I sup­pose this might count as anoth­er ‘Tooling Around’ post. I recently got a new Android phone, and wondered imme­di­ately how I might use it to help with UnRuley Articles. So I thought I’d talk about a couple of apps that I’ve found that are already prov­ing their worth. I plan to add to this post as and when I find apps that are use­ful to crafty/bloggy sorts, so if you know of any suit­able apps please shout out in the com­ment sec­tion below.


(To-do List Manager. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here)

AstridEvery blog­ger and every crafter ends up with a list of tasks that they need to do; ideas for pieces, ideas for posts, sup­plies required, etc. Misha jots these tasks in a ‘Hello Kitty’ note­book, where­as I used to scribble them on the backs of envel­opes – which I would then lose. But now Astrid will take care of them for me.

Astrid’s a fully func­tioned to-do list man­ager, but as well as keep­ing your tasks safer than on the backs of envel­opes, she has some oth­er cool fea­tures; not­ably that it’s easy to allow a team to col­lab­or­ate on a list of tasks, and that it’s also pos­sible to access your lists from your PC, which is handy when you’ve left you phone in the char­ger. Astrid will also send you remind­ers about tasks you’re late with; wel­come the the 21st cen­tury, where it’s your phone rather than your spouse that nags you!

There are also some social-net­work­ing type fea­tures –because everything nowadays needs a social-net­work side, appar­ently– but it’s easy to ignore (the less mis­an­throp­ic might even find it use­ful!).astrid_logo

Despite all this func­tion­al­ity, Astrid costs a very reas­on­able £0.00 – there is a ‘power pack’ of addi­tion­al fea­tures avail­able for £2.45, but I haven’t felt I was miss­ing out by stick­ing with the base ver­sion for now.

But the best thing about Astrid? She’s an octopus – and you know how we love octo­podes on this blog.

WordPress for Android

(Blogging tool. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here.)

Obviously, this one’s only rel­ev­ant for those of us that blog via WordPress – there are sim­il­ar appsWordpress for Blogger or LiveJournal, but I can’t speak to their qual­ity.

If you do use WordPress then this is a very handy app, let­ting you cre­ate and edit posts and pages, and man­age com­ments. Personally, I think sub­mit­ting a full-sized post from this app would be an exer­cise in mas­ochism, but what it is very use­ful for is day-to-day house­keep­ing (blog-keep­ing?) Even a little blog like this, with a total read­er­ship small enough to fit in a phone booth, attracts a ridicu­lous amount of  spam – and a tool like this is great for squash­ing it on the move.

Another great thing about this app is that it’s Open Source, which –you might remem­ber from my Inkscape post– I’m a big fan of. Open Source means that any­one can con­trib­ute, and that the res­ults are free to all.

SketchBook Mobile

(Drawing/Painting App. Full Version — £0.61, Express Version — £Free. Homepage here)

SBMI often find that an idea for a pic­ture or design comes to me at the most incon­veni­ent time, usu­ally when I’m a long way away from a pen­cil and paper. So this app is per­fect for dood­ling quick images on the go. It’s actu­ally a sur­pris­ingly com­plex draw­ing app, with the sort of lay­er and brush options that wouldn’t be out of place in a pro­fes­sion­al PC image edit­ing suite.

People are actu­ally using it to cre­ate some very accom­plished images; that’s a bit bey­ond me – as the octo in the screen­shot shows. Drawing with one’s fin­ger is a bit odd, and brings back memor­ies of pre-school, but I ima­gine a capa­cit­ive stylus would make things easi­er. However for cap­tur­ing  visu­al ideas on the go, it’s top notch.

There’s a ‘lite’ Express ver­sion for free, or the full ver­sion for a massive 61 pence: well worth it, as far as I’m con­cerned.

Etsy for Android

(Etsy Management App. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here.)Etsy

Etsy is the lead­ing online mar­ket­place for hand­made love­lies – our shop is here. This little app lets you browse and search Etsy, man­age your shop’s list­ings, upload new images, and more.

Honestly, the app seems a little rough and ready at the moment, but it does the job. The app’s coder seems to be keen to add new fea­tures, though it seems like Etsy’s API might be hold­ing him back.

At the price point of FREE, you can’t really com­plain.


Angry Birds

(Game. £Free. Homepage here. Get it here.)

AnnoyedAviansOkay, I know what you’re think­ing. How is ‘Angry Birds’ a pro­ductiv­ity app for the crafty blog­ger? Well, it isn’t. In fact, some­thing about fling­ing irrit­ated avi­ans at per­fi­di­ous pig­gies makes it an anti-pro­ductiv­ity tool. But the rule is that any round up of mobile apps has to include ‘Angry Birds’. Nothing I can do about it.

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