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For me the iPad has been amazing. While it is a bright shiny object (BSO) and I have been known to become distracted by “BSO’s”, I have found it to have utility beyond just a cool new gadget.  I’ve been intent on finding new ways to use the iPad for business reasons and have discovered a few ways and apps that help me justify buying an iPad.  I’m a guy that just doesn’t buy something without getting some kind of ROI on it.  So far the thing that I love about the actual iPad is the mobility, weight, size, speed, touch, and ease of use.  Those are all advantages over my 13″ MacBook Pro.  Of course it can’t do everything my laptop can do, but, my laptop can’t beat the iPad in those items that I just listed.  Here are my favorite business apps on my iPad:

Credit Card Terminal ($14.99) Credit Card Terminal: “Say you own a small business, and you need to ring up a customer’s order. Well… there’s an app for that.” Thanks to Derek Del Conte and Ryan Anderson, founders of Innerfence and creators of the Credit Card Terminal which turns your iPad or iPhone into a portable point-of-sale credit card terminal.  It can tap into your list of business contacts which helps speed up the credit card processing. From a business perspective, I LOVE pushing the big “Charge” button.  The application is super easy to use and it’s reliable, safe, and secure as I process transactions through Authorize.net.  A smart app that makes it super easy to process mobile transactions on the fly.  I also love the fact that Derek and Ryan are thinkspace Members and their company provides excellent customer service.

Memeo Connect Reader (free): This App is sweet, it connects to Google Apps and synchronizes and downloads all of your Google Docs locally on your iPad so that you can view them even when you’re not connected through WIFI.  There have been a number of times where access to this information has been helpful for me.

Air Sharing HD ($9.99): “It lets you wirelessly mount your iPad as a drive on your computer so you can load it up with files. You can then view, share or print everything from PDFs to Excel documents. For anyone complaining about the lack of a file system on the iPad, this gives you one.… Highly recommended.” — Gizmodo.

Twitterific: ($4.99): A Twitter Client that has a beautiful interface, allows you to manage multiple accounts (business/personal), view all your lists etc. Only feature I don’t like is the “retweet” RT action.  It doesn’t allow you edit/modify the RT before you send it. The free version does not allow multiple accounts + it has ads.

Evernote (Free): Great app for taking notes. “One note, many devices” that’s their tagline.  It works across the computers and phones you use daily, allowing you to capture something in one place and then access it from another.

WordPress (Free): One of my favorites because I’m in WordPress all the time. I love the fact that I can manage multiple websites/blogs from a single application.  The UI has a similar look and feel to the online app. Adding a new post, making changes to existing pages is super easy. Definitely a must have.

PixelMagic ($2.99): Quite a powerful photo touch-up program. Use your fingers to control image parameters like brightness, contrast and saturation, apply filters, draw with many brushes, apply effects or perform fine-tuned histogram corrections.

VNC Lite (free): One of my favorite apps. Mocha VNC provides access to a VNC Server. Using your iPad, I am able to connect to my Mac OS X and even control Windows 7 through Parallels. It was exactly like sitting in front of my MBP and controlling it with my finger. I’m surprised shocked how good it is!

Also check out: Yes, you can tether the iPad to an iPhone or Windows Mobile Phone

Twitter launched a new feature a few weeks ago, called “Lists”. The feature allows users the ability to create lists and add other Twitter users to that list. For example, I created a Twitter list called “thinkspace Community” and added over 30 people that are thinkspace members to that list. It’s helpful for me because my Twitter stream is pretty active because I follow 500+ people so it’s likely that I’m going to miss what members are saying. With a list, I can see a filtered list of Tweets, so I don’t miss out on what you’re talking about.

A very interesting thing has happened because of Lists. Lists are metadata about you that you don’t control. They show what other people think of you. Here’s an example of a few thinkspacers and their Twitter Lists tag cloud (provided by www.mustexist.com). Listed below are:

Sean O’Driscoll, Ants Eye View; Derek Delconte, Innerfence; Mike Ma, Judy’s Book.

ts-twitter-lists
If you’re new to Twitter and you’re not sure what to Tweet about, just think about what is that you want to be known for. What are your personal keywords which people will start to know you for? If you want to be known as a subject matter expert in your industry, the more you Tweet about those things people will recognize you as the expert that you are.

Here’s what the thinkspace List Tags look like:

If you want to be added to the Twitter thinkspace Community List, contact Alyssa or me.