in Entertainment, Feature, Operating Systems, Posts, Uncategorized, Usability, Useful tools

The top 19 iPad apps for business (and my top 19 favourite iPad apps)

Following is my view on the iPad, primarily as a day to day business tool.  This is my favourite list of apps based on everyday usage..

Let me start by saying this;

  • I love the iPad and am very impressed with the device
  • I got the iPad only a few weeks after it came out in Australia and I have been using it for business purposes pretty much every day since
  • Tablet PC’s have been around for a while yes, but this tablet is so different from a traditional “PC”-style one
  • Initially I almost did not by an iPad because I wanted something that would be a real content contribution device – which during my review I found the iPad was not
  • I bought the iPad as a content consumption, communication and “creative” device and must say – wow!
  • I hoped that by now the apps would have gotten even better and I am still looking for that “Minority Report” style experience within a creative-type app 😉

Anyway, don’t want to write much so here are my favourite 19 apps and a few bullets for each;

Wall Street Journal for iPad screenshot

Wall Street Journal

Price: FREE

  • Best iPad newspaper by far!
  • Great browsing / reading experience
  • Not much trash / gossip-style content that you find in every other newspaper these days
  • The free version of this app is usually enough (you can see today’s paper and read most of the important articles)
  • Other iPad newspapers (like The @Australian) are very poor compared with this one

Get Wall Street Journal for iPad (from iTunes)

Documents To Go

Price: $14.99 USD for Premium version ($9.99 for standard version – get premium though!)

Documents To Go for iPad screenshot

  • The best office suite for iPad
  • So much better than the apple Pages, Keynote and all of that
  • The Premium version has everything – presentation, word processor, spreadsheet etc.
  • Premium version works straight with Dropbox
  • Apple’s crappy Office suite for iPad cannot open password protected docs, this one can!
  • Works with Office 2007 documents on iPad – Word 2007, Excel 2007, Powerpoint 2007 etc) – Apple’s ones does not!
  • Pay once use everywhere aka multi-device support – unlike the other options, once you buy this app you can use it on the iPhone too! (not that you want to write office documents on the phone but good for the occasional emergency adjustment)
  • And much more…
  • So are you asking there questions; “Pages vs Documents To Go on the iPad”, “Numbers vs Documents To Go on the iPad” or “Keynote vs Documents To Go for iPad… there is NO comparison!
  • But to be clear – you cannot/should not try to type huge docs on the iPad, and also the formatting won’t be perfect (but thats not what its about – you want to be able to take great meeting notes or touch up a few docs here and there, not replace MS Word or your laptop!)

Get Documents To Go Premium for iPad (from iTunes)


Dropbox for iPad screenshotPrice: FREE

  • Regardless of which device, Dropbox is the best file sharing tool and one of the most useful tools for work
  • Upload and share large files with people without the hassle of mailing huge attachments
  • Keep files private/secured or public
  • Sync files between devices (computers, laptops, phones and tablets etc)
  • For iPad, Dropbox can “bookmark”  files for offline use so when you are on the road you have access to your most important files – awesome!
  • With dropbox for iPad you can select which app you want to open various files in and it natively previews many file types (like PDFs etc)

Get a free 2GB Dropbox account from this link (and I will get another free 250MB space)

AFTER that, get the Dropbox iPad app here (from iTunes)


Price: $4.99 USD

Soundpaper for iPad screenshot

  • One of the first apps I bought for the iPad
  • Absolutely brilliant!
  • Meet about a handful of people who are thinking of buying the iPad just for this
  • Either you like it (need it) or its a waste
  • Its basically an app to record meetings (voice) while you are taking meeting notes
  • The app combines the audio and text into a timeline so you can go to your meeting notes afterwards and listen to the related audio for that timeslot – brilliant!
  • The developer has some really cool plans for this app

Visit the developer’s website

Get SoundPaper now (from iTunes)

Fring – great multi-protocol/app instant messaging and voip

Fring for iPad screenshotPrice: FREE

  • Fring is just a brilliant multi protocol IM app
  • Works with Skype, Yahoo, AOL, MSN Messenger, Google Talk and even Twitter (and probably more)
  • Nice to use
  • The frong developers should have an iPad specific large screen version, but unfortunately we have to make do for the iPhone version – still a must-have app though

