Android and iPad may not be soul mates, but Android can be just as good of a partner as the iPhone. I probably would have never tried this marriage if we weren’t loyal t-mobile customers, because of their international $20 monthly international unlimited email that can be turned in and off as often as you like. They also have the best rates around, but this isn’t supposed to be an ad for t-mobile, so back to Android and iPad.
Email and Calendar: There are 3rd party mail applications out there for both devices, but the apps that come built-in sync fine. My only complaint with the Android calendar app is you can’t see appointments on the month view. Business Calendar Free is the best I’ve found so far, but it leaves something to be desired in its coolness factor.
Contacts: Contacts sync seamlessly using Google as the core contact manager. The cool thing about Android is it can sync your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts, which is easier an importing the contact information, plus they stay up-to-date.
Productivity: I use Toodledo.com, along with the Toodledo iPad app, to keep me organized. It’s not the prettiest user interface, but it lets you categorize and prioritize with folders, tags, goals, contexts, etc. It’s also the only tool I have found that allows you to see how many minutes (or hours) you have scheduled for a certain time frame (only totals time on the cloud version). If Android had a Toodledo app, it would be perfect. Instead, you have to use a 3rd party app. The one that syncs with Toodledo and gives you almost all of the same functionality (although horrendous looking) is Ultimate To Do List (trial – I paid $1.99 for the license, but I think it is more now).
Reading: Formerly Read It Later, Pocket is a great tool that allows you to file away web pages you want to “read later” and it syncs seamless between cloud, Android, and iPad.
Fitness: My Fitness Pal is the best fitness tracker I have found. The food and exercise database is pretty exhaustive, and is not difficult to enter. I can update my data in any one of the three mediums, and then sync to all.
Notes: Because I use a PC at work, am not authorized to download software to the work computer, and am sometimes not connected to the internet, OneNote has become my go-to for taking notes at meetings. Both iPad and Android have apps that sync back to the PC using a Microsoft Live account. Springpad (see more in the Food section) is a cloud-based tool that also works well for notes.
Documents: I use Dropbox to backup and be able to access my personal documents on the road (iPad or Android app). For work, I am beginning to use Google Drive, now that iPad has allowed an app. Of course, to keep it free, I can’t keep my large files (music, videos, photos, etc.) accessible in the cloud.
Food: Although we aren’t as good at updating as we should be, Springpad is a great on-line tool for sharing recipes and creating shopping lists that can be accessed through the Android or iPad (perfect for when you forgot to bring the printed shopping list!). In addition, Springpad can be used for note-taking, to-do lists, and many other applications.
That’s all for today, but in a later post I’ll review more lifestyle and productivity apps that I use to gain some semblance of control over life.