May 27, 2011 | by Charles West
As today’s Android phones evolve at a rapid rate, so do the apps that operate on them. The days of needing a computer to run productive task are long gone — Android phones, and now tablets, have effectively filled that void.
There are a number of productive Android apps that help get things done. In no particular order, I’ve constructed a list of what I feel are 10 of the Most Productive Android Apps you should have. These apps are great to get through a work day or a semester of classes; if there are any apps you want to add that are really productive, please feel free to share in the comment section below.With that said, let’s get to it.
Documents To Go 3.0 by Dataviz
Documents To Go is currently the best selling mobile Office suite in Android Market, and the full (paid) version is often one of the top 10 paid apps overall. I love using this app because I can do pretty much anything I would be able to do in Microsoft Office on my laptop. Being able to edit or view documents sent to you by a friend or work colleague on the go makes this app in my opinion a must have. Plus, with its recent update, Docs to Go now supports Desktop Sync on Honeycomb, which is hugely important for Android tablet owners.
Documents to Go is free, but limited to only viewing documents. If you want Docs to Go with full features like creating and editing documents, prepare to pay a price of $14.99. I know, that’s a bit pricey, but having this kind of access to your documents makes it well worth the price.
Docs is the ultimate FU to Microsoft Office. Why do I say that you ask? Well, Docs is cloud based, free, and provides instant syncing — all which is an advantage over Office. If you’re the productive type whose not willing to spend the money to use MS Office, then Google Docs is for you.
With the most recent update, users gain the much needed ability to delete items, making this the ultimate free document app. Google Docs can create and edit shared documents quickly, can view PDF’s and several other formats, and converts scanned photos to text. With instant access online, how can you not like Docs?
PrinterShare by Mobile Dynamix
This Android app is very convenient if you’re too lazy (like me) to go to your desk, turn on your computer, and then print out a document. If you’re in a situation were you need to print out all your text messages or emails, PrinterShare will perform that task pretty well.
The app connects through Wi-Fi, which is pretty seamless based on my tests with a Wi-Fi-capable printer. Download the free app first to test if its compatible with your printer, then If you want, spend $12.95 for the unlock key to all of the features like unlimited remote printing, printing without a PC, or using a Bluetooth connection.
Dropbox for Android
I became familiar with Dropbox only a year ago, and I’ve been using it faithfully ever since. This app is simple, but extremely effective at what its designed to do. After signing up for a Dropbox account, users can indulge in a system that both stores files and download in one place.
Dropbox keeps a cloud-based backup of your photos, documents, pictures, and other files, then sync them between computers. The Android app doesn’t provide syncing, but it does upload into a Dropbox account that has up to 2GB of memory – for free. With that type of memory, it should be more than enough to download files directly to your phone or tablet, but you can upgrade to more storage space.
Keeping it in the cloud, seems to be where we are headed today. With that said, Box or Box.net is a service similar to Dropbox, but they differ from the amount of Gigabytes offered for free to subscribers. Box, offers new subscribers 5GB of memory instead of 2.
In order to receive your free Gigabytes, you have to register through the app or website. So, when it comes to file sharing, throw your USB chord in the dresser because you won’t need it anymore with this app.
ASTRO FILE Manager by Metago
ASTRO will help you copy, move, delete and rename files. It’s basically a file explorer for Android. You can work with single files or multiple files at a time and better manage your SD card content. If you happen to have an Android phone running below the Froyo (2.2), having ASTRO is vital.
ASTRO makes it easy to backup and restore public applications, so you can also install and un-install at your convenience. The app is free with banners at the bottom, which doesn’t really bother me, but if you hate banners — you can get rid of them by buying the paid version.
Google Chrome to Phone
Google Chrome is pretty simple, but awesome at what it’s designed to do. Chrome to Phone packs a much needed void in transferring web pages and links almost effortlessly, without having to email yourself. Install a Chrome Extension on your computer and then you’ll be able to push links from the desktop to the phone. You can also see a history of links shared organized by date in case you need to return to a link. This makes it a great tool to have for quickly sending download links or continue reading on the go. There’s also a FireFox extension that works with Chrome to Phone.
*App is only available for devices operating on 2.2+*
Mobile Package Tracker Pro by Minstech
In my opinion, this is the best package tracker in the Android Market. If you’re a business owner or a personal assistant, this should serve as a huge help in monitoring when your shipments will arrive.
For the small price of $1.99, you’ll receive accurate notifications on the progress of your shipments. Mobile Package Tracker keeps tab on every shipping carrier you can think of, and the developers constantly update the app.
Springpad is hands down one of the best applications for prioritizing and keeping track of what you need to do. Springpad makes it easy to save notes, products and places you want to remember — all for free. If you see a recipe online and send it to Springpad, the app knows to store it in a special recipe folder. You can also store bookmarks, to-do lists, notes, scan barcodes to retrieve information on products, and store media. I love using this app because its quick and easy to take notes and save anything you want. Springpad lets you do it all.
Evernote is another app which handles your day to day tasks very well, much like Springpad. Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Whether it’s staying organized, or just simply saving your ideas and improving productivity this app gets the job done. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. You can also tag notes to make them easier to organize and Share notes with others.
Now, with this list, you should be ready to tackle your most busiest times of the day. If you’re a business professional or student, the Android Market tailors to your needs, with apps that deliver some good o’ productivity. The greatest thing about this list, 7 out of the 10 apps I’ve listed are all fully functional apps — that are absolutely free.