When it comes to smartphone satisfaction, app selection really matters. In terms of sheer volume, Windows Phone can't compete with the app libraries on iOS or Android. But for most users, Microsoft's offering has everything you need to stay productive when you're away from the office. Read on for the best business apps Windows Phone has to offer.
You can't always meet face-to-face, but videoconferencing app GoToMeetingis the next best thing. The app lets up to 25 attendees remotely join your virtual meeting from almost any Web-connected device. The service streamlines even the process of scheduling a meeting and sending out invitations. Its best features include screen sharing and speaker identification, so you always know who is talking.
For serious business users, the mobile version of Microsoft's OneNotehas one big advantage over competing note-taking apps: full integration with Microsoft Office. OneNote automatically syncs with Microsoft's OneNote cloud-storage platform, so your notes and lists are accessible from anywhere, on any Internet-connected device. When you want to recall a note, the app's search functionality can help you find it.
Splashtopis one of the best remote desktop apps available on Windows Phone. After the app is set up, it provides quick access to your desktop computer, including your documents and media library. Splashtop lets you use all desktop programs, including Microsoft Officeand Outlook. By default, the app only lets you access your computer on your smartphone if both devices are connected to the same local network. For cross-network access from anywhere, you need a subscription to the Splashtop Anywhere Access Pack ($1.99 per month).
Office Remote (Free)
The Office Remote app turns your smartphone into a smart remote for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. It lets you start PowerPoint presentations, advance the slides and control an on-screen laser pointer from your phone's display. In Excel, you can navigate between graphs and control data slicers, and in Word you can scroll through a document or quickly jump to a specific section. And since your Windows Phone syncs seamlessly with the desktop version of Microsoft Office, it's a great tool when you take your presentations with you on the road.
Microsoft's OneDrivecloud storage platform stands out among cloud storage apps thanks to its tight integration with Microsoft Office; any documents, spreadsheets or presentations you create in Office can be automatically uploaded to your OneDrive account. Once you upload a file, you can access it anywhere, from any Web-connected device. Using OneDrive is also a good way to back up important files and documents, since it lets you roll back to a previously saved version of a file anytime you want.
Innerfence Credit Card Terminal (Free)
Innerfencemight be the best option for Windows Phone users who want to process credit card payments using their smartphones. Sign up for free, and receive your first credit card reader, which plugs into the headphone jack on your smartphone. The reader works in conjunction with the Innerfence app to let customers and clients swipe a card to pay you on the spot. Other useful functionality includes the ability to capture signatures and email PDF receipts to customers. You can also view your transaction history in graph form to help track your sales over time.
Argentis a solid expense-tracking app for Windows Phone. The app's core functionality is to let you quickly add individual expenses and then sort them into customizable categories. The app also lets you consult your transactions and balance for the day, week or month at a glance. Additionally, Argent includes the ability to export your transactions to Microsoft Excel so you can easily sort, organize and review them on your desktop computer.
CamCarduses your phone's camera to automate the process of adding new contacts to your address book. To use it, just snap a photo of any business card and let the app's text-recognition software pull out the key details. It will automatically update your address book, and it can even locate your new contact's LinkedIn profile. That way you can get a quick glimpse at his or her background, and see any mutual connections you have. You may have to correct some transcription errors before you finalize a new address book entry, but CamCard helps ensure you save important contact information before that business card gets lost or misplaced.
Mintisn't just a personal finance app; it's also a great tool for entrepreneurs and very small businesses to track spending and tweak budgets. It lets you add bank accounts and credit cards, and then automatically pulls in and categorizes transactions as they occur. Best of all, it organizes that information into easy-to-read graphs to help you understand where your money is going. It also provides quick access to bill due dates and financial reminders, and even lets you apply for loans right from the app.
Print Now (Free)
Print Nowprovides an easy way process print jobs from your Windows Phone. The app works in conjunction with Google Cloud Print; to get started, link your printer to Google Cloud Print by following these instructions. Then, make sure your Windows Phone device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your printer. Once that's done, you can use Print Now to send files to the printer from OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or your phone's onboard media library with a few taps.