December 16, 2010, 1:05 PM — With Apple's iOS 4 supporting corporate security requirements, companies are increasingly saying an explicit yes to iPhone use. Certainly an iPad makes more sense as a lightweight laptop replacement (see InfoWorld's picks for the best iPad office apps), but there are many times you can't easily pull out a laptop or iPad but can use a smartphone. Just as companies typically install a suite of productivity apps (nearly always Microsoft Office), what should the iPhone equivalent be?
The answer can't be Office, because Microsoft has no iPhone-compatible suite. Microsoft's Office Web Apps cloud-based suite doesn't work on an iPhone either. Google Docs is also not usable on an iPhone.
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InfoWorld.com investigated the available apps and has put together a recommended business apps suite that should be the standard install on corporate iPhones. Note that when I say iPhone, I include iPod Touches. (I've added iTunes links for each app covered.) And for business needs beyond basic productivity apps, check out InfoWorld's compendium of specialty business iPhone apps.
In some respects, the choices were easy because there are fewer productivity app options for the iPhone than for the iPad. But that also points to an issue if you work with both iPhones and iPads: In many cases, you won't be using the same productivity app on the iPhone as you do on the iPad. There are few productivity apps that excel on both devices. Thus, our recommended iPhone office apps "suite" is not the same as the set of apps we recommend for the iPad.