iPad at Work: The essential guide for business users 2014

iPad at Work: The essential guide for business users 2014

Summary: Apple's iPad is an impressive piece of technology. Here's what you need to know to get the most out of it as a business tool.

TOPICS: iPad, Apple, iPhone, Mobile OS

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  • iPad for Business Users

    Editor's Note: This article was originally published in August of 2010. It has been updated with current information.

    Apple's iPad has become a huge hit with consumers as a content consumption platform, but for business users, it's been something of a hit or miss.

    Apple hasn't provided a lot of guidance to the corporate or business end-user as how to correctly configure it for essential day-to-day use, and how to get the most out of the device in terms of sharing data with PCs and external Web services.

    As an iPad owner from the day the first units were delivered to customers, and now an iPad Air user, I've spent a lot of time determining how to get the most out of its functionality.

    I've assembled this guide, which will serve as a constantly updated work in progress, for those of you who may be new to the iPad and iOS platform and are looking for interoperability solutions.

    Many of the tips, techniques and applications which I have listed for the iPad in this article also apply to iPhone. At the time of this writing the iPad system software was version 7.1, so this is written for that iOS version in mind. 

  • Email, Contacts and Calendaring Integration

    The iPad includes support for a number of different types of email accounts and calendars.

    Most corporate users will want to use Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) connectivity to synchronize Mail, Calendar and Contacts on the iPad. At the time of this writing, the iPad supports multiple Exchange accounts with version 7.1 of iOS.

    When using Exchange (ActiveSync) accounts on the iPad, your corporate systems administrator will provide you with the pertinent login information which includes your email address, the hostname of the Exchange server, the Domain name, as well as your username and password.

    Once configured, your iPad will be automatically set up to synchronize your email as well as contacts from your corporate directory services and your personal address book and also permit synchronization between your corporate calendar in Outlook and the iPad's Calendar application.

    Are you an Outlook.com or Hotmail user? You can use also the iPad's native Exchange ActiveSync in the Mail, Contacts and Calendars setup.

    Companies which use Lotus Notes email and calendaring can download and install Lotus Notes Traveler which is supported with version 8.0.1 and above of IBM Lotus Domino server.

    Alternatively, if your organization has enabled it on its servers, both Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes support web-based messaging and calendaring via Outlook Web Access and IBM Lotus iNotes, and run in the iPad's Mobile Safari browser. 

    The iPad also supports standard IMAP4 and POP3 email accounts through its "Other" account setup wizard option and also supports LDAP-based directory services if your organization uses them for the Contacts sync.

Topics: iPad, Apple, iPhone, Mobile OS


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • En excellent, thorough list!

    Personally my favourite remote desktop is jump, but that's just for my own machines, like most large deployments citrix is the work app!
  • OMG no usb port?

    That'll explain why Apple have hardly sold any iPads then...
  • This is your list that works for you in your personal situation.

    A misleading article.
    Stating this up front (while it decreases hits) will garner a bit more respect and allows those it does not apply too an out to better utilize their time.
    It is a decent list. But.
    My biggest issue and the reason I currently use an Android device in place of my iPad4 for work; RAM. Apple apps are great but I am so tired of having apps crash / die / respring because of low ram.
    • Is there some other problem with your iOS device?

      My wife and I have owned 4 iPhones and 5 iPads between us and I can honestly say that neither of us has experienced the problem that you explain. As well, I have many friends with iOS devices who also have never experienced the problem that you explain. Whilst I understand that this is not a particularly representative sample, it does give me cause to wonder if there is not some other problem with your iOS device or a particular app that you iinstalled.
      • One of Apples best repeat customers...

        "4 iPhones and 5 iPads between us"

        This is why Apple has Billions in the bank.

        I find this pretty funny actually, because this person continues giving away his money to Apple.

        It's his choice, but I still find it laughable.

        For me, I've been using an android Xoom for over 2 years and its always met my basic needs (email and at meetings), when away from my workstation. I use SQL Server and Toad or Oracle daily. Yes, I've run a RD on the tablet, but who wants to do that for an extended period of time.

        This month I received a Surface Pro II with 8gigs of ram and 256gig SSD to replace the Xoom. Now I can run SQL Server and Toad for Oracle on the device itself. No need to a Remote Desktop connection.

        If you have the right tool for the job, then there is no reason to have to upgrade so often IMO.

        ~Best wishes on keeping what you earned.
        • Right tools.

          From what you describe the right tool would be a laptop with larger screen. Screw drivers do a great job until you need a hammer.
      • Wait... Weren't you banned?

        "1,2,3", your "One left foot" persona was chewed out by a moderator.

