Recent App Reviews
What do you get when you cross penguins with snow caps, zany physics, and 80 levels that each end with a bull’s eye? Why, you get Arctic Shuffle from Zinc Roe design. This puzzle game is fun, frustrating and rewarding all rolled up in one. The penguins are pretty cute, too!
Beginning last month, live video streaming of major league baseball games has been available via the popular $9.99 MLB.com At Bat 2009 app. Initially one or two games a day were available for free via streaming, with plans to roll out more and more games as the summer progressed. Baseball games are subject to local blackout, just as with broadcast TV. You can read more in a short article in the New York Times. It works on an iPhone or iPod touch, but you'll need to have iPhone 3.0 software, and likely also a 3G or WiFi connection.
WebEx has become synonymous with online meetings and Web conferencing, and this iPhone app truly takes the WebEx experience to the next level. At first glance, you might not realize how practical it is, but once you get into a situation where you need it, you’ll see how valuable it is to be able to log into your meeting from wherever you are—whether you’re walking through an airport or standing in line at Starbucks. The app lets you view the presentation as well as simultaneously participate in the voice conference call.
Harvest is a leading online solution for time tracking, expense logging, client invoicing, and revenue/accounts receivable tracking. This app lets you use your iPhone to track your billable hours wherever you are.
Harvest Time Tracker
This application (and others like it: see page 75) turns your iPhone into a mobile credit card terminal that allows you to accept payment from customers wherever you might be. As long as you have your iPhone with you, you won’t miss a sale.
Credit Card Terminal
A trailblazer for hosted enterprise applications, Salesforce.com is also the hands-down leader when it comes to mobilizing business functionality. With Salesforce Mobile installed on your iPhone, you are able to access customer, lead, and opportunity information, as well as log calls, create and update activities, and schedule meetings. Salesforce has also created a very extensible framework that lets organizations create custom objects and workflows to extend their business processes to the iPhone with minimal investment.
If your organization doesn’t have Oracle, but you still want a powerful business intelligence platform, check out RoamBi. The solution consists of a Web-based publisher service that walks you through the process of extracting data from Excel spreadsheets and publishing them in one of four basic templates (pie chart, card list, grid list, and catalog). The Visualizer app allows you to view your reports and charts. The interface is gorgeous and the potential is limited only by how it is used.
Oracle first released Business Indicators to allow iPhone users to access business performance data. They quickly followed up with Business Approvals for Managers, Mobile Sales Assistant, Business Approvals for Sales Managers, and Mobile Sales Forecast. This suite of Oracle mobile apps takes advantage of the iPhone’s potential to mobilize information workers by letting them access line-of-business data wherever they are.
Oracle Business Indicator
If you don’t have a XenApp infrastructure, you can’t use the Citrix Receiver described above. Fortunately, you can access many of the same capabilities with LogMeIn’s remote desktop access solution. You’ll need to install the LogMeIn software on your home or work PC and LogMeIn Ignition on your iPhone. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to connect to your PC from your iPhone, wherever you are, and access your documents or applications. You need a constant wireless connection for this solution (the faster the better), and you may have to do a lot of scrolling and zooming, but the cost is much less than the Citrix solution.
This powerful app uses your organization’s Citrix XenApp infrastructure to remotely access any Windows application or document from your iPhone. Whether you need to edit a document, approve expenses, or even join a webinar, you can do it all from your iPhone with Citrix Receiver. Of course, you’re limited by the iPhone’s screen size, which means you’ll have to do a lot of zooming and scrolling with some applications. And since the applications are located remotely, you’ll need a 3G connection or Wi-Fi for reasonable performance.