Tag : Apple

New Samsung Galaxy Tab Unit – T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s has come out with their first Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab.  It is a good piece of hardware, but it doesn’t have enough great apps to be compelling.  It’s hard to compete with other units like it for a variety of reasons, I feel not having enough apps is the largest one.  The iPad makes it difficult to set itself aside from the others.  Sprint also has its own version that actually came out two weeks ago, but just last week had the chance to play with this version.  Both are part of the same line of device and make up the first true tablet competitors to the iPad. I will say this, this unit is sort of a new breed, because unlike the iPad, they’re truly small and light enough to be used on the go. In any case, they’re well built and worth watching, though they need more custom apps to be truly useful.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab is about $399-$599. After playing with the unit I feel that the speed is great, nice camera that takes good pictures, and overall great performance.

This unit has 16GB of internal storage plus a memory card slot and the T-Mobile’s 3G network is very fast and reliable which is key.  The Galaxy Tab can’t hit T-Mobile’s maximum HSPA+ speeds of 7Mbps, but its got a healthy 2Mbps on the Galaxy Tab’s HSPA 7.2 modem using the Ookla speed test app. The device also has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and it had no trouble connecting to our WPA2 protected network. There’s no Wi-Fi sharing mode, though, but there’s a USB tethering mode.  Looking over the web reports it is documented that some people have achieved 7.0 hours of video playback time, with screen brightness set to automatic.  The battery life for the galaxy is shorter than the iPad’s battery life, but Apple’s tablet is larger, thus the larger battery.  The Galaxy Tab model runs on Android 2.2. But here’s the biggest problem with the Tab: there is currently one good app for Android tablets. It is the new Wall Street Journal app, and it’s just beautiful, with a ‘virtual newspaper’ look and feel that is far easier and more fun to read than, say, the New York Times’ or the AP’s list format.  It is reported that more apps are coming, but who really knows when that is happening.

Device Specifications
Screen Size- 7 inches
Storage Capacity- 16 GB
Dimensions- 7.48 x 4.74 x 0.7 inches
Weight- 13.4 oz
Networking Options- 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 3G
Email Access- Dedicated email app

iPads Usage Up – Businesses have bought 2 Million Units

I was at a conference last week and saw a funny thing that I did not think would ensue so quickly in the technology and business environment.  Sitting in the meeting with 25 other people, both business and technical folks, about 80% of them had iPads which was shocking really.  More and more with our client base, iPads are starting to take over as the presentation tool and fun toy for the “c” level executives.  Several of my own team member here at BVA own and leverage iPads in business activity, but for the most part it’s not adding value in my humble view in a business perceptive.  It’s definitely moved into the benefit category as opposed to the NEED one.  That being said it is a nice product that has it’s place in the residential side as well as the educational sector.  The unit is not very secure and has alot of the security risks associated with the iPhone.  ??The iPad can be used to access networks via RDP session (remote session) and actually works very well and quick on the 3G network but that still raises the question of security and access points for your network.  I read an article here recently, that talked about how popular the iPad is with business and that a research company estimates that 2 million iPads have already been bought by companies with 1-99 employees. That is hard to believe but its a fact, the adoption rate is higher for companies with at least 20 employees.

The research article surfaced that the common uses for the device include demos, presentations, email, and Internet browsing. Larger businesses also use them as a tool when speaking with customers. Most of the businesses are using the iPad as a new gadget; it is not replacing PCs or other devices.  The research company believes that notebooks, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones will continue to coexist in the future as data moves into the cloud. Technically does not provide further statistics from its survey or the number of people and type of survey it conducted. Having said that, it is encouraging to see small businesses adopting a device like the iPad.

It will be interesting what Apple decides to do with their new market share in the business segment.  Will they decide to alter their OS code to be more desktop centric?  It’s a great way to penetrate a market that Apple quite frankly has ignored.

iPad Can Be Used With Verizon Wireless

Verizon and Apple seem to be having problems about getting the iPhone on its network and being able to sell it.  It’s pretty funny that as a result, the carrier is getting the iPad instead. Apple and Verizon Wireless today announced that the Apple iPad will be available in more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless retail stores starting October 28.

AT&T still has the exclusive contract with Apple and of course someone got really creative with how to make this happen.  Verizon Wireless will not sell the iPad (Wi-Fi + 3G), the version of the tablet that runs on AT&T’s 3G network, it will instead sell the Wi-Fi-only iPad with its own Verizon MiFi 2200 Intelligent Mobile Hotspot.

The iPad will be available in three bundles:
•Apple iPad 16GB + MiFi: $629.99
•Apple iPad 32GB + MiFi: $729.99
•Apple iPad 64GB + MiFi: $829.99
As far as data plans for the iPad, Verizon will offer one: Up to 1GB of data for $20 per month.

