Jan 31, 2011

5 Must-Have Business Apps for Your iPad

When Apple launched the iPad, it also released an iPad version of its production suite iWork, recognizing the potential for business users. Here’s a quick breakdown of the suite. Pages is a creatively stunning word processing application that allows users to create letters, fliers, brochures, reports, and other page layout documents. Numbers is its spreadsheet application that allows users to produce eye-catching charts and tables and perform calculations and manage lists. Numbers also allows users to view and edit Excel files for a complete and hassle-free experience. For presentations, Keynote gives users the ability to create a number of impressive slideshows complete with animated charts and transitions. You can also plug in to a projector when showing it to a large audience with an optional adapter.
But iWork doesn’t supply the only business apps you need to know about. Here are five other must-have business apps that will be a welcome addition to business professionals who need powerful, portable performance at their fingertips.
  1. Desktop Connect
    Purpose: Productivity
    Company: Antecea, Inc.
    Price: $11.99 (introductory price)
    Enjoy the portability of your iPad while taking your entire office desktop with you wherever you go. Better yet, if someone is having trouble back at the office, you can connect to their computer and actually perform tasks on their desktop as if you were sitting in their seat. Desktop Connect is a fully optimized desktop viewer that allows you to control Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers. Some of the features include the ability to view websites with Adobe Flash, turn your iPad into one giant remote, and control media players and PowerPoint or Keynote presentations or simply view documents that you forgot to load before your trip.
  2. WebEx
    Purpose: Business
    Company: Cisco
    Price: Free
    What’s one of the best things about owning an iPad? Your ability to be virtually anywhere and still attend a meeting. With WebEx, you can “attend” a meeting sans a WebEx account with full-screen views and listen to or join in the conversation with free Internet voice conferencing (VoIP). Other features allow you to view and scan shared content with live annotations and hold individual or group chats with select meeting participants. However, if you would like to schedule and start a meeting, you will need a WebEx subscription -- the meeting must be launched from your work PC or Mac desktop, but with an app like Desktop Connect, you can create a workaround to start the meeting from your iPad.
  3. The Early Edition
    Purpose: News
    Company: Glasshouse Apps Pty Ltd.
    Price: $4.99
    Media and news sources unite! No longer will you have to visit every site you enjoy to stay up on current trends. With The Early Edition, you select the sources, whether it’s a website, blog, forums, Twitter, or RSS, and it gathers the most recent articles daily and puts them in a newspaper-like layout complete with headlines, decks, and column-style formats. You can skim through articles or tap headlines and view the story in full-screen mode. A convenient “Fetch Now” button gives you the latest stories from your last fetch and adds them to the front of the paper!
  4. GoodReader
    Purpose: Productivity
    Company: Good iWare
    Price: 99 cents (introductory price)
    It sounds pretty obvious, but not having a document reader can catch you off guard, which may lead to embarrassment if you’re presenting or trying to show a client something. With the GoodReader, you will have the power to open massive PDF and text files, as well as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint presentations. It will open a number of different picture files, movies, maps, and audio files too.
  5. Penultimate
    Purpose: Productivity
    Company: Cocoa Box Design
    Price: $2.99
    Never search or ask for a pen and paper again; as long as you have your iPad and Penultimate you’re covered. This app turns your iPad into a notebook that’s ready to take down any note, sketch, or idea that comes to mind. No longer will your best ideas get lost on the back of a napkin. Create any number of workbooks and, after you finish writing out your notes with your finger, e-mail the page or entire notebook right from the app. Choose from three different paper types: plain, lined, or graph -- and feel free to brainstorm, because it’s easy to correct mistakes with the convenient “undo” button or the eraser.

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