Getting Down to Business
The keyboard on the Motorola Droid makes that smartphone great for cranking out e-mail while you're on the move. The HTC Desire and Google Nexus One are good choices, too, if you don’t mind typing on glass. Why not make your workday more pleasant and productive with some great business apps for Android? To get you going, we've selected ten of the best and most useful apps for your Android smartphone; all are available at the Android Market.
Locale is not your typical business-oriented app, but it can do wonders for your reputation. The app can automatically put your Android smartphone on silent mode if you are at the office (no more embarrassing ringtones disrupting meetings), or it can put the ringer up when you arrive at home.
Aside from adjusting your phone’s settings depending on your location, Locale can also be a silent lifesaver: Its power-conserving feature, when enabled, automatically turns off power-hungry components (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth) when your handset's battery level is low.
Documents To Go (Usually $30)
Documents To Go does exactly what its name suggests: It lets you view and edit Microsoft Office documents (including 2007-version files) in an intuitive interface. In addition to working with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint items, you can view PDF files.
If you just want to view e-mail document attachments, you can opt for the free version rather than paying for the quite pricey premium app.
Does your company prefer to keep its documents in the cloud? GDocs gives you better access to your Google Docs online documents than you'd get by viewing them through a Web browser. Currently GDocs can edit text documents and view spreadsheets and PDF files.
GDocs can view your documents online or download the text files for editing (and sync them back when you're done). The app lacks advanced formatting options, but it's a promising start considering that the program is still in beta.
Here's a fresh take on the tired old business card. Bump allows you to swap contact information or photos between two phones simply by bumping them together. And the app isn't limited to Android phones either--it works with iPhones as well.
Armed with this smart and fun little app, you'll no longer have to keep track of paper business cards from conferences or meetings, as they'll all be available in your address book (and safely synced with the cloud). For another novel way to throw contacts around, check out Hoccer.
Google Voice (Free)
Besides making iPhone users jealous with a native app (instead of a Web-based version), Google Voice can be a life-changing service. It can unify all of your phone numbers and send you SMS messages via e-mail, while offering low-cost international calls.
On your Android phone, you can use Google Voice to get e-mail containing your transcribed voicemail, make calls from your unique Google number (which rings all of your phones), and embed voicemail messages to share. Even better, Google Voice integrates natively with your phone’s address book.
AK Notepad (Free)
Leave your jotter behind: AK Notepad is just the app for quick notes on the go. This simple yet powerful notes app includes a reminder feature that will send alerts to you based on the time you took the note.
You can export notes to specialised apps such as Evernote, and you can send notes to yourself via SMS or e-mail; you can even stick notes on your home screen for easy reference. And if you’re into customization, you can change the appearance of the notes windows and set up special LED notifications for reminders.
Stay connected to virtually any instant messaging service with Meebo. You can log in simultaneously on AIM, Facebook, Google Talk, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo to keep in touch.
IT managers and network admins, this app is for you. With ServerUp, you can find out instantly if your server is in top-notch condition. It works over 3G and Wi-Fi, and you can choose how often it updates you.
ServerUp supports ping, traceroute, and whois functions; it also allows you to enter multiple host names and port numbers. Additionally, you can enable and disable specific hosts, a convenient feature for users who work on LANs via Wi-Fi and manage local computers.
Scatterslides ($9.99; Free Trial)
Run your next presentation from your Android phone with Scatterslides. This app can stream your presentation via Wi-Fi to large displays; it can also behave as a remote control for your presentation, allowing you to move from slide to slide by swiping the screen. Scatterslides lets you preview slides on your phone, too.
The app supports Microsoft PowerPoint and OpenOffice Impress files, complete with embedded animations, audio, and video. Note that you will need the free, downloadable Scattershow Player installed on your PC or on a thumb drive to use Scatterslides.
If you're in a rush to make an off-site meeting, waste no time and use your Android phone. Cab4me makes hailing a taxi superfast with the help of location detection. Use the quick mode to select a company and order a cab with one tap using your current location, or go advanced to select how many passengers you need to travel with.
You can also use the traditional call mode, which will automatically dial your selected company so that you can request a pickup place and time.