First Volt Month

I’ve driven my Volt for one month. It turns out that I drove more in June that I drove more than my anticipated 1,250 miles per month; 1550 miles. I didn’t visit a gas station in June and used abou seven gallons of gas for an average of 221 MPG. During the month I needed to make several trips to Tacoma which took me out of my normal commuting pattern and was the reason for using the gas I did use. 

A few of those trips I would normally have used our van. So, even with the gas that I did use, I realized a energy savings of about $240 for June. I did learn the cost of the BLINK charging can accumulate quickly. The cost, $1.00 per hour, isn’t much but when considering the cost of charging with 110v at home at $0.81 per full charge it is pretty expensive. It takes about four hours for a full charge at a cost of about $4.00. The real hidden cost with per hour charging is the time you are plugged into a charger when you really don’t need to. This happens when you are engaged in activities, such as work, that doesn’t afford you the opportunity to move the vehicle after it is fully charged.

On a final note, I still don’t have my OnStar working.


No Charge for You!

Since I bought my Volt two weeks ago I have periodically charged at the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) HQ building in Tumwater, WA. It’s next door to my employer, Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries, which only has one 110V EV charging parking space.

I chose to park periodically at WSDOT after looking at the BLINK and PlugShare apps on my iPhone. There was one particular check-in write up on PlugShare that related the EV owner checking with the security office. They were told they just needed to sign up for the BLINK network.

Today I got this warning citation:


Parking Warning Citation
Parking Warning Citation

I checked in with the security office and explained that I work next door at L&I and had been parking in their EV spaces periodically for the past week. The security person politely said the spaces were for Corrections and WSDOT employees (Dept. of Corrections is in the same building). I suggested they mark the parking spaced for “Employees Only.

He thanked me for the suggestion and said I could finish charging today.

After I left the building, my wife and I were discussing the situation and came to the conclusion that until this week the parking for employees only was not enforced because there were plenty of spaces for EVs. However, in the past week, I’ve noted one new Ford Fusion Plug-in, my own new Volt, a new Gray Volt and a new blue Leaf. Apparently, the south Puget Sound has reached a tipping point for EV buyers and WSDOT has chosen to enforce the employees only situation. It is, incidentally, marked for employees only indirectly:

Employee parking
Employee parking

You can see the red Leaf and the charging stations in the background. 

That eliminates not only the two BLINK chargers but the dozen or so, 110V outlets for the adjacent parking spaces. I am now limited to the one 110V EV space at L&I and the two Dept. of Parks’ BLINK chargers at $1.00 per hour. 

Given more than one of the EVs that had been parking at WSDOT are owned by L&I employees, there will be a few of us competing for the three available spaces. This probably means I will need to choose, on occasion, between spending the $2.00 for two hours to charge at the BLINK chargers or running a little more on gas.

I usually have about 13 miles available on my battery when I arrive at work. That means I would need to charge for an hour or burn a quarter gallon of gas to cover the remaining 11 miles to get home. The cost is a wash. A gallon of gas is running $3.85 right now.

The real challenge charging would be making it out to the charging state within the hour so I don’t get charged for two hours. A $1.00 per day additional cost for twenty work days each month would more than double my cost. Instead of saving $237 per month I will only save about $217. I still can’t complain.

This is the down side right now that comes with an increase in popularity in EVs. L&I does plan to put EV parking in place but I don’t know if they will pass on the cost or not.


First Week with our Chevy Volt

I had been watching the Chevy Volt for more than a year. Last November I did the math and concluded that the car with the options I wanted was too expensive. I set it aside and waited through the winter. With the coming of summer I started looking at the ads and prices again. I found that the price had dropped. I did the math again. This time it looked like it would work out so I set out to take a test drive with the thought in mind that if the car met my expectations I would buy after I returned from vacation.

My wife, daughter and I went to Titus Will Chevrolet in Olympia, the dealer I had been visiting for the past year to see what was available for Volts. They had one left on the lot. To be clear they aren’t like other dealers that have a token Volt. These guys have regularly had several on the lot. They just sell a lot of Volts. It just so happened they only had the one black Volt we test drove left.

I was amazed at how quiet, smooth and comfortable it was as we pulled out of the lot. I deliberately put the car into ‘sport’ drive mode when I turned onto the highway and stepped on the accelerator. I felt the car push me back into the seat as it accelerated. Before I knew it we had reached 60 MPH. Truly impressive acceleration. 

