Best Free Android Apps to Help With Your Finances

This article focuses on the very best free Android finance apps. What can finance apps do and how will they help? Basically, for a short, all-encompassing answer: all these Android apps concentrate on money and if they are used, they will help you save some cash!

The debate of whether to pay for Android apps will continue forever. That’s a decision that needs to be made by you, the individual, and whether you think the paid version is worth $X.XX to you. Will it give you that amount of enjoyment or will it save you more money than you paid for it? These are good questions to ask yourself before you jump in and pay for an Android app.

Since we’re talking about finance apps that can save you money, it would be pretty ironic if I were pushing paid apps. Sure there are some amazing Android finance apps that cost money (many of which I would heavily endorse- but that’s for another day), but if the goal of downloading them is to save money, there’s no better way than to start off with nothing invested! Here they are: some of the best free Android apps that will help you with your finances!

Quote Pro

Get the latest stock quotes and news while being able to get very detailed information on the stocks you’re interested in (or the ones you own). This helpful free Android app also allows you to create and track your portfolio(s). While this app isn’t going to blow anyone away by the dozens of additional features that you may or may not want, its core functionality works extremely well.

Tip Calculator by TradeFields

This is another Android app that simply isn’t going to go beyond what it’s good at. This works perfectly as a tip calculator for anyone who wants (or needs) one. There are literally 100s of these tip calculator apps available and this one is the best. Why? For me, it has the best UI and is really foolproof. If you can dial a phone number, you can calculate everyone’s share of the 17.5% tip for the $127.56 dinner bill!

PayPal

This is a very useful free Android app for all of the 10s of millions of PayPal users worldwide. With this app, you can do all the same things you normally do on PayPal. But now, by paying for an item as soon as it’s allowable, you can help expedite the shipping process. You never know, this may not impact you at all for dozens of transactions and then the next time, you’ll get that amazing skin cream on Friday instead of having to wait till Monday! Trust me, after you’ve had this app for a while, it’s just nice to have access to PayPal 24/7.

Currency Converter

If you’re travelling abroad and want to have some peace of mind about the money conversion, you should download a free currency app. Why download just a random currency app when you can download the best of the best- for free?!? This Android app, developed by Pocketools, can provide you an extremely simple currency calculator in a very basic user interface. However, if you desire more currency information, this app can do that too: you can view currency trends over a 5 year period, graph any currency against any other, convert any currency to another (all currencies of the world are available on this app) or do just about any other thing you can think of if it involves any of the world’s currencies.

Mileage

This isn’t what you would typically think of as a finance app, right? It’s not, but it is. Most importantly, it can help you save money if you choose to dig deep into the information it provides you. It will track your vehicle’s gas consumption in a number of different ways that can be helpful if you’re trying to cut costs and your fuel usage. This app’s UI is very sleek and the data is very easy to read and interpret. It’s eerily fun and potentially a money-saving Android app!

Finance

This generic name represents the power of the developer of this Android app. It’s Google and this app provides real-time stock quotes. The UI is very solid; like most things Google, it isn’t flashy, but gets the job done nicely. If you’re a Google Finance user and you’ve loaded up a portfolio, this app will be a “game changer” as it’s fully synchronized and gives you access to everything as if you were on your home computer.

Personal Finance by PageOnce

This is a great Android app if you have many banking/credit card accounts and crave the ability to be able to stay on top of them from one easy-to-use source. This finance app is really well built and the UI is very pleasing to the eye. This is one of those apps that just keeps going. What do I mean? Well, the more you use it, the more features you’ll find and the more ideas you’ll have to utilize it! IMO, it’s a must have.

Financisto

This is another personal finance manager app. Like the other apps of this type, there are functions galore! It allows you to add many different types of accounts (checking, credit, savings- and multiple ones of each kind) into the manager, schedule and monitor recurring payments, create a budget (short term, long term or even set up a “project” which would be great for vacations) and filter what types of information you want to view during normal viewing or when checking out one of the many reports available. Amazingly, there is much more that this free Android app is capable of!

I’m leaving out some great Android apps, right? What about the huge banks’ and insurance companies’ Android apps?

*Of course, every major bank, credit card company and insurance company out there today have created their own Android app. What do they do? Well, essentially they’re all the same: these Android apps make it easier for their customers to manage their accounts and learn the latest about the company and its offerings. What’s the best thing? There’s a tie: they’ll make your life easier and they’re all free to download!

To list all these would really be beyond pointless as they’re all very similar and are only worthwhile to download if you’re a customer of the company. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t make use of them and you shouldn’t use them! I would suggest that you download and take advantage of as many of these Android apps that make sense for you. Having an up-to-the-minute balance for your checking account may just prevent you from those dreaded, expensive overdraft fees. Not a terribly bad thing for a $0 investment!

How To Develop Android Apps: Getting Started

In this article, I will give an introduction on how to develop Android apps. I will not get into many technical details but rather give an overview of the approaches you should consider before you get started.

