Tech Solutions

Top 5 iPad apps for your small business

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Bought a new iPad for your business? Here are five apps that you should download immediately.

Bulky notebooks have been steadily replaced by iPads in the workplace. From using iPads as a point-of-sale to the convenience factor of managing jobs out on the field, the portability and strong library of business-class apps has been a real boon for business owners.

However with so much choice it can be difficult to determine the apps that will perform best for your business. With this in mind, Smarter have created a shortlist of the five top apps.

Tiles of ipad productivity apps

Apple’s iWork or Microsoft Office for iPad

Apple’s iWork for iPad, comes with three separate apps – Keynote, Numbers and Pages – and is easily the best productivity suite on the iPad, especially for those who also own a Mac or iPhone with features like ‘Continuity’ that enable you to seamlessly work across your tablet, smartphone or desktop. Windows PC users can also use these applications via iCloud.com. Apple’s mobile office suite isn’t free for everyone but offers the features you’re likely going to need while working on the go, including revision tracking and simultaneous collaborative writing.

If however you’re tied to the Microsoft Office ecosystem and also have an active Office 365 subscription then Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad is a straightforward choice. All of the apps come with basic editing capabilities such as the ability to edit text, cells and fonts however users will still require an Office 365 subscription for more advanced editing features. 

Nuance’s Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation is a handy voice transcription app that enables you to type out a long email, a short text message or a reminder by simply using your voice. It’s particularly useful on the iPad where you are more likely to have your hands full while on the move.

Nuance claims that the speech to text recognition is five times faster than typing on a keyboard and we were impressed with its accuracy and speed.

eFax

It’s surprising the number of businesses that still rely on a fax machine for communications but the eFax iPad app thankfully saves you from having to drag out your old fax machine from the cupboard.

The app makes it simple to send and receive faxes from your tablet, losing very little in the transition from desktop to mobile. A free account lets you receive faxes, but upgrading to a Plus or Pro account allows you to send faxes as well. 

OfficeTime

Designed for freelancers and small teams, OfficeTime records billable hours and tracks expenses. It also generates invoices and reports based on that data which can be easily exported to Excel or Numbers.

But what really differentiates OfficeTime from other apps is the slick, easy-to-use interface and rich feature set that includes the ability to track multiple hourly rates and timers in addition to the ability to track cost by project and category.

OfficeTime is also free to download and doesn’t require a monthly subscription to use. 

GeoOp

If you operate a trade business then you should definitely look at replacing your current job sheets with job management app GeoOp. From plumbers to electricians, cleaners to locksmiths, GeoOp streamlines the entire workflow such as job scheduling, quoting, invoicing, time tracking, and recording parts and labour all directly from your iPad. Save on administration overheads by using automated features like the ability to create and assign jobs based on a worker’s location, all in real-time.

Other handy features, such as the ability to take photos and attach them to a job or capture signatures, save valuable time and means workers can spend more time on billable hours than on internal administration.

GeoOp also integrates with popular cloud-based accounting applications like Xero and Freshbooks.

man using a tablet, laptop and smartphone
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