The Android OS is no slouch, especially for smartphone and tablet users who have a lot on their plates. Even as Apple and Microsoft tout their platforms' respective productivity-enhancing possibilities, Google's mobile OS offers a lot for those who need to get things done. Here are twenty apps that simplify life's mundane chores, so that users can concentrate on the more important stuff.
Leaving a large enough tip ensures great service the next time—a boon for movers and shakers for the succeeding power lunch, and solitary entrepreneurs building their online empires at their favorite neighborhood hangout. TipMeter costs less than a dollar, but the good will it facilitates can be invaluable. Users tap a button for every courteous action they experience, and the app computes a final tip figure based on the amount of service rendered. Definitely not for customers who live to make life hard for service personnel!
Mind Mender presents a series of random tests to its users, all in the name of improving their brains’ functions. Conventional wisdom holds that regularly exercising your brain keeps in tip-top shape. Whether that’s scientific fact or a metaphorical assumption based on the proven relationship between exercise and muscles remains a matter contention. Yet it can’t hurt to put something you need every waking moment through the paces.
Titanium Backup promises comprehensive backups for your Android device. Computer users are always told to save copies of their most important data, so why shouldn’t that apply to mobile gadgets as well? Backups become even more crucial for smartphones and tablet PCs, as average users are more likely to entrust their most important data to them. This app allows the full backup of all software, device settings, and even Wi-Fi hotspot information. So even if disaster strikes, you can get back on track in no time at all.
Astro File Manager is a popular file manager for the Android OS. It makes browsing through all the files stored on the device—or any memory card plugged into it—easy. The app has won love for its advanced search features, a great tool for finding that important yet apparently inaccessible document. Need to file a specific file, created before a certain date, or below a certain size? Easy. Want to combine multiple files into a ZIP archive for easy sending to contacts? No problem. Users can also target specific file types, and save folder locations as bookmarks.
What if you could exercise detailed control over how your Android device notifies you of calls, texts, battery warnings, reminders, and the like? That’s exactly what Missed Call promises. It goes beyond mere vibrations and ringtones, allowing the customization how the LED light blinks—and even its color! Now users can rely on quick visual and sensual cues and determine quickly who's trying to get in touch with them. The app is so versatile that it’s literally limited only by what your gadget’s hardware is capable of—and any bugs, as the software is still in beta after all. Thankfully Missed Call comes with a backup feature that saves all your settings in case you want to try something new.
Smart Measure uses your Android device’s camera and accelerometer to produce relatively accurate measurements of real-life objects. It estimates the height of objects in pictures using geometric algorithms, while relying on the accelerometer to detect the height of the camera of the ground (an important requirement for the computation’s accuracy). Smart Measure isn’t meant for pinpoint measurements, though it should prove useful for those who want a general sense of the size of what they see.
Toddler Lock takes a novel approach towards keeping valuable data beyond the reach of your young ones. After all, the last thing you’d want is your schedule messed up because of your kid’s natural (and welcome) tendency to play around with anything, right? The app adds an interactive lock screen to your Android device, meaning any underage person who gets their hands on the gadget will be too busy playing around with various shapes and colors. Curiosity is always a good thing, but sometimes it’s best to keep the divert attention away from crucial information.