Paid

WhatsApp Messenger

WhatsApp Messenger Gives You Free Cross Platform Messaging

I’ve reviewed and used Apps in the past that allow you to send/receive messages between mobile devices that include text, photos, movies, sounds, etc. These Apps are designed to bypass your standard text/MMS messaging plans for those that don’t have or want to pay for unlimited text messaging.  Even if you do have unlimited messaging on your plan, there are still costs involved for sending messages abroad. My dependency on these kinds of apps eased with the introduction of Google Voice and Apple’s own iMessage. However, with Google Voice your limited to text and I’m very annoyed by the fact that if someone attempts to send a photo to my Google Voice number, not only will I not get it, but there will be no indication to me that anyone even tried nor will the sender be alerted that it didn’t go through. iMessage is GREAT, but only works between Apple devices. While most of my friends and family have iPhones, iPads, iPod touch or Macs, there are some that don’t.

WhatsApp Messenger Sets Itself Apart

So with several of these kinds of Apps out on the market already and with iMessage itself being built-in to iOS and now Mac OS X 10.8, what does WhatsApp Messenger have to offer. Well first up it is cross platform with Apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia S40, Symbian and Windows Phone. That should cover everyone you know. The next thing is that there is no need to create accounts, create user names, handles, buddy lists, etc. The problem with most of these apps is that even if your friends have them, they really don’t have a good way to know that you have it too. WhatsApp uses your actual mobile phone number to identify you and your Contact’s phone numbers to identify your friends that have the app too. Once I installed WhatsApp Messenger it requested permission to access my contacts and then it instantly created a “Favorites” list of all my friends that also had WhatsApp Messenger. At that point I could just start sending/receiving messages with text, images, media, etc. Since this data is going out via your 3G/4G or WiFi data connection it doesn’t impact your SMS messaging plan in any way. When you receive a new message you will get a push notification. It even supports group messaging.

Great, but it could even be better

When you set it up you enter your phone number. Since it doesn’t really use your phone number to send and receive, it would be great to be able to enter multiple phone numbers that people may have in their contacts for you. This would be similar to the way iMessage lets you enter multiple email addresses for yourself to be contacted on. Of course I’d also like to see a native iPad version. Your messages are encrypted before they are sent and you can include: photos, video, audio note, contacts and your location.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a cross platform way to send/receive text/multimedia messages, this is probably the “best solution” out there. The fact that it doesn’t require any special account or that you friends know a special user name to reach you is the key. If everyone I knew had this App I could save $30/month for the unlimited text messaging that AT&T offers.

iTunes

Documents To Go® Premium - Office Suite

10 Must Have iPad Apps For Business

The more I use my iPad and iPhone the less I use my computer. That’s not a good or bad thing, it’s just an observation. Many of the Apps out there in 2012 can do just about everything that I need to do and that I used to rely on my computer to do. I love having the flexibility of just carrying my iPad and getting lots of work done. So here in no particular order are 10 Must Have iPad Apps for Business that I rely on most.

 Invoice2go

Invoice2go is my top pick for creating custom invoices right on your iPad. You can even set it up with a PayPal pay button so that when you email the invoice they can click the button to pay. Otherwise you just send a PDF. The App handles all the calculations and lets you know who has paid and who hasn’t.

iTunes

FileMaker Go

I have used FileMaker Pro as my database manager for years. I have a database that I use all the time running on my Mac server at home. With FileMaker Go I can access that database, add, edit, delete records and of course look up information.

iTunes

CardMunch

OK, you got me! This is not an iPad app. However, it’s so important to me that I had to list it here. When people hand me business cards I don’t want to have to enter them in manually to my contacts. While there are apps out there that will OCR the card and convert it to text, none are perfect. CardMuch uploads the picture of the card that you take and a human verifies all the data and sends it down back to App. Now you know the data is 100% correct.

iTunes

Scanner Pro

I used to rely heavily on a document scanner on my desk and while I still use it when I’m in my office, I use Scanner Pro whenever I’m on the go. Just take a picture of the document and Scanner Pro will straighten it out so that it appears like a flat scanned document as well as save it to a PDF and send it to the cloud or via email.

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PDF Expert

Hands down PDF Expert is my favorite overall PDF manager complete with PDF forms support, markup, highlighting, bookmarks and more. It also has cloud support for syncing with services like Dropbox. I use it store all of my manuals.

iTunes

Documents To Go Premium

If you’re looking for an App to create/edit your Office files such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint files, Documents to Go Premium is one to have. It also integrates directly with your Outlook email and picks up attachments directly. I don’t do a lot with Office docs but when I do have to work with them I know that Documents to Go Premium is up to the task.

iTunes

Contract Maker Elite

Above I talked about Invoice2go for creating custom invoices. Contract Maker Elite allows me to create all my other custom forms complete with photo fields and signature fields. If you want to create a custom contract, proposal, agreement or other document that your client will sign, this one has the most options and customization fields.

iTunes

Keynote

I use Apple’s Keynote on the desktop when I need to do a slide presentation. There’s no better way to take those presentations mobile than with Keynote for iPad. Keynote supports many of the same transitions as the desktop version and you can now use iCloud to view and edit the presentations wirelessly. You can connect your iPad to the projector directly or use AirPlay and an Apple TV to present.

iTunes

Square Register

I don’t take a ton of credit card payments. Therefore I don’t want to have to pay a monthly fee. Square has been my savior for a couple of years now and their new Square Register App turns your iPad into an elegant point of sale solution. You can setup your products as buttons and with the Square Adapter  you can swipe credit cards and charge your clients directly. The money is automatically transferred to your bank account the next business day. I LOVE SQUARE!

iTunes

Advanced Percentage Calculator

I struggle with percentages. I always have. If you want to figure out what a 25% discount off of $815.00 is, look no further. Advanced Percentage Calculator was designed for people like me. It has buttons for “%of”, “out of”, “Add %”, and “Deduct %” This takes the guess work out of percentages for me. You can customize the skins, and use it as a standard Arithmetic calculator too.

iTunes

Bonus – Keyboard

Since were talking about business, you are probably going to be doing more than just a little text entry. I was never a fan of any of the keyboard solutions out there for iPad until I saw the Logitech UltraThin Keyboard Smart Cover. It’s now on my iPad 99% of the time because it’s so integrated. Some of you are morally opposed to using a keyboard with an iPad. I hear ya, but don’t knock this one until you’ve tried it.
Get the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover here.

 

Also my Stylus of choice is…

While it’s nice that your clients can sign your contracts and PDFs with their finger, they will be much more comfortable with something that feels like a pen. So I prefer this stylus for my overall use and this less expensive one for having people sign.

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