iPad was a very popular gift this Christmas, and there are many of you in business that have already made the leap. Now that you have one, what are some of the most valued apps for business impact? Wondering if there really is a business use for iPad? Here is what Stephen Prentice, Gartner Fellow and Vice President recently told CEO’s:
“It is not usually the role of the CEO to get directly involved in specific technology device decisions, but Apple’s iPad is an exception,” said Stephen Prentice, Gartner Fellow and vice president. “It is more than just the latest consumer gadget; and CEOs and business leaders should initiate a dialogue with their CIOs about if they have not already done so.”
Here are some iPad apps that you might find useful in your business activity.
Flipboard – one of my favorites. Flipboard grabs content from your Twitter and Facebook streams, as well as other sites and RSS feeds that you enjoy, and puts them into a picture book format that makes “flipping” through the content enjoyable and efficient. Flipping through my Twitter and Facebook information stream has never been more enjoyable. Here is a screenshot of the main page from Flipboard this morning:
When something catches your eye, just tap on the title and you are fully immersed into the source document. Here is the screen after I tap the Twitter square from the screen above:
GoToMeeting and/or Webex – Now when you need to be on that web meeting but are not at a place where you can ‘plug-in’, these apps provide a comfortable experience in which to watch the presentation from anywhere you have a connection. I have used GoToMeeting over the cellular connection while in the parking lot of my last appointment, and it worked well. A real time-saver that eliminates racing to a local Starbucks’s to get a connection.
Dropbox – as if you needed another reason to subscribe to this popular web tool, the iPad version provides full screen view and access to all of your files stored within your account. The files display beautifully, taking advantage of the full screen that iPad provides. You should never be without your important files again.
The following iPad apps are those that provide daily value to me in my business activities:
Kindle – Everyone should have a Kindle account, even if you do not own a Kindle. The ability to buy a book, magazine or newspaper and access it from your iPad is very convenient. You are now able to read your purchased items on every version available, as well as your desktop, laptop and even…your Kindle. I find it worthwhile to continue reading from where I left off the night before, while waiting in the lobby for a meeting that is behind schedule.
Evernote – If you do not have an account for Evernote, the iPad app is just another reason to do so. By storing anything and everything digital that you decide is valuable, Evernote is always there when you need it. Not a day goes by when I clip an article, tweet, post or take a photo that will need in the future.
Dragon – How beneficial will this be to be able to tap and dictate notes, ideas, schedules and important information that pops up during your busy day? By simply tapping and talking, Dragon captures your voice, converts it into text that you can then email, tweet, or cut and paste into another document. The accuracy is amazing and once you “talk” your first email, you will want to have this with you wherever you go.
2Screens – this handy app provides the capability to share what is on your iPad screen out to a LCD-VGA projector. Supports Powerpoint and Keynote presentations. There is even a 2Screens Remote app that I use on the iPhone that allows me to control my slides with my iPhone. NOTE: you do need to have the VGA out cable (approx. $35.00 US) for this to work
Web2VGA – similar in concept to 2Screens above, and using the same cable, this app works well when you want to browse the web and show your results on a external display.
Google Voice Search – as the name implies, allows you to speak what you are searching for vs. typing it in. Very efficient, and more readable that doing this on my iPhone due to screen display size.
Box.net – even though you are mobile, you are still able to continue to collaborate fully with the rest of your team using Box.net from other locations around the world. All shared documents, version control and communication amongst your partners is readily viewable with this app.
Prompster – if your job requires to present or speak to groups, you will enjoy having this “tele-prompter” app to help out. It works just like the expensive teleprompters made famous by our President, and scrolls your text in front of you in selectable font sizes, and with a speed that is selectable and comfortable for you. I have found this invaluable when I am doing my internet radio show to do introductions and wrap-ups.
iA Writer - There are numerous word processors/ text editors available and I have probably tried them all in my search for a simple yet effective solution. I have found iAWriter to be the best for the way I work. I have been able to use it for proposal writing, blog content, and even to capture notes in a seminar.
Other useful iPad apps that I cannot do without include:
ABC News - Helpful, visual way to stay current and the ability to drill down where I need to. Here is the innovative way they present their content:
Pandora – I do not go anywhere without access to music. This provides me music that the moment calls for. Pandora is one of those web tools that I believer everyone will enjoy.
Tweetdeck – much more useful than the iPhone version, providing enough screen real estate for effective use of the Columns feature that makes Tweetdeck so helpful to me.
CNN – just released their iPad specific app over the holidays, using the same general layout that has made Flipboard so popular. I have only begun to use it, but it is growing on me quickly.