Mobile Downloads: 35 Productivity Apps for iPhone
With Apple's iPad all the rage after the initial rollout of the first versions and reports cropping up of the iPhone OS 4 debut Thursday, it's easy to forget for a day or two that many mobile workers are still relying on their current iPhones to get their jobs done.
So Many iPhone Apps: We List the Best Enterprise Apps for You
At about 140,000 apps and growing, Apple's App Store offers a vast selection of mobile applications, and as a consequence, although it is well organized, Cupertino’s mobile download market is difficult to sift through. This can make life difficult for mobile IT managers tasked with recommending programs to install on the iPhones of mobile workers looking their way for advice.
In this article, the second in our ongoing series on the iPhone, we do the heavy lifting for you -- similar to what we did last month in regard to iPhone accessories-- by offering a concise survey of the most useful business apps (35 in all) currently available on the App Store.
We divide our list into four general sections: Travel & Expenses, Document Management, Social Networking & Contacts and Other Utilities. While all the apps listed, which range in price from free to $29.99, won't apply equally to every mobile computing worker, most will find some combination of the programs to be valuable when looking to turn their iPhones into more productive tools for business.
Travel & Expenses Mobile Apps for iPhone
Card Caller (free for now, download) - Software manages and stores local and international calling card numbers on your iPhone. An in-app store lets you purchase and recharge prepaid calling cards right on your smartphone as well.
eWallet ($9.99, download) - Uses 256-bit AES encryption to protect and secure passwords, account data, security questions, credit card or identification numbers and other information on the iPhone; capable of synchronizing data with desktop version of the application. Lite edition of eWallet (download) offers the same functionality as paid, except it limits users to ten cards -- or pieces -- of information (see right image).
FlightTrack Pro ($9.99, download) - Keeps users up to date on itinerary and flight changes without requiring them to retype flight information; works with over a thousand travel sites. The Pro edition buzzes your iPhone to alert you to flight updates even when FlightTrack is not open.
Gas Buddy ($2.99, download) - Gas prices aren't so high right now (it's all relative, isn't it?), but they're sure to go up once again, perhaps soon. This useful app guides you to the lowest gas prices in your vicinity throughout the U.S. and Canada.
International Dialing Codes ($0.99, download) - Conveniently stores all major international country, state and city phone prefixes in the palm of your hand. The app will even dial a phone number for you once it's been calculated.
iSpend ($9.99, download) - A handy app to help you track and organize your business expenses.
myStarbucks (free, download) - Easily locate the nearest Starbucks the next time you're jonesing for a latte or a cup of coffee.
OpenTable (Free, download) - Find and then book reservations at more than 12,000 different restaurants in multiple countries from your iPhone.
Units (free, download) - Conversion calculator with support for currency, energy, time, length, weight, speed, pressure, power, volume and data storage conversions.
WeatherBug Elite ($0.99, download) - Paid edition of one of the first, best and most informative weather apps for the iPhone. Unlike with the free version of WeatherBug (download), WeatherBug Elite does not includes ads and offers considerably more in the way of features.
ZipFinder ($0.99, download) - An app that enables you to locate the zip code for every city and town in the United States. Also lets you see all the zip codes for all areas within a 10 to 50 mile radius of your location.
Document Management Mobile Apps for iPhone
EverNote (free, download) - Comprehensive text, photo and audio note taking app; synchronize notes with your desktop.
GoodReader ($0.99, download) - PDF reader that also lets you read (and even edit) TXT files. Extracts text from PDF files and automatically wraps words for easier reading on iPhone display and supports massive documents 1GB or larger. While a free version of GoodReader is available (download), it limits users to storing only up to five files.
i-Clickr PowerPoint Remote ($9.99, download) - Manage PowerPoint presentations on a PC or Mac, including animations, right from your iPhone. Lets you view your slides and notes on your smartphone as well.
iProRecorder ($2.99, available here) - A flexible audio recorder for the iPhone that includes adjustable playback speed and a jogwheel for transcribing.
iTalk Recorder Premium ($1.99, download) - Another voice recorder and note-taker that records high-quality audio. Recordings can be saved for replay on the iPhone, e-mailed, or imported to your computer using Wi-Fi. A free version of iTalk Recorder is available (download), but it is supported by ads.
