We review the top apps for landscape contractors.
Enhance your purchases
Here’s a list of some apps from companies you have bought products from. For a complete list www.lawnandlandscape.com and search “Enhance your purchases.”
Belgard: Contractors now can show their customers’ visuals of products available in their specific region, explore color swatches for design discussions and share information critical in purchasing decisions such as warranty details or maintenance tips. The app is available for the iPhone.
Ewing Irrigation: This free app is designed to save you time and help increase productivity in the field. Find a store, save time on calculations and more, right from your smartphone or tablet with this free app. Available from Google Play or the iTunes app store. http://bit.ly/ewingapp
Grasshopper: Lawn & Landscape partnered with Grasshopper for an app that provides grounds maintenance professional’s information to improve their businesses. New issues will be released quarterly, with relevant content for the respective season. It’s available for free download in Apple and Android app stores.
Harrel’s: The myHarrel’s mobile app feature MSDS and label downloads, sales rep locator spreader settings and other tools to help contractors and LCOs.
Irritrol: The Irritrol app, available for free for both Android and Apple mobile devices, has much of the key information offered on the Irritrol website, organized and optimized for mobile devices, but it also contains promotions exclusively for irrigation professionals.
Lawn & Landscape Magazine: Our revamped iPad app brings together all the great stories from our print edition with the interactivity of our website. It’s the best place to get all the information you need to run your business.
Pro Landscape: PRO Landscape Companion, available for the iPad, works in conjunction with PRO Landscape, Version 18. The app allows users to create a design from scratch on an iPad using a photo they’ve taken with the iPad’s built-in camera. Users then have the option to transfer the design to a computer and finish it in PRO Landscape. If the design has been started in PRO Landscape it can be transferred to the iPad to show to a customer, and make changes on the fly.
Rain Bird: A free Landscape Irrigation catalog app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The new catalog app makes it possible for irrigation professionals to access Rain Bird’s latest product information from Internet-enabled mobile devices.
Sprinkler Times: The Sprinkler Times website and smart phone app helps provide accurate watering schedules for sprinkler systems without much effort. The app is $5.99 and available for iPhones, iPads, Androids and online at www.SprinklerTimes.com.
Toro: The new site, m.toro.com/LCE, features a current, hourly, and 10-day forecast, plus weather radar, parts and product information, dealer locator with maps and distances, Toro highlights and special offers, as well as operator training and safety tips.
One of the great functions of smartphones, naturally, is to make you work smarter. So, are you using the latest technology to work efficiently and productively? We put together a list of Android and iOS apps that for little or no money will help you run a smoother operation whether you’re in the office, out in the field or catching up on work at home.
Biz cards viewer Carda Lite
This app helps you eliminate the piles of business cards you’ve collected and, while out of the office, provides easy organization for accessing and sorting contact information. The app allows you to take photos of both sides of a business card and then it dates, groups and tags each card. Once the data is imported, you can edit or even contact that person using the email or phone information posted on the card. It provides a single or grid view of the imported cards for easy sorting. The Lite edition has a 200 card limitation. Unlimited cards can be uploaded with the regular version for $4.99.
Average rating out of 5: 3.8
Landscape & Garden Calculators
Publisher: Sidetop Software
The Landscape & Garden Calculators can help you estimate and bid on a job faster. The app comes with 35 calculators and estimators for projects that include hardscape, softscape and lawns. Take lawn fertilizer, for example. You can calculate the quantity of fertilizer per treatment based on type of grass, low and high spread rates, total area, percent of nitrogen in the fertilizer and number of treatments per year. Calculations can be completed by manual input or based on GPS and then the results can be sent by email or text or copied on to the clipboard and saved in your records. The app comes with a price tag of $7.99, but contractors say it’s worth the price for the ease and accuracy of bidding projects.
