/// Apps Raise the iPad’s Aptitude for Real Work

May 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital


There’s a popular myth that Apple’s iPad and other tablets are simply media-consumption devices, unsuitable for productivity applications. That’s just not so, and this week I tested a variety of office suites for the iPad for mini-reviews of their capabilities. In fact, I wrote and edited this entire column on an iPad using the most popular paid iPad app, the $10 Pages word processor by Apple. [ See post to watch video ] Not every productivity task is optimally done on tablet software, of course. Writing a plain text document like this one isn’t the same as creating a large, nuanced spreadsheet. For complex documents, I still recommend using a PC or Mac. And then there’s the problem with typing on a tablet’s virtual keyboard. If you’re going to use your iPad for longer documents, I suggest using a Bluetooth keyboard. I used a physical keyboard to write this, though I usually am fine with the on-screen one. Despite these caveats, iPads and other tablets are being used every day for productivity tasks once reserved for laptops. Every time you reach for your iPad to read, or tap out, a work-related email, that’s productivity. Every time you make or change a business appointment on an iPad calendar, that’s productivity. And there are way too many tailored productivity and business apps to list here, including apps for salespeople, contractors and doctors. There’s a major gap, though: Microsoft Office. The software giant doesn’t yet offer a tablet-optimized version. So there are iPad apps that attempt to emulate the features of Office and can import and export files in Microsoft’s Office formats. They generally don’t offer all of the features of Office and don’t always offer perfect fidelity with PC and Mac versions of Office. But I have found they are fine for the basic documents most people create or edit.

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Apps Raise the iPad’s Aptitude for Real Work


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