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iPads for the public service?

By johnboy 24 February 2011 45 is reporting comments by the head of the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs on plans to equip public servants with iPads instead of laptops.

A device that’s not great for actually doing anything seems almost ideal for some sections of the public service.

And while they’re expensive for tablets they’re certainly cheaper than laptops.

(Although a lot more could be done with a cheap netbook)

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iPads for the public service?
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Truthiness 9:08 am 26 Sep 12

touchscreen tablets are great for some things and terrible for others, for instance designers and developers often need more power and more screens. If all the apps, sites and accessories you need work, then it doesn’t really matter which device is running them.

I wonder how many gov sites and intranets are iPad compatible? Seems like a fair few are ancient and only support IE6.

At SES level they don’t do much real work anyway, may as well give them a shiny toy to play with, it might keep them distracted long enough for everyone else to get some work done.

Conan of Cooma 9:08 am 26 Sep 12

Er… Centrelink and DHS have had them for quite some time now – It’s not a new development. They sure are handy for checking emails for the busy worker on the go, but in terms of full functionality they are hitting some pretty big walls. I use mine for facebook – It makes it fun, somehow.

switch 9:05 am 26 Sep 12

Good luck getting any sort of innovation past the glacial IT mob in the APS before it is also out-of-date.

HenryBG 8:38 am 26 Sep 12

emd said :

Middle aged execs with little real knowledge of IT are not going to use any device to the best of it’s capability, so part of the trick is giving them a device that intuitively works the way they expect it to for the task they are doing. If they want to read email, browse websites, and manage an address book and diary,……

No, what they want an iPad for, is so that next time they go to an inter-agency meeting, *they* have the shiny new toy to show off and studiously tap on to very little effect.

If you collected data on,
dates of inter-agency meetings
dates of Executive requests to their IT departments for iPads
you would find a spectacular correlation.

Complete waste of time. As JB says.

steveu 7:52 am 26 Sep 12

Obviously the girls at facsia want something to play around with in their numerous meetings. I cannot see how serious word processing and spreadsheeting is going to be done on these things. I think ipads are great, but they are not a replacement for a notebook PC IMHO.

Notebooks are for staff to remote connect to the network from out of the office (ie. home) and in alot of cases, replace their desktop pc at work so they can work from any office location.

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