I've got a few iDevices (iPad, iPhone) and I realise that this is the "post-PC" era, and the devices are just being invented. We don't know what to do with them just yet or how to work with them best. Here's a feature I need. I write it on my blog rather than send it to Apple, because they get mad if you do.
I need a "guest mode" on my device. If I want to hand it to a friend to browse the web, or give it to my kids to play games, I don't want it running in the same mode as when I use it. That is, I don't want my kids to be able to to make phone calls, read my emails, send text messages or any of that. They can play Angry Birds and browse the web, but I don't want them to mess with any of the open browser windows I have. They need to open new ones.
There are some firms where the executives have iPads and they're able to read their very confidential emails from that device. Maybe it's through Outlook Web Access and the device's web browser, maybe it's the actual mail application. We in the security industry worry about the device getting stolen and we're slowly seeing the necessary features being introduced to handle that situation. There's a long way to go, though.
What we're not covering is what happens when the owner intentionally hands it over to someone who shouldn't have access to some of the stuff on it. Like her kids, his wife, or a friend at a bar who wants to see that funny youtube video. They're only a few (innocent or not innocent) taps away from seeing confidential information.
Now, I don't have all that much proprietary information, but I have lots of different circles of colleagues, friends, and family. Some of them should not see certain things on my iDevices, but it's a risk I take every time I hand it over.
This may sound horrible, but the riots will have an affect on the economy. Possibly even a strangely beneficial one for some people.
I just got a bluetooth keyboard for my iPad, and I have to say it makes the iPad much more functional as a laptop replacement. Its rather generically named the Logitech Tablet Keyboard for iPad. Interestingly, though, Apples iOS is not ready for a keyboard as a major input device.
Here are some specific limitations.
- There are no keyboard shortcuts for doing things. For example, in mail there is no way to do new message (at least that Ive found). Likewise there is no way to send. I can start typing a persons name and I will get a list of possible completions. There is no way to say yes, thats the one, without touching the screen—even if there is only one possible completion.
- Things like Cmd-Tab ought to bring up the running apps, like double-tapping the home button does. Interestingly, double-tapping the home button on the bluetooth keyboard works the same as double-tapping the home button on the device. But, there is no keyboard based navigation (e.g., arrow keys dont do anything.)
- This keyboard has a magnifying glass key that jumps you to the search feature. I like that, but then I type a search term like word (to find wordpress) and Im back to no navigation. I can see wordpress in my search results but I have no way to get my cursor down from the searching box into the results and then hit enter to activate wordpress.
On the plus side, it acts very much like a real keyboard on a real workstation. For example, Ive just bought a US-layout keyboard and Ive hooked it up to my UK-localised iPad. It has the hash mark (#) on the number 3, whereas a UK keyboard has the pound sign (£) there. Just like any other US keyboard, I just press Alt-3 to get pound and Alt-Shift-2 to get Euro (€).
Also on the plus side, iOS seems to realise that I have an external keyboard, so it doesnt take up half the screen with a visual one. I can bring up the visual keyboard on the screen if I want to (doesnt make much sense), but its smart in that regard.
The particular keyboard I got also comes with a case that turns into a stand. I like that stand quite a bit, because I have bought an after-market sleeve for my iPad. My sleeve (from TeckNet) is a fair bit thicker than the usual Apple cover (and it cost £10 instead of £60). The stand from the keyboard works well, though.
Im interested to see how well this will hold up on a train, where it is quite bumpy. Sitting on a table, its brilliant.