Apps that mean business
Are you the incessant air-mile collector like George Clooney in the 2009 Hollywood film Up In The Air? The kind of business traveller who’s more at home at airports across the world rather than back at home? If yes, these apps might help you reduce your stress and get some more work done on the go.
Hipchat.com; free on iTunes, Google Play, Linux, Windows, Mac and the Web. In-app (or additional) purchase of the video-calling service costs $2 (or around Rs.120) a month
Mynd.me; free on iPhone
First your team uploads documents (it supports Microsoft Word, PDF and other formats) online to sites like Dropbox and Google Drive. They can also drag-and-drop tags to indicate where they need signatures on that document. You import the document in the app, add your signature into the document through a scanned copy of your signature or signing with your fingertip, place text, date fields and check boxes to complete forms. Then you forward the document to others for their signatures through email. The app, which was updated earlier this month, offers bank-grade security to ensure the authenticity and confidentiality of your signing and works offline too.
Docusign.com; $10 onwards a month on Google Play, iTunes and Windows Phone
The in-built smartscanner scans a receipt, logs it and then automatically matches it with the expense. Receipts, trip itineraries and any attachments can be emailed to your Expensify account as well. It lets you take photographs of receipts, upload and store them. If you’re a manager, you can bulk-approve your team’s receipts in one click. The app was updated in July and has been downloaded more than 500,000 times on Android and about 576,000 times on iTunes till date.
Expensify.com; free on iTunes, Google Play, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and the Web. Paid plans for teams start from $5 per user
The app offers five kinds of rides in more than 170 cities in 44 countries, the cheapest being hatchbacks and the costliest the limo (if you feel like splurging on company expense). The pricing is dynamic, depending on the day and time. “You don’t have to worry about carrying the right currency or change,” says Bangalore-based Bhavik Rathod, general manager, Uber India. “The ride is billed seamlessly to your credit card on file and the receipt is emailed to you so you can expense it to the company easily.” The company has recently launched Uber for Business, which allows business travellers to switch easily between their personal and business payment options and maintain a travel dashboard for companies to view and monitor.
Uber.com; free on Google Play, iTunes, Windows Phone and the Web
lessons, flashcards and quizzes. Second, it offers you local phrases which are part of the city’s and the language’s slang. “From learning basic phrases, instantly translating your voice, connecting you to a live voice translator and getting essential cultural tips, TripLingo does it all,” says Jesse Maddox, CEO of TripLingo, which is based in Atlanta, US. Though the service is rather steeply priced, you are ensured safety with their live voice translators.
Updated in June, the app also offers other useful tools like an intelligent tip calculator, a currency converter and the ability to make international calls through a Wi-Fi connection, without having to pay costly roaming fees. “Our app makes it easy for travellers to build a rapport with foreign counterparts and show respect for local customs by understanding local etiquette,” says Maddox. Later in the year, they plan to more than double the languages offered (from the 13 currently to 28), launch an app meant for non-English speakers and also release a Windows Phone version in 2015.
Triplingo.com; $20 a month onwards on Google Play and iTunes
Mobiata.com; $4.99 on iTunes and Google Play
Maphook.com; free on Google Play and iTunes