iPhone apps are all the rage, but how can they help you with your business? Whether your business is still an idea or is starting to take off, many apps can be helpful resources for entrepreneurs.
Check out our picks for the top eight iPhone apps for small-business owners.
What it's good for: Accessing files
Why we like it: Along with your wallet, house keys and pants, here's one app a small-business owner should never leave home without. The Dropbox application is the best way to store, sync and share videos, pictures and documents online. This means you can easily transfer PDF, Microsoft Office and iWork files to your iPhone from your Mac or PC over WiFi. You can also backup a file to Dropbox from your iPhone.
2. QuickOffice Mobile Office Suite
What it's good for: Document viewing, editing and managing
Why we like it: With the advent of this nifty app, it's easy to see why the desktop office is so 2009. QuickOffice Mobile Office Suite essentially offers mobile devices the same functionality that Microsoft Office programs provide on a personal computer. QuickOffice not only lets you view, edit, and create Microsoft Office documents that are stored on your iPhone, but also those on GoogleDocs, MobileMe, Box.net or Dropbox.
What it's good for: Notetaking
Why we like it: There's no longer an excuse to continue using the palm of your hand as a makeshift memo pad. Evernote, a digital notetaking application, requires no messy ink and can be used to take notes in three different ways: text, picture and audio. Your notes easily sync from your iPhone to your Mac or Windows desktop. The mobile notepad even includes a feature that lets you save the GPS location of any note taken. So no matter where your small business takes you, Evernote will help you remember all the deets, plus your longitude and latitude.
What it's good for: Productivity
Why we like it: The world's smallest (and arguably smartest) personal assistant does practically everything to take care of your business and personal needs, except maybe brush your teeth and launder your work clothes—although the slick digital aid could probably recommend 10 of the best nearby dentists and dry cleaners within seconds— that is, if you ask it to. Siri is really a voice-activated meta-search tool. Just like a real assistant, it understands and responds to what you say. Siri adapts to your preferences overtime, depending on how much personal information you're willing to share with your new virtual BFF.
5. Scanner Pro
What it's good for: Scanning
Why we like it: You could simply take a picture, but it just wouldn't be as good. Scanner Pro uses the iPhone camera to take a digital photograph of your document, then takes it to the next level. The portable scanner allows users to crop images, fix perspective, improve readability, and share scans by e-mail. You can even upload your scans to Dropbox and Evernote (both mentioned above).
What it's good for: Social networking
Why we like it: Business people don't build relationships by locking themselves in closets. LinkedIn for iPhone keeps the networking doors open almost anywhere you go. It's a great Web-based application and even better in its portable mobile form. 'Nuff said.
What it's good for: Tracking expenses
Why we like it: Unless you want to be left counting pennies in your bank account, this iPhone application, via Design By a Knife, is a must have for managing your small-business budget. Pennies records your expenses, sets up a monthly budget, and keeps track of all the decimals, pie charts and smorgasbord of numbers that come with the domain of running your own company. Luckily, Pennies understands all of this and delivers it to you through a well-organized and easy-to-manage visual user interface.
What it's good for: Shipping
Why we like it: E-mail may have replaced the need for small paper envelopes and postage stamps, but how are you going send a 64oz jar of homemade chicken noodle soup through Gmail? Small businesses need shipping. With four options to choose from—Ship, Track, Find locations or Get rates—FedEx Mobile makes it easy for startups to get their goods to any part of the world. Similarly, UPS mobile allows user to arrange Ground or Express shipping, create shipping labels that can be emailed in PDF format, and track current shipments.
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