I didn’t buy my iPad because I’m the CEO of a company that teaches people about technology and social media. I bought it because I thought it was the slickest device for consumption of electronic media that I had ever used. And so many people agreed with me that it set records as the most popular mobile device to date. In a short time, it replaced my iPod and my kindle , and became my Internet appliance of choice when I needed to reach out to research, read, or view videos. But practical guy that I am , I wanted to justify my purchase by using the iPad for business.
My high opinion of the iPad as a device for consumption is almost equaled by my dislike for the iPad as a tool for producing content. With the appropriate apps, it can be a useful business tool, and to wow you, I should probably have used the iPad to write this post, but frankly I prefer a real keyboard, and it felt like cheating to use my bluetooth keyboard to make the iPad work as a writing tool. (Note: In a pinch or on a trip I would not hesitate to use the blogging apps and my iPad, but I’m at home right now and my Macbook is just a better choice for production work)
There are some great business apps for the iPad though, and some real reasons to use them, so let’s concentrate on what they are and why you might use them. Recently I used my iPad to create and present a slide show on Keynote which, along with Pages and Numbers form the basic suite of office products for any business oriented iPad user. The three programs are the Mac equivalent of Powerpoint, Word, and Excel, and though limited in function when compared to their full functioned Mac or Word counterparts, are certainly sufficient for most users. But the real business benefit is the sizzle in any presentation or document presented to your business audience in this manner.The iPad is still new and sparkly enough that its user is imbued with an aura of sophistication and technological status that makes a powerful business statement.
If you add a few other apps to the first three – like Flickr (to access your photos on the popular Internet based photo storage site) , Crop Suey (to modify or enhance those photos), Photonasis to manipulate the photos, iAnnotate to access and mark up pdf files, dropbox or evernote to access files from your desktop or laptop, and the iPad becomes a functional mini office making you more mobile and showing your clients a familiarity with cutting edge technology that is sure to impress. And having justified your purchase for business reasons you can buy Angry Birds and play without any sense of guilt!