Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


Ask Me What I think of the iPad and I Would Say - Ay Caramba!

by Terence Ronson, April 13, 2010

If I was Bart Simpson and you asked me to describe the iPad, I’d say “Ay Caramba”! But then I’m not Bart Simpson – but I still say – “Ay Caramba’!

I’ve had my iPad for just a few days just like 500,000 other folks and it just works. Whatever good things you may have read about it – they are true. Whatever bad things you may have read or heard, are also true to some extent, and purely subjective as to how you interpret them.

Lets deal with some of the negatives first:

Is there a Wi-Fi problem? 
     I’ve not had one and connected the unit to around 10 different networks without a hitch.

The graphics are bad when you upsize an iPhone app: 
     Some do better than others.

There is no camera: 
     I never planned to use it to take pictures – I have an iPhone and camera for that. As for videoconferencing, well I suspect there will be a strap on camera very soon.

The unit does not charge over USB: 
     When you plug the iPad into a powered hub or monitor, the unit will sync but not charge. When you plug it into your Mac [or PC if you still use one], it charges the battery, which incidentally lasts a very long time.

You can’t transfer files to the iPad: 
     Take a look at ‘Good Reader’ – it’s a sweet app and allows you to transfer many file types and store them in folders.

It does not handle Flash: 
     Well, that may be the case, but it works like a treat with YouTube.

It does not multitask: 
     Today no. Very soon it will.

There is no carry case or protective cloth to clean fingerprints: 
     True. I use a La Cie Netbook/Hard Disk cover and a 3M Scotch Brite High Performance cloth for polishing.

There is only one password: 
     True – so don’t leave unprotected data on the machine. Some apps have extra passwords for files.

It’s tough to type: 
     I have not had a problem and a free app – Dragon Dictation will do text to speech for you. You can also connect a Bluetooth keyboard.

There is no USB port: 
     Correct, but will someone develop a 3rd party gizmo to allow one to be connected. Your guess is as good as mine.

And now for the positives:

It screams – the apps work fast and browsing is very fast

The graphics are outstanding – they alone will make you fall in love with the machine 

The mail app is real easy to use and functional

The video function is just what it is. I watched a couple of movies on the plane, and it was extremely pleasurable.

Book reading is better than the real thing, and great fun to show off the page turning function.

Is it a big iPhone or iPod Touch? NO. I would describe the iPad as the ultimate PDA. Correctly setup – and loaded with your reference files, you should be able to go out for the day and leave your notebook behind. That’s my current goal, and I think I’m close to achieving that.

How will it be used in Hotels?

Well there are lots of smart and creative people thinking about just that, and I’m confident that in the short term we will see a lot of great apps come to market.

But what concerns me is security – and theft-ability. What do I mean? Well, if you visit a Hotel Coffee shop between 7am and 9am you will see lots of guests thumbing away at their Blackberries and iPhones etc., usually frantically catching up on email. But that will all change with the iPad. Instead you will see lots of those round the room and not just for people doing email, but also for reading the newspaper, watching YouTube, Tweeting, Skype-ing and all sorts of other activities. BUT, what happens when the guest wants to go to the breakfast buffet and pick up their Muesli, muffins and sausages? You can’t just slip the iPad into your trouser pocket a la Blackberry. And so the issue comes – what do you do with the iPad when you want to go to the buffet? If you carry it with you – how do you hold that and the your juice and plate full of food – its going to be quite a balancing act…

Another thing is that the iPad will NOT fit all those iPod and iPhone docks that you’ve hastily installed into your rooms or customized furniture. It just won’t fit. Now there is a dilemma, which needs resolving and fast.

Overall, I’m very happy with my iPad and I suspect you will be also once you get your hands on one.

Now what can I call it? BART maybe...


Terence Ronson
(Hong Kong) +852 94680848
(PRC) +86 136 402 45142

Also See: The iPad Is Coming to a Hotel Near You (part 2) / Terence Ronson / March 2010

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch
Home | Welcome| Hospitality News | Classifieds| One-on-One |
Viewpoint Forum | Industry Resources | Press Releases
Please contact Hotel.Onlinewith your comments and suggestions.