Average rating out of 5: 4.2
Quickoffice Pro lets you create, edit, access and share Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files whether you’re in or out of the office and online or offline. The file management solution works with cloud service providers like Dropbox, Google Docs and Box.net. The latest enhancements include spell check in Quickword, the ability to annotate and mark notes on PDF files, create bulleted and numbered lists in Quickpoint and create, edit and delete tables in Quickword. The app works with all Microsoft document versions (e.g. .doc and .docx) for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. User reviews say the app is still limited compared to its computer counterpart.
Average rating out of 5: 4.1
Publisher: Spotlight Six Software
TimeClock’s main function is to make it easier for you to track your billable hours and expenses and then use that data to later generate invoices and spreadsheets. The app allows you to set an hourly rate for each client and then it calculates your earnings. It also allows you to set up predefined expenses for your recurring expense items. Another feature is the ability to clock in and clock out to track how much time was spent on the job. Reviewers say they use the app daily in the field because it’s simple and reliable.
Average rating out of 5: 4.6
Are you the type of person who writes notes on loose pieces of paper or jots down an idea on a pad and forgets about it? Evernote is a free app that helps you organize and save your ideas. The app allows you to take notes, say in a client meeting; capture photos, perhaps of business receipts; write to-do lists and record voice messages that are saved and then later searchable from any of your synched technology – work computer, home computer, tablet. Evernote has social media accessibility, which lets you share your notes through email, Twitter and Facebook.
Average rating out of 5: 3.5
Publisher: Citrix Online
Platform: iOS and Android
Everyone runs late to a meeting or webinar at some point. The GoToMeeting app was designed for those days when a meeting or project goes long and you can’t make it to your computer in time for the next conference to start. The app is free and launches when you click on the GoToMeeting link in the invitation email. The app allows you to view the presentations and reports shared during the meeting, as well as who’s presenting, who’s talking and who’s attending. A WiFi or 3G connection is needed in order to hear the audio.The app won the Software & Information Industry Association’s 2012 CODiE Award.
Average rating out of 5: 4
Publisher: Stevenson Software
Having a hard time identifying a plant, remembering its water usage or whether it’s deer resistant? This app gives you a database with more than 25,000 plants in 17 categories from annuals to ground covers to ornamental grasses. It provides general plant information from its USDA zone to sun exposure to water usage and growth rate. The search function allows you to look up plants and grasses multiple ways, such as by their common or scientific name or even the plants’ USDA zone or color. The app costs $4.99 and a pro upgrade gives users the ability to add their own plants, pictures and notes. New plants and photos are updated periodically free of charge.
Average rating out of 5: 3
Waze social GPS traffic & gas
Direct routes and traffic-free roads are important for time and gas efficiency. Waze social GPS traffic and gas offers voice-guided navigation and automatic re-routing. You and others in your community can report traffic jams, accidents, traffic cameras, map issues and gas prices. These reports help users outsmart traffic and improve their daily commute. Reviewers caution that continued use of the GPS function can dramatically decrease a phone’s battery life.
Average rating out 5: 5
Platform: Android and iOS
Those with a QuickBooks subscription can now review, edit and email their data using their smartphone. This Intuit app allows you to manage customers’ invoices, estimates and customer relationship management from your phone or tablet. The latest version allows you to design custom invoice templates and then create, edit and send an unlimited number of invoices from your smartphone. Its other capabilities include tracking payments and recording sales, creating custom sales receipts and then recording and emailing those receipts to your clients. Users say updates provides easier and faster ways of doing business on the go.
Average Android rating out of 5: 4.1
Average iOS rating out of 5: 4
Square Card Reader
Platform: Android and iOS
The Square Card Reader app allows you to accept your customers’ credit card before leaving their homes. The app is free to install and there are no contracts or monthly fees. Square will send you a portable 3.5mm headphone minijack that serves as a card reader. A rate of 2.75 percent per swipe is then taken from each bill. You can link your bank account to the app.
Average Android rating out of 5: 4.6
Average iOS rating out of 5: 3.5