A smartphone is only as smart as the apps you stock it with. And if you haven’t outfitted your Android phone or iPhone with these five, you’re missing out on some substantial improvements to your productivity.
Of course, the last thing a startup needs is added expense, which is why I’ve chosen apps that cost zero, zip, zilch. Some link with services that have premium subscription options, but even with the freebie plans, you’ll reap plenty of productivity benefits.
Appsbar isn’t technically an app; it’s an app creator, one that can turn your Web site, blog, event calendar or the like into an Android or iOS app. This Web-based tool walks you through each step of the app-building process: choose a category, then pick out icons, a color scheme, background images, and so on. From there you add content: photos, forms, RSS feeds, contact information, and your company’s social-network links. Along the way, you can interact with your in-progress app using an onscreen emulator. Put away your checkbook; there’s no charge for using Appsbar.
If you have a Dropbox account (and what self-respecting businessperson doesn’t?), you definitely need Dropbox for Android or Dropbox for iPhone. It merges your piece of the cloud with your mobile phone, providing quick and easy access to everything you’ve ever shared: documents, photos, presentations, and so on. It can even stream videos you don’t have room to store on your device. And it’s not a one-way proposition: You can also upload snapshots and videos from your phone to your account. Best of all, your added cost is zero: the Dropbox apps are free, and they work with both free and pro-level accounts.
Evernote is like having a personal assistant in your pocket. With it you can capture receipts for later reconciling, save a whiteboard diagram for future reference, record a voice note to share with your team, and, of course, take notes. Everything you capture with Evernote gets synced to the Web, your PC, and any other mobile devices you have. Seriously, if there’s a better productivity tool, I haven’t found it. Evernote for Android and Evernote for iPhone are free of charge, as is the service itself.
Waiting on hold sucks, but when you need tech support from your printer manufacturer or a live service rep at your airline, what can you do? With FastCustomer for Android and FastCustomer for iPhone, you let the ‘bots do the waiting. Just choose the company you want to call, then go about your business. When a live human finally gets on the line, Fast Customer calls you back and connects you. How’s that for a time-saver! The apps work with hundreds of companies, from Adobe to Xerox. And it can call you back at whatever number you want (smartphone, desk phone, etc.).
TeamViewer is a killer service that provides remote access to other PCs. The TeamViewer companion apps extend that accessibility to the device(s) riding around in your pocket. This isn’t just screen sharing; TeamViewer gives you total control over the remote PC. Think of it: You can grab a PowerPoint presentation from a thousand miles away; shut down the PC you left running at the office; or just perform a computing task that can’t ordinarily be accomplished with a phone. And don’t forget tech support: if you’re the IT guy for your mobile workforce, you can use TeamViewer to troubleshoot problems from afar. Amazingly, both the apps and service are free.
What business apps (free or otherwise) rock your world? Click over to the comments page and name your favorites!