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Apps for Business (wo)Men

Until Sept 2010, I was yet another conventional mobile phone user carrying around so called communicating ‘brick’ in my pocket; Those simple 13+ key phones which alternatively could be used for playing a tossing game with your friends in your living room. I was also the one who use to laugh at a crying friend coz his(er) smartphone accidentally received a scratch at a beach. However, now I’m one of them carrying an Android phone and a subject of laughter for my other ‘brick’ carrying friends.

My motivation to write this post was the article on inc.com -’Best Business Apps in 2010‘. The article highlighted some interesting apps which came out in 2010 and helped businessmen around the world. Out of all the highlighted apps, I found the following apps useful for early stage entrepreneurs (which also means free apps only).

1. Dropbox [Android|iPhone|iPad|Desktop]
Dropbox is a new ‘in-the-cloud’ storing environment. It is a good replacement for box.net however the nice thing is that unlike 1GB free space from box.net, Dropbox provide 2GB free space along with a provision for receiving 250MB free space once you refer it to your friend. You can use a web access to download/upload file anywhere on the go (However the login function miraculously vanished from their website when I urgently wanted to print a document stored in the dropbox and end up installing dropbox at cyber cafe’s desktop client). Check out this article by Amit Agarwal if you want to remotely print file from your smartphone. Again, you can also remotely monitor you PC using Dropbox. Overall, its a great software and a free replacement for box.net, Microsoft Groove etc.

2. Imo.im [Android|iPhone]
It was a must after I discovered that the inbuilt gtalk messes my incoming IMs. Its battery friendly, multi-platform (MSN, yahoo, ICQ, Skype, etc.) and stupid-friendly app. If you looking for all-in-one IM, go with my words. However, still some more work is required on the UI.

3. Linphone-SIP/VOIP client [Android]
If you extensively use VOIP for calling overseas clients or while traveling (like me) than a combination of Linphone and Localphone is best. Linphone is just a VOIP client to use with any other VOIP/SIP service. I personally use Localphone.com  as it is really cost-effective, secure and reliable with a good customer support. It a dual VOIP-localphone service which gives you an equivalent local phone no. each for your overseas destination no. So just call that fixed 10 digit number from New york, and your mom’s phone will ring in India without all the hassle of punching in secret code or looking for wi-fi network for your VOIP. [I have details for a promotion which make calls from this service even more cheaper]. Update_May 2011: Android (2.3+) has an internal VOIP app. So Linphone will not be needed.

4. Laputa ebook Reader [Android]
You have to have this if you are into reading ebooks. It’s a free ebook reader with one click access to public domain ebook sites such as Project Gutenberg. I was even able to freely download books such as-Rich dad Poor dad, Harry Potter series, Hitchhawker guide to galaxy etc from their project partners. Must have…

5. Pulse RSS reader [Android | iPhone | iPad]
We all love RSS reader for making our professional news digging easier. When it comes on to read feeds on smartphones, there are very few free options in our hands and no doubt Pulse is the winner. Although not an amazingly awesome app, its best as it removes unnecessary images (which saves data usage) from your feeds and present them in a very nice and interective GUI.

6. SpringPad [Android | iPhone | iPad | Web]
Its an all in one ‘To Do’ handler, barcode reader, ‘Everywhere notepad’, reminder, and many more.  I have explored few features only, however its a great tool to organize not only your businesses, but your personnel life too.

7. ActionComplete [Android]
Its a great app for organizing your thoughts, tasks and ideas to ensure that they are executed right on time. Based on the principles of David Allen’s book “Getting things done”, its a very handy tool for people who are overwhelmed with ideas (most of them unexecuted). I also use Action Method however they are not out with an Android app yet.

Hope this article bring some interesting apps to your notice. Feel free to comment about other interesting apps you think will be useful to entrepreneurs.

Again this article has been recovered from my previous blog.

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