Can you really use an iPad to work?
Software September continues with an overview of iPad apps for business.
I bought an iPad last year. I didn’t buy an iPad because it was a Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards prize. It was unexpected that I would win it. I had never seen one before. I was elated by the prize. I didn’t even have a bag to transport it home in. I spent the entire journey home wondering what an Apple iPad was for.
Ten days later, No Starch Press gave me a copy My New iPad by Wallace Wang. Everything was now clear. My iPad has been my constant companion for almost a year, and I love it.
Sometimes my business colleagues are skeptical. Recently, I traveled overseas for work and took my iPad along with me. Yes, it is another device to have around. But I can still read on the plane. I can also write blog posts from the airport. I don’t need to bring the book or a pen and pad to write a book review on project management. Although I haven’t tried it to get my boarding pass, it worked on a colleague’s iPhone so I don’t see why it shouldn’t work on an iPad.
It’s all great but what about office work? Wallace was the one I spoke to to learn more about my iPad.
Get started with business apps
One of the problems with using the iPad for business is the fact that many offices are Windows-based. Although you can read Word documents on your iPad, there may be interoperability problems. Parallels Mobile is “One of my favorite apps,” Wallace Wang says. This app is free and connects via the Internet to your Macintosh. Parallels allows you to run multiple operating systems. You can run Windows on your Mac, and then Windows remotely using your iPad.
Wallace points out that many of the same things you can do with your PC are also possible using an iPad. He says that GoToMeeting is another interesting iPad business app. It’s another app that allows you to attend webinars for free.
iCardSort is a great choice if you use Kanban and sticky notes to plan your projects. The Lite version of iCardSort is free. Wallace says that iCardSort is a desktop application that allows you to place index cards. You can colour code and type notes. You can drag these notes around to arrange them by colour or position on the screen.
Organize sticky notes with iCard LiteDoing the same thing on a PC
Wallace says Pages is his personal favorite business productivity app. It is very similar to Pages on the Mac. Pages and the virtual keyboard of the iPad allow me to type complete documents as if I were using an ordinary computer. Pages is what I use for all my documents. I used to use Notepad, but I prefer Pages.
Keynote is also used by me. It is the Mac version of Keynote (the equivalent of Microsoft PowerPoint). The iPad version has been updated to be compatible with the iPad screen without a mouse. Although the controls are difficult to use, the slideshows that you can create are amazing. I also purchased an iPad-toprojector cable to broadcast from my iPad during meetings.
You can also get email and websites. Google recently changed the default setting to make the Google homepage for iPad the mobile version of the website. This is a bad choice, but I am looking into ways to get around it.
Sysop, which offers ITIL courses, pre-loads training manuals and course work onto an iPad that you can keep. Although I haven’t yet seen any project management training companies do this, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do.
Training manuals can be annotated with your comments. Bookmarks can be added to pages you like. You can do worksheets and exercises with i.