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The 27 best apps of 2015 for doing your job

Your smartphone is like having a computer and the internet in your pocket. Not only can it help you find some food, get fit, shop, and play, but it can also help you get your job done better.

But with millions of apps available, which ones are worth trying? We scanned the “best of 2015 apps” lists put out by Apple and by Google to come up with this list of apps for work, plus we added a whole bunch of our own recommendations, from our recently published App 100 list.

Our picks span the range of work activities including travel, photo editing, document editing, planning, email, lists and more.  


Uber unlocked the on-demand economy.


No app exemplifies the burgeoning on-demand app economy more than Uber, which made hailing a ride with a smartphone app go mainstream. Tap a button to summon a car, tell it where you want to go in the app, and pay for the ride with your credit card stored in the app.

If the company has its say, Uber could eventually become the way we get everything from our packages to our groceries.

UberEATS, the company's meal delivery service, is already delivering lunch in Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto, and the UberRUSH delivery service works in San Francisco, New York, and Chicago.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Shyp will deliver your packages for you.


Shyp takes the hassle out of mailing stuff. It's really that simple. Using the mobile app, you take a picture of whatever you want to mail, and a Shyp courier comes to your door and takes it to a nearby facility where it's expertly packaged and sent on its way.

The app's most recent update lets you create a user name for your address so people can send you things by entering only your name. There's also a built-in packaging tracker that works for senders and Shyp recipients.

By taking your interactions with the post office out of the equation, Shyp has proven that it delivers an experience people want. So far, the startup is only operational in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but the company told Tech Insider that it's seeing 20% more shipments each month.

Price: Free to download (prices vary based on shipment)
Available on: iOS, Android

Slack is where you communicate with your coworkers.


Think of Slack like the modern equivalent of an internet chat room that eliminates the need for email. Log in to communicate with your colleagues in public channels or private groups, share files, and more.

The app is geared toward businesses large and small that need a way for their employees to communicate internally, and it's hugely popular. Other apps and services can integrate directly with Slack too, which makes it kind of like a command center for getting stuff done at work.

Thousands of companies use Slack, including Tech Insider. Your team should be using it too.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android, web

1Password will generate and store your passwords.

Google Play

It seems like there's another massive customer data breach every day, and it's more important than ever to make sure your passwords are not only strong but also unique for each service you use.

The problem with passwords is that they can be easy to forget, especially if you have more than a few, which you should.

But thankfully there's 1Password. It's the best app for managing your web logins and sensitive information. It has a user-friendly interface and it's available on whatever device you have with you at the moment, whether it be your desktop, phone, or even Apple Watch.

1Password will generate secure passwords for you and fill them in on websites using its free Safari and Google Chrome extensions.

Price: Free, but there's an optional upgrade with more features for $9.99.
Available on:
iOS, Android

Dropbox is an easy way to store files in the cloud.


With cloud storage services like Apple's iCloud Drive and Google Drive, it may seem like the biggest tech companies have the cloud storage market cornered.

But Dropbox is a reliable and well-designed cloud storage app that works well on multiple devices.

You can automatically upload photos from your phone and store them in Dropbox, comment on documents you have shared with other people, and of course browse everything you have stored online.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Microsoft Outlook is an email app for getting things done.


Leave it to Microsoft to take one of the most despised corporate email platforms, Exchange, and give it one of the best mobile email apps.

Thanks to its acquisition of the email app Acompli late last year, the Microsoft Outlook app has become quite good. It integrates with Exchange (of course), Office 365,, Apple's iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail. There's a built-in calendar view, quick access to files stored in attachments, and some smart filters that once you use, you find hard to live without.

It's simply the best email app you can use.

Price: Free
Available on:
iOS, Android

Sunrise is a simple, smart calendar.

Google Play

Let's face it: The default calendar app on your phone probably doesn't cut it. Sunrise, which is owned by Microsoft, is like the social-savvy cousin to the Outlook app. It integrates with Facebook, Evernote, Asana, TripIt, Songkick, Wunderlist, and Meetup to help add the little details to your schedule that eventually add up.

