June 2014 Update: This article discusses “old” applications and Android OS. I’m leaving it up for archival purposes.
Recently, a number of clients and colleagues have asked about my recommended Android 2.2 apps. Today I was preparing to hit “send” on this list for the 20th time and thought it perfect to share on BIG Results Consulting.
Like many of you, I switch between multiple systems and devices within the course of a day. On a light day, it may be two. On a heavier day, it could be five or six. My smart phone d’jour is a Motorola Droid and my productivity device is an iPad 2. Many of my enterprise clients are heavy RIM users, often interested in switching to Droid instead of iPhone due to the Android’s physical keyboard option.
When I show up at meetings or to deliver presentations with a Mac Book Pro, iPad and a Droid, folks ask — “what’s with the Droid?” After that, they ask, “what do you use on your Droid?” (Hint: stay tuned for the upcoming companion post — “Recommended iOS Apps.”) This post is a beefed up copy of my Android 2.2 App recommendation sheet. Ready?
Prerequisites for a post about Android 2.2 Apps? Yep! Some of the tools mentioned in the apps list have Markdown language dependencies and/or reference my “mobile productivity system.” Check out the posts on How to Achieve Mobile Productivity Using Pen and Paper and How to Be More Productive with Digital Devices for more information.
How I Selected the Apps
My Android 2.2 Apps selection was based on the following criteria:
- It must integrate with existing SaaS / cloud services I use. These include Google Docs and Calendar, Contacts, and Simplenote.
- It must support multi-device sync, so that I can always have the latest copy of contacts, calendar, notes, and email — wherever I am.
It must be reliable.
If number 1 above does not apply (as in the case of Visual Voice, Task Manager or Smart Keyboard Pro, it has to bring specific benefits that increase mobile productivity.
Here is the list in no particular order:
One of my very first apps, it is one of those utility apps that does a ton of stuff. In fact, way more than I really need it to. For a full feature list, please visit the developer’s app site. Here is how I use it:
— To expand words
— To replace the somewhat clunky Android-native soft keyboard
— To custom type words based on abbreviation (Think “Typinator” for Mac or similar)
— Input via voice
It has saved me countless keystrokes. Makes touch and hand keyboards really useful. It is one of the few Android apps that I wish I could use on my iOS devices. Highly recommended.
This is a jewel of a program! Think “Things” for Mac, but on multiple devices _including MS Windows (™) PC’s. It has a robust synchronization engine and is available for Mac, Windows, Droid, iOS and maybe other platforms as well. I manage all my tasks with it. For more information, check out my _digital device productivity article._
If you’ve followed my previous post on Markdown and Simplenote, you know I’m a heavy user of both. Prior to that, I used Evernote for everything.Though I don’t use it any more for day-to-day notes, I do use it for research, web capture and voice notes. (Which aren’t directly supported by Simplenote.) Still, it’s a fantastic tool that supports sharing, multi-input data capture, fast archiving and searching and a huge list of supported third-party plugins. (Outlook, Firefox, etc.)
- Android’s integrated Gmail Calendar and Contacts Apps (Installed with Android Phone)
These are probably self-explanatory and discussed further in How to Achieve Mobile Productivity Using Pen and Paper.
If you use your phone for stock alarms at all, this is the app to have. Tons of geeked out features for just that perfect “alarm experience.” Great for daily use and while traveling.
Quick and easy task manager for rogue programs, or memory hog apps. This is much more of a concern on Android than it is on iOS, since Android supports direct multitasking.
Great for converting whiteboarding sessions into handy PDF files. I use this one a lot. My primary use is to snap whiteboards or documents, stick them in PDF files, and mail back to clients and co-workers.
If you have anything stashed up in Amazon’s S3 Cloud, this handy app makes short work of accessing your files, such as key audio and video presentations. There may be fancier solutions out there, but this one has been solid and reliable for me every time.
Opens, reads, and manages Google Docs.
An excellent note-taking app that supports native Markdown and Simplenote App Sync. Very handy for seamlessly transitioning views of my notes between desktop, iPad and Android.
This is actually an app plus service add on from my wireless provider Verizon. Not sure if you have this on your plan, but it is one of those “don’t know how I existed without it all these years” type of apps. Makes managing voice mail pile up during heavy road travel a piece of cake.
What can I say about this one? Turns your Droid into a high-power GPS / car phone, Google search and contact manager. Probably has a bunch of other stuff I haven’t even tapped into yet. I use this extensively while traveling and it has become my primary GPS device.
For quick tweets and keep up with followers. There are many more powerful social media aggregator apps out there now, but this one gets the job done. For more power, check out HootSuite for Android.
- Pandora Radio (I use the “Pro” version)
Because life can’t be all work…or, if you have to work why not enjoy some tunes?
The app sounds very good at high-res sound and 3GS. Most of the time, it is cd-quality clear sound.
The “jamminest” Android 2.2 App for music/video management I’ve found.
This is just a short list of available options. With hundreds of thousands of available apps, there are certainly multiple options for everything listed here. The preceding apps comprise my core Android productivity suite. The list changes all the time and yours will to. I’d encourage you to select and find what works best for you.
What are your “must use” Android business apps? Thread on to the comments and share your recommendations.