        How in the world are you still posting?
  • Keyboard

    When they permit a Swype like app to be sold in their store I will buy my first iPad. Don't care to lug a keyboard around with me, or peck at a virtual keyboard when I don't have to.
    • Common Sense Prevails

      Swype is a savior for many Android users. It enriches the Android experience, and for those of us who write a lot, turns the device into a production machine. This without the expense or inconvenience of a "mobile keyboard", which is invariable too cramped and unwieldy to use anyway.

      By the same token, MS mobile devices are off the table for me, though there is word that they are releasing a Swype-like app with the impending update.
  • This is an article?

    Looks more like a clickbait slide show to me. Article? You flatter yourself.

    Not going any further, but happy to call you out on your bogus journalistic assertion.
    Randy Hagan
  • Missing best note-taking app and other app

    I like the list, but one of the best note-taking app that I have is Notability that is a universal app. And although it does not have a desktop client, I can add notes to the PDFs on my desktop Mac. Also another worthwhile app is Phone Drive. It is also a universal app that presents a web page to allow you to upload files to your iPad, move to an iCloud folder and have on both an iPhone and Mac as well. I am constantly using SQL Server Management Studio for work, and while mobile, I can just use the remote access for my virtual workstation. I have been using an iPad for more than two years to eliminate the need for a notebook computer!
    • Thanks for the info on PhoneDrive.

      Been using DropBox but just purchased PhoneDrive. Nice solution!
  • iPad is NOT a business device

    In and among the few native, so-called productivity apps Mr. Perlow can list all the kludgy workarounds he wants, but all the list amounts to is a device that companies must accommodate rather than a device that fits easily into companies. No small size or medium size business has the IS/IT resources to securely manage all the apps and workarounds that have to be installed on an iPad in order to turn the device into merely a semi-useful portable computing platform. Like all tablets, it's also burdened with a screen keyboard that is frustratingly slow for data entry compared to even a rudimentary hardware keyboard. Poor little weak-armed babies find a laptop too heavy to carry in a bag hanging from their skinny little shoulders? Laptop not stylish enough compared to a tablet? Too bad. If you want employees to be productive on the road, make them use a laptop. If you think that a screen keyboard-based tablet will be just as productive, you're making a mistake. Apple-pandering Perlow. Garbage article.
    • The iPad is a business device

      for the simple reason that it is used in business.

      This is the only measure of such a device, and Apple meets it more easily than any other tablet (as it is used more than any other tablet in business.)
      • Coca-cola can be used to clean corrosion off battery cables

        does that mean it is an industrial solvent?

        That would not be a very accurate measure of what coke is, agreed?

        An iPad by the same measure is a consumer device. while some people have managed to use it for work related tasks, for the majority of the workers in the world it would not be a suitable device for their work.

        Furthermore, the iPad doesn't best any other tablet in regards to being a business device I would actually say it is the worst of any possible choice available. The most limited operating system, lack of ports, memory, perioherals, integrated typing or precision pointing, digitized stylus, user accounts, file system access and the list literally goes on and on.

        It is a great consumption device with arguably the largest library of games.
        • aahhha Coke...

          Now I know what to do with that spare jug of Coke...thanks..

          Unfortunately the populous has spoken and we are stuck with the iPad
    • Corporate America my disagree with you.

      In fact it is a very good business pad. The fact that it is not a replacement for a laptop is a whole other issue. For jobs geared towards a Pad this is an excellent tool and servers many user well. If you need power apps that require a larger screen and keyboard mouse then a pad is not the correct tool.

      Don't confuse the fact that the right tool for the job with the fact that an iPad is an excellent tool for the jobs that it fits.
    • Thank God for rationality

      Like said most tablets have only one 'real' thing going for it and that's the 'woo woo ' factor. But trying to manage all of these workarounds is far too intense for most organizations to deal with, if they are really honest with themselves.
      If the iPad was financially competitive it would be somewhat different .
      Take away all of the users that are using their iPads on their own with all there workarounds and isolated examples of usability and put them into an enterprise situation where most things have a standardization and have several hundred/ thousands of users; then things change.
      But with all the iPads out there the horse had already left the barn; and if Apple would have made better business decisions in regards to the proprietary nature of all of their products , they would rule the complete market , and we would all be a lot better off. I currently have 400+ iPads to manage, and they are a nightmare. I would rather have a souped up PC netbook. (where did those things go anyway)
      If I'm rambling , I haven't had my coffee yet....deal
  • iPad is a business device

    I'm disagree with Agitater, because we use several iPads on my company:
    - Calendar (Apple)
    - Mail (Apple)
    - Busines workflow : Meetings note, task, projects (Beesy)

    The only aspect is the price for an iPad, quite expensive but now Apple allows a smart management for severals users.
  • My personal business guide for the ipad

    Get the ipad and open your web browser. Use the web browser to purchase a computer.

    -The End