About a half mile later I took an exit that put me on a road that winds around the very south end of the Puget Sound. A great opportunity to exercise the handling. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Volt handled but more surprising was how the suspension smoothed out the somewhat bumpy road.

At one point we stopped in a parking lot and looked over the vehicle and the controls to get a good idea of what it was all about. We changed drivers and my wife was as impressed as I was. When we returned to the dealer we were ready to buy.

When I got the car home I parked it next to the garage, called OnStar, activated the OnStar service, then plugged the car in. When I examined the information from OnStar about how long it would take to charge, about fourteen hours, I was surprised. That seemed a bit long. The car’s manual has become my primary reading material this past week. In it I learned that there are two options for charging, 8 amp and 12 amp. By default it was set to charge using 8 amps. I changed it to 12 amps and the time shortened to something reasonable…for 110V.

Months earlier I had downloaded the PlugShare for my phone and knew that the Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) HQ next to where I work had three BLINK charging stations. When I got to work the next day I pulled into the WSDOT parking lot and found the chargers…all occupied by two Leafs and a red Volt. I also noticed they had a bank of 110V outlets for EVs to use in the event the BLNIK chargers were all occupied. The BLINK chargers have been occupied every day by 7:00 AM. 

The Labor & Industries (L&I) building where I work has one 110V reserved EV parking space. I used it and immediately realized that they hadn’t really given this much consideration. There are two shrubs between the parking space and the 110V outlet on the adjacent emergency generator building. Because the parking space has been virtually unused for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been with the agency twenty years, the internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that park next to the space use it to essentially get an extra wide parking space by encroaching on the EV space. A Ford F-250 truck had done just that. I made it a point of parking there anyway…because I really wanted the charge and also wanted to make the point that the EV space wasn’t there to make an extra wide ICE parking space. I used my phone’s camera to take a picture of how the truck was parked…and the license plate.

Fortunately, I didn’t need to use it because I left that evening before the truck owner did. The same scenario played out again the next day, this time with a new Cadillac SUV. At least the Cadillac owner was not likely slam a door into the side of my new Volt. Again, I left work before the Cadillac owner did. 

This played out again on Thursday. Two of L&I’s goals are to make doing business with customers easier and to make the agency an employer of choice. Management teams have been established to promote these goals. I wrote an e-mail message to both the goal team leaders essentially arguing that putting in Level 2 chargers for employees and the public would be advancing these goals in addition to being consistent with the governor’s goal for state employees to reduce fuel consumption. Both team leaders thought this was a good idea and forwarded my message to the facilities manager along with their endorsements. I received a message a few hours later from the facilities manager indicating that they were, in fact, in the process of installing Level 2 chargers starting with the agency motor-pool parking and later expanding the employees and the public. This was very encouraging.

Wednesday was also the first day I found a need to rely on gas. On Wednesday I had an hour meeting at 9:00 and then needed to drive to another location for a second meeting. Because the BLNIK chargers were occupied and I knew that an hour on a 110V outlet would barely move the needle, I chose to park at the WA State Parks HQ, on the other side of the L&I HQ, which also has two BLINK chargers. Unfortunately, I needed to pay the $1.00 per hour BLINK charging fee. I was there one hour and eight minutes and was charged $2.00. I didn’t get a full charge. I ended up using half a gallon of gas.

Friday evening, for some unknown reason, I was no longer able to log into OnStar. The error message said the account number was not valid. Next Monday I had an appointment at the dealer for paint and interior treatment. The OnStar representative said I needed to get the dealer to activate the service. Odd thing was, I had been using the OnStar service since Sunday…almost a week.

Saturday, we needed to rent a truck. We ended up driving the Volt back and forth to pick up the truck. We used about a gallon of gas. At the end of the week I calculated my gas savings at $59.00…pretty much on target.

Stay tuned for the continuing adventure.

A New Chevy Volt for $510?

I commute twenty-five miles one way to work. I’ve been driving a 2006 Hyundai Tucson getting about 23 MPG. We generally use the Tucson only for commuting. We drive another vehicle on the weekend. It cost me about $250 per month for fuel. I thought there had to be another way.

About eighteen months ago I started looking into something more fuel efficient. More vehicle models come in a hybrid variant and get much better mileage, somewhere between 40 and 60 MPG. When calculating the cost of a new vehicle and the cost savings 40 – 60 MPG would not really make much of a difference so I started looking into electric vehicles. The two that stood out were the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. Ford also has a plugin electric with a range extender gas engine.

