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Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a weekly series in which MainStreet spotlights one new smartphone app that can help readers manage their money, shop better or improve their job search. Check back each week to find out how to make your smartphone even smarter!

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — There are iPhone apps to help users do everything from booking a hotel to picking the right beer at a bar, but until recently there haven’t been many great options for handling one of the simplest tasks on a desktop: opening and sharing .zip files.

For those who have been zip-deprived long enough to forget what it is, a .zip file is a format used to compress or encrypt documents to more easily share them with others. Zip files are particularly common with email attachments as there are restrictions on how large files can be. But anyone who received a zip file by email on their iPhone had to wait until they got to a computer to open it.

Now, the leading desktop tool for creating zip files, WinZip, is out with a free iPhone app to fix the issue. With the app, users can open compressed and encrypted zip files, copy and share the contents inside or simply preview the files in the email application on their iPhones without having to download the whole package first.

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Some early reviews complained that the app doesn’t offer a way to delete the unzipped files, but for the most part, the biggest complaint was just that the app didn’t come out sooner. The only other complaint we have is that now you won’t have an excuse for not reading all the compressed documents sent from your office sooner.

You can download the WinZip app here.

Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.