Hemachandra from Bangalore, India. writes:
I have been recently been presented with an Apple iPad. I do not want to complain to the person I got it from, hence I am asking you to help me! I am not able to load Mozilla Firefox, WhatsApp, Opera, Microsoft Word etc. Is there any way we can circumvent the hurdles and load these common apps?
Thanks and regards – Hemachandra.
Although an iPad is similar in functionality to a regular computer, it is different in lots of other ways too. For instance, an iPad runs on an operating system called iOS, whereas your average laptop or desktop computer will likely run a Windows based operating system. There are pros and cons to each, but the long and short of it is that you can only install software that is specifically written for the operating system your device was designed to operate on.
Many software companies make more than one version of their service so that you can use it on multiple devices. For instance, Google Chrome is a web browser that can be installed on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. All you need to do is download the right version for your device and you can browse the web on a variety of different platforms.
However, not all software companies make versions of their software that run on an iPad. This is the case with a couple of the apps that you mentioned – Firefox and WhatsApp. Neither of these programs have been written specifically for an iPad as yet, but that may change in the future.
Nevertheless, the iPad is an extremely popular device. This has prompted a lot of software companies to develop apps for the iPad so that they can get their product in front of as many people as possible. An good example of this is the Microsoft Office suite. You can now get the iPad versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for free from the App Store on your device. On a PC or a Mac, you would need to pay for that privilege!
What else works on a computer and an iPad? All the major social networks have iPad versions of their service so you can access Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram via their mobile apps for iPad. Evernote is a popular note taking app that can be found on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android and more. Cloud storage services like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box are also available for the iPad, as are an iPad version of Adobe Photoshop and Amazon’s Kindle service.
Of course, not all of these apps are necessarily available in all countries, but most of them are and it means you can often be just as productive on an iPad as you can on a regular computer.