I ruled out the Leaf because I am still not comfortable with relying completely on electric. The Leaf’s range is roughly 80 miles. Although it would get me to work and back it wouldn’t be enough if I had an emergency and had to make a trip to the school for example. The Volt and Ford Fusion Energi have gas engines giving them a combined range comparable to a compact Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car.

The Ford Fusion Energi and the Chevy Volt are comparably sized vehicles; however the Fusion Energi only has a range of 20 miles per charge. That’s not enough for a single trip from home to work. The new Ford C-Max Energi has about a 75 mile range. However, unlike the Volt, it operates more like a hybrid with both electric and gas running in combination. The Volt will run all electric until the battery is depleted then switch automatically to gas.

I started watching forums for Volt owners. During the past eighteen months I came away with two impressions 1) Volt owners are very happy with their vehicles. This is validated by a recent Consumer Reports satisfaction survey that shows Volt with the highest consumer satisfaction rate at 92%. 2) Volt owners were having few problems with their vehicles. The few things they pointed out that a prospective owner should be aware were the lack of a spare tire and a short vehicle history and the high degree of electronics. They recommended purchasing the extended warranty.

So it was all about the money. The magic numbers are 22,740 and 6; the break even cost of operating the Tuscon over six years. 

It takes about 12 kWh to charge a Volt. My cost for electricity is 6.51 cents per kWh. We used the Tuscon for commuting. So, calculating 20 charges, one for each weekday I commute in a month multiplied by the 12 kWh to charge the Volt multiplied by the cost of electricity, 6.51 cents per kWh, the cost to charge the Volt for a month of commuting works out to roughly $15 per month. Subtract that from the $250 per month I paid for fuel for the Tuscon, the energy savings is about $235 per month.

For three months during the summer, my wife and I carpool. That saves an additional $250 per month in fuel by not driving our second vehicle for the summer, or $750. The total fuel savings for a year works out to $3570 savings per year. Also consider that the Volt’s gas engine only requires annual service instead of quarterly service. Assuming $80 for servicing for times per year, the Tucson cost $320 per year compared to $100 for the Volt for an annual savings of $220 for a total operating cost savings of $3790 per year. Over a period of 6 years that’s a saving in operating cost of $22,740. If I were able to buy the Volt for $22,740 I would break even after six years.

The Federal government is offering a $7500 tax credit for purchasing the Volt as an alterative fuel vehicle. Chevrolet offered a $1000 rebate. I received a $750 discount for being a USAA member and another $500 for being a Washington State Employee Credit Union member. In November the Volt stickered for $38,000 leaving a gap of $5510 after applying the tax credit, rebates and discounts. I couldn’t justify that cost. This month, the Volt stickered at $33,000, leaving a gap of $510. I could justify $510.

Over time there are a couple of unknown factors. Will I really be able to realize that savings? I measured and monitored my driving pattern and believe the calculations are accurate. There will also be time when we need to run short trips that will amount to an all electric savings as well. Fuel costs are not likely to go down. In fact, earlier this evening there were reports of a sudden jump in gas prices due to the violence in Iraq. It’s entirely likely I am under estimating the fuel savings. The Tucson would have also needed some repairs; a cracked windshield replacement, a damaged door handle replacement, and possibly other minor repairs. It was after all eight years old and showing some signs of wear.

 I believe it was worth the calculated risk but only time will tell for sure. The one thing I hadn’t counted on was the “Awesome Factor.” Full torque to the wheels at 0 mph gives it unbelievable acceleration, it is incredibly quiet and handles like a dream.

On a final note, Tom Estep and Thad London, the two sales representatives for Titus Will in Olympia were the two best car salesmen I’ve ever worked with. No pressure, very knowledgable and very helpful. I would highly recommend Titus Will and these two gentlemen for anyone considering buying a Volt in the Olympia, Washington area.


Marianne Williamson for Congress

“Getting the money out of politics is the greatest moral challenge of our generation”

Marianne Williamson is running for Congress in the 33rd Congressional District in California. I live in Washington State but I am still a supporter. Why? Because money in politics is a national issue. With your support Marianne Williamson is serving as a vanguard to show what will be possible in your district in the future.

