The iPad has been positioned and pushed hard as a tool for businesses, but these days many companies produce apps which are just as at home running on your iPhone (which is an even more handily portable device, of course).
However, deciding which business apps to use on a mobile platform can be a headache, and the last thing you need is an iPhone that's filled with so many apps you don't know which to use or prioritize. This is especially the case when there are likely other apps and services you need to use your iPhone for, on top of immediate business uses.
We've therefore taken a look at some of the biggest and most useful business software for your iPhone, to help keep your mobile platform free from clutter. Better still, if you use some or all of these apps, the chances are your business will be running to a good degree of efficiency and productivity.
- We've also highlighted the best iPhone apps
- Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to email@example.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.
The CRM behemoth has iPhone productivity covered
With Salesforce establishing itself as such a prominent enterprise platform, its only right they took care of business on mobile. Thankfully, for fans of the platform who like to work on the move, the Salesforce app has plenty to keep you productive outside of the office.
The service’s CRM data tools, communication tool Chatter, diary organization, and business process features can all be utilized from your iPhone or iPad. You can also receive updates from accounts on the go, tap into conference calls, access your sales actions via the publisher, log calls, create and update opportunities, and complete sales tasks.
Contextual notifications keep you up to speed wherever you are, as do report dashboards and live updates from your business. If something requires an action, the aforementioned Chatter tool enables you to start conversations with colleagues, with the ability to attach photos and files too.
For organizations that use Salesforce and encourage mobile productivity from their workers, the Salesforce app is an excellent tool to have in the software arsenal.
The iOS app for everyone in your business
Enterprise organization and project management is always a complex, multifaceted affair, but Trello aims to ease the headache by bringing everything together on one easy-to-use platform.
The breadth of features on Trello means virtually everyone in your organization is served, from sales and marketing to HR and operations, and teams can design and customize the platform to suit their needs. It also includes over 100 integrations with productivity tools like Google Drive, Slack, and Jira.
Those who use Trello on iPhone and iPad received good news earlier in 2018 when a significant update took place on the app. Among the improvements was the custom fields power-up enabling you to organize information in new, visually appealing ways, enhancements to the calendar and date selector, clickable links in checklists and comments, plus the ability to attach and send multiple files at the same time.
For an app of this nature, Trello is surprisingly easy on the eye and with a slick UI bringing together it’s range of tools and features, this is a very strong mobile tool for work on the move.
The ubiquitous office toolkit
Microsoft may be the company that many Apple users love to hate, but Microsoft's Office suite remains the most widely used around the world, especially when it comes to docs, spreadsheets, and presentations. While there are other office software providers out there, a recurring problem with some is that what you see on the screen for your document can differ radically from what is printed out.
Microsoft Word is the app you'll probably find yourself using at some point, whether you want to or not, with Excel and PowerPoint possibly following behind.
The good news is that Microsoft's apps are free to download on iOS, but the bad news is that they come with limited functionality – unless you subscribe to Office 365.
Whether you personally care for the Microsoft brand or not, its Office software remains the default for most larger businesses, so you may find yourself having to use the Office apps more often than not – and be thankful for them all the same.
The biggest selling app you've never heard of
HotSchedules is dedicated to managing schedules and shifts between managers and employees. Not only does it allow managers to set shifts, but it also allows employees to swap shifts with each other.
This can provide significant time savings for managers, as all they have to do to publish a shift pattern, and workers who want more hours can claim extra shifts they need, while those who need to reduce their hours in a particular week can do so.
Managers can monitor everything as much as they need to, allowing assigned shifts to be held or swapped as required.
And, of course, employees also find it an invaluable app for helping manage their own work-life balance.
While Hot Schedule might not seem the most obvious app to include in this list, it's definitely useful to consider if you do have multiple employees.
Additionally, even with its admittedly minimal cost of $2.99, it's the most popular business app in the Apple AppStore.
Planning projects with a few taps of your phone
Built in the cloud, Wrike is a one-stop-shop for project management, planning and team collaboration. Adaptable to tasks both big and small, organizations ranging from SMBs right up to Fortune 500 companies are among Wrike’s purported 15,000 users.
Rather than merely serving as a mobile add-on to your Wrike account, the iOS app aims to be a standalone, multi-functional service in its own right. From creating a brand new account with Wrike to managing workflow across your business and sharing reports, virtually every phase and feature can take place in the app.
The tools include live inbox communication, access to folders, projects and tasks, assigning and scheduling work, sharing images and files, tracking time spent on tasks, accessing personal and shared dashboards, and viewing and sending performance stats to people both inside and outside of your organization.
While the iOS app is free, Wrike accounts themselves are at the more expensive end of the market, with packages for small to medium size businesses (5-200 users) costing $24.80 (£19) per user, per month.