The most helpful Apple products for business professionals

From the iPhone to the iPad to the Apple Watch, these Apple products are beneficial to working professionals as well as consumers.

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Image: Apple

Apple is first and foremost a consumer-oriented company, but many of its products are just as suited for business pros. With so many working remotely these days, mobile devices need to be able to help you work quickly, efficiently, and securely. Here's a look at a few key Apple products that fit this bill.

iOS

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Image: Apple

iOS provides a user-friendly consistency in features, layout and design, elements that carry through each new version and device. As such, there's little or no learning curve when you jump to a new flavor of iOS or a new iPhone or iPad. The less time you spend figuring out how to do something, the more time you can devote to your work.

With a large and dedicated number of developers designing for iOS, Apple offers a wide variety of apps for individual consumers and business users. Browse through the App Store or run a search on a term like "business," and you'll find a host of solid apps to help you accomplish your daily tasks.

Though Apple is sometimes criticized for its walled garden operating system, this approach does help in terms of security. By holding a tight leash on what third parties can and can't do in iOS, Apple can better protect its operating system from malware and other threats. That's especially critical at a time when you and your fellow employees work remotely and have to connect from outside your network perimeter.

Privacy is another area that Apple generally takes seriously, and that can be seen in iOS. With the latest OS updates, the company requires app developers to display privacy labels to show how they track you across other apps and websites. Apple has even risked alienating companies like Facebook over its requirement that developers get permission before they can track your activities.

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iPhone 12

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Image: James Martin/CNET

With the iPhone 12, Apple offers a small but versatile lineup of devices, easing your decision over which phone to buy in the first place. Though the more expensive iPhone models naturally kick in additional features and capabilities, the entire lineup offers that same consistent Apple approach.

The A14 bionic chip that powers the iPhone 12 is faster and more energy efficient than its predecessor. This latest chip boasts a machine learning component that speeds up certain commands and actions. The Super Retina XDR screen packs in a lot of pixels to deliver a sharper display. Plus, the ceramic shield glass construction kicks in better protection should you drop the phone while you're on the go.

For business pros who need to take photos and videos for work, the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max provide three beefy cameras in the back. With built-in features such as Night mode and Smart HDR, the telephoto, wide, and ultra wide cameras can capture scenes under low-light conditions and other obstacles.

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iPad Pro

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In these days of remote working, the iPad Pro is especially handy. The tablet is light yet substantial. The 11-inch model and the 12.9-inch edition both provide plenty of screen real estate. You can get as much as 1TB of storage. The battery is designed to last for a solid 10 hours. And the A12Z Bionic chip provides a speedy performance, especially for such tasks as 3D design and video editing.

On its own, the iPad Pro can serve as a useful PC replacement. Connect an external case or Bluetooth keyboard, and you can polish off your emails, documents and other work tasks even more quickly.

Certain accessories amp up the iPad Pro still further. Apple's Magic Keyboard adds both a full-size keyboard and a trackpad so you can more easily type on and navigate the screen. The Apple Pencil lets you write text, draw objects and touch up images. You can even convert your handwritten notes to regular text.

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MacBook Pro

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Image: B&H Photo

The MacBook Pro comes with an LED-backlit Retina display that offers a high resolution and pixel count, especially beneficial for professionals who work with photos and videos. The 13-inch edition is available with Apple's new M1 chip to beef up the performance and can last up to 20 hours on a single charge. The 16-inch model can be outfitted with an 8TB SSD, up to 64GB of RAM, and an AMD Radeon Pro video card with 8GB of memory, and it's designed to last 11 hours before a recharge.

The latest MacBooks have jettisoned the butterfly keyboard, which many people found difficult and buggy. The newer scissors keyboard represents a return to a more classic and user-friendly style that's easier on your fingers.

MacBooks are designed to be durable, so they'll better survive heavy use around the house and on the go. And since Apple controls both the hardware and the operating system, you'll run into fewer conflicts and incompatibilities than on a Windows system.

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Apple Watch

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Image: Apple

For remote workers, the Apple Watch is a useful complement to an iPhone, iPad or Mac. You can make and receive calls and text messages, send and read emails, set alarms and timers, access reminders, listen to audiobooks and view photos. And with an LTE-enabled edition, you don't even need your iPhone nearby, so you can take care of all these tasks remotely. The dedicated App Store is fully stocked with consumer and business apps that you can download directly to your watch.

A wide variety of watch faces are available through Apple and through third-party vendors. You'll find several handy faces with useful information, including the weather, temperature, calculator, voice recorder, stock activity and different time zones.

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Apple Business Account

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Finally, Apple offers an account for businesses, specifically geared toward SMBs. By creating and using an Apple Business account, you can talk with an Apple business team member to get help on different products and services. This type of account also offers special pricing and financing options, enterprise-level support and access to the Apple Consultants Network.

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By Lance Whitney

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.