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Best iOS apps for business

We take a look at the most popular iOS apps to download for business users

ios apps

There's no denying the iPhone has morphed into the ultimate business device. From an Apple fanboy shiny toy to a fully-featured, security conscious workhorse, the iPhone is now one of the most popular devices for business people in both the UK and around the world.

One of the reasons it's so fit for business is the array of apps available for the iPhone. The App Store was the first mainstream app store to pick up momentum, launching in 2008 alongside the second-generation iPhone 3G and reaching a million on offer by 2013. It's also often cited as one of the reasons the iPhone is so secure – all apps are thoroughly vetted by Apple and there are no third-party equivalents where software might be less carefully scrutinised (one of the main criticisms often levelled against Android).

What's key for business users, though, is that every major enterprise software provider has ported its business apps to iOS, meaning pretty much anything running on a computer now has a version designed specifically for the small screen. This has changed mobile working for the better.

Here are some of the best iOS business apps that changed the face of Apple and have helped transform it into a business-first mobile operating system.

Adobe Connect

URL: Adobe Connect

Price: From free

If you're already an Adobe Connect user on desktop or web, Adobe Connect for iOS is a must-have on your iPhone too, allowing you to take part in web conferences wherever you are, on the specially designed companion app for mobile.

You will find a few of the features missing if you're using an iPhone rather than an iPad, but it still means you can join Adobe Connect meetings when you're out and about - or from home if you don't have the suite installed on your home computer and need to jump on a work call.

Crucially, you can take part in meetings, manage audio conferencing, allow others to join meetings and share presentations on the fly. You're also able to view the whole meeting environment, with all attendees on show, zoom in to see specific content, chat, ask questions using Q&A, and respond to polls.

Those with an iPad may find their needs are better catered for, with full video conferencing management supported. You can also invite others to meetings, stop, pause and start recordings and share content from their local device photo library to the conference.

Adobe Reader

URL: Adobe Reader

Price: Free (in-app purchases)

If you already use Adobe Reader to view and annotate PDFs, the iOS app is a must-have for your mobile device. Although you can't edit documents on the move, you can open, search, scroll and zoom into them to view the content. You're also able to add notes using the annotate tool.

Adobe Reader also adds the ability to take a photo of a document, whiteboard or note and save it as a PDF so others can add their own notes too. Forms are supported in the mobile version of Adobe Reader, which you can sign digitally using just your finger.

There are a whole host of premium features you can add onto Adobe Reader too, including an Acrobat Pro DC upgrade to edit text in PDF files if you use an iPad and re-organise pages, including deleting them or changing their order.

Citrix GoTo MyPC

URL: GoToMy PC

Price: Free

Citrix's GoToMyPC opens up the desktop remote access app on your mobile or tablet, meaning you can connect to your Mac and PC while you're out and about.

You can access all your files and folders, applications and any other network services you need while you're away from your computer. The interface has been built for the small screen, so it's easy to navigate around using your finger as a mouse and because you can zoom in up to 300x, you won't be squinting to see what's on your screen.

If you're adding to a document on your computer from your mobile or tablet, any text is autocorrected and copying and pasting between documents is a breeze.

CloudMagic

URL: CloudMagic

Price: Free

CloudMagic is one of the best email applications out there for iOS, allowing you to connect up to five email accounts, whether you have one hosted with Gmail, Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, Google Apps, Office 365 or an IMAP account.

The unified inbox will show emails across all your different accounts, colour-coded so you know which emails correspond to which email account and with a wide selection of integrations including Salesforce.com, Zendesk, Pocket, Evernote, OneNote, Trello and MailChimp, you can manage other aspects of your business from inside CloudMagic too.

Doodle: Easy Scheduling

URL: Doodle

Price: £1.99

Only available on iPhone, Doodle allows you to schedule meetings and keep a track of your diary through the cloud. After signing up you can respond to requests from others to organise the best time and place to meet.

Whenever you want to set up a meeting, you can just add in others through your iPhone address book and use comments to discuss the meeting further.

An online diary makes inviting people to events and meetings much easier and everyone on your workforce can stay up to date with the latest changes.

Dropbox

URL: DropBox

Price: Free (pay for extra storage)

Dropbox is a third-party storage platform available on iOS allowing you to save photos, documents and videos to the cloud and access them from any location. Whether it be from an iPad, iPhone or even just the web on a PC or Mac, you can access your Dropbox account to edit and download documents from anywhere in the world.  

You’ll get 2GB free storage when you sign up with the ability to buy more later on. You can also send direct URL links to download files, meaning you can ditch those memory heavy email attachments.

