This year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona saw its usual share of product innovations, far-out concepts, and cutting-edge advances. But while much of the spotlight has been on wearable smart devices, virtual reality headsets, and other hardware, the App Planet exhibit featured more than 200 app developers showing off their latest. For businesses, many of these represent more ways to simplify and streamline their operations — all to give you back more time and relieve some day-to-day logistics.
In particular, eight apps stood out as having the potential to really make an impact on business. While some of these are specific to a particular industry, their design innovation can act as a springboard that translates their functionality to a universal business philosophy.
BlackBerry Experience Suite: BlackBerry is still primarily known as a hardware provider, but at MWC, the company announced the expansion of its security, collaboration and communication packages for deployment on Android, iOS and Windows devices in addition to the native BlackBerry platform. The packages include three areas of enterprise applications: Productivity for messaging, Communication and Collaboration for cloud-based sharing and video conferences, and Security for anti-spam/malware protection, privacy settings, and encryption.
MS Office on Android (Samsung Knox): Outlook, Word, Excel and all of the other key components of Microsoft Office are staples of just about every business. While Android users have had to find workaround solutions for second-hand Office integration, MWC saw the joint announcement of Office for Android by way of the Samsung Knox secure workspace. For both IT managers and staff, life on Android is going to get much easier.
Passenger Care: This innovative app represents a huge step forward in customer care for the airline industry. Flight delays and changes are hugely frustrating for passengers, but Passenger Care provides staff with a tablet-friendly tool to offer one on one service rather than problem solving at the front of a long and endless line.
Dynamic Buy-buyer: Retail inventory management gets easier with Dynamic Buy-buyer, an app that combines both purchasing and stocking into one streamlined solution. With Dynamic Buy-buyer, buyers are given the tools to maximize cost-per unit and restocking of high-revenue items; the app is also designed to let buyers know when they are getting a good deal on purchases done outside of the standard buying cycle.
Advisor Alert: Financial advisors base their business on a combination of numbers and hunches. The new Advisor Alert app gives the industry an app that supports both. Featuring a wide range of analytics-based data, financial advisors can use Advisor Alert to make decisions and quantify gut feelings for the best of both worlds.
AMIDuOS: Windows phones and tablets may have a smaller market share, but their core business users appreciated the devices connectivity with Office, Outlook, and other Windows standards — despite the platform’s lack of app support. However, American Megatrends’ AMIDuOS app will allow Windows phones to emulate the Android OS, opening the door to countless apps for both work and play.
MyFord Mobile: For company cars, going hybrid or electric is the sensible way to minimize fuel costs. Now Ford is giving you more incentive to choose their electric fleet as your business vehicle with the MyFord Mobile app. Inspired by fitness apps, MyFord Mobile helps maximize driving efficiency and car charges while integrating environmental controls and navigation. If your business hits the road often, MyFord Mobile can make a big dent in travel expenses and overhead.
Fujitsu Iris Detection: It doesn’t have a name yet, but Fujitsu wants to bring the future to your smartphone. Long used in sci-fi films, ocular security detection is now an everyday tool, and Fujitsu put it on display at MWC. As the human iris is far more individual than, say, fingerprints, this could be the ultimate form of individual security, particularly for employee phones loaded with proprietary data. In addition, iris detection uses a phone’s camera, so inherent problems with current thumbprint scanners (damp skin, gloves, etc.) are no longer an issue.
These eight standout apps from the recent 2015 Mobile World Congress App Planet event show us how far the smartphone revolution has taken us: better customer service, stronger security, a more flexible workday, and much more. Innovation always begets innovation, and when the 2016 MWC rolls around, these apps may already be industry standard, but what’s beyond the horizon is just as exciting