My 5 Favourite iPhone Apps for Business

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iPhone Apps

Almost every sales person these days has some sort of smartphone.  I have an iPhone. Depending on where Apple goes, however, I may consider the new generation Android devices.  In a previous post, I talked about the lack of business apps for the iPhone. This is still very much true, but there are apps that as a sales person you must consider. These are my five favourite and most-used apps for the iPhone.

Google Maps

When the iPhone 5 was first released and I used Apple Maps for the first time, I lost some of the trust I had in the Apple brand. With the iPhone 5, we were stuck with Apple Maps or the HTML5 web version of Google Maps, and because of this I nearly switched to the Android. Compared to the old version of Google Maps on the iPhone 4, the Android versions were miles ahead.

Finally, Google released a native iPhone version with significant improvements in both performance and usability, and the iPhone remains my smartphone of choice.  There is still no native iPad version; however, it is coming soon with improvements.

As an aside, there is a lesson learned here–native is still far ahead of mobile web for core apps.

Evernote

Evernote is an app that is used to take notes, and note-taking is a personal thing.  Everyone has a different method: from paper to voice dictation to the laptop.  Evernote accommodates nearly every method.  Paper?  No problem—you scan it in. When you use Web Clipper and Evernote, it becomes a rich version of bookmarking. Some people are even archiving whiteboard notes by taking photos.

Guy Kawasaki has plenty of detail on the many uses of Evernote–a worthwhile read from 2009.

You do have other options when taking notes–like SimpleNote–but Evernote works for me.

TripAdvisor

If you travel, TripAdvisor has become the default hotel-review site of choice.   I care about finding an interesting place to stay when I travel for business or for personal. When traveling without TripAdvisor, it is easy to just select the local Marriott, Hilton or Sheraton, but often these locations are inconvenient if you want to pop out for a discovery-walk or head to a non-chain restaurant for dinner without a long drive.

TripAdvisor provides a method to find hotels in an area you want. But it is not an app without issues. For example, the app does require a bit of reading.

Often poor reviews will be given to a hotel of high quality and in a location you want, but where the staff was a bit unfriendly. In these situations, you have to consider if perhaps the customer was actually the problem!

Another issue is when reviewers’ expectations just do not match what the hotel actually is. Like visiting a Hampton Inn and expecting 5-Star quality.

Finally, by nature reviews are more likely to be written when something bad happens. The reviews are a measure of “you’ll pay for this–I’ll write a bad review and no one will ever stay here again!”  Search for the good reviews and filter out the bad ones.  Check for a recent positive review by someone with similar expectations to you.

Flipboard

When Flipboard came out, twitter was no longer a public, 140-character email tool.  It was a platform for content delivery. And Flipboard’s method of aggregating the data and presenting it in an elegant magazine style interface made so much sense. It was beautiful! There have been many clones since, but I still stick with Flipboard..

ASPEC

As the CEO of SalesWays, I cannot in good faith exclude our own app!  ASPEC is the culmination of our efforts to offer a true sales productivity tool natively on the iPhone. Most sales people today are stuck with a complex CRM software tool that is desktop-only or no software at all!  But now with Cloud and Mobile, times are changing.

An app just outside of the top 5 is Dropbox.  I do use it, but I find it more iPad friendly.  Same with MS Office type apps.

I left out social tools like Twitter, Facebook, Tweetbot, and LinkedIn. I do use them a lot, but they are worthy of a separate post of their own.

Other apps that are useful include:

– For remote desktop access tools consider LogMeIn, and SplashTop.

– For travel planning & booking apps consider Priceline, Kayak, Hotwire, and Hotels.com.

– For a neat offline mapping tool, I would recommend ForeverMaps (but it’s too feature-limited to make it into the top 5).

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