Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Two Essential iPad Apps for Remote Productivity

I consider my iPad to be the best productivity tool I have. Small and light enough to carry anywhere with an all-day battery life, it goes to meetings, on road trips, and on the train. Even though I leave my laptop at home I don't miss it at all! These two iPad apps give me access to my laptop, my important documents, and everything I need to be productive anywhere I go - for business or pleasure.

Screens by Edovia

Screens is a VNC client that allows you to connect to your desktop. There are two ways to connect to the remote desktop: over your local network or over the internet. Connecting over your local network is very easy. Simply launch the app and it will locate all the computers on your local network. Then, just touch the one you want. Download the Screens Connect applet from the Edovia website to make connecting over the internet just as easy. In three clicks and under five minutes your desktop is now accessible anywhere your iPad is. Screens requires that your home router supports the UPnP protocol. The Screens user experience is joyous, fluid, and fast. Even on a mediocre connection the graphics are crisp and the elegant user interface makes navigation easy, even for first time users. Your desktop is automatically resized to fit your iPad screen and you simply touch the screen to click on an object. This is the best VNC app available for iPad at the moment, and has been my best app purchase so far.

CloudApp by Linebreak

If you need to share documents easily, then CloudApp is your solution. CloudApp supports plugins called "raindrops" which allow the app to work with external applications such as iTunes and Firefox. This makes it easy to share content without having to switch applications. Additional raindrops are available to increase the integration points with the applications you use. CloudApp installs as an item in your menu bar. Sharing a file is a simple as dragging it from your finder window to the small cloud icon at the top of your screen. If multiple files are selected a zip archive is automatically created. As your file is uploading, CloudApp copies a URL for your upload to your Clipboard. You can use this URL for Facebook, LinkedIn, or anything else. CloudApp also has a keyboard shortcut you can use, making sharing a file a one-step process.

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