Many people that I meet every day are interested in Apple’s new iPad. There intrigued by information they hear in the media and see on television. The most common question seems to be how can I use that to do the work. While it’s true that the iPad and the iPhone are designed around consumer experience, they are quite capable of being used productively. In fact I use my iPhone and my iPad as much as and sometimes more than my computers. So I’m going to take a few minutes and introduce you to some of the tools that you can use on your iPad to get work done.
First of all how do you get your business documents onto your iPad and what can you do with them. Apple has introduced the iPad version of its popular iWork suite of applications. IWork includes pages, numbers and keynote which are compatible with Microsoft Office documents created in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Each of the iWork applications can be bought individually for about $9.99. Once you have those installed on your iPad a little bit of behind-the-scenes magic takes place. Built into the iPad and any iPhone running iOS 4, has the ability to take advantage of filesharing. So somebody e-mails you a Word or Pages document you can press and hold your finger on the attached file in the mail app and the popover dialog will open up offering to open the file writing to pages.
Many other applications take advantage of filesharing and let you store and work with other work documents as well. One of my favorites is called here sharing and it’s available for both iPhone and iPad. When you’ve received file through e-mail you can press and hold to get the pop over dialogue and choose to open the file in air sharing. What’s great about this that is that it supports multiple file formats, such as JPEG images, PDFs, Word and Excel and most surprisingly zip files. So if you receive is that following e-mail you can store it in air sharing and when you open the file inside of air sharing you can see the contents of the zip file. If the zip as a word document you can read it, copy from it and even open it right in the pages.
Another popular Microsoft Office compatible application is documents to go. Documents to go also opens word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as PDFs and will even let you print to a network printer. By the time you read this article, Apple’s next operating system for iPad, iOS 4.2, will be out and it promises to include printing as well.
Filesharing on the iPad and iPhone allows you to access documents through iTunes, but it also supports Bonjour, and Wi-Fi networking. Applications like air sharing and documents to go also support WebDav which lets you access the applications on the network using HTTP protocol. So once the applications open on your device, you can connect to it and drop and pick up documents over the network. Additionally you can access popular applications like dropbox and mobile me’s iDisk . that we can also drop and pick up files in the cloud.
That brings me to my favorite iPad, iPhone and Macintosh utility which is the mobile me service from Apple. Built around popular technologies like card to have and caldera of mobile me keeps your contacts and calendars in sync across multiple devices. Within a few minutes of entering a contacts address information mobile me will sink down across your various devices. So you can have the door on the way to an appointment and open your iPad or iPhone choose the contact,, touched down on their address and the iPad will open Google maps and show you where your next appointment is. You can also have Google map program give you directions to the appointment from your current location.
In terms of using an iPad or even iPhone for business we really only scratched the surface. In future articles will tackle some more productivity tools and maybe even show you how to create some of your own using web and even writing applications yourself. After sitting on the fence and you haven’t decided who I get this iPad or wait for the next version I highly can recommend the existing iPads has great tools easily the easiest investment you’ll make