On their own, smartphones don’t seem like the obvious tool for web developers, but the right apps can help you diagnose problems, hone your skills, and improve your content on the fly. The more work you can do on your smartphone during down time, the more effective your office hours can be. Here are some of the best of the best:
1. Dropbox (Android, iOS)
Dropbox is the leader in cloud-based storage and backup, and as long as you stay under the 2.25 GB cap, it’s free. You can drag and drop any file you need to access into your Dropbox folder, and then share it across all your computers, phones, or tablets. With Dropbox on your smartphone and your home and office computers, you can start editing at home, revise on the subway, and touch up at the office. If your phone plan has limited data, you might not want to maintain constant sync – but it’s easy to deactivate Dropbox, and you can still edit your Dropbox files and folders even when it isn’t actively sharing. (Cost: Free)
2. Ego (iPhone)
Web development isn’t just about creating great content – it’s also about ensuring the visibility of your content, and that means monitoring your analytics. Ego lets you monitor multiple analytics tools at once, including Tumblr, Mint 2, Ember, Vimeo, Squarespace, Google Analytics, and FeedBurner. Ego can help you determine what’s working – if your updates are improving traffic, and whether your navigation structure is effective in leading users to what you want them to find. (Cost: $1.99)
3. WhatTheFont (iPhone)
Typography is a huge factor in conveying professionalism and originality for any project. If you see a font you like, even if it’s on a poster or the side of a bus, WhatTheFont can identify it, preview it, and put you in touch with the font’s owner. It’s a great tool to explore new styles and make sure your content stands out. (Cost: free)
4. AndFTP (Android)
If a client’s website (or your own) is having a meltdown while you’re out of the office, you don’t want to have to wait to do something about it. AndFTP allows you to update, upload, and view files from your phone or tablet, so you can make necessary fixes from wherever you are. It supports multiple domains from FTP, FTPS, and SFTP connections, with a lean, simple interface. (Cost: free)
5. View Web Source (Android)
This app allows you to view the source code of any page loaded on your smartphone, which means you can crack open anything that catches your eye online, and see what makes it tick. It’s a great way for aspiring designers to learn from sites they admire, or for professionals to diagnose problems in their own sites when they’re out of the office. View Web Source can make you a more skilled, agile developer, which will make you much more valuable to your clients. The app suffers from a clunky interface, but it’s worth learning to navigate it. (Cost: Free)
6. Adobe Photoshop Express (Android, iPhone)
Even with great apps, professional-level editing is hampered by your smartphoneís hardware and design, so this app is intended to supplement rather than replace at-home editing. Photoshop Express offers a lean editing tool that sticks to the basics, and does them well. You can adjust saturation, brightness, and contrast, as well as applying simple filters and cropping photos. If all you need to edit is small photos for your online content, you may not need anything more sophisticated. This app obviously works better on devices with large, responsive touchscreens, like an Android tablet from T-Mobile, but itís surprisingly effective on smaller devices as well. (Cost: free)
Guest article written by: Julia Peterson is a writer for AndGeeks.com, a popular website that provides up-to-date news, detailed commentary, and unbiased reviews on cell phones and related topics. Julia resides in Galveston, Texas in a cozy little house in the country with her husband, young son, and their Labrador retriever, Darby.
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