Apple’s iPad might have a long way to go before it’s an essential business tool.
But if you’re a business person and you have a shiny new iPad, you might as well get the most out of it with apps designed for your professional life.
From multiple apps that let you access and collaborate on files stored in the cloud, to one that lets you print anything from anywhere, to yet another that can act as a database for nearly all a small business’s needs, these apps are definitely worth checking out.
All of them allow you to take full advantage of the iPad’s portability and convenience — and they will make your work life easier.
Plus, if you actually find yourself getting more work done, you might be able to expense them!
The iWork suite is the trio of much-hyped Apple office programs for the iPad; not surprisingly, they're very good. (And very popular! They're always among the top 10 best-selling paid iPad apps.)
'Apple really took its time in developing the iWork apps for iPad, making sure that the productivity system would be easy and intuitive,' according to Mashable.
Pages is for word processing, Numbers is for charts and graphs, and Keynote is for presentations.
Price: $9.99 each
Check all three out in iTunes:
Evernote is an awesome note-taking app that serves mainly as a photo, audio, video, and text syncing tool.
Most importantly, it lets you tag everything and comprehensively search for it later; everything is saved in the cloud.
Participate in online meetings on your iPad using the WebEx app; partake verbally, using the 2-way audio function, or via chat.
You don't need a WebEx subscription to join a meeting (but you do need one if you want to schedule a meeting).
GoToMeeting is a similar alternative you could check out as well.
Bento is an excellent database app for small business owners. A post from Mashable explains that it's 'aimed at home or small business users who want to have a powerful database system, but don't want to have to deal with the complex database syntax.'
The app offers 25 built-in templates, ranging from event-planning, to inventory, to expenses. And, if you have Bento on your Mac at home, everything syncs automatically.
Dropbox is an excellent backup app that automatically syncs files across multiple computers, and offers you remote file access and sharing. It also doubles as a PDF- and document-reader.
If you need more than the 2GB you get for free, pricing starts at $9.99 per month for the 50GB plan.
Price: Free (but bigger subscriptions cost you)
Pricey, yes, but totally worth it: Things for iPad is a well-designed task manager that helps you keep track of all your important to-do's.
If you already have the Mac and iPhone versions, you can seamlessly sync everything amongst the three.
An article from Mashable explains that the steep price reflects the app's similarity to the desktop version, and says, 'for small business users who are already part of the Things ecosystem, it's a delight to use.'
Instapaper is a brilliant app that saves web pages so you can read them later, offline.
The app is perfect for things like important blog posts or whitepapers that you can't get to right away. The next time you have a free minute, you can bust out your iPad and check them out.
If you want to gain remote access to any computer (Mac or Windows) from your iPad, VNC Viewer is the answer. The app allows you to access everything you'd be able to if you were sitting right in front of it.
Box.net lets you store your documents in the cloud and access them from anywhere.
The Lite version, with 1GB of storage for one user, is free.
However, the app's best features are the collaborative ones offered in the more expansive versions -- you can designate files to be shared, and other users can access and edit them. According to their site, useful features include records of revisions, password protection, and full-text search.
A subscription for three or more users is $15 per user, at 15 GB of storage each.
Price: Free (but upgraded or multi-user subscription start at $15 per user)
'GoodReader is hands-down, the best PDF reader for the iPhone and the iPad version is even better,' according to a post from Mashable.
Not only does it re-format files for easy reading on the iPad, but it also gives you access to your Google Docs and lets you download files straight from URLs.
Files To Go makes organising files on your iPad much, much easier.
The app lets you access your iPad from your computer (both must be on the same wireless connection) so you can upload documents and create and organise folders on your iPad.
Time Master is a convenient app that tracks time spent on projects.
You can set timers that will continue to run, even when the app isn't, or just enter time spent.
Hours are all assigned to specific clients, but they can be further broken down into different projects or custom definitions.
You can get the card reader, which plugs into the iPad, or just key in the card numbers.
The app is free to download, and there are no monthly fees -- you're charged a percentage of every transaction.
Price: Free (but you're charged a percentage of each transaction)
ToDo for iPad looks and feels like a physical planner, but offers all the convenience of a digital one. You can set it to automatically sync with your iCal or Outlook calendars, schedule reminders and alerts, and integrate your contacts.
This much-anticipated app just launched this week, and reviews so far are glowing; if you're going to get it, take advantage of the cheap introductory price.
Price: $4.99 (launch sale price)
Simplenote is a clean, simple app for note-taking and text-editing. Plus, it conveniently syncs to the web, where you can access it from anywhere.
'If you don't have a need for Evernote's organizational and formatting capabilities, Simplenote would serve you well,' according to the review in MacWorld.
Now you can have access to the exhaustive Wolfram|Alpha database on the go, with their app specifically designed to take advantage of the iPad's interactive capabilities.
Quite conveniently, it even saves your results for offline viewing later on.
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