Amazon's Fire Phone and Kindle Fire tablets are unique business devices. They run on Fire OS, a modified version of Android created by Amazon that features an easy-to-use interface and handy features such as 24/7 on-demand tech support at the push of a button. But these devices lack the ability to download apps from Google Play, the main Android app store; all Fire Phone and Kindle Fire tablet apps must be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore instead. Amazon's directory has fewer apps than Google's, but it still boasts a good selection of business and productivity apps. Here are eight of the best apps for your Amazon smartphone or tablet.
Kingsoft Office (Free)
If you want an app you can use to create and edit documents and spreadsheets on your Amazon phone or tablet, Kingsoft Office might be your best bet. The app lets you write, edit and save files to the cloud via Google Drive, Dropbox or Box.net. It also includes email integration so you can send and receive documents as attachments. Formatting options include the ability to tweak fonts and colors, insert tablets and tweak text alignment.
Touch screen keyboards aren't ideal for extended typing sessions, but Swiftkey makes it easier to type on your Amazon phone or tablet. It replaces the stock keyboard in all your applications with a better, more functional virtual keyboard. This app adds "swipe" functionality, which means you can type out words more quickly by dragging your finger over each letter instead of tapping them individually. It also includes better autocorrect and next-word prediction software than you'll find on the default keyboard.
Mint is a personal finance app that can help small business owners stay on top of their spending, with tons of tools to track your budgets. Just add your bank account or credit card information, and the app will automatically pull in your spending data. It can categorize your transactions based on a variety of criteria, and it can even organize transactions in easy-to-read charts so you can see in a glance where your money is going.
Dropbox is a reliable cloud-storage platform for Amazon phones and tablets. The app lets you synchronize files between your PC and mobile devices; just drag and drop documents into the Dropbox folder on your desktop computer to sync them to the cloud. Later, you can view and edit those files on your smartphone or tablet just by opening up the Dropbox app. You can also recover deleted files, as well as revert to a previously saved version of a document using this app.
Evernote is a good note-taking app for your Amazon phone or tablet. It lets you quickly and easily enter in any information you need to remember, including text, audio clips and even photos. And Evernote's text-identification software can recognize and index typed and written text, so you can search for specific words. And since your notes are automatically backed up to the cloud, you can easily access them from your desktop PC or another mobile device.
You can't do it all from your Amazon phone or tablet. That's why Splashtop lets you connect to your desktop PC or Mac from your mobile device. The remote desktop app works like a direct portal back to your office computer, so you can view your desktop, open and edit documents, and run PC or Mac applications such as Microsoft Office, Outlook or Photoshop. To make the connection work, your PC must be currently on and running a Splashtop client program.
Travel is an integral part of doing business, and TripIt can make your business trips easier. The app lets you track flight information, share itineraries, sync your travel calendar among devices and more. TripIt also pulls in weather data to alert you to incoming storms that could affect your travel, and it can even recommend nearby restaurants once you've arrived at your destination. Additionally, it can help you track your trip expenses for easier reimbursement later.
2Do is a solid task manager that can help you zero in on the most important tasks you need to complete each day. You can create simple to-do lists, as well as more-detailed project planning documents with built-in deadlines. You can also set up recurring to-do lists for items that must be completed regularly. And 2Do makes it easy to juggle multiple calendars with a tabbed view so you can quickly jump among different projects. It also lets you set up password protection to keep your business plans secure.