12 Most Useful Free iPhone Apps for Business
Yes, the iPhone is the perfect medium of endless entertainment. Angry Birds is addicting. Pandora is a music fan’s paradise. And who couldn’t spend hours browsing video on YouTube?
But, the iPhone is more than just fun and games. This tiny, two pound device that slips nicely into my pocket has been the single greatest asset for me in my business. I say this not as a hopeless addict but as a savvy business person: I can’t live without my iPhone.
The applications available for business people run the gamut and serve a variety of industries. But, for general business activity, there are some staples that everyone should know about.
My life is organized by the calendar that comes standard with the iPhone. It syncs with my Google calendar, so I can view it on my desktop or my laptop as well as on my iPhone.
All of my email accounts feed into my iPhone and I can check them all in real time. I hardly ever check me email on my desktop computer. My inbox doesn’t build up. The iPhone makes it easy to take care of the emails as they come in.
I never need to plan out a trip before going. If I’m headed to a meeting, I just punch in the name of the place into the Google Maps directions application that comes standard and it takes me there. And the GPS is more accurate than any others that I’ve encountered.
4. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Yes, I’m serious — a dictionary app. Words mean everything in business. If you can’t communicate, you can’t sell. This app allows you to save favorites, find synonyms and example sentences. Also, every word in each definition is hyper-linked to the definition of those words. So, you can jump around exploring the meanings of words all day long. There’s no better resource for putting together a presentation or writing some copy.
The jump drive is the new floppy disk. Dropbox enables you to save files to the cloud. As long as there is an internet connection when you save it, it automatically syncs across all platforms. So, you can save a file on your PC and pull it up on your iPhone. It’s absolutely priceless to have the right documents when you need them. Dropbox makes it easy.
Like Dropbox, Evernote syncs instantaneously across all platforms. But Evernote is also a mobile word processor. You can type notes or entire documents into ever note and pull them up to view or edit on other devices. It has kept my ideas and thoughts organized. Have a business idea that jumps into your head? Evernote it. Now.
Every successful business person is well-read in his or her industry. Instapaper allows you to save articles from the web browser or your RSS reader directly into the app which syncs with other devices instantly. It then presents the article in a readable format without distracting ads or widgets. You can create folders for your articles or share them on social networks. Instapaper is hands down the best application for gathering information.
Are the bills piling up? Pay on the go and get them out of the way. Paypal makes it easy. You can send payments, request payments, view your account, and more — all from the mobile app.
There are separate apps for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc., but who has time to check all of them? With HootSuite, you can integrate all of your accounts (up to 5 for free) into one platform. You can monitor your Facebook page and Twitter account simultaneously — and even schedule updates to go out in the future. It’s easy and efficient — perfect for the busy professional.
LinkedIn’s business card reading app is fantastic. Just snap a picture of a business card and it will match the information to the person’s LinkedIn profile. It’s a great way to add connections without having to do the grunt work. And, let’s be honest, if you don’t use this app, you’ll probably lose the person’s business card, won’t you? I know I would!
11. Genius Scan
This app is essentially a mobile scanner. Need to send someone a document but don’t have a scanner on your passenger seat? This app takes a picture of it and, given the right lighting, it looks exactly like a scanned copy. Take a picture and send it as an email attachment. Done. It’s that easy.
12. Dragon Dictation
Need to make a note to yourself or send a message to someone else while driving. Dictate it! This app is amazingly accurate. Just speak a quick note into it and then you can email it or share it via social networks. Don’t let yourself forget something important. If you can’t write it down, speak it!
What’s your experience with mobile apps — on the iPhone or otherwise? What has really helped you in your business? I would love to hear about it!
Featured image courtesy of Doug Rice’s iPhone.