One of the most breakthrough pieces of modern technology is the Apple iPad. According to MacRumors, Apple has sold over 225,000,000 iPads since the original product launch in 2010. Business Insider reports iPads make up for approximately 29 percent of tablet sales in 2014.
So the iPad is great for consuming content, but can this device be used for more?
Is the iPad a toy or a valuable business tool?
More and more people are ditching their laptops in favour of a tablet for business use. The iPad is thinner and lighter than a laptop, making it more convenient to tote around on your daily commute — and the more compact size is extremely convenient for managing emails or making Skype calls on the go.
An iPad Air’s battery can last up to ten hours meaning you can work all day without looking for a place to charge your device, and with a crisp screen and an endless amount of useful applications, the iPad is certainly a hit when it comes to entertainment.
However, by simply adding the right tools you can easily turn your favorite tablet into an efficient device for running your business. Let’s take a look at a few products that help.
iPad Keyboard / Case
Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard with iPad Air.
The iPad touchscreen is excellent for surfing the web and consuming content but typing anything more than a quick email becomes frustrating. This is where most people dismiss a tablet as a real work device.
Adding a high quality keyboard will greatly improve your typing experience for longer projects. Let’s Talk Tech’s Pedro Lobo recently reviewed a bunch of the popular iPad keyboards on the market and one of his favourites was the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover. Not only does this product give you a quality keyboard, it also doubles as a cover to protect your device.
This will slightly increase the size and weight of your tablet but the tradeoff is worth it for serious typing. Besides, it can be easily removed if you just want to surf the web without the additional bulk of the keyboard.
If you run a physical shop your customers will expect a printed receipt. Shopify offers all in one solution for printing receipts for your customers; simply purchase the hardware then download the application and you’ll be able to take orders and instantly print receipts from your iPad.
Evernote is a great application to help you stay organised. You can easily take notes, create to do lists and snap photos with this application. Evernote also has speech to text technology for taking notes on the move; simply speak into your iPad and it will be translated into text. No need to type long notes on your tablet’s touch screen.
Keeping track of expenses is extremely important in any business. QuickBooks is loaded with great features that assist you in managing your finances. Download the QuickBooks application to easily track sales, invoices and recent payments.
When running a business in this day and age there’s a big chance that you’re dealing with people all over the world, and with modern technology there’s less of a need for expensive flights and long days traveling for business meetings.
GoToMeeting is an application that allows you to meet with anyone in the world online — communicate with your partners, suppliers or customers in real time using the camera on your iPad.
Access your Documents
Consider using a cloud-based storage system for storing your files online, like Dropbox or Google Drive. These platforms allow you to upload all of your important files and documents and store them on their servers, with the ability to access your documents from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection.
Google Drive in particular is fantastic for team collaboration, letting you edit and comment on documents in real-time. And because it’s all stored in the cloud you won’t need to worry if your iPad gets lost or stolen, since your files are accessible from any device.
Is it time to ditch your laptop?
Only you can make the final decision. Tablets have become extremely popular due to their excellent blend of power and portability. The rapid development in the tablet market has many business owners toying with the idea of replacing their trusty laptop with their beloved iPad. With these extra apps, you can easily transform your Apple iPad from a device for consuming media into a serious business tool.