Verizon’s bundle prices are the same as what you’d pay for the iPad with integrated AT&T 3G. But Apple and AT&T offer a choice of two service plans: 250MB a month for $14.99 or 2GB month for $25.
Incidentally, AT&T today also announced that it would begin selling the Wi-Fi + 3G iPad in its retail stores on the same day: October 28.
The upside to buying an iPad from Verizon? Versatility: The MiFi provides Internet access for up to five devices at a range of about 30 to 40 feet. But it is one more thing to tote along with you, though the MiFi is only about the size of a pack of cigarettes, but half as thick (3.5 by 2.3 by 0.4 inches).

It’s also one more thing you need to keep charged. Battery life varies depending on how many devices you have connected at once. In our tests, with four Wi-Fi connections, the battery dropped to one bar in an hour. In 90 minutes, it was almost fully drained. On the other hand, we were able to eke out 8 hours and 5 minutes of power on the iPad (Wi-Fi + 3G) running the 3G modem nonstop.  Lots of things to consider I suppose but it seems that this offering is a bit premature and not as seamless as it should be.

iPad and iPhone Can Be a Security Risk

BVA has found that these types of mobile devises if not provisioned correctly can seriously be a security risk to your network environment.  Security policies need to be set forth to ensure security at all levels of access.  Apple iPad tablet device as well as the iPhone is slowly becoming a legitimate business tool, your employees will soon have them in hand and invade your business. The reality is that the iPhone changes the playing field for security and really surprised IT consulting companies and their administrators when it got released.   The users needs versus wants changed completely where being able to have a Smartphone that just sync’s calendars, contacts, and emails changes drastically. The iPhone hit the scene and next thing we were getting requests for it to be integrated into a businesses mail environment immediately. These requests were coming from owners and directors, decision makers were being demanding about making it work, totally side-stepping the security protocols set forth by years of experience and best practice.  The bottom line is that the line between corporate tool and consumer gadget has not just been blurred; it has been completely erased.  There have been several studies that have shown that when asked, the iPad and iPhones present the greatest smartphone security risk for IT.  It’s a scary thought that you have locked down your environment but since a new gadget gets releases to the market and owners want it, it diminishes the integrity of the system.

There was recently a few contents by security outfits where they had people hack the iPhone in less than 2 minutes and won a cash price.  This is a scary thought and quite frankly shows how easy it can be for the non-hacker.  Obviously it might take a little longer from a less talented hacker but it can clearly be done.  Apple has little intention to make their OS more secure because it’s not the market that they are targeting.  Again they are targeting the consumer, not the business enterprise.  I am sure there will be a point in time when that day comes but it is not in the near future.  If Apple at the very minimum addressed just the enterprise security, supportability requirements, and new hardware level encryption.  I want to be very clear that the OS on the iPhone is the same as the iPad as well as its security. Apple targeted the iPad primarily as a media consumption gadget for the residential consumer, not the business community but again we have seen this shift.  I am not saying that you should ban the iPhone or iPad but develop policies and procedures that address the rules of engagement for integrating the iPad with your network environment.

As you develop the policies, keep in mind that the iPad is unique and could fall into a few different areas for policies.  Here are some key points to keep in mind:

•    delivers notebook-like functionality
•    smartphone OS platform
•    normally placed in the policy bucket for computer usage and security policies, not recommended
•    a good policy bucket to consider – smartphone usage and security policies (recommended)
•    same smartphone OS was hacked in less than 2 minutes

Make sure that whatever policy selected addresses the most important factor here which is allowing or denying the storage of confidential or sensitive information on the iPad, or how e-mail, instant messaging and other communications conducted through the iPad fit within archiving and compliance requirements.

Capabilities and Limitations of the Apple iPad in a Standard Business Network Environment

The iPad is a great device. It’s light, ultra-portable, and you don’t have to take it out of your carry-on for airport security. It’s sleek and sexy. It’s remarkably versatile. Many people wonder: can I replace my Window laptop or MacBook with it? If I add a Bluetooth keyboard, is it a netbook?

You can try, but it’s like trying to get a Corvette to replace a pickup truck: they both serve the same fundamental purpose, but they each excel at different things. You can try to get your pickup up to 180 MPH, and you can try to haul a ton of bricks in your Corvette. With enough effort, “McGyver”-ing, and aftermarket accessories, you could no doubt accomplish each. But is it a good idea? And if you think it through ahead of time, do you really want to?

The longing to replace a laptop with an iPad is easy to understand. An iPad travels well. It’s simple to connect it to a Wi-Fi network, and you don’t have to wait for it to boot up. The battery lasts. When you’re not working, you can use it to play music, movies, or games. It’s a terrific reader for news and e-books. It’s a great email client for Gmail, AOL, and (if your company’s mail system supports it and the corporate policies allow it) Exchange mail, calendar, and contacts using ActiveSync.

