We all need more tools for productivity (and procrastination). These 8 apps are all available on both Android and iPhone platforms and prove to be useful for being on the move and keeping track of your business. Most don’t require signing up to use (a couple do even to test the app and we all know no one likes extra signing up or extra email).
Poynt is a location based search tool. Using your phone’s GPS, it helps you find businesses, events, restaurants, people, movies, and gas where you are or in a location you provide. Pretty low key and nifty – far less clunky than apps like Yelp. It also gives you the weather in your current location It’s also available on WP7, Blackberry and Nokia platforms. Check out this video demonstration:
Given the increase of costs for Netflix and the better availability of current television shows on Hulu, some of you might be interested in upgrading your Hulu account to Hulu Plus. Another reason to sign up might be that you want to watch Hulu on your phone. The Hulu Plus app is easy to use, though the audio-video isn’t always as great as on your laptop (the Netflix app [Android ; iPhone] has the advantage with consistently decent AV). Anyway, you can get a free trial of Hulu Plus if you want to check it out. I am currently using a free month trial since I signed up with my student email address and they have other deals for longer trials as well.
I’ve been on the move trying to find a good news source since the NY Times went to a paid system. Taptu isn’t just one news source, it’s as many as you want to add. Somewhat of an RSS aggregator, you can quickly sift through news and magazines such as LiveScience, Apartment Therapy, the NY Times, Sports Illustrated, NPR News, and The Onion. Link Taptu with your Google Reader account to put all your news in a single place (the only limit is that you can only add up to 30 streams from Google Reader). Tap a button to share an entire news stream or just a single article via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Instapaper, or to open in a browser on your phone. You can bookmark news articles within the app to quickly access later. Great source for news.
Memonic is similar to many other note taking programs. You can write a note, take a picture of something you want to remember, and organize your memories into folders or by tags. You can even create a shared “memonic” with others. That might be really useful if you’re working on a group project or want to share a thought with many friends or family. You don’t need to create an account to use it, but you will if you want to synchronize your notes to the internet (you can also add things from your web browser) or to your computer. If I could use it in landscape mode, I’d probably use it a lot more often since for me it really compliments the list making app Wunderlist which I use to keep track of what I need to do every day. Do note that there is the free version of the service and the paid version – the free has a 100 note/3 group limit while the paid version is $28/yr and has unlimited usage.
Everything these days is becoming a social network. So why not books? For centuries, people have read books because others suggested or because they found something interesting about an author, etc. They found a genre they liked and stuck with it. You can now do all those things through Goodreads via the apps or the web. I haven’t branched out much into the community, but I love that I can write my own review of the books, easily find similar books or authors to those I have mentioned I have read, and let others know what I’m reading, who my favorites are, and what I’d like to read. I can even follow my favorite authors that use the service. I’m from a family of bibliophiles so that is a great tool!
I don’t know how Android users feel about the built in browser they have, but Safari really is not my cup of tea most of the time on the iPhone. I use Firefox as one of my main browsers on my PC (Chrome and Opera are the others), so I was excited when Firefox released apps where I could access my bookmarks from my computer (and passwords if I choose to sync those too) and browse them in the Firefox app. Pretty simple to use and very clean design. Good alternative to the built in browser. The apps are different between Android and iPhone but both are very useful.
Springpad requires a login or registration. You can login with an actual Springpad account or via Google, Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo. You can save items you want to remember (think Evernote or Memonic) to your phone, the internet, and your computer. You can organize the items you save into notebooks including barcodes, photos, etc and you can search nearby for other notes. Do you forget to organize all the things you save? No more worries – Springpad will do it for you and even find relevant information related to what you’ve saved – price drops, links, etc. You can even use the Board feature to visually plan out projects you’re working on. Definitely a multitasking tool.
Linking you up with WalkScore.com, the Walk Score app lets you see how walkable your current location is. Are you in walking distance (with actual sidewalks) of things to do or are you in a barren land? If you’ve lived somewhere for a long time, this app might not be helpful, but think about when you’re trying to pick a new neighborhood or if you’ve just moved and trying to find out what’s nearby. Extremely useful app for those of us that do not like to spend a lot of time in a car.
I hope you get to check these apps out soon! If you’ve used them, let me know what you think. Look out tomorrow for the post on helping others out via organ donation, blood/plasma donation, etc. If you know any students, tell them to be on the lookout Friday for the first of several back to school posts