Evernote

URL: Evernote

Price: Free (pay for premium)

Evernote means you’ll never forget a bright idea again; the app records notes and syncs them to the cloud allowing access on a variety of devices. A search function helps you find past notes or create a separate notebook for each individual project.

Notebooks can be shared amongst other users allowing a number of people to collaborate on a single Evernote project. It can make brainstorming sessions portable and everything is recorded so there is no worry you’ll forget about it.

Expensify

URL: Expensify

Price: From free

Looking for an app to help you keep track of your expenses and overheads? Expensify is a top app for the iPhone 7, allowing you to easily log your expenses, track receipts and keep track of business travel too, whether you use a car and need to charge mileage or save your train tickets.

You can turn all of these separate expenses into full reports to present to your accountant or finance department, with the added extras of multi-level approval workflows, automatic credit card reconciliation, company card management, next-day rapid reimbursement and integrations with accounting and HR software - all extra bonuses for an iPhone app.

Find My iPhone

URL: Find My iPhone

Price: Free

Find My iPhone uses your iCloud account to keep a track of all your devices in case one goes missing or is stolen. If you lose your iPhone, iPad or MacBook you can track it down on the map using GPS technology.

It needs setting up beforehand but it’ll allow you to remotely lock it, play a sound, display a warning message or even wipe your Apple devices data. This can come in useful if you have confidential information you don’t want the thief to get their hands on.

Google Drive

URL: Google Drive

Price: Free (pay for extra storage)

Google Drive is now available on iOS products as well as Android and, unlike iCloud, can even be accessed from a PC. Drive allows you to store a variety of files including Microsoft Office documents, PDF’s, photos and videos. Drive then allows you to edit within the app and has a “Recent Files” tab for quick access.

Drive’s “permissions” feature allows you to restrict access to documents. It will allow certain groups of people to access one folder and share documents within it without them having access to the rest of your Drive’s data.

Google Duo

URLGoogle Duo

Price: Free

Google Duo is the search engine firm’s free new video calling app. As a rival to FaceTime, it surpasses it in some respects. For a start it is available on both iOS and Android, so now you have a way of contacting your Android-toting buddies for a face-to-face call. There is also a preview mode that allows you to see a video of call before answering it.

iCloud

URL: Installed on all iOS 8 devices

Price: Free 5GB (Pay for extra)

Apple’s iCloud comes bundled on every iPhone or iPad running iOS 8 and connects up with your Apple ID. It works as a cloud storage platform for all of your Apple devices and will store apps, documents, notes and even contacts.

Documents can be edited from inside iCloud allowing you to make changes on the move and those changes will be the same once you return to work on another Apple device. Apple offers 5GB of iCloud storage for free but charges per a month for anything extra.

  • 20GB - £0.79 a month
  • 200GB - £2.99 a month
  • 500GB - £6.99 a month
  • 1TB - £14.99 a month

OneDrive

URL: OneDrive

Price: Free (pay for extra storage)

Microsoft also has its own storage platform that you can access from any PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. The iOS app allows you to easily move, delete and rename files whilst Folders can be set up and easily shared via email using a URL download link.

OneDrive can also be opened directly in Microsoft Office for iPhone and iPad, meaning you can edit on the go in even more detail than on other storage platforms.

Skype For iPhone

URL: Skype

Price: Free (in-app purchases)

Skype is a messaging app with a difference. Whilst alternative services offer instant messaging or video chat separately, Skype combines both with voice calls as well to create an efficient way to communicate over the net.

If you want to conduct an interview face-to-face but can’t make it to their location, log on to Skype and just video-chat over the internet. It also makes it much cheaper to communicate with others around the world rather than traditional long-distance phone calls.

Things

URLThings

Price: £7.99

Although at first glance, Things may seem like a very expensive app for such simplicity, but it is the absolute must-have if your life requires some order. The list app will help you keep on top of everything, whether you have a priority list of things to get done, a shopping list for your weekly grocery shop or articles you haven’t quite got round to reading yet.

You can mix and match tasks into lists. So, for example, if you need to pick up some milk on the way home from a meeting you have, before you have to complete a pitch for a new client, you can add all three tasks from different master lists into one, all encompassing ‘Today’ list. You can also add tags to assign context, priority or time, which come in particularly handy for filtering what you need to do.

Yammer

URL: Yammer

Price: Free

Have you ever wanted to be able to communicate with your entire business at once? Yammer is a private social network designed for your business, that allows your employees to strike up group conversations, share photos and transfer information quickly and easily.

Push notifications mean you’ll be updated right away whenever someone shares an important update. Yammer even has groups so you can keep individual projects separate from the main hub.

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