August 20, 2013
The whole point of the mobile smartphone is to take computer-level power with you wherever you go. As a result, we expect to be able to do the same things on our phone that we could do on our computers. Productivity, then, becomes almost central to our daily lives.
When it comes to productivity apps, the Android platform has some amazing options that you will not be able to find on iTunes no matter how hard you try. It’s not because iOS is inherently worse than Android, but rather that they lack certain features exclusive to Android.
Namely, iOS mobile devices are incapable of utilizing third-party keyboards, and NFC technology is currently only implemented in Android devices. In my continual quest to highlight the Android platform, this week’s top 10 focuses solely on productivity apps that will fit amazingly into your life.
- SwiftKey ($3.99): Shockingly accurate, SwiftKey makes for an extremely fast typing experience in over 60 languages. It replaces the stock Android keyboard, predicts your next word for you, and provides one of the world’s most accurate autocorrect functions.
- Swype ($0.99): Swype is the stock keyboard on Samsung phones, but it is also available for download via Google Play for other brands. Simply ‘Swype’ your finger across the screen, weaving through letters in one succinct brush stroke, to text quickly and accurately. You can also sync your personal dictionary across all your Android devices.
- Thumb Keyboard ($2.35): Unlike SwiftKey and Swype, Thumb Keyboard is a touch-typing keyboard. To make typing on your device comfortable and productive, Thumb Keyboard offers advanced customization options like keyboard splitting, full color control, gesture functions, and language support.
- AirDroid (free): This app unlocks the potential to manage your Android from a desktop web browser minus the cord; do everything through the air. Move items on and off your device, send and receive SMS, and locate, lock, or wipe your Android if it gets lost.
- NFC Task Launcher (free): Stop worrying about silencing your phone for meetings or turning off Bluetooth to save battery power. NFC Task Launcher will do all of this for you, and more, after you configure triggers and actions for your phone to automate and carry out tasks based on your surroundings.
- Tasker ($2.99): Similar to NFC Task Launcher in that there are over 200 built-in actions to associate with various triggers, but different in that it does not utilize NFC technology. However, you can design your own screen overlays and create your own standalone apps to share or sell.
- Astro File Manager ($3.99): With Astro, you can organize, share, copy, move, rename, backup, and manage all of your pictures, songs, documents, and videos that are on your Android device or SD card. For sharing purposes, it supports Windows networking, Bluetooth, and SFTP.
- ES File Manager (free): This full-featured file and application manager is the whole package rolled into one: file manager, application manager, task killer, cloud storage client, FTP client, and LAN Samba client. Access all of your pictures, songs, videos, and documents on your Android device or your computer.
- Business Calendar ($4.99): A complete calendar application for the businessperson inside all of us. It features color-coded calendars, configurable widgets, multi-selection modes, and much more. Additionally, it syncs with your Google Calendar for ultimate productivity.
- CalenGoo ($5.99): Weird name, cool calendar app. CalenGoo syncs with both Android and Google calendars and is designed to make working with those calendars easy and fast. Drag & drop, add widgets, and easily add important events, meetings, or calls across all of your calendars.
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