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So you have a great idea for a new app, but you’re not sure where to get started. From personal app developing experience, and from what other developers have written, here are some quick tips and tricks to get you started.

1) Decide on Risk. Once you have a great idea, you have two options. One is risk-free, and one is high-risk.

NO RISK: The risk-free option is to give your idea to a developing company, and get a small percentage of the final profit (after expenses) if they decide to develop it. Note, however, that by submitting your idea to such a company, you forgo your intellectual property rights to that idea. To do this, there are several options right in the app store.

HIGH RISK: The high-risk option is to develop the app yourself (or pay someone to do it for you). If you take this route, you owe it to yourself to do some market research before developing your app—to see if it’s actually a good idea, and to find out if anyone would actually want to buy it. There aren’t a lot of ways to do this, but there are some apps in the app store that allow you to get feedback (market research) on your idea without giving up your rights to develop it. Naturally, this is how the best apps have made fortunes.

Since the second option is what takes all the work, it is the focus of the rest of this article.

2) Envision Your App. Imagine what it will look like, how it will perform, what the screens will display, what options will be incorporated, and how the graphics will be designed. Take a week to think about it. Write things down. Keep a notepad beside your bed. Scribble, draw, imagine, brainstorm… do whatever it takes until you can practically run the app from inside your head.

3) Find a Developer. (If you know how to program the app yourself, skip this step.) You have two options: corporate or freelance. You can easily find both with a few Google searches.

CORPORATE: Corporate developers are big companies with teams of programmers. They take care of everything, and they do a great job—graphics, testing, programming, and deployment—all taken care of, no worries. The catch is that they’ll run you up a bill between $20,000 and $100,000 depending what you ask for. (Wait, don’t freak out! There’s another option.)

FREELANCE: Individual developers also offer developing services. Many of them are based in India, and their rates are very reasonable (often about $12/hr). You can typically have an app programmed for under $1,000 (unless it’s a game or otherwise graphics-intensive, which is much harder to program). The catch here is that you have to stay on top of things. You will be responsible for quality-control, negotiating what your freelancer will do for you, etc. Plus, the quality you get from a freelancer probably won’t be as great as with a corporation—for example, it might not look as nice, or it might have some bugs that you need your developer to fix. Expect between 1 and 3 months for programming.

4) Get it in the Store. This part will cost another $99. You’ll need to first sign up for a developer account with Apple. After that, it’s pretty easy. Your developer should be able to upload the binary app file to the store. You write a description, decide on the price (which you can change at any time), select a payment method (e.g. direct deposit from Apple), and agree to a bunch of Apple’s legal stuff. Apple usually takes less than a month to approve the app once it’s submitted, and then you’re live in the fabled App Store. Note, however, that Apple sometimes rejects apps, and will ask you to change certain things (e.g. a feature in violation of the App Store’s Terms of Use). In that case, you’ll have to alter your app and resubmit. So don’t pay your developer in full until your app is live in the store!

5) Market, Promote, and Sell. This step can be the hardest (unless your app become one of Apple’s hand-picked “Featured”). There are a lot of things you can do to publicize your app. First, get the direct link to your app in the store (e.g. itunes.com/apps/appideapro), which you can find by searching for your app in iTunes. Then submit your app to blogs, reviewers, and news companies. Write about your app, publish press releases, get a website, and submit the website to search engines. You can also get a marketing agency for iPhone apps—easily found on Google. The trick is to distinguish yourself, find a niche, create a unique message, set yourself apart, and get your message to iPhone and iPod touch users around the world.

Remember, the key is to start with a fantastic idea and a reasonable budget. If you have that, with a bit of luck, the rest will all fall into place.

Getting Started:

* Start by doing serious market research (there’s an app for that)

* Find a programmer – corporate (expensive) or freelance (cheap)

* Get a developer (Dev) account with Apple

* Get your app in the store, and start marketing

Best Apps For Real Estate Agents

With Apple formerly blowing away the all the competition Android is now quickly on their tale with many more app developers developing apps for realtors for the Android. How do you decide? Which ones are the best? Well, it really depends on which smartphone you are using and what problem you are looking to solve.

