There are a dizzying number of mobile apps available for Android and Apple phones – more than 1.5 million, in fact. With so many choices, how can you know which ones will really help you be more productive? Here are some of the best apps we've found, complete with descriptions, features and pricing info.
PhotoNote - Need to capture product information in a hurry and take pictures in a flash? Then PhotoNote is an app you should download today. Jill Albers, executive director of global sales at OH-based distributor Shumsky (asi/326300), thinks PhotoNote is a must-have for salespeople at trade shows. “I take a picture, write a note for a product, attach information and send it to account management,” she says. “You have everything in real time.” Pricing: Photo Note costs $1.99. A free version called Photo Note Lite is also available, but it only allows you to take and store four pictures.
Google Docs - What makes this app so useful is it’s created for collaboration. The Google Docs app allows salespeople to share documents – including Microsoft Word files – with colleagues and make changes together at the same time. Everything is automatically saved, so you don’t have to stress about losing updates. The app – which works well with both smartphones and tablets – also offers protection through a 4-digit passcode. Pricing: The app is free, making this one of our editor’s picks for value.
Waze - Marketed as the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app, Waze should be a go-to service for every busy salesperson. The app is a turn-by-turn navigation tool that analyzes real-time traffic and road information to get you to your destination faster. Thanks to reporting functionality, Waze also can help travelers find the cheapest gas along their route. If you’re on your way to a meeting, the app can send your ETA to update clients or colleagues, as well. Pricing: Waze is free and the latest version includes recent updates that streamlined its interface.
Xpenser - The ultimate expense management app, Xpenser serves a host of devices and interfaces – from voice to email to instant messaging. Its clever format allows individual users to quickly record costs, receipts and mileage. The app can also import bank and credit card statements and then export them to accounting software like QuickBooks or Outright. Business and enterprise package upgrades even allow for administration of accounts and report approvals, while also providing convenient audit dashboards. Pricing: Xpenser offers a generous free trial that includes management of up to 300 expenses. Premium versions cost $9 per month.
Dropbox - Have you ever tried to send an email on the go but got an error message because the file size was too large? Then Dropbox was made for you. You can simply create a share link and email it instead of an attachment. The best part? The person who receives your email doesn't even need to have a Dropbox account in order to download it. “It’s especially good for four-color, high resolution files,” says Dave Regan, the VP of sales and marketing at The Vernon Company (asi/351700). Pricing: Dropbox Basic is free and offers 2 GB of space. An upgraded version called Dropbox Basic Plus costs $9.99 per month and provides 1 TB (1,000 GB) of space, along with additional sharing controls and remote wiping capabilities.
Sprint by Spritz - A multi-tabbed web browser, Sprint by Spritz is an app that lets users speed-read through up to 1,000 words per minute. The technology offers different speed-reading options. Words can either be presented one at a time to theoretically help readers comprehend information faster, or the app can read a web page out loud aloud, similar to an audio book. It’s a bit out of the box, but for reps tasked with tons of research, Spritz is certainly worth a try. Pricing: This app is free, with the latest version allowing users to speed read web pages without a sign in.
CamCard - Have you ever gotten back from a business meeting or event with a pile of cluttered, disorganized business cards? Or have you run out of business cards at the worst possible moment? If so, CamCard is an app you should download today. Not only does it let you scan and store paper business cards, but it also allows you to exchange business e-cards, too. The app serves as an ongoing networking tool, as well, providing contact updates and opportunities for you to boost your personal profile. As a bonus, the app works across several languages including traditional and simplified Chinese. Pricing: The free version of CamCard lets users scan up to 200 cards. A full version is available for a one-time charge as low as $0.99.