Three reasons why a PC/Mac is required to use an iPad

While the iPad is a great device, it continues to frustrate me with its strong dependencies to a PC/Mac:

  1. Activation.  New iPads won't work out of the box without being activated.  A new iPad needs to connect  to a Mac or a PC using the supplied USB cable and iTunes must be installed and running. 
  2. Software updates.  When Apple releases a new software update (e.g. iOS 4.3) the upgrade is performed via iTunes with the iPad connected to the computer via USB
  3. Media transfer.  Music, videos and pictures must be transfered via iTunes and the USB cable.  In addition, Apple makes it difficult to sync with more than one computer.   For example, I have a home computer with all my music, videos and pictures but I'd like to be able to sync with my work computer to sync apps, get software updates etc.
I've been hoping for solutions to all these problems since iOS 3.  I'm hopeful that the upcoming iOS 5 release this summer.  Android tablets don't have the same limitations.  What I'd like to see from Apple:
  • At a minimum, sync over wi-fi and cut the USB cord
  • A better solution to syncing with multiple computers
  • The ability to update the iOS software over wi-fi


Anonymous said…
I'd like to discuss these options with you also. I've started meeting with local RTP IBMers to enable iPad2 use for work and home. I'll reach out to you on Sametime or email.