Top 10 mobile apps for business executives

Anyone with a smartphone or tablet knows that a good app can make life easier -- and business executives are no exception. These are the top 10 consumer apps that business people turn to for day-to-day productivity.

best apps for executives
Credit: Thinkstock
Mobile apps for business executives

Apps make your life easier. You can place an order for nearly anything with the touch of a button, you can call a cab to your door or schedule an appointment all without talking to a live person. It seems only natural that as apps make our personal lives more efficient, they're also making our business lives more productive and functional.

"Over the last five to 10 years we have seen enterprises move away from in-house apps to off-the-shelf or SaaS models. Many of these are consumer-grade services that are retrofitted to specific enterprise needs," says Dan Rowinski, editor in chief of the Application Resource Center (ARC), publishers of the report and the editorial and research arm of app quality and testing company Applause.

But not every app is a home run, and finding the perfect app for your needs can take some trial and error. Applause Mobile Sentiment Analysis collates data on over 30 million apps across the Android and iOS app stores, as well as billions of star ratings, to rate the quality of popular apps and determined the top 10 apps among business users. According to Applause, a good app is one with "simple navigation, accurate information, relevant notifications, quick launch times, fast performance and an engaging and fun experience." The average app quality score is 67.3, according to Applause, and these 10 apps scored above that range among business executives.

ColorNote by Social & Mobile
Credit: ColorNote by Social & Mobile
ColorNote by Social & Mobile

ColorNote combines sticky notes, to-do lists, calendars and reminders into one app, earning it a score of 93 from Applause. You can assign notes different colors to make them easier to view at a glance, similar to multicolored sticky notes you would put up around your office. You can create lists with direct links to websites, email accounts, addresses or phone numbers, allowing you to open the correct app for each one with one click. It's an app with a lot of features, but it doesn't feel bogged down with too many options. The app also allows you to set a password to access ColorNote, which adds another layer of security for business executives who need to protect sensitive data.

The app is currently available for free in the Google Play Store, where it's earned a 4.6 star rating, as well as the Amazon App Store, where it has a 4.5 star rating out of 2,367 customer reviews at the time of this writing.

360 Security by 360Securityapps
Credit: 360Securityapps
360 Security by 360Securityapps

Executives have a lot to consider around security, especially as more business is conducted via mobile devices. While you might trust the built-in security features of you smartphone, it never hurts to have a little backup. 360 Security, which earned an 89.5 rating, is an app that does just that; it's an antivirus app that also optimizes the speed and function of your smartphone by clearing memory space, junk files and improving battery life. It also includes an anti-theft feature that lets you erase and locate the phone, and even set off an alarm or lock the device remotely.

The app is currently available for free in the Google Play Store, where it has over nine million five star reviews, and in the Apple App Store, where it has a 4.5 star rating for the most recent version of the app.

DuoLingo
Credit: DuoLingo
DuoLingo

If you're an executive at a global company, chances are you work with people all around the world or travel to areas where people may not speak English. Most executives know that learning a second language that is common in the business world can go a long way. That's why DuoLingo, which was rated at 88.5, is third on the list of the most popular apps for business executives. You might not become fluent, but the app will at the very least teach you the basics to get through a simple conversation with locals or business partners in a foreign office.

The app is currently available for free with in-app purchases in the Google Play Store, where it has an overall 4.7 star rating, with over two million five star reviews. It's also free with in-app purchases in the Apple App Store, where it's earned an impressive five star rating out of over 130,000 reviews.

CamScanner
Credit: CamScanner
CamScanner

Technology is quickly reaching the point where nearly anything you can do on a notebook, you can also do on your smartphone - and creating a PDF is no exception. With CamScanner -- which received an 85 rating from Applause -- you can use the built-in camera on your smartphone to create PDFs on the go just by snapping a quick photo. From there, you can even annotate or highlight the document, share with colleagues and collaborate, create a watermark to ensure it isn't illegally copied and even create searchable text within the document.

