So Long iPad….Hello Surface

I simply cannot believe that I am writing this, but as the title suggests I have ditched the iPad favouring the new Surface Pro 4….

I have been a serious Apple fan for many years, in fact I still am. I own a Mac Book Pro, iPhone, Watch and Apple TV and my family also own a range of Apple products-they are superb. However, I am a technical consultant that spends many hour travelling the UK meeting customers and generally fixing stuff. Up until recently I have relied on my trusty iPad Air 2 with the Logitech keyboard and of course the superb Office 365 services.

ipad surface

So why the change?

I specialise in all things Microsoft so Windows Servers, Office 365, Azure and also have been known to dabble in Networking and I simply cannot use my iPad for everything For example, if I go and see customers that don’t have wireless networks then I have no means of connecting to the infrastructure. I cannot create Powershell scripts and run them from my iPad, the biggy for me is the Outlook app. I run a small team of engineers and not being able to have true visibility of multiple calendars and business critical applications is a real problem. Don’t get me wrong, I will continue to adore my iPad, I continue to use it regularly for media and also for the range of excellent apps. I also fly drones commercially and the iPad comes in really handy for planning and controlling my drones.

Are there any downsides to the Surface?

Well like everything, you can’t have it all. With my iPad I was used to having a lovely 4g connection pretty much everywhere I went on the Three network. Unfortunately the Microsoft Surfaces do not have the ability to add a sim card for mobile data usage. – I guess I will just have to get used to tethering my device to my iPhone…

To Finish…..

The iPad and the Surface are both superb devices, and right now I am exceptionally lucky to own both of them, but for my professional career as much as it pains me to say this, the Surface gives me just that bit more flexibility to be able to do more aspects of my job. I am looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings in the world of technology, you never know, Apple may pull something out of the bag that yet again makes the iPad the weapon of choice.

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Connecting a MAC to SharePoint inc O365

A little over two years ago, I purchased my first MAC Book Pro and have not looked back since. Admittedly, the first thing I did was to install Windows as VM on it, but this was a case of having to because of my day job.

I have recently moved to PKF Cooper Parry LTD as a Infrastructure Consultant. One of my first projects is to migrate a small company’s data to O365 SharePoint. I will be delivering SharePoint training to end users next week, but have identified that the directors of the business all run from MACs.

One question to me in a planning meeting was…. Can I access SharePoint from my MAC? The answer is yes, and in some cases feels simpler to access your data than it does on a Windows PC.

Here’s how you connect your Mac with OSX to a SharePoint library — this requires Office for Mac 2011:

  1. From Spotlight look for “Microsoft Document Connection” and open it.
  2. Click on the “Add Location” button in the upper left and choose to “Connect to a SharePoint Site…”
  3. Press the Connect button.

Microsoft Document Connection, which was introduced in Office for Mac 2008 SP2 can connect to both SharePoint sites and OneDrive (not yet OneDrive for business). Multiple file upload is simple with this application – just drag and drop them into the application then everything is done. The application itself can be seen as a very lite version of SharePoint Workspace, although it doesn’t do much beyond upload, read, edit, check in/check out. You cannot delete a file, create a new folder, or edit its metadata properties in this app, and to get the latest update you need to hit Refresh button.

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The TechNet document Plan browser support in SharePoint 2013 says that Safari is “Supported”. Unfortunately “Supported” does not mean that you will get full functionality. There are a hand full of features, that still only work with ActiveX (IE8/9 on Windows,Chrome/Firefox on Windows via plugins). These are important features like: presence information, Outlook integration (stssync), multiple file upload, and so on…)