White House adopting iPads

According to the Washington Post, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanual's office is replete with iPad users:

Emanuel just got his, as did senior adviser David Axelrod and deputy press secretary Bill Burton. Both communications director Dan Pfeiffer and press wrangler Ben Finkenbinder have one on order. Economic adviser Larry Summers takes his to staff meetings.

They seem to have a penchant for financial and newspaper apps and the public domain iBooks at the moment, though Burton admits to Scrabble and the last season of Lost.

The legislative branch, not unexpectedly, is split over the iPad.

[Washington Post]

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

White House adopting iPads

22 Comments

I'll prob get an iPad when the next one comes out. I want a front facing camera, 512 mb ram and network printing capability.

Dionte. You people kill me with always complaining about what's device don't have. Do you even see another tablet device on the market.

...and they all get new ones because AT&T has the security sense of a preschooler during show-and-tell

Mark, I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. He wasn't even complaining. The iPad is the best tablet device on the market right now, but it lacks some features that a lot of users really want to see. There's nothing wrong with holding out on a device until it has the features that are important to you.

They may be exposing defense secrets on their Ipads, but at least their young hip and tech savvy! Change we can believe in!

I agree with Mark. I waited til iPhone 4 was release on monday before running to app store to get an ipad. The wwdc event convinced me to wait for ipad 2 in Jan (if it happpens)

This shows again that the rumors are true of Apple being stable enough for government use and many agencies adopting them and already running them.
Although I doubt there is anything sensitive on their iPads.
They travel enough that this totally makes sense to me.

I want an ipad but what makes you think they're going to come out with a new one in January, Vinz?

Does the iPad encrypt the data on it? I thought they needed devices with encryption (like their blackberries).

@dwight are you sure? Have you seen a budget where these were purchased by the government? Are you sure they weren't personal purchases?
Even if they were purchased by the government, how do you think the white house is supposed to keep up on current events and email? Did they buy iPads instead of laptops or TVs? Should they just rely on telegraphs and snail mail?
Just because you think the iPad is a frivolous purchase doesn't mean it is for everyone. Being able to cart an iPad from meeting to meeting has advantages over both pencil and paper and over laptops, depending on what you do. And you can actually do work on it, if all you are doing is reading and emailing and writing notes. You can do a lot more if you have a tiny bit of imagination.
I know people are quick to bash government here, and there are plenty of polarized comments on this board, but let me go on the record by saying that if iPads existed more than 2 years ago and someone in the Bush white house had bought them I'd be saying the exact same thing. It doesn't matter if it's Rahm Emanuel or Karl Rove. If they are communicating and doing work, fine. If they are playing Chaos Rings and downloading porn and not trying to run the country, then maybe should consider political action to get them fired. Otherwise push the political rhetoric elsewhere. This is a technology blog and someone in office has an iPad, that's all you should read here.

It isn't about political rhetoric, it's about common sense finances. We in the h e l l do we keep spending money we don't have? If you or I were broke, we wouldn't be able to buy an iPad. We'd have to do without. But since the government can print an endless supply of money, they couldn't care less about the costs or whether they can afford it or not. And Bush was guilty of some reckless spending but Obama has shifted this spending spree into high gear.

@deviladv
They stay current just fine with their cell phones. They each have offices with computers and Internet to be able to find out current information, and each have hired aids that is their job to round up this information to breif them with.
No, the iPad was not needed for any of them. And I highly doubt they were personal purchases.