Faces of people you're meeting with are filled in by social networks like LinkedIn and Twitter. The Weather app shows the forecast on a given date, and Google Maps integration gets you directions to where you need to go. And that's just scratching the surface.

Make sure you also try Sunrise's custom Meet keyboard on the iPhone because it's one of the slickest ways to manage your calendar that we've ever seen.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Wunderlist is a collaborative to-do app.


There's no shortage of capable to-do apps in the App Store, but for most people, Wunderlist is the best option. It's easy to use, offers a nice mix of customisation, and can do collaborative task management. It's also available as an app on just about every modern phone, tablet, and PC imaginable.

Wunderlist, which is owned by Microsoft, is free to use, but there's a pro version with more features for businesses that costs a small monthly subscription.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Scanner Pro is what you need to go paperless.


If you're trying to go paperless or even just manage a growing mountain of receipts, Scanner Pro is a godsend. It uses your iPhone's camera to scan documents and create a clean, editable PDF.

You can save and share files, or even upload them to cloud storage providers like Dropbox.

Price: $2.99
Available on: iOS

Slice is the ultimate package tracker.


Slice is not only the smartest package tracker we know but also a great way to save money on stuff you buy online.

Slice connects to your email account and automatically recognises tracking numbers for packages to track their progress for you so you know when they arrive. It also sends you alerts for price drops on the items you buy so you can claim the cheaper price from the retailer before your window of opportunity expires.

Price: Free
Available on:
iOS, Android

Paper will help you capture ideas.


Paper by FiftyThree was one of the first hit iPad apps, and with the recent release of its iPhone version, it's no longer just an app for drawing or making charts.

You can use your iPhone's camera to create visual notes, make a checklist of things to buy at the grocery store, or use your finger to draw up a quick sketch and share it to get feedback from your other friends who use the app.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS

Workflow will automate tasks on your iPhone.

Workflow lets you do all kinds of things on iOS that aren't possible with individual apps alone. It's tagline is 'powerful automation made simple.'

You drag and drop 'actions' together to make apps talk to each other in creative ways. Examples of what you can do with Workflow on the iPhone include: turn multiple photos in your camera roll into an animated GIF, download the audio from a YouTube video as a MP3, get an Uber to your next calendar appointment, and much, much more.

It's pretty incredible that one app is able to tap into so much unused potential in the iPhone.

Price: $3.99
Available on: iOS

iTranslate breaks down language barriers.


When two people don't speak the same language, it can be nearly impossible for them to communicate. The app iTranslate helps overcome language barriers by allowing you to quickly translate back and forth between 90+ languages.

You can even speak into your phone or PC's microphone and have what you're saying translated into another language.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Google Now is a futuristic digital assistant.


On Android, Google Now trumps Apple's Siri in just about every way.

It learns from your behaviour from Google searches, calendar events, and emails to deliver you information you want to see, like sports scores from teams you like and flight information from itineraries sent to your Gmail. Best of all, the digital assistant is just a swipe away on your home screen once you install its launcher app.

On the iPhone, Google Now's capabilities are more toned down and confined to the main Google app. But the app still delivers helpful information at a glance, like the day's weather forecast and driving conditions. Its voice search capabilities are also more reliable than Siri.

Cost: Free

Available on: Android, iOS

Khan Academy will help you learn just about anything.


Khan Academy is a non-profit trying to revolutionise the distribution of free education. The app gives you free access to 10,000 videos and lessons in maths, science, economics, history, and many more subjects.

The iPad app also includes 150,000 interactive, Common Core-aligned maths exercises with instant feedback and step-by-step instructions and hints. It also supports handwriting recognition for writing down answers to questions.

NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT have all partnered with Khan Academy to offer custom lessons.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Over is a creative photo editor.


Over used to just be about putting text on top of photos, but with a recent update it's evolved into a creative workhorse.

With Over's mobile app, you can design a greeting card, visualize an idea, create a graphic, caption a photo, and more. The app has a built-in store with all kinds of add-ons and font packs for even more customisation.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Citymapper will help you get around a big city.


