Although it started out as essentially a tool for browsing the internet while you sit back in your lounge, on a train or in a café, the ipad has very quickly been adopted by the small business market. Thanks to the thousands of developers out there the ipad already has some indispensable apps for you and your business, covering everything from storing and accessing your company files in the cloud to being able to print anywhere on the road to accessing maps, voice memos or stocks and shares prices and storing all of those important ‘Zen Master of Business Self-Help’ books in one place. With thousands of business apps out there it is difficult to know where to start when you get that first ‘business use’ ipad, so in this article we’re going to list the first five all-important and indispensable ipad apps for your small business.
(1) Evernote – Without a doubt the most well put together and well equipped free notebook application available, Evernote is a productivity app that instantly allows your ipad to be an organizing notepad for anything you come across in your day to day use. Take notes, draw up lists, insert pictures and voice memos, store images and business cards, snippets from web pages and newspapers – you can even add external Office files to different sections. Extremely popular with both home and business users, Evernote is the best ipad app for keeping your life organized. And to top it all off it syncs perfectly, and instantly with all your other devices and with your PC or Mac.
(2) iwork – If you’re used to working with the excellent, but somewhat bloated Microsoft Office Suite, then you will quickly and easily fall in love with iwork on the ipad. Easy to use and with an interface that is simply gorgeous for writing documents in Pages or spreadsheets in Numbers, these are Office Suites stripped down for writing on the fly (they are not the full versions you get on your Mac) and they make it easy to do that. Should you wish to you can add an Apple Ipad Keyboard Dock for really attacking those reports, although chances are you’ll only use this when out and about which makes the dock a little pointless. Nevertheless an essential purchase.
(3) Bent0 – Another brilliant office app that feels as though it has been designed for the ipad. Slightly less packed with features than the Mac version, Bento is the perfect database software for the ipad, powerful enough to handle serious databases but simple enough to mean you won’t need to be dealing with complicated database syntax. Perfect for taking customer details, inventory or mailing lists on the road with you.
(4) HeyTell – For those of you who are simply too busy to make a call or send a text, there is a new way of calling – HeyTell. Whether you’re too busy to try and find a phone number or need to record an important message for someone but are in an area of low reception, Hey Tell can help. Perhaps you want to leave a message to one of your employees but don’t want to chat? HeyTell works like SMS messaging except it sends voice messages back and forth instead of text. Best of all it doesn’t use up minutes on your phone plan!
(5) DropBox – Who would have thought that a simple app that offers remote file access and syncing would become so popular? But with the ipad offering no Finder facility and most users not wanting to access their documents via itunes, Dropbox has stepped in and filled a gap in an elegant and well thought out way. A seamless cloud safety deposit box, Dropbox lets you store all your files in the cloud and both import and export them (via wireless and 3g) at any time, keeping them instantaneously synced across all your devices. Indispensable.