Get  fring for iPhone for the iPad (from iTunes)

Air Video Free – easily stream any of your videos to the iPad

Price: FREE

Air Video Free for iPad screenshot

  • Awesome app that basically allows you to play all your videos from your PCs or laptops in the house straight to your iPad
  • You install a tiny server app on the PCs and then this client on the iPad and you can browse your videos
  • it transcodes in realtime so you can play virtually ANY format (that I have seen at least)
  • Supports Windows and Mac (not Linux, unless someone has figured it out with Wine?)
  • The only little nag in the free version is that if you have lots of video files in one folder you have to hit the refresh button a few times – you will see 😉 (but its not a big issue)
  • The simplicity and value of this app is astonishing

Get Air Video Free for the iPad (from iTunes)

Google Talk

Google Talk for iPad screenshotPrice: FREE

  • What more can be said – this is just the web version of Google Talk – – Google has made it look nive for the iPad
  • Its clean and efficient
  • You will enjoy this more when you get the multi tasking running (see below)

To install;

– go to on your iPad
– bookmark the page to the Home screen

GoTo Meeting

Price: FREE (but you need a commercial GoTo Meeting account)

GoTo Meeting for iPad screenshot

  • GoTo Meeting is like WebEx – it allows you to conduct online meetings with screen sharing etc.
  • This client only allows you to participate in meetings of course (not create meetings etc)
  • We use GoTo Meeting all the time and I don’t know how I could live without it
  • GoTo Meeting for us (but not on the iPad) even serves as a “remote desktop” replacement software when there are too many firewalls between systems

Get GoTo Meeting for iPad (from iTunes)

iAnnotate PDFiAnnotate PDF

Price: $9.99 USD

From iTunes;

  • “iAnnotate is both an elegant PDF reader and a powerful annotation tool that finally lets you work with your PDFs. You can open documents from email, sign and send out contracts, enter notes for edits, sketch diagrams, copy text, and add highlights or underline with the drag of a finger!”
  • I have not quite gotten comfortable yet. I thought I was productive the other day on the move but then I could not find the undo button when I needed it and it all got a bit complicated 😉
  • More to follow on this one, but I am hopeful.

Get iAnnotete PDF (from iTunes)


instapaper for iPad screenshotPrice: $4.99 USD for iPad app  (but free for most other devices)

  • One of my top 5 favourite iPad apps for sure!
  • Allows you to save web pages for reading later
  • Use case is this… you’re skimming the morning news but have to go, you “bookmark” the interesting articles to Instapaper  and you can then read them later on your iPad
  • Neat and tidy
  • Allows you to bookmark pages you intend to read “one day”
  • Bookmarklets for most browsers (iPhone, Chrome, Firefox etc)
  • Absolutely brilliant!!
  • Your stuff is saved in the cloud
  • Great for the wifi iPad because it all works offline (so update your Instapaper before you go out the door)
  • Once you get into the habit of using it (does not take long at all) you wonder how you made it without it, seriously!
  • Well worth the 5 dollars!!

Get Instapaper for iPad (from iTunes)

Email (and particular the whole Google Mail, Google Calendar setup)

Price: FREE

mail for iPad screenshot

  • I looove GMail and the Google apps.
  • Don’t know how I could ever navigate the trillion mails without it (even had to buy more space from Google)
  • The Google stuff is neatly integrated to the iPad but I believe you had to choose the Exchange option (its all described on
  • Calendar sync works well
  • Use it both on your phone and tablet and its a pleassure
  • But hey @Google, where is the Priority Inbox for iPad? 😉


MAshable for iPad screenshotPrice: FREE

  • Great Social Media and Tech News site!
  • Great app experience
  • Works beautifully and prefetches all content (so its much faster than the Digg app for example)
  • Many of the articles are a little “easy reading” but they do pick up on a lot of good stuff in a timely fashion
  • Great app, also good on the iPhone
  • Get Mashable iPad app from here (from iTunes)

    Mighty Meeting – “present anywhere”!

