The 8 best business apps on iPhone, iPad and Android

To many, ‘phone app’ and ‘productivity’ are oxymorons, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Whether you’ve been given an iPhone, iPad or Android device by your company, or bought one yourself for personal work, you’ll be wanting to use it for something other than games or Netflix on the way to work.

Thankfully, there are plenty of work-related apps that will help you become productive. Some of these will reduce distractions in your work; others will do tasks for you that usually take ages, when you’ve used any of them you’ll wonder how you functioned without them in the first place!

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Don’t worry, these aren’t all dry enterprise-level apps that your IT manager would love you to be using. These are the apps that are going to let you make the most of your device and your time. After all, who said business had to be all dull and boring?

The Best business apps on iPhone, iPad and Android:

1. Best Business Apps: Slack

iPhone, iPad, Android

Anyone who says they like email, especially for inter-office communication, is a liar. A bold-faced liar. It’s terrible, time-consuming and fussy, and that’s why Slack exists. Slack is a smartly designed instant messaging app designed for the workplace.

Not only does it plug into most other business apps out there – allowing you to automate a lot of your workflow – but it’s available absolutely everywhere so you never have to worry about missing something crucial by being out of office. Sharing documents and images is a complete breeze and, thanks to the aforementioned ubiquity, you’ll be able to grab them on whatever device you’re using.

Of course, if you’d rather not be bothered on your holiday, you can turn Slack notifications off just like email ones, even tailoring how and when people can get in contact with you.

There is a free tier, which limits you to 10,000 archived messages, but Slack also offers flexible paid tiers if your organisation wants to adopt it like we have.

2. Best Business Apps: Evernote

iPhone, iPad, Android

In a time before the iPad even existed (I know, that seems impossible), Evernote was the note-taking app of choice for professionals. Since then, it’s gone from strength to strength and is a completely indispensable for any serious note-taker, doodler or micro-manager.

Evernote is now a suite of incredibly useful apps that range from handwriting recognition software to annotating Google Maps with directions or useful reminders. Evernote’s Scannable app also lets you snap images of documents to digitise them, with business cards automatically seeking out their owner on LinkedIn to forge a connection. Not bad, Evernote, not bad.

3. Best Business Apps: Cogi

iPhone, iPad, Android

There’s nothing worse than missing a point someone’s made in a meeting. It’s even worse if they were asking you to do something. That’s where Cogi comes in, a wonderful voice recording app that can capture voice notes at the tap of a button. What’s more, it also has an audio buffer, meaning if you tap it right after someone said something of interest, it’ll record the 5, 15, 30 or 45 seconds of conversation that preceded it.

It’s also blissfully simple to use. Just start the app at the beginning of the meeting, interview or whatever it is you want to record and, whenever something of note is said, tap the record button. All the highlights from one meeting are grouped together into a single session and can be named for reference. You can also add text notes and photos into these sessions for a comprehensive overview of a meeting in one searchable file.

Interestingly, if you’d like to, you can pay for a transcription of your notes to save you the rigmarole of doing it yourself.

4. Best Business Apps: WiFiMapper

iPhone, iPad, Android

When working from out of the office, there’s nothing worse than a shoddy Wi-Fi connection. Thankfully, WiFiMapper is here to save the day. Using crowdsourced maps with community feedback on the best Wi-Fi spots across various cities, you can quickly and easily find yourself a great coffee spot complete with a strong Wi-Fi connection.

Not only does this mean you don’t have to rely on tethering your phone, or eating through your mobile data, but it’s fantastic if you’re in a different country and in a bit of a pinch.

5. Best Business Apps: AirDroid

Android

There’s nothing worse than wrangling yourself away from a document or whatever it is you’re focusing on to answer a semi-urgent message or call on your smartphone. That’s where AirDroid comes in.

Allowing you to control your phone remotely, AirDroid lets you respond to text messages with your keyboard and answer phone calls remotely. If that wasn’t enough, you can also mirror applications, and share files painlessly between your phone and computer.

While some functionality does require a rooted device – something you may not want to do to your work phone – but given it’s a free app (with a paid option available for multiple devices, unlimited data transfers, etc.) it’s certainly worth dipping your toe in if multi-screened mayhem isn’t your cup of tea.

6.Best Business Apps: Uber

iPhone, iPad, Android

Numerous controversies aside, Uber is essential to anyone whose job takes them across London or any one of the many cities Uber operates in. Those who use Uber already for personal use know just how excellent it is, but now Uber offers both Personal and Business accounts you can switch between at the drop of a hat, there’s no reason not to adopt the service over the tube or bus.

Business Uber accounts also mean you don’t have to file fiddly expense forms for a few quid here and there. Instead, it’ll charge everything directly to your company so, as far as you’re concerned, you just order an Uber and think nothing of it. Brilliant.

7. Best Business Apps: Google Apps

iPhone, iPad, Android

If you have an internet connection, there’s nothing better than Google’s suite of office apps to help boost productivity in and out of the office. While Google Apps is a bigger set of products, the main three you need to download and make use of are Docs, Sheets and Slides.

Docs is, essentially a Word replacement; Sheets takes over for Excel, and Slides is your PowerPoint or Keynote replacement. While none of these apps are as powerful as Microsoft or Apple’s counterparts, they are far more lightweight and easy to use. There’s absolutely no point using Excel if all you use it for is making some tables or mapping a bit of data. Just like there’s no need for Word if all you want to do is type up a document or put together a report.

Because all of these apps also save to Google Drive and are web-based apps on desktop, you can take them literally anywhere with you and view them on any device. No need for fussy laptop changeovers at meetings or conferences just so you can throw up a slideshow.

8. Best Business Apps: Ulysses

iPhone, iPad (£18.99)

Ulysses is a powerful writing app that made the jump from Mac to iPad and iPhone a few years ago. Essentially, this is everything you need if you write a lot in your line of work. Described as “desktop-class writing for iPad” by its creators, Ulysses is aimed at anyone who writes regularly – such as novelists, journalists, students or bloggers.

What makes Ulysses so good is its minimalist design and focus on the words themselves rather than cluttering the screen with buttons and features. There’s a three-paned sidebar allowing you to see all your files at a glance, and you can organise this with groups and filters.

It may be a little pricey at £18.99, but if writing is a major part of your job, you can’t really put a price on productivity.

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