iPhone apps have been rated by dozens of business publications. The top iPhone Business Apps discussed by Entrepreneur Magazine are not the same as the top business iphone apps rated by ReadWriteWeb, both of which offer their own iPhone apps. After scouring multiple lists to find the very best free business applications, it became clear that few lists were much more than the author’s personal favorites, with a couple of specialty functions that only matter to business tech writers or retailers or accountants.
Since those apps reviewed seemed to vary so widely, I decided that in business, nothing matters more than success. What’s successful? The top business category downloads in the iTunes store should neatly sum up what matters most to the majority of entrepreneurs. Below are the top business app downloads this week at the App Store along with live iTunes download links.
- Dragon Dictation
- Billings Touch
- UPS Mobile
- Whiteboard Capture Pro
- Remote Desktop Lite
- Job Search
- USPS Mobile
- Currency Converter
- Documents Free
- FedEx mobile
Looking at several of the top 10 lists published by business publications, what emerges immediately is the real purpose of the most popular applications. Rather than at the most winning brands of software, let’s look at the most frequently needed core functionality of the business software for iPhones.
- Voice to Text Dictation. The top business iPhone app, included in most top 10 lists is Dragon Dictation. The key is the ability to convert voice to text and allow you to tweet, text or email, as well as some which record the transcript in a text file of some sort. There are more apps like this including the iTalk Recorder at #11 most downloaded, which record and store the sound file for later access through the apps.
- Invoicing, Expense Tracking & Billing the top iTunes financial application is Billings Touch, but there are dozens of variants that help you to track billable hours, record expenses and invoice clients.
- Business Shipping & Mailing. Three of the top 10 business iPhone Apps are shipping or mailing applications, including UPS, the US Postal Service and Federal Express. Each of them show rates, track delivery status and show locations of the nearest pick-up or drop-off storefront. Each show shipping rate quotes and delivery time estimates.
- Photo enhancement apps. There are dozens of photo applications for special business purposes and unique situations related to any of dozens of businesses, but the leader by far is Whiteboard Capture Pro. That app takes poorly exposed fuzzy, grayed out images of whiteboards and makes them readable, high-contrast images with bright white backgrounds and sharp black text.
- Remote Computer Access. There seem to be endless remote controllers for presentations and devices of all kinds, but the leading remote business application for iPhone is a secure connection to your desktop workstation via wifi or over the wireless iPhone connection. This has obvious benefits during meetings and out of town travel to access the work computer remotely.
- Job Search Applications. The leading jobs boards each have job search iPhone apps, but the leader is Indeed.com, which is one of several jobs aggregators. This application lets you search by city, then email and save those you choose.
- Currency Conversion. There are also other currency converters in Finance, Utility and Travel Categories, so it’s clear that there is substantial international business travel done by company employees toting iPhones.
- Lightweight Document Apps. Word & Excel are both readable via iPhone, but can’t be edited without separate applications. Some claim to allow editing and saving in forms that allow them to be opened in most document applications.
- Password Storage. Storing passwords for websites in Safari for iPhone and filling in forms with stored information is a popular function of many iPhone applications for business. There are dozens of variations on this theme.
- Business Card Scanners. These vary from simple stored business card photos up to OCR apps that scan and recognize business card text to be emailed, beamed between iPhones with matching apps and/or sometimes stored directly into contacts.
And one for good measure…
Dedicated Native iPhone RSS reader apps for business publications, which sometimes includes video playback. In this list are all top business publications, including Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, CNN Money.
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