Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Apple’s most powerful tablets are aimed squarely at professionals. The first three iPad Pros featured Apple’s classic design with a Touch ID home button and big bezels around screens sized at 12.9 inches, 9.7 inches, and 10.5 inches. All three are now discontinued in favor of the gorgeous, ridiculously powerful, redesigned iPad Pro which comes with an 11-inch or a 12.9-inch display. But if you’re looking to get really productive, you’ll need the right software. That’s why we’ve gathered together the best productivity apps for the iPad Pro.
Snag the apps on this list, and you’ll have everything you need to conquer the business world. Well, almost everything, you may also want to check out the best iPad Pro keyboard cases.
Microsoft Office (from $7 per month)
When it comes to word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations, Microsoft’s offerings are still streets ahead of the competition. Write up reports, manage your data, and dazzle your business peers in style with the complete Office package. The bad news for iPad Pro owners is that you’ll need an Office 365 subscription to get full editing access to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The good news is that these are excellent apps with split view support and bucket loads of features. The best deal is probably $100 for 12 months, because it allows you to install the software on five different devices, while granting you 1TB of OneDrive storage and 60 minutes of free Skype calls.
Coda by Panic ($25)
If you ever engage in web development, you’ll find this app invaluable. It’s a powerful text editor that supports every conceivable file format. You can work on pages with your website up in Safari at the same time, thanks to the split view support. It also allows for easy file management and transfer, handy shortcuts to speed up your coding, and even provides a full-featured SSH client built in. It’s everything you need to manage your website. If you would prefer a simpler editor for your blog and just use Markdown, then check out Byword ($6).
PDF Expert by Readdle ($10)
If you have to read, edit, and possibly annotate PDFs, then this is the only app you need. It’s really easy to use and allows you to highlight text, fill in forms, create notes, and sign documents. You can even replace images and hide sensitive data. It also supports a bunch of different file formats, features integration with the major cloud services, and provides a handy review mode that lets you track changes in a similar fashion to Word.
Chances are you’ve used Slack on your phone and desktop, and if you’re working hard on your iPad Pro, why not stay in communication with the rest of your team? While it’s great to see more of a conversation while in full-screen mode, Slack’s best use-case for the iPad Pro is its split-screen support, which makes it easier to keep in touch with your co-workers while simultaneously working on something else. It’s handy if a colleague sends you a document as well, since you can view it while continuing to message one another.
Duet Display ($15)
If you’re used to working on a dual display setup, then it can be jarring to try and switch to a laptop with a single screen. Duet Display can help by turning your iPad Pro into an extra display for a Mac or PC. Once the app is installed, your iPad will perform just like a second monitor, giving you extra desktop space and making it much easier to multitask. You can also use your iPad Pro as a professional graphics tablet with the Apple Pencil if you splash out for Duet Pro at $25.
Scanbot Scanner App (free)
If you ever need to scan documents or QR codes, then Scanbot is your best bet. This free app can create good quality PDFs or JPGs out of any document you care to scan. You can save directly to the cloud via iCloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, and others, or even send documents directly as faxes. You can also use filters to enhance the readability of the documents you’ve scanned. Opt for Scanbot Pro at $7 and you can have the app extract text, sync between devices, and lots more.
This app comes in handy if you ever need to edit photos on your iPad Pro. Packed with all the templates, filters, and tools you need to retouch photos, eliminate imperfections, and achieve the look you need, it could save you from having to fire up a desktop to work on your photos. It’s also one of our picks for the best iPad Pro drawing apps because it enables you to sketch, paint, and design with a full range of brushes and effects. It’s a classic layer-based image editor, supports a good range of formats, and syncs with iCloud Drive.
Evernote doesn’t need an introduction, but it does need credit for adding support for the Apple Pencil. Using the app, you can annotate documents and images, write quick handwritten notes to yourself, or make quick sketches. However, Evernote’s split-screen support is the software’s real hallmark. This makes it incredibly easy to work on a project while using another app — like Slack, for example. It’s also a quick way to copy and paste something from another app to Evernote.
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