For whatever the reason, my iPhone is home to twice as many applications as my iPad Pro. Maybe it has something to do with convenience vs. productivity. My iPhone remains the convenient device, while the iPad is what I use for productivity.
That difference might explain why I have so many so-called productivity applications on my iPad. For example, thanks to work requirements, I have Microsoft’s Office suite of apps on both iPhone and iPad, but guess which one gets used the most? Screen real estate is a thing. Here’s a list of my most productive iPad applications.
Screen Size Matters
There are very few iPad only applications these days; though far more iPhone only apps. That doesn’t mean much because productivity often requires a larger screen.
PDF Expert – PDFs are the name of the game in business and education. My favorite is the affordable and feature laden PDF Expert. Yes, there are dozens of PDF apps on the iOS App Store so I chose one that works for me and gets good reviews.
Duet Display – Remember what I said about screen real estate? Size matters. Mac users with an iPad can double their Mac’s screen size with a Lightning cable and the Duet Display application. It’s like having dual Mac displays, but you can carry both with you on the road.
Dropbox – Yes, you have iCloud and Apple gives you 5GB of free storage vs. Dropbox’s 2GB of free storage, but the latter works better and faster, which makes it the perfect choice for files that need to sync between devices quickly. Just get it.
2Do – Everyone has to-do lists and Reminders on macOS and iOS works well, but it’s not really a good task manager or project manager. Fortunately, Apple’s customers have plenty of options, and one of my first requirements is that the app run cross platform. 2Do does that; Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Watch.
Airmail or Spark – I use Apple’s Mail but I don’t like the workflow. Airmail has more features than Spark but the latter is far easier to use. Airmail? Or, Spark? You won’t go wrong with either, but Spark– for now– is free.
1Password – Yes, I’ve tried a dozen other password managers and I keep coming back here because it just works, and that makes it worthy of the price tag. 1Password is cross platform, too, syncs ultra fast on Dropbox, and has just enough bells and whistles to justify the price, but not so many that the learning curve keeps you away.
Notability – Notes apps are a dime a dozen. Apple gives you Notes for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Many are free. Notability works cross platform and has a price tag. Use it to draw notes, record audio notes, and keep notes synchronized between devices.
Apps To Avoid – I tend to stay away from anything Google because the company tracks me while I’m online in their free apps. The exceptions are Google Maps because at times it can be better than Apple Maps, and YouTube because, well, YouTube. I really hate being tracked online and most people don’t realize that to Google you’re a user, not a customer, and that makes you part of the product because they gather information about you and sell it to advertisers.
It’s interesting how this whole duopoly of iPad and iPhone works these days. Other than the cellphone and a few iPhone-only applications, the iPad is little more than a very big iPhone. Screen real estate matters. At least, it matters until Apple allows iPhone to display on an attached screen with keyboard and mouse support. Samsung has something like that already with DeX.