Buyers’ Guide: iPad for business

Buyers’ Guide: iPad for business

With nearly half of all iPad now being sold to corporations rather than consumers, the odds that you’re going to end up working with an iPad at one time or another are pretty steep. 

Luckily, they’re user-friendly, great for increasing mobile productivity and, increasingly, are capable of running the vast majority of apps you already use on your desktop or notebook. With that in mind, it’s time to arm yourself with some key specs that’ll help you work out which iPad is right for your line of work.

While the basics of iPad remain the same – Retina display, iSight camera for photo and video on one side, FaceTime HD camera for video calls (and conferences) on the other, industry-leading platform, device and app-level security – there are subtle differences between models, such as screen size, storage capacity and whether they are available in gold, that can make all the difference.

iPad Pro

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iPad Pro is the creative user’s tablet of choice thanks to its leading graphics performance, but with analysts predicting that large format tablets will be ruling the workplace by 2019, it’s well worth getting to grips with iPad Pro in enterprise environments too.

But whether to opt for the larger 12.9″ model, or the more recent 9.7″ one? Well, if you regularly have to use your iPad as a presentation device, the three inches of extra screen space can provide some much-needed breathing room for your pitch content, especially if you deal with incredibly detailed models or documents. And while that faster A9X processor is designed to give more power to your creative apps, it’ll work equally well as a way to speed up data-driven work, so if you want to fly through analytics analysis (and then have plenty of space to show off your results) iPad Pro is the way to go.

That larger screen also means you get a bigger keyboard, should typing on your regular screen leave you drowning in a sea of typos and humiliating autocorrect errors, or you can add a Smart Keyboard, a lightweight, full-size keyboard that is built into an iPad Pro cover, meaning it’s there whenever you need it. Just fold back the cover, lean back your iPad (the non-keyboard portion of the cover folds into a stand) and you can set your iPad Pro up like a desktop or notebook for easier multitasking.

You can also add an Apple Pencil if you want to do slightly more detailed drawing than your finger can manage, or take notes. The iPad Pro scans for Pencil activity 240 times a second, meaning there’s no lag between your hand moving and your drawing appearing on the screen, and we’ve yet to hear of any reviewer managing to defeat the palm rejection technology. It’s also pretty quick to charge – 15 seconds of charge via your iPad Pro’s Lightning port gives you enough power for 30 minutes of use.

Best for: Architects, designers, onsite contractors – anything where you need to deal with high-res, detail-heavy imagery.

iPad Pro 12.9″

– 32GB or 128GB capacity (WiFi only), 128GB (WiFi and cellular).

– 12.9″ 2732×2048 resolution display.

– A9X chip with 64-bit architecture (2.5x faster than A7 chip with 5x faster graphics).

– 12MP iSight camera with 4K video recording and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Apple Pay.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey from November.

Prices start from £585 ex VAT.

iPad Pro 9.7″

– 32GB,  128GB and 256GB capacity.

– 9.7″2048×1536 resolution display.

– A9X chip with 64-bit architecture and M9 motion co-processor.

– 12MP iSight camera with 4K video recording and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Apple Pay.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey from November.

Prices start from £441 ex VAT

iPad Air 2

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Keeping the screen size of the original iPad but squeezing the internals into a tiny 444 gram machined aluminium body, iPad Air 2 is an excellent compromise between screen size and portability. (We particularly like it for any roles where you need to combine typing and form-filling admin work with visual documentation, because it’s easier to handle than the Pro, but still retains the same pair of high quality cameras.)

While workers in some sectors are reporting that iPad is taking over from their desktop and notebook computers, there are plenty of tools available to help you use it as a second screen or presentation device – we highly recommend pairing it with Apple TV in your boardroom as a replacement for ageing projector setups.

iPad Air 2 has a greater internal memory than the original iPad Air, which tapped out at 32GB, which makes this form factor viable even if you’re toting larger apps or bigger files. This also allows you to work in Split Screen mode, which means you can use more than one app at once side-by-side – watch a video while reading something in Safari or dig information out of your email while typing into a document, for example.

iPad Air 2 also comes with Touch ID, Apple’s biometric security measure, to ensure no one can sneak onto your iPad without your index fingerprint. So if you’re saving ultra-important files locally or have business secrets in your email inbox, opt for the newer model.

Best for: Retail – a flexible solution for POS displays, kiosks, ePOS and face to face sales.

iPad Air 2

– 32GB and 128GB capacities (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 9.7″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A8X chip with 64-bit architecture (1.4x faster than A7 chip with 2.5x faster graphics).

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey.

Prices start from £304 ex VAT.

 

iPad mini

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If you need something even more portable, go for the ultra-light 7.9″ iPad mini. Despite not being much bigger than your phone, it still manages to be higher resolution than an HD TV, and iPad mini 4 even manages to fit in Touch ID for biometric security authentication and supports Split Screen view for working in multiple apps side-by-side.

We like iPad mini for fieldwork such as repairs or surveying, as it has all the document and data management capabilities of its larger counterparts, but is slim enough to hold in one hand, making collecting video and photographic evidence that much easier.

The slightly lower price tag also makes it a popular choice for workplace schemes, as it shaves a little off the upfront cost of investing in iPad without you losing any of the core benefits.

