Among consumers, the Apple iPad has been quite popular and has been mainly designed as a communications and content consumption device. Users can interact with others through various means on the tablet, such as by email, video chat, social networks, instant messaging, VOIP services, etc. They can read websites, electronic documents, watch videos, play music, as well as use plenty of other apps designed for entertainment such as games.
The iPad is not strictly meant as a “toy” device either. It can have many uses for businesses, ranging from young entrepreneurs running a one man business from their dorm room, to corporations with millions of employees around the globe. One thing that corporate users have complained about on technology blogs and review sites is that Apple didn't provide them much in terms of guidance on how to make the most out of the device. However, this doesn't mean that it's a bad piece of hardware for business, quite the opposite. Here are examples of apps, tools and features that iPad business users will find useful:
- Remote control software
This is software that allows the user to connect to a remote system and assume control over it, just like they would have been sitting at that particular PC. Remote control software can also be used to connect into a server environment where the user is presented with a virtual desktop. There are many remote access apps available for the iPad and they're actually quite affordable, which means that even small businesses with low budgets will be able to use them to their full potential.
- Email tools
Email is very widely used in business and the iPad supports direct use of many email accounts, such as POP3 & IMAP accounts, Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Hotmail, MobileMe, etc. This makes it easy to synchronize your email on the iPad without needing to download additional software to it.
- Calendar and planning tools
Being organized is seen as a big necessity for businesses. The good thing about the iPad is that its screen format is actually ideal for displaying calendars. There are hundreds of apps available for the iPad which have calendar and planner features. Some are fairly simple and straightforward, while others have more complex features which are useful in a corporate environment, such as notifying users by email is another user has completed a task or added an entry in their calendar, integration with other apps and online services, etc. Again, these apps are also very affordable.
- Adding shortcuts to home screen
While not strictly a business features, this would be appreciated by many users who need the iPad for work. You can bookmark websites that you frequently visit, such as browser based apps or news websites and have the icon directly on your home screen for increased convenience.