Files To Go and GoodReader are fine for viewing documents, but what if you want to work with them? Specifically, what do you use if you want to work on word processing, spreadsheet, or presentation files?
For getting work done, the most "native" options are Apple's own Pages
for word processing, Numbers
for spreadsheets, and Keynote
for presentations ($9.99 each). These iPad versions of the capable iWork suite
not only let you create and edit documents in their own formats, they can import files from the corresponding Microsoft Office applications.
There is one gotcha with the these apps -- the iPad versions don't support all the features of the Mac versions, such as grouping items in Keynote or table of contents links in Pages. These features (though not the content) can be lost if you transfer a file to your iPad and then back to your Mac, so you have to be careful with version control. But for creating documents on the iPad and for editing simpler documents, these apps will do the job nicely.
Another option for spreadsheets is Mariner Calc
($5.99). Mariner Calc and its sister Mariner Write have been Office alternatives for the Mac since the early '90s, and both are pretty fully compatible with the Microsoft suite. Mariner Write hasn't come to the iPad, but Mariner Calc is available. It lets you view and edit native Excel files, with support for 32,000 rows and 256 columns and multiple sheets and named ranges, and includes 145 functions.
If you already have iTunes, go directly to Pages
, or Mariner Calc
Follow InformationWeek SMB on Twitter @http://twitter.com/infoweeksmb
Get InformationWeek SMB on your mobile device @http://mobile.bmighty.com