The Way We Work


Here are my favorite iPhone apps for remote work. iPhone 4 users have reported a fair number of bugs in Apple’s latest release, so the following list is still targeted at the 3GS and earlier devices. (See this  PC Magazine article for more on the recent iPhone 4 bug discoveries.) While most of the apps below will work on the latest iPhone, I feel obligated to provide this disclaimer. Also – if you’re not an iPhone user – check out the Blackberry, and Android versions of this list.

The Essentials

Free memory – While you shouldn’t need this app, you probably do. The iPhone is known for both not allowing multi-tasking (prior to the iPhone 4) and also not fully cleaning up after the apps it shuts down. If your iPhone is crashing or feeling sluggish, Free Memory may solve your problems.

taptrace_logoTapTrace – Since the iPhone doesn’t allow third-party applications to run in the background, the functionality of any kind of monitoring/tracking software is limited when compared to the $99/year MobileMe solution provided by Apple-which is excellent. However, if that price is too steep, Taptrace can aid in locating a lost/stolen phone.



Remember the Milk – A good task list can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping important work from slipping through the cracks. I’m a big fan of Remember the Milk, and wrote about it previously in The Freelance Work Life Balance.


MiniBooks – If you are a Freshbooks user, then MiniBooks, from the makers of Freshbooks, is your best bet for managing expenses, invoices, and time tracking all from your iphone.

QuickOffice – Viewing and editing documents on the go is a must have tool for most smartphone users, that’s why it never ceases to amaze me that it’s absent from so many phones’ built in features. QuickOffice solves this dilemma, and includes the ability to sync with your Google Docs, DropBox, or MobileMe files in the cloud.

WordPressKeep your or up to date with this iphone client. Never miss a post when you’ve got the ability to snap pictures, write copy and publish on-the-fly.

Mocha VNCBoth the Android and Blackberry versions of this list mention good VNC apps. If you’re comfortable running your own VNC server, then you’ll enjoy the times when having remote access saves the day.

These apps can help you stay productive when you’re left with only your smallest gadget. If you’re an iPhone user, let us know which apps you’ve found invaluable! Loving your iPhone 4? Which apps would you recommend?


Alex Hornbake

Freelance Tech Writer

Alex Hornbake is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. He joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, and brings more than a decade of technical expertise to his clients. Alex shares his point of view to help you make informed decisions for your personal and business technology choices.