I got an iPad 2 from work today. I like it...what little I can do with it, anyway. Unfortunately endpoint computing is one of the few areas of IT over which I do not have control, so these things are locked down in a great example of 1990s IT control freak mentality. For example:
1. I cannot install apps. Now I get not wanting me to install games on a government owned device, but to lock me out completely? There are hundreds of apps that I could use either for work, or to blend home/office life a little better.
2. Can't synch with any PC, they use a single centralized Apple ID so I cannot connect. So I cannot get most file types onto the iPad, which is stupid considering we bought 64GB models. What the heck do we need that kind of storage for if we can't add files? I would love to put books on there...of course, I can't install iBooks...
3. Can't use iCloud. Paranoia about where our files are sitting, I guess...but it's locked down.
4. Can't get Messenger to work. Can't use the central Apple ID of course, but in theory I should be able to use my own. But for some reason it's not working...I assume it has something to do with the iPad config.
5. They set it up so that ActiveSynch to our Exchange only works when VPN'ed in. Um, why? It's obviously not necessary, my iPhone is connected over 3G just fine. Crazy decision.
6. They put it in this monster case that I think is called an Otterbox. Yes, I can drop it and it won't be damaged. But now it's three times as thick and the plastic cover over the screen makes it significantly less responsive. I hate, hate, hate it. (I do not have a case on my iPhone, for the record.)
7. Not only can I not install my own apps, but they took away some of the built-in apps. The Stock app is gone, for example. Even more stupidly, FaceTime is gone. Maybe it has something to do with the Apple ID debacle, but we're paying for a service that FaceTime could do for free! Argh!!!
8. Did I mention that I can't install apps? Seriously...no apps. Apps, apps, apps.
I'm a career IT guy, I get the information security concerns that old-school government types have. But I'm waaaay beyond that, even though I'm arguably an old-school government type myself. We simply cannot presume to hand these wonderful devices to our employees and say "this is how we require you to use them", that doesn't work in 2011. We should be giving people these devices, making it crystal clear what is not permitted and the consequences for breaking those rules, and then turning them loose to show what they can do. That's how great things happen, and I'm discouraged that we're not doing that here.
I should start a pool to see how long these restrictions take place. The agency director said he wanted an iPad, but we're not delivering the "iPad experience". When he can't download the apps he wants to do his job better, the walls will fall.
Or honestly, I'll be happy if I can just get the top dogs to support Bring Your Own Tech. I'll buy an iPad 3 in the spring and do things my own way, no worries.
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