Marianne Williamson is NEARING THE FINISH LINE of an incredible campaign for election to the U.S. House of Representatives. In order to pay for the media that will make her competitive with the other leading candidates, her campaign MUST RAISE OVER 1 MILLION DOLLARS in the next few weeks!

I’m calling on you to join me and Americans all over the U.S. in a MASSIVE GRASSROOTS CROWDFUND. I’m urging everyone I know to SUPPORT MARIANNE’S CAMPAIGN BY CONTRIBUTING RIGHT NOW, regardless of where you live and vote.

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HELP MAKE POLITICAL HISTORY and get one of the worlds most influential and transformative thinkers into Congress!

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Office for iPad…a closer look

I’ve had more time to take a closer look at Office for iPad. I’ve also read several articles and reviews. The response is generally very positive. There are a few shortcomings that have been noted in the press, most notably the absence of a print feature. However, according to this PC World article, printing will be available soon.

What I have yet to read about or see in Office in iPad is support for the the Open In… feature for outgoing documents. The Open In… feature is supported to allow other applications to open an Office document in Word, Excel or PowerPoint but not the other way around. In my opinion, this is an important missing feature. Here’s why…

Office for iPad is essentially a collection of three (more or less) applications. Within each you are able to add a new “place” to retrieve documents from and save documents to places such as SharePoint libraries. The shortcoming of this approach is that it makes the workflow application centric, not task centric. When using SharePoint via the web users typically navigate to a document library where they have stored a number of different documents related to some task or project. These documents most likely include all three types of Office documents; Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The user then works through the things they need to do opening the documents as needed with the corresponding application opening accordingly. This is the approach Microsoft has advocated for years. Without the Open In… feature to move a document out of Office to another application the approach I’ve outlined above isn’t possible. 

It is possible to edit a document using Web Office apps when opened from Safari. It is also possible to open an Office document using any number of iOS apps that understand any of the three major types of Office documents. The one I am most familiar with is SharePlus by Infragistics. This app is essentially a SharePoint client and allows an iOS user to work with any number and type of Office documents from a SharePoint library. One of it’s unique feature is it’s Smart Update feature. When a document is opened in an editor such as Word using the SharePlus Open In… feature the document is opened for editing. When the user is finished they use the Open In… feature in the editor to return the document to SharePlus. SharePlus then recognizes that it was the original source and will prompt the user to update the document on the SharePoint site.

Virtually all iOS Office document editors have had shortcomings related to formatting. The addition of Office to the iPad gives the enterprise user an familiar tool for editing document on a familiar tablet platform, iOS. The addition of the Open In… feature and the print feature would make Office for iPad a solid tool for mobile users.

Office for iPad First Look

Today Microsoft released Office for iPad. I have long said that Microsoft has squandered a huge opportunity as part of redefining itself as a “services and hardware” company. Before the release today, Microsoft had released two other applications that are part of the Office suite; OWA and OneNote. Those apps gave me some insight into where Microsoft might be going. In part, it was encouraging and in part it was very disappointing. I should also say that I look at this from an enterprise, not an individual consumer, perspective. 

The part that was encouraging was that the apps provided the functionality I would hope for. First of all the apps were free but required an Office 365 subscription. That is perfectly understandable. Microsoft doesn’t want to give Apple a 30% cut of every subscription by making it an in-app purchase and Microsoft is trying to sell their product as well. The user experience was decidedly Microsoft. That was to be expected. OWA behaved as I would have expected. I pointed it to my work Office365 site and it returned the mail and calendar information as expected.

OneNote; however, was disappointing. When I pointed it to my work Office 365 site, it prompted for a Microsoft consumer account (hotmail, outlook, etc.) not my Office365 site credentials. It wouldn’t accept those or recognize the site. This rendered OneNote pretty useless from an enterprise perspective. I was able to enter my consumer account information and it found my personal, free, Office 365 site. Once I had done that I was able to link the work Office365 site. That was a step forward but still pretty useless from the enterprise perspective. Everything I had read about Microsoft’s strategy validated that they were planning to use the iOS apps as a gateway to Office 365….but that consumer account thing was disturbing.

Back to today’s release. Yesterday I had read an article that said the release was imminent and the target was the enterprise and consumers looking toward Google Docs and Apps. If this report was accurate, Microsoft would have to do away with the consumer account requirement. After installing the apps (which were featured in the Apple App Store) I held my breath as I started Word. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the login screen had, in fact, changed. It allowed for the use of a consumer account but also allowed for enterprise, small business and university accounts.


