Want to do some serious work while on the road...or while relaxing on the couch? You can...with Apple's iPad.
Apple has completely rewritten its productivity software iWork for the iPad. Keynote contains custom graph styles, custom-designed themes, animations and effects, and brand-new features designed just for the iPad. Pages includes Apple-designed templates and formatting tools. Numbers offers over 250 formulas, flexible tables and sophisticated charts. The iPad versions of Keynote, Pages and Numbers each sell for a reasonable $9.99.
There is no shortage of third-party productivity apps for the iPad. Things for iPad is a popular task manager, based on the getting things done system. Penultimate is a popular notetaking app for the iPad. Print Central for iPad allows you to print all printers, including printing directly to most WiFi/wireless printers without additional software. MindNode Is a mind mapping application for collecting organizing and outlining your thoughts. Analytics HD is a popular app for accessing Google analytics and allows you to share charts and reports in a meeting full-screen. Many or most third-party applications for the iPad are under $10, and some are free.
Dragon Dictation is a voice recognition application powered by the same company that makes the Mac version. It allows you to speak and instantly see your text in email messages or directly to your social networking applications such as FaceBook and Twitter. (It is important to note that, unlike the Mac version, the application does not run directly on the iPad but instead is sent to the Dragon servers for recognition, then converted to text and sent back to your tablet, so you must have an active Internet connection to use it.)
Want to catch up on your marketing reading? Apple has worked hard to make reading e-books, magazines and newspapers pleasurable on the iPad. Apple's e-book reading software iBooks has an interface that looks like a bookshelf. Flip the bookshelf over with your finger, and you're brought to the online store where you can purchase new books.
The iPad's built-in Safari browser works just like the one on your Mac. And, like the version on your iPhone, you can scroll through pages by flicking your finger across them, or pinch or double tap to zoom in on a photo.
The Mail application offers a landscape view with a split screen showing both the current e-mail and the unread messages in your inbox. Want to view the current e-mail message by itself? Simply turn the iPad to portrait mode and the message zooms to fill the screen. The iPad works with popular e-mail providers such as Mobile Me, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Hotmail and AOL. To compose a message, you just tap and start typing.
And, of course, the iPad includes all of the same features as the iPhone, only in a larger formvideo, YouTube, the iPod and iTunes, interactive satellite maps, the Notepad, a calendar completely redesigned from the ground up for the iPad, Contacts and Spotlight search.