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The app effect
IPAD KEYBOARD DOCK

This story started a little over six months ago when I picked up an iPad to figure out what exactly the ruckus was all about. Right out of the box, the iPad was a fantastic consumption device: the number of foreign magazines I’ve read on it, the movies I have watched on flights or just the number of crazy addictive games I’ve played on it. With the multi-tasking support added in November, it fast became the device I use (not my smartphone or my notebook, mind you) to quickly check in with what’s going on with the world and my office. And before I realised it, I was carrying just the iPad for short one-two day work trips, and my shoulders thanked me for it. But how good really is the iPad for work — for the creation aspects, not just consumption — and what apps and peripherals should you have if you’re considering a similar plunge? Find out!

Must-have Peripherals

EDIMAX 3G-6210N

If you’re going to be using the iPad for more than just casual surfing and movies, you really should consider these accessories. I swear by many of these to make the most of my iPad when I am out and about.

Edimax 3G-6210n: Unless you’ve picked up the 3G-enabled iPad, the Edimax Wireless 3G portable router lets you connect any of the popular wireless broadband USB dongles and make the Internet available over a Wi-Fi network. A 2-3 hour-battery is built in, so it’s truly portable, plus your other devices — laptops, smartphones — can benefit too!

• Price: Rs. 5,000,

• URL: http://bit.ly/gSiX3U

Mophie juice pack powerstation: Despite the iPad’s legendary battery life, the Mophie is a perfect companion to any iPad user. It outputs up to 2.1A (which the iPad needs), but can as well recharge any USB-rechargeable device, including your smartphone and the Edimax router, letting you stay away from that power socket that much longer.

• Price: $99.95,

• URL: http://bit.ly/gQxKOY

KENSINGTON KEYFOLIO

iPad Keyboard Dock: While I’m comfortable typing on the iPad on-screen keyboard, many prefer a proper keyboard, and the iPad Keyboard Dock makes a great add-on for such folks. It is a little bulky to carry around all the time, so you could consider the Kensington KeyFolio, which combines a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and a prop-up hands-free stand into an iPad case!

liPad Keyboard Dock price: Rs 3,700 lURL: http://bit.ly/fSz0iw • Kensington KeyFolio price: $99.99 • URL: http://bit.ly/hsBbt2

Essential Apps

While it may come down to the work you do, these apps are a great starting point for most users looking to get most work tasks on the iPad. (All apps are available in the India App Store).

Evernote: The note-taking app that ‘remembers everything’ lets you sync your notes from your PC, smartphone and the web onto the iPad and vice-versa. Perfect for jotting down those critical thoughts, images and audio and having them available everywhere. For freehand notes and scribbles, try Penultimate for iPad ($0.99).

• Evernote price: Free

iWork Apps for iPad: While Apple’s own Pages, Keynote and Numbers apps ($9.99 each) are brilliant for iPad content creation, they don’t play so well with Office formats, and I prefer the Documents to Go Premium suite ($17). It may not support adding the fancy graphics and tables that the iWork apps do but it preserves the files’ entire original formatting when you export it. For a super-robust PDF reader with advanced reading, annotation and highlighting capabilities, try GoodReader ($2.99).

AirSharing HD: The closest thing to a file browser for an iPad, this app lets you map your iPad as a network drive to your PC/Mac and swap files back and forth. With support for a ton of file formats, this also opens zip files!

• Price: ($9.99)

DropBox for iPad : Your personal file storage on the web, DropBox lets you store upto 2GB of data with a free account and sync to the iPad app whenever you need. You can even share the files with other folks who’re collaborating with you and sync with their edits once they’re done.

• Price: Free

LogMeIn Ignition: There are times when you need to connect to your PC/laptop, maybe you’ve forgotten that critical file or you just need to check on your downloads. Set up LogMeIn on your PC, buy this pricey app and soon you’ll be accessing your laptop screen on your iPad, keyboard and mouse access and all! Check the videos on their site before you plonk down the cash though.

• Price: $29.99

Verdict

There’s a lot going for the iPad in the work environment — the instant-on capabilities, the awesome battery life and with either the 3G variant or the Edimax device (or similar), anywhere connectivity. Where the iPad doesn’t quite cut it, not yet at least, is the ability to do some critical tasks — attach a USB drive, for example — without a PC. There are workarounds to achieve almost any other business need, but caveat emptor applies — sometimes a given task takes much more effort than it would on a notebook/PC, and some apps just don’t have App Store alternatives, so if you’re planning to depend solely on your iPad for work, test drive it within your home/office first.

• Apple iPad

• Price: Wi-Fi (16/32/64GB): Rs 27,900/32,900/37,900 Wi-Fi+3G (16/32/64GB): Rs 34,900/39,900/44,900

• URL: http://bit.ly/dUU1LO

Sound choice

Why can’t gamers get some audio love too, to go with all that graphics firepower? Razer’s launched their Ferox portable gaming speakers, with room-filling, 360° omni-directional sound and 12 hours of battery life from the built-in rechargeable batteries. Just the thing to announce your presence at your next gaming party!

Price: $60 l
URL: http://bit.ly/dLzIAc

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