The iPad 2012: Your ultimate remote desktop? | Techworld. (No longer available online. Original text included below.)
Businesses love Apple’s iPad 2. The tablets are used in a number of ways, from POS terminals to hospital charts. They’re even used by airline pilots for flight manuals. The iPad 3 is rumored to be announced March 7th, and the updated specs could make it even better at something it already does well, remote desktop.
Though tablets are being described as “post-pc”, and can do many of the tasks that PCs have been used for, not everything is tablet ready. One of the biggest limitations is running common business software, most of which is written to run on Windows-based x86/x64 machines. Microsoft has announced that its new Windows 8 will not allow software written for previous versions of Windows to run on ARM-based tablets; they will need to be re-written as a Metro style app. Similarly, though iOS and OS X share code, programs written for the Mac cannot be run on an iPad.
One solution for this problem is to use the iPad as an extension of a PC. With remote desktop software like LogMeIn or TeamViewer, an iPad can display and control the screen of a remote PC. This allows remote workers to do the same work they could in the office without taking a powerful desktop computer with them, and without having multiple licenses for expensive software.
iPad 3: Better Screen
Though the iPad 2, with its 1024×768 display is already a capable remote desktop device, the iPad 3s reported 2048×1536 display promises to be even better. The increased resolution is larger than most PC displays, allowing the iPad 3 to show a full screen pixel accurate version of most remote displays. Granted, text may be too small to read at that size, but the extra resolution offers the ability to more gracefully go from a clear full screen to a magnified view of a region.
iPad 3: Better Networking
To make remote desktop possible, wireless networking is critical. WiFi is perfect for this when available, but remote workers, especially those on the road, won’t always have access to it. The iPad 3 is rumored to have 4G LTE through both Verizon and AT&T. This will provide plenty of bandwidth to stream a remote desktop screen to the iPad, giving workers full access to their office PC anywhere they can get wireless coverage.
iPad 3: Better Battery?
Though display and networking are two critical features when it comes to remote desktop, battery is also important for a mobile device. 4G places a higher demand on the battery than the previous 3G did. The iPad 3 is rumored to have upgraded power management, which could help offset some of the increased demand of 4G. Even so, a more powerful battery, not confirmed through any hardware leaks yet, will be an important companion to an improved display and faster networking. This is especially true for workers that need all-day access to their remote PC.
Ready to Buy?Though not yet a replacement for a business PC, tablets make a great extension for one. Already the most popular workplace tablet, the iPad will be even more in-demand by businesses if the rumors of its expanded features are true. Would your business be more likely to purchase an iPad 3 with its expanded features?