Print n Share ($6.99, download) - Send most any type of document and file -- such as e-mail messages, office documents, attachments, pictures, contacts and Web pages -- to a printer connected to your PC or Mac; supports local printing over Wi-Fi and remote printing over a 3G/EDGE connection.
QuickOffice Mobile Suite ($9.99, download) and Documents To Go Premium ($14.99, download) - Both of these mobile office suites allow you to read and synchronize documents in many different file formats. Documents To Go Premium is the only one that enables you to also create and edit PowerPoint files, however.
If you don't require that capability, a cheaper ($9.99, download) edition of Documents To Go (see left image)is available to let you read but not create and edit PowerPoint presentations. Also, there is a slightly more expensive version of QuickOffice, called the QuickOffice Connect Mobile Suite ($14.99, download here), that supports the storage of files remotely in the cloud through services like MobileMe, Dropbox, Google Docs and Box.net.
Social Networking & Contacts Mobile Apps for iPhone
Agendus ($4.99, download) - Long available for other smartphone platforms, Agendus integrates with the built-in iPhone Contacts app while introducing its own comprehensive task management function. It also centralizes all your calendar, contacts and task data into a single place.
Bump (free, download) - Wirelessly share contacts, photos and other information with another person by bumping your phones together.
Facebook (free, download) - A major improvement over the original, with the release of version 3.0 last summer, Facebook (now on 3.12) set the standard for social networking apps on the iPhone. It is elegant, easy to use and places a lot of information at your fingertips (see right image).
LinkedIN (free, download) - Provides mobile access to 60 million storage social network devoted to business professionals.
Salesforce Mobile (free, download) - Offers mobile access to all your salesforce.com information: You can also log calls, respond to leads, and view various opportunities and dashboards.
To-Do List ($0.99, download) - Easy to use task manager fills to-do list void left by Apple.
Tweetdeck for iPhone (free, download) - Smartphone version of best Twitter application for the desktop. Latest edition added support for Twitter's geotagging API, which automatically tags tweets with a user's current location, and Twitter lists, by allowing folks to add columns for their lists right on their on their iPhone. Users can retweet and view their Facebook feeds as well.
Other iPhone App Utilities
AP Stylebook ($28.99, download here) - Places the latest edition of the "Associated Press Stylebook" on the iPhone. Perfect for editors, writers and communicators in your company, the app offers up grammar, spelling, punctuation and style guidelines.
Dragon Dictation (free, download) - Voice-to-text app that lets users speak e-mails, SMS messages, notes, etc. instead of typing them.
Air Sharing ($9.99, download) - Mount your iPhone as an external drive on your computer so you can view and move files remotely.
Cisco WebEx Meeting Center (free, download) - Attend, schedule, start and cancel WebEx meetings from your iPhone over a 3G or Wi-Fi connection.
ClockIn ($1.99, download) - A time tracking and reporting utility.
Dictionary! (free, download) - Mobile tome with a database that includes definitions and spellings for over 200,000 words.
Fedex Mobile (free, download) - Provides up-to-the-minute tracking information for FedEx shipments.
LogMeIn Ignition ($29.99, download) - Access, control and even run applications on your PC or Mac from an iPhone (see left image).
StockWatch ($2.99, download) - Track the markets and all your investments from your iPhone.
UPS Mobile (free, download) - Performs essentially the same function as the FedEx Mobil app; but instead for the shipping company that likes to dress its workers up in brown shorts.
James Alan Miller is a senior contributing editor to EnterpriseMobileToday.com and author of our iPhone Guide Blog.