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My thoughts on the iPad

On January 27th, Steve Jobs announced Apple’s new device- the iPad. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about it and maybe even seen some people mocking the new device, comparing it to a giant iPhone, a pad of paper, or even a serving tray…

I have to admit, at first, I too thought it was rather silly—I have an iPhone already, why would I want a giant one? I am a geek though so of course I wanted one anyway, but when trying to ponder possible uses all I could think about was sitting in bed and “reading the paper” or playing a game, or watching videos. For me this would be a toy rather than a tool.

My next reaction was: this is going to be perfect for “grandma” or someone who doesn’t do much with a computer. My own grandmother is a good example. She isn’t super tech savvy, but she can send e-mail, browse the web for cruise packages, and play mahjongg (her very favorite game). When things get any more complicated, she calls in one of her nerdy granddaughters ;) I think the iPad would be perfect for her and other people like her. It is more portable than her laptop, it has a touch screen, is super easy to use, and she can do everything she does with a computer on the iPad. I can even see her getting a bit more adventurous with the iPad than she does with her computer; downloading apps and games on her own thanks to the more user-friendly interface. There are less ways for her to “break” things. For people like her, this could easily replace their home computer (and/or laptop) and maybe even their monthly internet bill (since you’d be paying the cell company for access).

However, as I spent the past week or so thinking about it, I realized this is going to be kind of a big deal.  

I really didn’t think about it being used for work/business much until someone asked about it on one of our groups, but once someone put that thought in my head, I realized that this will probably be an AMAZING tool for people in certain businesses—mainly businesses that require a professional to be “on location” more often than they are cooped up in an office building.
Most REALTORS® are perfect examples of people that would benefit from the use of an iPad.

I already know that most tech savvy REALTORS® have laptops, and many of those have a smart phone, and some even have tablet PC’s. The iPad could potentially replace at least some of these devices. Think about it as a cross between a Netbook (those ultra tiny laptops you can buy from your cell phone company) and a tablet computer.

Just imagine, you just showed a client a home, and they were not wowed by it. So what do you do? Go home? Try again another day? 
Why not take out your iPad and show the client other properties which fit their criteria? Open up your MLS, show them properties on the iPad, you can show maps, photos, maybe they can even watch a video tour right there. I know your smart phone might be able to do this, but do you really want to share such a small screen? If you find something your client wants to see, you could send them directions, schedule an appointment for the showing (you’ve got your calendar in the iPad) or even take them there. What happens if they decide to make an offer? Your iPad could have the proper software installed to create an offer form right there, on the fly. The client could sign it right on your screen and voila; you can send it to the proper parties all from your iPad. Did you forget something on your office computer? There is going to be an app for that—you can remote login to your other computers.

Those folks at Apple have a way of making their products the right mix of user-friendly and trendy which will likely make this device a HUGE seller. It’s more portable than a laptop (or desktop of course), easier to navigate, smarter, and a has bigger screen than a netbook does, and it is smaller and faster to turn on than a tablet PC.
As these handy new devices start to get shipped out for sale, I am sure there will be demand for more and more business friendly apps that will make your life as a REALTOR® much simpler. Note that they are also selling unlocked versions of this device, yes it costs more, but I know some people are quite picky about their cell provider so the extra cost might be worth it. There will probably be new versions released at some point (think iPhone 3G, followed by iPhone 3G S). Maybe those will have a camera which you can use to film virtual tours… who knows, the possibilities are endless. 

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12:30 PM - Monday, February 8, 2010 - comments {4} - post comment
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RE: My thoughts on the iPad

 Wow, the RealTown official blog really opened my eyes concerning the IPad.   I'm wondering if there is any way to sync the IPad to Outlook on my pc?  I was just going to buy a netbook but this sounds like it could do the trick.

Linda Novick - 05:13 PM - Tuesday, February 9, 2010

RE: My thoughts on the iPad

Hi Linda,

As with most new technology, you might want to wait until they've been out just a little while and see how your peers feel about it ;) The iPad *should* do the trick and *should* handle most of what you need, but people in the same business who are using the product (once it is out) will have a better idea of your needs and limitations than I would.

There is currently a conversation about the iPad on our Real Estate Experts group if you are interested in 'listening in' ;)
Here: http://www.realtown.com/john/groups/real-estate-experts/view/22006

Ashley Ruble-English - 12:47 PM - Wednesday, February 10, 2010

RE: My thoughts on the iPad

I think the IPad could be a wonderful tool when doing a listing presentation.  Much more than a paper presentation and tech savvy sellers would be impressed to have an agent so up to date and on top of the latest trends and technology.  I imagine flipping through the multiple photos of the comparable properties with them could be quite impressive to the sellers.  They could make the photos bigger just by a quick movement of their hands or flip forward or backward comparing their property to what they see on the screen. It is so portable and yet a much larger format to view a presentation such as photos and graphs and charts.  I am eagerly awaiting my 64GB 3g which is coming any day now.



Patricia Scott Winslow - 11:06 AM - Monday, April 12, 2010

RE: My thoughts on the iPad


The Ipad might be considered the next evolutionary step in computing. It started with room size machines (main frames) that used vacuum tubes and had punch-cards as their means of input. After that we had desk sized units (mini-computers) that used transistors. Then machines that fit on desks (desk-tops) and used integrated circuits. Further sizing down by using micro integrated circuits made them weigh a few ounces or pounds and were portable.
In my personal arsenal of computers I have a very powerful desktop computer with mouse, full sized keyboard, two laser printers, one color and one black and white. The black and white is a AIO (all in one) which can act as a printer, fax and copier. I also have a tablet computer. This is a little smaller than a laptop. It has a reduced size keyboard, touch pad (similar to a mouse) and a touch screen. Data and commands can be entered via the keyboard, or via the touch screen with a finger or stylus. I have a portable inkjet printer that attaches to the tablet. The last device I have is a Blackberry Curve. This device has a keyboard and touch pad. Any of my computers has much more computing power and speed than the original ENIAC computer.
The device that I own that is similar to the Ipad is the tablet. The Ipad runs circles around the tablet in terms of weight and battery life. The tablet is superior in that I can Skype as it has a camera. I can type more rapidly on its almost standard typewriter and it has the ability to attach a printer. I can go into a client’s home, use the tablet to make a presentation, make entries into stock forms, print a copy for the client, and send a copy to my office and the other agent via the internet. At this time the Ipad doesn’t have the capability to have a printer or keyboard attached.
I started off this reply with the statement: The Ipad might be considered the next evolutionary step in computing. The weight and battery life advantage gives Apple a big leap forward. I do however think that Apple will make rapid and extensive changes to the Ipad in months, not years. I believe that Apple will be challenged by Google and Microsoft and within the next six months or so we will see and have many options. In other words don’t buy now.

Marshall Ford - 09:39 AM - Thursday, May 20, 2010

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