The Best Mobile Apps for Businesses

Mobile apps can completely transform the way you do business. There are applications to improve the way you communicate with your team, market to customers, manage your finances and plan your projects. But with so many different smart phone and web apps to choose from, it can be overwhelming to pick just the ones that are the best, and most useful.

Collaboration Apps

Collaboration programs can help your team stay on top of all the projects they’re working on together, even when they’re out and about. Ideally, the perfect collaboration business application will let you see and easily manage all of the projects you have going on at once. And it should work for all members of your team.

1. Convenient messaging app for team work: Slack

Application Slack is a messaging app made to help teams collaborate. The app allows you:

  • to create channels for collaboration and communication between team members;
  • to send private messages - if you need to get in touch with just one person about something, you can do that.
  • to set up a channel that’s open for your entire team to share ideas and then have smaller channels for each department or project.

One of the big things that sets Slack apart from other collaboration software is that it lets you integrate with many of the other apps and services you probably use on a daily basis. You can set up Slack integrations with services like Dropbox and Twitter, and then receive all of your notifications for those other services within the Slack program interface.

However, if you don’t use those other services, that feature isn’t going to be of much use to you. Some business owners may also see that as a negative if they tend to get distracted by a lot of notifications and social media updates. In addition, you have to pay extra to give clients access to your Slack communications. So while it can be convenient to use the tool to share within your own team, it’s not quite as easy to if you need to use it to share with clients or outside partners.

Slack’s mobile apps are available on iOS, Android and Windows. And there are desktop apps available as well. If you’re using the app with a small team, you can get Slack’s basic features for free. But you’ll need to pay for more advanced features like unlimited messages and guest access.

2. App to keep your team on track - Asana

The collaboration application Asana is designed to help teams track their work. Using this app, you can set up different projects and then outline tasks that need to be completed within each one. You can also assign tasks to different team members and have conversations within the program interface.

The whole purpose of Asana is to help you move projects forward and actually get things done. The secondary features, like conversations, files and calendars, are all there to help with the main mission. But the core of the app is the ability to track and manage the things that need to get done in order to move your business’s major projects forward.

For that reason, some users have been disappointed with the lack of those secondary services. More specifically, there’s no dedicated live chat feature, which can certainly be useful for teams working together in real time. However, you can integrate other chat apps if you’d like.

There are iOS and Android versions available for free. But you need to pay for a premium version if you have a team of over 15 that you want to have access to the platform, or if you want premium features like private projects and unlimited guests.

3. Flexible app for team collaboration - Trello

Trello prides itself on being a flexible solution for teams looking to collaborate. The app lets you set up cards, which can represent different projects or conversations. You can add different people, files, checklists and other items to each card. And you can even drag and drop different items to make the whole process simple.

Some of the cons of Trello include the lack of a calendar section and the inability to write full descriptions for boards or projects. You have to get by with a simple description of each one.

The app is available in iOS, Android, desktop and web versions. There’s a free version if all you want are the basic features. However, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee for things like app integrations and the ability to manage multiple teams across the platform.

4. Customisable collaboration and communication app for businesses - Salesforce1

From Salesforce, one of the biggest names in business cloud technology, the Salesforce1 business app gives you and your team the opportunity to get and share real time updates about your business. You can view sales figures, messages, schedules and tasks.

The benefit of choosing this app over others is that it’s tied into Salesforce. So if your business uses Salesforce in its day-to-day operations, the mobile app can give you access to all of that data. And you also have access to Salesforce’s massive AppExchange so you can customise the app to work specifically with your own business.

But if you don’t use Salesforce, it’s not going to be of much use to you. In addition, since the app is so robust, it requires a strong internet connection to be able to access all of the features and work quickly. So if you want your team to be able to access the app from anywhere, using it could prove to be difficult.

The app is available for free on iOS and Android. But you obviously should have access to a Salesforce account to get the full experience. Monthly plans start at $25 per user.

Finance Apps

The bottom line is an important thing for every business to consider. You have to keep an eye on your finances at all times. And that means you need the best financial apps out there. When choosing your company’s finance and payment apps, you’ll need to take a look at the features you use in your regular accounting program and consider which of those features you really want to be able to access via your mobile business apps. In fact, your accounting program of choice might even have its very own mobile app for business use.

