The 10 Coolest Apps Of 2015 (So Far)

Tops In 2015

Today's top apps need to do more than just help you live a mobile lifestyle. They need to drive productivity, collaboration and streamline communication. And, so far, 2015 has gone off with a bang. There are impressive entries from major-league players such as IBM and Microsoft along with innovative new app offerings from nimble competitors.

Here is a look at the newest and best apps of 2015, so far.

For more on the "coolest" of 2015, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review."

Office For Android

Microsoft officially launched core Office apps in June for Android devices, making Word, Excel and PowerPoint extremely finger-friendly for archrival Google's mobile OS. The Android offering follows previous efforts to bring Microsoft's applications to the Android platform. But this latest effort delivers the fullest attempt yet to bring parity between Android, iOS and Windows versions of Microsoft's core Office apps.

Dropbox For Business

Who said you can't teach an old app new tricks? Don't tell that to Dropbox, which just upped the ante by releasing a version of its popular Dropbox service called Dropbox for Business. With this business-focused release, Dropbox folds in security and privacy features such as support for two-factor identification and the ability to share folders.

Along with Dropbox for Business, the company unveiled integration of its service with Active Directory for added functionality and integration with user identification.


Quip, a collaborative word processor app, offers a refreshing twist to competing enterprise communications tools such as Hipchat, Yammer and Asana. Quip's base features include document and spreadsheet collaboration and creation. Recently, Quip updated its service by adding chat room support. This allows users to take the conversation outside of the documents or folders they are collaborating on. By taking the collaborative experience and adding chat, it allows for a more organic evolution of communication between team members and lessens their reliance on the black hole of communications -- the inbox.

MobileFirst Suite

All eyes are on Apple and IBM when it comes to delivering MobileFirst apps for iOS devices. The partnership, unveiled last year, is designed to allow Apple to crack the business market while at the same time allowing IBM to crack the enterprise mobility space. The first apps were released in December. But a second round was release in Barcelona during Mobile World Congress.

This latest round of IBM MobileFirst apps for iOS apps include Passenger Care for the travel and transport industries, Dynamic Buy for the retail sector, and Advisor Alerts for banking and financial services customers. Each of these apps are highly customizable and have features that tap into IBM tools such as its Watson Analytics technology.

Box For MobileFirst

Another app from the Apple and IBM partnership comes from Box, which in June rolled out apps that support a wide range of content management solutions. More specific to apps, the trio (Apple, Box and IBM) have created a swath of enterprise-specific apps that tap into Box APIs, allowing end users to store content on IBM's cloud. More apps are on the way from Box, according to IBM, that will include tight integration with advanced data-crunching tools such as Watson Analytics.

McAfee Mobile Security

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Intel Security showed off the latest update to its McAfee Mobile Security app for Android and iOS mobile devices. The updated app focuses its attention on antivirus, application privacy, anti-theft and data protection.

One of the key new features in McAfee Mobile Security is an on-screen widget that allows users to take actions on the home screen itself without having to open the application. The app is meant to engage users and keep them connected and thinking about security. The philosophy, Intel maintains, is in direct opposition to the set-it-and-forget-it model that competing mobile security firms take.

Salesforce Analytics Cloud For Apple Watch

A flood of new apps for Apple's Apple Watch hit the market earlier this month with the release of the smartwatch. One of the most business-friendly and practical apps came from Salesforce. Its Apple Watch app allows users to keep tabs on business analytics via bite-size wrist views. Called Analytics Cloud for Apple Watch, the app pipes real-time data to the Apple Watch display. A Voice Search feature allows users to find information or dig up specific reports and view them via the app's dashboard.

PowerPoint For iOS

Another nifty app is Microsoft's PowerPoint for iOS with support for Apple Watch. This app allows users to use their Apple Watch (or iOS device) as a PowerPoint remote. With the app, users can drive presentations from the wrist. The app allows them to navigate through slides and supports transitions, trigger and other advanced PowerPoint features.

Google Inbox

Google is pushing the envelope with a major rethink of the way we use email. Last month Google -- with more than 900 million active monthly Gmail users -- introduced a new email service called simply Inbox.

Here is a video overview of Google Inbox.

Inbox is not a Gmail replacement, but rather a trial balloon from Google that offers a refreshingly unique, novel way to navigate one of the oldest digital tools. In May Google moved its Inbox email service from private beta to open beta, meaning anyone can try out the service.

Android For Work

The Android for Work app allows companies to separate work and play, creating a virtual brick wall between sensitive business apps and the plethora of unvetted apps that keep IT admins up at night. The key feature of Android for Work is that it doesn't depend on Samsung Knox or other chip-level encryption technologies.

The Android for Work app isolates and encrypts work data, including productivity, third-party and internally developed applications. The app, only available for companies that have enrolled with the Android for Work partner solution, gives enterprise mobility management administrators full policy enforcement, control over app distribution and remote wiping of business data.