Let’s be honest: there are already a million articles on the “best” business apps for basically every smartphone and tablet on the market. SAP.info has a few of these in the archives, too. While the Web surely doesn’t need another Top Ten list, it’s hard to resist the temptation to scour the iTunes Appstore and Android Market every few months to see what’s new. And the trouble is, there is almost always some fresh app on the scene with a breakout idea. Like the recently released location-based networking app, Here on Biz. So we’ve given in: here’s another list of great apps for doing business on your smartphone or tablet.
Google released this new service in April 2012 as an extension of Google Docs, its online app for file creation and sharing. Google Drive lets you do all the same tasks that you used to do in Google Docs (create and edit files and also share them without needing to send an email attachment), and it provides some new functions, too. You can now use Google Drive to sync files between all your devices and access them from anywhere, be it desktop, smartphone, or tablet, à la Dropbox. Simply download the Google Drive client to your PC running either Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, or Mac OS X Lion 10.7 or Snow Leopard 10.6. Then, download the Google Drive app to your Android smartphone or tablet. For the moment, iPhone and iPad users are out of luck, Google is still working on an app for Apple devices. It should be available soon.
Further highlights: Google Drive supports Optical Character Recognition technology, which means you can search all your files — even photos and videos — using keywords. You can also install third-party apps from the Chrome Web Store for added functionality like photo and video editing, sending faxes, and more.
Google Drive is free up to 5 GB (compared to only 2 free GB on Dropbox). Paid subscriptions start at $2.49/month for 25 GB and go up to $49.99/month for 1 TB.
Here on Biz
This app is hot off the press, having arrived in the iTunes store less than one month ago. A new addition to the social networking scene, Here on Biz combines the latest social media features, like check-ins and location-based services, with professional networking.
The app connects to your LinkedIn account, showing you which contacts are currently in your area. You can also check into a conference, event, hotel, or airport through the app, and it will notify you if any professional contacts are nearby. In addition, Here on Biz displays people in your vicinity that you may be interested in meeting based on their business background. You can extend an invitation through the app and, if they accept, start chatting.
This app is currently only available in English and it only integrates with LinkedIn. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you won’t be able to take advantage of the mobile networking opportunities. It is free to download in the iTunes store.
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer
SAP BusinessObjects Explorer is not the newest SAP app in the iTunes store, but it is still one of the most popular. This app puts all company data at your fingertips: SAP BusinessObjects Explorer actually guides you through the data to help you understand the root causes of events, find the answers, and respond on the go. You can also conduct ad-hoc queries and drill down into the information. Version 4.0 brought augmented reality capabilities and integration with Google Maps to the app. It also introduced keyword search and automatically generated data visualizations. A more recent update brought further improvements to version 4.0.5, including support for iOS 5, HTTPS support for corporate connection, and bookmarks for offline usage. Still further improvements are planned for the app for later this year. See the following video.
To use BusinessObjects Explorer with your business data, you need to have the SAP BusinessObjects 3.2 SP 2 release of BusinessObjects Explorer as well as BusinessObjects Enterprise XI 3.1 FP 3.4, including the SAP BusinessObjects Mobile Server. The version for iPhone and iPad are available via the iTunes store for free.
This is another file storage and sharing service that works much like Dropbox. Files are stored online so you can access them from anywhere — on a desktop, smartphone, or tablet. What sets Box apart from its competitors is its commitment to enterprise-level functionality. You can secure content with file-level encryption, project files to a TV or projector, and create and edit content thanks to integration with popular productivity apps. Like Google Drive, Box is also looking to third-party developers to further expand the platform with a range of integrated apps. A new API for the Box platform was released around the time Google Drive became available.
Box offers three different pricing plans. Individuals can get up to 5 GB for free or pay a monthly subscription for up to 50 GB. Businesses with 3 – 500 users can get 1000 GB for $15 per user per month, while those enterprises that require unlimited storage and users will have to contact Box directly for pricing information. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android-based devices.
There are a number of apps available that scan business cards and input the contact information into your smartphone. And most of them are free. So the fact that WorldCard Mobile has managed to acquire such a large following, despite the $6.99 price tag attached, indicates that it does the job well.
The app scans business cards using the camera on your smartphone, and then it automatically imports the data to a new contact form. WorldCard Mobile accurately recognizes and sorts information like name, phone number, fax number, email, company, and position — even if the card uses shorthand. A handy feature is the continuous shooting mode. This lets you scan multiple business cards in one go, saving you time. The app supports 16 languages and it’s available for the iPhone, Android-based devices, and Windows Phone 7.
Starting last November, SAP began housing its own mobile apps and apps from partners and third-party developers under one roof, in the SAP Store. Until recently, however, it was more showroom than storefront. Previously, you could simply search for apps and inform yourself of the technical details and specifications. Now, as of May 2012, you can purchase apps directly in the store and download them to your smartphone. A SAP Store app is now also available for Android, in addition to iPhone and iPad.