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Android has a lot of baked in apps that make life really easy. Combine that with being able to use your device as a USB stick, and you have a very powerful, mobile tool. However, that’s not enough for me, so here are three apps to make your Android device even more powerful.
Honestly, I don’t know how I survived before Pocket. It’s very simple: you see something online, and you want to “Read It Later” (yes, that was the service’s previous name), you save it to your “Pocket”. Then when you get home later and you’re ready for some reading, fire up the Pocket app, and read your saved URLs. I use Chrome as my browser, predictably, and there is also a really handy Extension for Pocket, so you can either hit the “Pocket now” button (which also allows you to tag and categorise your saved links) or simply right-click, “Save to Pocket” and you can read that story you don’t have time for right now, at your leisure, whenever you want. Extremely useful.
This is quite a newcomer to the Android platform but the concept is brilliant. According to the developer “I built PushBullet because it should be easier to send things to your phone from your computers.” When he says “things”, he means links, files (up to 10MB), notes, and lists. This means that you can send any of those things from your browser, directly to you Android device. I can’t tell you how many times I have used this app to get things to my tablet which I leave at home during the day. Get this app, it’s free and fantastically functional. If you use Chrome, be sure to get the Extension when you install the app.
Airdroid is arguably the most versatile, powerful and useful third-party app I’ve installed on any of my devices. It allows you to basically control your phone and its storage via your internet connection, whether that’s mobile data or Wi-Fi. There’s a “Find my phone” feature as well, which lets you remotely trigger alarms, or take a photo from the front facing camera, or even wipe the entire device. I’ve tested this all, for science, and it all works 100% as advertised. Send files (with a 100MB limit for those on the free service) wirelessly, read and answer messages, tidy up your SD card, all without having to find a USB cable. That, to me is about as useful as an app gets, because it actually replaces hardware functionality. Did I mention that you can use this with any browser, on any computer if you have an internet connection? Well, you can. All you need to do is to go here, scan the QR code with your device, and you’re good to go.
Those are three free productivity apps that you really should have on your Android device if sharing and convenience is your thing. That said, what are some of the productivity apps you can’t live without? After all, if things are difficult to do on your mobile device, what’s the point? Life with my Android should be as easy and convenient as possible and the three apps I’ve listed above do exactly that for me.
Main image: laihiu via Flickr.