Best New iPad Apps: Flipboard books, an update for Bloomberg, business social networking & loans for start-ups

by Doug Drinkwater

November 16 2012

Flipboard now wants you to read Apple iBooks

Mike McCue’s Flipboard have gradually been making significant improvements over the year, from adding Cover Stories for the iPad in March to audio listening in May and an exclusive content deal with New York Times a month later.

Earlier this week, the news aggregator continued that run by adding Book categories in its iPhone and iPad apps.

There’s no need to update the Flipboard app (free, iTunes) on the App Store -- you just need to open your Flipboard to find new book sections from Bestsellers and Biographies to Fictions and Business under the ‘This Week’ sub header.

Each of these sections basically acts as a shop window for Apple’s iBookstore. Each article bears the iBookstore logo and promotes what each book is about before instructing you to download the copy via the iBookstore.

Bloomberg’s iPad app undergoes smart redesign

Bloomberg’s native iPad app (free, iTunes) has been highly rated by most users since launch but has now undergone some pretty significant changes, including a redesign and a new customizable interface.

Designed primarily for both Wall Street investors but also those looking to track personal investments, the app can be used to stream news videos, get quick access to company information and financial results and read up on the latest news. The latter can be customized by adjusting the font size or screen contrast all while in the app.

Sprout Social controls Facebook and Twitter feeds

Users of Sprout Social, the social media management platform for business, will be pleased to learn that the service has now come to the iPad and the iPad mini (free, iTunes).

This means that all the usual Sprout Social features will be available, such as the ability to manage and send updates to social networking feeds, schedule messages to run at a later time and to view the reach, clicks and retweets of each sent message.

In addition, iPad users will be able to rearrange, edit and delete messages, while managers of the app can use Sprout Social to assign personal or team tasks.

The app is free to Sprout Social subscribers from the App Store. However, business thinking of deploying Sprout Social can try the software and mobile apps out for free on a trial basis.

Biz2Credit evaluates if SMBs are eligible for loans

Getting a loan in any walk of life can be a tiresome process, but Biz2Credit is only to solve that by enabling SMB owners to see if they are eligible for a loan in just a few minutes.

The firm’s newly released BizAnalyzer iPad app (free, iTunes) can be used to get a credit score from Dun & Bradsheet and to evaluate what loan options are available, with these varying from start-up and franchise loans to business acquisition loans.

You certainly shouldn’t be short of lenders; there are approximately 1,100 lenders in total through Biz2Credit with the company having to date provided $750 million in loans.

Some of the bigger names getting loans from Biz2Credit reportedly include the White House President’s Council and the Federal Reserve, but Biz2Credit also apparently has a 74% loan approval rate for SMBs.

The process of the iPad app is pretty simple. You fill out a quick loan application form detailing your company’s information and financial needs, and Biz2Credit then looks through its database for the lenders that are most relevant to your desires.

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