Jan 19, 2011

4 Google Apps That Can Make Your Smartphone Smarter

With the continued rise of smartphones and tablets, more and more apps flood the market. While Apple's App Store commands much of the spotlight, the Google Apps Marketplace has not received much attention. But with more than 3 million businesses running Google Apps -- a suite of customizable software products for businesses -- the associated marketplace is surprisingly overlooked. This store is chock full of third-party business apps of all stripes that are designed to integrate with Google Apps. You can find apps for everything from customer management to custom app development services.

While most of these apps are designed to live on the Web, some take the leap off of the desktop and onto your smartphone. Here are four offerings from the marketplace that bring Google Apps and mobility together -- and could make you more productive.

App: TripIt
Type: Travel organizer
Price: Free
Nutshell: Untangle your travel arrangements and keep track of your team on the go. This popular travel-management app cuddles up to Google in several different ways. The biggest feature is its connection with Google Calendar. Display your trips and keep tabs on when your employees are out of the office, all in the familiar Calendar interface. Add the TripIt Groups Gadget to Google Sites and check out your business travel stats and where your employees are in the world. It all works together with TripIt's Web-based and mobile versions of the app.

App: Concur Breeze
Type: Expense reporting
Price: Free for two users, $8 per user per month over that
Nutshell: Automatically register your Google Apps users for Concur Breeze during the setup process, then get them hooked up with the program's iPhone, Android or BlackBerry apps to report expenses on the go. Concur Breeze also includes tools for managing and approving expenses. Tag expenses to see where the money is going, embed receipt images into reports and integrate with Intuit Quickbooks for easy reimbursement.

App: Neatcall
Type: Scheduling and conferencing
Price: Free for basic package
Nutshell: Neatcall is all about the Google Calendar synchronization. The app works like a scheduling assistant to take care of the pesky details surrounding setting up conference calls and coordinating meetings. Neatcall can offer up the best potential time slots for chats, makes sure all the participants are on the same page and update calendars all around. You can use your own conferencing system or take advantage of conferencing services through Neatcall. It gets mobile through Android, iPhone, and Blackberry apps for scheduling regardless of where you are.

App: RightSignature
Type: Digital signatures
Price: Starts at $14 a month
Nutshell: The paperless office gets a little more paperless. Many business documents have gone digital, but signatures on contracts are still a sticking point. Digital signatures are perfectly acceptable -- it's just a matter of making it work. Take that step with RightSignature and Google Docs. Use it for tasks like sending a Google Docs contract out to customers to sign on screen with their mice. No pesky printouts required. Expand it with RightSignature's iPhone and iPad apps that let you sign from your mobile device.

via aol