Can you really use an IPad for business?

Many claim You Can. I wonder how?

So I treat myself to an ipad mini. I have been accused of being an Apple "fan boy" not strictly true I have only moved over to apple products recently when I bought a MacBook air because of its lightness and battery life.

An ipad was at first a toy, a fancy kindle which i quickly realized could be used for a lot more including writing articles as well as reading books.

One of the uses I have for the MacBook, apart from work is I track some health data using a spreadsheet.

I started reading up on how (or even IF) I could edit excel files on an IPAD. What followed was a frustrating search, full of misinformation and erroneous claims.

I wanted to carry out one simple task on an ipad ...laptop and have the information update across the two devices

Edit information within a spreadsheet and have a graph display on the ipad.

I looked at several approaches including

  • IPAD apps
  • Online Systems
  • Apple Apps
  • Offline systems

 Ipad Apps

A frustrating fruitless search for an app involved buying and testing both OfficeHD and Quickoffice. Both apps appear to claim they allow office documents such as Word files and Excel Sheets to be edited on both a computer and an Ipad.

In both cases it appears they do not support graphs or charts within spreadsheets. On user forums this has been highlighted and appears to be being ignored.

Online Systems

Even though it would limit my productivity I looked at online systems such as Microsoft sky drive and Google Drive Apps.

Unless I was prepared to pay 79 pounds for office 365, and their website could not confirm it would display images on an ipad I found I could edit excel files or Google Docs sheets but the graphs did not display.

At my wits end

The hunt continues

Apple Apps

I had more success with apple apps. Apple - in their never ending quest to do away with all things Microsoft, brought out their own spreadsheet creatively called "Numbers".

This allowed a spreadsheet containing data and a graph to be edited and displayed on the ipad, mac and iPhone.

Offline Systems

 Trying a simple approach I edited an excel spreadsheet on the laptop then uploaded to drop box. This allowed me to then open with Office HD- again a failure the images would not open.


The only Solution

Apple Numbers

Unfortunately the only solution that allowed me to edit a spreadsheet across multiple apple devices was to use Apples own program "numbers".

I say unfortunately because it means it is data cannot simply be transferred over and used. But if you are creating and using a spreadsheet across multiple devices this is the only method I have found that works.

The bottom line is that buying Apples Pages for Macbook,Ipad and Iphone allows spreadsheets containing graphs to be edited, updated and viewed across multiple devices - but there is a learning curve associated with becoming familiar with the new application.