The Woeful State of Business Apps

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Business Phone Apps

Chris Hamoen wrote an article last week wondering where all the business apps are. He organized the available apps into four categories and talked a little about each one.

I decided to investigate this myself and see just what these apps were that filled his categories. To do that, I looked at top business app lists from various journals and other respected sources. I was a little disappointed with what I found, and I can echo Chris’s question – where are all the business apps?

I went to TechRadar, Info World, and Network World and got their top apps lists for 2012. TechRadar had a top 10, the others 25 each for a total of 60 apps. Most of them for the iPhone because that’s what these lists looked at and there are simply more iPhone apps than Android, giving these reviewers a better selection to choose from.

Before presenting the list, a few observations.

1. Surprisingly, there were only 4 repeats (Dropbox, Evernote, WebEx, and Dragon Dictation), so the final list includes 56 “must-have” apps.

2. There are only a few apps that could truly be called “business apps,” and most of these were for secure access to office computers, travel & expense management, accounting, and time tracking. Only one could be loosely categorized as a business productivity app, and that was, a simple task, contact, and deal tracking and sharing app.

3. There is no Number 3. I’m too stunned by Number 2 to even think up a Number 3. I mean, how thin is the field when a white noise generator is considered a must-have business app? Are hotels that noisy? And FileMaker Pro access? Really? How much of your critical data is in FileMaker Pro? Weather forecasts? WiFi locator? I’m not saying these aren’t good apps, just that they’re not must-have business apps.

So Chris’s question is spot-on. Maybe 2013 will be better.

Here’s the list in alphabetical order:

1Password Secure password protection.
BatteryBoost Magic Battery life indicator.
Brainshark Manage mobile presentations.
CardMunch Scan business cards to text.
CloudOn Cloud version of MS Office.
Concur Travel and expense management.
CrowdCall Mobile conference call service. Organize projects, contacts, deals.
Documents To Go Word & Excel on your iPhone
Dragon Dictation Voice to text.
Dropbox Dropbox on your phone
Due Reminders and to-do.
EasySign Mobile Electronically sign documents.
Evernote Evernote on your phone.
Expensify Track work expenses.
FileMaker Go FileMaker Pro 12 document access.
FlightTrack Pro Track flights.
Flipboard Social magazine.
Herematch Location-based business connections.
HootSuite Manage social networks.
iFax Pro Photo to fax.
Instapaper Save newspaper articles.
Keynote Create presentations.
Line2 VoIP service on your phone.
LinkedIn LinkedIn on your phone.
LogMeIn Remote computer access.
Lookout Mobile Security Content backup and phone locator.
Magellan RoadMate USA GPS.
Meeting Mapper Meeting management.
Numbers Spreadsheets.
OfficeDrop Portable scanner.
Pages Text and graphic file creation.
PocketCloud Secure remote access to a computer.
PrintCentral Pro Print documents.
Quickbooks Mobile Quickbooks on your phone.
Quickoffice Access to MS Office
Recorder Record calls.
RingMindMeer. Turn your ringer back on reminder.
Sharefile Secure file sharing.
Simple In/Out Digital in/out board.
Skype Skype on your phone.
Skyscanner Low airfare finder.
Toggl Timer Time tracking.
TripIt Manage trip itineraries.
Tweetbot Makes Twitter easier.
VirusBarrier iOS iPhone virus protection.
Vlingo Siri-like features to iPhone.
WatchDox Secure document sharing.
Weather+ Local weather information.
Webalo Connect to enterprise apps.
WebEx WebEx on your phone.
White Noise White noise generator.
Wi-Fi Finder Hotspot locator.
Wunderlist Task management.
Wyse PocketCloud Pro Remote computer access.
Xmarks Bookmark syncing.


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