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.
- 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.
- Folders: If you’re planning on storing a lot of 411 on your iPhone, this application can help you keep it sorted.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 that provides Caltrains’s schedule; Singapore Subway that provides maps for the Singapore Subway and MultiCam Connecticut 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.