Over the years, iOS (iPhone and iPad) has gone from an add-on device to a Mac or PC to a device that can be used nearly 100% of the time. The key for any IT/WLAN professional is to know which apps can help them do their jobs better regardless of where they are. I’ve compiled the list of what I feel are the go-to apps that all IT professionals should have on their iPhone and iPad.
You might be wondering why I’m recommending Apple’s management app for its router for IT professionals. It’s because it has a built-in Wi-Fi scanner. No other app (due to Apple’s API rules) can access this information directly within iOS. While it’s not a substitute for a dedicated site survey toolkit, it’s handy in a pinch.
While this isn’t always 100% accurate because it’s running over the live internet, it’s at least a simple gauge of how fast a device might be going. I love running this on iOS devices in situations where deployments (K12, College, BYOD) might be heavy on iOS devices. It’s free, but you can pay a small fee to disable ads within the app.
This is one of those apps that really comes in handy when your iOS device is the only thing you have access to. You can see basic information about the network (IP, DNS, SSID, etc), run a ping test, do a LAN scan, and more. It’s extremely simple and easy to use. At $3.99, it’s a steal.
This is a great app for calculating anything related to RF. It contains two sets of tools. One set of calculators and tools for RF, and another for doing GPS calculations. Both are easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, and professional in their approach. It’s $7.99 on the App Store.
Wi-FiPerf, when paired with the Mac App, is a powerful tool for the IT professional. It’s going to be expensive, but it’s really the gold standard for documenting Wi-Fi performance on the network. While general speed test tools are great, these apps will be able to provide the health of the local LAN and WLAN. You can use Wi-FiPerf for Mac to Mac, iOS/Android to iOS/Android, or iOS/Android to Mac.
For SSH clients on iOS, Prompt is the gold standard. It’s made by Panic, one of the most respected developers in the Apple ecosystem. It supports private key generation, touch ID support, clips (puts your most used commands in a keyboard bar), and PanicSync (syncs all your servers to your other devices). It’s a great deal at $7.99.
Another Panic app that IT professionals should have is Transmit. It’s the best FTP app that is available on iOS. It supports FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, and Amazon S3. It allows you to connect to a server and manage all your files, exactly as you’d expect (transfer, make folders, rename, delete, set permissions, etc). This is one of those apps that pays for itself with one use. It’s also on the App Store for $7.99.
For VNC applications, I like Screens. I wrote about it in depth over at The Sweet Setup if you want to read more. It lets you connect back to your Mac, Windows, or Linux PC from the comfort of your living room, coffee shop, or on-site at a client’s office. It’s great in a pinch to access files or desktop-only applications. You can download it for $19.99 on the App Store.
While iOS has a built-in calculator, Calcbot is a great tool for IT/WLAN professionals because it can convert between bytes, kilobytes, megabit, gigabit, etc. It’s a free app, but to access the data conversion tools, it requires a $1.99 in-app purchase.
Soulver is more than a calculator app, but less than a spreadsheet app. I find myself frequently using it for simple budgeting and quick project calculations. You can write out your entire problem and see your answer as you type. If you make a mistake, you can edit it like a text editor. You can also do calculations over multiple lines and change them at any time, and you can use words alongside your numbers so it’s easy for someone else to understand what they are reading. It syncs over iCloud or Dropbox to the Mac App.