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The best mobile applications for business

The best mobile applications for business

When it comes to editing documents on a phone or tablet, both Microsoft and Google have problems.

If you’re a Windows Phone user, the free Office app is great for easily viewing and editing documents, but you need to remember to tap Save – documents aren’t automatically saved or synced the way they are in Google Drive, for example. .

Likewise, if you are one of the few owners of Surface RT or intend to buy a compact tablet running Windows 8.1, the included copy of Office 2013 is great for working on almost any type of document, spreadsheet (without macros or add-ons). )).) or presentation. or to deal with email.

When it comes to supporting rival platforms, Microsoft is in trouble

Remember, though, that Office 2013 makes few concessions to touch screens – Microsoft’s unfortunate touch mode only puts extra space between buttons and menus. A touchpad / mouse and a physical keyboard are almost prerequisites for serious work.

When it comes to supporting rival platforms, Microsoft is in trouble. It recently released Free Office Mobile for iOS and Android phones, which offer the same editing and viewing functionality as the Office application for Windows Phone, but there is no version optimized for iPad or Android tablets, which are certainly more logical devices for documents. editing work.

Last year, Google bought Quickoffice and recently launched it for free on Google Play, withdrawing Quickoffice Pro and Quickoffice Pro HD richer in features. Unfortunately, Quickoffice is affected by basic limitations. It syncs only with Google Drive and any document created in Google formats can only be viewed as a PDF, it cannot be edited. Office documents can be edited, but even basic options, such as placing text around images, are missing from the editor, while eliminating the formatting of a relatively complex Excel spreadsheet. One to avoid.

Android tablet users looking for a mobile office suite should consider OfficeSuite Pro (£ 9.65, seven-day free trial available). It’s not without its formatting problems, especially if you import Word documents full of images or tables, but it did great with our complicated and heavily formatted Excel spreadsheet. It has a decent range of editing and formatting tools and works great with a number of third-party cloud services, including Google Drive, Dropbox and SkyDrive.

Apple users have several options to choose from, but it’s hard for us to look beyond Apple pages and numbers (£ 6.99 each). Again, there may be issues importing heavily formatted documents or Excel spreadsheets, but when it comes to making it easy to enter text / data and create elegant-looking documents, Apple apps do the trick.

page

Insert a photo into a Pages document, for example, and you can pinch and zoom in to resize and twist your fingers to rotate them, and the text automatically flows around the images. Both apps, along with the Slideshow presentation app, are pre-installed on iPhone 5s and 5c phones.

Presentations and launches

Presenting a presentation as a bridge to PowerPoint slides shows a distinct lack of imagination nowadays. There are a lot of applications that are not only able to provide more compelling and visually appealing presentations than PowerPoint, but are often much easier to use.

Haiku Deck, which is free, is one of those iPad apps. It is best suited for creating high-impact slides that accompany a presentation or sales presentation, rather than presentations filled with data or graphics (although it provides basic charts and infographic-style slide bars and templates).

Its key point is photography – it offers a searchable library of high-quality stock images for use in slide shows, with the option to purchase unique images (for £ 1.49 each) from the renowned photo library Getty to make your slides very glittering.

Of course, you can import your own photos, either from your device or through a variety of online services. It offers a large number of attractive topics, and presentations can be published online, either publicly or privately.

HaikuDeck

The StoryDesk iPad application is best suited for marketers who hope to impress customers with interactive speech transmitted even on the iPad. The application, the Lite version is free, has a wide range of templates, ranging from basic slide shows to interactive presentations, in which the user can click on different parts of the screen to get information about different product ranges, for example.

Storydesk

Presentations are easy to create, although any images, videos, audio, or other materials you want to use in your presentation need to be uploaded through a web browser, not the app, which is a bit awkward. There are a variety of plans for corporate users that offer multiple storage and collaboration features.

We tried to find decent presentation apps for Android: the package is free, but basic and painfully slow; OfficeSuite Pro can be used to create presentations, but there are no formatting options or templates to work with, so it’s actually a setback for this task. Browser-based online tools may be the best option for Android device owners.

The full version of PowerPoint is available for Windows RT and Windows 8.1 compact tablet owners, which is good because we couldn’t find valuable alternatives in the Windows Store.

Take notes

There are two five hundred pound gorillas on the note-taking market: Evernote and OneNote. Let’s start with Evernote (free), which has apps for almost any mobile platform you can name (and, of course, your PC). Evernote mobile apps offer just about anything you could ask for: powerful search, clear presentation, and the ability to attach photos or audio clips to notes. However, offline notes are only available to premium subscribers.

In recent years, Evernote has also put together a selection of accompanying applications that add to its note-taking arsenal. First, there’s Penultimate (which is also free), an iPad-only handwriting app that lets you jot down meeting notes or draw sketches using a variety of authentic pens.

Then again, there’s free Skitch, which is available as a Windows desktop app and iOS or Android app, allowing you to annotate photos or Google Maps so you can draw an arrow to identify your office when sending directions. customer orientation. , e.g. Interestingly, however, the recently updated iOS app has been castrated, many of the features, such as map annotations, have been removed.

Both separate apps sync with your Evernote account; the notes are kept in their own folders.

OneNote also costs nothing and covers all platforms. It is the only Microsoft Office application that also has its own Windows Store application. The iPad has slowly evolved from a little more than a note reader to a powerful editor, with most of the same features as Evernote, with the notable exception of audio recordings.

However, the notes must be synchronized manually, which surprised us several times. We’d also be worried about letting OneNote update automatically on iOS 7, due to the bad enough warnings to make sure it’s fully synced before upgrading to newer versions of iOS.