BlackBerrys were once the go-to phone for businesspeople. Now, there's a far more diverse range of handsets in the pockets and briefcases of enterprise users, and Android devices are making up an increasing proportion of them. silicon.com has rounded up the top 20 applications to make your Android mobile the executive assistant you've always wanted. Just don't expect it to pick up your dry-cleaning.
Business cards - always useful, always impossible to find when you need them. Here's an app that takes the pain out of keeping up to date with your contacts: take a picture of a business card using CamCard and the info is automatically added to your contacts list. The app also allows contact details to be saved to Gmail or Exchange - a handy feature for the consummate networker.
CamCard can also generate and recognize QR codes and export Excel files.
Image: IntSig Information/CamCard
Captions: Shelley Portet, silicon.com
Mute-o-matic is an ingenious app that changes the call settings on your phone according to your planned meetings and events.
By entering details of meetings to the app, you can programme your phone to switch itself to silent mode without having to remember to do it yourself. The app also enables you to set a standard reply message to anyone who might call you when you're in that meeting.
Mute-o-matic also allows different settings to be applied to different callers, so you can set the phone to ring if your other half calls while silencing everyone else.
Image: YPB Development/Mute-o-matic
CamScanner turns your Android device into a document scanner, allowing you to convert any paper document into a PDF using the camera on your phone. It also provides links to Dropbox and other platforms so you can share documents.
Image: IntSig Information/CamScanner
This app allows you to print documents straight from an Android device. The app can send documents to nearby printers over wi-fi or Bluetooth connections and can also connect to remote printers.
Image: Mobile Dynamix/PrintShare
The Parcels app lets you track multiple deliveries from a range of carriers.
The app supports deliveries from both global and national delivery companies including Amazon, DHL, Fedex, Parcelforce, Royal Mail, TNT and UPS. Parcels also links to Google Maps to show you where your parcel has travelled.
Image: Timo Behrmann/Parcels
While there's increasing crossover between the desktop and smartphone, the Splashtop app takes it one step further by bringing your desktop computer straight to your Android device.
The remote desktop app can link to multiple computers via wi-fi, allowing you to switch between your home and office desktop. Splashtop also gives full access to Microsoft documents and supports Flash videos and games.
The Executive Assistant app provides one interface for viewing all the useful info on your Android device, including text messages, emails, calendar events, tasks set up from a range of different apps, your Twitter feed and Facebook News.
Where you see the information is up to you, as the app allows you to choose what appears on the lock screen, welcome screen and homescreen. The app also gives you the option to reply to text messages without unlocking the lock screen.
Image: Appventive/Executive Assistant
The ConvertPad does what it says on the tin - it converts units and currencies. The app links to real-time exchange rates so it can convert currency based on the latest rates or you can set a preferred exchange rate.
Image: Sunny Moon/ConvertPad
Aimed at freelancers, the TimeClock app helps keep track of hours worked and transfers the data into a spreadsheet - making it easy to create invoices. Billable hours can be recorded using a 'clock in' and 'clock out' function or entered manually.
The app also allows you to set hourly rates for multiple clients and then calculate your earnings.
Image: Spotlight Six Software/TimeClock
Balance Book is a bookkeeping app for small businesses. It displays data in daily, weekly and monthly charts and provides a system of dividing up incomings and outgoings. The app can also display the data in 26 different currencies - handy for small businesses doing business overseas.
Image: Frank Android Software/Balance Book
This task app provides a single place to plan and manage the many tasks the working day requires. The app lets you sync your to-do lists, notes and checklists across Google accounts so you can share tasks easily via Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and more.
This app is full of advice, tips and news for the budding entrepreneur, and allows users to save content for later reading.
Image: Entrepreneur Media/Entrepreneur Mobile
TouchDown brings enterprise email, contacts and calendars from your Exchange server to your device. It also includes security features such as remote wipe and data encryption so your corporate data remains secure.
With so many instant-messaging platforms available, this app is aimed at those who want to keep in touch with all their contacts in one place. The app syncs instant messaging from AIM, Facebook, GTalk, Hyves, ICQ, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo accounts and allows you to swipe through chat screens.
This world clock app displays the time for any city in the world and shows you which cities are experiencing daylight. Ideal for business users, the app allows you to schedule meetings and set alarms for any time zone so you can avoid confusion when travelling for work.
Image: Udell Enterprises/PolyClock
As the most spoken language in the world, learning Chinese is a good step for any businessperson with an eye on the global market. The app helps you learn the language and features recordings of native Chinese speakers, with phrases divided into six categories including basics, business, emergency and travel.
Image: Holfeld Apps/Speak Chinese
The ultimate way to protect your apps, App Locker 2 tricks potential snoopers into thinking the apps on your phone are crashing should they try to access them without your permission. The App Locker provides different ways for you to unlock your app, such as double-tapping the error message or rotating it twice - the tech equivalent of leaving your spare key under a flower pot.
Image: SmartDog Studio/App Locker 2: Fake Crash
This recording app can differentiate between speakers - useful for recording meetings. The app can register up to eight different voices and also keeps note of how long the meeting has been going on for.
Image: Lithos/Meeting REC
This app tracks your phone activity and stores it in the calendar on your device. This is handy for chasing up people who aren't getting back to you and keeping account of which contacts you have been networking with. The app also allows you to log SMS messages into your calendar.
Image: João Orui/Call Log Calendar
Finally, the app you need to declutter your Android device from all these apps you've tried out but don't want to keep - Uninstaller. The app allows you to search for the apps you want to ditch and displays the version, install time and size.
Image: Rhythm Software/Unistaller