Word Login Screen
Word Login Screen

This was encouraging. I went on to enter my work Office 365 credentials and they were accepted. This is a huge step forward. When it finished validating the welcome screen indicated I would only have read access to my documents. We have an Office 365 subscription but have only enable Lync so getting an option that tells me I can only view documents is what I would expect.

When my wife saw this she pointed out that this will be confusing to some users. Those who are not familiar with the Office 365 approach will expect to be able to use Office as they always have on the desktop. They are likely to be frustrated by what will appear to be “cripple-ware”. 

As it turns out, there is also an option for an Office 365 Home subscription. With that option as an in-app purchase Apple would get a 30% cut. 

The opening screen looks very Microsoft-esque, showing the templates available and some options on the sidebar.

Word for iPad Main Screen
Word for iPad Main Screen

Since, for now, I’ve accepted that I will be reading documents because of my employer’s Office 365 subscription, I was interested in how I would be able to open documents. There are two primary sources for work documents on the iPad; SharePoint through the use of Infragistics’ Enterprise SharePlus app and e-mailed links. My expectation was that I would be able to go to either of these sources, tap on a document link to open the document in preview then open the document using the iOS “Open In…” feature. In both cases it behaved exactly as I would have expected.

Once the document is open in Word, it’s behavior produced mixed results. My initial look at document formatting was very good. I was, however, basing this on a very limited sample set. I will be exploring this more in the future. In cases where the iOS preview presented some odd formatting, Word presented as I would expect, including proper header and footer.

It’s overall file handling behavior was not as good. With a document open, if you select an option from the sidebar, the new screen is presented. An experience any iOS user would expect is that the new screen is essentially an overlay to the previous screen. Swiping will remove the active screen and return the user to the previous screen, in this case, the open document. What I found was that when the screen was opened from the sidebar, the document appeared to simply close. The only way I could find to return to the document was to open it again from it’s source.

 Office for iPad is a big step in the right direction for Microsoft. The discussion I know I will have with our Microsoft Sales Representative will be what type of Office subscription will work best for our organization to satisfy both the traditional Windows user community and or new iPad-enabled field staff. Will converting our existing Enterprise Licenses to Office 365 give us both the on-site capabilities to support our desktop users and an Office 365 presence that is recognized by Office for iPad, or will we need to do something special? There will be more to come on this but the first look is encouraging. It will be interesting to see how the user experience for a Microsoft design app will be accepted by iOS users.

Linking Microsoft Products to Consumer Accounts

I had initially envisioned Microsoft’s OneNote as a valuable product that had a place in the iOS productivity suite for the enterprise until I put it to the test. Functionally, OneNote did as I would expect. I was able to take notes and save them to our test Office365 site. It was Microsoft’s decision to link it to a Microsoft consumer account such as Hotmail, or that rendered it useless for the enterprise. In the enterprise the fewer accounts that represent a user the better. My initial thinking was that this was a marketing strategy to cripple the use of OneNote on iOS and make Microsoft’s own hardware more appealing.

After reading comments from Frank Shaw, Microsoft VP of Communications, about the Surface, I think I have a better understanding of what Microsoft is trying to do. Here’s the quote:

We saw too many people carrying two devices around (one for work and one for play) and dealing with the excess cost, weight and complexity…That’s what Surface is.

Sadly, Frank missed the point about why people carry two devices. It isn’t that iOS or Android users can’t run productivity software and be productive. They can. The problem is that enterprise policies force the separation.

When the enterprise changes their policies to support BYOD or Corporate Owned Personal Equipment (COPE), the user will need only one tablet, be it an iPad, Android Tablet or a Surface. Just last week I was able to open a Word form sent to me via e-mail to my employer owned iPad, convert it to a PDF, sign it and send it back to my IT support for processing.

I was also able to download a Word document, to a rich client iOS app, from SharePoint prepared earlier on my desktop workstation. I was able to complete the editing (including Track Changes and Comments), and post the revision back to the SharePoint site where the version was updated.

Requiring a Microsoft consumer account to to use OneNote isn’t going to solve the problem of people carrying multiple devices. Only enterprise policy changes will do that. From an enterprise perspective, it will only drive IT support staff to find alternatives to Microsoft products.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Understanding Apple’s Camera Roll, Photo Stream and Albums

Co-authored by Jeanette Delaplane

I updated my iPad and iPhone to iOS7 and need to do some cleanup of my photos so I can get a good backup. After examining my Camera Rolls (iPhone and iPad) and My Photo Stream I noticed there was a mismatch.