Here are some of the best apps for real estate agents in the iPhone format. We will have Android apps reviews in the future but for now we will just focus on iPhone apps.

CalcsFree: Have you ever been showing a property and the buyer asks you how much the payments will be? For those that aren’t good at math, this is a great app for you. When I started out I really had no clue how loans worked and, honestly, I still don’t. Too much detail and too many variables considering the market that fluctuates so much. It is hard to keep up with what is happening. I’m more focused on getting well-qualified buyers and cultivating relationships with them more than I am interested in keeping up with loan BS. My buyers expected me to know the going rates for loans. I’m not a lending specialist and, I am sure, you probably aren’t either. A good app and it is free!

Evernote: This is a simple program that is great for archiving and organizing your goals, thoughts and images. You can access your files from anywhere 24/7. Easy to navigate and it is also free!

HomeFinder.com: If your local newspaper is one of the 130 that HomeFinder.com services, this is a handy tool. Agents who subscribe to HomeFinder.com are able to enter open house information to appear on their newspaper’s website, and this app lets you search for those open houses. On the home screen you have three very simple options – look at open houses coming up this weekend, look at open houses going on today, or look at homes for sale. If you aren’t getting results with the default options of 5 miles surrounding your current location, then you can hit the Refine Search button to expand your search radius, or choose a different location by entering a city and state or ZIP code.

A couple other apps are quite helpful as well. Trulia and Zillow. While I don’t believe they have the most current and up to date information available for agents and homeowners I do believe they offer a glimpse in to some data that you may find helpful in your search for your client a home. Zillow I believe is the most inaccurate of the two you can still grab some helpful info from Zillow. Trulia is a bit more accurate and I trust their data much more.

There are many apps for realtors coming on the market every week. The market is in need of some more thorough applications for both Android and iPhone. Do you have any favorites that you are using?

A Check List Before You Plunge Into App Development

Developing an app is an extremely long drawn and expensive affair. While it usually is an extremely wise choice to make, here are a list of things you should give some thought to before taking the plunge.

1. Do I need a brand new app?

There are millions of apps available in the market for doing a whole host of things. While it is extremely essential to use an app which satisfies every need of your enterprise, searching for a perfect fit first is better than spending all that time and money to finally realize that your dream app already exists.

2. Using a Composite application:

Composite applications are just an amalgam of existing functions or modules. These can be gotten from various sources and can use any architecture or technology. Composite applications are generally a cheaper and quicker alternative.

3. Would a mobile website suit me better?

Carefully plan out the functionality of your mobile app. If you want faster updates, do not really need to use a phone’s native features and are satisfied with being available only when your client is online then go for a mobile website. Mobile websites do have a number of advantages: it has a wider reach, greater usability, unlimited life and most important for you, low cost and time of production. Mobile apps on the other hand, are found to draw in more users in the age 17-40, create a stronger impact and promote customer loyalty.

4. Choosing a Framework:

Once you have made up your mind about building an app and app development, your next big challenge hits you: Choosing a framework. This is one of the single most important decisions you will have to take in the app development process. There are number of platforms available out there like Android, iOS, Windows and Blackberry and you probably have to cater to them all. If you want your apps to be able to access all native features of the phone go for native apps. Native apps give you a feel consistent to that of your OS, are user friendly and have the best performance. Hybrid apps on the other hand, can be used across platforms and give you the widest reach. Weigh out your options carefully before you choose a framework.

Once you have chosen the framework for your app, be prepared for the barrage of choices and decisions you will have to make. You will have to decide your target device, the revenue model you want to follow, your advertising strategy, branding, marketing, distribution and so much more.

It is extremely important to do a lot of research before you build your app and go for app development. You need to be completely aware of the market trends in app development, what choices your contemporaries around you are making, the latest technology available and the best app developers out there. Meticulous planning will translate into a successful app development. So, do not let the world of app development catch you unaware.

