Put that Apple iPhone in your pocket to work for you with these useful apps for IT professionals.
With an iPhone in your pocket, you have a powerful mobile workstation that will help you solve network problems, find and troubleshoot online issues, and communicate with colleagues and customers. We have gathered a potent mixture of business, networking, and help desk apps that promise to give you a productive working command over your network.
Mocha VNC, $5.99
With Mocha VNC on your iOS device, you can connect to a Mac or Windows PC and view its files and programs. The app offers standard VNC (virtual network computing) protocol, Mac OS X sign-on with user ID and password, encrypted password sign-on, 8- and 32-bit color modes, local mouse support, and WOL (Wake on LAN). You can operate in landscape mode complete with ALT, CTRL, Option and Apple keys, alongside NETBIOS and Bonjour name support. The app lets you zoom and scroll, print, use macros and offers 98 different host configurations. Mocha VNC has been tested with RealVNC, TightVNC, UltrVNC on Windows, and Apple Remote Desktop on the Mac. A free Mocha VNC Lite version is available to try.
TapeACall Pro, $9.99
Sometimes it’s imperative that you record a telephone call from your mobile device. Whatever the reason, you need a solid app that will hook into your phone and output a clear recording. TapeACall Pro, which uses the iPhone’s built-in conference calling feature, lets you tape incoming or outgoing calls, and even calls already in progress, using a third recording line. Start recording with no per-minute fees, and later download or share your conversations in MP3 format and share them with colleagues. The free version of the app lets you listen to only the first 60 seconds of your call, while the $9.99 version provides the entire conversation with no time limits. Your carrier must support three-way calling to use the app.
Office Lens, Free
Aside from photographs, your mobile phone’s camera is increasingly used for documentation: business cards, receipts, whiteboard presentations, and what have you. No one wants to waste time framing and adjusting such documents, so Office Lens can take care of that tedious detail for you. It works to automatically trim and clean up glare and accurately render colors. Printed and handwritten text is automatically recognized via OCR, allowing you to search for, copy, and edit text within images. Any image you capture can be converted into a Word, PowerPoint or PDF file and saved to OneDrive. Business Card mode automatically extracts contact information and saves it in your address book and OneNote.
RSA SecurID Software Token, Free
No one wants to be hacked. And with RSA SecurID two-factor authentication, you can take your company out of that line of fire. The app generates one-time passwords allowing you to use a PIN and OTP to access resources like your VPN client. After installing the app, you must separately import and install a software token, but you don’t need to carry a separate hardware token because software tokens are securely deployed to iOS devices. Users can import a token with a tap or by scanning a QR Code. This app only works if your company has RSA Authentication Manager or the RSA SecurID Authentication Engine API for software token provisioning and user authentication and RSA SecurID Software Token seeds.
Sometimes you need a mobile FTP client, and when that happens, Transmit is a worthy contender, letting you connect via FTP, SFTP, Amazon S3 and WebDAV. The app offers full remote file management, letting you log into your server to upload, download, rename, and edit files and permissions, or create folders. You can save and upload files using the iOS share button and send images or audio from any iOS app to your Mac or server. Panic Sync lets you sync your saved servers and credentials, and keep them updated between Transmit for iOS, Coda for iOS, and Coda for Mac (requires Coda 2.5).
Pingdom is a desktop monitoring app that lets you observe your website or application. Working in conjunction with the free Pingdom iPhone app, it lets you connect to the service and view the current status of your servers and websites. The app gives you alerts and push notifications directly to your iPhone and works to resolve outages. You can view the current status (up or down) and response times for each site of all your monitored sites as well as an account-wide summary of current and past outages. You must have a Pingdom account to use the iPhone app.
SwiftKey Keyboard, Free
The one thing an IT manager doesn’t need is to be constantly correcting her typing – or correcting the auto corrector. SwiftKey Keyboard, a smart replacement to the built-in iOS keyboard, adapts to your language and habitual phrases to learn your writing style. That saves time by supplying accurate autocorrect and next-word prediction so you can auto-complete a whole word with a single tap, instead of typing each letter. SwiftKey automatically inserts missed spaces. The app also supports multilingual typing, more than 800 emoticons and speedy, one-hand swipe typing with the SwiftKey Flow feature. You can type in two languages at once, without changing any settings. Sign up for SwiftKey Cloud to make SwiftKey even smarter.
Spiceworks Help Desk, Free
You may be running an IT department, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go for a walk (outside) or go to lunch (not at your desk). The Spiceworks Help Desk app, working in conjunction with a desktop module, promises to keep you up-to-the-minute on all your network issues. With Spiceworks, you can observe all network activities, including all hardware, open tickets and problems. You can also respond, open and close, edit and assign, and set ticket priorities. The app lets you track user details and contact information as well as discuss issues with other experts in the field.
If there’s any file you need to access quickly or share with someone else — regardless of format or size — Dropbox is for you. Dropbox is the place to store and share photos, documents, videos, and other personal or business files. The files you keep in Dropbox are safely backed up and you can access them from all your devices, even if you are offline. You can share large files with anyone via private link, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. You can create and edit Microsoft Office files from your iPhone or iPad, and share links to your largest files without using email attachments. And if that’s not enough, an in-app purchase of a Dropbox Pro subscription includes 1TB of storage and additional features.
While this isn’t always 100% accurate because it’s running over the live internet, it’s at least a simple gauge of how fast a device might be going. I love running this on iOS devices in situations where deployments (K12, College, BYOD) might be heavy on iOS devices. It’s free, but you can pay a small fee to disable ads within the app.
IT Tools Network Analyzer, $4.99
Even on the go, you want to make sure your network is in tip-top shape. IT Tools is a network scanner and analyzer that includes traceroute, DNS lookup, ping, routing tables, ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) tables, interface statistics, active connections list, and more. The Wi-Fi network scanner discovers all resident machines while the continuous traceroute feature offers details of network hops to the destination host. Network interfaces show up on your device and statistics are updated in real time. All tools support Mail and Messages.
Microsoft Azure, Free
Microsoft Azure is the cloud platform you're most likely to need for building, deploying and managing your companies applications. Now you can do that from your iPhone with the Azure app. It can help you easily check the status of critical metrics anytime. It will give you alerts about potential app health issues. Plus you can take actions such as starting and stopping virtual machines and/or web apps.