Generally speaking, Android has a (largely undeserved) reputation for having an insignificant offering of applications geared toward productivity. Various users often compare Android with competing operating systems such as Apple’s iOS and they view the number of quality productivity apps as a dividing line between the two. As its user-base has grown in the past few years and developers have observed the opportunities for expansion of their apps into a new market, however, Android has increased its productivity suite considerably. The following list is a sampling of the best of those apps.
1. Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader is one of the best PDF readers available for Android. You will recognize Adobe for the same type of program it provides on fully featured PCs. The functionality carries over to Android and the interface allows for easy viewing and manipulation of PDF documents. Adobe Reader supports various view modes, adding and editing notes, sharing to a variety of other applications, and searching documents for text. And the best aspect of the app? It’s free! If you need an app specifically for PDF documents, then Adobe Reader is the one for you.
Play Store: Adobe Reader
CamScanner is an app that is as novel as it is functional. You use your camera to photograph a paper document and CamScanner converts it into a digital one. At first, you are impressed by the way in which the app seems to magically enhance the image of the document, making it even more legible than it was in the original picture…But then you start to think about the possibilities, about how you could do this with every document or written text you see: business cards, whiteboards, notes…And save them all as files for storage anywhere! CamScanner is definitely a handy app to have if you don’t like hard copies, or if you just like to stay organized, especially in the digital world. The app is either free or paid, with an increase in features and removal of ads for the latter version.
Aside from the pre-installed Calendar, Email, and Gmail applications, Google itself offers a slew of productivity apps for users to download from the Play Store. For example, Google Drive, formerly Google Docs, offers the document creation and editing capabilities of the previous iteration of the app while integrating a cloud storage functionality not unlike that of Dropbox. Drive uses the storage space associated with your Google account and allows you to manage the files you have stored in it. You can create new folders, documents, and spreadsheets, and you can upload new files to your account from your device. The app still has room for improvement, in terms of presentation creation and editing for example, but as an office application suite and storage space in one, Drive is a strong app for users who need to create on the go.
Play Store: Drive
As noted in the description for Drive, Dropbox is a cloud storage solution, one that allows users to have access to files from anywhere they have an Internet connection. Dropbox has been around for a while now, and its Android app is indicative of its experience and wisdom in the cloud storage realm. The main strength of the app is its seamless integration with the rest of Android. Other apps share to Dropbox easily, and uploading new files or downloading files for use in apps is quite simple. The app also offers a handy feature that uploads new photos or videos from your camera straight to a folder in Dropbox. Using Dropbox on your Android device allows you to manipulate files out in the field, upload them, and work on them from where you left off when you return to the office or home. Dropbox is a must-have app for users who need to work anywhere at a moment’s notice.
Play Store: Dropbox
5. Easy Voice Recorder
Easy Voice Recorder is exactly that. The app offers a clean interface separated into two sections, Recorder and Player. The Recorder section allows you to create, pause, and stop the current recording. A share button in the top right corner of the screen allows you to share the current recording to a variety of different applications. The Player section shows you a list of previous recordings and allows you to rename, delete, and share them. A voice recorder is a great tool for users who like to keep track of thoughts to act as reminders later. Or if you interview others you can always use the recordings later to write transcripts. Voice recorders have all sorts of use cases and Easy Voice Recorder, which offers both free and paid versions, is one of the simplest apps you can use to take advantage of them.
Evernote is probably the premier note-taking application for any platform, Android included. Evernote offers a range of functionality from typing quick notes, to recording audio to listen to later, to snapping photographs and adding captions. The app is also location-aware, if you want it to be, allowing it to keep record of where you were when you made a note. One of the best features of Evernote is its ability to sync with your other devices so that no matter whether you made notes originally on your phone, moved to your tablet to add some more, and opened them on your PC to finish them off, you always have access to your notes. If you like to jot down quick ideas, make lists, or manage projects, Evernote is one of the best apps you could possibly download.
Play Store: Evernote
7. Kingsoft Office
Kingsoft Office is a quality free office suite app in the same style as a paid app like Quick Office, which was acquired by Google approximately three months ago. Presumably the capabilities and features of Quick Office will be integrated into Drive over time, but for now, if you want a dedicated app that offers document creation and editing functionality, Kingsoft Office is the right choice. The app offers all of the features you would expect, including presentation creation and editing, which Drive lacks. And while it is strong when used on a phone, Kingsoft Office truly shines on a tablet, even one the size of the Nexus 7. A bit more mature than Drive and more feature-rich than its other competitors, Kingsoft Office is one of the best productivity apps available.
Play Store: Kingsoft Office
8. Solid Explorer Beta 2
In the world of Android, file explorers are abundant; finding one among them that offers a quality user interface, integration with other apps, and strong overall usability may seem challenging…Or that would have been the case, but with Solid Explorer, you will have found the only file explorer you would ever want to use. Despite being in its beta phase, Solid Explorer is a polished app with a clean design and easy-to-use interface. You can use the app to view all of the files stored on your Android device, and you can even use it to view files in other storage locations like Dropbox, which integrates with the app. The layout features panels that you can swipe from side to side to switch from one storage location to another seamlessly. For users who like to manage their files and maintain their storage spaces, Solid Explorer is top notch.
Play Store: Solid Explorer Beta 2
Do you use Google Tasks? If you already do, or if you happen to be looking for a good way to create and manage to do lists, Tasks is a well-designed app that allows you to do so easily. Tasks syncs with your Google account to update tasks as you add or remove them, either in the app or in your browser. The app features a look that follows the Android Holo theme guidelines set forth by Google’s designers and provides a beautiful widget perfect for displaying your tasks on the homepage of your Android device. The app offers both free and paid versions, both of which offer the same functionality. The free version starts to display ads after 10 days, after which you would be hard pressed not to drop $0.99 on the paid version to maintain that clean-looking design. Tasks is the simplest, and consequently the best, to do manager on the market today.
10. Teamviewer for Remote Control
If you find that you still cannot meet your productivity needs without access to a dedicated computer, Teamviewer offers a strong remote desktop access experience that you can use to control your home or office computer from anywhere. You simply download the accompanying program on your computer and enter its ID and password into the app to connect the two devices together. The app suggests several use cases, including transferring files between your computer and Android device and setting it up on the computer of a family member or friend to aid with a problem that you need to see to fix. Though its developers force businesses and organizations who want to use the app on a larger scale to purchase licenses (which is not an unreasonable request), Teamview is free for personal use. But don’t let the absence of a price fool you: Teamviewer is an app that you would probably pay for anyway.
Play Store: Teamviewer for Remote Control
And that concludes our list of the top productivity apps for Android. If you have any other categories you would like us to tackle, any apps you would like us to review, or any lessons about Android you would like to learn, please let us know in the comments. Thank you for reading!
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