During my last trip to the US (attending WES 2010) I bought an iPad for a colleague of mine. I played around a little, and my conclusion was: while the iPad has a nice design and a great touchscreen, it lacks essential features like flash – I actually don’t care for the excuses of apple fanboys. Now, this colleague of mine (Christian Vilsbeck, the CPU-Guru of TecChannel) found a simple and yet elegant solution:
He used a VNC-Client to RDP to a Windows-Box. From there he could use Flash, his VPN-Client to access his company’s network and even send and receive e-mails with Lotus Notes.
His approach is so simple, I’m really a little ashamed, that I didn’t think of it. Just install a VNC-Server on your Windows, Linux oder Mac OS, then use a free viewer like the Mocha VNC Viewer. You could also use Remote Desktop Lite, with which you can directly access the RDP-features of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (except Home).
Conclusion: This simple approach brings more than just Adobe Flash to your iPad. If you combine it with a virtual desktop infrastructure, you get a completely new approach, how to use the tablet in a business environment. Especially in work environments, where someone mostly fills out a form (think hospitals or in the field technicians), the iPad (or any other tablet PC with VNC-features) could be a reasonable substitute for a notebook. Plus, no data is stored on the device itself, but only in the (hopefully) secured virtual environment.
(hey, the first English post at Nerd Supreme. How did I do? Screenshot will follow.)