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Best business iPad apps of 2021

An image of someone using an iiPad with business apps running.
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best business iPad apps help make it easier to manage your day-to-day business workload.

The best business iPad apps

Click the links below to go to the provider's website:

 

1. Microsoft Office

2. Bitrix24

3. Genius Scan

4. Slack

5. 1Password

A large list of critical business functions, like email, messaging and many administration tasks can be performed on the iPad with only its default apps. Add in the best iOs productivity apps from the App Store and you can have everything from the iPad note-taking apps to iPhone VR apps, making your iPad a powerhouse of a business machine.

We've trawled the deepest recesses of the App Store to highlight our current top 10 business apps for Apple's tablet, whether you've got an iPad Air, iPad Mini or one of the Pro models. This is a collection of software which can make a real difference to your efficiency, improve your relations with customers and clients, not to mention helping you out creatively.

Here then are the best business iPad apps currently available.

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(Image credit: Apple)

1. Microsoft Office

Microsoft's cloud-based office suite

Reasons to buy
+The original and best+Market leader+Lots of features

Yes, Microsoft Office gets our top billing, for the simple reason that it's the best out there. While alternative office software suites, some free and some paid for, none have the breadth of functionality that Microsoft Office has. Additionally, some rival programs struggle to preserve formatting with office documents when converting between file types, which is a headache you really don't need with your business apps.

Better still, as a cloud-based application all your documents are not just stored in the cloud, but that you can pick up and work with the same documents across multiple devices, so long as you're logged into your Microsoft account.

The suite of apps available for the Mac includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. While Access and Publisher are only for the PC, these aren't business essentials and stronger alternatives are available.

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2. Bitrix24

An all-in-one business app

Reasons to buy
+Diverse range of tools+Capable CRM with detailed reports+Generous free account

Bitrix24 is a unified work space that provides a vast suite of powerful business tools: collaboration, instant messaging, telephony, project management, document handling, scheduling, employee management, and more.

If you prefer to keep things simple then you can concentrate on the excellent CRM, which is a capable system all on its own. Contacts and communications are logged, leads assigned to sales managers, emails sent, calls recorded, quotes and invoices issued. Detailed reports keep you up-to-date and there's convenient access via the mobile app.

Bitrix24's unusually generous free account supports 12 users and includes 5GB storage, but if you need more, the Plus account offers more features to up to 6 users and provides 50GB online storage.

While Bitrix24 is primarily designed for teams, it's also a great platform for a sole-trader to be able to manage many business tasks from one place themselves.

Bitrix24 is available directly as an iPad app or as a cloud-version powered through your browser.

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3. Genius Scan

Scan and catalog documents and images

Reasons to buy
+Simple to use+Password protect+Integrations

This is a fantastic idea on the face of it. Take pictures of documents with your iPad's camera, and Genius Scan will turn them into PDFs. In practice, it's just as effective as that simple explanation suggests. Once you've snapped a document, Genius Scan attempts to draw a frame around it, which you can tweak if it's not quite bang on. Scan the document, and Genius Scan applies a transform to your photo, flattening it out and allowing you to export it as a PDF or JPG.

This is perfect for sending signed contracts on the fly, particularly if you're not near an actual hardware scanner, and it's a great idea for cataloging receipts for later expense claims without having to carry an overflowing wallet.

In fact, if you're looking to reduce any stacks of paper in your office, Genius Scan's batch scanning function could be the perfect tool – just import all that paper, process it as you go, and have it sent right to Dropbox or OneDrive. You can even protect your PDFs for extra security.

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4. Slack

The team communication platform

Reasons to buy
+Intuitive, cross-platform interface+Packed with plug-ins and extras
Reasons to avoid
-Free plan is relatively limited

Believe the hype, or at least part of it – Slack may not have killed off email just yet, and it can turn into a time sink if you're not disciplined in how it's deployed, but it's also fair to say that this communications platform has helped transform the way that a lot of small business teams keep in touch.

Like all the best software tools, the basic idea is very simple: real-time messaging in web browsers, mobile apps, and desktop clients. Team members can chat one to one, or in groups, or in channels based around topics (sales, finances, products and so on).

What Slack does well though is bring that simple idea to life very intuitively, with a slick and responsive interface, and a host of integrations, plug-ins and shortcuts to keep the conversation flowing. All the functions you think you might need, from file transfers to video calling, are right there for you.

You don't get much out of Slack for free – with 5GB of total storage, 10,000 recent, searchable conversations and no group calling – but it gives you a feel for the app, and should be fine for smaller teams. At the highest pricing tier, you get round-the-clock support and a guaranteed support response time of four hours, as well as unlimited message archives.

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5. 1Password

Remembering your passwords for you

Reasons to buy
+Strong encryption+Keeps passwords updated+Free trial

Every business has a host of systems, and usually these aren't interconnected, meaning you'll need to remember a bunch of logins and passwords for every single one. Forget that. 1Password lets you manage all of your access credentials on your iPad, and it even integrates with Touch ID and a master password to ensure that you're the only one who can gain access to your password vault.

You can use it with many online services to make your accounts more secure – not having to remember a password means it can literally be a random jumble of characters and punctuation, something 1Password can generate for you. And the app can even automatically update your accounts with new info to avoid duplicates or insecure logins.

Everything is end-to-end encrypted to ensure you're fully secure, and the iOS app also supports 1Password for Teams, a specific version of the system with differing access levels allowing a central manager to control who can see what. You can give it a try first with a 30-day free trial.