In-Depth

Best Mobile Apps for Microsoft Partners: Apple iPad Edition

Microsoft partners using the iPad need their apps, too. Here are six of the best ones.

Many of the best apps for the Apple iPhone can also run on an Apple iPad. What follows are a few good iPad apps for partners beyond what appears in RCP's iPhone list.


1. Dropbox

Dropbox
Partners helping clients create collaboration solutions with their tablets would do well to be aware of the strengths and limitations of the dominant system on the market for free or paid multi-device and multi-user file sharing -- Dropbox. A free iPad version is a 9.8 MB download. [DOWNLOAD]


2. iWork Suite
There are rumors that Microsoft will bring Office to the iPad before the end of the year, but for now it's all unofficial. Until that happens, if it happens, one of the most visually stunning and impressive tablet productivity suites is Apple's own iWork suite for iPad. While the three apps -- Pages, Numbers and Keynote -- are all available on the iPhone, the experience is much different and better on the larger canvas the iPad provides. [DOWNLOAD]


3. Colligo Briefcase

Colligo Briefcase
Many Microsoft partners have built big businesses on the back of Microsoft's SharePoint technology. One iPad app for syncing, viewing, editing and finding SharePoint content from an iPad is Colligo Briefcase, which comes in both free and $14.99 pro editions. The nearly 8 MB download works with SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010 and Office 365. [DOWNLOAD: Free | Pro]


4. VMware VSphere Client for iPad

VMware VSphere
Many Microsoft partners offer their clients integration of best-of-breed infrastructure alongside elements of the Microsoft software stack. Several of the most helpful apps for partners are pieces of complete business-grade solutions that sit alongside Windows and Microsoft servers. One example is the VMware VSphere Client for iPad. VMware describes its iPad client as a companion interface to the traditional VSphere client. The free app is a 2.8 MB download. [DOWNLOAD]


5. Greg's Toolkit

Greg's Toolkit
For customers who require platform as a service (PaaS) and prefer Amazon Web Services, one approach is Greg's Toolkit. Like many truly business focused apps (as opposed to task lists and the like), Greg's Toolkit has no user reviews yet. But the app is an interesting concept. It analyzes Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon RDS instances, Load Balancers and Disk Volumes and displays them in a "visual server room." The app is 24 MB and costs $4.99. [DOWNLOAD]


6. Cloud Tools for Windows Azure

Cloud Tools for Azure
An even newer entry into cloud services management covers Microsoft's Windows Azure platform. Called Cloud Tools for Windows Azure, the app qualifies more as one to watch, as it only entered beta testing last month. It's designed to allow management of a Windows Azure application from an iPhone or an iPad. [DOWNLOAD]

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About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.