By simple definition, productivity applications refer to software programs that let you get things done–and faster, or more efficiently. The less fluff and the less clutter, the better the productivity app.
You probably own several productivity suites for your desktop or laptop. Android devices have their share of such applications, too. They literally number by the hundreds, or maybe thousands. Won’t your head start spinning if you had to inspect each one?
Android Authority comes to the rescue! In this feature post, we list several of the most-reviewed, most-rated, and completely free Android productivity apps. All you freeloaders out there, you may get these straight from Android Market.
Hopefully, with these free apps, you can turn your Android phone or tablet into a productivity powertool (as if it isn’t that powerful yet, eh?).
This full-feature office productivity app is free. Yet, for a free app like this, OliveOfficePremium already allows you to do most of what other paid office productivity apps let you do: view and edit Microsoft Office (DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, and PPTX) files; and view Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft Compiled HTML Help (CHM) files. While other office suites let you pay for premium, this one gives you premium features for free.
If you don’t need to create or edit Microsoft Office documents, spreadsheets, or presentations but need to only view them, this app is perfect for you. It also boasts of high-fidelity rendering of Portable Document Format (PDF) files and your Google Docs files. Its design and interface are tightly integrated into the native Android look and feel, so you won’t have to figure out what this or that icon is for. Stay on the go with your documents with Documents To Go 3.0 Main App.
Another extremely “lite” (in terms of features, that is) and simple MS Office files viewer, ThinkFree Office Mobile Viewer also supports Google Docs, as well as sending/viewing attached MS Office files. Although, users have found the large install size a little bit annoying; it comes in at about 8 MB.
It may have a simple name, but Simple Spreadsheet is a full-featured, standalone spreadsheet app for your Android device. Despite the simplicity that its name claims, it is actually able to enter complex functions and formulas into spreadhseet cells. Cell reference highlighting also allows you to see which cells or ranges are referenced in your formulas. This free version comes with ads, and does not directly support MS Excel spreadsheets, except through the intermediary Comma-Separated Values (CSV) format. The developer hates crippleware, so ads are the way to go–or, if you want to ditch the ads, go for the paid version. Very small memory footprint at 300 KB.
With a tongue-twisting app name, Shead Spreet Lite is another standalone spreadsheet application. Unlike Simple Spreadsheet (Free/Ads), this one does support viewing and editing MS Excel files, except those saved in XSLX format. The lite version forcedly displays a splash screen and displays only a 10×10 spreadsheet grid. It supports viewing and editing of Tab-Separated Values (TSV) and Comma-Separated Values (CSV) files, and can even output to HTML. Stop twisting your tongue pronouncing the app’s name and focus instead on your spreadsheet duties with Shead Spreet Lite.
Another free standalone MS Excel spreadsheet app, e-Droid-cell Light can directly view and edit MS Excel files (for Excel versions 95 up to 2003). For MS Excel 2007 files, you will need to interface the app with Google Docs, which performs the conversion from XLSX to XLS. The lite version of this app only allows opening, editing, or saving existing spreadsheets; you cannot create new spreadsheets. Make your Android crunch those spreadsheet numbers with this app.
The Android user interface is quite different from the more familiar, more traditional productivity tools. But, if there’s a productivity application that tries to give your Android that familiar look and feel of a paper-based productivity tool such as a personal organizer, it’s Jorte. It looks like a calendar planner, but with customizable views–you can display the calendar either in monthly or weekly views, depending on the orientation of your phone. And, here’s what makes it better than a paper-based calendar: you can control it using Google Voice and it can work together with Google Maps. Make sure installing Jorte on your Android device is on your to-do list.
Business Calendar Free is another personal organizer or calendar that many Android users have installed on their devices. It carries no frills, no fluff. Just a plain, ol’ reliable personal organizer application that works. This is the ad-sponsored, free version. For most users, the features of this free version suffice for their needs, even with the unobtrusive ads. It can also sync with your Google calendar. Make sure you leave on your desktop planner some room for installing this free app.
Some Android users prefer different apps for their different productivity needs. But, if you’re looking for an almost all-in-one productivity app, DejaOffice -Outlook, USB Sync may be perfect for you. It has almost all that you need for productivity in business or in the office: advanced contacts management, calendar features, tasks, and notes. It also has a feature for protecting private records with a password. This app actually looks better on Android tablets because it can be displayed on a dual-pane screen. The app can also sync with other productivity software through its optional, but non-free, PC Sync. Try this office-in-your-Android some time.
This app lives up to its name. It’s all about notes. In fact, it claims to turn your Android device into an “extension of your brain,” as it takes note of everything you input into it: text notes, photo notes, video notes, to-do lists, voice-recorded notes. Plus, your notes are searchable and the app syncs your notes across your devices, so you can pull up a note very easily. Ever the note-taker? Evernote may suit you well.
Remember those sticky post-it notes that come in different colors? ColorNote Notepad Notes is one app that provides a similar functionality–and more. You can use it in either note-taking mode or list-taking mode. When you take notes, ColorNote Notepad Notes works like a basic word processor, and you can enter as much text as you want, then save, share, set an alarm reminder, or remove the note from your device. In list-taking mode, you add items to your list and move the items around according to your preferred order. You can then check or uncheck an item from a saved list. Add this app to your list of apps to install on your device.
This app does only one thing and does it well–it takes down notes. The app’s developers are not lying when they say this is the “easiest notepad for Android.” Apart from taking notes, you can also share your notes, set reminders for your notes, lock your notes with a password, and even tag your notes. Installing this app is easy, too.