SharePoint Online is a powerful component of Microsoft's Office 365 cloud offering and more companies are migrating their enterprise content management system to the cloud. Another corporate trend is the introduction of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), with tablets as the most commonly chosen mobile productivity device in the workplace. At the intersection of these two trends is a common question, "How will SharePoint Online work on my tablet?" So we tested two tablets, the iPad 2 and the Toshiba Thrive (running Android), and have summarized the results.
The user experience on the iPad was good. It worked pretty well as a device to find and read content but not as well for creating or editing content. Our tester had the following feedback about the iPad:
Authentication is more time consuming because our identity credentials cannot be passed through as they can on a Windows machine
The dropdown menus are difficult to use with a touchscreen
The Microsoft Word Web Application works ok for editing documents on the site. For most users, this will be the only method for editing documents because the iPad does not come with a document editing application that is compatible with SharePoint.
Despite these shortcomings, our tester felt that using an iPad on SharePoint Online was still productive.
Our tester had similar feedback on the Toshiba Thrive. All of the iPad issues applied, and there was an additional issue with scrolling down on some pages. On pages with vertical scroll bars, the tablet would not always scroll to the bottom of the page. The behavior seemed to vary by the zoom level on the web page.
Nonetheless, the iPad and the Toshiba both performed well enough on the basic tasks of finding information and editing documents that we would recommend their use with SharePoint Online.