No matter where you find most of the members of the Hammock Crew, I would bet we’re not very far from a computer. Sometimes that computer is a tiny one that fits in our pocket in the form of a smart phone.
Recent research from the Yankee Group estimates that nearly 7 billion mobile apps will produce $4.2 billion in revenue in the next five years. The number of smart phone users is expected to quadruple during that time, to about 160 million.
Those apps are very entertaining and some are helpful to our daily lives, but there are also several that we think even help us during our 8-5 lives. Here are a few of our favorites that get us through the work day:
- Voice recorders. Apps like iPhone’s Recorder and BlackBerry’s VR Voice Recorder make taking notes a cinch. I even recently used one to record a full interview that I later wrote a story from. For fun: BlackBerry’s Voice Transformer will do crazy things to the notes you record. Working at fun is okay with us!
- Note takers. Apps like Evernote are great for syncing notes (text or photos) across computers and with your mobile device.
- RSS aggregators. Sometimes you need news on the run. Whether your pocket holds an iPhone, MyTouch (Google Android platform) or Blackberry, mobile apps like NetNewsWire and NewsGator are great for keeping up with the news important to us on a daily basis.
- Banking apps. Especially if you run a business, having your bank’s app on your smart phone can offer information at a glance.
- Package tracking. Apps like this are so easy: Plug in the tracking number and we know exactly where that big box of magazines is and how soon it will get to its destination.
For getting around:
- Map apps. Client meeting? Testing a new printer? Switching bank branches? Mobile map applications can put the directions in your fingertips within seconds.
- Travel apps. Apps like Tripit for iPhone make keeping your travel information organized a breeze. Every time you get a hotel or airline or car rental email confirmation, you just forward the email to Trippit and it converts the email into an incredible outline of everything you do on a trip, complete with confirmation numbers, addresses, even maps between places you’re going.
- A girl’s gotta eat. And sometimes she’s gotta make suggestions for lunch meetings with clients or vendors. Our favorite app in this category is LocalEats, created by our Nashville friends who publish Where the Locals Eat. The app (available for iPhone or Blackberry) provides insightful recommendations from the local point-of-view on restaurants, complete with reviews, hours, menus and GPS enabled directions.
- Weather apps. Before you head out for that meeting or flight, get the forecast right in your hands with one of many weather apps available.
For staying healthy:
- Calories in. We all love food. And we all strive to be as healthy as possible. There are some great apps that help us keep track of every yummy morsel we devour during the day, apps like FoodScanner or LoseIt for iPhone, and Absolute Fitness for Mytouch.
- Calories out. Just as we track the calories in, tracking activity during the day is important too. Pedometers for smart phones are a fun way to see just how many miles we walk back and forth to the printer each month.
I know there are more that we should have. What would you suggest as our next app purchase? For work, that is…