In case you hadn't noticed, tablets are taking over offices around the world. If one isn't already on your desk, here's a roundup of great apps that might convince you to go iPad in 2012, covering the essentials from analytics to content creation and CMS management.
Splashtop Remote Desktop
Most complaints about tablets is that you don't have access to PC-only stuff on it. Well, that's what Splashtop is here to sort. Currently No.1 among iPad apps, it offers access to your apps, media and any browser (or web plug-in like Flash) that you need to use via interactive desktop streaming.
One desktop app provides the streaming on your PC or Mac and the iPad app will find your desktop and display it with a virtual keyboard if needed. The app is $1 on the App Store for the general version, with a 30-day trial for a corporate-centric Pro version.
Access your PC-only content on an iPad
SkyDrive for iOS
Also working on the iPhone, this recent Microsoft app solves the problem of what to do if you need to share and gain access to large quantities of data with other users. SkyDrive offers 25GB of free storage for files that you can then download, work with on the iPad and then upload for others to work on.
The Windows Phone version of SkyDrive has a major advantage in that you can edit the files live in the cloud. But because there aren't any Windows Phone tablets yet, you'll have to make do with the iPad version for now. Hopefully an update will add the feature as Microsoft seems keen to make its presence felt on other devices, so it won't just hog the top-line features for its own devices.
Joomla Admin Module
Admins love being able to monitor or tweak their sites while on the go and the Joomla Admin Module will help them manage sites, add, edit or delete articles, sections or categories with any Joomla 1.5 site or higher.
Manage on the go with JAM
A recent update added third-party plug-in support, so admins have access to custom data and files, while content creators can use to create, edit or update articles on the move. Does your CMS have true app yet?
Most social business services have a mobile app, but Yammer is the one we use and the free iPad app does a great job, and is also available on pretty much all other platforms. It uses the available screen space to full effect to show off conversations, content links and to make staying in touch with colleagues that much easier.
Threaded conversations and multiple feed support allow users to stay in touch across different departments and can view documents and PDFs within the app and browse web sites of interest without bailing out to a different browser.
Pages From Apple
Many users will rather be seen dead clutching their keyboards rather than being forced to type on a tablet. But, if you do fancy a go, Pages is probably the app you should use to create documents. An Apple-developed app, it can still export docs to Microsoft Word or PDF and lets users create neatly laid-out files with images and columns, as needed.
Pages takes DTP away from the desktop
While earlier versions had some odd copy files by iTunes system, now with iCloud, you can move and store, and allow others to access them sensibly. And, with the ever-improving iOS printer options, getting documents out onto paper is a lot easier than it used to be.
Roambi Analytics Visualizer
Analytics are key to any knowledge or metrics based role and Roambi offers a third-party app that can read into most popular analytic-generating systems. It transforms that data into easy-to-follow reports and charts that can be waved about at meetings or help you make decisions when you'd normally be out of the loop.
Capture your essential metrics on the move
With some smart visual ordering or tabbed-text views, it makes wading through the endless amounts of data that enterprises turns out a lot less of a chore and it can retrieve data from the heavyweights such as SAP Business Objects, Crystal Reports, IBM Cognos and Salesforce.com. And, it protects that data with multi-layered security.
Apps are Here to Stay
Of the huge numbers of apps out there, we're seeing more business apps that focus on everything from the SMB to the big enterprises. If you thought that tablets were a passing trend, then you're mistaken. If you have already jumped on the app bandwagon, let us know what your favorites are, what are the most useful or which need some serious work.