I can't believe it's been such a long time since I posted something to my blog, and I feel so terrible about that. The last few months have been a whirlwind of family 'stuff' and business trips and all sorts of other craziness (good and bad), but I am not using that as an excuse. The one thing I was able to do during the last few months of chaos was Twitter, so if you're not following me on Twitter, I strongly encourage you to do so. My Twitter handle is @billsweetman, of course, and I am having lots of fun experimenting with this micro-blogging platform. For my first official blog post in months, I have decided to offer up something that I hope will be of lasting value to anyone who uses an iPhone.
Now that I've owned (and loved) my iPhone for nearly a year, I thought it would be helpful to share my personal recommendations on iPhone apps (programs) that a marketer would find useful. These are apps that I use on a daily or weekly basis, and in most cases these are free. As with anything Mac-related, opinions will vary, but these are the iPhone apps that I think no self-respecting marketer should be without. You can download them from the App Store or via iTunes.
Scribble - Ever found yourself in a meeting looking around the room to see if there's a whiteboard you can write on, only to discover you are out of luck? Scribble is a straightforward doodling application that I use as a mini whiteboard when I need to quickly illustrate a concept. Unlike a real whiteboard, however, my diagrams or drawings can be easily emailed to myself or others within moments.
AirSharing - This very cool app turns your iPhone into a wireless file server, allowing you to drag and drop documents between your iPhone and other computers without the hassle of connecting any cables. I use it to store backups of PowerPoint presentations for talks I am giving, and because AirSharing includes a built-in document reader, I can review and rehearse my presentations right on my iPhone.
DomainScout - Want to quickly check if a domain name is available to register? Or curious to know who the current owner is? DomainScout is a fast and easy tool that allows you to quickly conduct a WHOIS search. You can even customize it to search for your favourite TLDs, so if you only care about .com, .net and .ca domains, DomainScout can be configured to check up to three TLDs of your choice by default.
iTalk - If you're like me, you get ideas for things at all hours of the day and night. But what do you do when you don't have pen and paper handy? iTalk is a wonderfully simple voice recorder that allows you to quickly capture your thoughts, or record an entire presentation, on your iPhone. A very handy little app that turns your iPhone into a digital voice recorder, without the expense of the real thing.
Urbanspoon - Need to find a nearby restaurant or café to meet up with someone for a biz meeting? Urbanspoon is a wickedly handy tool that helps you locate whatever kind of eating establishment you are looking for. For example, if you've just landed in a strange city and need to find an affordable Vegan restaurant that's open for lunch near a client's office, just consult Urbanspoon. In seconds you will have restaurant hours, phone number, and a map of how to get there.
Wikipanion - Need to consult the oracle that is Wikipedia to settle a bar bet? This app provides an elegant and highly usable front end to Wikipedia, allowing you to quickly find the information you need in the world's largest human-editable encyclopedia. I find this to be way more effective than browsing the Wikipedia site using the iPhone's Web browser.
Firemail - If you need to type a lengthy email, the iPhone's tiny default vertical keyboard can make it difficult, especially if you have large hands. This clever little add-on allows you to use a wider horizontal keyboard to type up your email, then pastes the result into the body of the email. Until Apple offers a horizontal keyboard for the iPhone's email program (Apple, are you listening?), this app will save you from typo Hell.
Facebook - Being a savvy digital marketer, you are, of course, an active user of Facebook. Make sure you've downloaded the Facebook iPhone app because it makes accessing and using Facebook so much better than via the iPhone's Web browser. The photo browsing capability is one of my favourite features. No matter where I am, I can show people any photo album that I have uploaded to Facebook, including my now infamous Playboy Mansion party photo album.
Twitterific - When you're on the road and need to get your Twitter fix, this is, hands down, the slickest application to do it with. You can favorite posts, get detailed user info, and it even includes a mini browser allowing you to quickly view the Web pages that people link to. Twitterific will make you fall in love with Twitter all over again.
Google - Sure, you can use the iPhone's Web browser to surf the Google Website, but the Google app is way more efficient. It also includes a surprisingly effective voice search capability, which allows you to search for "Ferret leashes" by saying "ferret leashes" into your iPhone's microphone. Even when the app doesn't understand what you are searching for, the results can be fun! Imagine the fun you could have at parties with this one...
What are some of your must-have iPhone apps for marketers? Share your recommendations in the comment section below.
Domain name expert Bill Sweetman is the President & Lead Ninja of Name Ninja, a boutique domain name consulting firm that helps companies acquire, manage, protect, and profit from their domain names. Bill has provided strategic domain name advice to major companies around the world for over 20 years.
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