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Apps and online tools

Apps and online tools

Thanks to the proliferation of innovative apps for smartphones, business people can now do so much more while they are out of the office — everything from tweeting to planning travel or accessing their computer files.

Increasingly, if you can think of a task you need to do, you’ll find there’s an app to make it easier. Many of these apps are online tools that can be used on your office computer as well as your smartphone.

Most apps work across multiple platforms including iPhones, iPads, Android, Nokia, Microsoft (Windows Phone 7) and Blackberry phones.

Which are the best apps for businesses?

There are apps for everything. There are apps to help you organise your task lists and prompt you with reminders. There are apps to help you remember your passwords. There are also apps to help you access and share your computer files from your smartphone. You can even organise your thoughts with mind-mapping apps.

Social networking apps allow you to keep up with the conversations on Twitter and manage your Facebook and LinkedIn activity wherever you are.

There are also many location-based apps that take advantage of GPS technology to help you find where you are going and also to highlight to potential customers where your business is. You can even tag your parked car and an app will help you return to the right spot.

Can I develop my own app?

One option is to build your own app. Custom-built apps and tools that promote your business and help more people to buy from you can pay dividends but they are not always cheap to develop. Athough there are online tools to help you build a basic app yourself, if you want something special, it will cost thousands of pounds.

There is a lot to consider before you embark on developing an app. Above all, an app can only work on the type of mobile phone it is designed for. So you’ll need to find a developer that can work across multiple platforms. Before you invest in an app, it’s worth making sure that your website is mobile-friendly.

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If you would like more technical advice on ecommerce and mobile commerce, see the IT Donut.