7 Essential Mac Apps That Will Help You Run Your iPhone Business

Matthew Campbell, March 11th, 2009

Starting a business around the iPhone actually requires more than simply writing code and getting an app on the App Store.

You will need to learn about business, marketing and maybe even graphic design. Luckily, there are a few apps that you can get on the Mac that will help you automate some of the common non-coding tasks you will need to do.

$39.95 – trial version available

At some point in your business you will have a lot of websites and services provided to you over the web. These all require different passwords that need to be updated regularly. Especially, if you get help from virtual assistants that requires you to trust them (temporarily) with your passwords.

1Password will remember your passwords, create strong passwords, integrate with your browser, export to an HTML file you can use on your Windows PC and even sync to your iPhone. The usability is so much better than the sum of the long list of features offered.

$29.95 – trial version available
Blogging is a good and cheap way to promote your business and connect with your community. Using the web based interfaces to update your blog is a royal pain.

MarsEdit simply eases the pain of blogging. I use it all the time to quickly upload images, update my posts and backup my blog entries all without the lag of a web based service.

$49.95 – trial version available
First, I recommend that developers do not attempt to do graphic design (outsource this right now!). But, sometimes you need to touch up an image, add a “Sale” graphic or even create placeholder graphics as you are developing an app.

Acorn is the “Image Editor for Humans” and that is exactly right. I’ve used a few image editors and this is the only one that makes sense to me. I use this all the time for minor and major updates to all my images.

$29.95 – trial version available
Having timely information about your app sales is essential to maximizing the profit you will generate with your app. But, the data you get from Apple is very rough, difficult to interpret and takes a lot of time to retrieve from the iTunesConnect website.

AppViz does all of that for you – it will download your sales data in the background, create trend graphics that you slice and dice, download reviews from around the world and export your data to a text file that you can use in your own database.

$199.95 – trial version available
Just so you know, income from you app sales will be taxed at a higher rate than income from a day job. However, because this is self-employement income you get more chances to take deductions. Keeping track of these financial details can be difficult and time consuming but it will be essential to your business.

Long story short – you will need to get an accountant and keeping your financials in QuickBooks will make your accounting appointment cheaper because they can simply take your “books” file and use that to prepare your return. QuickBooks is the industry standard in accounting.

QuickBooks can be daunting to set up correctly, so I recommend using your accountant or a bookkeeper to do the initial QuickBooks setup. Saving money on accountant fees and taxes is only one benefit of using QuickBooks – you will also get the data you need to manage the lifeblood of your business – the cash-flow.

Free – accepting donations through PayPal
If you have started developing on the Mac from Windows you may not know what the standard file transfer program is. Well, that is Cyberduck. If it is free and gets the job done well.

Google Apps
Ok, this is not strictly a Mac app… However, using Google apps is a quick and free way to get email, use spreadsheets, write out procedure lists for your assistants, collaboration websites (SharePoint clones), use a shared calender, RSS Reader and probably much more. Best thing, most of this stuff will sync with your iPhone.

Well, that is it for my top apps. What about you?

What Apps Do You Use To Help Run Your iPhone Business?