InfoWorld presents a grab bag of handy productivity apps that can make your iPhone as useful as it can be
There are times when nothing but a green screen will do. Whether you're trying to remotely manage a piece of network infrastructure or simply need to kick-start a server, basic data terminals are still the right tools for a surprising number of applications. When one of the green screen times crops up while you're away from a convenient computer, pTerm is an in-your-hand way to VT-100 happiness.
As with FTP on the Go, you can get to work with pTerm by simply giving it the basic log-in instructions for the server or device you need to reach. If you dig just a little deeper, though, you find that you have the ability to fine-tune pTerm's behavior to an amazing extent, with settings ranging from how the software deals with passwords in log files to proxy and encoding options to whether and how pTerm copes with tunneling protocols.
In the final analysis, pTerm is a surprisingly sophisticated tool for taking care of an incredibly simple job. For those who deal, even occasionally, with terminal-based user interfaces, it is a superb tool to keep in your iPhone's toolbox.
Price: $4.99 | iTunes link
I've tried to keep away from applications that require subscribing to a service, but there are times when it's unavoidable. GeeTasks, Dropbox, and Evernote all have components in the cloud, and keeping up with your travel details is, I think, also a good fit for the cloud.
I've found TripIt to be a useful service for keeping up with my travel, as well as the travel of my colleagues and business associates, so I was pleased to find the TripIt iPhone app. When it comes to keeping up with my flight numbers and times, hotel and rental car reservations, and the like, TripIt on the iPhone is quite sufficient. And because it takes its info from the data I enter on the TripIt Web site, no additional effort is required.
That said, I'm hopeful that future versions of the software will have more functionality. Right now, for instance, TripIt for iPhone only keeps track of my travel -- it doesn't include the "keeping up with my colleagues" information at all. It needs that. It also offers to send me push updates if schedules or travel details change, but only if I upgrade to the premium edition of the software (how much?).
TripIt does something I need, and it gets the basics right, but its inclusion on this list is based, at least a bit, on the hope that it will come closer to the full functionality of the service in future versions.
Price: Free | iTunes link
And that's not all
While the basics of business are covered by the applications already noted, there are a few other tasks that are nice to cover and that iPhone apps deal with nicely. Among those I use most often are:
Graphing Calculator. GraphCalc is a nice graphing calculator application that has everything I need (except Reverse Polish Notation). Price: 99 cents | iTunes link
iBlogger. When I need to blog without my computer, this app, from the people who wrote the Mac blog tool Ecto, is my tool of choice. Price: $9.99 | iTunes link
Dragon Dictation. When I need my hands for other things and want to dictate a note, tweet, blog post, or e-mail, Dragon Dictate lets me do it. This doesn't have the same sensitivity and accuracy as Dragon Naturally Speaking, but it's surprisingly good given the relatively low power of the iPhone platform. Price: Free | iTunes link
myStarbucks. I can remember my own coffee order, but when I travel I sometimes just want to know where the nearest Starbucks is, and this app tells me. When an iPhone app can lead to latte and Wi-Fi, it's a very good thing. Price: Free | iTunes link
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