Make your iPad the most essential piece of IT hardware you have with these 12 helpful apps.
It should come as no surprise that the iPad is a solid mobile workhorse for IT pros. Network admins and interface designers alike cover a variety of tasks from keeping tabs on your network function to managing and resolving problems, to communicating with staff and clients. We’ve assembled a variety of apps that are sure to help make your everyday routine easier, faster and more fun.
Coda for iOS
Coda for iOS is a full featured, sophisticated website text editor and file manager that serves a wide spectrum of IT requirements. The app’s file manager features syntax highlighting, code clips, find and replace, and more, both locally and remotely. Its keyboard features context keys and a super loupe to set your cursor. You can edit, rename and duplicate files and create folders while the Tabs feature lets you quickly switch between documents. Neat extras include a built-in SSH client, a free feature that syncs your sites with Coda Mac and Transmit iOS, a section of the iOS keyboard that gives you helpful special characters, and a function (with Coda 2 Mac and Coda for iOS) that shows you a preview of your coding on the desktop in real time.
Screens 4 for iOS
If you're seeking an app for remote screen sharing and VNC, Screens 4 for iOS offers an easy-to-use broad feature set. You can connect to your desktop Mac, Windows or Linux computer from just about anywhere, and your saved screens appear on all your devices via iCloud or Dropbox sync. The app supports multitasking, one-touch password access, and 3D Touch for Quick Actions and Peek and Pop. Quickly connect with nearby computers without creating a new Screen. A Curtain Mode lets you block the display on the connected remote Mac if you don't want users to observe your actions. The app also features a shortcuts toolbar, AirPlay mirroring, improved iPassword integration, support for multiple screens and clipboard sharing.
Buffer for Social Media Scheduling
For some IT managers, social networking is part of the job of communicating with colleagues, employees and customers. It's a great way for businesses that don't have the time or resources to regularly update their social media channels and promote a social presence. Buffer helps you share content through popular outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn. You can schedule posts ahead of time and your updates will automatically be scheduled and spaced out including any link, text, picture or video you choose. Buffer offers extensions through Chrome, Firefox, and Safari that make sharing web pages easier. An Apple Watch version lets you coordinate from your wrist. Business plans are available for a fee.
Regardless of your IT role, part of your job will be to create, sign, exchange and review PDF documents. While there are many PDF readers and viewers, Adobe Acrobat is a top choice for its ubiquity and functionality. Alongside Acrobat's view, annotate and review functions, you can also search, zoom, highlight and comment via sticky notes and drawing tools. You can fill in and sign forms and store, share, edit and organize files. You can also create and export files into Word and Excel. If you have a paid subscription to Acrobat Pro, PDF Pack or Export PDF, just sign in to convert, edit and sign PDFs on the go.
Even IT managers need to test network speed once in a while (kidding). For that, even a popular broadband testing and analysis tool like Speedtest can do the job in fewer than 30 seconds. Easy to use Speedtest offers one-tap connection testing — accurate anywhere thanks to the app's global network — to discover your download, upload and ping speeds. It provides real-time graphs that show connection consistency and lets you troubleshoot or verify the network speed you were promised. Track past tests with detailed reporting and share your results. The ad-free version costs 99 cents.
When you've got some serious numbers to crunch, CALC Smart has your back. In addition to an advanced calculator, history log and built-in converter, the app gives you results as you type, featuring tape-roll sums in landscape orientation, live currencies with flags and a custom unit option, decimals showing fractions with 1/999 precision, and more. Have fun with customizable themes and layout options. Swiping left and right on CALC lets you access more than 60 advanced math functions, constants and symbols. Swipe up to view your previous calculations and perform aggregate functions. Tap and hold a math expression to edit it and shake your device to undo.
Network Analyzer, which detects all your Wi-Fi and VPN devices, helps diagnose problems with your setup, internet connectivity and remote servers. Its Wi-Fi device discovery tool includes all the LAN device's addresses, manufacturers and names, and the Bonjour/DLNA services they provide. Information like SSID, BSSID, IP address and subnet mask is available. Network Analyzer also offers diagnostic tools such as ping, traceroute, port scanner, network speed, DNS lookup and whois. Everything works with both IPv4 and IPv6, the algorithm for scanning the most common ports or user specified port ranges.
LogMeIn, a utility that lets you remotely access your computers from your mobile device, gives you access and control over Mac or PC files, letting you edit them and remotely run applications on your computer from your iPad and iPhone. Features include mouse and screen settings, magnifying glass and zoom slider and a file manager. You can change display color, resolution and network speed to maximize remote control performance. You can watch videos on your computer in HD, stream sound remotely and access and transfer photos with email Attachments. Shake your device or use a three-finger swipe to switch between monitors. You must have a LogMeIn subscription to use the app.
Free VPN Proxy
This free VPN for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has no ads, no registration or login and does not save logs. One tap detects your location automatically and connects you to the nearest VPN server. The app provides access to websites and applications in your country, at school or at work. Because your IP will change, you can visit websites anonymously without being tracked by your ISP or anybody else. Feel free to network into Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat and other social networks. Betternet secures your device's connection while you're connected to public Wi-Fi hotspots, cellular data networks and other public locations — like a free proxy but with better security from hacker attacks.
Server Admin Remote
Do you need to monitor Mac OS X Server services on the go? Check out Server Admin Remote. Using this app, IT admins can monitor the status of OS X server services, start and stop services, and observe service logs (OS X Server 5). Unlike SSH and remote terminal apps, Server Admin Remote provides a user-friendly overview of the server's current status, and works on Edge, Wi-Fi, and 3G connections. No further installation on your Mac OS X Server is needed, since the app uses the same interface as Mac OS X Server Admin.
The Wolfram Alpha engine is so smart it'll make you look smarter. The math and science data available in this computational knowledge engine is downright staggering. You can use this app to answer your nutritional questions, track stocks, plan investments and work with probabilities among many other things.
Imagine being on your iPad and getting an alert that there was a problem with your company's cloud. Then imagine being able to take action to fix that problem, without being in the office. With the new Microsoft Azure app for iPad that's a reality. It can check critical metrics, receive alerts and let you start or stop a virtual machine or web app.