Best Android Apps for IT Professionals
Android apps for IT professionals have been kicking around for years now. But thanks to the increased size and power of today's devices, these apps are more valuable than ever. Coupled with some of the latest updates to the Android operating system, such as split-screen multitasking, your smartphone or tablet can now stand in for your laptop in a wide range of circumstances.
Whether you need to do some remote service on the CEOs desktop, troubleshoot the Wi-Fi in the conference room or grab a file from your laptop there's an Android solution. Here are the essential apps that every IT Pro should download now.
Microsoft Remote Desktop
If, like most offices, you are a Windows-only shop, going to the source for your remote desktop solution is an excellent option, and it's free. As you would expect Microsoft Remote Desktop allows you to securely connect to any remote PC and access all of its files, apps and network resources along with access to published Windows apps on Microsoft Azure.
Fing - Network Tools
To keep tabs on what's happening on your Wi-Fi network, Fing - Network Tools is indispensable. You can quickly view every device connected to your network with IP and MAC addresses displayed along with device name, vendor and manufacturer. Device names can be customized with a tap and additional notes added. It also offers DNS lookup, port scanning, network intruder detection and network quality measurement, but that's just scratching the surface.
While versatile apps have their place in your toolbox there is something to be said for apps that do one thing and do it well, Wifi Analyzer is just such an app and ensuring that your router is on the best possible channel is certainly a vital task. Wifi Analyzer will show all the channels in use around you and offer a star rating on all available channels.
Listing all of the potential uses for Tasker could take days. The app relies on Android flexibility to automate virtually any task you can imagine. You can set triggers for all sorts of things such as connecting to a specific Bluetooth device or arriving at a location, thus resulting in more than 200 built-in actions, with even more options available via plugins. For instance, you could change your device settings when you arrive at work, have texts read out loud while driving, or create your own voice commands with the AutoVoice plugin. For $3, it's a worthwhile investment.
It's nice to think that we are living in the paperless future. But too often that just isn't the case. When you do need to print, use Google Cloud Print rather than a full PC. Many printers now natively support Cloud Print and older printers can be added using Chrome. To keep as many things paperless as possible, the app also offers the ability to save anything directly to Google Drive.
Evernote is billed as the place to store and organize any information that you need to keep, but many don't take full advantage of the apps power. Basic notes can be handwritten, text, photos, attachments or reminders with text notes. A web clipping tool for Chrome allows you to capture any page that catches your interest. This data is sorted into notebooks that can be searched. Advanced features include the ability to snap a picture of text and have it become automatically searchable. Premium subscribers can also annotate PDFs or images with text, handwriting and arrows. Evernote Plus and Premium cost $35 and $70 per year, respectively.
If you ever need to connect to an SSH server you owe it to yourself to install JuiceSSH. The developer, Sonelli Ltd, is incredibly responsive to feedback. On-screen and external keyboard support are both fantastic, and theme options ensure that you can find a look that works for you. For security, it offers support for two-factor authentication. The free version will be sufficient for many users, but for $5 you can unlock useful extras, such as a widget for quick access to frequently used connections or groups, team collaboration to share connections and a snippets library for frequently used commands.
PingTools Pro offers a similar feature set to Fing - Network Tools, but with a few different options and a vastly different user interface that those who prefer Material Design will prefer. The IP Calculator feature will help you calculate network parameters when you are setting up for the first time. The visual traceroute feature shows how data packages travel on a map. It also includes a full suite of network tools including ping, port scanning, whois, UPnP scanning, Wi-Fi scanning, DNS and reverse DNS lookup, wake on LAN and more. At $2 this app offers a great feature set and impressive developer support.
Long considered one of the best file explorers on Android, Solid Explorer recently got a much needed update and some great new features. The basic app is just $2 and includes vast customization options and an impressive feature set that includes dual-pane file management with the ability to drag and drop files between them, support for managing all major cloud storage solutions, archive file creation and extraction and Chromecast support. Free plugins can extend the functionality to include the ability connect to a Windows PC or remote server via FTP, SFTP or WebDav to manage files remotely, access USB drives or card readers (Nexus devices only), and access to Amazon cloud services such as S3 and Cloud Drive.
Pushbullet, in many ways, is a bridge between your smartphone and your tablet or computer that allows you to pass data back and forth. The app can send and receive text messages from your tablet or computer. It also passes your phone's notifications to your computer. A chat component can be used in conjunction with file and link sharing, or as a standalone chat service. The core functionality is free, but if you are a heavy text message user (more than 100 per month) or want to send large files (bigger than 25MB) you will need to subscribe to Pushbullet Pro for $39.99 a year, or $4.99 a month.
Andromium OS (Beta)
Currently in a limited time, free, public beta, Andromium OS can turn your Android phone into a fully functional computer. It lets you attach it to a keyboard, mouse and monitor. It recommends that your phone have at least an Snapdragon 800 CPU and 2GB of RAM. It needs Android Lollipop 5.0 to work, and you'll need a Chromecast or Miracast device to connect to the monitor.
Indeed Job Search
Onward and upward, Indeed is among the largest job search sites and can help you find a new, better position when you've outgrown the one you're in. You can search for a job title, location, company, or a phrase within the posting. You can even create a job alert to tell you when a position you want gets posted.
It's the app you've been dreaming about:Microsoft Azure on your Android device. With this app you can manage your company's cloud from anywhere. Specifically, it can help you build, deploy and manage your company's applications. It can alert you of potential health issues, check the status of critical metrics and even let you take actions such as starting and stopping virtual machines or web apps.