Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


November App review: Some 10 useful apps for the SME entrepreneur

This month I have decided to make an app review that people who run SMEs might find useful. My mother always tells me to speak only on matters that I know so there are two caveats to this post:

  1. Zol Lite VoIP  If you somehow missed the memo you should know that ZOL is now part of the Econet family so Econet VoIP and ZOL VoIP are essentially the same service.  In addition to an Android app the software is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems. Unfortunately they do not have an iOS app yet. On net calls are free whilst calls to other networks are billed at $0.12 per minute. Whilst you are not going to hastily use this to replace Skype ( you are not going to be making a lot of on net calls here.) A soft-phone  would be a good way to having an office line without visiting Telone.

  2. Africom Guroo A lot has been said about Guroo, one of its distinct advantages over ZOL Lite is that you can easily sign up for the service online, download the app ( you can get Windows and iOs version but there is no Mac client) buy Africom airtime and start making calls. For $10 you can make unlimited calls to Africom numbers whilst off net calls are billed at $0.12 per minute.

  3. Sky Drive and Office Mobile                                                                                                        If you spend a lot of time out of the office and on the road then these two are useful apps to have. They allow you to continue to work on your Word documents and spread sheets whilst on the road. I have found that Office Mobile is not the kind of tool you want to make your primary Office suit though, besides burning a hole in your data budget ( considering the fortune that our providers charge for data) it is not ideal for creating lengthy documents and reports so you would be best advised to use it when making minor corrections to your documents provided the documents are not be too large themselves.

  4. Google Drive and Google Docs                                                                                                    If you are like me and are bound to sometimes hate Microsoft for no apparent reason or perhaps are a fan of Google’s Enterprise tools then Google Drive is an app you want to have instead of Office Mobile. Just as with Office Mobile you should really watch you plan when using this service. 

  1. Kingsoft Office                                                                                                                              Kingsoft Office ( screenshot above) is a full featured office suite that you can download from the Play Store for free. It opens and can edit Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets as well as PowerPoint presentations. The great news is that once you have downloaded this app it does not have to constantly go online like other Office suites like Quick Office-it is a fully stand alone office suit.

  2. Data Usage Defender                                                                                                              That mobile data is expensive is platitude. Data usage defender offers a way out of this fix however. It provides you with a sort of firewall you can use to block apps that hog data from say using your mobile internet connection. These apps are only allowed to connect to the internet using WiFi only for example that way your data bundles can last longer. The downside though is that this app can only be installed if you have rooted your device. The app also features a hand speed test feature as well as a per app data usage analysis

  3. Aldiko                                                                                                                                          This app allows you to read ebooks in ePub format whether its Kiyosaki spiels or textbooks. The advantage of this App unlike most is that it does not require an internet connection to function and even if you have an internet connection it does not go online and make unsolicited connections to bookstores like the Kindle or Nook apps so you can concentrate on the book knowing your data bundle is safe.

  4. Oxford Concise Dictionary                                                                                                          I consider myself pretty smart (I think I know a lot of words) but how many times have you encountered a word when you were just not sure what the meaning was. An offline dictionary on your phone would be a handy app. This is not a free app. For the cost of $5 you can get one of the world’s most famous dictionaries. Once you have installed the package you should launch it preferably whilst still using a WiFi connection and download the dictionary’s entire data packages this way you can use it offline without an active internet connection.

  5. WhatsApp                                                                                                                                     We all know this app and what it does. In addition to it being a cheap way of getting in touch with friends and family I have discovered it is a great way of keeping in touch with customers. This is where some of its least used features like group chat and broadcast messages come in handy so be sure to checkout the Whatsapp FAQ page here.

  6. Adobe Reader                                                                                                                            Pdf has long been a popular document format in businesses and despite a host of pdf readers Adobe is still the best.

Images via: Google Play store

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge

5 thoughts on “November App review: Some 10 useful apps for the SME entrepreneur

  1. On the dictionary I suggest WordWeb, this one is free and very comprehensive. You left out Google Translate, this is just one awesome app, It really helped when I was in Mozambique and I had to get around with absolutely no knowledge of Portuguese.
    I feel Adobe PDF is kind of a repetition, Kingsoft Office is still capable of reading the PDFs so no need for Adobe PDF.
    The most important of all that you may have left out is CamScanner, Ever had to send a scanned document quickly, this app will scan it, convert to PDF, with pages and all, how much cooler can Android get from there 🙂

  2. So here’s my top 10 business apps in no particular order
    1: Guroo: Yes cheap calls especially for my closed user groups and when I’m out of the country.
    2: Google Translate: You’ll appreciate this app when you have to deal with people who don’t understand English
    3: Camscanner: My mobile scanner.
    4: Quickoffice pro: My android alternative for reading and editing my Office documents; Can never replace MS Office completely though.
    5: Android Firewall: Keeps my data costs in check
    6: Schematic mind free: My mind mapping tool. I record my ideas in a structural way there.
    7: WordWeb: Dictionary, thesaurus all in one app.
    8: Evernote: Quick notes, followups, meetings etc, I record here. I love how the notes are just so well organised.
    9: The default Samsung email app:- Integrates well with Exchange email, and synchronises with my Outlook tasks and calendar; aint that great.
    10: Dropbox: All kinds of documents and apps in the cloud, I get to retrieve them whenever I want. I can upload from phone and retrieve on PC easily.

    Google maps is another very useful app but its so obvious I don’t have to even put it in my top ten, lol.

  3. I am on iOS and my top 10 business app are (not in any order)
    1. iWork suite – Pages, Numbers and Keynote handle my document editing wonderfully well. They are now free with new idevice activations.
    2. Quickoffice free again and useful for offline document editing. No need to connect to internet. Documents organizable into folders, supports email and zip filing.
    3. Google drive for online collaboration and sharing of files with my coworkers.
    4. iOS has a wonderful email client that supports MS Outlook. The free icloud email is good too though in-mail attachment support pictures and videos only, not documents.
    5. Flipboard – it’s not always that I have time to check my social networks, read all the online newspapers or broadcasters, Techzim updates etc individually. Flipboard gathers all those items for me and it’s kinda one stop shop reading.
    6. Skype – I still have so many buddies on Skype but the proprietary FaceTime app gives equal service.
    7. Hangouts – got quite a number of buddies on google. Free video calls and IM. Just like my Skype and iMessage.
    8. Evernote/MS Onenote for quick note taking though the proprietary Notes app is also good.
    9. Wikipedia – I find my self referring to it so often. It’s more like a widget than an app. Works purely online.
    10. The Bible – still awkward to read a bible from a tablet in church? Well if properly covered people will still think it’s a hard copy.
    My selection is purely based on the device I have replaced my laptop with – the iPad. Am an Accountant with one of the ZSE listed companies. Threw my laptop away!

Comments are closed.