As of June, 2014 there were 1,200,000 apps available to download from the iTunes App Store; an astounding rate of growth since their first incarnation as video games in the 1970’s. Today, we find apps to keep us on time, to help us get from one place to another, organize information, entertain us, and keep us informed.
Business & Productivity
|CamCard – CamCard reads and saves your business cards, and remembers everyone you meet for business so you don’t have to!|
|Dropbox – Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage for photos, documents and videos, file synchronization, and client software.|
|Evernote – Evernote is a software suite designed to help you stay organized by allowing you to take notes, capture and save photos, create to-do lists, and record voice reminders. Evernote will sync all of your saved info across all of your devices.|
|Zite – Zite is an intelligent magazine that learns what you like to read, notes how long you spend reading it, and delivers more stories based on what you’ve already read.|
|TED Talks – The TED Talks app allows users to browse, play, and bookmark TED’s library of over 1,400 short talks by prominent thought leaders about Technology, Entertainment and Design.|
|Yelp – Yelp helps you find businesses in your area, fast. Use this app to search for places to eat, shop, drink, pamper yourself, and more with reviews provided from an active community of customers.|
Just for fun
|Shazam – Shazam recognizes the music and media playing around you, identifies the song and artist, provides background on the song and artist, and can save it for you revisit later.|
|Seamless – Seamless is a free app that allows users to order food from their favorite local restaurants without making a phone call. The app offers over 12,000 restaurants with menus that are always up to date.|
|Pandora Radio – Create personalized radio stations by searching for one of your favorite artists, songs, genres or composters. Pandora will then build a radio station based on that name and add variety to include other music within that genre. Create as many unique stations as you want; with over a century worth of music, the possibilities are endless.|
|Mint – The Mint.com app allows you to track, budget, and manage your money securely, all in one place, without entering a single transaction. You can add your bank, credit, loans and retirement accounts and Mint will automatically pull in and categorize your transactions.|
|Venmo – This fast and secure app allows friends to pay one another via their smartphones at the touch of a button. Connect your checking account to your Venmo app and settle debts without any processing fees.|
|Waze – Like other GPS services, Waze offers voice-guided navigation with turn-by-turn directions. What is really unique about this app is its social layer. Waze users make up an active community who share real-time traffic and road information such as accidents, police traps, and road closures, and will reroute you to avoid any obstacles.|
|Viber – Text, call, and send photo and video messages worldwide over WiFi or 3G without any roaming fees or international charges.|
|GateGuru – GateGuru app will provide you with key information such as flight status, airport weather, terminal and gate arrival/departure information, estimated TSA security wait times for your checkpoints, airport food and amenities with ratings and reviews, and airport maps.|
|Uber – With Uber, you can request a ride using the app and get picked up within minutes without reservations or fruitlessly trying to hale a taxi. Compare rates for different vehicles, get fare quotes on demand, track the progress of your pick up driver, and add your PayPal or credit account for ease of use.|
|Metal Weight Calculator– A simple, yet effective, app designed to calculate the weights of different types of metals in various shapes.|
|AMM – The American Metal Market comes to your smart phone giving you the latest steel, scrap, and nonferrous metal news and pricing.|
|Metal Bulletin – This app gives you access to the latest global metal news, analysis, and over 950 metal prices with the ability to drill down by category, filter, or keyword.|
|LME– The LME app provides you with prices and tools for the metals industry. You can find LME Official and Closing Prices, multi-functional calculator, the LME trading calendar, and trading tools.|
Cell phones will never again be used simply for calling, a fact not lost on businesses looking to expand their presence in emerging technology channels. According to Forrester Research, business use of customer service mobile applications, mobile marketing, sales, and eCommerce mobility strategies is growing as are apps used for internal communications and operations.The Starbucks app, for example, allows users to load their phones with prepayment to be used quickly and efficiently in-store. As a tool for customer loyalty, it offers special discounts and free downloads of games and music. More than just duplicating the company’s larger web site, Starbucks mobile strategy has engaged and connected with its customers in a way that adds value and creates an efficient user experience. Small businesses, too, are finding that giving the customer mobile access via apps to functions such as booking appointments, placing orders, and expanded eCommerce are providing new ways to engage customers.
In the metals industry, not historically driven by leading edge technology, we can foresee the use of mobile apps improving processes and communications within our own companies and helping us better the way we meet our customers’ needs. Imagine streamlining the quote process, locating deliveries and maintaining inventories all on your mobile device. At Admiral, our use of Salesforce1 has helped our sales team access vital customer information at their fingertips from any connected device. How has your company been using mobile apps? How might mobile devices improve processes and communications within your company?
In a week where we saw Apple’s release of their new iPhone 6, I wish you as always the very best in business and happy downloading!