Business Productivity with the iPad?

The official Canadian launch of the Apple iPad is just around the corner. As with most of Apple’s products, a number of great entertainment-type apps will be available. But what about business productivity?

Well, the Apple iPad seems to be exceeding the expectations of even skeptical tech media. While it may not replace the laptop anytime soon, it appears to be more than capable of handling the majority of tasks as well as one.

So, if you’re thinking of leveraging the iPad as a mobile business platform, consider the following applications as part of your business arsenal:

(1) Webex
This Cisco app lets you attend meetings anytime and anywhere using your iPad. It’s free and you don’t need to have a Webex account to attend a meeting. If you want to host or schedule a meeting however, you will need a Webex account. The Webex app for the iPad uses the sizeable iPad screen to view documents, applications, or remote desktops. As an added bonus, It includes simultaneous two-way audio, so you can actually join in the conversation.

(2) Instapaper Pro
This is a universal app, that you pay for once and can work with it across the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Instapaper Pro allows you to cache Web pages to your iPad for future reference. If you are reading an article or blog post online, you can save it with Instapaper Pro and carry it along in your iPad to read later while you are commuting, or standing in line somewhere.

(3) Memeo Connect Reader
This app lets business professionals take their Google Docs with them on the iPad, even when the iPad is offline. Memeo Connect Reader can view a wide variety of file formats natively, including Microsoft Office formats. It syncs automatically with Google Docs to ensure you always have the most current data on your iPad.

(4) iWork for iPad
iWork apps parallel Microsoft Office tools. Pages does word processing like Word, Numbers works with spreadsheets like Excel, and Keynote does slide presentations like PowerPoint. With iWork for iPad, you can import files from iWork ’09, as well as from Microsoft Office. This allows business professionals who want to use an iPad for mobile business productivity the means to review, edit or present important files and documents while on the road.

While the iPad will likely prove to be a more than an adequate laptop replacement, IT administrators and business professionals will want to consider the platform’s security limitations.