journalism, mobile

Useful free Android apps for journalists

Updated 16th November 2012:  Some useful applications to get started creating, broadcasting, storing and sharing content from an Android smartphone for journalists (I have experience of the Sony Xperia Neo (don’t laugh) and the HTC One S), many have Apple iOS counterparts: any comments, corrections, suggestions appreciated – @richardkendall

General tools

  • Firstly, depending on your device, I recommend installing the Ice Cream Sandwich Keyboard, does a nice job remembering words and works pretty efficiently
  • Dropbox –  for storing, sending and sharing files securely. Particularly photos galleries.
  • or Google Drive –  (used to be Google Docs) open/write/share documents using a Google account
  • Alternatively for viewing office docs: OfficeSuite Viewer 6 and Adobe PDF Reader
  • Google Translate
  • Google Mail – is a relatively pleasant experience on the HTC/Xperia
  • Tasks/to-dos: Astrid Task/to-do lists -, can sync with Google Tasks, recently updated, still fairly intuitive or Wunderlist, for task organising,  (thanks @chrismccormack1)
  • Evernote – is an impressive note taking/storing tool, with addons for taking audio notes and drawings, and like Dropbox you can sync your files across devices.
  • Power Note –  for saving and syncing bookmarks with your diigo.com account.
  • For articles saved, or for saving on the move, Pocket -formerly Read It Later does a good job of dispalying articles efficiently and syncs across devices
  • The Met Office Weather Application is pretty good for latest forecast and warnings, you can store multiple locations
  • WiFi Finder for scanning for nearby Wi-Fi hotspots and public Wi-Fi

Travel and maps

Browsers

  • Opera Mini  is the best browser I’ve used, it’s pretty quick, enable sending/sharing links etc.
  • Big names Firefox  and Chrome have their own decent Android versions now, and the Dolphin Browser is a strong alternative. All would do a decent job, but I’ve found Opera the most assured.

Social media

  • Twitter‘s own native app is not the worst option, but limited for advanced users.
  • Then there’s the official Twitter alternative, Tweetdeck where you can add multiple streams as columns
  • Hootsuite (which has recently acquired Seesmic) works pretty well as an unofficial alternative and includes Facebook, plus you can schedule tweets as with the desktop/browser version – unlike the Tweetdeck app
  • I’ve also tried TweetCaster  which has plenty of options for sharing/managing found links and information
  • Banjo –  taps into the most popular social networks (includes Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram) around your location (via @markwoodward)
  • Also an additional accessory is Buffer for timing future tweets* (*although this should be used sparingly and wisely)

Multimedia

Because you never know when you might need it: First aid by British Red Cross or St John Ambulance First Aid

And most importantly, for a break or time-killer, the addictive Pocket Soccer

By no means an exhaustive list, I don’t claim to have used every app in depth, but they all have high ratings and/or are backed by reputable developers/brands.

Further reading

Originally published 31 August, 2011

3 thoughts on “Useful free Android apps for journalists

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