Best Business Apps of 2010
Dropbox (iPad)GroupMe (iPhone & Android)PDF Expert (iPad)Yammer 3.0 (iPhone) OmniFocus (iPad) Kik Messenger (iPhone and Android) TripIt (iPhone, Android, and Blackberry)
Forget having to e-mail yourself documents. This descendent of the Web-based version lets users sync up their Dropbox files between desktop, mobile, and iPad and share links to documents in their Dropbox with just a few taps of the finger. Label a document as a favorite, and view it even when you don’t have an Internet connection. “I couldn’t live without this,” says Raven Zachary, president of app development and consulting firm Small Society. While the app is free, Dropbox’s service includes tiered monthly pricing for more than 2GB of storage.
Launched in August, this app allows users to organize phone contacts by groups and send text messages to those groups, smartphone user or not. The app also lets its users place a conference call with entire groups by dialing a dedicated number. For a company like Thrillist that throws frequent events, GroupMe has been a crucial addition to its business. “Everyone involved in throwing the event can be on one group text and can see what everyone else is seeing,” says Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer, whose VC firm has invested in the start-up. “Then if there’s an issue, one click and we’re all on a conference call together. Very slick.”
Need a great app for viewing and annotating PDF files? This is it. Users can add text notes to files or even draw additions with their finger. For Zachary of Small Society, this is the app he uses to sign and annotate contracts on the go.
The service that some describe as "Twitter for business" released the third version of its iPhone app in 2010. The new version still lets bosses on the move communicate with their employees in group chats in real-time, but includes important new features such as the ability to e-mail and call contacts from the app. “I’m able to respond to inquiries, frustrations and successes on the fly,” says College Hunks Hauling Junk president Nick Friedman, “allowing for us to successfully implement a virtual open door policy in our organization."
This app is task management software on steroids -- minus all the creepy side effects. Have a task to complete in a specific location? The Map tab shows the distance between the task’s location and your current location. Or click on the Forecast tab to view tasks for the coming week. The price may be steep, but the combination of the features and an elegant user interface and design will make you forget about it. “This app is my brain,” says Jeff Scott, founder of 148apps.com, a popular app news and reviews site. “It’s a mega-organizer app with great options for keeping me on track.”
This new app was recently pulled from Blackberry’s App World because of a dispute over its similarities to Blackberry Messenger, but it’s still extremely popular in the iPhone and Android app stores. The app turns text messages into real-time instant messages and lets users send them to users on different smartphone platforms. “Amazing for communicating like Blackberry Messenger, but with anyone and free no matter where in the world you are,” says Grasshopper Group co-founder David Hauser.
No, this app did not launch in 2010, but it earned a spot on this list for the continuous high marks it receives from business owners who travel often. “This has been so useful from checking a flight time to getting a hotel confirmation number,” says Hauser of Grasshopper Group. The app organizes all your trip itineraries in one place and offers maps and directions to make business travel as worry-free as possible.