For this weeks 5 for Friday I give you 5 useful business apps for iOS. I’m leaving out built-in apps such as Mail and Safari and concentrating on apps that I find useful in running a business. If you’re interested in other apps I find useful you can read My Favorite iPhone Apps post a few months ago. Note the app icons link to the app in the App Store.
Every business person has to keep track of receipts for taxes, reimbursement filing out expense reports and more. Keeping track of those small slips of paper has always been a problem for me. Not anymore now that I have OneReceipt on my iPhone. OneReceipt lets you photo of the receipt and saves it for you on their website. It can even automatically stitch together long receipts that won’t fit in a single photo. OneReceipt allows you to tag the receipt so you can categorize them however you wish. It also has a feature where you can allow it access to your email account and it will intelligently find purchases you have made from sites such as Amazon and automatically pull those in without you having to do a thing. I like this feature since I often forget about electronic receipts. The receipts are available online and OneReceipt sends you a monthly meal with a summary of your last months expenditures. It will also come in handy at tax time since I can easily access all the receipts from the past year that apply as deductions.
If you are going to make presentations, I highly suggest Apple’s Keynote. I’ve used the OS X version for some time and love that I can now produce them on my iPad (or iPhone although the screen is small). There are some difference between the OS X version and the iOS version but they’re more similar now than ever before. Just take note that if you have the most recent version on your iOS device and you open a presentation in without using “open a copy” then you will be unable to open that presentation back on your Mac unless you have the new version of Keynote for Maverick.
You should also download Remote, Apple’s app that allows you to control a Keynote presentation on your MacBook with you iPhone. I love it as it allows me to interact with the audience and not be stuck at the laptop or podium.
I should also mention another tool that gets great reviews and that I like a lot (but it hasn’t replaced Keynote for me) and that is Prezi. I like having a web service for presentations but have heard from some people who find their use of motion for transitions distracting and I’ve even heard of someone feeling nauseous after viewing a Prezi so take note and know your audience.
If you do business on your iPad or iPhone, you’ll inevitably need to view and possibly edit Microsoft Office documents. For this, I use CloudOn. It’s another web service that allows you to use MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents. It also handles PDFs and can view jpeg files. If you like the look and feel of Microsoft Office on a PC then you’ll feel right at home with this app. They’ve tried to keep the interface as much like the Windows version as possible. I also love that it integrates with some of my favorite cloud services such as DropBox, Google Drive and Box.com.
Another option is Google’s Quickoffice.
4. Evernote Hello
One issue I always has is what to do with all those business cards you receive at a conference? I use to have a box full of them and I’d put a clip or rubber band around a set along with a note of where I received the cards. Now, I use Evernote’s app Hello. Hello gives you three options to add contacts; type it in (or pass it to the person for them to enter their information and they can also take their own picture), scan a card, or use Hello connect. Note that the business card scanning only works if you are a Premium member (currently $45 annually) If the other person or persons have Hello on their iPhone, you can have your iDevices talk to each other and automatically transfer the contact information. You set up your own profile so you can control what information gets sent. Evernote has a short video showing this.
I do have one minor quibbles with Hello. Since it can look up information from Facebook or LinkedIn (if you give it permission), I’d like it to pull in a photo of the person (if available). I am a visual person and seeing a face with a name helps me remember them.
You can also use CardMunch from LinkedIn for this scanning business cards. The reason I prefer Hello is that CardMunch processes the cards by hand it can take some time for the information to be available. Also, it only interacts with LinkedIn and not Facebook and doesn’t have the group capabilities that Hello does.
Refresh is a recent app that I beta tested and it now available in the App Store. I absolutely love it. You give it access to your social media accounts, calendar and contacts and it will pull in information about the people you re meeting with. It works with any scheduled event having a person’s name associated with the event. It’s great as a conversation starter. Before a meeting you can pull up Refresh and see recent information about the person you are meeting with such as their LinkedIn or Facebook profile or recent photos or posts they’ve made. While the app has the ability to be used in a creepy fashion, keep in mind its only accessing publicly available information. Used properly, it’s a fantastic tool.
Here’s a video that shows what it can do.
I hope you find thee 5 useful business apps for iOS as helpful as I do and I’d love to read your comments or your suggestions for others apps you find helpful for business.