By February 24, 2014 Read More →

A Guide to Android Word Processing

Word processing on a smart phone is something that is highly useful for many bloggers and webmasters, as well as a number of businessmen. The idea here is that you have a device that you carry with you constantly and that’s small enough to fit in your pocket, and you can nevertheless use it to write documents and upload articles in order to ensure that your site is constantly full of new and interesting content for your visitors.

However this is something that will only work if you are able to write quickly and effectively – is an Android phone with its small screen and its lack of physical keyboard up to the task? Happily the answer is yes, but only if you know how to get the most from your small device and if you invest in the best hardware and software.

Your Keyboard

First of all you are going to need a pretty good input if you are going to write at anything approaching the kind of speed you would enjoy on a laptop or netbook. If your Android is big enough then this can mean downloading one of the optional keyboards from the Play Store and some of these will make typing quickly much more possible.

One of the best keyboards on the Play Store for this is the Writers’ Touch Type Keyboard which takes up much more of the screen and is perfect for a large phone while in portrait. Another good solution is ‘Slide It‘ which is rather different and some people seem to love (though not me personally). Finally you might also consider ‘Thumb Keyboard‘ which splits the keyboard in half and moves it around the screen making everything you could want available for your thumbs. Choose one that works for you and stick with it.

That said you may find that none of these solutions are up to task and in this case you can instead use a portable Bluetooth keyboard to do the job for you.  These will par with your device and provide you with a number of different sized keyboards and various amounts of functionality. The key is to get a size that is portable without sacrificing the ability to type fast and preferably to touch type. Some tablets of course come with keyboards attached such as the Asus Transformer Prime, and tablet keyboards will always be a little bigger, but if you want a keyboard to use with your phone then portability is going to be key. It’s matter of finding the smallest keyboard you can that still lets you touch type. Of course then if you really want to show off with your external hardware you could invest in a small mouse (using a USB to MicroUSB port) and a wireless printer. Who needs computers anyway?

Your Word Processor

There are many Word Processor apps on the play store though only two of them are really worth mentioning at the time of writing (Writer and Text Warrior for instance are so devoid of features as to be useless for anything other than note taking). These good options are Quick Office Pro and Documents to Go. Both here will serve most purposes though they offer different advantages. While the former has more in terms of formatting options and a spell check, the latter has a wordcount which is particularly useful for what I do. Unfortunately both are quite expensive and will set you back around $20 or more, especially if you want both your word count and your spell check. The best combo is probably to use Quick Office Pro along with the standalone Word Count app.

That said you can also use various other strategies to handle your word processing such as processors that will load in your browser or apps that have other main purposes – such as the WordPress app which can make a nice word processor and particularly if you were going to upload to a blog anyway.

Or if you want to try something completely original for your word processing needs you could even install Word 5.5 using DosBox which has a spell check and a word count as well as a very lovely retro vibe (and no annoying pop up keyboard if you’re using a Bluetooth solution) or you could go one step geekier and even install Ubuntu and Libre Writer (easy using this app) as long as you have a few gigs of space free on your phone.

About this Author: Trevor Smith is a freelance writer and a blogger. He is an Android lover and advises about the use of some wonderful apps out there to make working with Android OS a lot more fun. He works for GreatGiftsForMen, an online gift shop.

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