With the android OS making its presence felt very strongly, smartphones have today become a popular computing device when on the move. When work demands that you constantly stay connected, some apps can come make life a bit easier. Here are some Android apps to help you get the job done.
You might have to check documents or spread-sheets quite frequently even on the move. If you are not keen on editing on your Android device and just require a viewer, then there are several free document viewers to choose from, such Business As Usual:
Apps to Stay Connected as Documents To Go Version 3.0, OpenOffice or ThinkFree Online. However, if you wish to edit documents on the go, you will need a good editor. While you can opt for the freely available GDocs if you want your Android phone to sync with Google docs, you cannot open these files directly from your inbox or SD card. Moreover, you can only use simple Word or text files and view PDFs, nothing more. While GDocs is a popular app, there are several such free apps on the Android market that offer connectivity with Google Docs.
If you tend to meet lots of pople, you can save their contact details in real time with a card reader app like CamCard.
If you don’t mind investing in a robust app for your Android device, then you can pick between Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite, the OfficeSuite Pro and the Documents to Go package. These suites are paid and allow you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations and view PDFs. The most recent versions also extend support to Office 2007 formats and syncing with Google Docs, but do not cater to Open Office formats. If you are looking for ZIP file support along with inbuilt File Manager support, you can opt for either OfficeSuite Pro or the Quickoffice Connect Mobile Suite. While QuickOffice Connect Mobile Suite would cost you Rs. 453, Documents to Go and OfficeSuite Pro are priced at Rs. 680.
Business Card Readers
If you meet lots of people during the course of work and have many visiting cards to handle, it can be cumbersome to track numbers down when you really need to get in touch. Instead, you can get a business card reader app that works with your Android phone.
It may not be possible to carry all you data with you, and that’s where a cloud service like Dropbox can help.
These apps use your camera to scan the card and help you to store the contact details as well as a copy of the card on your phone. The most popular business card reader apps are MobiReader, WorldCard Mobile, and CamCard. While none of the applications are free of cost, you can pick up the lite version of CamCard, which can be upgraded later. Most of these apps can read details like name, phone numbers, email addresses, web links and postal addresses with ease.
They also enable you send emails and access company websites directly. The apps also offer multi-language support, with some offering languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish, among others. Although you may have occasional hassles with the character recognition, especially if the picture is taken under improper lighting, and with business cards with heavy background colors, most of them work quite well in storing accurate data on to your phone.
WorldCard Mobile is priced at Rs. 271, while MobiReader would cost you Rs. 471. CamCard comes in two versions; the BCR Western priced at Rs 316 that reads languages using the English typography, and a Business Card Reader version priced at Rs. 543 for complex languages like Japanese, Korean and Chinese.
For those who are constantly on the move, a cloud application to help synchronize data between their computer, their Android device and the Internet is essential. While most cloud apps are free of cost up to a particular data storage limit, what you need to consider before settling on an app is the usage and types of files that you wish to work with. There are several options that you can choose from, of which Dropbox, Zumodrive and SugarSync are the most popular ones. If you are used to LogMeIn on your desktop, you can continue using the service with your Android device, too. The LogMeIN Ignition for Android costs Rs. 1,351.
To use the cloud effectively, you need to be signed up for the service on their website and install the corresponding application on your desktop. The final step is to get the app on your Android device.
While a private diary will help you secure sensitive data, you can use apps like OI Safe for critical data values.
While most services offer 2 GB of free data storage, SugarSync offers you 5GB of free space. You’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan to increase the cloud storage space. While Dropbox works best for document files, you’ll need editor apps to use the service effectively. Zumodrive is equally easy to use, but works better if you wish to sync your iTunes music library on your phone through the cloud.
If syncing photographs is what you’re looking for, Google Picasa is a better app. And even for Picasa, you would find a plethora of options to pick from.
Planning your schedule ahead can help you accomplish everything you planned for the day, and if you have to keep track of your schedule on-the-go or need to share your device with anybody, having a password protected code memo is the perfect app to have on your Android device. There are several free options to pick from depending on what you need.
Apps like WordCard Mobile not only store data off visiting cards, but also use tools like Google Maps as locators.
You can opt for a notepad style Ultra Notes app, but if you need your data to be password-protected, you can use the Ultra Mate private diary app. You can opt for the OI Safe app to save critical data like account numbers, passwords and other confidential details.
If you need something that is printer friendly as well, Wizard Memo is a good option. Make sure you pick a strong master password and remember it too, or all your precious memos will be locked up for good.
Tethering your Phone
If you have a 3G network connection and an unlimited Internet surfing plan on your phone, you can extend that connectivity to your PC as well. While you can tether your Android device using Bluetooth, USB cables or Wi-Fi, you may have to fidget around with Android versions below 2.2. If you don’t really have the patience or time to do it, getting an app would be a better option.
If you are wary of rooting your phone and still want a decent free tethering app, EasyTether can come in handy.
While PDAnet is one of the most widely used tethering apps, and it does provide you with a free trial, you will have to buy it to use all of its functionalities. It costs $23.95 (roughly Rs. 1,087) and is not officially available on the Indian Android market). Other apps which do not require root access to your phone to tether include EasyTether, which is priced at Rs. 452.
A rooted phone can be tethered with even more ease. Free apps like Barnacle make tethering a breeze.
There are some free apps that can help you convert your rooted phone into a Wi-Fi hot spot, like Barncle Wi-fi Tether or Wireless Tether for Root Users. However, you’ll need to check with your service provider if tethering your device violates any of the terms and conditions of your usage plan, more so if you have an unlimited Internet connection on your account.
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