25 Android Apps To Get Stuff Done
TCB, Android Style
From task lists to form creation, from a database to a mileage tracker, more Android apps are coming online every day to let you just get work done. Here's a look at 25 examined by the CRN Test Center.
No mess, no fuss: that’s the way we like it when we need to create paperwork. AndInvoice Lite is a free app, available from the Android Market, that helps automate the process of creating invoices for clients when you are on the go. Simply enter your own business’ information, address, contact and where payment is received, match it to pre-written product or service descriptions and fees, and hit a button. Your invoice will be turned into a PDF that allows you to simply e-mail it to your client -- complete with a payment due date and a ’thank you’ note.
We gave Inventory Droid a whirl on a Motorola Droid X, and within few minutes of downloading the $4.99 app we had created a new inventory database with product descriptions and acquisition details, taking product photos for that database, and even entering barcode data to help track physical inventory.
It's a fast, inexpensive and easy to use inventory app.
Skype for Android allows for Instant Messaging, voice calling and video calling. It works. It’s worth downloading and keeping on your Android device, whether it’s a tablet or smart phone – but we hope it gets better and comes much closer than it now does to the desktop experience.
OfficeSuite Pro 5
OfficeSuite Pro 5 is a $14.99 download from the Android Market, developed by Mobile Systems. It's not really a Microsoft Office clone; the navigation is different when it comes to creating a new document or editing one. It has a nice, graphical ribbon and its adaptation of touch to productivity applications is outstanding. Changing the width of columns and rows in the spreadsheet application by pinching and altering the with the touch of your fingers is very nice.
OliveOfficePremium (yes, it’s all one word) is a free download from the Android Market, and provides a straightforward way to access and view files in the .doc or .docx, .xls or .xlsx and .ppt or .pptx format. With built-in support for Google Docs and Dropbox, OliveOfficePremium also supports creation and storing of files locally on a device’s internal memory or SD card.
Business Card Reader Lite
We tried Business Card Reader Lite for Android on a Toshiba Thrive, which has a 5 MP rear camera. Not only does this app scan the card and convert the data into highly accurate text, it integrates it into your contact application of choice. You then have the option of ’looking the contact up’ on Facebook.
If you want to pay $9.99 for the full version, you receive additional features, including the ability to look a contact up on LinkedIn or Twitter, an address search on Google Maps and the ability to recognize multiple languages.
Task To Do Free List For Android
Task To Do Free List, an app in the Android Market, developed by Dr. Achim Leubner, attempts to integrate voice-command capability into a task-reminder app. By hitting the microphone icon built into the app, you're permitted to dictate the title of an task, as well as notes explaining what the task is about. You're also given the option of typing the information and details directly into the task list application.
We like the layout of the Task To Do List Free, and think it’s organized well as a stand-alone app to help you grab control of the tasks that you have ahead of you -- and keep you on track. This app provides alerts and lets you tag each task with a priority status.
Schedule St. For Android
Schedule St. aims to make scheduling more robust by giving you the option of adding audio, photos and even simple text to schedule items. Schedule St., which we tried on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, also changes the scheduling experience by providing a series of ’skins’ (Schedule St. calls them ’refills’) to customize the app's graphical user interface.
The app, Schedule St., is a free download from the Android Market. Skins can be added on for a small fee, usually $1.99.
Jorte for Android, a free app from the Android Market, aims to mashup all of your various calendars and combine them with task lists to create a super organizer. Developed by JohoSpace, the app makes good use of the Android tablet form factor to provide multiple views of your calendars and tasks. Those views include customizable options, and the developers say it was intended to provide the ’look and feel’ of a paper organizer.
Sailforms Database for Android is a free download from the Android Market -- which is good. Since the personal organizer segment of the mobile app market is literally flooded with organizer apps, the ability to stand out will rely on one of two things: whether the app is free or very cheap, or whether it provides robust features and sophistication that would make it a good candidate for the paid app category. Sailforms Database for Android fits into the former category.
Sailforms Database for Android is simple, easy to use and quick to navigate. For a quick means of taking control of various bits of your schedule, plans and results, it's worth a download and a try.
Upvise Projects is a free app that provides strong functionality, cloud integration and a nice selection of add-on apps to its Web-side services. The service itself can run $49.99 for a base license for a year, with add-ons available.
The app itself works nicely on a tablet running Android 3.0, allowing for integration with calendar and contacts. It enables creation of projects, tasks, forms and expense tracking (and more), with easy icon-based navigation. Tasks and projects can be easily assigned to specific companies, contacts and project team members.
Zendesk has ported its Support Ticket System for IT help to the Android platform in the form of an app that allows for tracking and updating of items needing attention and resolution. The free app serves as an extension to Zendesk’s software- and Web-based help desk tracking solution, which costs $9 per agent per month under a ’starter’ package, $24 per agent per month for its regular package, or $49 per agent per month for its ’plus’ package.
