InfoWorld presents a grab bag of handy productivity apps that can make your iPhone as useful as it can be
There are other file sharing and cloud storage systems out there, but Dropbox works beautifully across a variety of platforms and has proven to be reliable over long spans of time. A free account comes with 2GB of storage, and you can upgrade to paying accounts that include 50GB ($9.99 per month) or 100GB ($19.99 per month) of storage.
Price: Free | iTunes link
Ask many Windows users who switch to the Mac which application they miss the most and they'll cite OneNote. Microsoft's note organizer and personal database is a stellar product for anyone who lives and breathes data and notes. Since OneNote is not available on either the Mac or the iPhone, alternatives are important, and the best replacement I've found is Evernote.
Evernote is another product that has clients available for Macintosh, Windows, and iPhone platforms. With the software installed, you can take notes on any of the three devices and share them with the other two. While the Windows and Mac versions of Evernote have solid tools for creating and storing the notes, the iPhone version builds on those tools with additions like easy voice notes and location awareness for notes made on the iPhone.
I can't say that Evernote is perfect -- I dearly wish there was a way to nest organization levels for notebooks -- but it's quite good. The standard (free) subscription allows you to upload 25MB of notes each month; a premium subscription ups that to 500MB per month. Either way, Evernote on your iPhone and primary computer will allow you to easily create notes on either and share them between platforms. For those of us constantly looking for information that we know we once knew, it's an essential tool.
Price: Free | iTunes link
Documents to Go
Like it or not, dealing with files in Microsoft Office formats is part of business life for pretty much everyone. Looking at Office documents is the less difficult piece of the puzzle; Dropbox offers that functionality. But for editing and creating Office-format content, you want Documents to Go. Two versions are available.
The standard version ($9.99) allows you to work on Word and Excel files that you create on the iPhone or transfer from your computer by synchronizing with a specific, designated folder. Moving to Documents to Go Premium ($14.99) adds the ability to create and edit PowerPoint files, and it lets you edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files attached to Exchange or Gmail e-mail.
Even if you don't e-mail Office documents as often as I do, this is a case where it's easily worth spending the extra $5 for the Premium application. Rational people won't spend a lot of time writing lengthy dissertations on the iPhone, but it's nice to know that small changes and edits can be made from anywhere you happen to be. With a little thought and planning, Documents to Go and our next product, NTRconnect, can get you access to any of your Office-bound files from anywhere your iPhone can get a signal.
Price: $9.99 | iTunes link
The iPhone is a great platform, but there are times when you require the functionality of a personal computer. When you need to reach out and touch your computer from far, far away, NTRconnect is your ticket. There are two versions of the program, NTRconnect Free, which gives you remote access to two computers (Windows, Mac, or Linux), and NTRconnect Pro (starting at $6.95 per month), which allows you access to as many computers as you'd like, along with features like file transfer and local printing of remote files.
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