When preparing a new tablet or eReader for use in business, it’s important to make sure that you have everything you need to get started before you start taking it to work. The last thing you want is to be chomping at the proverbial bit to get some work done, but be stuck sitting on your hands while you download and install essential apps onto your tablet.
According to Forbes, using a tablet at work can result in a noted increase in productivity – but only if it’s ready to take on the tasks at hand when you arrive. There’s no way to know exactly which business apps you need to allow your tablet to do everything you want it to do, but here are a handful of necessities for business professionals looking to making their computing mobile.
Sunrise is a calendar app that takes your scheduling to the next level. While Google Calendars will always do in a pinch, it’s still just a calendar; Sunrise is designed with meetings and consultations in mind. By scanning and importing information directly from LinkedIn, Sunrise allows you to see both the business profile and the photo of the person with whom you’re scheduled to meet.
This app is fully compatible with Google Calendars, allowing multiple calendars to be synced to the device at one time, color-coded to be as distinct as they are in their native interface. However, according to Business Insider, the best feature Sunrise has to offer is a “quick add” option that automatically translates natural phrases into calendar appointments. Typing in or dictating “meet Karen for consult at Scented Leaf Café at 12pm” inputs a calendar appointed at noon, including the name of the facility, and the name and basic information of the contact in question.
The best thing about working with mobile devices is the ability to step away from the office without putting anything on hold: GoToMeeting is just one app that makes this possible. A free mobile meeting tool, GoToMeeting allows you to patch into video conferences and digital meetings via Wi-Fi, using the front-facing camera on your tablet to allow you video participation in the meeting. According to Business News Daily, the app allows up to 26 users in each meeting and offers simple desktop and file-sharing features, making it easy to make digital presentations and share documents and reports.
Currently the reigning king of note-taking apps, EverNote offers so much more than just a digital notebook. This app supports embedding of photos within content, video and audio recording, and even syncing between multiple devices so your notes are always up to date. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 from Nook takes it a step further by offering full eReader functionality with a split-screen option, allowing you to both read all the digital collateral you’ve been provided, whether it’s a book, packet or virtual presentation, and take notes at the same time.
The simplest, easiest to-do app on the market today, Todoist offers easy signup with a Google account, syncing across multiple devices, and a minimalist approach to time management. While Todoist Premium includes neat features like the ability to add notes and attachments to tasks, reminders and repeating tasks, the free version includes easy scheduling, priority setting and support online and off across a multitude of devices. This app is designed specifically with Android in mind, offering a Google-friendly interface and minimalist styling, but the simplicity of it makes the tasks at hand that much easier to focus on.
5. Microsoft Office
While formerly available only to paid users, a limited variant of the new tablet version of Microsoft’s flagship program is available for free. This version includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint, all with limited functionality as far as complex formatting goes, but more than functional enough for viewing purposes. Review documents, spreadsheets and presentations from the comfort of anywhere when you download these apps – and if you’re using the new NOOK, easily compare different versions of your documents side by side.
The OS Gap
Depending on your tablet’s operating system, some of these apps may not be available to you; finding comparable replacements should be simple enough, however, just be ready to do a little digging if the app you need doesn’t seem to be in your “local” app store. All the apps on this list are definitely available for Android, with a few available for other operating systems as well.
Remember that no matter how great your apps are, they’ll only run as well as your equipment will allow, so make sure your tablet or eReader is up to the job. The new NOOK, the Galaxy Tab and other units running Android 4.4 and above should be more than capable of handling whatever you want to throw at them, but make sure that your equipment is up to the task before you start downloading. Nobody wants to be stuck in a lurch!