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8 Apps That Will Make the iPad Pro Seem More Like a Laptop

John Brandon

The debate over whether the iPad Pro can replace your laptop has been running for several years. Depending on how and where you work, there's a case to be made that the iPad fits the busy lifestyle and workflow of many employees.

It's a great note-taking tablet, and the apps available are designed for quick swipes and touches. By the time someone else at your company starts up a laptop, finds the right app and starts typing, an iPad user has likely already finished a quick document in Apple Pages. It's often faster to use apps like Slack, Adobe Lightroom, Skype and Trello on an iPad than a laptop.

Here are the best apps to consider if you have thought about making the switch to iPad.

1. Vizable

One of the main advantages to using this data visualization and graphing tool on the iPad is that your data becomes more portable. Configure your data access (using a spreadsheet or another source), then create amazingly detailed charts to help you make business decisions.

2. OmniGraffle

If there is a better way to make a flowchart than OmniGraffle, we haven't found it yet. This diagramming tool supports the Apple Pencil and touch input so you can design an org chart, create an office plan, or design a task flow much easier.

3. Adobe Lightroom CC

If your main goal is to inspect photos and make light color and tone adjustments, you might prefer Lightroom CC on an iPad. For starters, it's lightning fast. The new iPad Pro 12.9-inch has a processor that can keep up with even large high-res photos.

4. Apple Pages

If you use the Smart Cover Keyboard with the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil, the Pages app is a joy to use. One perks is that you can annotate any document using the Apple Pencil, and sketching out ideas works much better than a mouse on a laptop.

5. Affinity Designer

Another iPad that reinforces the idea that the iPad can replace a laptop, Affinity Designer is similar to Adobe Illustrator but runs on an iPad with touch and Apple Pencil input. It's a vector-based tool, so you can select objects, move then around, and create designs precisely.

6. Slack

Slack is arguably easier to use on an iPad than a browser window. That's because most of us type quick messages in this collaborative app, almost like team-based texting. Notifications appear on the iPad to let you know someone is trying to get your attention.

7. Trello

Trello is another app that runs better on an iPad than a browser window. This project management tool using a visual workflow – you move cards around to adjust tasks, and a team can easily see project status. Finger touch control is fast and intuitive.

8. Skype

One of the main reasons to consider Skype on an iPad is pure speed. The app is faster for ad hoc chat sessions – more like a video phone call – and you never have to think about whether your webcam is enabled or your laptop or desktop speakers are configured.

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John Brandon Member
<p>John Brandon is a technology expert, business advocate, and columnist. He has written over 12,000 articles in 16 years. His first articles appeared in LAPTOP magazine in 2002.</p>