements we created DocSync.Net app which is now available in iTunes. The following description goes into details of how these requirements are met:
Access – Users can access any of the last 50 files they worked on either on their computer or in Google Docs. Any of the documents from users’ computer can be uploaded to Google Docs from a simple touch as shown in the diagram below
- DocSync – Uploading files from Computer to Google Docs on an iPad
Search – Users can search file name or content of file to find relevant files quickly from their iPad
Edit – Just simply select the Edit button on any document and it enables users to edit their files which are kept in Sync just as if you were accessing it on the computer
Offline Viewing – Any document you open on DocSync.Net is available for offline viewing. You can also explicitly use upload to iPad for any of the documents
Security – You can use an additional PIN on your computer to control access to these documents on your iPad. Moreover if you misplaced your iPad and after few wrong attempts, all of the documents uploaded to iPad are wiped out.
What would you like to see?
We have received requests for many more features and would like to know what would you like to see added? Please email to email@example.com with your suggestions.
If you want to securely access, search, edit, offline viewing and move documents from your computer to Google docs right from your iPad, DocSync.Net is the perfect solution.
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iPad with its stunning resolution seemed like an obvious candidate for making business presentation but is it a good tool in all circumstances? Also what else do you need to make it into a great tool? The answers to these questions are provided based on my personal experience. Please share your experiences!
On a broad level, presentations can be split into three main categories
- 1-on-1 presentations
- 1-to-many presentations
- Remote presentations
In this blog, we discuss the first two of these situations and provide tools and tips and evaluate iPad usefulness as a tool for making business presentation.
iPad is probably the best tool here – way better than laptop since that barrier of screen is removed as you can see in the picture below. For this category let us assume any situation where one can sit across the table with couple of people. For this purpose no screen projection tools are needed and iPad by itself is sufficient. However, you need to make sure your presentation is readily available not just in an online but also in an offline mode. Even though there are many tools on iPads to create presentations, the best approach still is to create presentation on your computer and then transfer it to iPad. Also avoid animations as they don’t transfer well on iPad.
Transferring your presentation from computer to iPad – There are three broad choices here
- Email to yourself – inefficient and cumbersome
- Putting it in a cloud like Dropbox and then saving it on iPad – inefficient and cumbersome but slight improvement over the first one
- Use a tool like DocSync.Net from iTunes and just select the file from your computer or cloud and it is automatically available on your iPad as shown on the picture on the right above.
Your laptop is still a better tool for these situations than an iPad. Why? It is assumed that you definitely need to connect your output to an external monitor or projector. Needless to say that kind of connectivity is readily available from most laptops but for the iPad, you need to buy another connector from Apple or a third party. These connectors are available with VGA or HDMI options. We had a chance to hook our iPad to a projector and found some issues.
If you own an iPad1, probably none of these connectors will work as was my experience of having tried two of these. However, if you have the new shining iPad3 that Apple calls “The new iPad”, there are no issues but HDMI is preferred if you have an HDMI enabled projector or monitor. With our iPad2, I had the most consistent connectivity with VGA connectors. If you tend to move a lot while making presentations, the wire mess can also cause issues. I just wish there are more Airplay type projectors available in corporate environments.
For 1-to-many presentations, laptop is still a better tool but if you must use iPad to project, you will have the best options with iPad3. For 1-to-1 presentations, iPad is the best presentation device. However, you need to make sure your presentations created on computer are accessible. Of the three options of using Email or putting in the cloud and then transferring to iPad or just using DocSync.Net app to get your application on iPad, the later seems to be the best and most efficient alternative.
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Posted in App Store, apple iphone, Mobile, tagged android, apple, Apps, blackberry, Google, HP, HTML5, iOS, iPad, iphone, microsoft, monetization, nokia, Playbook, RIM on January 7, 2011 |
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Mobile Computing, Social Networking and Cloud Computing have been driving tech industry for 2010 and will likely continue to be the driver for this year. What differences, if any, will be felt in evolution of these trends this year. Here are some of my opinions and I sure would like to hear yours on these topics. Part-I of this blog deals with Mobile issues while Part-II will deal with Social Networking issues while Part-III will deal with Cloud Computing.
Mobile Computing Trends
The three big trends in Mobile Computing are:
- Android and Mobile Phones
- Tablets and iPad
- Apps Apps
Android and Mobile Phones
Android was the big news of 2010 and will continue its march into mobile dominance. However, as Android moves more into the mainstream, battery life, fragmentation, usability and app store issues will come in its way of total domination. Apple will innovate again this time improving speech interface and competing with Google on replacing our remotes, wallets and keys with mobile phone. In the mobile industry, the dominance for No.3 spot will be fought hard between Microsoft, Nokia and RIM. Who do you think will be the winner in the end?
Tablets and iPad
Tablet was the big news of 2010 but competition to iPad only arrives this year. Android may take the second spot and battle for third spot will be fought between HP’s Palmtop, RIM’s Playbook and a player we don’t know about yet? Having used iPad for the last few months, I think Tablets have the potential to replace laptops for many users. What are your experiences?
