Best iPhone Apps for Business Travel

by Carrie Thompson on March 31, 2010

by Carrie Thompson | March 31st, 2010  

I got my iPhone 3G more than a year ago and I still have a huge crush n this little piece of electronic perfection. Forget the day I graduated college and and the day I set foot on Antarctica, when I got my new iPhone was probably the greatest day of my entire life.

Okay, it isn’t that serious, but the 3G has so many fantastic uses for business travelers I don’t see how we made it this far without the device. The only setback? The navigation system doesn’t provide voice prompts.

Some of the great apps for business travelers are the ones that come with the phone, including:

  • Calendar: Like any self respecting smartphone, the iPhone will sync with the calendar on your computer to make sure you’re always up to date.
  • Maps: The built in navigation system can get you where you need to go in your travels, as well as find useful things like a nearby pizza place for lunch. You might miss out on the voice guided prompts, but it will work.

But most of the best iPhone apps for business travelers are ones you’ll have to go out and get in the App Store. There are thousands upon thousands of apps in the App Store, and a huge number of them are great apps for business travelers – with more being added every day. In other words, these are the best iPhone apps I’ve found for business travel, and I think you’ll find them useful, too; but the next time you’re waiting for a taxi or killing time between conference calls you might want to browse through the App Store and see what’s new.

  • TripIt: Business travelers have learned to love TripIt online, so it’s great to be able to take TripIt with you now on your iPhone. (FREE)
  • TripDoc: This simple little app puts all those notes you’d normally scribble into a guidebook on a map in one place. Handy for leisure travelers, and business travelers can map out all their clients in as many cities as they need – along with nearby places to eat. (on sale now, $4.99)
  • Drivers: The road warriors out there will find this app useful as a log for mileage, gas, service and expenses. It will even send you a reminder 20 days before your next service is due. When you’re finished with your trip, you can email the data to your computer and put it in a handy Excel Spreadsheet. ($2.99)
  • Folders: If you’re planning on storing a lot of 411 on your iPhone, this application can help you keep it sorted. (regular version, $1.99; Folders Pro version, $2.99)
  • JetSet Expenses: An expense reporting application that feature 15 separate expense categories and more than 100 subcategories, allowing you to correctly submit your business expenses. You can report expenses for meals, mileage, entertainment and anything else you may encounter in your business travels. The application features a hotel and rental car database you can access, and allows you to store photos of your receipts for future reporting. JetSet works with Google Spreadsheet or Excel. (on sale now, $4.99; free trial version)
  • Sales & Commission: Sales & Commission allows you to track your sales and commission to keep the guys in your accounting department on their toes. Or at least to give you a better idea of what your commission check should look like at the end of each month. ($1.99; free trial version)
  • SpeakEasy Voice Recorder: This app comes in handy on the road when you need to make note of something while driving. Its much safer than trying to type a message in to the notes section. ($2.99; free trial version)
  • Yammer: Yammer is a little like Twitter for business. You set up your private Yammer network to keep team members in the loop. The question isn’t “What are you doing?” it’s “What are you working on?” (FREE)
  • Keypoint: Keypoint is a great tool for those of you who frequently make presentations. You can create and control your keynote presentation from your phone, and your slide notes will appear on your phone as a handy reminder. ($1.99)
  • Salesforce Mobile: Helps you track contacts, sales leads and everything else a good sales person needs. The application is free, provided you’re already using Salesforce on you Mac or PC. (FREE)
  • Hey Taxi: This application can score you a cab anywhere in the country. It will provide you with information on the 3 closest companies, response time ratings and contact details. ($0.99)
  • Delivery Status Touch: Delivery Status Touch offers tracking of DHL, FedEx, UPS and USPS shipments. Very important if you’re expecting a shipment to arrive in a given city at the same time you do. ($2.99)
  • iTrack: Great for anyone who wants to keep track of their time, either by project or activity (especially great for freelancers or anyone who bills by the hour). ($4.99; free trial version)
  • Trapster: Trapster will alert you when you’re approaching speed traps, red light cameras and other sorts of traffic traps. Good for those of you with a lead foot. (FREE)
  • Tip Calculator Deluxe: Not so great with math? Often need to split the bill with a varying number of people? It’s easy with Tip Calculator Deluxe. (FREE)
  • GlobeConvert: A great app for anyone who does lots of international travel, GlobeConvert gives you the ability to switch between all kinds of measurements, currencies, volumes, etc. (FREE)
  • Lonely Planet: Lonely Planet offers city guides for many popular destinations for about $16, with heaps of useful information. (For instance: LP’s New York Guide, and London Guide) ($15.99 each)
  • The World Factbook: You might need to know just a few things about lots of different countries – not enough to buy a whole city guide, but more than just the name of where you’re going. The World Factbook is crammed with all kinds of useful information. ($0.99)
  • World Customs & Cultures: If you want to make a good impression, it’s important to know what constitutes a “good impression” no matter where you are in the world. With this app, you’ll have all the local customs at your fingertips. (FREE)
  • Babelingo: This application will let you translate a phrase in to any number of languages. You can then “show” it to your listener on the screen, rather than trying to pronounce the phase yourself. (on sale for $1.99)
  • SitOrSquat: As you probably guessed, this is a bathroom-finding app. Y’know, just in case. (FREE)

There are also a host of other destination specific applications that can make your life easier, like iCaltrain ($2.99) that provides Caltrains’s schedule; Singapore Subway ($0.99) that provides maps for the Singapore Subway and MultiCam Connecticut ($0.99) that provides live traffic shots from locations around Connecticut.

