Twelve smartphone apps for boosting your business productivity

September 26, 2011
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iphone Twelve smartphone apps for boosting your business productivity

Rise of a digital era

With the rise of the wireless age, the concept of the nine-to-five office workday is slowly going the way of the floppy disk. More and more business is escaping the traditional confines of the boardroom and taking place in subway cars, restaurants, even 30,000 feet in the air! The key to efficiency lies in our mobile devices, many of which pack a more powerful processing punch than the desktops used a decade ago. While the stock software on many mobile devices is useful itself, below are twelve highly-useful productivity applications for any professional.

Productivity app for Android:

AwayFind
AwayFind acts as a personal assistant for your email inbox, flagging important messages that a user deems important. Flagged messages are easily accessible from the notification window tab, or you can set the application to send you a text message or phone call. This is fantastic for professionals who can’t afford to sit in front of a screen and be distracted by Groupon and YouTube e-mails, but still need to be accountable to a client or supervisor. Setup is easy through the service’s website, and all the user has to do is log in on the mobile application. The free service will allow you to monitor one e-mail account, perfect for the professional on the go with a company email account.



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SwiftKey X
When it comes to Android phones, very few have a built-in physical QWERTY keyboard. Those that do tend to feel plastic-y and uncomfortable after extended periods of thumb-typing. Those that don’t leave you with an awkward glossy touchscreen keyboard that makes typing a pain for anyone with larger hands. SwiftKey X is a smart keyboard that features a comfortable layout and unmatched prediction technology that literally can scan your Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and previous SMS messages to detect your language and spelling patterns. SwiftKey X also includes tactile vibration response, customizable themes, and currently supports 28 global languages. The best feature is the statistics page, which counts the keystrokes entered and saved, giving the percentage of efficiency typing (author’s note: after over 45,000 keystrokes, SwiftKey X has made me 24% more efficient at typing). A free edition can be downloaded for a month’s use, but the full version will cost you a well-worth $4.03 on the Android Market.

Cam Scanner
Interesting magazine article? Complicated diagram on a PowerPoint presentation? Maybe you just need to read a shipping report on the go. Cam Scanner is a digitizing application that utilizes the phone’s camera to transform a picture into a cropped, enhanced industry standard PDF file. The application then allows easy upload to Dropbox, Google Doc, or Box.net. The free version leaves a small watermark in the corner and limits up to 50 ten-page documents. The license will cost you $4.99 but give you full control with zero limitation.

Productivity apps for iPhone:

DropBox
Sometimes, it is easy to be in a rush and accidentally forget that purchase order or lease form on your home computer. DropBox, like a digital wormhole, allows you to save your files in the online cloud space provided in the account, and open them on any other computer or mobile device. Photos, documents, videos, all can be accessed from any location. The latest version of the document saved in the DropBox gets updated on all phones and computers, meaning that the last minute changes to an important presentation can be made in the cab and opened in the boardroom looking fantastic.

Read It Later (Free)
Major phone carriers like to brag about how omnipresent their coverage is, but reality dictates that not every airplane or subway car or convention center is a Mecca of wireless connectivity. With Read It Later, any web page, whether it be a real estate listing, client’s personal site, or business article is instantly saved onto your device for convenient offline reading. Use the extra time where others are staring at the “no signal” message and scratching their heads to get caught up on your articles and leave that commute armed with the knowledge to succeed at your daily endeavors.

LucyPhone
Sometimes, the only route to complete a task goes through the wasteland of automated customer service. There’s the menus and the options and the ungracefully long period on hold. Save yourself the poor quality 80’s music with LucyPhone! The process is simple. Download the app, search a business’s toll-free number or add your own, and then navigate the menu. Once on hold, press ** and your phone disconnects from the call, but LucyPhone stays on. When an agent is on the line, LucyPhone will call you back and connect you to the agent. Your phone battery is conserved, your stress level is decreased, and you can use the time on hold to complete constructive tasks. The best part? This app and service is free.

Productivity apps for iPad:

Dragon Dictation
“Dictated, but not read,” This phrase is often used to get down a quick or informal memo. Dragon Dictation is powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® voice recognition software that can get the word out five times faster than using the iPad’s keyboard. While not ideal for formal, important emails, Dragon Dictation is great for notes, messages, and social media updates. With over a dozen languages supported, this app is helping professionals around the world get the word out fast – without even touching a keyboard.

Dolphin Browser HD
iPad owners take pride in their devices for a good reason – they’re fast, sleek, and are capable of completing almost any task. While Safari, Apple’s native browser is nice, Dolphin Browser HD truly matches up with the processing power of the iPad system. Gesture navigation opens bookmarks with blinding speed, tabbed browsing gets you the multiple pages you need for back-and-forth research and productivity, and the beautiful layout and graphics just look fantastic on the bigger screen. Comparison shows that Dolphin Browser HD is one of the fastest mobile browser applications available. With all of this speed and no price tag, Dolphin Browser HD is one app that any professional needs.

Google Goggles
Google Goggles is the iPad application that is as fun to say as it is to use. Boasting a wide array of features, Google Goggles does it all. Utilizing the iPad’s camera, it recognizes barcodes, products, landmarks, artwork, business cards, print ads, and more. Google Goggles supports voice search in dozens of languages, it gives you the weather automatically, it even solves Sudoku puzzles. If you’re a professional asking “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, “why”, or “how”, Google Goggles is the ultimate mobile know-it-all package.

Porductivity apps for Blackberry:

Navita Translator
They exist in every professional’s work life: the non-native speaking client. Don’t get caught reading sheepishly out of a cheaply-translated handbook of phrases, whip out your Blackberry (any model) and load the Navita Translator app. Great for global businesspeople, this application translates over fifty languages, in emails, web browsers, SMS messages, or direct message input. Idioms, digital messages, spoken words, you can translate just about anything said with this handy app. Be the agent that won that huge contract over for your team, and do it with the Navita Translator.

Blackberry Travel
The preferred mobile device of many professionals, there’s a solid possibility that you’ll find yourself flying city to city with your device. When you need to rent a car or find a hotel or flight, Blackberry Travel will be your best friend. Blackberry Travel won’t just help you get there, it will convert currencies, find the local weather, and list popular dining destinations with Yelp integration. Whether it’s the next state over or the opposite end of the earth, leave the travel agent and bring Blackberry Travel.

Battery Booster Pro
For the professional on the go, it’s difficult to find a chunk of time dedicated to charging your mobile device. Instead of scrambling for a seat near an outlet when you take your lunch break in the cafeteria, download Battery Booster Pro. Don’t let the title fool you, this absolutely free application takes protective action to prolong your device’s battery life. Battery Booster Pro monitors data usage (a huge factor in battery life), warns you when power consuming apps are left running, and will even automatically power your device on and off on a preset schedule if desired. Be productive longer with Battery Booster Pro.

Improving your professional life

Regardless of the make or model of your wireless device, there are thousands of applications available to make your professional life more productive and convenient.

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