iPad Apps for business

As previous readers will know, I got an iPad shipped in from the USA on the orignal launch date. It has been my constant companion for the last two months, so I thought that those of you in the UK who have just got yours might find a quick post on the available applications useful. I make no apologies for this being focused more on using your iPad as a business tool…

1: Keynote. I’ve been desperate for this to be released in the UK, as I do a lot of presenting and that has meant that I have still needed my laptop. I imported our standard presentation, and have been delivering that off the device, using the dock-to-vga cable (£25). Keynote doesn’t import 2007/2010 (.pptx) presentations very well, but 1997-2003 (.ppt) works just fine. Admittedly getting the presentation onto the iPad is a bit clunky (I’ve been using email, rather than iTunes file sharing) but it works.

 I’ve just started creating presentations from scratch, used two today and the effect was fantastic. This for me is close to a killer app for the iPad – a mobile presentation device, with or without a big screen (although the screen is small, the clarity means it is fine without an external display for one or two willing victims!) – and with the ability to create/ amend presentations on the device itself. And you know what? It’s actually fun to use Keynote on iPad! I haven’t done much with Pages and Numbers yet but I will post as and when I do.

2: Citrix Receiver. We use Citrix XenApp to provide services to remote offices, home users and in the event of the offices being inaccessible. I’ve had the Receiver app for iPhone for a while, but really the lack of screen real estate meant it wasn’t much more than an opportunity to show off! Citrix on iPad is really useable. On-the-road access to our CRM tool is a possibility. It’s a very elegantly designed application.

We are in the process of getting VMware View up and running again in our currently-being-refreshed demo lab, at which point I am looking forward to comparing and contrasting Wyse PocketCloud.

3: Twitterific. I’m a real advocate for the use of Twitter as a business tool, to keep up to date with industry trends and to keep in touch with people. Twitterific is my client of choice, and the iPad implementation is excellent. The only thing I would improve is to link it somehow to the iPhone version so that you are in the same place in your timeline on each. Needless to say there are on occasion some lengthy articles to digest, which brings me to:

4: Instapaper. If you haven’t come across Instapaper, it’s worth a look – particularly if like me you were an early adopter and therefore have a WiFi only iPad. Instapaper enables you to bookmark a site (article, blog post etc), send it to Instapaper and read it later, offline (and actually in a much more readable, text-oriented format). Twitterific has Instapaper integration, meaning you can send long articles directly to Instapaper from within the app.

5: Simplenote. This is a straightforward, simple replacement for the built-in Notes app. I prefer the clean interface and font, personally. The killer part, for me, is the ability to synch to a web service, and across to your iPhone. Simple indeed, and very elegantly done.

I’d like to give an honourable mention to Adobe Ideas, which is a useful (and free!) scribble pad in the event of a whiteboard pen malfunction (hey, wouldn’t it be cool if it supported an external display? That would create an infinite whiteboard trackpad thing!), Kindle which is great but not business-focused enough for this post (although going away on business without books as well as without a laptop is a worthwhile use case!), and the Times app, which to me shows how newspapers should be delivered – but is a bit expensive bearing in mind you don’t get all the content – and don’t get the Sunday Times. The coolness of having your morning paper ‘delivered’ to your hand before you get out of bed can’t be underestimated, however!

So, UK iPad users – what apps are you finding indispensible from a business point of view?

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2 Responses to “iPad Apps for business”

  1. Barry Coombs Says:

    Hi Sam, you will really like pocket cloud on the iPad, have recently done a blog post on it. In fact I was using pocket cloud and the webex app to do some customer support during the VMWare partner exchange last week! I’m really looking forward to omnifocus for the iPad when it comes, will be great to use for project management! Dropbox has to be one of the best apps for work, allowing me quick and easy access to documents on the go and brilliant for collaboration.

    • samroutledge Says:

      Hi Barry,
      Thanks for the comment! I now have PocketCloud installed; it is an awesome app and for my money better than the Citrix client (as an app; horses for courses as far as the back-end goes!). In fact Tom (@tomrowan whom I believe you know) and I used it to demo View to a bunch of customers the other week and it went down a storm.
      Keep meaning to check out Dropbox; must do that!
      Thanks again for the comment. Sorry I didn’t get to meet you at the VMware Partner Exchange!
      Sam.

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