Jeanette and I and spent the morning trying to understand how these worked together. Here’s my “Cliffnotes” on what we concluded.

First of all, as my wife so emphatically points out now is that the Albums really aren’t that at all. If you create an album and copy a photo from you Camera Roll to the Album it is really just creating a pointer and the Album is really functioning as a filter. If you attempt to delete the file from either the Camera Roll or the “Album” it will be deleted in both places. Albums can’t be used to keep subsets of photos and delete them from the Camera Roll. This also holds true for Shared Streams…these aren’t the same as the My Photo Stream.

If you create a Shared Stream and copy a file from the Camera Roll to the shared stream and try to delete it from the Camera Roll it will be deleted in both the Camera Roll and the Shared Stream. If you try to delete it from the Shared Stream it will not be deleted from the Camera Roll.

When a picture is taken with the Apple Camera app the photo is saved to both the Camera Roll and the My Photo Stream when the Photo Stream option is turned on and you are using Wi-Fi. It is possible for My Photo Stream to temporarily be out of sync when the photo is taken and no Wi-Fi is available. Once Wi-Fi is available again, My Photo Stream with sync again.

However, if one device has the Photo Stream turned on and another does not it is possible for a number of photos (those older than 30 days) to be saved to the Camera Roll and not the Photo Stream. For example, if several photos are taken on an iPhone over a period greater than 30 days then the Photo Stream is turned on, only the photos taken in the last 30 days will be synchronized to the Photo Stream. There is also a limit of 1000 photos per Stream.

To copy the older photo to another iPhone, iPad or Mac, you need to create another Shared Stream and copy the files from the Camera Roll to the Shared Stream. At the destination iPad the photos in the Photo Stream or Shared Stream can be copied from from the Shared Stream to the Camera Roll. After they have been copied they can be deleted from the Shared Stream.

IMPORTANT: If the files are deleted from the Shared Stream they will remain on the original iPhone or iPad Camera Roll.

I’ll make the statement below because it actually happened once. With all other tests it didn’t happen. The photos in the Shared Stream were not delete.

{However, if they are deleted from the original iPhone or iPad’s Camera Roll they will also be deleted from the Shared Stream.}

Any of the streams, My Photo Stream or any Shared Streams can be accessed from another iOS or OSX device. This happens automatically for the devices using the same Apple ID and for other people if you share the Shared Streams. A file can be copied to the Camera Roll of an iPhone or iPad.

All Photo Stream (My Photo Stream and Shared Streams) photos appear in the iCloud “folder” in iPhoto on a Mac. The photos can then be imported to the iPhoto catalog.

If you copy anything from a Photo Stream to an album and delete it from the Photo Stream it will remain in the album. It is important to note that it will also appear in the Camera Roll because an album is really just a filter for the Camera Roll. This is evident by the Camera Roll being grayed out when copying from the Photo Stream or Shared Stream to an album. The album is really a smart folder for the Camera Roll, or just a reference from the Camera Roll. The actual file only exists in the Camera Roll and only the Camera Roll.

This is easily demonstrated by editing a photo that appears in both the Camera Roll and an album. The changes from Camera Roll will automatically appear in what you see in the Album.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

iWork Update

In August I wrote a post “Office Automation for iOS”. In that post I noted that Microsoft’s Office didn’t exist for an iPad and Apple’s Pages didn’t support the most current version of the Office document format (.pptx, .xlsx, and .docx). This left us in search of an office automation tool.

The big news for today’s Apple keynote was the update to iPad. There was another announcement that has bigger implications for the enterprise, the iWork update! Why is that big news for the enterprise? Two reasons:

1. iWork (Pages, Numbers and Keynote) is now FREE. For an enterprise that saves thousands of dollars. If you are deploying a couple hundred iPads and intended to deploy Pages, Numbers and Keynote it would have cost $30 per iPad. That turns out to be a savings of $6000 for a 200 iPad deployment. Yet without the next point it wouldn’t be really big news.

2. Pages now supports the .docx format! I’ve verified this. Presumably Numbers and Keynote will support the latest Office format as well.

As I explained in my post in August, when you combine this with SharePlus (a SharePoint client for iOS) and SharePoint, you now have a seamless experience for office automation

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad