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10 Mobile App Favorites For Business

We pick 10 compelling mobile apps of the moment for your work -- handy for everything from reminders to travel.

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Apple and Google each offer more than a million apps in the iTunes App Store and Google Play, respectively. The Windows Phone Store has about 250,000 apps, and more apps are released every day.

That kind of volume makes it difficult to find the gems among the dross. It doesn't bode well for developers, either: Earlier this year, Gartner predicted that by 2018, fewer than 1 in 10,000 consumer mobile apps will be considered a financial success by their developers.

Nonetheless, amid this abundance there's plenty of innovation. Here's our take on the 10 most compelling business apps at the moment.

1. Genius Scan (Free/$6.99) for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone
There are quite a few good scanning apps out there. Frankly, any mobile phone with a camera will suffice in a pinch. But Genius Scan does the job particularly well and comes with all sorts of useful features, such as image enhancement, PDF support, and exporting via email or (in the paid version) to cloud-based services.

[Are Twitter's best days behind it? Read Twitter User Growth Stalls.]

2. ETA ($1.99) for iOS
Google Maps and other mapping applications can predict travel times between two points, figuring in traffic delays. But ETA does so elegantly, with less effort, once it's set up. ETA also lets you track driving times (or walking times) to multiple locations. It's a simple idea, well executed.

3. Launch Center Pro ($4.99) for iOS
With Launch Center Pro, you can create shortcuts to features in other iOS apps. Contrast, the company behind the app, likens its software to speed dial for everyday tasks. The app allows you to set up a button to email or dial a friend, for example. It's not quite a full scripting system but it's a definite time-saver for tasks that might otherwise take too much tapping.

4. Rheti (private beta) for Android
Rheti is an app that lets you make apps. How cool is that? Very. It's what Launch Center Pro could be if Apple imposed fewer restrictions on what developers can do. It should be available shortly -- the company is promising a big announcement soon.

5. Duolingo (free) for Android, iOS, Web
Here's an elegant, fun app that can help you learn French, Spanish, German, Italian, or Portuguese. It doesn't cost anything but time and dedication. If you can spare those, you're sure to improve whatever language you're studying.

6. Refresh (free) for iOS
Refresh is refreshingly different from most intelligent agent software. It delivers just-in-time information that is actually useful. The app culls social media data about people you're going to meet and presents

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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
5/5/2014 | 4:35:56 PM
Re: Evernote
Agreed about Evernote. It's very useful.
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