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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Top 10 BlackBerry PlayBook business apps

Explore the business side of Blackberry PlayBook as IT PRO India takes a closer look to find the business utility of this enterprise-ready tablet

RIM, which has carved its niche as a reliable business partner, has stepped into a new era of mobile computing, with the release of its PlayBook tablet. BlackBerry claims that the PlayBook delivers high-fidelity web browsing including support for Adobe Flash, as well as spectacular High-Definition multimedia, advanced security features and out-of-the-box enterprise support.

Let’s explore the 10 best business apps, both incoming and available, for the PlayBook.

Documents To Go

This is an essential application for any professional user as it allows you to edit and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on your PlayBook. You can work while on the move and without having to carry a laptop too.

The new Premium Edition for PlayBook includes support for PDF file viewing, password protection, desktop synchronisation and advanced character, font and paragraph formatting. In short, it’s the power of Microsoft’s Office suite on your PlayBook.


IdeaPad takes full advantage of the PlayBook’s touch screen interface by allowing you to scribble notes down quickly and effectively. When an idea strikes you can make a note of it, save it and come back to develop it further at a later point.

IdeaPad comes with six templates – Plain Paper, Tic Tac Toe, Notes, Tablet Device, Smartphone Portrait and Smartphone Landscape – installed, so you’ll be able to perform a variety of tasks from the off, like constructing flow charts, designing new mobile interfaces or simply doodling some minutes from a meeting.

Finished files are saved in PNG format and can be shared via Facebook and Twitter as well as being viewable on your smartphone and PC.

SAP Business Intelligence Apps

SAP has confirmed that it will be releasing a whole host of business intelligence apps in the coming months aimed squarely at enterprise tablet users including the BlackBerry PlayBook.

The releases will to be delivered via its recently acquired enterprise mobility technology, which, according to SAP, allows it to deliver business intelligence solutions to users on any platform.

There are no specific details regarding any of these applications just yet, but SAP has confirmed that it is committed to making its business intelligence software available on all platforms.

Adobe Connect Mobile

Adobe Connect Mobile is one of quite a few Adobe Air applications that’ll be hitting the BlackBerry PlayBook in the coming weeks and months. Connect Mobile, also available on the iPad and Android, enables users to participate in mobile conferencing from the comfort of their PlayBook.

Features of note include two-way video conferencing with the ability to add your own upstream video broadcast. There’s also support for both the PlayBook’s cameras so you can switch to using the higher-resolution rear-facing camera when addressing colleagues.

The UI is slick, it’s simple to use and will be an extremely solid addition to the PlayBook’s growing arsenal of enterprise grade applications.

OANDA Currency Converter

This free application gives you on-the-spot conversion amounts for over 180 currencies and, in case you’re in commodities, four metal groups as well.

This is one of many official applications produced by trusted authorities for the PlayBook and is an indispensable tool for anyone that travels abroad a lot.

Not only does OANDA Currency Converter figure out the exchange rates for hundreds of currencies using the same daily filtered rates used by corporations, tax authorities, auditing firms, and financial institutions, but it also shows you interbank rates for money transactions and will even calculate how much you’ll be charged for using your credit card abroad.

Best of all, it does this for free. OANDA Currency Converter is an essential tool for professionals that do a lot of travelling and are constantly contending with fluctuating currency values and bizarre credit card charges.


Many people praise DropBox like it’s the best thing to happen to mobile devices since wireless technology. Evernote is a far superior piece of kit and once you’ve used it, you’ll know exactly what we mean.

The app offers a word processor, the ability to record audio, save web pages and import pictures. You can also create different notebooks if you fancy having one for work, one for ideas, one for interesting websites and so on.

All in all, Evernote makes pretty much everything else look mediocre. And, yes, that includes Google Docs. We love this application and use it every day, so make sure you get it as soon as your PlayBook is booted up.


Frequent travel is commonplace in many professional roles. But operating across a variety of times can be both confusing and disorientating. This shouldn’t be a problem with TimeZones, as the app allows you view up to eight world clocks at once.

Each clock can be custom labelled, so you can assign different ones to different businesses and people so you’ll never be caught out making a 5am phone call again.

Granted, it’s not a cure for jet-lag but it’s certainly a handy tool to have at your disposal to ensure meetings, deadlines and phone calls are made at the correct times when you’re operating in a different time zone.

iSpeech Translator

iSpeech Translator is an app that converts words or phrases into a multitude of different languages. So, if you get an email in German you can simply convert it to English, and vice-versa.

The application also recognises voice input too, so you can say a phrase or read out an email, for example, and iSpeech will convert it into one of its 18 supported languages.

Once you typed or said the phrase, the results will always appear in text format. If you have a client, business partner or colleague based abroad and want to impress them by communicating with them in their native language, you can now do so via iSpeech Translator.


Using your calendar to organise your day-to-day business is all well and good, but sometimes it’s better to have a bespoke option at hand. This is where TaskMemo comes into play, giving you the ability to store thousands of tasks, dates, meetings, notes and reminders in one easy to access place.

The application will also keep you posted on deadlines, meetings and up-and-coming events.

There are 22 standard categories, ranging from meeting dates to deadlines, and you can also implement your own if it’s not catered for within the presets. This app is designed to be used by serious professionals that plan their work lives out well into the coming weeks and months.

As you complete tasks you get a percentage completion notification telling you how far through your agenda you are, which is always handy – especially if you work on large projects with specific deadlines.

Overall, TaskMemo is a cost effective solution that’ll help you to organise and keep track of your business commitments. It also looks extremely professional and has a multitude of themes to choose from, meaning you can personalise the way the app looks too.


Poynt is the perfect application for anyone that does a lot of business travelling. The application uses your GPS position to relay information about surrounding businesses, restaurants, museums, take-aways, galleries, pubs and so on.

If you travel for work a lot and often find yourself in an unfamiliar city, Poynt is a great app to have at your disposal. Not only will it tell you what the best authentic paella eatery is based on your current location, but it also does so in a very intuitive way.

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