Collaboration is one of today's strongest business trends, fueled in part by advances in (and employees' experiences with) social media. The ability to exchange ideas and communicate about activities has proven wildly popular in the social sphere -- why not in the business one as well? And recognizing this demand, vendors are making tools available that enable teams to keep track of each others' progress on a group project, exchange information about tasks and contacts, and otherwise work togeth
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Not every collaboration platform has an associated native app. Some take the alternative approach of building a special mobile Web site and relying on the smartphone's browser to provide access to the collaboration tools. One advantage of this approach is that it's not (phone) platform-specific: It'll work on iPhones, Android devices, and BlackBerrys. Another is that it's free, since it just uses a phone's built-in capabilities. One example is Socialtext (left), an information sharing and team-management platform. SocialText Mobile detects a mobile browser and directs you to a special mobile interface. Through the mobile interface, you can track team members' activities, read and add comments, and communicate with colleagues through their profiles. Another example is Central Desktop (right), a cloud-based collaboration platform that offers most of the features of the in-house version: shared workspaces with communication and file sharing features. CentralDesktop.MOBI, a third-party Web application, lets you connect to your Central Desktop account by pointing your phone's browser to that address.