Navigating through public transit in a big city can be overwhelming, but Citymapper makes it easier. The app digests all of the public transit options available and helps you get from point A to point B without losing your way.

There are all kinds of little bells and whistles in the app that make it the ultimate digital chauffeur, including 'get off' alarms that tell you when your stop is approaching, the ability to show you the optimal place to stand in the subway to get to your next stop, and the option to plan your journey ahead of time.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Lyft will hail a car.


Besides its functionality as a hide railing service, Lyft plays an important role as Uber's main competitor. The two apps go head-to-head when it comes to just about every feature, down to UberPool and Lyft Line, options in the apps that match riders travelling along the same route, which cuts costs.

When Uber starting offering UberPool rides in New York City for a flat fee of $10 over the summer, Lyft countered with $5 Line rides. As long as Lyft can keep Uber on its toes and compete on price, it will have our vote.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Airbnb will find you a place to stay.


Thanks to Airbnb, it's never been easier to find a cheap place to stay nearly anywhere in the world. Don't believe us? Download the app and plug in where you want to go. You'll likely see all kinds of places from hosts renting out their guestrooms or entire homes. (You may even find a castle, farm, or tree house.)

The app has helpful search filters and in-app messaging for contacting hosts, and takes a lot of the stress out of finding a place to stay.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

RelayRides will find you a cheap rental car.


What Airbnb does for hospitality, RelayRides does for car rentals. Car owners list their personal vehicles (fully insured) to be rented through the app for as little as $25 per day.

Cars are available at over 300 airports and 1,900 cities. For a fee, you can even have a car delivered to you.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Hopper will book your next flight.


Hopper uses smart algorithms to predict when airfare prices will increase and decrease. It's the best way to plan a trip ahead of time and save the most cash.

When a flight drops in price, you'll get a notification telling you to buy. And now that the app has built-in checkout for booking from your phone, it's even more convenient.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS, Android

Starwood's SPG is the future of hotel apps.


The SPG app from Starwood Resorts and Hotels lets you book and check into 1,200 locations around the world.

What sets SPG apart from the legions of other hotel apps is that it was the first to introduce keyless entry, which means you can use the app to lock and unlock your room without a physical key.

Price: Free
Available on: iOS

Enlight helps you edit your photos like a pro

Picked by Apple as the one of the best apps of 2015, Enlight is a powerful all-in-one-photo editor.

It strikes a balance between sophisticated Photoshop=like controls and easy-to-use filters and special effects.

Price: $2.99
Available on: iOS

Spark helps you organise your email

Apple named Spark one of the best apps of 2015. It lets you zip through hundreds of messages.

It can detect if an email is personal, a notification, or a newsletter and groups it with similar emails for easy processing.

Price: Free

Available on: iOS, Apple Watch

WPS Office + PDF for MS Office documents

WPS Office
WPS Office

Named as one of the best apps of 2015 by Google, WPS Office became a top free app for Android.

It's fully compatible with Microsoft Office file formats and syncs with Google Drive and Dropbox.

Price: Free

Available on: iOS, Android

Office Lens is like a scanner in your pocket

Microsoft Office Lens

Office Lens is an app by Microsoft that was named by Google as one of the best apps of 2015.

Take a photo on your phone with Office Lens and it trims, enhances, and makes pictures of text more readable, whether they are whiteboards or docs. You can take pictures of reciepts, of the idea you sketched on a napkin at the restaurant, and so on.

Office Lens will also convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files and save them to Microsoft's online storage, OneDrive, or its note taking app OneNote.

Price: Free

Available on: iOS, Android

Doodle makes it easier to schedule meetings

Doodle Scheduler

Scheduling a business meeting using email can be a real pain, especially between three or more people. Doodle makes that easier, allowing everyone to answer a poll on when they are available. That's why Google named it one of the best apps of 2015.

Doodle works with your existing calendar, too, whether you use Outlook, Google or Apple calendar.

Price: Free

Available on: iOS, Android

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