Throughout the last decade, the Blackberry has made its mark as the leading business smartphone. E-mail capabilities, robust security, and Blackberry Enterprise Server are just a few of the reasons the device has heavily impacted the business world.
But in the last year, with new designs and marketing, nearly half of 32 million Blackberry users aren't from the corporate world. They are consumers, pro-sumers, and small businesses. The Blackberry App store has over 3,000 apps, but it's hard to know which ones are specifically SMB-oriented. Recently, bMighty.com teamed with Research In Motion to choose the top ten SMB Blackberry Apps. Here is a look at what they chose:
1. Blackberry Messenger - Connect with friends and co-workers by using a secure PIN or barcode password. Chat, share pictures and videos, or even hold a business meeting with the group chat feature. The app is free but it only works if the other people you are talking to have a Blackberry, as well.
2. Google Talk - Another great (free) way to connect but your friends and colleagues won't need a Blackberry to respond. Have single or group chats, use emoticons, customize your status, and set up custom alerts for messages that come through while you're not available. Google Talk is open and allows any third-party client to use its network. It's also compatible with other Instant Messengers.
3. Yahoo Messenger - This one is relatively new to Blackberry but is just as popular as the computer version. It's free, and allows you to check who is and isn't online, customize your status message, create chat areas to talk with several people at once, and personalize your status with avatars, ringtone alerts, and emoticons. Talk with people who have Hotmail, Lotus Notes, and Windows Live accounts, as well as AIM or Google Talk with free account activation.
4. Documents to Go - Considered to be one of the ultimate business apps for Blackberry, this one lets you view and edit documents without changing the file's format. If you like the free trial version, you can purchase the program for $70, but many business-owners say the price is well worth it. Especially if you need to read, create, and edit Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents and PDF files on your Blackberry.
5. Exgis Mileage Tracker - If you travel a lot for your business, this app is a must-have. It makes record-keeping a little easier as it records your vehicle's mileage and locations quickly and let's you record travel time directly against specific clients. You can also export your data in a spreadsheet to send to to your office. The app is easy to use and costs a mere $4.99.
6. Google Maps - This is another great free app for the SMB travellers and it's more than likely something you already know how to use. Get maps, directions and even mileage to and from any destination. Find out where you are with the "My Location" feature, should you get lost. In some areas, you can even get traffic and transit information. Just like with the web version, you can use Street View, to help you get a visual idea of many areas.
7. Intuit GoPayment - Several SMBs need the ability to accept credit card payments but don't always have one. This app processes any major credit card and emails the receipt directly to the handset. Transactions can be transferred into most financial software applications. Security is tight and trustworthy with this app which is free, but charges a monthly service of $19.95.
8. Poynt - Blackberry users have ranked this among their favorites, claiming it's better than the Yellow Pages when looking for a particular place. This app points you to the nearest movie theater, restaurant, or any business or person you're looking for, using GPS and cell tower technology to provide you with the phone number, website, maps, and directions. Book tickets or make reservations, and even use it to invite colleagues to a specific location. And yes, it's free, too.
9. Viigo - This app is a free content gathering tool that lets you access information and content from Twitter to podcasts and everything in between. Get your news, sports, weather, stock reports, movie reviews and anything else you might look for online, in one place. Not only can you customize your content collection, but you will also have access to content from Business Week, and Website magazine, vendor resources such as white papers and from companies such as Oracle and Microsoft.
10. Worldmate Live - This is a free App and a favorite among business travelers (it's even earned a five-star rating at Blackberry App World). Forward your travel confirmation emails to Worldmate and they build your online travel itinerary, making it available to access via your Blackberry. Synchronise your work calendar, to make that part of the database, as well. The app is integrated with Google Maps, Blackberry maps, TeleNav, MapQuest, OAG, Yelp, Expedia, Hotels.com, Flighstats.com and many more.
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