The best mobile devices for both business and personal use
As the one device you always have with you, it has to function at work, at home, and on the go. These five do it bestFollow @MobileGalen
The iPad is tied to AT&T, whose network is iffy in several cities, such as New York and San Francisco, but AT&T requires no long-term commitment to use its 3G data service; you sign up for a month at a time. Apple offers models with and without 3G radios; all models have Wi-Fi.
A new iPad this spring will all but certainly add front and rear cameras. It will probably be a bit thinner and perhaps faster, so you may want to wait. But today's model is a joy to use, and it's handy to boot. It's also likely to benefit from further software updates -- Apple is very good about ensuring that OS updates run on at least two previous generations of its hardware.
If for some reason the iPad doesn't appeal to you, we have no runner-up options. It's an iPad or nothing.
Expect new choices in the new year
In 2010, the Android platform took off, quickly rivaling the iPhone in popularity. RIM finally delivered its first viable iPhone competitor, but has yet to follow up with other models or bring the new BlackBerry OS to its previous hits, the Bold and Curve. I expect Android to get even more competitive in 2010 -- and perhaps start filling some of its business security gaps. We should see the first tablets running a version of Android designed for tablets this spring. I also expect RIM to make a serious effort with its forthcoming PlayBook tablet and perhaps build on the Torch's momentum with smartphone upgrades.
Also in 2010, Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 crashed and burned, while Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of Palm put the struggling WebOS in deep freeze. On the tablet front, Hewlett-Packard's Windows 7-based Slate tablet proved to be more of a demonstration product than a serious product commitment. Either or both of these companies may get mobile religion in 2011 and even deliver on it. Nokia's smartphone strategy is in disarray, and it's unlikely to be a serious option in 2011 -- but you can never know for certain.
You can be sure that Apple will continue to put distance between itself and its competitors with new versions of the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Google's Android has the best shot at keeping up.
But that's next year. For now, if you need a mobile device, you know what to get.
- Mobile deathmatch: Apple iOS 4 versus Android 2.2
- Mobile deathmatch: Windows Phone 7 versus Apple iPhone 4
- Mobile deathmatch: RIM BlackBerry Torch versus Apple iPhone 4
- Earlier "mobile deathmatch" comparative reviews
- Top 10 smartphones
- iPhone 4: Nearly all it's cracked up to be
- InfoWorld review: iPad surprises, disappoints
- Samsung's Galaxy Tab makes a strong case for buying an iPad
This article, "The best mobile devices for business and personal use," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in mobile technology at InfoWorld.com.
InfoWorld executive editor Galen Gruman analyzes the latest issues in mobile technology.
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Galen is author of iOS 7: The "Just What You Need" Book, OS X Mavericks: The "Just What You Need" Book, MacBook Pro Portable Genius, and iBooks Author For Dummies, as well as lead author of Exploring Windows 8 For Dummies. Follow Galen's mobile musings on Twitter at MobileGalen and at Google+.