by Karen McCandless
Published on 23 September 2015
Remember the days before we used mobile apps and we only used to work at a desk with a computer on it? It probably seems like a distant memory now and, while wearables have yet to become mainstream, we could soon reach a point where we're seemingly unable to be parted from our smartwatch. Given the rise of the always-on workplace, wearables at work are already starting to deliver the productivity gains necessary to enable this.
If you're not sure where to start, we've chosen 10 of our favorite apps you can use to boost your productivity, hands free, wherever you are.
Salesforce's Apple Watch offering involves three separate components - two apps, plus a developer pack that enables companies to build Apple Watch apps that connect directly to the Salesforce1 Platform.
First up is the Salesforce1 for Apple Watch app, which delivers real-time alerts from the platform right to the wearable on your wrist. This may include notifications around what is happening in your community, as well as any sales and marketing developments. The Salesforce Analytics Cloud for Apple Watch brings together data from a wide range of sources and allows you to easily turn the information into actionable insights.
Apttus is a member of Salesforce's partner apps program for Apple Watch, which means this app connects to the Salesforce1 Platform.
Apttus Approvals Intelligence for Apple Watch extends business functions to wearable devices, speeding up the sales process and improving deal profitability while on the go. It provides data-driven decision support for approval of discounts for quote line items, and removes the need to review entire quotes.
Accounting solution Zoho Books allows you to access your financial information and manage transactions from your wrist, wherever you are. Working in harmony with the iPhone app, the main feature the wearable app offers is the ability to accurately track the time you have spent on projects and then create invoices and bill clients there and then.
FinancialForce Punch Time Tracker app allows employees to enter their timesheet information directly from their watch with just one tap. Another app that was built using the Salesforce Wear Developer Pack, it integrates with FinancialForce Human Capital Management for approvals, day-to-day time reporting and activity dashboards, as well as FinancialForce Professional Services Automation, to enable real-time updates to projects.
ShiftExpert, which is also built on the Salesforce1 Platform, optimizes the planning, management and execution of employees' work shifts and timesheets across all departments for the Apple Watch.
The app incorporates rules, regulations, absences, demand, and company policies to schedule shifts that maximize the efficiency of an entire staff. The app provides employees, shift managers and planners with complete visibility of who works when, and how this planning affects the service, position coverage and budget.
ShiftExpert's sister app, FieldExpert extends business processes to the Apple Watch to help improve mobility and productivity at work. The app provides advanced scheduling, whereby mobile employees can quickly review their daily schedule, update service requests and schedule additional services or upgrades, right from their wrist.
The cool collaboration and chat app Slack transfers well to the Apple Watch, offering a plethora of features in its small format. As well as accessing unread notifications and mentions, you can also create and respond to direct messages, and switch seamlessly between the wearable and iOS mobile app using Apple's Handoff feature.
One drawback, though, is that currently the only way to respond to any mention in a channel is via direct message, meaning only the message recipient can see your reply, instead of the whole team.
Designed for businesses that have embraced the Apple ecosystem through Macs, iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch, Billings Pro for Mac is a well integrated invoicing app that works seamlessly across your iOS devices. With additional features for tracking time, mileage, and expenses, as well as an app for the Apple Watch, Billings Pro is a great option for the mobile workforce.
join.me - an instant online meeting service - has a pretty simple Apple Watch app. The company has dubbed it the "one touch meeting". Scheduled join.me meetings will now send a push notification to a user's iPhone or Apple Watch when it's time to meet. With a single tap on the iPhone or Apple Watch, join.me will automatically call the host - dialing them into the meeting - and start the desktop app right away.
As one of the first cloud phone services to be available on the Apple Watch, Line2 - which adds a second, IP-based line to mobile phones, tablets, watches and computers is a key productivity enabler when it comes to staying in touch when on the go. It provides many useful features: the ability to r eceive message notifications and send messages by hands-free voice dictation or from a list of provided responses, see who is calling and have the option of being able to forward it or direct the call to voicemail, activate the do not disturb setting, forward all calls, and put your ringer on silent.
While many app developers have focused on the Apple Watch platform, Microsoft has extended many of its productivity apps to Android Wear. This includes to-do list offering Wunderlist, which allows you to make notes, reply to comments from colleagues, and snooze reminders from your watch.
The Quick Add feature is pretty neat, allowing you to say something like "Meeting at 11am on Tuesday" and the app will add the name, date and reminder automatically. Microsoft also offers apps such as Skype, OneDrive, OneNote, and the Office suite for both wearable operating systems but, as these apps are in their infancy, their usefulness and range of features has been called into question.
What top wearable apps for productivity are you using or would like to see? Let us know in the comments below. If you haven't found what you're looking for in this list, why not check out some other productivity apps on GetApp's Marketplace.