CamScanner is available for free on the Apple App Store, where it has a five star rating for the most current version of the app, as well as the Google Play Store, where it has a 4.4 star rating.

CM Security by Cheetah Mobile
Credit: CM Security by Cheetah Mobile
CM Security by Cheetah Mobile

CM security earned an 84 rating from Applause, and is one of three security apps on this list. CM Security allows you to lock certain apps on your phone or tablet and it will catch anyone who tries to open them by snapping a photo using the front-facing camera. It also includes anti-virus protection, a "privacy cleaner" that erases saved or logged personal data from your device and a Wi-Fi scanner to identify scam networks. It includes everything an executive will need to ensure they're keeping corporate data safe while on the go.

CM Security is currently available only for Android and is free in the Google Play Store, where it has an overall 4.7 rating as well as nearly 14 million five star reviews.

Evernote
Credit: Evernote
Evernote

Gone are the days of the paper agenda -- your to-do list, reminders and calendar have all gone digital. For any business executive on the go, an app that can keep you on top of your busy schedule will go a long way. Evernote, which earned a score of 78, is a fan favorite among business executives, according to the data from Applause. Evernote allows you to keep all of your to-do lists, notes, article clippings, saved images and more in one app. It also syncs between all of your devices and you can even use a website or desktop application if you aren't near your mobile device.

Evernote is available for a free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores, but free accounts have limited features. To get all the features of Evernote, you'll need to subscribe for either $5 per month or $45 per year for a premium membership.

Yahoo Weather
Credit: Yahoo Weather
Yahoo Weather

Checking the weather before you head out the door each morning shouldn't be a chore, but that's not the case with some weather apps. That's why Yahoo Weather's app has earned the top spot as the best weather app for business executives. With the Yahoo Weather app, you immediately see the current forecast as well as the highs and lows layered over an image of your city with animated weather changes. It's easy to navigate and a well-designed app that doesn't bog you down in too many details.

Yahoo Weather is available in the Apple App Store for free, with a 4.5 star rating, and you can also get it from the Google Play Store for free, where it has an overall 4.4 star rating.

Avast Mobile Security
Credit: Avast Mobile
Avast Mobile Security

With a rating of 75, Avast Mobile Security is the highest-rated security app, serving as a way to secure Wi-Fi communications with a VPN connection that hides your IP address. With this app you won't leave a trace of your online activity and it will even allow you to watch restricted content in other countries. It's an especially important app if you use public Wi-Fi often, whether it's in a hotel, on a plane or at a local café. Avast eases any concerns about conducting sensitive business over a possible unsecured Wi-Fi network.

You can get the Avast app in the Apple App Store with a free seven-day trial, and after that it will cost $19.99 per year or $2.99 per month. It's also available in the Google Play Store for the same cost, where it's received nearly three million five star reviews.

Mint by Intuit
Credit: Intuit
Mint by Intuit

It's easier than ever to manage your money right from your smartphone. Mint comes in as the top-rated finance app for business executives, scoring a 63 out of 100 on Applause with a 4.36 star rating. With mint, you can consolidate your bank accounts, 401k and credit cards all in one location and keep track of your budget. The app even lets you check your credit score, and gives you advice on how to improve it if needed. You can set up reminders to pay bills and the app will even deliver you customized tips on how to save your money based on your spending habits.

Mint is available in the Apple App Store for free and it boasts a 4.5 star rating for the most recent version; you can also find it in the Google Play Store for free with an overall 4.4 star rating.

viber
Credit: Viber media
Viber by Viber Media

If you travel a lot for business, you know how annoying it is to manage your phone plan and mobile data if you need to switch over to international calling. But services like Viber help you keep in touch while on the go without braking the bank or forcing you to call your phone provider every time you leave the country. Viber allows you to send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, and the app itself is free as well. It's a great option for anyone who travels or has to regularly talk to people overseas without incurring charges from your mobile provider.

Viber is available in the Apple App Store, where it currently has a 4.5 rating out of over 150,000 reviews and in the Google Play Store, where it has over 5.5 million five star reviews, and a 4.3 average rating overall.