Jonathan's list of productive Android Apps:

What's an Android App?

First off, let me salute you for clicking this link without knowing already - I appreciate your confidence in the usefullness of my writing, so I'll try not to dissappoint. For those not in the know, Android is an operating system designed by Google Inc. for use in smartphones and tablet computers, primarily. I'd personally like to see a version for the home computer, but I think if I had a tablet of sufficient capability, it might just replace the need for a desktop machine entirely.

Android relies heavily on touchscreen interfaces, and it's known primarily for the abundance of free applications (apps) in the Android Market, so I'm putting together a list of the ones I find most useful, as it may help some people expand the capabilities of their smartphone, and save them time hunting through the app store.

A couple details - all these apps are free, and as well, i would caution the reader to only download apps directly from the Android Marketplace on your phone. Don't follow links from websites or previously installed apps as you could get into trouble that way - to find any of these apps, start up the Android Market on your phone or tablet, and type the name into the search box as it appears in italics.

so without further ado, the list (in no particular order):


Box is a online storage hosting company that provides free online storage space to all android users. At the time when i signed up, they were offering 50 GB free space lifetime storage. It sounded like a good deal, and i've not needed to use it heavily, but the price is right and I can log into box from any system and access my files without need for a memory key or portable disk drive.

Dell Voice

This is a really neat app from Dell - It provides you with a second phone number and the ability to make calls over a local wifi network. This means you can talk as much as you want and not use any of your monthly's perfect for calls to tech support where you know you're going to be on hold a while.

Mr. Number

This app allows you to block calls from unwanted sources. It's great for putting an end to repetitive sales calls and the like.

One Note

Free from Microsoft, this app provides a good way to organize your notes. It works with your Windows Live ID and syncs all the notes you write with Microsoft's servers, so you can log in from anywhere and read or edit your notes. I use it for new recipes I find.

Phone Useage

This handy app monitors how much you've talked on the phone, how much data you use, and how many text messages you send. It's got a lot of configurable options so you can set it to operate along the same rules as your contract, so that you'll know if you're going to get an extra-large bill from your provider each month.


Pocketcloud is a remote desktop client I use to remote control my Windows XP machine from my phone. It's not so easy to operate Windows XP on a 4" screen, but in a pinch, it does the job as well as it's going to get done.

Polaris Office

Polaris Office came free with my HTC phone. It's a lightweight office suite that is compatible with MS Office files. I would imagine this would be much more useable on a tablet simply because the screen would be larger, but it edits Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, so I'm happy with it.

Ring Scheduler

One of my favorites. This app allows you to configure the ringer and the vibrate function of your phone so it won't ring or buzz at night (or whatever schedule you care to set), and saves you from having to manually turn the phone off at night or forgetting to turn it back on in the morning. It's even configurable so that you can sleep in on the weekends.

QR Droid

QR Droid reads QR codes (the square barcodes you increasingly see on billboards) and decodes them, along with standard bar codes.

Scan to PDF Free

This app uses the camera in your Android device to take scans of documents (or pictures) and then embeds them into a PDF file. You can then email that PDF file out. It's like having a copier in your pocket.

Time Recording

Time Recording is a great app for anyone who bills by the hour. It allows you to track your time and what project/client you're working on. You can email yourself summaries to generate invoices.

Google Goggles

Google has a lot of great apps for download - they should, Android is their product. Almost all of them are worth your time, but not many are super productive, so only this one makes my list. Google Goggles does a few things, it can scan QR codes, and it can initiate an image-based google search....exactly what the results will be are hard to say, but it's nice not having to type in what your searching for, now you only have to point your phone at it.

eBay, Paypal

If you like eBay, they have a mobile app for you - also for paypal. They work pretty much like the websites do, just everything is formatted for a mobile device, rather than a full-size web browser.

Mobile Banking

Here in Toronto, all the major banks are represented in the Android Market. I've heard some horror stories about security breaches in mobile platform banking, so that's why i recommend you follow the advice at the top about only downloading your apps direct from the Android Market. I'd certainly never use a rooted phone for banking either, but in my experience, there's a lot more dangerous code running on the average desktop PC than on the average phone, so in either case, caution is warranted when banking online.

Informative Technologies Home