We all know that the computing power of the average smartphone or tablet goes far beyond that of the computers that once put men on the moon. But how good is the app development community at actually harnessing that power? Let’s take a look at some business apps that are pushing the boundaries of the modern app – and others that get the job done with astonishing simplicity.

Collaboration: Slack

Here at One Beyond, we love Slack. It’s a great collaboration and chat app, designed for internal communication and sharing of files and documents across teams. All information is searchable in the app, and it integrates with a wide range of other tools. One recently added Slack plugin is Quip, where the user can combine various elements like spreadsheets and checklists into a single, dynamic document to be shared among team members. With a cool new update this year, Slack now also offers threaded conversations which helps to manage and keep better track of conversations involving many people discussing several topics.

Design: Tilt Brush

New design tools are constantly hitting the app stores, but Google’s Tilt Brush is a virtual reality graphic design tool that is truly groundbreaking. It allows the user to create visual elements in a 3D environment. With the help of a 3D headset and a palette of colours, brushes, textures and even dynamic elements like snow and fire, it’s possible to make breath-taking graphics that can be shared as room-sized VR walk-in artwork or downloaded as animated GIFs. Many reviewers predict that this can become the first major breakthrough app for VR, and not just for the creative industry. Interior decoration, building projects, education, prototyping – there are countless potential uses for Tilt Brush.

Brainstorming: Mindmup 2

The mindmapping app Mindmup has been around for a few years but is continuing to develop and improve in the form of Mindmup 2. This is an online, cloud-based tool used by individuals as well as business teams to brainstorm, gather ideas and storyboard presentations and documents. It can also be used for planning and managing projects. Being a very visual tool, it is intuitive and helps people to focus on concepts and ideas rather than heavy text.

Video editing: Quik

As smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used for recording business videos, there is a growing demand for easy editing on the same device. This is something that Quik does incredibly well as an on-the-go editing app. With Quik, you can edit video snippets, add effects and music, and produce a high definition video directly on your phone. This app is created by GoPro, which means that it’s designed to work especially well for the typical fast-paced action footage captured on GoPro cameras.

Finances: Expensify

Tired of rummaging through receipts to log expenses? Expensify is one of this year’s simplest, smartest and quickest expense management tools. Employees can easily log their expenses and get immediately reimbursed for expenses that don’t need senior approval. For larger amounts, the expense can be automatically coded and submitted for review. Credit card reports can be imported and logged, or the user can scan and upload their receipts. The integration with accounting tools like Xero, Quickbooks, Sage and more means that all expense data can be completely synced.

Support: HappyFox

As far as helpdesk applications go, HappyFox is one of the smartest ones on the market when it comes to managing tickets on a mobile device. This app makes it as easy for staff to manage support requests outside of the office as when using the desktop version. The app allows the user to have internal conversations with other staff before responding to client, and they can record conversations and run filtered searches of all in-app communications. With features like self-service options, email ticketing, and multilingual support, there really isn’t much this clever app can’t do.

Recruitment: Proven

Recruiting can easily be a very time-consuming task, and one which a smaller business may find distracting and frustrating. Proven is a recruitment app that lets you post job adverts to multiple job boards instantly, on a pay-as-you-go basis, as well as respond to applicants and schedule interviews. Their iOS and Android apps are designed to make the job advertising and recruitment management process smooth and simple, with all applications in one single place.