4 Questions To Ask While Choosing Mobile App Development Company

For investors, business owners and entrepreneurs, the idea of tapping into the potential of smartphone users is inviting, but it is rather difficult to understand the technology behind smartphone apps. Even novice smart phone users know their way around a handful of apps. When you provide an app related to your business for mobile phone users, you can establish brand loyalty and expand your reach. You can’t develop an app on your own and you need to hire services of mobile app development company.

Applications for smart phones have gained significance in the past couple of years, but there are already hundreds of app developers who claim that they can develop a brilliant app. Some of the freelancing coders may even be ready to create an app for a much lower price. However, as your business prospect depends on this app, you shouldn’t hire a mobile app development company without ensuring that you can get the best app for your business. You need to ask at least a few questions to ensure that you are not dealing with scammers.

What is the experience in mobile platforms?

Even though iPhone is the most popular smart phone, there are other types of smart phones like Android phones, blackberry and others. It is better to develop apps on multiple platforms to reach a much wider audience. It is even better if you research about the phones used by your target audience and develop apps targeting just your potential audience. In that case, the mobile app development company should be able to develop apps for different mobile platforms. It is impossible to excel in app development unless there is significant amount of experience in developing business apps.
What skills does the development team possess?

The technical and creative skills possessed by the development team is crucial to design a successful app. The application development for smart phones is actually carried out by individuals or a small group of individuals. When you deal with a mobile app development company, you should ask them about the team involved. In many cases, you may interview one person and the actual work may be done by another person who doesn’t share your vision. So, it is better to know about it beforehand.

What is the development process?

It is possible to weed out scammers by asking about the development process. If any company promises to start working on the coding of app straight away, then run in the other direction. Developing a mobile app is not a game and it requires lot of planning. The company you are dealing with should elaborate on different stages of app development and only if the design is right, they can go ahead with coding.

What kind of ongoing support can be expected?

The mobile development company must be dedicated to making the app successful for your business. The company should offer some kind of technical support if you frequently hit bumps when your users start using the business app.

The Kid Art App for Finger Painting

There are many kid oriented iPad apps that have been made available for the iPad. Harnessing the potential of the iPad to vastly improve kids educational activities and free time has led to some of the best apps for the iPad. One app that greatly harnesses the unique features of the iPad is the Kid Art app.

The Kid Art app is, as its name implies, an app that lets kids draw art on an iPad. It presents a very simplified interface, with a row of paint splotches to select colors from that they can draw their pictures with. This simple interface allows kids to easily and quickly get the hang of drawing right from the start. A kids iPad App like this has many benefits, the best one is you don’t need to buy a finger paint or crayon set for your kids to learn art. No more messes to clean up here, far cheaper and it never runs out. This is certainly one of the best apps for the iPad to get your kids.

It is priced at $.99.

Pros:

Easy to use and understand interface.Replaces a paint and crayon kit for kids.
No messes to clean up.

Cons:

No physical copy of the art, unless you print it out.
Can’t easily be shared as a group project.
Limited to the size of the iPad screen.
Very simplified tool set, not for complex purposes.

A kid’s iPad App like this has many benefits, the best one is you don’t need to buy a finger paint or crayon set for your kids to learn art. No more messes to clean up here, far cheaper and it never runs out. This is certainly one of the best apps for the iPad to get your kids.

Of course, there are other kid’s iPad apps that approach the same subject in a different way. Drawing Pad is another art program aimed for kids. This program costs twice as much at $1.99. The interface is much the same with a canvas area to draw in and a palette on the side to select from. However, Drawing Pad has a few important differences. It allows for a far greater variety of things you can use as your palette, from paint to crayons, you can even select a stamp mode that lets you place clip art around the picture. This is in exchange for a little extra complexity. Both apps solve the same problems and have similar pros and cons. If you’re interested in teaching your children art and creativity, don’t pass up some of the best apps for the iPad.

Tips to Finding the Best App Developers

There is no hard and fast rule associated with finding the best app developers. Applications have become a very essential part of every business with many companies relying on their applications on a daily basis.

