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10 iPhone apps that are now free

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$30 worth of apps now free

Business-related apps for the iPhone are relatively fluid, as they come and go and the prices fluctuate often. Because there are so many changes when it comes to prices and availability of apps, it can be incredibly beneficial to stay on top of price drops, as they won’t stay around forever and you may miss your chance to download the perfect app for your business needs. So, here are ten iPhone apps that are newly free and won’t stay that way for long.

1. Used to be $2.99

DNoteIt – This stand-alone app is marketed for those who want to do three basic things with their notes—search, organize, and edit. Even though it’s marketed as “not the prettiest or most user-friendly notepad…it aims to be as functional as it can be,” it works for those looking for a simple solution to a complicated problem that similar apps pose, even if doesn’t seem like DNoteIt’s developers are very confident in their own product.

2. Used to be $0.99

Checklist Again! –  As a small business professional, your to-do list is constantly growing and changing. The Checklist Again! app allows you to keep track of all your tasks, add notes and descriptions for each task, and even reset lists so you can do it all over again the next day, week, or month.

3. Used to be $0.99

HearAtMe – Your days may be filled with conferences and meetings, but it can be difficult to remember everything that goes on and everything that is discussed throughout these important events. HearAtMe is a simple sound recorder. So, you can just record the whole meeting and review it later. As long as your phone battery is fully charged, HearAtMe can record up to ten hours while your phone is in sleep-mode.

4. Used to be $0.99

Audio Job Interview Professional – If you’re reaching out to potential clients or customers and you need to prove that you have adequate speaking skills, whether that’s in a foreign language or your native language, Audio Job Interview Professional allows you to record yourself and send that recording along with your resume or your emails. This can cut down on the time spent determining if you’re the right fit for a potential client.

5. Used to be $1.99

Quick Contact Swap – Using QR codes, you can swap contacts with anyone. This is particularly helpful if you need contact information that an employee has collected for potential or current clients and customers. Instead of manually inputting each contact into your phone, you can do it all with just a few clicks.

6. Used to be $7.99

HooK – Just like the above app, HooK works off of QR codes. You can transfer files, give or receive virtual business cards, or even instant message. And it’s all in this one app. With so many features, HooK could be the ideal app for a variety of modern business professionals.

7. Used to be $9.99

LifeForms – Depending on the industry you’re in and your specific job, you may spend a lot of time filling out forms. Once you enter your information into the LifeForms app, it will auto-fill any PDF form you push its way. Using the LifeForms app can save you hours each day, and your many forms will be completed with just a few taps on the screen.

8. Used to be $0.99

hExpense – hExpense is a simple app that most every business professional can use to track expenses. You can track everything from meals to gasoline purchases to hotel stays. While this app is simple to use, it also allows you to track expenses for more than one trip at a time. Once all the information has been recorded, you can then choose if you want to view the data through graphs or charts.

9. Used to be $1.99

ScanCard – This app is specifically for scanning business cards. When you scan a business card, it automatically syncs to the cloud and quickly and effectively recognizes characters and letters in English and traditional and simplified Chinese. Once all your business cards are scanned, you can search by keywords or names to find the right contact information.

10. Used to be $0.99

Sales Planning – Planning and preparation can equal success in any small business. The Sales Planning app will help you to understand how many leads or clients you need in order to make your goal profit or income. Just input previous data from years past, including customer loyalty and retention rates, and it will give you a good indication of what you need to accomplish professionally this year. You can’t make a plan of action unless you know where you want to end up.

Maintaining productivity, increasing organization, and staying on top of your business needs can be as simple as finding and using the right app. And when the apps are free, what do you have to lose? Download the applicable free apps this week and have the potential to see improvements in the way you manage and run your business. After all, there will be even more free apps next week, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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Smartphones

LG G Flex will have a curved display: why it even matters

The LG G Flex is exciting as it is curved, but there are much deeper implications of this announcement that your company should take note of before your competitors do.

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LG G Flex to feature curved display

You may have heard that Samsung will launch a smartphone with a curved display (although they’ve so far fallen short on their plans to produce their smartphone prototype that is completely flexible), but did you know that LG is hot on their heels, with rumors of the LG G Flex launching this November?

As depicted above, what is believed to be called the LG G Flex is similar to a standard smartphone in shape, with just a slight curve, using plastic OLED screen technology

CNET reports that sources close to the project say the G Flex will have a six-inch display and November is the projected unveiling, but that could always be pushed back (although to be in time for the holiday shopping season, we suspect it will be a November launch).

Samsung will likely unveil their curved display phone this month, and there are rumors that the Galaxy Note 3 could feature a curved display as well.

Curved does not equal flexible

So why develop a curved display? Analysts point to the device actually fitting around your face naturally for making calls, and others note that it fits in a rear pocket more comfortably with a curve.

