Taking Care of Business with 12 Great Android Apps for Enterprise Users
While Android smartphones were initially targeted at the consumer market, with the release of Froyo/Android 2.2, they're increasingly making their way into the enterprise -- and several Android applications are now available that are specifically designed to meet business users' needs, covering everything from document scanning to task management. Although many of these Froyo apps are free, remember that you can uninstall any paid Android app within 24 hours of your initial purchase for a full refund -- so go ahead and try any of the below, with no commitment.
Android WidgetsOne of the key strengths of the Android operating system is the ability to display widgets on the home screen, providing easy access to a wide range of information without having to open an app. One of many useful widgets is Pure Calendar (1.49), which offers a highly customizable and comprehensive view of calendar information in just about any size, taking up as much or as little of your screen as you'd like.
ScannerPwn with your Phone's Document Scanner ($3.98) enables users to scan documents with a smartphone's camera and convert them to PDFs -- and then store those PDF files on the phone's SD card, email them to anyone, or upload them to Google Docs. An optional add-on (free) enhances the application by adding the ability to crop, correct perspective, and adjust contrast.
TravelFor travel planning, it's hard to beat TripIt for Android (free), which provides mobile access to itineraries stored with TripIt's free online service, along with maps, directions and phone numbers. Subcribers to TripIt Pro ($49/year) can also track frequent flyer miles; get alerts about flight delays, cancellations and gate changes; and forward trip information to others.
Expense ManagementSeveral applications offer the ability to track expenses -- Expensify (free) is just one of many. The app allows you to enter expenses manually on an Android device and/or take a photo of a receipt with the phone's camera. Expensify's service is free for the first two users, and $5 per month for each additional user.
File ManagementThe ASTRO File Manager (free) provides a wide range of essential file management functionality, including the ability to manage (copy, move, rename, delete) all files on your device's SD card, view thumbnails, send files as attachments, and more. And it's not just about files -- the app also enable users to back up, restore and manage running applications. For off-device file storage, Dropbox provides 2 GB of free online storage -- and the Dropbox Android app (free) provides access to those files via your smartphone, along with the ability to upload files and share links to those files with others. If you need additional space, the company offers 50 GB of storage for $10 per month, or 100 GB of storage for $20 per month.
Document ManagementFor anyone who needs to access key office documents on the go (and who doesn't), Documents To Go ($14.99) enables users to view, edit and create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, and view Adobe PDF files. The app includes support for attachments and password-protected files, as well as built-in file browser.
The GDocs (free) Android app is nowhere near as comprehensive as Documents To Go in terms of editing functionality, but it does provide mobile access to the user's Google Docs accounts, enabling Android users to create, edit, view, import, export and send documents; sync documents with multiple accounts; and view PDFs.