Smartphones and tablets have changed the way that we do business. Not only do they provide real-time access to common Internet functions like email and web browsing, they can also provide access to important documents and other files via cloud-based storage providers. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly easy to do business using only your mobile devices.
Given that, here are some of the best mobile apps for business on the market today:
- Dropbox. In the past year or so, online storage solutions have boomed. These solutions allow you to access files anywhere, any time. Leading the pack has been Dropbox. One of the reasons that Dropbox has been so successful when compared with other services such as Google Docs or iCloud is the fact that it’s truly cross-platform. You can access Dropbox via a web browser on almost any Internet-enabled device, or you can install the app for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry.
- Expensify. One of the most frustrating processes when it comes to business is keeping track of travel expenses and mileage. This app helps you do both of those, and more. Expensify provides the option to log mileage and even create expense reports. Perhaps the most interesting part about this app is the receipt-scanning system. Using your smartphone’s camera, Expensify is able to extract relevant information such as the date of purchase on the receipt as well as the amount. This app is available for most smartphones, including iOS devices, Android, Blackberry, and WebOS.
- Keynote. If you use your iOS device for presentations, you need to have Keynote. This is the same presentation software found on the Mac, but it’s been reworked to run on mobile devices. There are a number of ways to use Keynote, such as using a composite video cable from your iPhone to connect to a projector, or even just displaying the presentation on your iPad. Keynote is available only on iOS devices.
- Cardmunch. This app is great for when you’re at a conference, seminar, or other major networking opportunity. A service of LinkedIn, this app lets you scan and file business cards. Your smartphone’s camera captures the card, which is then pushed to your contact management program.
- Hootsuite. If you do any amount of social media activity in your business, Hootsuite is one of the best ways to manage that activity. You can manage Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn feeds all within a single interface, making sure you don’t miss anything important. Hootsuite is available on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Keitai.
- WebEx Meeting Center. Conference calls from your smartphone can have all of the flexibility of a desktop-based conference call with this Cisco app. Using the mobile version, you can share documents, view and show presentations, and more. You can even transfer your WebEx meeting from your mobile device to a desktop computer in a couple of simple clicks. This app is free, and runs on iOS devices, Android, and Blackberry. If you want to initiate a call, you do have to be a paying WebEx subscriber.
- Flightboard. If you do any amount of travel, you need to have this app. Flightboard lets you look at real-time flight information for more than 4,000 airports around the world. It receives updates every five minutes, telling you whether or not a flight you’re going to use is on time, and even details like gate changes. Flightboard is available only on iOS devices.
- HelloWallet. This relative newcomer to the scene provides the kind of flexibility that you want from a mobile financial app. While the app is designed primarily for personal financial uses, business travelers will fall in love with the location-based spending information that the app provides. This one is currently available as an iOS device app.
- Kayak. Kayak gives you ready access to the best deals in flights. Not only that, it will let you create and manage an itinerary, look up baggage fees, provide you with airline phone numbers, and more.
- Skype. Depending on your data plan, you may want to give Skype a try. You can use Skype to make and receive voice calls using the data network. It’s wonderful for when you have a WiFi connection. It also features a built-in chat feature, as well as the ability to have video chats. To turn your mobile phone into a full-fledged communications device, you should most definitely consider Skype.
If you want to turn your mobile device into a true asset for your business, be sure to check out some of these apps today. They’re easy to use and a great way to improve your productivity.
Athan Anas is the Direct Mail Coordinator at Vistage International, an executive coaching organization that helps CEO members build better companies through unique business coaching and executive development opportunities.