The Android operating system is a fierce competitor in the mobile OS space, as it clearly demonstrated to all the naysayers this month by surpassing the sales of the iPhone. The Android OS is already mature, and it is very reliable and stable, so there’s no reason not to use it in serious real world applications.
As shown by the thousands of media players, games and other entertainment apps on the marketplace and millions of happy users, Android is a great operating system for the masses. It can do everything the iPhone (who is its main competitor) can do, it has a large applications database that is growing every day, plus it’s open source, free and very customizable by the user (something you can’t say about the iPhone OS).
But that’s not all it can do. It can and should be used in the enterprise sector for serious, mission sensitive tasks, by business professionals who need power, flexibility and expandability. Android is saving millions of dollars for smart phone and Mobile Internet Devices manufacturers, and there’s no reason why it can’t do the same for its business users.
A business professional could use an Android phone to not only do regular tasks that he could do on an iPhone or any other competitor device (like documents editing, project and task planning, note taking, etc.), but also some tasks that only Android can do, like custom scripts integrated in the OS, easy creation or integration of existing of custom apps (as Android is based on Linux, it’s relatively easy to compile a source code to run on it) and full control over the operating system (useful for adding encryption and other security measures).
For now, here are some of the best and simple Android apps for professionals and people who want to increase their productivity and manage their time and work better.
Documents to Go.
This application brings you the Microsoft Office Suite into your pocket. As there is no Office Mobile for Android (nor iPhone, because Microsoft released it only for their Windows Mobile and 7 Phone), you’ll have to use a third party app like this to be able to open and edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other files. Documents to Go is the best MS Office editor for Android, and it gives you all the features you might need. If you need to review, do some last moment changes to your documents or even write new ones (it’s easy with the Voice Text app below), this application is for you.
ActionComplete is an amazing task and project management app for Android that lets you keep all of your schedules and tasks in your pocket. It has a lot of detailed features and multiple types of alarms and reminders that make it great for an everyday To Do planning app, as well as a strategic long-term planning tool (especially if you freelance or work in a small team). A special feature it has is the location aware manager, which loads up different tasks depending on your location (it uses the GPS; so you can have a list of “to talk about” items at a meeting in the city, a list of business related tasks in your office and a list of personal tasks and to do items when you’re home). It’s a great feature that allows you to keep a large amount of tasks and still be able to manage them easily.
This is a great tool to own if you’re constantly finding yourself typing a lot of text on your phone. It allows you to dictate what you want to write, and it works with almost every Android application available. So, you can easily create long email messages or Word documents (see the “Documents to Go” app above) whenever you want, as long as you’re in a relatively quite environment or have a noise canceling headset.
A great note taking tool, Note Everything allows you to type, draw and record anything you need to store for later reviewing in organized folders for easy access. You can also search through the notes, import and export them to and from the SD card (for backup); and take photo notes, set up reminders and alerts and encrypt the data if you get the Pro version. It’s almost like a mobile version of OneNote, which is a very powerful desktop note taking program from the MS Office 2007 Suite.
This is a simpler version of a note taking application, but it still allows you to do a lot. You can write memos or snap photos and store them inside the app, which works like a notebook. You can then sync your notes with your online 3banana account so they’re always backed up and browseable from any other computer or mobile device.
Qik is a pretty impressive application that can turn anyone with a smart phone and a 3G or Wifi connection into a live reporter. It allows the user to film and stream any events live right to their Qik account, and store the video for later viewing and editing. There’s also an offline mode that allows the user to edit a video before uploading and share it with his/her Facebook and Twitter followers and friends.
Android is a great mobile operating system for professionals, entrepreneurs and simply people who want to be more organized. There are hundreds of very good applications on the marketplace that will allow you to do almost anything you want, from managing your tasks to editing Word documents (as Documents to Go clearly demonstrates you can).