The iPad means business

Written by Jim McElgunn

Apple designs its products with consumers more than business users in mind. That’s true of the iPad, which debuted on May 28 in Canada. And the monumentally hyped tablet may turn out to be no game-changer, just a useful niche product. Still, if you don’t or won’t lug around a laptop, who cares? You can use an iPad as a serious business tool €” especially if you sign up for 3G service, for now, exclusive to Bell and Rogers, to stay connected from almost anywhere. You can choose from a huge menu of business applications among the 2,000 apps of all kinds for the iPad and the more than 150,000 iPhone/iPod Touch apps that also work on the new device. Here are three worth starting with:

Cisco WebEx (Free)
You’ll rack up fewer frequent-flyer miles if you use Cisco‘s free WebEx app to meet virtually. Just like its highly popular Web-based cousin, WebEx for the iPad lets you view and annotate shared documents and chat with other attendees, one on one or as a group.

Dragon Dictation (Free)
Dragon Dictation from Nuance Communications lets you record your ideas on the go by speaking into the iPad’s microphone. This free app instantly converts snippets of up to 60 seconds into notes, e-mails or text messages. And dictation is up to five times as fast as typing.

Things ($19.99)
The Things app from Cultured Code turns your to-do list into something you won’t want to avoid. The elegant interface makes it a breeze to add tasks and create projects, then keep them all straight €” including each team member’s responsibilities.

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