Students, staff will not be able to use GWireless with iPad

Students who purchase the iPad, a highly discussed tablet computer from Apple, will not be able to use the device to connect to GWireless, an administrator said.

Although GW Information Technology has yet to receive an iPad to test, initial indications are that the iPad will not work on the University’s wireless network until at least a year from now, said Rachel Blevins, communications and marketing manager for IT. “We are working on an access solution but it is still in the pilot phase and is not yet available for general use,” Blevins said in an e-mail.

Apple announced it was making the iPad on Jan. 27, and this Saturday, it became available to the general public. The tablet computer has a 9.7-inch touch screen and access to the Internet and more than 150,000 applications. This is Apple’s first device to use the iBook application, which allows the user to download books onto the iPad.

Blevins said IT is hoping to make the iPad work with GWireless potentially by the spring of 2011, but students will not see any immediate action.

“It is both a security and a support issue, because many of the small [personal digital assistants], smart phone, and pad systems use sign-in security, which is currently not compatible with our systems,” Blevins said.

Graduate student Paulina Orchard said she was upset when she found out GWireless would not be supporting the iPad, but this has not changed her mind about purchasing one.

“Due to GW’s policies, now I have to not only pay more for a more expensive device, but I need to pay for a data plan,” Orchard said in an e-mail. “I think a lot of GW students will buy an iPad thinking it will be allowed on the network and be surprised.”

The iPhone, Apple’s cell phone product, is also not compatible with GWireless.

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