Applications run on tablets and mobile phones, giving users instant access to the company website. In this day and age it’s essential for businesses to move with the times, incorporating applications into their marketing and ensuring their customers can view their page whether they’re sitting at home using a desktop or they’re on the move and using a mobile phone.

When it comes to app developers, the best way to make a decision is to get a number of quotes. Ideally you will want three quotations from three different companies. This gives you something to work with. You should be able to get a free no-obligation estimate from a number of companies, which you want in writing, to compare later.

It is a good idea to print out the quotes and then you can write on each one as you go through the decision process, comparing notes at a later stage and making your decision.

Firstly, remember this is your business you are working for; it’s not an application for you personally, but a way to improve your brand visibility and improve sales in the long terms.

Always have a look at each of the companies and determine their knowledge, experience and quality in the industry. Not all designers are able to do application work, so it’s important to ensure that they have a good and reliable reputation. Of course the best place to determine this is to type the company name into your search engine and read through the results.

Be sure to ask questions about how they envisage your application, how they expect it will help your business and anything else you want to ask. It’s a good idea to ask each company the same questions, writing down their answers and seeing how quickly and confidently they reply. This is your chance to evaluate them, see who you feel confident with and to help you make the best decision for your business.

Next spend some time going through the app developer’s website. This is a chance to see how they see and promote themselves. Do they have an application? If they do, give it a try. You’ll find that if they have developed some good apps, they will probably promote the companies, so why not go along and have a look.

You have every right to ask them about their app development experience and ask to see some examples. There should be no hesitation, in fact, if they have a good reputation and years of experience they should be proud of the applications they have designed and be more than happy to let you have a look.

In most instances, when you go onto your phone or tablet and have a look at an application you get to see what people who have downloaded it think of it. This also shows the number of reviews per application, this will give you a good indication, not only on their overall performance, but of how appealing their applications are.

Of course bear in mind that not all companies will be appealing to a large target audience, so this will give you a general idea; it’s the reviews you should be interested in.

Ask them about their app development process and what is entailed. Also always find out how long they think it will take until you have the finished product. Finally, ask them about after-sales service and support, there may be times you need some help with your application and you need to know that they will be there for you.

Best iPhone and iPad Apps For Baseball Lovers

Baseball is an intricate game played by some of the best athletes in the world. The iPhone is an intricate device with some of the best apps in the world. It’s only natural that eventually the two would come together. But even the most fanatical cubs fan would have a hard time sorting through the thousands of Baseball apps available in the App Store. So we did it for you! Here are the 5 Best Baseball Apps for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Play Ball!

MLB.com At-Bat 2010: This is the widely known, highly recommended baseball app that will allow you to follow the pitch-by-pitch action for any game that is being played for that day. Just want to get some quick scores, this app can also provide those to you as well, as the homepage provides a quick rundown of all the day’s action. Looking to find general stats or who is leading the league in RBI? You guessed it — this baseball app can provide all of those things to you in a nice little package. The only drawback to the MLB.com At-Bat 2010 app is that it can be a little pricey at $14.99, but the sheer amount of information that can be garnered from this particular app makes it far and away the best baseball app you will find in the app store.

iScore: Come on, admit it. One of your most favorite reasons to go to a baseball game is to fill in the box score in the program that you buy. You secretly enjoy when there’s a 6-4-3 double play because that means you get to write numbers and draw circles in two squares concurrently. Now, you can take the ability to score a game home with you, as iScore is an app that allows you to keep official score of the game at home while you watch it on TV or listen to it on the radio. Now, the iPad version will probably be the better option for users who have both the iPhone and the iPad because the iPad’s bigger screen will allow you to see the entire card. Whatever device you choose the app for, you are getting a fun and exciting app that you can use over and over again.

