Best iPad Apps For Business Travelers
The iPad is more than a sleek toy—you can turn it into the ultimate business tool simply by picking the right apps. It can be a word processor, a diagram tool, a PowerPoint presenter, a local travel guide and countless other things. Does your laptop feel heavy? The right roster of iPad apps can even replace a dedicated PC, lightening your load. We’ve scoured Apple’s App Store to deliver 15 of our favorites apps for travelers. Whether you want to keep in touch with home and work or just get away, we have picks for every situation.
Atomic Web Browser
Why you need this iPad app: Apple’s default web browser lacks desktop PC-style features that are essential for online work.
Advanced users often tire of Safari’s web expeditions. Where are the full-featured tabs, the ability to open links in the background and a tool to search text within a page? Atomic Web Browser piles on those extras and more: It adds gestures to swap tabs, helps you save bandwidth by not downloading images and stores pages for offline viewing. A few rough edges make it less elegant than Safari, but we think it’s better overall.
No iPad? Atomic Web Browser also works on the iPhone.
Why you need this iPad app: Blaze through notes faster than it takes to tap an onscreen keyboard.
When you have a thought worth noting, blurt it out instead of typing it into your iPad. Dragon Dictation listens and transcribes your brilliance. This note-collecting app requires an Internet connection, since it uploads your voice and the transcription takes place on Dragon’s servers. But it feels seamless and happens almost instantly. You might have to provide extra enunciation oomph and put up with occasional errors, but the service works.
No iPad? Dragon Dictation also works on the iPhone.
Why you need this iPad app: The iPad can’t run Microsoft Office, but Office2 HD edits Office files; your clients won’t know you were working on an iPad.
It’s not as slick as Apple’s Pages or Numbers, but Office2 HD bundles its own bonuses. As with the Apple products, you can create and edit text and spreadsheet documents. But Office2 HD supports Microsoft’s standard .doc and .xls formats better, importing and exporting those files. Office2 HD also saves to many online storage sites, so your documents are always accessible via Google Docs, Dropbox and Box.net, among others.
No iPad? Office2 is available on the iPhone.
Why you need this iPad app: Import, edit and present PowerPoint slides—the currency of many businesses—anywhere.
This app imports PowerPoint or Keynote files to your iPad, allowing you to edit slides or start from scratch with great templates. You can also connect the iPad to a VGA cable to give presentations straight from the device. But without the ability to export PowerPoint files—among other business features—Keynote works better as a workaround for laptop problems than as a means of deliberately eliminating the weight of a full computer.
No iPad? You’ll have to lug a laptop along.
Why you need this iPad app: It’s invaluable for getting files on and off your iPad, so you can edit work documents anywhere.
Since you can’t expand the storage built into an iPad, add virtually unlimited space online instead. Dropbox holds gigabytes of your PDFs, MS Office documents, videos, music and other files for retrieval from a computer, iPad or other mobile device. On an iPad, the service can download your files to view and edit in supported apps, such as opening a PowerPoint document in Keynote. Dropbox can’t stream music and videos, but it can play those files after you download them.
No iPad? The service works with your iPhone, PC or Mac and other devices.
Free and up, dropbox.com
Why you need this iPad app: Keep notes perfectly organized, synced and available on your iPad or any PC.
Don’t bother with the iPad’s built-in notepad; it lacks organization and wastes the big screen. Instead, use Evernote, which categorizes notes however you like. It looks great spread out in landscape or portrait modes, and it’s available through a computer application or a web browser, so you can view and sync the same information on any device. Best of all, searches find your data quickly—it can even scour photos of handwritten messages.
No iPad? Evernote works on your iPhone, PC or Mac.
Free and up, evernote.com