Five Must Have Mobile Apps

Mobile users at sxswOur reliance on mobile devices has grown substantially and continues to grow as our mobile devices become more and more useful. iPhones, Android powered phones, BlackBerrys, Tablet devices, and laptops are everywhere. The profusion of different operating systems creates a problem for some users as their favorite applications are tied to a singe operating system.

Its not uncommon for someone to have a blackberry or Android powered phone, a PC at the office, perhaps a Mac at home or an iPad they bought as their first table device.  Once you “choose your weapons” from the world of smart phones, laptops, and tablet devices, sorting through the thousands of available applications to make them more effective  becomes almost overwhelming.

Here are a few applications that I’ve found both fun and incredible useful

Evernote:

Evernote allows you to create powerufl notes, clip web pages, save photos and audio files and automatically synchronize them over the web. Each item is a note, and collections of note are organized in notebooks. Each item can be tagged for additional filtering and is also stored with a geographic tag.  You can save photos, audio files, videos, text notes, or clip web sites for later review.  Unlike Dropbox (which is more of a file handling program) Evernote allows you to read and use your notes easily within the program

Prey, MobileMe, Undercover.

Losing your phone or tablet or computer is the nightmare of today’s world. While iPad and iPhone owners have the option of using Apple’s MobileMe application Find My iPhone , this application makes provides you with an electronic safety net that works cross platform with up to three devices for free (excluding the iPhone and iPad). Inexpensive plans for Prey are available with advanced features and the ability to track more devices, and even track the usage on your devices. Undercover is a Mac based program that installs directly on your Mac and provides you with the same ability to locate the stolen or lost device – they also have a mobile version for your iPhone, iTouch or iPad.  Each one has has its own strengths, but investing in these safety programs is a prudent idea!

Slydial

Slydial has been around for a while, but its been getting more press recently. It simply allows you to call directly to voice mail saving you from having conversations when they might be inconvenient.  While it is touted by some presenters as a way to return calls to people you really don’t want to talk to , it has numerous other more benign applications. For example calling someone in a different time zone that you need to reach but don’t want to wake up or disturb – leaving a message for someone in a meeting or an event where a ringing phone would be a bother or embarrassment, or leaving a voice mail message when it would be awkward for you to type a text – while you were driving for example. Apps are vailable for every phone operating system and if you don’t have a smartphone you can dial 267-SLYDIAL (267-759-3425) from any cell or land line. It will prompt you for the mobile number of the person you’re calling and then connect you directly.

Dropbox

Dropbox has become my favorite cross channel file handler. I save files to dropbox on my Macbook and retrieve them later at work on my PC desktop. I save presentations on one computer and work on completing them on another. I invite people that work with me to shared folders to facilitate our workflow and allow people that need information to have it on their computers as soon as the files have been saved. And for me, the best part is that the files are available when there is an interruption of my  on line service (though the mobil dropbox applications are respectful of your limited mobile storage and do not save to your device storage automatically)

Springpad

Springpad is the friendliest note service you can imagine. It helps you organize tasks, movies, shopping lists, and notes, and easily allows you to look up items on the web while you’re working in the app.  The “look it up” function lets you type a phrase or title see all the results or filter the results as products, places, movie or show, recipe, book,album,wine or person.  If you choose a movie it provides you with a synopsis and tells you where its playing or how to get it online, books don’t get a synopsis but do direct you to online sources. The shopping list function allows  you to look for coupons online and to print the list to carry with you (though if you have your phone, you have your list).

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