Best Free Apps to Try this Summer for your Business

Give these apps a go when you have a bit of free time on your hands this summer - they can save you some time or enhance your marketing and business efforts!

Magisto  iOS  |  Android

What it does for free

  • takes up to 10 of your existing mobile photos and videos and turns them into a professional-looking video complete with soundtrack
  • has 22 templates and a variety of songs
  • you can also upload music from your own library (NOTE: if you are using this video as a marketing or promotional tool, make sure you have rights to use the music in your video!)

What makes it different:

  • Magisto somehow analyzes your photos and videos and only includes what it sees as the most interesting content...like magic?
  • It has an Instagram setting which will automatically keep your video to 15 seconds

Verdict:

I'm a bit of a control freak, so in terms of business I'm not thrilled with the idea of an app deciding what content to show. Additionally, the only opportunity to brand is your title, so for business purposes I would check out Animoto. That being said, I would definitely use it for personal purposes since it's very straightforward and easy to use. Download: iOS  |  Android

IFTTT iOS  |  Android

What it does for free:

  • soooooo much, so I'll only list some of the things that i've personally used it for
  • when I update my Google calendar, the information is added to a Google spreadsheet (backup in case my calendar is deleted, wiped out, etc - critical for keeping track of client meetings!)
  • add users to a twitter list if they tweet using a specific hashtag (great for tracking potential supporters/clients during a marketing campaign)
  • when a contact is added to my iphone contacts, the info is added to a Google spreadsheet (backup of all of my contacts)
  • post Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures (so they actually show up as photos and NOT as links to my Instagram)

What makes it different:

  • There is another service that does the same thing, but it doesn't have mobile apps and is very business oriented - as such you can only automate 5 functions before you have to pay. IFTTT has a paid offering in the works, but for now everything is free.
  • there is a new-ish DO feature which allows you to control other apps and pieces of software from your phone - the connected accounts are still limited, but growing steadily. As an example, when I take a photo of your business card, it creates an event in my Google calendar that contains the photo of the card as well as the location I took the photo - great when attending networking events!

Verdict: 

IFTTT makes life easier by automating the little things. It automates some of the bigger things as well - but be careful that you don't automate too much (especially when it comes to social media)! Download: iOS  |  Android

Triplog iOS  |  Android

What it does for free:

  • tracks mileage using your phone's GPS

What makes it different:

  • auto-starts when your car begins to move, auto-stops when your car comes to a stop
  • produces reports in csv and html format - no more manual mileage logs!

Verdict: 

Just awesome once you get into the habit. If you use the auto-start feature, you'll need to remember to plug your phone in when you get into your car. If you don't use the auto-start features, you'll need to remember to start the app manually. Download: iOS  |  Android

SwiftKey iOS  |  Android

What it does for free:

  • allows you to swipe type, which is faster than tap and peck (mostly for iPhone users, since swipe keyboard come default with many Android devices)
  • you have to have iOS 8.0 to be able to use it on apple devices. Note: for security reasons, your default keyboard will still appear in locations where you have to type in a password

What makes it different:

  • faster typing!

Verdict: 

If you're a noob to swipe typing it can take some getting used to, but it's worth it if you value speed. You will have to manually switch to SwiftKey, but if you want to make it your default, these instructions will help. And if you're like me and you hate the tappy noise your keyboard makes, here are the instructions to turn off the sound. Download: iOS  |  Android

Are there any other apps you would add to this list?