13 Essential Android Apps for Business

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Maybe you chose that Android phone for business because of its 4G LTE speeds. Or because it has a larger screen than the iPhone. Or you just wanted something cooler than a BlackBerry. Whatever the reason, you’ll want some apps to better manage your work life and complete that mountain of work on a daily basis. Here are our top picks, all of which are also available for Android tablets.

CamCard Lite – Business Card Reader (Free)

At networking events or meetings, it’s easy to accumulate several business cards. It’s even easier to lose them. CamCard Lite – Business Card Reader will ensure you never lose a valuable business contact again. The app lets you take a picture of a contact’s card, then it saves the contact information in its Card Holder or your Address Book. The Lite version saves 10 cards in the first week, then two more per week thereafter. The paid version ($11.99) saves 30 cards in the first week, then three more per week. Don’t worry if you accidentally delete an important contact; you can easily save them in the cloud and restore cards.

Documents To Go Full Version Key ($14.99)

Getting work done on the move is tough, especially if you don’t feel like hauling a notebook around. Documents To Go Full Version Key lets you travel light, enabling users to view, edit and create documents, spreadsheets and presentations. The paid version provides access to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint as well as Google Docs. High-fidelity PDF viewing is also available, as well as a desktop app that lets you move a file from your Android device to your Windows PC. $14.99

Evernote (free)

Need a personal assistant to make sure you never forget a thing? Evernote helps you take and edit notes, capture photos, create to-do lists and record voice reminders. Don’t feel like taking notes during a long meeting? Take a picture of the whiteboard and capture the audio. You can even organize your notes by notebooks and tags. The best part: The app syncs your notes across all your devices, so even if you’re not by your Android device, you won’t miss a beat.

Exchange by TouchDown Key ($19.99)

A business app that simplifies your life by consolidating, Exchange by TouchDown lets you access corporate email, contacts, calendar and tasks from a single app. TouchDown features several time-saving widget options, and you can create custom notifications. Plus, you can offload data to an SD Card to free up storage on your device. Note: Download the free trial TouchDown for SmartPhones or TouchDown HD for Tablets app first. $19.99

File Manager (free)

One of the unsung benefits of Android devices over the iPhone and iPad is that there’s a real file system on board. File Manager makes it easy to organize your files on your Android device by subject, date, department or whatever you like, then share or edit. The app lets you view files in list or grid view, view thumbnails for photos and APK files and sort or search for files. And, if you’re viewing a document within a folder that has an error, the built-in text editor enables quick fixes.

Google Voice (free)

Google Voice takes the stress out of communicating with clients and colleagues by giving you one number for all your phones. If you can’t pick up in time—or you don’t feel like it—Google Voice will transcribe your voicemails and deliver the text directly to your phone. Other perks include screening and blocking capabilities, personalized greetings and free texting. Google Voice also lets you record incoming calls and make conference calls and cheap international calls.

GoToMeeting (free)

Whether you’re on a business trip or home sick, GoToMeeting makes it possible to attend all meetings. You can listen to the presenter as well as view shared images or reports on screen in portrait or landscape modes, complete with pinch-to-zoom capability. All you have to do is tap the link in your invitation email or calendar appointment and follow the prompts, or tap the GoToMeeting icon and enter your Meeting ID.

KeePassDroid (free)

We all know that we should use different passwords for each of our accounts to minimize the risk of identity theft. But for those with accounts in the double digits, recalling which password belongs to which account can get tricky. KeePassDroid gives your brain a rest by storing all your passwords. When you try to log into an account, you can use the app to look up the appropriate code. The app itself is locked, so that’s the only password you’ll ever need to remember.

Lookout Mobile Security (free)

Think of Lookout Mobile Security as a force field for your smartphone. This app blocks malware, spyware and Trojans and scans every app to ensure it’s safe. Users can easily schedule routine scans. If you happen to lose your device, the find-my-phone feature helps you locate the device on a Google map, activate an alarm and back up your contacts. The app does all this without draining your battery.

PrinterShare Mobile ($12.95)

Running late for a meeting and need to print a document for your presentation? No problem. PrinterShare Mobile Print lets you print documents, Gmail, photos and contacts from your Android device, as well as Web pages and PDFs. The app enables direct printing over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or you can set up remote printing with your PC using downloadable software from printershare.com.

Skype (free)

The king of video calling lets you dial into a large board meeting or just make a one-on-one conversation more personal. Skype IMs, video and voice calls are available over 3G/4G or Wi-Fi, and you can send pictures, videos and files to all of your contacts. The app features high-quality sound for Skype-to-Skype calls, so you won’t miss a word. Cheap calling rates make Skype a great overseas option as well.

Splashtop Remote Desktop

You get a lot of work done on your laptop, but want to take it all with you. Splashtop Remote Desktop makes it possible. The app lets you remote in via your Android device to your PC or Mac so you can gather whatever content you need. All you need to do is download and install the Splashtop Streamer app for your computer, then install the Android app. Splashtop Remote Desktop supports high-res video and audio so you can easily interact with multimedia content. $4.99 (basic), $8.99 (HD tablet)

TripIt (free, $49)

Between flights, hotel reservations and rental car confirmations, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your travel plans. TripIt consolidates all of this info into one itinerary. Forward all reservations (hotel, airline, car rental, restaurant) to plans@tripit.com, and the app will neatly organize all your arrangements and present one easy-to-read agenda. The app even gets you from place to place, providing directions, maps and weather updates for each destination. The premium version adds flight alerts and other status updates while eliminating the ads. Free (basic), $49 per year (premium)

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Molly Klinefelter, LAPTOP Assistant Editor
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