Must-Have Apps and Accessories to Turn Your iPad Into a Productivity Powerhouse


The iPad started as a niche device, focused mainly on entertainment. But the years went by and technology evolved, and now Apple’s humble tablet is as powerful as some entry-level laptops.

In fact, the top-end iPad models sport the same processor as the MacBook Air.

However, if you want to replace your laptop with your iPad, you should install some apps and have some peripherals to work more effectively. To help you do just that, here are the most important apps and accessories you need to be extra productive on your iPad.

Install These Productivity Apps

Whatever device you’re using, it will be pretty much useless without any form of software. This is equally true with the iPad—and whatever kind of work you do, these are some basic apps that I recommend you install to make it useful.

An Office Suite

Microsoft Office Apps

Whatever work you do, you’ll most probably require the following: a word processor, a spreadsheet app, and presentation software. For this reason, I highly recommend either the Microsoft Suite (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) or the competing Google offering (Docs, Sheets, and Slides).

These apps are free to download, but Microsoft requires a subscription to use.

Cloud Storage Services

Cloud storage apps

Your iPad won’t have much in terms of USB ports—it only sports a single plug, either Lightning or USB-C—so transferring files between devices can be a pain. For that reason, you should install a cloud drive on your device.

Aside from using the built-in iCloud drive, which gives 5GB of free online storage, you can install Google Drive, which offers 15GB of free space. However, if you’re subscribed to Microsoft 365, it comes with 1TB of cloud storage via Microsoft OneDrive.

Communications Apps

Virtual meeting on a tablet

When you need to communicate with your colleagues, clients, or team, the most common messaging apps are available on the App Store. Apple has got you covered from Facebook Messenger to Zoom, Discord to Skype, and everything else in between.

You can even install apps from the most popular project management and collaboration services, like Trello, Notion, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, on your iPad.

Productivity Software

Because the iPad is much more portable than your laptop, you can also use it to keep track of everything you need to do and more. You can install calendars like Google Calendar, notebooks like Notebook, and even time-tracking software like Clockify to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Specialized Apps

If you’re a creative professional, like a writer, a photographer, an illustrator, a sound designer, or even a videographer, there are many professional-grade iPad applications you can use to do what you need for work.

From established apps, like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, to iPad-focused software like Snapseed, Procreate, and Ferrite Recording Studio, you will find it all at the App Store.

Get These Accessories

Now that you have all the apps you need to be more productive on your iPad, you might realize that it can be quite cumbersome to start typing on your iPad’s small screen. And you can’t really work properly because you have to hold it upright with one hand just to use it.

That’s why I recommend getting some accessories to make it easier for you to work on a tablet.

A Case or Stand

Tablet stand

Even though iPads are tougher than their previous designs, it’s better to protect these devices with a case to make sure that you don’t damage your expensive device inadvertently.

If you’re going to frequently use your iPad on the go or in the field, I would personally recommend a heavy-duty case like the Otterbox Defender iPad Pro Case. However, if you’re going to use it mostly in stable spaces, like offices and coffee shops, I recommend a case that doubles as a keyboard and a stand.

A Keyboard, Mouse, and Apple Pencil

Apple iPad Pro With Keyboard and Apple Pencil

If you use your iPad mainly for writing, it’s best to have a proper Bluetooth keyboard to make it easy to type on.

It can be quite difficult to type on small and flimsy keyboard covers, so I recommend portable models. Although they’re still light and easy to bring around, some of these are larger than the keyboard covers, so they will be easier to use.

Because the iPad is a touchscreen device, a mouse isn’t exactly needed to operate it. But if you’re into a lot of scrolling or need a bit more precision, you could opt for a Bluetooth mouse. It’s useful, especially if you’re working with data, which entails a lot (and I mean a lot) of scrolling.

You could also opt for the Apple Pencil or any Apple Pencil alternatives if you need more precision. The fine tip of these devices will let you be more accurate, making it perfect for artists and photo editors.

Some Headphones

bang olufsen beoplay HX black headphones

When you’re working outside, whether it’s in a noisy coffee shop or a quiet library, having music playing can help with your flow. But since you’re in a public place, you should have a good pair of wireless headphones to enjoy your sounds.

Whether you’re listening to pop music or the hiss of white noise for concentration, these wireless devices will help you focus and drown out the outside world.

A Power Bank

While the latest iPad has at least 10 hours of battery life, it’s still prudent to have a portable power supply with you when you’re working. You wouldn’t want to lose your momentum due to a low battery, right?

The latest iPads have an average of around 8,500mAh battery capacity, so a 10,000mAh power bank should be more than enough to provide power for another 10 hours. Furthermore, you can also use this to charge your other peripherals and your smartphone.

The iPad Is a Fantastic Productivity Device Now

When Apple first launched the iPad, most people only saw it as an entertainment device—useful only for playing games or watching movies. But that is no longer the case.

Today, the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro share the same processor, making them as powerful as one another. Plus, the iPad offers storage space of up to 2TB—bigger than most laptops.

When the software that we’re used to in Mac becomes available on the App Store, with the same feel and interface, we can say that the iPad has truly become the evolution of the laptop.


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