Curved does not equal flexibility, though, as the devices are still stationary, but the reason the LG G Flex being curved matters to you is that mass production of this type of technology is the precursor to what’s coming next – flexible devices.

Looking into a crystal ball

LG already introduced a curved 55-inch OLED tv panel, and was first to the finish line with the ability to mass produce fully flexible plastic screens, announced last year with their electronic paper display (EPD) product, sold overseas.

The LG EPD is not just flexible, allowing the screen to bend up to 40 degrees from its center, it is a 6 inch, 1024 x 768 e-ink plastic screen. The technology used mimics the way traditional ink appears on paper, which many prefer over the backlit flat panel displays of tablets and computers. The EPD is only 0.7mm thick, weighs 14 grams (that’s 1/33 of a pound) and is said to be scratch resistant when dropped.

Flexibility is next, and it is relevant for your brand not just for the novelty of having a flexible device, but because the way people interact with your website or app could be changing sooner than you might suspect.

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Smartphones

iPhone 6 concepts beginning to emerge

With all the hub-bub about iOS 7 and iPhone 5, several iPhone 6 concepts have emerged. The most prominent feature is the wrap around screen.

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Looking into the future

Whether you are an Android lover or an Apple fanatic, people love to fantasize about what the newest phone release will bring, from hologram keyboards, an added projector, and so forth. As for the iPhone 6, the most common feature designers and fans think it will have is the wrap around screen. AGBeat has featured this concept several times, and while it has yet to become reality, there seems to be high hope for the iPhone 6 release.

Dribble users have designed and shared several concept models, all of which have the wrap around screen, also known as the infinity screen. This design allows a more engaged user experience, by removing the side casing. The sides have a flat, touch-responsive volume control and a much thinner design overall. And some additional revisions (based upon Cladio Guglieri’s original) have included wifi, Bluetooth, do not disturb, airplane mode, and rotation lock icons, right on the side.

These additions give you instant access to your most used controls, without the need to tap through to gain access to the settings screen. Also, with the extra features, the opposite side of the phone shows your message status, emails, and music controls. DeviantArt also has multiple postings of the infinity screen design. This is absolutely amazing to me because there is so much information in such a limited amount of space. The thickness of the phone in the concept states 0.30 inches; it is really hard to believe an email icon can fit and be legible, but it does.

Other futuristic possibilities

There are also several versions that include aluminum plus carbon fiber casing, in many different variations. Although most still remove the edges from the iPhone 5 design. Behance users have also created several examples of this design concept. With touch sensors wrapping the display edge, concept designers believe no borders means nothing between your hands and the display. And they hope accidental gestures can be prevented with the sensors, although this is just a concept. You certainly would not want to pick the phone up to answer a call from your boss and accidentally start your iTunes playlist.

The only problem I see with this beautiful design is protecting the edges, despite designers touting the durability of the new technologies. As someone who frequently drops their phone, and attempts to keep it safe by using a protective case, I wonder how you can utilize the edges, but still keep the phone safe. Also, I would be interested to see, how often holding the phone triggers the side sensors. Otherwise, I think the wrap around design is both beautifully functional and a long overdue, welcome feature.

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Smartphones

Contacts+ app adds productivity to any Android

Android users: Contacts+ is a great new way to manage your contacts, making a potentially frustrating process simple and streamlined, adding productivity to your phone.

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Contacts+ is more than a contact manager

Contacts+ is more than just a contact manager though, it is also a dialer app and combines photos with information from all your connected services: WhatsApp, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Contacts+ is a welcome alternative to the Andriod favorite Smartr. Since Smartr was recently acquired by Yahoo!, Contacts+ could not have come at a better time.

You can send free and regular messages without switching apps, sync pictures to your contacts, including cover photos, from Facebook and get birthday reminders.

How the app works

With optimization for both Android phone and tablets, you have the ability to sort your contacts in a variety of ways without worrying if you will be able to see all the data. You can sort by groups, favorites, smart contact (prioritization by frequency or A-Z), and search message history of your contact from one place. If you happen to have the same contact in your phone more than once, Contacts+ will sync them together to save you any confusion.

One tap opens a contact card, and then you can tap again to make calls or email them. Once the contact card is open, you can also catch up on their social media life. Leo from Contacts+ writes, “they have a sync process with Facebook and Google+, essentially users connect their accounts (authentication is performed securely through the respective service) and once an account is connected, Contacts+ links and syncs contacts based on unique identifiable information, enabling them to automatically connect your contacts and their identities.”.

New features have been added

The newest features include high res picture sync, a new black theme, T9 search in the call log, Dialer+ shortcut that can be opened over your call log/contacts screen, the ability to call back directly from the incoming message pop up and ignore accents improvements.

The only drawback is that some of the “sorting” features are a bit harder to find. You will need to tap through a couple of different options to find the ability to sort by last name, for example. But, once you get used to it, it really is a nice way to manage your contacts. Contacts+ is free in the Google Play store.

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