Android fans have watched in the last year as the iPhone slowly shifted its perception to become the new corporate mobile standard - but now you don't have to just watch. These 40 apps show that the Android platform can play a serious role in business, too.
Mind-mapping and whiteboarding
Need to do some mind-mapping on the go? Check out Kinesthetic's £3 Thinking Space Pro. The app gives you everything you need to create visual maps for your thoughts and plans. It integrates with several desktop-based mind-mapping programs, including Freemind, Xmind and MindManager. Plus, it lets you embed live hyperlinks in your maps and create both folders and tags; there's also a free, ad-supported version.
When it comes to whiteboarding, the aptly named Whiteboard app from Matt M is as simple as it gets. The free utility gives you a blank surface on which you can sketch out ideas, using your finger as the marker. Whiteboard includes a home screen widget and several options for customisation.
For a collaborative whiteboarding experience, grab Group Technologies' Groupboard. The free version of the app allows you to share your whiteboarding space with up to five other users, who can be connected via the Android app, its iOS counterpart, or the Groupboard.com website. To share with more than 5 users, Group Technologies offers a 15-user licence for $10 (£6) a month and a 50-user license for $20 (£12)a month.
Thanks to Android's tight integration with Google Voice, on-the-go conference calls are a cinch. Android users in the US can just set up a free Google Voice account and download the free Google Voice app to their smartphone. Then, whenever you need to initiate a conference call, ask the call participants to dial in to your Google Voice number. As each new call comes in, the system will give you an option to conference it with the other calls. (Note: The Call Screening option in your Google Voice settings needs to be enabled for this conferencing option to work.) However, this currently doesn't work in the UK.
You can join web-based conferences held via Cisco WebEx or Fuze Meeting by downloading the official app for either service. Both apps are free, though you'll need to have an account with the service to use its application.
File management and printing
Unlike iOS, Android makes it possible to use your smartphone as a hard drive and freely browse its file system. You can always connect your smartphone to your PC via a USB cable to do this from your desktop, but for mobile-based file management, you'll need an app like Metago's £2.44 Astro Pro. Astro Pro lets you navigate through your smartphone's internal and external storage, moving, copying, and sharing files with a couple of quick taps. (There's also a free, ad-supported version.)
Google's free Google Cloud Print tool lets you connect your office printer to the cloud using your networked PC as a waystation, then wirelessly print emails and documents straight from your smartphone. Cloud Print works only with Windows-based PCs, though Google says Mac and Linux support will become available.
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