Cam Scanner Lite
CamScanner Lite uses the Android device's native camera (we tried it with an 8 MP camera) to allow snapshots of documents to be converted into high-res, clear and easy-to-read PDFs. It crops and auto-enhances each photo, and does such a good job that, in the right light, it's almost impossible to tell the difference between a PDF that was produced by CamScanner Lite and one that was scanned by a flatbed PC peripheral scanner.
Wandering User Transcription
Wandering User Transcription for Android (or W.U.T.), is a snappy, fast and very accurate transcription app that is also free to download. We tested it out in beta format and found it to be very nice for quick dictation that could be used for e-mail or text messaging.
A free download from the Android Market, we tested Note Everything for Android out on a smartphone running Android 2.2 and, later, the Honeycomb version of Android. A simple, clean interface, Note Everything lets you take type-written notes, voice notes, input data from a barcode (by adding on a free barcode scanning app), and call up notes from Google Docs (also by adding on a free Gdoc access app.) The result: a one-stop button for entering data into your device so that you can keep it, organize it and make it useful.
CloudNote, by developer AHG, is very simple: take a photograph or a video with an Android device, or write a text note, and you can upload that file into your own cloud account straight from the device. We used a demo version of the CloudNote app on a Motorola Droid X with a Verizon 3G connection, and found it quickly and efficiently moved the data from the device to the cloud. More than just an app, CloudNote is an enterprise IT solution. For $395, you can integrate CloudNote with your own network using Apache Tomcat and MySQL, or use CloudNote’s network for $395 plus $50 per month for baseline storage that can scale up.
What makes Evernote for Android so great – besides its market-leading functionality – is that it works on almost every platform you can think of: Android, iOS, Linux-based systems, Windows and Mac OS X.
On Android, Evernote provides the option of uploading new notes, or accessing past notes, that have been created either with text, photos or audio – as well as PDF-based notes. Like the other platforms, Evernote on Android can also place geodata on notes so they can be automatically tagged by location as well.
The thing about tablet productivity is that it tends to be list-heavy – with ’to do's,’ contacts and projects among others.
Outliner can be turned into a list of lists, with detailed notes, due dates, whether it’s finished. And, with a shout-out to procrastinators, there's a nice feature to extend – by days or weeks - due dates for various things to get done. It’s not flashy, but it works and for the list-driven among us, can be an app that provides a quick way to track stuff that needs doing.
A completely customizable, client-based database, Cigano Lite allows for highly portable data collection on an Android tablet device. It lets you create a number of different fields for which data can be recorded, including date, notes, ’yes’ or ’no’ responses and more.
Whether used for customer satisfaction surveys, inventory, productivity records or whatever, Cigano Lite, by Cafe Silencio, is fast, free and great for on-the-fly data collection.
This app is simple and straightforward. If you’re driving, bring your device along, click open Mileage Log, and it will track how many miles you travel by using the on-board GPS functionality. It works, so you can travel to a meeting, sales call, job site or anywhere with one less item to track on your own.
Fill And Sign PDF Forms
This app does just what the name says it does: carry PDF-based forms with you on the device and lets you or others fill them out and sign them. It’s a free download from the Android Market; while not exactly flashy, it will serve in a pinch to make sure you can have others clearly sign on the line which is dotted.
Sketchbook Mobile Express
We’re not the greatest artists -- but with Sketchbook Mobile Express for Android you don’t need to be. This app allows you to sketch out different ideas and even crude schematics that you can quickly save and share via email. While not as quaint as a cocktail napkin for sketching out ideas, it provides nice editing, customization and layering features like a robust desktop app.
This app seems to be on all the major platforms, and it’s on Android, too. We like this particularly for the tablet form factor. While a bit pricey for an IM app ($9.99 from the Android Market,) IM+ Pro supports all the major IM platforms including AOL, Yahoo, Facebook and Google Talk. It will also ride in the background and provide alerts when someone is reaching out to you. If you need to stay in touch, this is a must-have app.
Dictate A List
This is another app that does just what it says. Tap the microphone to dictate one word at a time, and Dictate a List will put it into a list form. You can either e-ail it to yourself or keep it on the Android device. We found the dictation on the app to be about 90 percent accurate which, for 99 cents as an Android Market download, is fine for creating lists on the go.
Now that you’ve got all these great apps to help you get stuff done on your Android device, consider adding Wizz Bar for Android tablets. A free download from SnowBEE, the Wizz Bar is just like the application tool bar that you’d find on a Windows PC or Mac to more quickly launch the apps you need to take notes, track lists, or do anything else. Navigate to what you need in a split second, and start getting it done faster with Wizz Bar.