The Way We Work
February 1, 2012 by Julia Camenisch

With a tablet in tow, your office can become more portable – and with this lineup of business productivity apps, it can also become more productive. Here are five useful business apps for each of three different tablet platforms: Apple’s iPad, the BlackBerry Playbook and Android-based tablets.

The Blackberry Playbook

  1. Blaq ($1.99) – Since Twitter is such an indispensable marketing and customer service tool, it is important that you stay on top of it. And that is why Blaq exists: to make your Playbook Twitter experience as easy (and cool) as possible. With a well-designed interface, customizable notifications and in-app link browsing, Blaq gives the native Twitter app a run for its money.
  2. Evernote (Free) - Memory problems? If you are like most entrepreneurs, your brain is on overload. Well, thanks to Evernote, you can outsource at least some of that grey matter work to an app. Evernote is a web-based app that helps you keep track of notes, business cards, presentations, audio recordings and other ideas. It is also available for Android and iOS.
  3. Splashtop Remote Desktop HD ($4.99) – Take your desktop on the road with Splashtop’s nifty app. It allows you to access your desktop applications and use them. You can also stream video and audio from your desktop. Remote Desktop HD is great for staying productive wherever you happen to be. The app connects to both Macs and PCs.
  4. Conqu (Free) – Do you want to manage project to-dos and your personal life all in one place? Take a look at Conqu. It is a robust task management app that allows you to tag entries, sync between multiple devices and people, or delegate tasks while still keeping track of them. No more juggling between different to-do lists!
  5. Navita Translator (Free) – Need to communicate with co-workers located overseas? Try Navita Translator. This app can translate using voice or text from the English, Portuguese, or Spanish interfaces into any of  more than 50 languages.

 The Android-Based Tablet

  1. Kingston Office (Free) – High-end document editing for free – what more do you need to know? The Kingston Office app allows you to use your tablet to view and edit a wide range of file formats, including PPT, DOC and XLS. It also allows you to copy and paste between apps, something that is a bit of a rarity at the moment.
  2. MindJet (Free) – This app is a marriage between your to-do list and mind mapping software. Using MindJet, you can enter ideas, notes and jobs to complete, then link to files for more information. The app is also integrated with Dropbox for easy backup of files. Time to release your inner creative genius!
  3. Juice Defender (Free) – Battery life. Yes, that is the one big problem with relying on a tablet as your mobile office. But with a bit of help from the Juice Defender app, you can squeeze every last bit of life from your battery. This simple but powerful program manages various power draining functions, such as Wi-Fi and CPU speed, adjusting them as needed. Just think how much more you can get done!
  4. File Manager HD (Free) – Dealing with files on your Android tablet can be a headache. File Manager HD seeks to be the remedy to your file organizational woes. With a user-friendly interface, support for both local and remote file systems, and a root explorer for rooted devices, it is no wonder this app has made top rankings.
  5. Pocket Cloud Remote (Free) – Did you leave an important file on your PC back at the office? If you have Pocket Cloud Remote, there is no need to worry. This app provides remote desktop access, using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), VNC (Virtual Network Computing) and Auto Discovery (Google account). It must be good, as PC World awarded it “The Best Mobile Cloud App for Android Tablets.”

 The iPad

  1. Instapaper Pro ($4.99) – Need to do some online research, but about to board a long flight? Instapaper Pro allows you to save up to 500 webpages for offline reading. And to make it easier to sift through your downloads, you can also organize pages into folders. But all this usefulness poses one problem: When will you ever get any downtime?
  2. FTP on The Go ($6.99) – Sometimes your website needs emergency maintenance – and you might not have any IT staff to take care of the problem. With the FTP on The Go app, you can use your iPad to download, edit, and upload text files on your FTP server. For those who have the know-how, you can even send “raw” FTP commands when needed.
  3. Zipbox Pro ($1.99) – Sometimes you receive zipped files. And sometimes you need to open them on your iPad. Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t play well with zipped files. If you run into this dilemma frequently, you should get a copy of Zipbox Pro. This app enables you to open zipped files in their associated programs. You can also use it to zip and password protect files for sharing with others.
  4. Dragon Dictation (Free) – Typing on a tablet can be cumbersome and frustrating. That is why taking advantage of the Dragon Dictation app can make your iPad life so much easier. With Dragon Dictation, you simply speak your status update, text, email message or tweet into the mic and the app will transcribe it for you. Languages supported include English, Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
  5. RoamBI (Free) – If parts of your job include dealing with and visualizing data, you will love RoamBI. This free app lets you input company data and transform it into a visual report. RoamBI is especially useful if you often analyze data on the go, or make one-on-one presentations involving charts and graphs.

What tablet apps do you consider indispensable for your business? Share your favorites in the comments section below.


Julia Camenisch

Contributing Author

Julia Camenisch is a freelance technology and business journalist. She also works as an editor and copywriter for a wide range of clients, including national magazines, small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Julia brings to oDesk a passion for empowering small businesses through the innovative use of technology.