Apps was the big news of 2010 with limited monetization but new business models will emerge making monetization easier. HTML5 will become viable for many content applications and start to become the trend of 2011. In fact, that is the only way Microsoft, Nokia and RIM can neutralize some of the momentum of Android and iOS applications. You can see over 70 conversations on Linkedin at http://linkd.in/h7hhr5 about this topic
Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS will continue its dominance for mobile phone and tablets but battle for No.3 spot will be fought between HP, Microsoft, Nokia and RIM.
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Posted in mobile phone applications, mobile phones, Mobile VAS, Uncategorized, tagged android, blackberry, Interet radios, iPad, iphone, iTunes, Mac, MOG, music, pandora, podcast, Rhapsody, SD card, SHOUTcast, Slacker, Spotify. PC, streaming, Sync on November 30, 2010 |
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Like many of you, I have a large selection of music and podcasts that has been purchased/downloaded over the years – running into 30GB. I used to sync with my iPod using the cable and lot of patience until I got a message that all of my music doesn’t fit anymore on my iPod. Over time, Android phone, Blackberry, iPhone and iPad have been added to our family’s collection of PCs and Macs.
With my music spread amongst two computers and limited available storage capacity of my mobile devices, I decided to look for alternatives and here is what I found when I evaluated the following:
- Syncing my Music to the SD card/internal memory of the phone
- Radios like Pandora
- Monthly Music services like MOG and Spotify
- Streaming my own music using services like Jam11
Syncing my Music to the SD card/internal memory of the phone
Apple offers an ability to sync iPhone and iPad with iTunes and many third party alternatives exist on Android and Blackberry phones to sync your library on iTunes as well. If your music library is any larger than 5GB (1,000 songs), Syncing is a bad alternative as there is never enough space left on these devices after leaving room for apps, pictures, videos and other data. Yes you can pay $99 extra for each 8GB of storage on Apple’s iPod and iPhone or buy a larger SD card but it is unlikely that you can sync all of your music library on it for ever.
Radios like Pandora & Slacker
Internet Radios like Pandora and Slacker are great alternatives and offer a great selection. It is a great way to discover new music. However, if you are in a mood to listen to your Beatles album, Pandora will offer one of the songs from Beatles and then offer you similar songs due to Radio licensing restrictions. There are other Internet radios like SHOUTcast wherein I found a large selection of music, news and talkshows.
Monthly Music Services
There are many alternatives like MOG, Spotify and Rhapsody and cost between $5 to $10/month. The selection varies but I couldn’t find majority of the music that I like in most of these services. Also, I do have problem in paying to listen to the music I already own and hence these choices are not for me.
Streaming my Own Music using services like Jam11
With ubiquitous 3G/Wifi data connectivity, it is now easy to stream all of your music off your computer. Yes it needs your computer to be on but with streaming services like Jam11, I can now listen to my music anywhere from any phone. I can search for my music on my Android or Blackberry phone and listen instantly and make sure I don’t buy yet another song I already own. You can download Jam11 from Android Market or Blackberry App World and give it a try.
In conclusion, there is no one solution for everyone. I settled on using Jam11, have some local music on my SD card and listen to SHOUTcast radios on my Jam11 application. Let me know if you are still not syncing the old fashioned way and buying more iPods.
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Posted in iPad, Mobile, tagged apple, brooke crothers, cnet, cooper murphy webb, flash, iPad, iphone, laptop, magazines, movies, newspaper, smartphone, techcrunch, textbook, Vivek Wadhwa, wall street journal, walter mossberg, web browsing on August 13, 2010 |
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After reading Wall Street Journal’s Walter Mossberg and a Microsoft diehard on how great Apple’s iPad is and then other influencers like Vivek Wadhwa deciding to craigslist their iPad, I decided to find for myself and share my experiences with other prospective buyers and customers of iPad.
Let us first understand few key differences or killer features of iPad before understanding its usage
- Orientation – The mere fact that laptop creates screen as a barrier between two people while iPad allows you to be at the same level as the other person, iPad is a better media consumption device for individual and a co-worker.
- Instant On and Connectivity – Brooke Crothers, in his CNET article about Four Killer Features identifies this as a key one and I fully agree that it changes everything.
- Battery Life – Being able to watch movies throughout the intercontinental flight and still have battery left over is an achievement that makes iPad ideal for media consumption of all kinds.
- Size and Weight – Weighing a mere 1.5 Pounds and the size of a standard notebook, it is much more portable than a laptop but not as tiny as a phone.
iPad is a media consumption device and most of us are consumers of media most of the time with occasional commenting and replies. However, if you are a media creator like a writer, movie creator or database entry person then iPad is a wrong device for you. Once we agree it is a media consumption device, let us compare it with other devices for different media types so that you can make a more informed decision on whether iPad is the best device for you or not. When I hear stories like my 3-year old and my grandfather who have never been comfortable with a laptop are now enjoying the company of iPad, it just confirms my assertion that it is a good media consumption device even for non techies.
