To get the most out of your iPad, you’ll end up spending some money in the App Store, but there are also quite a few free productivity apps for the iPad that will help you get the best you can out of it without spending a dime.
The following apps offer great ways to enhance your productivity on the iPad, from note taking – whether you want to type them out, record them or write them by hand – to transferring files from your PC to your iPad. The world’s most popular office suite is also available for the iPad.
Here are the ten best free productivity apps for the iPad.
The Microsoft Office Suite for iPad offers a lot of key functionality for free. It’s great if you mainly want to do some light editing on Word or Excel documents or adjust a frame in your PowerPoint presentation. You can buy a subscription plan for more advanced features and the price is well worth it for the additional components offered.
If you need more functionality that Microsoft Office can offer unless you buy a subscription, iWork is a great alternative. The iWork suite of productivity apps is free to anyone buying a new iPad or iPhone, making them the best free apps for getting things done on the iPad. The suite includes a word processor (Pages), a spreadsheet (Numbers) and Keynote for creating and viewing presentations.
The iWork suite has the ability to interact with your laptop or desktop. On a Mac, you can load desktop versions of the apps and share work between it and the iPad. For other computers, Apple has a web-enabled version of the office suite at iCloud.com so you can still work on your desktop and edit on your iPad or vice versa.
Evernote is the best note taking app in the App Store. It will not only store the notes you tap onto the onscreen keyboard, but it also lets you record notes with your voice. Store photos and synchronize your notes to your PC. Notes can even be location-based by geotagging them.
Dropbox lets you transfer some files from your PC to your iPad. It’s possibly the easiest way to gain access to your word processor documents and spreadsheets. You won’t have to upgrade to a premium account until you’ve used up the 2 GB of free space that Dropbox gives you.
Dragon Dictation is the free alternative to using the iPad’s keyboard for dictation. It’s up to five times faster than typing on a keyboard. Dragon Dictation is an easy-to-use voice recognition application that lets you speak and instantly see what you’ve written. This speech-to-text app can be using for “typing” up a quick e-mail, “writing” a chapter in your novel or just telling everyone what you’re up to on Facebook and Twitter.
The MyScript Calculator takes a handwritten calculation and does the math for you, rather than you having to do it on a conventional calculator one section at a time. This is a terrific app for the math-impaired; people who’d rather do anything but crunch numbers.
Remember the Milk
If you need a full-fledge task manager capable of creating to-do lists, Remember the Milk is the app for you. It has an easy-to-use interface to make note-taking easy and the cloud-based design means you can type up a note on your PC and view it on your iPad later. You can add and complete tasks, organize upcoming tasks, see tasks nearby and sync it all seamlessly, all while on the go.
Use Your Handwriting
If you want to use the old-fashioned way to leave yourself a note on the iPad, Use Your Handwriting lets you jot a quick note to yourself in your own handwriting. The app has the ability to notice when you’re getting close to the edge and moves over to give you more space to write.
Mint Personal Finance
Mint is a great place to start when you want to get a handle on your personal finances. It grabs financial data from sites like your bank and credit cards, arranges everything into categories and puts it all in one place. It’s a great way to set a budget for certain things like going out to eat or setting financial goals like saving a set amount of money every month. Because Mint is a cloud service, you can log on via the web or via your iPad, making it easy to check on your finances no matter where you are.
As well as allowing you to do a bit of multiplication and simple division, this effortless productivity app has access to scientific functions. Programmers will like the different logical operations like AND, OR, XOR, etc. TouchCalc also has a statistics mode to calculate mean, variance, median, range and standard deviation.