Tablets have a bright future. Not
only are they incredibly cost effective, they epitomize portability and
user-friendliness. However, there’s no way around the fact that a tablet is not a
full-blown computer. Thus, they have limitations and can find their way into
usage situations where they simply do not belong.
Here are five of those use-cases I found in 2013 to be the
worst ways to utilize either an Android or iOS tablet in the business,
home, or public sector.
1. Trading firms
Although tablets are and will be the
go-to tool for power users on the go, the tablet format is simply not powerful
enough to be used by trading firms. Typically, a machine used for this industry
needs to be very powerful and capable of working with clock accuracies within
microseconds and needs to adhere to tight security policies. Typical day
traders also make use of multi-monitor setups to enable multi-tasking of a
nature that would send the average human seeking shelter in the nearest asylum.
Over the course of 2013, I had to talk a few traders down from wanting to employ
tablets as their primary on-the-go tools. Not only can you not ensure the
security of the devices, they tend to not employ the power necessary to meet
the needs of such a demanding industry.
2. As a wireless router for a business network
it… there are times when you simply don’t have any other options. But using a tablet
as a wireless router is not the best bet for business. First and foremost,
you’re looking at the possibility of outrageous data overages. Sure, one laptop
using a tablet as a hotspot is fine — but when you start connecting multiple
machines up to that tablet, the data usage skyrockets. On top of that, the issue
of heat build up is serious. Don’t believe me? Set your tablet up as a hotspot
and then connect five laptops. Give it about a half an hour of normal network
usage, and then pick up that tablet. Over time, that heat build up can get
serious. Let that continue on, and you might well find yourself with a
non-functioning tablet. When you add the heat build-up with the serious lack of security (especially on a business network), you have the ingredients
for a disaster.
3. As a serious developer tool
If you’re looking to
simply write or debug some code on your Android tablet, feel free. It’s a
great tool for working on code on-the-go. But if you’re looking to use
that environment as a serious developer platform, think twice. Over the last
year, I came across a few developers doing their best to turn their tablets into
their developer tool of choice. In a perfect world, it makes perfect sense.
Unfortunately, the reality is that most tablets are simply under-powered for serious
code compilation. On top of that, if you’re developing in languages like C or C++, you
won’t be compiling and running that app (with ease) on any ARM-based
device. Of course, if you’re developing
specifically for a tablet, then you could make a go at using your tablet as a
development environment — but when it comes to anything larger than an app,
you’ll be glad you’re working on a desktop or laptop.
I shouldn’t even have to bring this up, but
I do. If you have to turn potty training into a digital playground, then you
are doing something wrong. Tablets are not designed to distract infants while
they learn to do their business. Give
those children a chance to grow up and learn that the tablet/toilet combination
is best used when old enough to appreciate the time alone to read the news or
play a game — after you’ve already mastered the art of “the business.” On top of that, should your child become
agitated at the act, one swift slam of those awkward hands and your tablet glass
5. Jewelry (wearable technology)
I actually saw a young
man wearing a tablet around his neck as if it were jewelry. On the screen of
the iPad was a slideshow app to display various social networking streams.
This, of course, was a marriage of so many bad ideas. First and foremost, the
image stream wound up displaying an image most certainly not suitable for
public consumption. Wearable
technology was actually designed to be worn. The tablet was designed to be held
— not turned into an accessory. Please, do not attempt this at home, in public,
or at your place of business.
Tablets are becoming a tool capable of so many uses. In
fact, I would venture to say the tablet has far surpassed the usage of the
laptop. However, that doesn’t mean the tablet can be used in every way. Use common sense
and don’t try to put yourself in a situation where you risk security, data, or
What is the worse tablet use-case that you’ve seen? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.