The iPad has invaded our personal lives, but it also has a place in the business world. Whether you're a large company with employees who have access to iPads for work, or a small business running your entire enterprise from the device – the key to productivity is in the App Store. So, without further ado, here are our top 10 picks for the best business apps which you can get for your Apple slate.
SignNow is a great free app for filling out and signing documents on your iPad. SignNow can handle more than just signatures, it also allows you to fill out forms and other PDF documents. Open up any PDF, Word, or RTF document on the app to add text, ticks, and signatures to a file. You can send the finalised document by email or to other apps like Dropbox or Google Dive for storage.
A great feature of this app is its ability to request signatures on a document from other people, allowing you to manage all your documents from one place – although you will have to unlock this feature with an in-app purchase. In fact several features are hidden behind in-app purchases, and at some point you will be encouraged to upgrade to a Pro account – but as long as you are a light user you won't encounter any problems not doing so.
Overall, SignNow provides a great user experience, which is boosted by the inclusion of syncing and storage for your documents via a free account. For a free app, this offering certainly boasts an impressive amount of functionality.
Price: Free (Upgrade to Pro for £17.49 per month)
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/signnow-sign-fill-pdf-word/id489262811?mt=8
2. Splashtop Business
The Splashtop Business app allows you to access your work computer from your iPad. Effectively, the app turns the iPad's screen into your computer screen which you can access from anywhere.
The clean interface is simple to use, and although the remapping of the keyboard and mouse is tricky at first, it soon becomes second nature. To allow this app to open, run, and edit files located on your computer, you will first need to download and install the Splashtop Download Streamer on your PC. Once downloaded there is a simple onetime setup, but after that, as long as both devices have a good internet connection, you'll have access whenever you need it.
Privacy concerns are reassured by the provided 256-bit SSL encryption the software boasts, making Splashtop a must-have app for businesses that rely on software which is not available for iPad, but need their data to be secure.
The business package from Splashtop is reasonably priced at $60 per user, per year (around £35 or AUD$63). Note that if you're only planning on personal use it is worth checking out Splashtop 2, which sports many of the main features for only £11.99 a year.
Price: Free (Requires £35 yearly subscription)
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/splashtop-business-remote/id650739354?mt=8
Earlier this year when Facebook bought WhatsApp, companies and individuals fled the service, and as a result Telegram's encrypted messaging platform became a hit almost overnight. Telegram is a secure private messaging service which looks and feels almost identical to WhatsApp, down to the cartoon icons in the background of a conversation window.
On a more serious note, the security Telegram provides for messages is amazing. The option for cloud-based encrypted messaging is standard, but for even more secure communication you can initialise a new Secret Chat in which messages are encrypted end-to-end. Messages in a Secret Chat cannot be forwarded and can even be set to self-destruct from both devices after a set amount of time.
The app was initially only available for iPhone, but unofficial versions of Telegram have been made available for iPad, Mac, Windows and Google Chrome – a truly multi-platform solution. The developer of the iPad creation admits the app is a work in progress, but at least there is an option available for iPad.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/telegram-for-ipad-unofficial/id861876884?mt=8