Top 10 Essential Business Apps For North America

By Glen White

The business app market is becoming extremely saturated, making it difficult to decide which apps will best serve your company's purpose. 

To increase their agility, productivity, and communication, businesses of all sizes can benefit from the following apps.

10. LinkedIn

So who doesn’t know what LinkedIn is? It is the world’s biggest social network for business with over 400 million users, but many seem to forget to download the app to their smartphone. Apparently only around 25 percent of users have the app. I guess that’s because it’s not that great as an app, but it is still very useful and a very powerful business tool.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Android

CEO: Jeff Weiner @linkedin

9. Evernote

So how many times do we take down a note and then forget where we put it, or hear the phrase “my notes are all over the place”? Well there is quite an easy solution, and that is to download the Evernote App onto your phone. Create your own range of online notebooks, search easily for your notes, and organize all of your notes by keyword or color. It is easy having in on your phone, because your notes are available wherever you go. It’s also a great place to keep that “To Do List” that you keep forgetting about.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Android

CEO: Chris O’Neill @evernote

8. Square

So we are all in business to make money, but sometimes the hard bit can be getting paid. Square is effectively a great app to solve that problem. Allowing users to take credit cards on the go, it can provide the equivalent of a cash register in your pocket. It also can sync with your laptop to provide cool analytics to better understand your business and drive sales. It’s just a great way to process payments from your smartphone.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Android

CEO: Jack Dorsey @square

7. Cisco WebEx

We hear all about globalization, and technology does allow business to be done anywhere in the world— so how do we all meet up regularly? Cisco WebEx is a very popular app that allows users to stay in touch using tools such as on-demand collaboration, online meetings, web and video conferencing. It allows peer to peer brainstorming over the video chat, private meeting rooms, screen sharing, and more. You can effectively work and meet whoever, whenever, wherever.

Platforms: Apps available on iOS, Android and Desktop (Mac /Windows)

CEO: Chuck Robbins @WebEx

6. Office Mobile

So you love Outlook on your laptop or at your desk, yet what about when you are on the go, away from the office? Well another great app is Microsoft Office Mobile, which is essentially a free office suite by Microsoft for smartphones and tablets. It is meant to be compatible with desktop versions of the office suite and allows you to use all of the popular products such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint from your phone.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Android

CEO: Satya Nadella @office

5. Dropbox

Decent cloud storage is almost a necessity today, whether at home or at work. So you could be linked to the Microsoft Cloud or Microsoft’s OneDrive, but we recommend using Dropbox as an independent app. Launched back in 2007, Dropbox offer free basic accounts (2GB) or you can upgrade to Dropbox Pro and get 1TB of data for US$13.99 a month. Dropbox can be used to store any type of file, as well as share files with others as a great “all-rounder” in the crowded world of cloud storage.

Platforms: Apps available on iOS, Android and Desktop (Mac /Windows)

CEO: Drew Houston @dropbox

4. Opentable

Many business deals are struck over breakfast, lunch, and especially dinner. When you’re travelling and looking for just the right place, you may just want to download Opentable. This easy-to-use app allows you to look for available tables at restaurants in real-time. The popular app provides online reservations for some 31,000 restaurants worldwide and allows users to book based on times, dates, type of cuisine, and price range, and we thoroughly recommended when travelling on business.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Android

CEO: Christa Quaries @opentable

3. Skype for Business

Microsoft has now launched a new iOS and Android app, called Skype for Business, a piece of software that’s meant as a modern replacement for Microsoft Lync. SFB allows you to collaborate with anyone, anywhere, on any device via Microsoft Cloud or Office 365. Helpful for instant messaging, online meetings and screen sharing, SFB also lets you interact with Outlook products such as Calendar, Word, PowerPoint, etc. and is protected by strong authentication and encryption.

Platforms: Apps available on iOS, Android and Desktop (Mac /Windows)

CEO: Satya Nadella @SkypeBusiness

2. Uber

So if you haven’t already heard of Uber, what planet have you been living on? This incredibly successful “technology unicorn” is an unbelievable story of the new economy and how a company can start from scratch in 2009 and estimated by some to now be worth in excess of US$60B today, yes I did say US$60B.

So from a business perspective, Uber is a super smart way to get a ride anywhere, from potentially anyone, depending on how much you are prepared to pay. For most business travelers where the service is available, it is by far the easiest way to get “black car service,” whether that be a luxury five-door sedan to an even more luxurious seven-seat SUV. Uber is ultra-price competitive, it’s easy to download and use and it’s even easier to set up from a payment perspective – no cash needed. Uber beats most local taxi services hands down.

Platforms: Available on iOS and Android

CEO: Travis Kalanick @uber

1. Slack

So the web creates the biggest opportunity for collaboration, but how do we collaborate and moreover, how do we collaborate as a team at work? Well if you haven’t heard of Slack by now, you soon will, as you may have already seen their crazy animal advertisements on TV. At its heart, Slack is an instant messaging and collaboration system on steroids, but there is a lot more to Slack than that.

This team communication app provides unique functionality that is extremely powerful for companies of all sizes. Slack offers channels, private meetings, direct messages, file sharing, search, notifications and so on.

Slack has four price tiers: free, standard at US$8 month, plus at US$15 month, and enterprise, coming soon.

Platforms: Apps available on iOS, Android and Desktop (Mac / Windows) or just use it through your browser

CEO: Stewart Butterfield @slackhq

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