Posted: 11:48 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013
By John Brandon
Here's a checklist to prime your new device for maximum productivity.
Before you hand an employee (or yourself) a new iPhone 5S or 5C, there are a few things to do first. One is to hope they don't lose it. Another is to prime it for maximum productivity.
It's a good idea to preload a few apps. Below are the apps I always install when I'm testing out a new model. (They're in order of importance to me and my work needs.)
By the way, I glossed over the bundled apps like Twitter and Facebook, which are both integrated into the iOS even though you do need to install them.
Not everyone is going to think of Evernote as the first app to install. I use it for three things on every smartphone. One is to jot down article ideas. I also snap photos of receipts for expenses. (A new feature called Post-It Notes captures a square shot and converts the note to text.) I also use Evernote to record audio memos to myself.
2. Google Search
That's right, my next important iPhone app is one from Google. It's the bread-and-butter search app but also integrates Google Now. There are cards that show you things like flight info, and I love the way the search is so contextual. (Ask "Who is Barack Obama?," get the answer, then ask "How old is he?" and Google Now will know who you mean.)
I've been relying on this app more as I've been traveling lately. What I like most is the interface. You can find places around you like gas stations and hotels. There's one quick list of categories and the app uses location services to find points of interest. And if you've ever been in the situation of scrambling to find a place to stay at 2 a.m. after a flight cancellation, you'll appreciate the no-fuss approach. When you drill into the info, there's a summary, links, and photos to help.
I've mentioned SproutSocial a few times before. As you can guess, this social media manager is the one I use to create a post that I then send to multiple services (and multiple accounts on those services). I can also quickly scan through tweets, mentions, and direct messages.
I belong to several GroupMe chats, and not all of them are business-related. (I use one to see if any friends are playing disc golf.) On a few projects, I've noticed that GroupMe made all of the difference in having good direct communication between a few colleagues.
6. Yahoo! Weather
Part of going mobile is knowing what to expect. Yahoo's weather app is about the best one I've found because it shows a detailed forecast in just one up-swipe. I love how the app fills in a local photo that matches the weather for that day.
I know about a few recent travel apps that do a bit more than Kayak, but I like the expediency of the results. Sometimes I just want to know if there is a flight leaving SFO the next day and get the price. The app seems geared for speed as much as detailed info.
8. Google Chrome
Chrome is an obvious choice for me. Once you download the app, you can drop the Safari app into the app screen and add the one for Chrome ot the bottom row of icons. Once you login, you can then sync your browsing history. Also, Chrome is fast and reliable for most sites.
What, you thought a work iPhone was only for serious apps? Gifting an app like Badland, a side-scroller with some amazing small-screen graphics and awesome sound, means you are saying it is okay to take a break or while away the time at an airport.
Speaking of letting employees have some downtime: I also install iBooks right away. Even on the small iPhone 5S, it's great to read a book when you are waiting for an appointment. You can always use a large font--and the e-books are priced reasonably.
Any you'd add to this "must install" list? Post in comments.