Windows Secrets Newsletter: Android apps for Windows PC users

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By Fred Langa/Windows Secrets Newsletter

Use these tools to optimize your home or office Wi-Fi setup, remotely control your PC from your phone (or your phone from your PC), share and transfer files in either direction, create and edit full-blown Microsoft Office documents on your phone, and much more!

First, however, I have a confession to make: I was a reluctant convert to smartphones — in large part becauseI’m fad-phobic. When I see crowds of people standing in line, glassy-eyed, waiting to get their hands on the latest smartphone offering, my natural inclination is to back away and run in the other direction.

Part of it is seeing how fragile and fussy many expensive smartphones are. And part of it is that I just didn’t initially see the need for many smartphone functions.

Android changed that for me. My Android smartphone isn’t flashy or expensive, but it’s survived mishandling that surely would have cracked the glass of an iPhone. It makes calls reliably, no matter how I hold it. It gives me instant access to e-mail, messaging, my calendar, contacts, news, and weather. It’s handy to have a camera always available for snapshots. I love having always-up-to-date, GPS turn-by-turn navigation available, no matter where I am or in whose vehicle I’m riding. It’s great to have instant access to my music collection, and I’ve enjoyed being able to live-stream my favorite hometown radio stations when I’m on the road.

But one of the biggest surprises I got from my Android phone was the way it could work with and improve my Windows PC use, both at home and on the road. I never expected that.

In the rest of this article, I’ll show you some of the most interesting and promising apps that I’ve found for making an Android phone a highly useful adjunct to a Windows PC, and vice-versa.

All the apps I’ll describe here are either free or low-cost, and none requires high-end phone hardware. In fact, my phone is an ordinary, mainstream unit currently running Android 2.3.3 (a.k.a. Gingerbread). Chances are, no matter what Android-based phone you have or may get, all the apps I talk about in the following paragraphs will run just fine for you.

Here’s the rest of the story.

This post is excerpted with permission from Windows Secrets.

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