In my opinion, Table 1 below is a comparison of how each of the three devices compare for various media consumption functions. A is the best with C being the worst and B in the middle. I will expand on these points in subsequent blogs and look forward to hearing your feedback on these.
iPad is not a media creation device but is a media consumption device. As a media consumption device, it sure beats a laptop or a smartphone. It is not a replacement for either of these devices but an attempt by Apple to create a new category that will soon be imitated by many vendors.
However, iPad needs some major changes like inclusion of Flash (unless Apple can hire Harry Porter to use his wand and have all of the Flash sites converted to HTML5 overnight), new applications written for iPad like multimedia textbooks beyond just PDF version of books and inclusion of camera and facetime like application.
Table 1 – Rating of Media Consumption for Laptop, Smartphone and iPad
|Type of Media
||iPad’s lack of Flash limits its use on many sites
|Reading Newspaper & Magazines
||Reading Newspapers & Magazines is really pleasant on iPad apps – consistent with Cooper Murphy
|Reading Non-Text Books
||Kindle beats iPad here for its size and screen type
|Reading Text Books
||Lack of multimedia content is limiting iPad here
||Smartphone smaller size better for music listening
|Sharing Pictures in person
||Great screen and orientation of iPad makes it the best portable Photo frame
||Excellent battery life and great screen makes iPad the best in its class
|Using Social Networking like Facebok, Twitter & Linkedin
||Using these apps from a couch or bed is just so much better on iPad
|Playing Casual Games
||Depends on the type of game
|Running Enterprise Apps
||VDI makes it easy to remotely run Windows Apps on iPad
|Using on Airplane
||Finally you can watch a movie even in economy
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Posted in 3G, 3G networks, tagged 3G Aution, boradband, education, ereaders, india, iPad, location services, LTE, Mobile, mobile operators, Netbook, VAS, video conferencing, WiMax on June 2, 2010 |
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Last week I went to India and the big news was India’s budget deficit is going to be reduced thanks to 3G auctions fetching in excess of Rs 670B with total likely to exceed Rs 1,000B (~ $20B) after WiMax auctions. In a country with an approximate ARPU (average revenue per user) of $4/month and 420M subscribers, how are operators going to pay for it.
Some Misconceptions on 3G
In reading various articles in Indian magazines, I was surprised at the misunderstanding amongst local pundits and the solutions proposed. The proposed solutions varied from offering 3G video conferencing, TV services (none of the video services make sense unless LTE type bandwidths are available and even then there is no proof of video conferencing making money for service providers anywhere in the world), location services (one doesn’t need 3G to have location services) and for operators to find a killer service. (operators are not known to find killer services)
Obvious Path though not Right
The obvious temptation for mobile operators will be to offer new data services and like the current VAS (value added services), keep a very large percentage of service revenue for themselves. I am afraid this will not work. Look at the examples of US and other western countries where data services took off only after Apple made it easy for software developers to come up with new applications and keep 70% of the revenue generated.
This is what I think Indian Operators should do to recover their investments and increase profitability. What do you think?
- Don’t deploy yesterday’s technology and instead take a leap to LTE technologies so that it can actually become a contender to replace DSL for broadband
- Become the best pipe and open the platform for hardware and software developers to innovate on
- Imagine new low cost smart phones, Netbooks, iPads, eReaders, laptops and other new devices all with built-in 3G technologies requiring monthly services
- Imagine new applications customized for Indian markets all requiring data connections where a developer has an incentive to innovate – a large market, good % revenue share with operators
- Imagine every student (India has lots of them and spends a lot on education) carrying a 3G enabled device all the time consuming data services everywhere
Just as mobile phone brought the first phone into majority of Indian homes, 3G has the potential to bring mobile broadband and hence Internet into every home provided mobile operators are not short sighted and provide the best data pipe and leave others to innovate to increase value of their data pipes and hence revenue and profitability.
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Posted in Mobile, tagged apple, iMac, iPad, iphone, Netbook, PS3, TV on January 28, 2010 |
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I have been sifting through Apple’s web site and many of the news and blogging sites to learn more about iPad. Needless to say now that hype is reality, there are more negative comments than positive. There are lots of
- Will you buy it?
- How will you justify it?
- Which device is it most similar to?
- What are its advantage and disadvantage over other equivalent devices?
So, I have put together 10 equations comparing it to equivalent devices along with its major pluses and major negatives over the device. Tell me what you think?
- iPad = iPhone + bigger size – phone – camera
- iPad = iPod Touch + bigger screen – mobility
- iPad = iMac + personal touch screen – multi-tasking – hard drive
- iPad = Kindle + multimedia + interactivity – price
- iPad = Netbooks + personal touch screen – multi-tasking
- iPad = TV + interactivity + personalization – price – smaller size
- iPad = PS3 + touch screen + better UI – Blue ray
- iPad = Car entertainment system + portability + interactivity – one to a person – integration
I know these are only eight while I promised ten in the title. Now that you have read these, I am sure you have your list and so add it here and help make this list complete to ten. Thanks in advance.
R. Paul Singh
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