Today, there seems to be an app for almost everything, with each promising the earth. But which ones actually deliver the goods? Skype, Hootsuite, TweetDeck, Evernote and Uber are essentials but should just be the bare bones of your startup app armoury. Strengthen your business arsenal with these must-haves
QuickBooks from Intuit offers small businesses a range of online accounting plans from just £4.99 a month for its Simple Start option to full financial management for £10 a month. The software can run payroll at £1 per employee per month, monitor cash flow, create VAT returns, budgets and business reports, and is accessible anytime, anywhere. It’s a Mac-based programme, but is accessible on mobile browsers on iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices.
A handy, free app from LinkedIn, Pulse allows you to tailor your newsfeed content to get the latest industry updates that interest you and to find out what’s trending. LinkedIn Pulse is not currently available for Windows phones, Blackberry or on iPad.
Timeful is a free iOS app that combines an intelligent calendar with a to-do list. Based on your routine, location and behaviours, it suggests the best times to schedule and do certain tasks to help improve your time management habits and complete your goals. An Android version is imminent.
DocuSign (plans from £7 a month) allows you to capture ‘electronic signatures’ on documents with just a few clicks on your mobile device. This type of signed document is legally binding and encrypted for security. Copies can be emailed or faxed and are saved in a secure Cloud-based account that you can access from anywhere. Available on iPhone, iPad, Android, and Windows.
CrashPlan from Code42 (free 30-day trial, then from £7 a month per business computer) performs automatic backups to multiple locations and devices such as local external hard drives, a trusted computer, the CrashPlan Cloud, or all three. It is compatible with Mac OS, Windows and Linux, and offers unlimited file size and secure encryption.
Wiper seems like other messaging apps but has a powerful benefit – the ability to permanently delete entire conversations not just from your phone but from others’ phones and company servers, too, in one click. Ideal for protecting industry secrets, the free app is available for Android and iOS devices.
The Talk To Me Android app is a real-time speech-to-speech translator that offers speech recognition in 15 languages and output voices in multiple languages. SayHi Translate does similar work for Apple gadgets.
Passible is a free password management app that securely stores your usernames, PINs and passwords in one handy, secure place. If you use the app’s built-in web browser, it automatically logs you in to your websites and leaving no trace or history on your device.
You need an online presence right from the get-go these days. Buffer (monthly prices for small team start from around £70) helps you manage all your social media needs by enabling you to schedule posts for later, view statistics on links already posted and lots more. Buffer supports multiple Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles among others. Take a few minutes to plan out your posts each day and it handles the rest, including the publishing part.
Last but not least, Normal: Battery Analytics (£0.70) is a clever little app that compares app usage on your iPhone with other iOS device owners, then tells you which (other) apps are eating up your battery and how many minutes you’ll save by quitting them. Genius!
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