The Top Apps for December 2013

Feature Article | December 2, 2013 by Hannes Beierlein and Alexander Roth

Foto: iStockphoto

Photo: iStockphoto

Our five recommended apps for this month:

SAP Complex Manufacturing Accelerator: Start and control processes on the shop floor from an iPad

Sybit CRM Lead2Sales: Prepare new sales activities from trade fairs for the CRM system

LogMeIn: Operate desktop PC applications from an iPhone

AppSeed: Photograph drawings of app UIs and turn them into wireframe prototypes

SolMail: Manage mail accounts at Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and others in a single app

 

Next page: Work more efficiently on-site with mobile IT

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

SAP Complex Manufacturing Accelerator from SAP AG

The SAP Complex Manufacturing Accelerator mobile app is a prime example of how mobile IT can be the better alternative to conventional desktop environments in some market segments. The app – which SAP designed specifically for the iPad – enables supervisory staff at manufacturing sites and workshops to perform their daily duties directly at the point of work. The app communicates with the SAP Complex Assembly Manufacturing server solution for production environments. It lets you call up and check the latest information on operating statuses, current operations, and workforce planning; enter tasks and instructions; and initiate, release, inspect, or pause active operations (directly on the machinery, for example). The application itself stands out with context-oriented user guidance and open communications: You can retrieve all types of accompanying materials and data formats for the operations, such as image files and PDFs. Even incoming callboard calls from the control center can be answered. See SAP explain the app in a brief video guide:

 

Platform: iPad

You can find the app on iTunes.

 

Next page: Enter and classify leads at trade fairs

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

Sybit CRM Lead2Sales

Lead management apps are becoming increasingly popular in the business domain. They allow users to enter leads that are collected in a rush at trade fairs directly, quickly, and straightforwardly – and to prepare this information “ready to serve” for export to a CRM system. The CRM Lead2Sales app from Sybit is tailor-made for SAP users: Sybit has now developed the app as a Platform Edition, for use together with the SAP Mobile Platform. As a conventional lead management app, the iPad application provides preconfigured virtual surveys that let you enter leads and customer data, classify them, and format them for CRM export in virtually no time at all. Companies that purchase the Enterprise Edition from Sybit can also incorporate their own branding and custom fields in the survey catalog. Even the standard version lets users include sketches, notes, and photos in the data records, and it also incorporates a service for scanning business cards.

Platform: iPad

You can find the app on iTunes.

 

Next page: Edit files on your home computer with your iPhone

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

LogMeIn from LogMeIn Inc.

Although still relatively new, this sophisticated app is garnering top ratings: LogMeIn is a mobile app for iPhone and iPad that provides mobile access to desktop computers – both Windows PCs and MacBooks. All you need is a Wi-Fi or 3G connection and installation of the LogMeIn software on the computer you want to access. The basic version is free of charge, but if you want to use the more advanced features, you will need the Pro Version. Once you have configured your LogMeIn account, everything is completely intuitive. The app installs a container on the iOS mobile device or tablet which lets users control all applications on the home computer. You can edit files and even execute IT management features (wake up a computer that is on standby, for example). HD streaming is also supported, as are AirPrint and a service to transfer photos from the iOS device directly to the image database on the computer. A subscription to the professional version costs around 60 dollars per year.

Platform: iOS 6.0

You can find the app on iTunes.

 

Next page: Turn handwritten drawings for app UIs into prototypes

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

AppSeed

AppSeed is a sleek, crowd-funded addition to the app market. It lets you photograph drawings and convert them directly into functioning user interface (UI) prototypes. iOS users benefit from mobile image recognition software that turns sketches into fully functional prototypes, including features such as buttons and form fields, completely automatically.

From a technical standpoint, this means AppSeed converts photographed drawings into wireframe prototypes. Thanks to its integrated OpenCV image recognition module, the app identifies all screen elements – buttons, maps, forms, and the like – and converts the image data directly to interface elements. Users can then move these elements around on their devices or link them with other drawings. This saves a huge amount of time compared to conventional methods, such as drawing tools and mouse-based design, leaving more room for freehand creativity – as the first delighted users have already reported. Another practical feature: The finished prototypes can be exported as HTML 5 code or layer-separated Photoshop files, where they can be edited further on a 1:1 basis. The app is already available in developer circles, together with a sketch block, for 30 Canadian dollars (around EUR 21,50), and will be launched on the general market this month.

Platform: iOS

More information on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Next page: Read e-mail from all your accounts in a single app

Foto: Screenshot

Photo: Screenshot

SolMail

SolMail is a free, functional e-mail client for Android devices that consolidates services such as Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Outlook, MSN, GMX, and many more. The app supports IMAP, SMTP, and POP3 protocols and helps you manage multiple mailboxes simultaneously in a single place. SolMail gives users all the familiar, important functions of a mail client. E-mails can be assigned four types of filters – “starred”, “attached”, “unread”, and “to me” – and then grouped by these criteria, even across all the configured accounts. An archive folder is always available and saves you from having to delete read e-mails on your smartphone. The app is controlled with swiping movements; you can configure the different swipe actions, along with many other features, directly in the app. It also supports signatures and changes to font sizes. The app runs on Android OS Gingerbread 2.3 and higher.

Platform: Android

You can find the app on Google Play.

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