Change your iPhone into a true mobile powerhouse

The time has come. You dont have to lug a laptop around to get work done. With about $50 worth of apps, you can turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a powerful mobile office.

ipod touch iphone pic

ipod touch iphone pic

Brush up on a PowerPoint presentation. Catch up on all your e-mail. Access important files stored on your desktop PC right on your phone. I have six great apps that will help you do this and more.

Documents to Go

Do a fair number of presentations or editing Microsoft Word or Excel files? Documents To Go ($10) is right up your alley. It lets you view, create and edit Word and Excel documents. The professional version ($15) adds PowerPoint support.

You can synchronize files with your Windows PC or Mac over Wi-Fi. Or, send and receive files via e-mail. You get a healthy set of features, but not all that are available in Microsoft Office. Files sent from your desktop retain their formatting. You’ll see graphics and tables, along with comments and footnotes/endnotes. The app can also be used to view PDFs and iWork ’08 and ’09 files.

TapIt4Me

The iPhone’s keyboard can be difficult. You’ll want TapIt4Me ($5) for composing documents or long e-mail messages.

Start by creating “snippets.” A snippet consists of a phrase and an abbreviation. When you type the abbreviation, TapIt4Me replaces it with the phrase. For example, “brb” is expanded to “be right back.”

Use the notes feature to compose a message. Expand a single abbreviation, or create an entire e-mail message from several abbreviations. Then, copy and paste the note into another app. The app includes a number of snippets. You can edit, delete or keep any or all of them.

Print n Share for advanced printing@

At some point, you’ll want to print content stored on your iPhone. Print n Share for advanced printing ($7) lets you print files and Web pages. Or, print contacts, e-mail messages and photos.

Print n Share works with any printer available to your computer. You can print from your Wi-Fi network, or use your cellular connection to print from afar.

Carbonite

Access your online backup files on the go with Carbonite’s iPhone app. (Full disclosure: Carbonite is one of my national radio show’s sponsors.) The app is free, but you’ll need to subscribe to Carbonite.

The way the app works is simple. Carbonite on your desktop backs up your files to Carbonite’s servers. You can then access all of these files on your iPhone. View photos, brush up on a PowerPoint presentation or review documents.

The app also lets you e-mail files directly from your phone. That makes it easy to share and access files anywhere. Access your files over cellular and Wi-Fi networks.

ScanR Business Center

ScanR Business Center Pro ($25) turns your iPhone into a scanner and fax machine. Since it requires a camera, iPod Touch users won’t reap its full benefits.

Use your iPhone’s camera to scan documents, business cards and more. Then, convert them into PDF files. The PDFs are searchable, so you can search for specific text within finished files.

Once you scan a document, fax it to anyone around the world. Or, use a nearby fax machine as a printer. Faxing is free. Your scans and faxes are stored online. You can access them from any Web browser or iPhone. You can also convert scans to editable documents via scanR’s site.

Dropbox

Dropbox (free) makes it easy to transfer files to your iPhone. It works with Dropbox’s online service, which synchronizes files between computers. A 2-gigabyte account is free.

Access your Dropbox account on the go. View files and download them to your iPhone for offline viewing. Changes made on a computer are synchronized to your iPhone.

You can share links to your Dropbox files with others. Or, take photos and videos with your iPhone and upload them to Dropbox.

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