‘Tis the season when tech writers everywhere start compiling their year’s-end Top 10 Lists. When they turn their attention to iPhone apps, this is especially useful because it helps to know which ones among the hundreds of thousands can really save money and time. Most apps listed below, except where noted, offer versions for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry:
- Quick Office Mobile Suite
This app allows you to create documents and open and edit existing documents (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) that someone has emailed to you. Very handy for receiving and providing input to colleagues, employees or clients when you are on the go, this app costs $5.
- Dragon Dictation
Speak and the transcription appears. With one tap, you can put the text into an email message, text message or send it out as a Twitter or Facebook update. Free.
Another app that allows you to record your thoughts or messages, Evernote also lets you make copies, use your iPhone to take a photo, or make notes – and will synchronize the content you capture with your desktop computer. The free version will work for most people, but if you want unlimited data storage, you can get it for $45 a year.
This free iPhone app will give you a second phone line and number that can make or receive phone calls over Wi-Fi when you are in an AT&T hotspot (or will use your AT&T minutes when you’re not).
Finance Sales & Record Keeping
A great app for businesspeople who work for various clients and manage several projects at once, this is a task-management tool that tracks how much time is spent each work day on various assignments. It can tally hourly billing for different clients using different task rates. The app costs $4.99 and a desktop integration component can be purchased for an additional fee.
- Intuit GoPayment
GoPayment account users can accept and process financial transactions for all major credit cards using this app. It offers fast authorization and can be used to make deposits directly into a designated bank account. This app costs $12.95 a month plus a 30 cent per-authorization charge for unlimited daily or weekly transactions. It offers security safeguards, including data encryption, and will synchronize records with QuickBooks.
- My Eyes Only
This app offers encryption to keep the sensitive business data on your smart phone –credit card information, website passwords and confidential financial data – safe from prying eyes. It costs $8.99.
An iPhone app designed to help you stay current with your daily spending, it offers simple ways to track costs on the road, and offers tools for budgeting and record-keeping. Features include digital photo receipts, a number pad calculator and the ability to produce graphs. It costs $4.99.
For $10, this app provides just about every detail of every commercial flight. Gate information, airline phone numbers, arrival times, information on delays and actual mapping of the aircraft’s progress in real time are all helpful. Business travelers who’ve ever been stuck at the gate waiting for current information will appreciate how quickly this app provides accurate updates (faster than most airlines).
Great for frequent flyers, this free app connects you with local taxi dispatchers at your destination. It offers click-to-connect service at more than 4,000 destination cities in North America and allows users to track the cab’s arrival and to charge the fare to a credit card.
There are probably many more worthy of a business owner’s short list, but perhaps you’ll find a few favorites among the popular new programs listed above.