There are a few must-have business apps that tablet users should be in-the-know about. Three key apps help you process documents, print and sign your name. Learn more about these recommended apps in the full article from The Street.
For all the techno dust-ups going on between such tablet PCs as the Apple (AAPL) iPad, Motorola (MOT) Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab and all the rest, for real-world business use, tablet computers are just like any computer: The hardware is mostly beside the point.
Yes, the iPad 2 might be marginally spiffier, the Tab a bit smaller, the BlackBerry (RIMM) PlayBook a bit faster. But what really matters for making money is the software a tablet offers business users. After all, the code you must touch is what enables you to do the work you must touch.
Considering that this is shaping up to be the summer of the tablet — every small-business somebody will be attempting to do their jobs on the go with tablets this June, July and August — it seems time for the definitive breakout list of must-have small-business functions and apps.
Be able to process documents: Documents To Go Premium ($17)
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Whatever business you’re in, you’re also in the document business. And if you’re going to do documents for business from a tablet, you are going to need a real document processor; that is DataViz’s Documents To Go — and not the demo version. (That’s right, stifle that inner cheapskate and pay the 17 whole dollars for the premium app.) Though the tool is far — and I mean far — from a legitimate word processor, spreadsheet or PowerPoint tool (advanced functions are simply maddening on this tool) assuming you invest in an add-on keyboard for your tablet, Documents To Go lets you reasonably edit, manage and otherwise work with Microsoft (MSFT) Word files, Excel spreadsheets and all the rest. The app is equally effective on Apple devices and Google (GOOG) Android platforms. Overall, Documents To Go offers as smooth an office environment for tablets as there is on the market.
Be able to sign your name: SignMyPad ($3.99)
New York-based Autriv Software Development makes probably the single most useful app I know: SignMyPad. This tool lets you annotate a PDF and sign it without messing with Apple’s goofy AirPrint standard. That’s, trust me, exactly what you need with your tablet. But be warned: Autriv is also making a $99 pro version that allows for geotargeted signatures and signing documents in red. Unless these specific features are must-haves, the upgrade is not worth the money.
Be able to print: PrintCentral ($9)
If tablet computers have one horror show lurking, it’s printing. Wi-Fi networks are cumbersome to find, and forget connecting via Bluetooth. Considering this print nightmare, PrintCentral deserves credit for working at all. The app does a reasonable job of brokering the connection between tablets and printers. But keep in mind that other popular print-from-tablet tools such as PrintBureau and Print Agent PRO may work better for you depending on your tablet, printers and network access. Yes, I really am saying you may need to try a few to find one that works. Either way, printing while in the wild is critical. And as of now, PrintCentral is the best place to start learning how.
This article was republished with permisison from The Street.