iPads not working for the Police, and I suspect I know why



At the start of the roll-out the police said an 11-month trial had shown Apple’s iPads and iPhones were the best fit for officers.

But Labour Party police spokesperson Kelvin Davis said the move to start replacing more than 4000 iPads suggests otherwise.

“We’re not privy to what the challenges and the problems were, and it makes you wonder what sort of due diligence went into the acquiring of the iPads and iPhones in the first place,” Mr Davis said.

Mr Davis said a heavily blacked-out police document, which the Labour Party received, suggested there had been multiple problems with their Apple technology.

And he was worried about the cost to taxpayers.

“I’d hate to think that in another 18 months to two years that they’re saying ‘look, there’s another problem’ and that they need to spend another four or five million, so I hope they get it right this time.”

Now, I don’t have access to the heavily blacked-0ut police document, but I have had direct feedback from other organisations that have tried to implement large scale iPad solutions.

The iPads themselves are fine, but where things fall apart is license management and central/remote admin.

Turns out iPads are great for Grandma, swell for the kids, and anyone else who is essentially just running one for personal use.   But to control the licensing for large clients such as the Police, Apple have had nothing but unreliable, buggy and totally unacceptable solutions.

I know of organisations that are now phasing iPads out in favour of Android tablets after several years of beating their heads against a wall with Apple not really being very responsive to the needs of large customers, and the central licensing software continues to throw up problems.

This doesn’t even cover the difficulty of physically managing the roll-out and upgrade of iPads.  They have to be physically returned so they can be hard wired to the licensing server.

Just the turn-over in staff and change of positions within the organisation causes different permissions and software license requirements.  You would not believe the drama of reflecting natural organisational changes with the Apple management tools.

In short, it’s an embarrassing debacle that somehow is being kept under wraps because those who went all out with PR releases on iPad solutions don’t want to share the public embarrassment that Apples failures have caused.

Looks like Kelvin’s got this issue by the short and curlies.  The Police Minister is in for a rough ride on this as high hopes have come to nothing.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.