MLB World Series 2010: This is the only playable baseball app that offers you every Major League Ballpark and full team rosters. The app offers two modes: World Series and Regular Series. You also have the option to play defense yourself or have the computer play defense for you. The pitcher/batter interface is unlike any other app that is offered for your Apple mobile device. Even though the $6.99 price tag could possibly turn some people off, don’t let the little bit of extra money deter you from buying this great baseball simulation app.

Fantasy Baseball Cheatsheet ’10: Fantasy baseball can provide some of the most enjoyable moments of the entire baseball season. Scouring stat sheets, reading magazines cover to cover, and setting up your own personal draft board makes watching Sportscenter at night an absolute joy. Before you go into your draft, however, you want to make sure that you have statistics and a draft board that are completely up to date. This baseball app (available from the app store for 0.99) will allow you to make your own customized draft board, keep track of players already drafted in your draft, and do quick updates on statistics during your draft.

MyFantasyTeams Professional Edition: This innovative app allows you to manage any fantasy team that you currently own right from your iPad or iPhone. Track stats, do trades, sign free agents, or just check up on your league standings. If it involves your fantasy team, this app can help you become more successful. At the $3.99 price tag, this app is a sure bargain for any avid or novice fantasy baseball player.

Our choices for the 5 best baseball apps are not the only apps for playing baseball available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. There are many to choose from. Load up a few apps before the next game and the 7th inni

Galaxy Tab: The Top 5 Essential Apps For Your Galaxy Tab

Tablet computers now have Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. There is a lot of information out on the tab, but as always not enough. Most people like to know what to expect regarding the applications (apps) that either come with the device or are available for download. Fortunately, the device has a number of applications available with more to come.

The Galaxy Tab features a 7-inch TFT-LCD touchscreen, Wi-Fi capability, a 1.0 GHz ARM Cortex-A8 (Hummingbird) processor, and the Swype input system. It is equipped with front and rear facing cameras for video calls. It comes with some great apps that are really impressive. It is understandable that not everyone uses their device the same and these may not make their list, but they are some amazing apps that deserve consideration. This article will discuss the top five best apps for the Tab.

1. Angry Birds: This is a popular game that is available as a free download on the android market. It takes advantage of the Tab’s full screen and features challenging physics-based game play that requires logic, skill, and force to crush the enemy. It is the survival of the Angry Birds as each one uses their special power to take revenge on the greedy pigs who stole their eggs.

2. Skype: Free Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G or WiFi. Call landlines or mobile phones at great Skype rates. You can instant message one or more friends at the same time. You will need a data plan or WiFi connection (calling in U.S – WiFi only). Keep in mind that depending on the data plan provider, some devices may not be supported. You will need to set up a Skype internet number and download the Skype app. Plus, you will have to pay for an account in addition to the data plan that provides 3G access.

3. YouTube: The 1024-by-600 screen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab means you have to watch YouTube videos in HQ (High Quality) mode and not HD (High Definition) for the videos to be viewable. However, some owners warn that there is an issue with the videos where even the HQ mode of the YouTube app doesn’t provide high enough quality to prevent fuzziness in the video during playback. The recommendation is to use the YouTube video in the browser and set to 720p if available for the video. There is also the ability to download and store YouTube videos on the Tab for later viewing.

4. SparkChess: is a free chess game that works in landscape format. It features great graphics, two difficulty levels and is optimized for fast, casual matches. You can save, load, resume and undo, making it ideal for chess beginners. SparkChess is intended for HD (7-10″, 1024×600) devices such as the Galaxy Tab and requires Adobe AIR Framework.

5. NY Times and WSJ (Wall Street Journal): Two of the top U.S. media publications have been formatted for the Tab which allows their readers to read their favorite publications on the go. Both newspapers make full use of the 7-inch screen to present the papers in a beautiful color magazine type display which is very different from how it appears on the smaller phone displays.

Honorable Mention

Kindle for Android: allows you to read more than 750,000 Kindle books on your Samsung Galaxy Tab including thousands of free eBooks. You can add, edit or delete notes and highlights them, search inside the book for words or phrases, etc. You can also choose to lock the screen orientation in either landscape or portrait and look up words on Wikipedia and Dictionary.com. The app will automatically synchronize your last page read between devices with Amazon Whispersync. Adjust the text size, color mode, or brightness. If you are a non-US customer, book availability may vary.