But it’s important to remember that the iPad is NOT a laptop or a tablet PC. And, despite being an Apple product, it’s NOT a MacBook. It isn’t built on Windows or Mac OS X – its operating system (iOS) was originally developed for the iPhone. The interface uses multi-touch gestures and an accelerometer, making possible applications that can’t run on a PC or Mac. That also means that applications written for a PC or Mac can’t run on an iPad – unless the author specifically develops a version for iOS. Even then, they would need to publish their application through the Apple App Store (thus sharing their proceeds with Apple) – or you would need to jailbreak your iPad, voiding the warranty.

Importantly, the iPad (like the iPhone and iPod Touch) does NOT support Adobe Flash or Java, meaning that websites that use those technologies won’t behave as designed. Why not? Apple CEO Steve Jobs called the Adobe product insecure, buggy, battery-intensive, and incompatible with a touch interface.

The iPad is better at consuming information than it is at creating it. It’s great for creating and editing smaller emails and documents, but you’ll want a PC to create large or complex documents. Another challenge: once you’ve created or edited the smaller documents, you can email them from the iPad, but only one file per email. To send multiple files, you need to send multiple emails. This can be pretty cumbersome. You’ll note that as you explore the iPad you won’t even encounter the concept of a “file” as you would on a PC or Mac.

To think of the iPad as a replacement for a netbook, notebook, or MacBook is like thinking of the Corvette as a replacement for a Ford F350. Is it fair to call the iPad an overgrown iPhone? No. It’s a terrific multi-function device with some very valuable business purposes in specific situations. Should you expect it to behave like a Windows machine or Mac? You’ll only end up frustrated if you do.

Love the iPad for what it is, and don’t hate it for what it isn’t. And don’t expect your IT consulting company to help you make it do what it’s not designed to do – they can’t fit a ton of bricks in a Corvette, either.

So… what CAN the iPad do in a business network environment? In other words, what is reasonable to expect your company’s I.T. team to support?

  • Email access. If your company allows remote email access from a smartphone using POP or IMAP protocols, you can do it from your iPad. Note, however, that it’s up to you go get the iPad connected to the Internet on the remote Wi-Fi. If you have a 3G iPad, getting it on the Internet is strictly between you, Apple, and AT&T.
  • Calendar/Contact synchronization – if your company has a fairly new Exchange server and the network is configured to allow ActiveSync access. If you have a non-BlackBerry smartphone that wirelessly syncs Calendar/Contacts, your iPad can also.
  • Remote Desktop to a Terminal Server – if your company has a Terminal Server. If you have access using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection software for either Windows or Mac, you can have access from your iPad. Be sure to get a good RDP app such as iTap RDP, which makes it easier to operate a Windows desktop from with the iPad’s smaller display, and makes the best use of the iPad’s direct manipulation and multi-touch gestures.
  • VPN access. If your company allows VPN connections from other devices, such as an IPSec VPN tunnel to a Cisco firewall or a PPTP connection to a Windows RAS Server, you can have the same connection from your iPad. You might use it to establish a Remote Desktop Connection to your office workstation, if your company’s policies allow this.

Now… what CAN’T you expect your company’s I.T. team to support? Pretty much anything not listed above. At its heart, the iPad is a consumer device, and is probably not included in the list of officially-sanctioned “clients” for your company’s server-based applications. There’s no doubt that the iPad will continue to evolve, and new apps are released every day that enhance its functionality and usefulness. But, as a mobile network device, it presents challenges in terms of data security, bandwidth usage, and compatibility. These translate into significant I.T. support costs, so don’t be too surprised if your company won’t support it.

Can You Print Wirelessly From an iPad – Process for Printing Wirelessly Using an iPad – Hewlett-Packard Printer Integration With iPad | BVA IT Consulting Blog

Apple announced that the company is releasing the beta version of its AirPrint wireless printing for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, a key component of Apple’s iOS 4.2 software update, illustrates the extent to which the ability to print wirelessly is being taken by hardware and software developers alike. Although Apple’s products don’t find their way into the offices of small to medium size businesses nearly as often as brands such as HP, Dell and countless others, the capability to print wirelessly, particularly from your mobile device, is becoming of greater importance.  Apple announced Hewlett-Packard printers would be the first to support AirPrint with compatible devices to include HP Photosmart, Officejet Pro and LaserJet Pro series ePrint-enabled printers. However, HP offers its own line of printers offering Bluetooth wireless technology, and many more HP printers can be upgraded to support Bluetooth with the purchase of the HP bt500 Bluetooth Adapter. HP notes on its mobile printing Website that while many phones no longer require any further steps, some phones require users to pair their devices prior to printing for the first time.