Work, productivity, security, and utilities
Best iPad apps: Work and productivity
This section is dedicated to helping you get more done. The iPad is for more than just entertainment, and we’ve got the tools you need to actually use the thing for work.
How to describe Documents by Readdle? It’s an app that brings the power of Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to your iPad. It’s one of the very best apps you can get to manage your files, whether they’re in the Cloud or stored locally on the iPad. You can zip and unzip files, share them, read PDFs, and gain access to many add-on apps that expand its functionality, enabling things like Word to PDF conversion and PDF annotation. The app also has a browser that lets you download any file from the internet directly to your iPad.
How do you turn an ugly spreadsheet into something more palatable? You use an app like Roambi, which can suck in data from Excel, Google Spreadsheets, databases, and a host of other sources before transforming it into a sexy report or chart. The visualizations are high quality and sure to add weight to your argument. Moreover, all you need to do is import your data and Roambi will automatically filter and analyze it on your behalf.
If you have to read, edit, and possibly annotate PDFs, then this is the only app you need. It’s really easy to use and allows you to highlight text, fill in forms, create notes, and sign documents. It also supports a bunch of different file formats, features integration with the major cloud services, and provides a handy review mode that lets you track changes in a similar fashion to Word. It usually costs $10, but at the time of writing, it’s entirely free.
Swiftkey is a replacement for the lackluster keyboard built into iOS 8. It’s more intelligent when it comes to making text predictions than Apple’s native keyboard, and furthermore, offers multiple language support and quick syncing with Gmail and Facebook.
Forget your scanner — this app will use your iPad’s camera to convert paper documents into high-resolution PDF files. It comes with a handful of capable editing tools, too, allowing you to easily convert textbook pages and chalkboard photos into PDFs.
Spark is one of the finest email apps you can find. It makes the mess of email a joy with its Smart Inbox. You only see what matters to you. It highlights unread emails, but you can also pin things that are most important to you, and you can even snooze an email so that it reminds you later on if you’re not ready to get to it now. If you deal with a lot of emails Spark is the way to go.
Firefox gives you fast and reliable web browsing if you want to try something other than Apple’s web browser. It has all the features you expect, such as syncing all your favorites and history with the desktop Firefox browser, private browsing, and one of the best tab systems, so that you can manage multiple open tabs at the same time without losing track.
Chances are you already use this on your computer, and the Chrome browser’s cross-platform syncing is one of the reasons we love it. Speedier than Safari, it also syncs bookmarks, and features the handy Incognito mode.
The award-winning calendar app from Flexibits makes it easy to keep track of your day. Set up events with simple sentences, dictation controls for hands-off scheduling, and always see what’s on your agenda with reminders.
The iPad’s built-in calculator is nice for the simple stuff, but MyScript Calculator can handle more complex equations and takes inputs via handwriting, converting your writing to standard text.
Best iPad apps: Security and utilities
This section will help you secure your tablet (and find it), but also add those little touches you like. Want a good alarm clock or calculator. We’ve got ’em right here.
If you’re going to take advantage of public Wi-Fi networks to use your iPad while you’re out and about, then you need a VPN service and Nord is the one we recommend. If you pay annually it works out to $5.75 per month for unlimited, secure access to thousands of servers worldwide.
Think you’re free of danger because you’re on a tablet? Think again. Add Lookout to your iPad to protect yourself from viruses and malware, back up your contacts, and locate a stolen device. Upgrade to premium for $3.
Find My iPhone is Apple’s protective service for stolen devices. Find your device via GPS, lock your iPad remotely, or erase the data if it’s gone for good.
Test out the performance of your iPad and see how it compares to similar devices, including Android and Windows tablets. This diagnostics tool focuses on graphics performance measurement.
Optimized to test out Apple’s latest 64-bit processors, Geekbench 4 is one of the most comprehensive performance testers around. It measures processor and memory performance.