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Plain text files are great because they are low on file size, but they are extremely limited when it comes to presentation. To that end, noted blogger John Gruber created a simple markup language called Markdown, which allows for easy formatting for writers and increased readability when displayed. The syntax used in Markdown is simple to learn and use, and can be processed by a number of programs. So what’s all this got to do with your documents?

Most text editors for mobile devices typically allow either plain-text editing or rich document editing, which are both cumbersome to deal with when it comes to posting your content on the web. With Markdown, you can create formatted text documents that are as light as plain text files, read them using any plain text editor and display the content with headings, bold and italic text and active hyperlinked text. And now, you can do this on the go with Draft.

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It’s National Novel Writing Month once again, time to challenge yourself to write 50000 words in 30 days, no easy feat! But with your Android device by your side, you can keep working on your novel or non-fiction book anywhere and anytime. Throughout this week, we’ll share our best apps, thoughts, and tips to help you achieve that writing goal.

As any writer knows, focus is absolutely key, and unnecessary distractions can really hurt the workflow. Most word processors are filled with bulky features that aren’t needed except for special projects that require formatting or tables. This means that they can easily distract from the primary purpose of the app.

Writer recognizes these aspects and strives to provide the most efficient writing experience possible on Android. It is an extremely simple word processing app that is designed to keep you submersed in your writing.

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We’ve been talking for years about going paperless in every sphere of our lives, but the reality is we’re not quite there yet — printed receipts, cheques, forms, and business cards are still very much an intricate part of our existence. And let’s not forget our notebooks, napkins and sketch pads. That being said, it’s always worth taking steps towards relying less on paper — going digital helps the environment and makes information easier to manage too.

That is why Genius Scan is a handy app to have on your home screen. It allows you to scan any printed matter using your device’s camera and save it for easy archival and reference. Whether you’re prone to misplacing documents or need to quickly gather notes for your next research paper, Genius Scan can be of great assistance.

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As a writer I need to be able to write wherever and whenever I can. However, a problem I recently came across was how can I write without an internet connection? After purchasing a Nexus 7 I desired a word processor with ability to express my ideas offline – but unlike iOS, Android doesn’t come with an integrated notepad app.

This was a problem, and I needed a solution. Fortunately, I came across Write, a notepad app which was designed specifically for tablets. I was impressed, and happy to fork out the couple of dollars it cost.

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If you follow a handful of websites regularly and you have heard of RSS feeds, chances are that you use the Google Reader service to stay on top of all the new articles posted every day. Google Reader offers a great collection of applications for Android, from the official Google Reader app, which is quite limited in its functions, to a slew of third party software.

Two of these alternatives, namely NewsRob Pro and gReader Pro, are aimed at the Reader power users. Being a power user myself, I have tried the two extensively and decided to share with you my findings.

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Google has made almost every attempt possible to become the company that you use every day to check your emails, spend time on your phone, read ebooks and even edit your documents. Google Docs, the online document editor, has been available in mobile form for some time now as a web app, and many users had their hopes dashed when the Google Docs app turned out to be little more that a ‘cover’ that redirects you to the mobile web app.

I must admit that it was not until recently that I really starting using Google Docs, having always preferred Microsoft Office for its functionality and design; however, when your documents need to be viewed by multiple people or you want to continue editing them from separate places, Google Docs can be your best friend with the new mobile app. While this free application is nothing revolutionary it shows that Google is trying to allow the user to have the best experience when using their applications.

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I’m sure that you, like me, have seen all those TV commercials for those Windows phones at the moment. The major point Microsoft is focusing on is that a version of Office is available on Windows Mobile 7. Gates and his crew are pitching it to people who feel tied down to the office and promises that it allows you to work on the move, which is certainly something that is very appealing in today’s society. Even Apple have ported their iWork office suite onto the iPad and although it is quite a cut down version of the one you’d expect to see on any Macintosh computer, it’s still relatively functional, if little basic.

Android users are a little spoilt for choice with regards to office suites. Google even finally pulled their finger out and recently released the long-awaited Google Docs standalone application for Android, but it does have limited features (to say the least). Other than that, QuickOffice, DocumentsToGo, OfficeSuite and ThinkFree are all available for Android and all are priced around the $15 mark for the full editions (the free editions will often allow you to read Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents but not to edit them).

QuickOffice HD is, however, one of the very few office suites optimized for Honeycomb so I decided to give it a go on my Motorola Xoom tablet. Read on for my full review.
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Over a year ago, I discovered the joys and versatility of Read It Later. I was working a 9am to 8pm shift and I needed a way to catch on my reading during the breaks, that would sync with my main computer and work offline if possible. Read It Later instantly rose to the challenge thanks to a lovely Firefox extension with Google Reader integration, a simple interface, and an iOS version for my iPod Touch. Needless to say, I was waiting anxiously for the Android version of the app to come — and now that it’s here, I, along with many other fans of the service, can finally rejoice.

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