The Apple iPad is a good way to travel light, as USA Today did an article on “More Consumers Pack Lighter, Smarter to Save when Flying“, and at the same time, still productive if you decide to leave your Laptop at home to save some weight off your luggage. So what’s a good application altogether to make your iPad as powerful as your PC or Laptop? For one, it won’t be as powerful as your Dual Core or i5/i7 Laptop or iMac, but the application for the iPad can be as powerful and be productive.
So what do you use your Laptop for? I use it for Presentation, showing websites, doing some Power Point Slides, blogging with WordPress, and make notation on the PDF, surf the internet, and checking on mail. But mail is built-in, so no need for a third party application.
Applications below that I find useful in my day to day.
Power Presenter – This program allows you to output to VGA, but not with the Component connector, at least as of this writing. It’s a PDF Presentation and a Whiteboard Presentation, as well as a Web Browser Presentation. But the Web is slow, lots of lag and viewing Java Based site is useless with this program.
2Screens – Is a Web Browser that can display to a VGA monitor or via the Component Cable and is fast, java based site works. This program works better than Power Presenter Web Browser.
iAnnotate – Allows you to scribble around on the PDF file for presentation purpose, no VGA Out ability as of this writing, but once you make notes on the PDF, you can send it via email or save a copy of the edited version.
SimpleSense – If you use Google Adsense, you can use this to track your daily Adsense. Works with iPad eventhough it’s made for iPhone.
WordPress – If you blog with WordPress, this app is for you. I find Blogpress to be a better choice if you use your iPad for blogging a lot, but it’s not free like WordPress.
If you use WordPress and use WordPress Stats, then Statistics app would be a good combination, works with the iPad even though it’s made for iPhone.
FileBrowser – A Network Browser for your network, just like Finder on Mac OS X or Explorer for Windows. Access files on remote computers.
Downloader – If you need things to download that Safari can’t do, this is the app for you. It has a built-in Web Browser so you can directly go to the site and download whatever you want and it has a built-in Web and FTP Sharing. But it won’t let you do that PHP Server on the go with Web Sharing.
If you are a Web Developer on the go, then the app below would be for you:
Gusto – An XHTML Editor as well as an FTP Program
Analytics – If you have Google Analytics and you use it to monitor your website, this app is for you.
If you have the Camera Kit that enables you to transfer photos to your iPad and you would like to send or receive photos from PC to and from iPad, then you should try Photo Transfer App for the iPad. It gives you the ability to send photos to your PC as well as from your PC, that is if you use your PC as storage after you are in the field taking pictures.
If you have your iPad Jailbroken, then you can travel even lighter with Wi-Fi Sync from Cydia for $4.99 as of this writing. Leave your sync cable at home unless if you are traveling for more than two days and in need of charging your iPad, still lighter than carrying those portable battery pack.
If you do a lot of presentation and don’t want to get the apps above such as 2screens or Power Presenter, and your iPad is jailbroken, then you can get Display Out from Cydia for $2.99.
Also, the Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard is still lighter combined with your iPad than with one Laptop. Add your Magic Mouse and sync with your iPad, you got a nice powerful device on the go. Magic Mouse works with a jailbroken iPad and BTStack needs to be installed from Cydia for free.
Overall, the iPad is good enough if you are traveling for a couple of days, or more. Even if you do bring your laptop with you, you should give the iPad a chance for your business needs and leave your laptop in your bag. The iPad won’t be as powerful as your PC, but if it works for me, it might work for you, although some of you will be reluctant to try to cut cost on traveling and just might end up with just your iPad.