Asphalt HD: is an awesome 3D accelerometer (motion sensor) driving game which uses the full 1024-by- 600 screen on the Galaxy Tab. This is a fast pace first person race car game with amazing graphics and is being touted as one of the best in its league. Players describe the game as fun to play, challenging and addictive. It has the option for multi-player online participation and the game data is stored to the SD card and not internal memory.

Exchange for TouchDown: is a popular Microsoft Exchange with Active-sync push technology (mobile data synchronization technology) and is capable of auto-detecting the larger screen size for use with the Galaxy Tab. This app supports corporate Exchange Contacts, Calendars, Tasks, and Notes in addition to email.

Help and Tips for Developing Successful Apps

Most of us these days will own a smart phone of one type or other. Arguably, one of the biggest selling points of any smart phone is the use of apps.

Apps made the smart phone market extremely appealing and the ideas for apps that followed came in droves. So, now we have the situation where everybody would like to develop an app for either the iPhone or android platforms which can have the same success as the best apps out there.

Below are some tips you can use to help you get to your end goal for your own app development.

Functionality.

If you read any reviews of apps on either the iTunes Store or android market, you will read that one of the biggest complaints is over functionality.

Even when small games are ported to an app, people can complain about the gameplay and app functionality.

You have to be extremely familiar with the platform you wish to develop on to have an idea of the best ways to use your app.

No matter what functionality you buildings your app, you have to test and keep testing until you are hundred percent happy that your app works exactly as you want it to.

Give the app to friends to try out and get their honest opinion if you can. Don’t just take the first answers from them. Ask how the app can be made better, could the app do any more to make it better?
the more questions you ask the more feedback you will get.

Design.

When it comes to developing and app, it can be all too easy to put all your focus onto its workings and leave the design as an afterthought.

If your app does not look pleasing to the eye, people may not use it as often.

It is arguable that if your app has fantastic functionality and it does what it says on the tin, people will still use it. But in the crowded app marketplace, anything you can do to stand above the crowd is needed.

Simply look apps in the same market is your own, and see what designs they have used. You can easily hire a designer from places like old desk to design the individual graphics for you.

Free or paid for?

One of the major decisions before you release an app is will it be free or paid for.

This can be a whole topic in itself, but the main things to consider are free app is done to gain market interest so people will hopefully use the free app and then buy a paid version the future or you intend to release paid apps in the future and the free app is there to wet people’s appetites.

This area really does come down to your business model and your long-term ideas for the app.

You may want to consider some paid advertising in your app if it is free. Always try to add a link to a website of yours or online presence within your app. This will push app users to hopefully buy more things from you in the future.

If you look at an app like Angry Birds, once it was successful, the app push people to buy merchandise, which can be as lucrative as the app itself.

Always remember, that the app market will only get ever more busy and competitive, so anything you can do to make your app standout and bring in more customers is needed.

Start by looking at competitors in your market who are doing similar things to you. They will have gone through the same process as you are doing now.

The 10 Best Productivity Apps For Business Professionals

Whether it’s the cooler weather, back-to-school season, or just time to get down to business, we’ve turned our attention to the best apps for business professionals. And, considering that most business professionals don’t have time to spend hours wading through the numerous ‘productivity’ apps available in the App Store, we’ve tested and compiled a list of the ten very best apps for time management, organization, and, of course, increasing productivity. Though these apps don’t prove that iPhone owners are all work and no play-they do provide some evidence that the iPhone is a functional tool for the workforce (and not just gamers). For Android users, we’ve included well-rated alternatives for most apps that are not available in the Android App marketplace.

So if it’s time to roll up your sleeves and increase productivity on the go, check out these apps-tested and recommended by yours truly:

1. Evernote & Springpad Free

Alright, alright-we’re only on the first recommendation and we’ve already thrown out two different apps-but that’s because they’re both really great and serve, well, virtually the same purpose.