1. Credit card and payment processing app - Square

For businesses that need to collect credit card payments from customers in person, Square offers an affordable solution. The app and basic card reader are free, and work with a variety of iOS and Android mobile devices. When you collect payments, Square takes 2.75% per swipe, and more for manually entered payments.

For small businesses especially, the app can be an incredibly helpful option. The fees can add up. And you don’t get a lot of the same services that you would with more traditional point of sales systems, like a dedicated account representative. So it’s not necessarily an all-inclusive solution.

But for those who don’t have the resources to invest in higher end payment processing equipment, there’s little to no upfront cost with Square. And it’s relatively easy to get started.

2. Professional mobile invoicing app - Invoice by Wave

Invoice by Wave is a mobile app that’s part of the Wave accounting platform. It doesn’t have all the different features of Wave. But it does allow you to send and manage invoices from your mobile device.

Available as an iPhone app or other mobile devices running iOS, Invoice by Wave lets you send invoices that actually look professional, instead of haphazardly throwing something together on your smartphone. And if you use the Wave platform to manage the rest of your financials, then you can really easily integrate the invoices you send into your regular bookkeeping.

However, some users have complained about the platform in general, as it has taken a long time to load in some circumstances. It’s also not a fully functioning accounting mobile app, if that’s what you’re looking for. You’ll need the full platform to get all the features.

3. Mobile app for accounting software Zoho - Zoho Books

Zoho Books is an all-encompassing accounting software for businesses. And the company offers mobile apps to help you access and update your information from anywhere. Available on iOS, Android and Windows devices, the mobile version of Zoho Books lets you send out quotes, track time for projects and see all the data about your business’s finances.

The mobile apps are obviously only useful to those businesses that also use the main Zoho Books platform, which costs between $9 and $29 per month, depending on the plan you choose. And Zoho has the ability to integrate with plenty of other services and apps to make the platform easy for businesses to use.

However, the Zoho platform can be a little inconsistent across different platforms. So if you or your team use it on more than one device, it might be difficult to find different things within the app. In addition, some users have complained of bugs and slow load times.

4. Business app for tracking expenses and travel - Concur

Concur’s mobile app is made to complement its web based solution. The purpose of the app is to help you track and manage your business expenses. You can capture receipts with your phone, manage expense reports and even add things like mileage to your reports. You can also use the app to book and manage business trips.

In order to access all of the features, you’ll likely still want to utilise the web based version of Concur. But having the mobile app makes it easier to manage expenses when you’re travelling or just away from your computer. The app is available as a free download for iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry devices.

The platform also offers you the opportunity to integrate with other services. However, some users have complained that this is a troublesome point for Concur. Integrations are not always easy and don’t always give you the full functionality of the service you want to integrate.

5. Complimentary mobile app for tracking business expenses - Expensify

Mobile business app Expensify is another solution for tracking expenses. The service offers free mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android platforms. And the mobile apps are simply meant as a complement to the online solution, so you don’t get the full functionality just on your phone.

However, you can use the app to scan receipts of your purchases so you can easily keep track of your purchases and expenses while you’re on the go. You can also use the app to track expenses related to time or distance. So if you’re traveling or hiring someone for a set period of time, you can use the app to keep track of those expenses.

You can also use the platform to report expenses. However, users have complained that it can be difficult to pull all of the data you need. Load times and support can also be slow.

Communication Apps

In any business, communication is key. Whether you’re communicating with your customers, partners or team members, there’s an app that can probably help. There’s such a huge range of different communication type apps. You can get apps to connect you for conference calls, manage your emails, coordinate your social media and more. You might even want to use several different apps in this category. You’ll just have to consider the most important needs of your business in order to pick the best ones for you.

1. Email organisation app - Inbox

Inbox is an app by Google that works with Gmail accounts. The purpose is to help you get and keep your email inbox organised. It does so by bundling certain types of emails together. So all of the emails about purchases, travel and various other categories will all show up together so you can deal with them at the same time. You can also create your own bundles for work related or personal things.

You can also add to-do lists and reminders within the app if you have important events or tasks coming up. Overall, the app can make the process of managing your inbox a lot more straightforward.

