Try to make wherever you are as quiet as possible. Turn off the music, shut the doors and windows and listen. In your pocket a little robotic voice is saying “I am more than just an alarm clock!”. Free your phone from the tyranny of facebook and the ignominy of instagram and let it become the business machine it was destined to be.
iZettle – iOS and Android – Free + Transaction Fees
Cards accounted for 73% of transactions last year. Unsecure and untraceable, cash is rapidly becoming obsolete when it’s so much more convenient to pay the exact amount on plastic and avoid carrying change. As a business owner it’s becoming embarrassing when you have to refuse a card payment.
iZettle is an app from a Swedish company of the same name. Once you arrange an account with them you receive a free card reader (or a wireless, contactless version for £79 + VAT) that plugs into a compatible smartphone. This turns your phone into a chip and pin machine you can use anywhere on wireless or mobile data networks. The sheer power of this is staggering if you think about it. A business is no longer tied to a phone line to take card payments, a market trader can take cards, a salesman can meet a client and take a down payment there and then. No need for bank transfers or cheques. It’s a simple idea but effective and very impressive for customers. The app itself becomes a shop front on your phone. It includes backend pricing and inventory management as well as a simple category – item display, including photographs, that shows the customer exactly what they’re paying for. The pricing structure is equally appealing, iZettle take a 2.75% fee from each transaction that goes through and that’s it. There’s no contract or standing fee each month you simply pay each time you use it. Even better the more you sell the lower the fee. If you put £15,000+ through the fee becomes 1.5% with the balance refunded at the end of the month. There are even full shop front setups available including tablet stands connected to cash drawers with the option to print or email receipts.
CamScanner – iOS, Android and Windows Phone – Free (basic) $4.99 p/month (premium)
Camera phone quality has reached a point where digital cameras were a few years ago. It’s no longer about the megapixels but the quality of the sensor and rapidly phones are catching up to the serious cameras. So it’s a shame most of those photos will be overly filtered plates of food.
Some of you may have had an important document you couldn’t take away but needed a digital copy of so you took a quick photo of it on your phone. Then you checked back later and it’s just about readable but the scale is slightly off so the text didn’t all quite make it through. CamScanner takes this idea and turns your phone into a proper scanner. So long as the subject is fairly well lit you can convert a physical document into a PDF and instantly share it via email or cloud. There’s even the option to fax it if you’re so inclined. One of the things that makes CamScanner stand apart from a regular photo is the option to adjust and warp the shape of the document in the image before it’s saved so an off-centre and angled piece of paper becomes a standard A4 document ready to be viewed on any screen or reprinted later. The subscription version of the app also includes 10GB and automatic backups to the cloud.
LogMeIn – iOS and Android – Free + Subscriptions Available
Have you ever sat in a meeting and had the terrible realisation that the document you spent all day yesterday on is currently sat on your desktop 20 miles away and there is absolutely no way to get hold of it now. Don’t worry, LogMeIn has your back.
If you had the foresight to install a small client device on your desktop you could use the LogMeIn app on your phone to wake the computer remotely, take control of the mouse using touch controls and email the file to yourself wherever you are. It’s an incredibly simple idea but equally powerful. Your phone becomes a second monitor for your computer even thousands of miles away. This App is a complete lifesaver and it’s reviews testify to that. It becomes another insurance against embarrassment or disaster knowing that no matter how far you roam you can still get hold of the important files you need.