Magazine article Information Today

Have Apps, Will Travel

Magazine article Information Today

Have Apps, Will Travel

Article excerpt

Ask 10 librarians what their favorite apps are, and I'm sure you'll get 10 different answers. Last month I devoted my Spotlight article ( to some browser extensions that I find to be very useful. The article was so popular with readers that I figured I'd take a look at some mobile apps that I've found to be the most helpful. I have a

Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone running Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), and the apps I'm including here are available for Android devices (at the Google Play Store); some of them are also available for iOS at the Apple App Store. I trust you will find these to be handy and serve as a starting point to look for others.

Google Drive

Google Drive provides cloud-based storage and lets you access your files no matter where you are or what device you are using. You can specify a directory on your PC or Mac computer that is then synced to your Drive account. You get 5GB of free space; 25GB costs about $30 a year. Google Docs is also built right into Google Drive, so you can collaborate with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Google Drive can even recognize content in your scanned documents and images.


Evernote is a free, easy-to-use app that lets you put everything in one place: your notes, images, documents, web clips, and audio notes. Sync makes your notes accessible across your devices and makes them completely searchable. Evernote is available on any computer, phone, and tablet device. As I mentioned in my Spotlight article about browser extensions, the EverNote Web Clipper adds a small elephant icon to the browser address bar to make it easy to grab web content.

Swiss Army Knife

OK, this one is seriously cool. I no longer have to carry a separate mirror or flashlight in my purse. The Swiss Army Knife also offers a timer, stopwatch, compass, unit converter (length, weight, temperature, pressure, area, speed, mileage, and more), bubble level, calculator, magnifying glass, and ruler. The developer says the app is half the size of a "standalone tool." Its goal is to provide a "lightweight, fast and easy to use set of tools"; it's not glitzy. This is the epitome of handy, and it's just like the real thing.


Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically be saved to all your computers, phones, and the Dropbox website. Dropbox lets you choose a folder or folders on your device, and the contents of any file that changes within that folder will be reflected in the storage cloud.

Dropbox lets you store up to 18GB (2GB and 500MB per referral) of digital media for free. The premium plans for Dropbox start at $9.99 per month for 100GB and go up in price from there for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Kindle Fire.

Gmote 2.0

Gmote 2.0 turns your phone into a remote control for your computer. You can even stream music from your PC to your phone. According to the positive media and reviews about Gmote 2.0, the best use is to control PC-based PowerPoint presentations. I haven't had a chance to test this yet, but I plan to try it out.

Google Translate

Google Translate provides an instant translation of text and speech between more than 70 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish and from Arabic to Ukrainian. …

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