Great Android helper apps for Windows

Fred langa
By Fred Langa

Some free and low-cost apps make your Android phone and your Windows PC work together as a team.

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 because I’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.

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Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.