Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling
So the tablet is encroaching into the office under the guise of BYOD projects and the tablet which everyone seems to want to use with the office applications to make those spreadsheets, presentations and join those conf calls is the iPad. This leads to thinking if the iPad is being billed by many as a consumption device what apps does it have for business?
Ignore the Apple ins and out and iCloud compatibility, in its own right Pages is actually a well thought out app for creating very nice looking DTP Style documents. If part of your role isn’t jus creating documents but also putting some thought into them this is the App you should be using to create docs on the iPad.
Powerpoint may be the defacto standard however let me assure you Keynote blows powerpoint out of the water, and puts it away.. Again if you are creating presentations which need to wow on the go then Keynote is the only app you need to be looking at.
Pages and Keynote work very well with the Apple iCloud infrastructure and if you are a desktop Mac user the interoperability is amazing because the lack of save which isn’t needed as both locations will access the same version of the document. Out in the real world however it’s Microsoft Office which the majority of users make their documents with, so while the previous two apps are great for on iPad documents, opening the rest of the worlds docs requires something a bit more
QuickOffice opens and edits all versions of Microsoft docs and you can save them in most of the popular cloud based locations. Dropbox, Box.net and a handful of others. It’s not the prettiest application on the App storee it is however quick and reliable.
If Quickoffice, it’s interface isn’t for you then take a look at Cloudon which again links the Dropbox, Google Drive style cloud storage systems with a Microsoft Office Look and Feel back end.
This groundbreaking app really does show why the iPad is a great business device. Those PDF files you get which need signing. On the PC you’d need to print it out, sign it, scan it back in again. Well this app lets you do that without killing a tree.Signing and saving PDF Files on the go then emailing them back to whoever needs them.
If you have ever had the need to connect to a PC back in the office or at home you may have used a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) App. This is insecure, slow and not really designed to run over slow 3G networks. Log me in however is a secure system which you can use to connect to remote PC’s from a web interface in multiple locations. Done over SSL and designed to work over slower networks and Free.
More and more in this connected word we are attending meetings online both the big players provide iPad Apps to connect to their systems both designed to work over potentially slower 4G connections and GotoMeeting even makes use of the iPad’s front facing camera and VoIP connectivity for meetings.
Connecting remotely to the Work network is usually done over a VPN and the iPad has a good number of options from the built in PPTP/IPSEC style VPN and the 3rd party Cisco and Juniper apps which provide access to the two most common VPN’s businesses use
These tools are not just for the Marketing and Sales guys there are so many available options for the IT Department as well
The tale is the CEO of VMware was given an iPad, after a few days walked to the Dev Manager, and told him, we need to support this now. The Dev team for VMware has done this and done it well especially for providing management tools which help in managing ESX farms on the go from the tablet. Designed with the form factor and touch in mind they have done a great job.
Being able to connect to those Microsoft servers on your network without going back to a Desktop PC is important. iRDP is a stable RDP Client which works well on both company Wifi and over 3G should you be attached to the VPN and your LAN Allow it.
If you are on the go Tripit is invaluable as a tool for keeping your travel itinerary close to hand. ticket information, hotel bookings, cars, taxi’s and anything related to your business or personal trips can be held in this app.
If Tripit keeps all your travel in a single location then Evernote is for everything else its your personal cross device note taker. Clipping content from webpages and uploading PDF Files Documents, keeping reminder lists, the works. And all of this available on multiple platforms.
Rule number one with the internet is simple, never use the same password twice however with the number of passwords and sites in our daily lives. Lastpass lets you remember just one password and store the rest on a secure central cloud based location. With Password Generators, browser plugins and the ability to password protect passwords within the Lastpass interface.
If you make use of SIP servers at work or at home then BRIA is the App for you basically turning your iPad into a phone. Compatible with most of the Big names and the standard SIP protocol and bluetooth headsets. Accepting and making phonecalls is easy.