The 10 Coolest Apps Of 2012 (So Far)10:00 AM EST Fri. Jul. 13, 2012
Mobile devices, and the apps that run on them, have been helping reduce the stress of daily life for a few years now by providing easy and user-friendly ways to get things done more efficiently. And beyond the consumerization of IT, as smartphones and tablets become commonplace in the workforce, mobile apps are now just as important to productivity as many of the software programs used in the enterprise.
As part of the CRN Test Center, The Daily App blog reviews apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad, Google Android and other devices, ferreting out the ones that boost productivity in the field by reducing the amount of time and equipment required to get the job done. The following 10 apps are some of the best we've reviewed so far this year.
Accessing Google Docs through a mobile device is something of a necessity for some business pros who are always on the go. Memeo Connect is a viewer (read-only) app for iOS devices that provides access to word processing docs, spreadsheets, presentations and PDF files. It mimics Google Docs' online organization by grouping folders by today, yesterday, earlier this week, month and year. The toolbar also includes folders categorized as "owned by me" and "opened by me," as well as "shared with me."
Memeo’s stunning graphics and user-friendly interface make this a well-suited app for viewing Google Docs on the go.
Understanding where your money is going can be challenging, but with Mint for Android and iOS from Intuit, spending habits are broken down to provide a customized budget plan. It also gives access to savings, checking, investments, auto and mortgage accounts all in one convenient location.
Working in conjunction with Mint.com, the free app provides an easy way to set up a budget, build savings and pay off debt. It also downloads and categorizes balances and transactions automatically every day.
While we love FaceTime, for work-related video chats sometimes we just want more features. ooVoo for Android and iOS devices is a free, live video chat app that can make calls to other mobile devices, computers and Web clients over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G. ooVoo supports HD 720p video quality and can record, save and send videos for meeting purposes.
All voice, video and text chat usage from one ooVoo client to another is free, and it offers low rates for ooVoo-to-landline or -mobile calls.
If boring slide decks are not your thing, then consider creating presentations with Prezi Viewer. The free iPad app presents dynamic presentations that are more like movies than a series of slides, as they're filled with movement and media. Once the presentation has been created on the Prezi Website, it is synced with the app for flawless presentations. The viewer app marries the fluidity of the iPad’s multitouch gestures, providing a quicker and more interactive interface than traditional slideshows.
With the daily work grind, keeping up on daily news articles and hot topics can be difficult. Fortunately Pulse News for Android and iOS by Alphonso Labs provides a customizable interface to help keep you up to date on your favorite news channels and important websites.
Headlines are thumbnailed in an organized grid. Once tapped, the app is directed to a summary of the full story, and with another tap, the app is directed to the full article on the original website. Stories also can be emailed, saved or linked with Evernote, Pocket or other "read it later" sites.
Never reformat a presentation as a result of using different devices again with mobile tools developer Brainshark’s free app: SlideShark. This cloud-based service brings sharing and viewing PowerPoint presentation capabilities to the iPad.
The app uploads presentations from a user’s secure online account or from a computer through the SlideShark website. Slideshows also can be uploaded to the app from the Apple "Mail" app. The basic editing features allow slides to be repositioned and hidden as needed, and the presentation options allow the slides to be presented manually or set to auto-play.
Nothing makes the morning commute worse than being stuck in traffic. Waze, a free GPS navigation tool for Android and iOS devices, helps to avoid traffic jams through the use of fellow users known as "Wazers." The speed, updates and notifications of Wazers help calculate routes, while the recorded traffic conditions, such as accidents, hazards or any other slowdowns, help create the quickest route possible.
In addition to providing an accurate ETA, Waze also provides navigation to various destinations such as grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants. It can also find gas stations, showing the lowest gas prices in the area.
Worried about essential information getting lost in translation while traveling? Word Lens by Quest Visual is a free text translation app for Android and iOS devices that instantly converts text from one language to another. Language packs cost $4.99 each and include translation for English to Spanish, Italian and French and vice versa. It uses the mobile device's built-in camera and -- just like taking a picture -- immediately converts the text it sees to the desired language.
If travel is a work requisite, then WorldMate, a free app for Android and iOS devices, can help efficiently plan and book trips directly from a smart device. WorldMate updates flight information and can track rental cars, hotels, meetings, locations and other travel information.
WorldMate also sends reminders and provides driving directions to airports; it even checks the weather forecast of the travel destination. Complete with a daily updated currency converter, WorldMate is a solid tool for the professional traveler.
Bringing the convenience of the yellow pages to your fingertips, the free YPmobile app categorizes business listings, menus, hours, directions and user reviews to a smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS. The app can find the lowest gas prices in the immediate area, as well as coffee shops, bars and restaurants and basically anything you can find in the yellow pages. It can also search for local businesses that offer a Wi-Fi hotspot.