I’ve been writing this series on the iPad and Professionals for a long time, and even I’ve learned a lot in the process (having to write about job categories you’re not involved in forces you to do that). That being said, there is one huge category we’ve largely been ignoring: The average person.
In this week’s article, we’re going to be taking a look at the iPad and business management. The apps I want to take a look at cover the gamut from time management to invoicing, and hopefully get you off to a good start.
When it comes to Apple’s iconic media events, the one thing that guarantees hype is new hardware. No matter what else is on the agenda, iPhones and iPads are the star attractions. Understandably, much of the other news interspersed between device unveilings is swept aside, perhaps given a whisper of coverage after the dust settles. For me, it is those tidbits I find tantalisingly mysterious, a mere breadcrumb hinting at a grander plan. Last week’s iPhone event was no different.
Prior to WWDC I’d have forgiven anyone for thinking iWork had been put out to pasture. With no desktop update since 2009, it’s fair to say the web app versions of Pages, Keynote, and Numbers came with more than a little intrigue. In a sense, Apple had just created its first multi-platform apps. Now, four months later, Apple has dropped another breadcrumb. All three iWork iOS apps are now free for purchasers of a new iOS 7 device — Apple’s strategy is beginning to come full circle with more than a little risk and reward.
Just over a year ago, I wrote a feature on Mac.AppStorm entitled The Future of Email on OS X. I wrote it as millions of loyal Sparrow users around the world were expressing their discontent at Google buying out their favourite product — understandable, really — as development on the product stopped save for critical bug updates. And it shows — the “latest” version for OS X was released 10 months ago and we never did see the rumoured iPad client, which was a real disappointment.
So this got me thinking: both the Mac and iPhone have seen their share of “alternative email clients”, as I like to dub them, but the iPad has been strangely neglected. The iPhone has seen its fair share of alternative clients, from Dispatch to Triage, but none of these have manifested themselves (yet) into an iPad version. iPad users certainly want an alternative to Mail.app — in a weekly poll we conducted back in March, 73% of you felt that the iPad deserved a better client.
So, in short, what’s the state of alternative iPad email clients?
The other day, I tried to work out which single service or platform my digital life couldn’t do without. Initially, I thought Dropbox might be that product, but then I realized I could probably use Box or some other, similar alternative. Google’s collection of apps also entered my consideration, due to my commitment to Gmail, and my reliance on Google’s Calendar and Contacts apps for day-to-day operation. In reality, though, iCloud does a similar job.
Strangely, the one service which stood out was Evernote. I realize that this revelation may cause a few sneers, not least because Evernote is nothing more than a digital scrapbook. I can’t honestly think of how I would replace the ease of web-clipping, note-taking and document filing it provides, though.
Much as I love Evernote, I know it isn’t perfect. For instance, it still works in the same way filing systems have done for years — search, in combination with lists — and it is starting to feel a little bit old. A new, innovative approach to browsing your notes can now be found on your iPad, via a third-party Evernote add-on app named Bubble Browser, currently on sale at $4.99. Its older, OS X sibling has already made waves with us at AppStorm, due to its ease of use and its visually striking design. Can the same magic be recreated on a touchscreen?
You’d think the iPad had seen its fair share of note-taking applications, but you’d be wrong entirely. Last month, NoteSuite came along — and it really impressed me. I gave it a commendable 9 out of 10 in our review from last month for its uncluttered interface, impressive feature set and ease of use. The developers of NoteSuite have certainly learnt from the problems that plagued Projectbook, the app’s predecessor and it is, in my opinion, one of the best iPad note-taking applications out there.
And now, thanks to the kindness of the developers, we’ve got 10, yes 10, promotional codes (each one worth $4.99) which we’re giving away to our readers!
Squareboard is a most unusual app that is a new take on organising your life. Sometimes the things we need to note down, buy, schedule or purchase just don’t fit into a neatly ordered list. Squareboard offers us a way to quickly record an item into a square, associate it with a category and add further detail or a photo.
Having each item in a square (or rectangle) allows you to get a quick overview of many tasks in a single glance. You can also freely re-arrange items using simple drag-and-drop gestures. It really is great fun and a novel way to increase your productivity. It offers the ability to group together items of similar interest and then quickly re-organise should your plans change. Take a closer look after the jump.
When it comes to Markdown editors, iPad users are pretty much spoilt for choice. From Byword to iA Writer, there’s something for almost everyone and each app boasts a myriad of features that makes choosing one a pretty lacklustre affair. I personally use Drafts when I’m working on my iPad, as I can use it for both scribbling down a quick note and typing a longer document and I’ve been a four-month relationship with Ulysses III on my Mac, which is simply awesome — I do pretty much all my writing on there.
So, you’d probably guess that when a new Markdown editor comes along, I don’t get that excited, right? Yes, that’s right, but there was a certain amount of mystery surrounding the release of Editorial. Federico Viticci has had his hands on the beta for quite some time now, and the developer Ole Zorn released a few pretty awesome-looking screenshots as well, which really started the wheel turning. Now, the final version is out — and it’s mighty impressive. Editorial has now become the Markdown editor on the iPad — and here’s why.
Droplr is one of those solutions that not many people have heard about. When it comes to cloud-based storage, for personal use Dropbox really does rule the roost — and it’s pretty easy to see why. There’s plenty of free storage and you get more when you tell your mates about the service (I’ve already scooped up 4 GB through referrals, which isn’t too shabby), plus it works pretty much on any computer and on any mobile device. The API also makes it really easy for developers to integrate it into their applications, and there’s currently over 100,000 applications on the Dropbox platform across all devices.
So what about Droplr then? I first found about it through Tweetbot, one of my favourite iPad Twitter clients and since then I’ve used it for pretty much everything, from images to links and even videos. For some people, it may be a second option or an alternative to Dropbox (sharing is much easier, for example) and for some (me included), it may become your only stop for cloud-based storage. Here’s why.
Grid represents some of the latest ideas in the iOS creativity space: gone are the antiquated menu commands found in Microsoft Office, replaced by a focus on a clean interface, collaboration, performance, and gestures. Just how far does Grid go? Is Grid the future of spreadsheets and data organization, or is it just a glorified scrapbooking application for iOS? Read on! (more…)
It’s Productivity Month on iPad.AppStorm! Throughout July, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you both improve your iPad experience and work better and more productively!
It happened again. Your meeting is in half an hour, you’re out of the office and you forgot to put together your presentation. Normally this would put anyone in quite the predicament, but not when you have an iPad with PublishME handy!
With lightning speed, your fingers fly across the screen using the app’s intuitive controls to create new slides with care. Text is written, media is placed and within minutes you’re feeling like the presentation pro. Feelings of misery and defeat have turned into relief and the satisfaction of a job well done! Crisis averted. So, how does PublishME fulfill its promise of presenting “on-the-go” made easy? Read on to find out.