BlackBerry or iPhone for business? It’s an old debate. So we looked at some of the best business tools for both smartphones.
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)
BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 is a useful collaborative tool for SMEs as it enables real time communication, for free, to any other BlackBerry anywhere in the world. The instant communication means colleagues can be in contact in real time if they are in different locations. Users can also see when their message has been delivered and then when it has been read. Groups of colleagues can participate in instant conversations together and these conversations can be labelled, saved and backed-up to be referred to when needed. Individuals can enter and leave the conversations as necessary and messages can be broadcast to groups.
With BBM 5.0, up to 6MB of image files and voice notes can be shared instantly. Participants’ personal BBM profiles can be set to display their status and time zone location, eliminating issues when colleagues are on the road. New business contacts (and potential clients) can be easily added with a new barcode system.
BBM is inclusive as part of any BlackBerry data plan.
gwabbit saves you precious moments by keeping your contact list up-to-date for you. The app automatically searches your emails and identifies contacts embedded in the messages, then adds or updates that information to your BlackBerry Contacts in a single click. For those users syncing their contacts to Outlook, gwabbit’s automated capture keeps contacts updated globally. gwabbit eliminates the confusion involved with keeping up with people’s positions in the ever-changing working world, freeing up time to focus on strategy and planning. There is free download and a paid-for, premium version.
WorldMate Live is the perfect travel partner for the frequently flying business owner who needs to stay on top of schedule changes, flight delays and cancellations. The free application provides access to personalised weather forecasts, maps, directions and more, making a business trip as stress-free as possible and allowing more time to cement those business deals. Users can even book a hotel room last-minute on their smartphone, share travel information with others and meet with friends and colleagues on the move. WorldMate Live is free to download.
Nice Office LITE
This free app turns your BlackBerry into a virtual mobile office. Manage your email, calendar, contacts and tasks. Store forms and documents online and send them directly to your customers. Track sales and lead activity by workflows and status levels. Create custom sales fields and record sales activity. Manage all of the information needed to keep on top of your business.
Nice Office LITE also automatically logs device activity and gives you detailed reporting on mobile interactions with your contacts, tracking messages, calls, appointments and more, automatically.
Updates are synced wirelessly between your BlackBerry and the Nice Office LITE website, so there’s no need to enter anything twice or update information when you get back to the office. If you lose your BlackBerry, wipe the personal data from your lost device and restore it to your new device. You are back up and running in no time!
Xobni, the popular Microsoft Outlook add-in that has been downloaded almost 5 million times, recently announced Xobni Mobile, available first on BlackBerry smartphones. Xobni Mobile reinvents the address book; automatically creating rich profiles for every contact you’ve ever communicated with, regardless of whether they’ve been manually added to the native address book. As part of the launch, Xobni is also announcing Xobni One, a service that links information between Microsoft Outlook and mobile versions of Xobni for a more comprehensive and up-to-date address book.
Xobni (inbox spelled backwards) Mobile makes your contacts available to you on the BlackBerry by opening the application, or by ‘flicking up’ on the trackball or trackpad while in the compose window of the native BlackBerry Email application. This deep product integration allows BlackBerry users immediate access to all their contacts when they need them, in ranked order without requiring them to change the way they use email on the BlackBerry.
Xobni Mobile for BlackBerry is available for download at www.xobni.com/mobile and will soon be on BlackBerry App World.