However, since it’s built specifically to work with Gmail, people with other email systems might not be able to realise all of the benefits. It also has fewer formatting and customisation features than other email platforms. And if you have multiple email accounts synced together, it can be difficult to navigate. Inbox is available for both iOS and Android devices.

2. Phone conferencing mobile app - MobileDay

Phone conferencing app MobileDay allows you to join conference calls and schedule your upcoming meetings right from your mobile device. One of the big benefits of the app is that you no longer have to dig through your notes or emails to find the conference numbers or codes for your calls.

MobileDay has apps available for iOS and Android. The apps are free. But you’ll need to pay for the actual conference service if you’re the one hosting the conference calls. In addition, there are in-app purchases available, so the app isn’t all inclusive. And it’s not exactly a breakthrough product - it just solves one simple problem for many businesses.

3. App for scheduling social media content - HootSuite

Social media is a really important part of how modern businesses communicate with customers and even team members. But it can easily get overwhelming to the point where you lose entire days just checking and updating social media platforms. That’s where social media scheduling app HootSuite comes in. HootSuite offers a web version as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. You can use it for any of the following:

  • Scheduling social media posts
  • Keeping an eye on social media analytics
  • Connecting with various platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn and more.

The mobile apps let you access the same dashboard that you’d see on the web version. You can post updates, manage your account and track analytics. The apps are free for basic use. But you may have to make in app purchases available if you want to do more.

In particular, the analytics reports can get expensive for small businesses. And if you want custom or vanity shortened URLs, those expenses can really add up. In addition, you can’t always get the full analytical data if you also use other services like Buffer.

4. App for monitoring and polishing social media content - Clear

If your business uses social media, then you may have posted material at some point that didn’t go over well, or that wouldn’t go over well if someone found it later. Instead of spending time constantly combing through your content to remove embarrassing, problematic or irrelevant content, there’s Clear.

Clear works by integrating with social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It uses an algorithm, along with IBM’s Watson supercomputer, to comb through your content and call your attention to posts that you may want to delete. But it only actually deletes things if you give your permission.

The app is only available for iOS at this point. So you can’t use it, or encourage your team to use it, if you don’t have the right devices. And it’s probably not relevant to every business or professional anyway - just those who have a lengthy social media history or are running a high profile type of business.

Productivity Apps

Simply put, productivity apps help you get more stuff done. The best productivity apps will help you organise your to-do list, focus on what’s important and really buckle down to do the work. The apps in this category are fairly similar to some of the collaboration apps, but they’re just more suited for individual use. For that reason, they’re probably best chosen for each individual or maybe small teams, rather than designating a single app for your whole business. To choose the best one for you, you’ll have to really consider how you work and what your biggest productivity issues are.

1. Productivity and note-taking app - Evernote

Evernote is meant to be the mobile platform where you can keep and organise all your thoughts. You can write out short lists, take or upload photos, save articles and even doodle or use your own handwriting.

Since there are so many different functions available, it’s an app that you can really customise to make the experience that you want. But since there’s no real specific way of using it, it might seem overwhelming to those who don’t have a clear direction. It can also get expensive for small businesses or individual users, especially if you’re interested in add-ons. And it’s not really meant for large documents, so it can slow down or just not work if you’re doing more than adding simple notes.

The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, online and more. And you can access your account across all your devices. So if you mainly use it on your computer, you can use the mobile app for jotting down notes on the go and then access those notes when you’re back at work. It’s free for the basic plan. But you’ll need to pay extra for additional uploads or team functionality.

2. Productivity app for staying focused on tasks - OmniFocus

The main purpose of the OmniFocus mobile app is to get you to focus on just one thing at a time. Yes, you can make lists and tasks and calendars. But the thing that sets this app apart is the focus on getting your most important tasks completed. You can create due dates for items on your lists. And then the app will help you prioritise what needs to get done first. The app even has location awareness capabilities. So if you have something on your list that requires going to, say, a grocery store, it can alert you when you’re close to one.

It’s available for Mac and iOS in two different levels. It’s fairly pricey, starting at $39.99 for the base features. And you’ll need to pay even more if you want to use it on multiple devices. So you probably won’t want to make the investment unless you’re sure it’s a system that will work for you. In addition, some users have reported that it’s not a particularly attractive app, although this is subjective of course. And it can take awhile to really get the hang of using it since there are so many different features.

