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Macworld/iWorld Expo 2012: Focus on the iPad

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Many exciting new iPad 2 apps and accessories were showcased at the 2012 Macworld/iWorld Expo in San Francisco. Jason R. Rich, author of iPad and iPhone Tips & Tricks, highlights some of the best products premiered at the show.

From January 26–28, 2012, Macworld/iWorld Expo was held in San Francisco. At this year's show, the focus was without a doubt on the iPad, but more specifically third-party solutions that enhance the tablet's capabilities in a work environment. Thanks to new apps and iPad peripherals, Apple's tablet now can function even more like a laptop computer or netbook than ever before.

Among the business-related solutions showcased at the Macworld/iWorld Expo were advanced contact-management apps (including one from the co-creator of Act!), as well as many new hardware or app-based wireless printing solutions that work with any printer—not just printers compatible with Apple's AirPrint functionality.

Several companies showcased simple solutions for scanning documents, photos, and other printed matter into an iPad, using a portable—in some cases wireless—scanner.

Also on display at the Expo were new tablet stands and cases to address a wide range of specialized needs, new ways to better manage scheduling and time management for groups, and improved ways to utilize cloud-based computing to transfer content and files between devices.

Let's take a look at a few of the exciting possibilities for iPad that were unveiled at this year's show.

Direct from Apple: iBooks Author

A lot of buzz centered around Apple's new iBooks Author software for the Mac, which can create a wide range of work-related content for distribution to and display on iPads. This software actually was announced several days prior to the trade show, as part of Apple's new initiative to focus the iPad in the educational arena. In addition to being used to develop interactive textbooks for the tablet, the iBooks Author software can easily be used to create and showcase any type of content, from company catalogs and training materials to user manuals and annual reports.

In fact, just days after the iBooks Author software was released as a free download from the Apple Mac Store, several companies began offering eBook templates that can quickly create interactive eBooks in a variety of specialized designs for distribution on the iPad. These templates make it even easier to create eBooks that address a wide range of specific business needs—without having to spend time creating a custom design for the project.

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