Between us we’ve downloaded 11 apps for every man, woman and child on earth - and not everyone has a smart phone. Yet. We take a look at a few apps that are emerging for business use. It’s just a sample. Do you have more to add?
We sure love our apps. Owners of Apple devices have clicked the download button on more than 40 billion apps in the App Store since its launch in July 2008. Android users have downloaded the same number from Google Play, formerly Android Market, since it opened for business in September that same year.
The first apps were pretty cool at the time (remember the tilting beer glass?) but few served a truly practical purpose in the workplace. The introduction of GPS tracking, quad-core processors and tablet computers has seen the humble app quickly evolve into a genuine productivity enhancement tool.
Here is just a sample of apps available for business. Let us know which business apps you find useful.
This multi award-winning task management app cracks the whip to make sure you achieve your goals throughout the day. The idea is that by breaking the day into manageable chunks, tasks seem more achievable, procrastination goes down and you are more productive.
Through a user-friendly interface, simply enter your tasks for the day and allocate a duration time for each one, with breaks in between. 30/30 then alerts you when it’s time to move from one task to the next, or take that well-earned break.
AIR DISPLAY 1.2 (IOS – IPAD)
How many times have you had multiple items open on your desktop and wished you could have just a little more screen space? Air Display 1.2 solves the problem by allowing an iPad to be connected to any computer as a second screen.
The interconnectivity between the computer and the tablet means that you can use a finger to operate a mouse, and use the same keyboard and mouse for both screens. If connected to the same wi-fi network, you can access your computer’s desktop via your iPad, from anywhere in the office. On the downside, video playback on the iPad can be choppy, and wired connection isn’t an option.
Air Display is simple to set up via on-screen instructions; however, it is necessary to download the software from the company’s website. The app is compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows.
FORMMOBI (IOS, ANDROID)
Remember the clipboard? They are so yesterday. Sales teams, inspection workers, engineers, customer service reps, market researchers, they are all out in the field, with their mobile devises. But that’s no good if they have to go back to the office and enter their findings by hand.
FormMobi is an app that allows anyone to create forms that can be uploaded and shared across the team – so everyone is collecting the same data and entering it directly in a shared digital format.
FormMobi allows users to build forms on their mobile devices using drag-and-drop. The finished form is stored on FormMobi’s cloud server and can be accessed by anyone in the field who has installed the app.
Even without a data connection, forms can be completed, and will be automatically uploaded when a signal is detected. FormMobi supports audio, images and CAD-quality sketches.
MEETING MAPPER (IOS – IPAD)
This app is a great tool for anyone chairing a meeting. Through its easy-to-read interface, managers can enter all the information relevant to a meeting – before, during and after – such as objectives, agenda items, actions and outcomes. Simple navigation makes it easy to enter information quickly during meetings, so your focus remains on the discussion.
Meeting Mapper also features a graphical layout of the meeting room to help keep track of participants’ names and comments. Notes, pictures and diagrams can be uploaded for later review and the meeting package can be distributed as a PDF from within the app.
ROAMBI ANALYTICS (IOS)
Unlocking the power of big data is about being able to tap into the insights that your data sources offer and being able to share them in an up-to-date, easy-to-read format. Rombi Analytics is designed to take business intelligence and present it as visual data across multiple formats in a consistent, engaging and easy-to-read style. It’s a great marketing tool for showing off intelligence systems data and preventing colleagues from dozing off in portfolio presentations.
Roambi Analytics’ free version supports Microsoft Excel, CSV and HTML; however, the cost rises to $99 per user per year to add business intelligence products from SAP and Oracle, and databases such as Microsoft SQL Server, Teradata, IBM Netezza and Amazon Redshift.
Scatterslides lets you run presentations from your Android device via wi-fi streaming. Once connected, your device also becomes a remote control for the presentation – it’s simply a matter of swiping the screen to move between slides.
The app supports Powerpoint and OpenOffice Impress, as well as all major video and audio formats.
Designed by a former ‘big-5’ consultant, Stratpad offers a step-by-step approach to developing business plans.
As well as tutorials and example plans, Stratpad allows nine document types to be generated, including Gantt charts, project plans and financial projection reports. The information can be printed or emailed as a PDF from within the app. It is also possible for multiple users to access the live app.
Stratpad is the top-rated business plan app in the App Store according to its developers. Further information is available at stratpad.com.