3. To-do list and reminders app - Remember the Milk

Remember The Milk is a popular to-do list app. You can write and create the things on your to-do list and even set up reminders. So you can have the app email, text or contact you in some other way when there’s a task that you need to complete. However, it’s not a very full featured mobile app - it’s more for your basic to-do lists.

In addition, the app has a Smart Add feature to help you add items quickly. And you can arrange your to-do list items into categories to help you stay even more organised. It’s available for free on iOS, Android and BlackBerry. And there is also web, tablet and even smartwatch versions available.

It may be worth noting though, that some have criticised the app’s design and speed. In addition, there are some features, such as sharing, that are only available on the web version and not on the mobile apps.

4. Note taking and productivity iPhone app - Drafts 4

Drafts 4 is a note taking app with some added productivity features. You can simply open the app and start writing notes about whatever you want and the app automatically saves what you type. So it can be a great solution for making quick notations or reminders while you’re out and about.

The app is available as an iPhone app. And you can even use it on the iPad or Apple Watch and dictate notes as you go if you don’t have the time or concentration to actually type out your notes.

However, Drafts 4 costs $9.99 in the app store, which can seem a little steep for a note taking app, especially one that is similar in some ways to the built-in note taking app that comes on the iPhone. But it does have some advanced features like sharing capabilities and an email-like inbox.

5. Calendar app to manage available time - Free Time 2

There are plenty of calendar apps out there. But most of them put the emphasis on what you actually need to do. However, calendar app Free Time 2 is all about the space that’s left over. Whether you’re a busy professional looking to spend more time with family or a business owner trying to see where you have openings for other tasks or appointments, Free Time 2 puts the emphasis on the time periods you still have open on your calendar.

The app works with other major calendar programs, like those from Google, Apple and Outlook. So it’s simple to set up. However, that feature means that it probably won’t serve as your only business calendar. So you’ll still probably need a separate app to manage your appointments and to-do list items. In addition, Free Time 2 is available for iOS and costs $1.99 in the app store.

6. List making and productivity mobile app - Wunderlist

Wunderlist is a productivity app that lets you create, set up and share lists. You can make to-do lists or notes and then organise them into folders or even send them to other people or devices. You can also set up notifications to remind you of really important tasks or appointments.

One of the major benefits of Wunderlist is that it’s available on a huge variety of different devices. You can use it on iOS, Android, Windows, web, desktop apps and even the Apple Watch. So if you have multiple devices where you want to be able to access your lists, Wunderlist could be a good option.

Wunderlist offers free apps and a free basic account. But you have to pay more for pro features like collaboration and assigning. Or you can sign up for a business account to manage all of your team’s projects. However, some more advanced features like the ability to create subtasks, repeat tasks or start dates for tasks aren’t available at all. And some have also complained about the unreliability of the app when it comes to syncing different devices.

7. App that remembers your password and keeps them secure - 1Password

With so many different accounts and platforms out there, you likely have more passwords than you can really keep track of. If you have trouble coming up with enough secure passwords, or have trouble remembering those passwords, 1Password may be able to help. The app, which is available for iOS, Android, Windows and desktop, stores and saves all of your secure passwords and even credit card and payment information.

This app won’t solve all of your productivity issues. But it solves one problem that a lot of people and businesses have. However, a major thing the app is missing, that some feel it should have, is a two-step verification process. This could keep your data even more secure. The service costs $64.99 to purchase for an individual. And there’s also a family version that comes with a $5 monthly payment.

Of course, there’s not going to be the absolute perfect mobile solution for every business out there. But you don’t have to settle. If you don’t see an app that fits your business’s needs on this list, you can always build your own app.

To learn more about building an app, contact Magora. We are bespoke software and mobile app development experts, who are ready to put together an app built specifically for you. Our experts understand both the technology and business aspects of app development, so you can work with us to come up with an app to fit your collaboration, finance, communication and productivity needs. We are ready to integrate your existing software or any payment systems with apps or to create a new app from scratch. So contact Magora to get started on building the perfect app for your business.

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App, created by the best app development companies, costs usually from £500,000. The price for an app built by middle sized companies like Magora is from £12,500
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