Let your Android smartphone help you by downloading the right apps.
You work hard running your small business, so let your Android smartphone help you by downloading the right apps. Desktop PC apps keep you on top of things at the office, but why stay chained to your desk when you have a powerful computer right in your pocket?
Read on for 11 of the best Android apps to help you run a better small business.
1. QuickOffice (Free)
There are plenty of mobile office solutions on Android, but serious business users should opt for QuickOffice to view and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the go. QuickOffice has more features and broader compatibility than other options. It offers better tools to insert tables, images, charts and other complex elements into your documents, and it's compatible with Microsoft office files so you can seamlessly transition between your desktop computer and your mobile device. And all editing takes place offline in QuickOffice, so you never have to worry about losing service.
2. Google Drive (Free)
Google Drive is Google's own cloud storage platform, making it a no-brainer for Android users who need easy access to their files and documents on the go. It's fully integrated with QuickOffice; just sign in using your Google account credentials, and every document you create or edit will automatically be uploaded to the cloud. Install the Google Drive desktop app on your office computer as well to ensure that all your documents are available on any Web-connected device.
3. Microsoft Remote Desktop (Free)
For small business owners, Microsoft's Remote Desktop app is a reliable – and secure – way to connect remotely to your work PC from your Android phone or tablet. It's also a simple way to use your Windows applications on the go. For example, you can take advantage of the full desktop versions of Microsoft Word or Excel right from your smartphone or tablet to view and edit documents from anywhere.
4. Evernote (Free)
Evernote isn't just a robust note-taking app; it's a tool to help you organize your life as well as your business. The free app lets you dictate or manually enter notes, snap photos, create to-do-lists and more. Evernote automatically indexes your notes and makes them searchable from any device, so you can capture — and recall — your next great business idea wherever you may be.
5. Cloud Print (free)
Android 4.4 KitKat – the latest version of Google's mobile operating system – finally offers access to native wireless printer support, but only a handful of the newest phones have received the update. For everyone else, there's Google Cloud Print, an app that offers a relatively painless way to print a document or the contents of a Web page straight from your smartphone. It's easy to set up, and saves you the hassle of transferring documents from your mobile device to your PC before printing.
6. QuickBooks for Android (Free with a Quickbooks desktop subscription, starting at $12.95)
QuickBooks offers elegant accounting tools to help you track and manage your finances. The Android app isn't a fully-featured, mobile version of the QuickBooks desktop application; think of it as a mobile companion app with useful tools to help you track sales, send out invoices and review recent payments when you’re away from the office. It requires a QuickBooks subscription, but a free 30-day trial is available.
7. Square Register (Free)
No small business is too small to accept credit cards, and you don't need a lot of special equipment to do it. Once you download the Square Register app, you can sign up to receive a credit card reader dongle free in the mail. Just plug the dongle into the headphone jack on your iPhone, and swipe a credit card to start processing payments on the go. The app also allows you to enter credit card information manually. Square takes a cut of every payment, but face it: If your business doesn't accept credit cards, you are losing out on business.
8. Expense Manager (Free)
Expense Manager is a personal finance app with tons of tools for entrepreneurs. The app lets you categorize, record and track your small business's expenses with an easy-to-use interface, then organizes them into visual graphs to show you where your money is going. In other words, Expense Manager will help you keep your bank account so you can stay focused on business operations.
9. Skype (Free)
If you need a solid video conferencing app to meet remotely with employees or clients, it's hard to beat the service that's synonymous with video chat. The Skype app for Android lets you make video calls using the front-facing camera on your handset. The platform is flexible, so you can connect with users on nearly any device. And if you're away from the office, it can virtually drop you into a staff meeting.
10. Google Calendar (Free)
There are dozens of calendar apps in the Google Play store, but Google Calendar is still the best for business users. It stands out due to its intuitive interface and full integration with the rest of Google's online ecosystem. No need to set special reminders for your next meeting or business call; Google Calendar alerts you automatically and even sends a reminder to your Gmail account. It also includes a built-in to-do list to help you stay productive.
11. Field Manage by Locqus (Free)
Managing your team in the office is difficult enough. But tracking progress and scheduling tasks for employees out in the field is even tougher. Field Manage by Locqus is an app to help business owners track jobs for truck- and vehicle-based employees, as well as remote workers. Here's how it works: First, all of your employees will install the app on their smartphones, tablets or laptop computers. After that, you can use the app’s management portal to schedule and supervise tasks, and track individual progress using geolocation. It also keeps customers in the loop by sending out mobile alerts to let them know the status and estimated arrival time of a worker scheduled to meet them. The result could be happier, more satisfied customers. Additionally, the app lets employees create quotes, send invoices and even take credit card payments straight from a smartphone or tablet using a card reader attachment.