There are also lots of other articles out there listing favorite iPhone apps for business travelers, including these 50 free apps.


{ 14 comments }

Laura Matthews December 2, 2008 at 5:17 am
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Hi, Carrie,

You mention a “drivers” app in your list (#3), but don’t say the app’s name. Where can we find it?

Thanks,
Laura Matthews
laura@lbm-editing.com

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Laura Matthews December 2, 2008 at 5:19 am
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or, haha, is “Drivers” the name of the app? I get it now! will look it up.

:)
Laura

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Carrie Thompson December 2, 2008 at 7:08 pm
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Hope you like it, Laura ;)

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D April 29, 2009 at 9:45 am
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Business travelers should also check out Spotasaurus. It is in the navigation section of iTunes and it allows you to find and compare parking garages in every major city and most US airports.

Really great, saw it in an Apple ad in the NY Times last week.

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tina February 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm
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The I phone is definitely an amazing phones but you know It cost me a fortune when i traveled to London last month.I had to use the internet and they charged me so much that i almost got a heart attack.I hope there should be an alternate option so that I can use my I phone abroad.

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tina February 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm
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Please help provide me with some suggestions so that i can travel with much tensions about my huge internet bill :-)

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J. Magon February 16, 2010 at 8:24 pm
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I traveled a few months ago with Mobile Wi-Fi from http://www.FonMigo.com. Its a small wireless modem that gives you WiFi anywhere in the UK, unlimitted data for $50. A very cool gadget.

IF I recall correctly they also rent local smartphones that come with all social apps, and skype built in.
I recommend the service

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Patrice Arnera August 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm
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Hi There,

I travel around the World at least once month from Wellington, New Zealand and am constantly prone to delayed or cancelled flights and my business contacts and family are constantly trying to understand when I am landing so that they can reach me.

I have therefore created an iPhone application that gives live departures and arrivals information for any flights at any given airport around the World. You can find an overview of the application at http://www.3dot5.net/blog/world-flights/ .

There is also a draw to win an ipad everytime a milestone of 10,000 download is reached on the AppStore, more information can be found on: http://www.3dot5.net/blog/win-an-ipad-with-world-flights/

Cheers,

Patrice

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karma police August 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm
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Android phones have had talking navigation built in since 2.0. Not to mention a much more powerful and robust implementation of Google Maps, that is easier to use than a third party navigation/places app you’d be stuck using on an iPhone.

btw the new iPhone 4 sucks for travelers! It’s a terrible world phone since it uses micro sims that not all countries support.(Unless you feel lucky and want to try cutting a regular sim in half). You’d have to jailbreak your phone anyway to unlock it from your carrier

As a travel writer, I’d recommend an unlocked blackberry bold, samsung Galaxy S, or HTC Desire

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Michelle August 26, 2010 at 10:51 am
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eSkyGuide is very useful as well. @flyingwithfish gives it a thumbs up for the airport finder alone and others like the tap to call feature with airline, car rental and hotel info. G.L. likes the ability to check alternate flights when his are delayed or cancelled so he can approach the ticket counter informed and get to where he wants to be.

Michelle
@eskyguide

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Corinne November 29, 2010 at 5:47 am
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I love my iPhone and I never part from it.Thanks for all the useful apps.I travel all the time, and the list you provided helps me a lot.

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Rumbula December 5, 2010 at 11:35 am
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Try “Cool Restaurants” – great app if your new to a city and want to find a cool dinner place. They select just the best in more than 75 destinations around the globe. (http://linktoapp.com/pur27 or http://www.worldtop7.com)

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Sharon Kawaguchi March 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm
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Carrie,

Have you had an opportunity to try ABUKAI Expense?. It makes expense reports and tracking receipts so easy because all you have to do is take a picture of your receipts and the app “types” in all the info into your expense report for you. Particularly helpful with tax-time rapidly approaching.

You can download the app at http://abukai.com/install. Once you do that you will get 3 free expense If you need a longer free trial, just send me an email.

We really would like to get your perspective on our product and it could provide a base for an update story on business applications.

Very best wishes,

Sharon
ABUKAI, Inc.

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Frederick North July 5, 2011 at 8:40 am
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New Marriott Rewards Giveaway. 10,000 Rewards Points just for signing up and booking. Go to http://www.bonusfinder.blogspot.com for more details

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