Work and studying
Although iA Writer is often described as a minimal text editor, it’s perhaps more accurate to call it a focussed one. The main interface is streamlined – plain text, a small additional keyboard bar for adding Markdown, and an optional word count. But this app has plenty of features that make it closer in nature to a desktop app.
There’s a focus mode for highlighting the current line, and a night mode when tapping away in the dark and not searing your retinas. The Markdown preview offers multiple templates, you can sync your work to Google Drive or Dropbox, and there are plentiful export options. Add a keyboard and it’s a typewriter from the future.
SwiftKey + Emoji
The default Android keyboard is perfectly decent, but SwiftKey’s a popular alternative for good reason. Along with boasting excellent predictive typing, it enables you to more rapidly type by swiping your fingers across the keys rather than laboriously pecking away at them individually.
Initially, you might find yourself facing some oddball typos, but with some practice, SwiftKey can hugely speed up banging out some words on your device. And if you’re armed with a massive phone but wee hands, check out the excellent split keyboard.
As Android moves closer to home computer territory, syncing photos, music and work documents is increasingly important. As a free service, Dropbox offers 2GB of pleasingly simple online storage which is automatically synced whenever you log in from any of your devices – very useful for occassional file transfers, semi-permanent documents and shared folders. The Android app is nothing fancy but it doesn't need to be, getting the job done without fuss.
Evernote is a dumping ground for everything. Got a quick idea for something amazing? Bung it in Evernote! Got a receipt? Chuck it in Evernote! Fancy recording yourself yelling “ARGH!” because you just forgot to save a receipt in Evernote and have since misplaced it? Upload it to Evernote!
It’s clean, fairly simple, hugely flexible, very cross-platform, possibly a bit too green, and remembers stuff so that you don’t have to bother.
If anyone would claim we currently live in a paperless age, we’d like to laugh in their face, but only after briefly being a bit sad that we don’t actually live without paper.
CamScanner at least tries to shift you in the right direction. Using your device’s camera, you can scan notes and receipts, and the app auto-enhances the result to make it clear and sharp. This can then be shared. (Stump up for the paid version and you also get OCR, to extract text from your scans.)