Smartphones are taking the World by storm. In may 2012 a news item appeared which stated that in Europe, more than 50% of all new mobile phones sold were smartphones. In 2011 the worldwide sales figures of Android phones exceeded those of the iPhone, the phone that started the “smartphone revolution”.

With the growing number of Android phones, the number of available apps (small programs designed to work on these devices) has also grown explosively. In addition to mobile phones, other devices such as tablet computers that run on the Android operating system are also gaining popularity. The consequence of all this is that there is a growing need for Android apps.

The Google Play Store (formerly Android Market) is growing at an enormous rate: there are now over 500,000 apps available. These are very diverse: utility apps such as text messengers, task managers and email clients but also a host of games. The most popular apps are being downloaded millions of times. Other interesting categories are apps that enhance businesses. Examples of these are apps that enable customers to purchase products right from their mobile phone or apps that provide the location of a company branch in the vicinity of the user.

The increasing popularity of mobile apps gives rise to many interesting business opportunities. This trend is unlikely to change any time soon and established business around the world are acknowledging this fact. Not only have many businesses produced mobile apps to grow their revenue or enhance their image. The rise of mobile apps appears to be changing the way businesses and consumers think about software. A telling example comes from Microsoft: the new Windows 8 operating system has a “mobile look and feel” and the software programs in the system are now referred to as “apps”.

So, if you want to learn how to develop Android apps where should you start? It depends on your previous experience (if any) and the amount of time and money you are willing to spend.

The most obvious route is doing all the programming yourself. To do this you need knowledge of the Java programming language and the Android Software Development Kit. If you have never programmed before, you will have to learn a lot about subjects such as object oriented programming and working with the necessary developer tools. This is the long, hard road to becoming an app developer… however, if you succeed at making your first few apps, it can be extremely satisfying and you will have gained a lot of useful knowledge!

If you do not know how to program and don’t want to learn how to write Android apps then, fortunately, there are other options. Several software products exist which make the app for you. Most of these are online applications that use “wizards” and templates. A limitation of this approach is that you will not have as much control over the result as you would when doing all the programming yourself. Some of these app makers are free, others offer a subscription service or a one time payment.

If app creation software doesn’t suit your needs, a third way is to hire a freelancer or a company to do the developing. If you are an individual hobbyist or running a small business, this may seem intimidating and expensive. However, using a resource such as oDesk we now have access to many cheap freelancers living outside of North America and Europe. Many are very capable at their job, so developing your app this way does not have to cost much at all.

Personally, I started out trying to do all the programming myself. I couldn’t find an online app maker that suited my needs and I did not want to spend a lot of money. However, although I had a little coding experience, I am not a software developer by profession. So when a relatively simple programming problem reared its head, I got stuck.

After some hesitation, I decided to let a freelancer solve the problem and this sped up the development of my app enormously! It did not cost me a lot of money (around $100) and I was able to get the app to the market much faster than if I had done everything myself. This allowed me to start testing the responses of customers sooner to see if it was a viable business idea.

This “hybrid” approach worked for me but you will have to find out for yourself what works best for you. Which method you choose doesn’t matter as long as you reach your goal: making the idea you have right now for your app a reality. Something that people can use and enjoy, and perhaps will make you some money or help your existing business!

In conclusion, there are several ways to get started developing Android apps. With so much information and services at your disposal, you have the opportunity to make your “dream app” a reality!

The Building Blocks of the Android App

To build an Android app, a professional programmer must go about the process much as an architect would plan a building. It is an intricate experience that is more than just basic programming. In fact, the most successful Android on the marketplace took a great deal of thought and planning. The building blocks of the Android app that achieves considerable success include:

• Ease of use – Today’s fast-paced society necessitates a quick learning curve. Most people who own Androids do so in order to make their lives easier. These phones streamline the process of staying in touch with friends and family, bring the gaming world to a portable device, and allow for numerous shortcuts to daily routines. Create an app that necessitates a manual, and you will be hard pressed to find a loyal following for such a program.

• Attractive faade – If ease of use is the cornerstone used to build an Android, the aesthetics of an app is the next layer. Misspelled apps turn off users immediately as well as badly placed graphics or ugly colors.

• Useful program – The next step toward building a successful Android application is the program itself. It must serve a purpose, and whether that purpose is practical or recreational, it must stand out among the crowd. Hundreds of Android apps are available in numerous categories, so it makes sense to do a good deal of research before having yours developed. After all, it is no fun to release your app and then realize that three more exactly like it already exist. The program must be developed in such a way that people view its summary and want to have it on their Android. If you can’t imagine the response being favorable, do not proceed with the programming unless you do not mind if the application is successful or not.

• Keep your expectations high – If you have done all of your homework regarding your idea and you feel confident that it serves a niche in the Android marketplace that is not currently being met, contact a talented Android developer and commission him or her to start building it today.