    Mighty Meeting for iPad screenshot

    Price: FREE

    • This is an awesome app that I must admit is the only one I haven’t had to use in anger yet. I keep it though because the idea is brilliant
    • You can basically conduct meetings on the go (unlike the GoTo meeting setup above)
    • Basically, upload your most used presentations to and any time you want you can launch and control a presentation from your phone or iPad and people in other parts of the world can follow it via the web (you can send them invites from the app as well)
    • @MightyMeeting seems so brilliant

    First register yourself for a free account at

    The download MightyMeeting for free for iPad/iPhone (from iTunes)

    Pushmail for iPad screenshot


    Price: $2.99 USD

    • PushMail is originally an iPhone app but once you have bought it it installs on the iPad as well and its well worth it
    • It allows you to selectively gett push notifications for some emails
    • The best setup is simply to have email ruls (e.g. in GMail) that forwards emails to a special address which is your custom PushMail address (you get that email address once you buy and install  this software) and then you just get pinged with notifications of new mails
    • Very very handy (but don’t go overboard, just listen to those select few mails)


    Price: FREE

    Skype for iPad screenshot

    • Well, we all know Skype
    • Even with Google Talk and Fring installed on the iPad Skype is still nice to have (Skype Out credits etc)
    • Just sucks that Skype don’t have a large screen iPad version of their app – it looks butt ugly and I am sure they can do something more useful with the larger screen


    Tweetdesk for iPad screenshotPrice: FREE

    • Nearly everyone who uses Twitter a lot knows about TweetDeck, its just a more slick and feature rich twitter client
    • The iPad version is gorgeous
    • Worth it if you use Twitter

    Get TweetDeck for iPad here (from iTunes)

    Jailbreak your iPad, why you should do it….

    Firstly, I don’t take responsibility for you breaking your iPad.

    • Jailbreaking your iPad is a great thing to do
    • Did not want to do it initially and only did it so I could tether the wifi iPad with the iPhone easily
    • Once jailbroken try not to go overboard with the hacks you can install, in fact install as little jailbreak-ware as possible…
    • Jailbreak your iPad by using the Spirit Jailbreak guide here, or just go to – those 2 options are fairly staight forward. If all else failse just Google it
    • Once your iPad is Jailbroken yuo will have a new app no your iPad called “Cydia” – thats the app that allows you to install all these great things (but don’t go overboard)
    • Jailbreaking is not illegal and jailbroken apps are not necessary pirated (piracy is no good)

    Jailbreak must-have application #1: FullForce

    Fullforce for iPad screenshotPrice: FREE

    • This is not the best of the Jailbroken apps but its a must have nevertheless
    • This app allows you to take crappy iPhone-based app and force them into a larger iPad screen view
    • It does not work well with many apps but thats o.k. you basically have to select which apps you wantit to work for.
    • Skype and Facebook are half decent (Facebook looks good in full screen actually)
    • There is a technical article on FullForce here with a screenshot of Facebook

    Download this app using Cydia (see above)

    Jailbreak must-have application #2: Backgrounder

    Price: FREE

    Backgrounder for iPad screenshot

    • Now we are getting somewhere, this app is brilliant
    • This app allows you to do TRUE multitasking on your iPad (no need for OS 4.0 on the iPad and this is even better as well)
    • Imagine with all the great apps above, you could be doing a document modification while being on chat!
    • Your iPad becomes like a more functional computer
    • Don’t go crazy though, experiment but only have 2 or so apps open at a time – there is a reason Steve Jobs don’t want us to multi task 🙂

    To get this app, download it for free from Cydia (see above)

    Jailbreak must-have application #3: iTether

    Price: $4.99 USD

    • Saving the best jailbroken app for lastiTether for iPad screenshot
    • This application is absolutely fantastic for a wifi-only iPad
    • The iTether app allows you to tether your iPad against your iPhone, in other words it allows your iPad to go on the Internet via the internet connection on the iPhone
    • Never thought I would have to pay for a jailbroken application but it was well worth it!
    • The app has its rare and random crashes but I am very happy with it
    • Best thing is that you don’t need to Jailbreak your iPhone to use this.
    • Must have!

    Read about the app on its website but download it from Cydia (see above)

    That’s about it… there could almost have been 20 top apps on the list instead of 19…. my favourite “to-be” app was LinkedIn but it just sucks that its still not made for the large screen iPad (and while Skype and  few other apps  might be o.k. having the iPhone app upscaled on the “big” iPad screen, LinkedIn on the iPad really looks crap.

    If I have any other good apps, I will tweet them (@daniel_iversen).

    What are other really great iPad apps?