Use either of these programs to quickly file and sort all of the various bits of information you encounter daily with notes in the form of text, images, and voice recordings. Both are aesthetically pleasing and easy to use. Evernote is slightly better at synchronizing desktop and mobile notes, however with Springpad you can additionally create barcode notes, and notes on what’s around you. And for the fantastic price of free, why not use them both? (Both available for iPhone and Android)

2. ListPro Free

ListPro is a pretty simple app that allows you to do just what the name suggests-create as many lists as you could ever want or need. There are several formatting options that allow you to build basic lists for grocery shopping or running errands, as well as lists that enable you to create complex maps of all the tasks related to a given project. With this app, you can streamline your to-do list for free-and never forget the milk again!

3. Calengoo $6.99

If you’re an iPhone owner that, like many of us, prefers to use Google Calendars to manage your schedule, this app is a must-have. It allows you to access and edit your Google Calendars from your iOS device. View your events for the month, the week or the day, and add tasks to be completed in the form of a checklist.

For seven bucks, this app is a bit pricey, but for the added functionality that Calengoo provides, and the ability to keep your almighty calendar with you at al times, it’s well worth the splurge. (No Android alternative is necessary-the default calendar provides the same functionality and syncs with Google Calendars. For a more advanced calendar app for Android, try Jorte-free).

4. Due $2.99

Due may actually be the simplest app ever created. The program allows you to createtasks on the fly and schedule a reminder for later. Perfect for ensuring that minor tasks are completed on time without the hassle of logging an item in your calendar. Additionally, the app includes a timer for managing time spent on routine tasks. Though not quite free, the time this app saves you will quickly make up for its minor cost.

5. Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite $7.99

If you’re helpless without your docs, this is the productivity app for you. Access, modify and share your Microsoft Office suite documents, including PDF’s, Word Documents and Excel Spreadsheets. Transfer files from your desktop to your mobile device and vice versa, and never be stuck without critical documents again. Quickoffice, available for the iPhone, as well as Android devices, isn’t cheap (as apps go), but it’s not unlikely that many professionals would shell out twice as much to have this functionality in a bind-get it now, and be prepared.

6. Read It Later Free

For anyone that does a lot of reading or researching on the job, this app is essential. Send articles and web pages directly to your mobile device with just one click. This app eliminates the need to bookmark, or save browser tabs for later-just select pages that you want to view on your mobile device, and they’ll be ready and waiting for you within the app, making the workflow much more fluid when you’re on the go. (Available for iPhone and Android)

7. TripIt Free

If your job requires you to travel-at all-this app is absolutely indispensable. Sign up and forward your flight confirmation, hotel reservation, rental car booking information-everything associated with your trip-to [email protected], and the app will create a detailed itinerary for you, storing all of your reservation information and details in a color coded, linear presentation format. While the app isn’t guaranteed to get you to the airport on time, it will definitely make your next business trip less hectic. (Available for iPhone and Android)

8. Dragon Dictation Free

This app is perfect for multitaskers. The program converts speech into text, so you can dictate e-mails, text messages and more on the fly-and stop wasting your time pecking away on a miniature keyboard. (Low quality voice to text capabilities are built into the Android OS, but for more advanced functionality try Handcent, or Chomp)

9. Text’n Drive Free

Look Ma-no hands! The opposite of Dragon Dictation, T’n D converts text to speech, reading your text messages aloud so you’re free to do more important things-like beat the traffic to work! (Android version is currently in development)

10. LinkedIn Free

Social media is becoming more essential to business professionals every day, so what better app to close on than one that keeps you connected with your network? Don’t attend another conference without this app, which allows you to instantly add new contacts to your network, and stay in contact while you’re out of the office. (Android users are limited to DroidIn-download the Lite version for free, or upgrade to Pro for $2.00).

Now that you’ve read our recommendations for the best productivity apps, don’t you have a report to get back to? In the meantime, take a few minutes to check out these apps, and give your productivity a boost!