I'm not a huge Apple fan. But I've played with a couple iPads friends have bought in recent months. I sat down to write today's post and my thoughts trailed toward the iPad.
I thought, “Since OCS' Communicator will run on the iPhone, would it work on the iPad too?”
On the surface there's no reason why not. The iPad is larger. Better screen. It has a microphone and speaker built-in. Just about everything in Communicator DOES work on iPad – IM, VoIP, audio conferencing.
Except for one thing – video conferencing.
Why? The iPad doesn't have a webcam.
With a tablet, you'd expect the ability to do video calls. Sure, you could watch the other person talking to you if THEY had a webcam. But they couldn't see you – not without a webcam plugged in (somehow). Only hear you. And that's at best a clunky solution for an otherwise-slick mobile platform.
Why Consider OCS on the iPad/Tablets?
The iPad has kicked off a big interest in tablet PCs. At least some of the 3 million iPads sold are used by businesses already. (I saw a bunch used as slideshow displays at the Web 2.0 Expo.) With Dell, Samsung and other companies rushing for the tablet market, it's practically a given that tablets will be used as PC replacements in force.
When we get there though, will OCS be viable for communications on them? That's the question.
Conferencing/VoIP on Tablets – A Future Possibility
At this point it's largely a matter of speculation. Even on the current fast-track, companies probably won't embrace tablets for mobile communications soon. (Not while laptops & smartphones do the job.) I'm sure Microsoft will make OCS apps for tablets. But they may not see widespread VoIP or conferencing use, even if tablets go mainstream in business.
What do you think? Are iPads (or other tablets) slipping into your workplace? Do you think they'd be viable communications devices,for everything from IM to Conferencing?