Top 5 Mobile Business Apps for Your Smartphone

Office productivity apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Win Mobile and Symbian

Young woman texting with smart phone at laptop in office

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Professionals, no matter which smartphone or handheld platform they use, most often need mobile apps for viewing and editing office documents, taking notes, managing tasks, communicating with others, and working with files (backing up and syncing to different devices) on the go. Here are the top cross-platform apps to help you accomplish all these business tasks on your cell phone or handheld device.

Office Suite: Documents To Go

DataViz has an office suite version for Palm OS, Windows Mobile, iPhone/iPod, Android, Symbian, and even Maemo. Documents To Go can open and edit Microsoft Office 2007 files, including those stored on memory cards. A free trial version usually available lets you view Word or Excel docs on your phone or PDA. For full editing capabilities, as well as PowerPoint and PDF support, you'll need to upgrade to the premium version for around $19.99.

Runner up: Quickoffice is another mobile office suite that works with Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. There are versions for iPhone/iPod, BlackBerry, Palm, and Symbian, with most under $30 (often on sale for less).

Note-Taking/Data Capture: Evernote

Evernote is a digital repository for all kinds of information: text notes, handwritten notes, audio files, photos, and web clippings. In addition to having Mac and Windows desktop versions, Evernote works on iPhone/iPod, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, and Windows Mobile platforms. A key feature of this great app is that it syncs your notes to the cloud and therefore you can create a note on your phone which will also show up in your desktop application. The free version is great; the premium version ($5/month or $45/year) offers more storage, security, and other features.

To Do: Remember The Milk

Remember The Milk is an online to-do list app that also can be synchronized to your iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile phones. While the online service is free, you'll need the Pro account ($25/year) to get the mobile apps. There may also, however, be 3rd party applications, such as Astrid on Android, that can sync your phone and RTM To-Do list for free.

Communicating With Others: Skype

Skype software provides free video calling, Skype-to-Skype voice calls, instant messaging, texting, and voicemail online. It's a great application for saving money on long-distance charges and for extra communication features like video chats. The "Skype mobile" app comes with BlackBerry and Android smartphones from Verizon, and there are also dedicated Skype apps for iPhone and Symbian OSes. For other platforms/carriers, you may also find 3rd party applications that can work with Skype in your app's market.

File Syncing: SugarSync

SugarSync's service automatically backs up, syncs, and enables file sharing across multiple devices. In addition to PC and Mac applications, there are dedicated apps for iPhone/iPod, Android, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry. The free account gives you 2GB of storage to use with 2 computers plus your mobile phone. Upgrading to a paid account (from $9.99/month to $24.99/month) will give you more storage and unlimited computers to sync with.

Runner up: Dropbox is a similar backup and syncing application. They have a dedicated iPhone app and a mobile-optimized website for other mobile devices, but SugarSync is faster out of the gate for multi-platform mobile application development.