Smartphone

Some people seem to believe that BlackBerry has the best business-oriented applications and the iPhone has the best “fun” applications. Why do you have to choose? If you happen to have a Google Android smartphone, you have access to an equally large assortment of mobile apps through the Android Market.

While you can still have a lot of fun with some of the quirkier apps or some of the unique games, you may want some useful apps on there, too. Whether you’re rocking a Motorola DROID, an HTC EVO 4G, or a Samsung Galaxy, it pays to be productive.

Let’s take a look at some of the best productivity apps available for Android smartphones. From remembering errands to connecting with the office, these apps will help you get the job done.

Beacon

Do you use Basecamp to collaborate on projects with your clients and colleagues? It can be a pain going back to your computer just to manage that information and that’s where Beacon by Binary Duo< comes into the picture.

This Android app allows for full offline viewing of all your projects, messages, people, comments, to-dos, and milestones. You can add new information as needed, browse through contacts (including avatars), merge contact information into your phone’s list, and sync data as needed.

Remember the Milk

Your favorite task manager is also available on your smartphone. With Remember the Milk for Android, you can handle everything on your to-do list with ease. It will synchronize in the background to ensure your list is completely up to date.

Email addresses in task items automatically link to the mail application, you can sort to-do items based on a number of criteria, and the app will even detect your current location to determine relevant nearby tasks.

Remember the Milk

Remember the Milk

eBuddy

More and more people are choosing to communicate online rather than through more conventional avenues like phone calls and text messages. Instead of having multiple IM clients, you can simply use eBuddy for Android.

From a productivity standpoint, it is one of the most efficient IM clients you can have on your Android phone. This is because it amalgamates several chat platforms, including Facebook, MSN, Yahoo!, AIM, and Google Talk.

PayPal

Just realized that you still have unpaid invoice sitting in your account? Rather than waiting until you get home, you can use the PayPal app for Android.

The application can be used to send money, withdraw funds, split checks, and more. You can even “bump” other Android devices to exchange contact information, making it much easier to send funds to someone in real time without having any cash in hand.

CamCard Lite

Who needs physical business cards anymore? Rather than accumulating a stack of dead trees, you can use CamCard Lite to snap photos of these business cards instead.

In doing so, the application will automatically scan and import the information presented on the cards into your phone’s contact list. The Lite version restricts you to just two cards scanned per week, so you may need to invest in the Pro version to handle a great number of interactions.

Dropbox

You may already be using the free online storage offered by Dropbox to synchronize documents across computers or share large files with colleagues. Take it one step further with mobile access via the Dropbox for Android application.

All the contents of your Dropbox account are visible from your Android device, including the ability to stream music and movie files directly on your phone. This can greatly expand the effective storage capacity of your smartphone, including the ability to upload new files at will and share existing files with unique URLs.

Dropbox for Android

Dropbox for Android

Documents To Go

DataViz has been producing versions of this application for a very long time. Even back in the days of the Palm Pilot, Documents To Go has been there to serve the business community. Its functionality, naturally, has been greatly expanded since then.

With Documents To Go for Android, you retain the ability to view and edit Microsoft Office 2007 documents. The package includes Word To Go, Sheet To Go, Slideshow To Go, and PDF To Go.

GDocs for Android

If you’re a regular reader of Smartlife, then you may have already jumped into the wonderful world of cloud computing. If that’s the case, you might not have much stored locally on your computer anymore, relying instead on services like Google Documents.

Using GDocs, you can view and edit just about anything you have saved in your Google Documents account. The application also allows for importing, exporting, and sending documents, as well as full support for multiple accounts.

Evernote

Evernote can be found on a variety of different platforms and Google Android is no exception. With the Evernote app, you get a useful note-taking utility for jotting down important information, but it also serves as a good to-do list.

You can use it just for simple text, but the application also supports some multimedia files, including images and audio. Everything gets stored in the cloud so you can access the information from anywhere you have an Evernote application.

CallTrack

Part of the reason why I prefer email and IM is that I automatically get a record of everything that is said. What can you do for phone calls? While it won’t transcribe the conversation for you, CallTrack will log your phone activity to your Google Calendar.

This makes it monumentally easier for you to remember exactly who called you and when. The options include the ability to filter for incoming calls, outgoing calls, and missed calls, should you feel so inclined.

UPS Mobile

What can brown do for you? Keeping track of all those parcels can leave anyone’s head in a tailspin, so simplify the process with the UPS Mobile app for Android.

Using this application, you can track your shipments, set up new shipments (including the ability to generate and email a waybill label), search for nearby UPS service locations, and receive a rate quote, all from the convenience of your smartphone.

Image credit: adventtr / iStockphoto

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