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Can I use an iPad for my business? 

iPad

With the right apps and appropriate connectivity, you can use your iPad for business.

I think that there’s a yes and no answer to this.

Tablet computing has exploded in the last year. The all-hailed Netbook has hit the technology slide and it seems that an iPad or equivalent tablet is the way to go, much ramped by consumer pressure.

There is now a whole culture shift in the way we work and communicate, which is seeing the humble smartphone and iPhone starting to take a back seat to their big brother tablets. With faster processors, greater storage and fantastic touch screens they can prove a boon for instant access to the web, music, video and productivity applications.

The question may be what device is right for you? What features are important? For example iPads (due to a licensing issue with Adobe) cannot display Adobe Flash content, while other devices such as the Acer Iconia and Samsung Galaxy do. Connectivity is limited due to size and battery use, so plugging every peripheral in you have is not viable – and if you do want to then stick with your laptop or desktop.

Look for connectivity, Wi-Fi will be standard, but you may want to add a SIM card and get internet access on the go. Capacity will be important, if you want to be able to store all your photos to show Granny and the complete series of your favourite TV programme then err on the larger side for storage. Battery life of around 10 hours is not uncommon, so factor in how you will use the device and how you will charge it.

With the iPad and Android based tablets, thousands of “apps” (applications or software programs) have been developed and they are cheap to buy. For example, apps for opening, editing and creating Microsoft Office compatible files are available for just a few pounds.

So can you use an iPad for your business? Well, with the right apps and the right connectivity,  you can. You won’t get the same functionality that you would get from a laptop in the office, or have the same features as when you’re connected to your corporate network, but as a tool on the go you can connect to your business email, access files, edit and output (with the right adapters) to projectors, networks, and online storage.

But having said all this, who wants to just use it for business?!

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