Presidential gadgets: What technology does Obama use?

Presidential gadgets: What technology does Obama use?

Summary: The most tech-savvy U.S. president to date, Barack Obama uses the best devices and technology for the job, in and outside of the White House. Here's a look at some of the devices, platforms and technology he uses to carry out his day-to-day presidential duties.

SHARE:

 |  Image 1 of 17

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • Thumbnail 12
  • Thumbnail 13
  • Thumbnail 14
  • Thumbnail 15
  • Thumbnail 16
  • Thumbnail 17
  • Here's the tech U.S. President Barack Obama uses

    U.S. President Barack Obama is full-swing into his second term. ZDNet takes an (updated) look back at all the technology that has kept and continues to keep the leader of the free world ticking over — from his first day in office in 2009 to the present day.

    From smartphones to computers, tablets and automotive tech, we explore the varied technological tastes (and in some cases, "obligatory tech") from the most tech-savvy head of state to ever sit in the Oval Office.

    And, just to make things interesting, we look around the White House to see what else springs up and helps the President carry out his daily duties.

    Editor's note: This gallery was first published in December 2012. We've updated it and republished on November 1, 2013.

    Follow @zackwhittaker on Twitter.

    Credit: White House/Flickr; Thumbnail credit: White House/Flickr

  • Apple iPad 3 (with Retina display)

    On the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, the President keeps his Apple iPad (third-generation) in close range. Obama has been known to dabble across various platforms. He uses Macs and PCs, BlackBerrys and iPads, making him platform "agnostic," like many by not endorsing or using a single platform. 

    iPads offer enterprise security and back-end policy management by network administrators, allowing (of all people) the President's tablet to keep data secure. Obama's iPad 3 includes a Retina display, but the particular model has since been discontinued. However, even though the iPad and the iPhone have almost identical user interfaces, he was reportedly "befuddled" by a voter's iPhone when he tried to make a phone call with one.

    Credit: White House/Flickr

Topics: Government, Apple, Smartphones, Security, BlackBerry, iPad, Government US, Enterprise Software, Dell, PCs

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

49 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • One myth, at least, has been put to bed forever

    If the President can use an iPad for Government briefings than the myth that the iPad tablet lacks enterprise security lockdown capability or cannot be used in a secure environment has finally been dispelled.
    kenosha77a
    • nope

      physical lockdown is easy. 1. use a iPad only wifi version. 2. allow it to have access to whitehouse and other important networks. 3. have a personel track the devices all the time.

      to breach security, someone needs to breach first whitehouse and other securities.

      And suddenly almost every device is accessible for enterprise use...
      Fri13
      • and

        forgot to say that of course iPad probably is all the time in offline mode and secretaries copy needed data for Obama so he doesn't need to search and manage them.
        Fri13
        • hmm

          He uses an ipad? Glad I never voted for him, anyone who owns an ipad is obviously incapable of making good choices, so that explains his failure rate then. and here I was thinking he was a bad guy when It was the ipad the whole time.
          kikax
          • I bet you voted for Bush

            Twice! What a moron you are.
            new gawker
          • WTF??

            Been boozing again? This has t be be one of the worst comments I have ever read on Zdnet, and that's saying something! Congrats, loser.
            tora201
      • Go back near the beginning of the pictures...

        The iPad shown adjacent to his 15" MacBook Pro 2011 model... has the black cellular radio bar at the top of the device.
        KitWriter
  • One myth, at least, has been put to bed forever

    If the President can use an iPad for Government briefings than the myth that the iPad tablet lacks enterprise security lockdown capability or cannot be used in a secure environment has finally been dispelled.
    kenosha77a
    • The double entry was not my fault

      When I submitted my comment, the web site replied with a "unknown error has occurred" message.

      When I refreshed the browser page, I saw duplicate comment postings.
      kenosha77a
    • Not true. Anything is secure if it's internal. Think of it as paper

      as long as that paper never leaves the building, and is only handled by one or two people, it's very secure.

      Same with any tablet or computer. A PC or Mac is just as secure if it has no access to the outside (internal network only, no email, secure server, ect) and all USB ports are disabled, then it's safe as can be.
      William Farrel
      • Internal, perhaps...

        But we do see several shots of Obama using his computer to access the internet. Let's face it, with Government IT and Government firewalls, Obama has the best tech support and his connection is QUITE secure.
        KitWriter
      • Security

        Boys please gimme a break! The one and only security risk is the NSA spying any device in the world, probably Mr.Obama´s too.
        danidemonio
  • Well,....

    we're thankful for that 'Kanosha77e'; however, anything that the 'President' chooses to use is pretty much locked down - this has been an expectation since the early 70-'s (give your head a shake) rattle rattle, of course , 'uber smart bois' like youi can now go and hang out at the mall and claim "this is as secure as wut da pres got'!
    Mujibahr
  • President's Two Blackberry's

    I believe one is for official use, the other for strictly personal use. I think I would prefer it that way too.
    ITenquirer
  • Dunno why he needs so many phones

    Lotsa mistresses perhaps? Maybe a direct secure line per cabinet member?
    flyguy29
    • or

      Your own hateful partisan wishful thinking
      D.J. 43
    • They're "Obama phones"

      You know the "free ones" the so-called Minorities are getting at our expense.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjAjAvxDkfk
      Troll Hunter J
      • Ohh from the program Reagan started?

        I guess the "Reagan-Phone" just doesn't have the same ring to it huh (pun intended)? Try getting your information from somewhere other that youtube dummy.
        mrefuman
        • Commuications act of 1934

          FDR proposed the legislation for land line phones in every house for emergency use. Reagan implemented some of those policies for phone lines to housing for emergency use. Obama implemented phone service and cell phones to voting constituents and lax policies for communicating with anyone (even outside of emergency use.) If you wish to subvert all hypocrisy please check how it was first Clinton who used the technology and law for cellphones and how Obama much expanded it for votes. Check all this on Wikapedia and other informative sights.
          partman1969
      • White Men are now the minority

        In the off chance that you can actually read, I'd suggest reading this: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303879604577408363003351818.html
        T1Oracle