Smartphones are the multitools of the 21st century. They’re always there, constantly connected. And if anything, Android takes it to the next level, allowing for extensive customisation and integration. This, really, is the key to being the most productive with your gadgets — not introducing yet more interfaces, but frictionlessly integrating it into your life and workflow.
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Nothing really beats If This Then That for automating the web. The platform allows you to connect dozens of disparate services, enabling you to make connections and saving bucketloads of time. Connecting your Android phone to IFTTT, for example, allows for dozens of little timesavers. Like having your phone automatically mute when you go to sleep, or turning off your lights when you leave home.
Hooks enables you to turn your phone into a notification machine. With Hooks you can automatically monitor everything from social media to the weather and movie releases. Leave your phone alone and let Hooks keep you up to date on what’s going on.
Swiftkey puts more than just a pretty face on your keyboard. And while some keyboards allow you to search in-app, or predict your text, Swiftkey offers a whole bunch of goodies – writing two languages simultaneously, typing by sliding your finger across the keyboard, and predictive text that really learns. It promises “autocorrect that actually works”, using a neural network to learn from the way you type, getting much smarter over time.
Astro File Manager
Using a file manager really brings out some of Android’s core strengths — openness, browsing and controlling your files. You can do this with your computer, but when you’re on the go you need a file manager. The Astro File Manager brings a bunch of power to file management, including both local and cloud storage, a clean view of all your files, and a bunch of other configurations.
Microsoft’s mobile offerings have come along in leaps and bounds in recent times, none more so than its Outlook email app. Combining an email client, a calendar and a file manager, the app is a true workhorse. Enabling you to juggle all your email, create and accept invitations, and manage the files you have on a number of cloud services, all from the one app.