Best for: Field sales, on-site reporting.

iPad mini 4

– 32GB or 128GB capacity (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 7.9″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A8 chip.

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Apple Pay.

– Touch ID.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey.

Prices start from £311 ex VAT.

iPad mini 2

– 32GB capacity (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 7.9″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A7 processor.

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Available in silver and space grey.

Prices start from £196 ex VAT.

Want to know more about iPad? See the full range here or get in touch with our team by popping your details in the form below. Alternatively, you can call them on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com

Using JAMF Software to tame iOS and OS X devices in the workplace

Using JAMF Software to tame iOS and OS X devices in the workplace

With the rise of OS X and iOS devices in business, finding a way to manage these devices and ensure they’re in line with company policies is more important than ever – especially if you need your Mac users to work in harmony with a PC-based workforce.  Here, we talk through some of the techniques and tools you can use to make sure all your Mac and iOS devices are managed and visible, without overburdening IT admin.

While the rise of Apple devices and BYOD/mixed platform environments can be great for productivity and end user satisfaction, it can be a cause for concern among IT admins, particularly as Apple have retired their server hardware, prompting a widespread move to managing Mac computers using Windows servers.  And as the Mac user base grows, viruses are becoming increasingly targeted at the platform, making policy compliance and disk encryption incredibly important for mobile devices and desktops alike. Happily, Apple and a range of third parties are working together to make the situation manageable.

Device Enrolment Programme (DEP)

One of Apple’s latest initiatives, the DEP is designed to make it easier for you to enrol new devices on your company’s MDM system, and reduce the chance of any user accessing the network on an unsecured device. It is not an MDM solution in and of itself, but it does make a ‘zero touch’ MDM deployment possible for all new devices, drastically reducing the time and effort involved in setting up new users.

Put broadly, your create MDM profiles for different types of device and user, then share them with Apple’s servers. Apple will assign your MDM server a unique token, and when a device connects to it for the first time, DEP will push the correct MDM profile to the device as part of the initial startup process, so your end users can’t use their new devices without enrolling them in your MDM service, and no one from IT has to be on hand to oversee registration – it’s all done automatically.

You can enrol your company in DEP at deploy.apple.com.

Preparing for MDM

Before rolling out an MDM solution for Apple devices, you’ll need to make a decision about your Apple ID policy. Many apps and services, both free and paid for, rely on your end user having an Apple ID to authenticate their identity in the App Store and other areas. For this reason, we recommend you allow users to create individual Apple IDs (however, your admin team should use a shared Apple ID to access services like DEP and VPP).

Every Apple ID requires an associated email address – the degree of freedom you wish to allow users and whom ownership of the device sits with will determine whether you allow end users to use their personal emails and existing Apple IDs, or insist they create a separate Apple ID associated with their work email address.

MDM solutions: JAMF Software’s Casper Suite

JAMF Software are one of the most experienced Mac and iOS management experts out there, and their Casper Suite management solution is even used by Apple themselves. At the core of the suite is the JAMF Software Server, which acts just like a web server. It can be hosted on any existing Windows, Linux or OS X server at your premises, hosted remotely via JAMF Cloud or provided as a managed service by our accredited team.

Key features include:

Recon, an app included in the suite which scans your existing estate for Apple devices not currently enrolled in Casper Suite. Recon can then be used to enrol multiple OS X computers remotely. It will also scan IP ranges and enrol any computer it can connect to via SSH (Remote Login).

A range of imaging options, including monolithic imaging (IT builds a standard image including apps and settings, which is then deployed locally or over the network to all computers), thin imaging (IT builds a smaller, more modular image which is installed on top of a standard OS X installation, and other restrictions and apps are deployed using profiles and policies) and zero touch imaging (enrolment through DEP).

Self Service, an app which acts like an internal App Store for your organisation. It can contain apps linked to VPP, packaged apps, eBooks, printer settings, configuration profiles and custom profiles, all of which users can install on or apply to their own device without IT intervention.

JAMF software can be run completely on windows server hardware if required.

Volume Purchasing Program and Managed Distribution

Apple’s Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) is a purchasing scheme designed to save time and money for organisations who want to buy apps and books in bulk. It allows your IT admin to purchase several licences for a particular app, then centrally assign them to end users.

Traditionally, you had to buy your licences, download a spreadsheet of redeemable codes, provide a code to each user so that they can download the app without paying again, and then transfer ownership of the app or book to that user’s Apple ID permanently. Obviously, this is quite time consuming and messy, and involves you losing ownership of the app or book.

Now, if you’re using DEP, you can use Managed Distribution to license content to your end users, meaning they can use the app or book on a temporary basis but you can revoke access at any time. All you need to do is use Casper Suite to generate an invitation email for the end users who need access, and then they’ll be guided through the installation and licensing process without the need for IT admin’s involvement.

Casper Suite as a managed service

If you don’t have the resource to handle MDM in-house, or if your IT team are all PC-based and aren’t comfortable administrating Macs or iOS devices, we can provide Casper Suite as a managed service. You tell us what needs doing; our JAMF-certified team can set up and maintain your deployment. We can even help you optimise your infrastructure for Casper Suite, so you’re getting the best possible performance out of your software.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook