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Introduction

When Apple launched the iPhone, many people in the business world – including Microsoft's CEO at the time, Steve Ballmer – sneered at it. It didn't have a keyboard, was expensive, and didn't even have 3G in its original form. A lot has changed since then, and the numerous updates and tweaks that Apple has made have turned it into the perfect on-the-go smartphone for business.

The App Store is the main driver behind the surge in productivity on Apple's mobile devices, but it has become very crowded – 1.5 million apps, at the last count – and finding exactly the right apps can be difficult.

Which is exactly why we've compiled this list of the best and brightest apps for doing business on the iPhone.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft brought the Office suite – Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and so on – to the iPhone (and iPad) several years back, and the apps have been getting better and better ever since.

The suite, which is broken down into separate apps, initially needed an Office 365 account to do many tasks – like editing documents – but that has since changed and Office is now the best way to create, edit, and distribute documents on an iPhone.

Everything syncs to the cloud and documents created on a Windows PC or Mac can be opened and edited seamlessly. It's the best of the best for productivity and even beats out Apple's own iWork suite.

Google Docs

For those who want a more Google-y experience – or, most likely, rely on Google services – the company has a good set of apps for the iPhone which do pretty much what you'd expect.

The Google Docs app, which is free and does not require a subscription, can be used to edit, export, and view documents (among other things), making it the perfect way to interact with Google's productivity software.

The Docs suite is incorporated into one application which can be used to create word, spreadsheet, or presentation documents. Google has worked hard to make it as smooth and seamless as possible and the results are impressive.

Wolfram Alpha

The Wolfram Alpha app is a mobile version of the website and it can be used to do almost any task. Unlike Google, which can add, subtract and so on, Wolfram Alpha can work out dates, times, food, complex mathematical equations, the weather and so on. The list is endless.

The app costs £2.29 ($2.99 in the US, which is just over AU$4) – there is also a subscription option which adds extra utilities – and is a valuable asset if you need to quickly work out something obscure, like how many days away a specific date is or the physical properties of white pine wood.

Adobe Reader

Having a dedicated PDF reader can come in handy and Adobe does it best. The Adobe Reader app, which is free, can be used to make edits and comments on PDFs, and much more.

The software can also be used in conjunction with an Abode account, which adds various high-end features like the ability to export files into different formats. Apple does provide a PDF reader in most apps, such as Mail, but having a third-party app can come in handy if you look at, edit, and receive a lot of them.

Genius Scan

Speaking of PDFs (see the previous slide), one of the iPhone's biggest flaws is not being able to create them from an image. Luckily, Genius Scan – a free app – has you covered.

The app has various different options and offers guidance on the best settings – camera position, lighting, and so on – for creating crystal clear PDFs, which can then be sent via text, email, or another messaging app, or exported to Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, or elsewhere.

Genius Scan can also organise PDFs within the app by tags, titles, and so on, making it ideal for creating and then storing large volumes of documents.

Gmail

With more than 400 million users, Gmail is a goliath. Apple does offer support for the service in its own Mail app, but many users like having the Google-made app itself installed – mainly because it comes with a number of considerable added benefits.

The biggest advantage of using Google's own app is that it integrates directly with other Google services, like Docs or Calendar. Invitations can be answered right within the app while Google+ posts – for those who actually use Google+ – become interactive inside Gmail.

The app has the full range of achieving, tagging, labelling and categorisation features you'd expect, and is quite simply much better than Apple's built-in client.

Slack

Slack, the enterprise messaging app, has over three million daily active users, and is spreading to more and more workplaces around the world as companies move past email, which is now seen as slow and hierarchical, for a friendlier solution.

Having Slack on the iPhone is a big bonus and can help with staying in touch on the move, which is essentially what the app is designed to do.

Private and team chats are kept intact, notifications sync between devices, and even the read messages go across, which is especially useful if your team works around the globe and you often wake up to hundreds of new missives.

MailChimp

MailChimp is useful for anyone who wants to distribute an email newsletter to a number of people. The service, which launched in 2001, sends over 10 billion per month on behalf of its users and is free for anyone who doesn't have a massive mailing list.

The iPhone app, which is a free download, does many of the same things as the desktop client but in a miniature format. Lists can be checked, created, edited and emails sent to recipients. Analytics for emails – who opened it, where, and so on – can also be viewed, giving valuable insights on-the-go.

For those who manage a mailing list via MailChimp, the iOS app is a good thing to have installed on your device.

Things

Good to-do list apps are in high demand as the iPhone becomes more and more ingrained into our daily lives. Setting a reminder for long- or short-term goals, tasks, and objectives is an easy way to keep track of everything.

Apple recently beefed up its iOS-based offerings with a new Notes app, which features tick boxes, and a refreshed Reminders app. While these two efforts are good they don't come anywhere near Things, which has apps across the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Things is, essentially, the king of all to-do apps with a list of features that is too lengthy to go into fully, but starts at simple cross-device syncing and ends somewhere around creating tasks that are labelled and repeat every other week. For people with lots to do, Things can't be beaten.

Pocket

Saving articles for offline use is handy in so many ways. Commuting, for example, is far more tolerable with a lengthy piece from The Atlantic, London Review of Books, or any other publication that is saved offline and therefore not subject to a spotty internet connection.

Pocket can also store videos and has the ability to sync, tag, and search the full text of any article if you get the monthly subscription option.

While Pocket may not be a business app in the truest sense of the word, it's a valuable addition to any iPhone and makes the commute – or any other travel time, or perhaps your lunch break – much more interesting.

Author: Max Slater-Robins
Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/software/applications/10-best-small-business-iphone-apps-1074101

Categorized in Others

You work hard running your business, so why not let your iOS device do some of the heavy lifting? With the right apps, your iPhone or iPad can help you take notes, update your calendar and even balance the books. Here are our top picks.

Office productivity: Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint (Free)

 

Don't confuse these apps with the old, limited Office Mobile app, which was intended to let you make basic edits to documents, spreadsheets and presentations on an iPhone or iPad. Instead, these are full-fledged mobile versions of ExcelWord and PowerPoint. All of the apps are jam-packed with advanced formatting and editing features, although they don't include quite as many options as the desktop versions. They're also beautifully designed and touch optimized, with big, easy-to-tap buttons. Unfortunately, they only work on iPads; iPhone users should stick to Apple's own iWork suite (which includes Pages, Numbers and Keynote).

Advertisement Email: Outlook (Free)

 

Microsoft's new email app for iOS is packed with perks for business users, especially if you already use Outlook to manage your inbox at the office. Outlook for iOS fully integrates with the desktop Outlook calendar, so you can send and accept meeting invitations via email and then receive alerts when it's time to meet. You can also access your full calendar right from the app to review appointments and schedule new ones. We also like the app's Focused Inbox feature, which intelligently sorts your email to keep important messages at the forefront.

Note taking: Evernote (Free)

Why take notes on paper when you have an iPhone or iPad on hand? Evernote saves your notes to the cloud, so they're backed up and accessible from anywhere. The app lets you dictate or manually enter your notes, and even insert photos. And if you want to write out notes with a stylus, its text-identification functionality can recognize and index your handwriting so it's fully searchable later on. Another perk is that Evernote is available for just about every platform — including iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Mac and PC — so you can view your notes on just about any device.

Cloud storage: OneDrive (Free)

 

There are plenty of good cloud storage platforms for iOS, but OneDrive is our top pick for business users, thanks to its tight integration with Windows. The app lets you access your files from anywhere on your iPhone or iPad, including documents saved to your Microsoft Office account. And PC users don't have to download any extra apps to get the system working; just drag files into the OneDrive folder on your PC, and they'll be backed up to the cloud automatically. As with other cloud storage systems, you can even recover deleted files and revert to previously saved versions, to give you a little peace of mind.

Contact management: CamCard (99 cents)

Even in the digital age, swapping business cards is still one of the best networking tools for entrepreneurs. But cards are easy to lose, and manually inputting all that contact information into your address book is a time-consuming chore. Thankfully, the CamCard app can automate the process. Just point your iPhone or iPad camera at a business card and snap a photo. CamCard's text-recognition software will extract key details like names, addresses and contact information, and then update your address book automatically.

Remote meetings: GoToMeeting (Free)

 

GoToMeeting is a solid videoconferencing app with good options for business users. For starters, the app lets you host virtual meetings with up to 25 attendees joining remotely from just about any Web-connected device. And with its built-in invitation system, it can also streamline the process of scheduling a meeting. Plus, it has handy features like speaker identification, so you always know who's talking in a crowded meeting. You can share your screen with a few taps, which is great for remote presentations. You can even share your keyboard and mouse controls with other attendees to collaborate on a project from anywhere. 

Access your work PC: Microsoft Remote Desktop (Free)

Your work PC has everything you need for a productive day, including your programs, files and documents. But what if you can't make it into the office? A good remote desktop application like Microsoft Remote Desktop can be a lifesaver in those situations. The app works like a direct portal back to your desktop computer, letting you virtually view your Windows desktop, and even remotely control Windows programs from your iPhone or iPad. Using the app is as simple as installing a client application onto your workstation so it can mirror your desktop on the screen of your mobile device.

Payment processing: Square Register (Free)

What if your small business could accept credit cards and didn't need a lot of special equipment to do it? That's the idea behind Square Register, a mobile payment app that lets you process customer payments using your iPhone or iPad. Once you sign up, you can request to receive a credit card reader dongle in the mail. Plug the accessory into the headphone jack on your mobile device, and then swipe a credit card to accept a payment from anywhere. As with all card processing services, Square takes a cut of each payment. But face it: If your business doesn't accept credit cards, you are losing out on business.

Accounting: FreshBooks (Free to download with a FreshBooks subscription, starting at $20/month)

FreshBooks is a full-featured mobile accounting app with solid cloud integration and an easy-to-use interface. Most important, the app lets you record and track your business's expenses and profits. Then, there's extra functionality, like a feature to track how long you or your employees spend on a project for easier invoice generation. And like any good accounting software, FreshBooks can help you file your taxes.

Source : businessnewsdaily.com

Categorized in Business Research

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