With all the bells and whistles tucked away in your Android device, you would expect it to be just a bit more useful in your life. These are not just your every day cellphones of decades past. They have mics, speakers, WiFi, GPS, temperature sensors, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and probably a bunch of other stuff that I’d have to ask Google search to help me list.
Forget just being reminded about simple stuff like emails, tasks, and phone calls. Let’s take a look at a few apps that go beyond your standard reminders and help turn your Android into a backup memory store for your own brain.
RX Pal acts like a pharmacist right in your pocket. It’s an easy-to-use and flexible app that reminds you when to take your meds. Whether you have a chronic condition, need to remember your daily vitamins, or just aren’t ready for kids, RX Pal is the app to help you keep things in order.
Pre-configured meds with common settings help make recording your “transactions” quick and easy. Not only does RX Pal remind you to take your meds, but it also records your history and helps keep track of your inventory. It will even let you know when you need a refill and store the contact info for your pharmacy.
Price: Free / $0.99 for the ad-free or multi-patient version Requires: Android 2.2 or above Google Play Link:RX Pal Family Developer:Neca Soft
This is a life saver of an app. There is nothing quite like staring at your caller ID and being afraid to answer the currently incoming call because you know there is something you forgot that the caller is going to ask you about. Problem is, you have no idea what that something is! bytNotes is a simple little app to help solve that problem.
It allows you to attach notes to any contact for things you need to do for or remember about that contact. When they call, these notes are displayed as an overlay on your incoming call screen. Whether you completely forgot your anniversary or a birthday, or never filed those TPS reports, bytNotes will help you get your wits about you before you answer that call.
Price: Free / $0.99 for ad-free version Requires: Android 2.1 or above Google Play Link:bytNotes Developer:MSGA
Notification Bubbles puts an interesting twist on your standard notifications. You might notice that you’ve become so used to these standard missed call, email, and messaging notifications that you just kind of ignore them. It’s not intentional, but it’s what happens when your device dings a lot.
Notifications Bubbles gets around this problem by pulling your notifications out of the bar on top of your screen and putting them smack-dab in your face. It uses a live wallpaper to display your alerts as bubbles on your home screen. Pop the bubbles to respond to the alerts. You can even compete with friends to see who has popped the most bubbles and been the most productive.
Having a smartphone in your pocket is extremely convenient for receiving as well as making calls. That is, of course, assuming you remember to make that important phone call!
Call Reminders makes it quick and easy to schedule reminders for making or returning phone calls. You create these reminders manually from your contacts, or use the convenient notification option that pops up after every call. Never forget a callback again.
The name says it all, but the functionality may make you wonder how you lived with out it. Missed Call Reminder reminds you that you’ve missed a call or message. It goes beyond a simple icon in your status bar, repeatedly reminding you at an interval you specify until you actually acknowledge it by dealing with the missed event or turning off the notification manually.
The notification area can get crowded, so this app can definitely come in handy to help prevent your contacts thinking that you’re ignoring them.
Forget remembering the milk. If you forget the bills, you won’t have any milk money to begin with. This is what Manilla is all about: reminding you to pay your bills. There will come a time in your life when money is no object and bills are of no concern, but most of us haven’t got there just yet.
Manilla plugs into more than 1,400 providers so you can easily see who you need to pay, how much you need to pay, and when you need to pay it. It’s easy to setup, alerts you when a bill is due, and even makes it easy to go pay the bill online. All it needs now is the ability to provide the actual bill money (this feature is likely not in the works).
Spoty works a bit like the Reminders feature on iOS. (Keep in mind, though, that Spoty was already a featured app on the Android market when Jobs announced Reminders.) Basically, Spoty reminds you to do stuff based on your location. It will even take specific actions like blocking calls, texting people, and changing your device profile based on where you are.
The user-interface is not perfect, but it’s pretty good for the complexity and flexibility that the app provides.
Something as simple as forgetting to change your oil or neglecting servicing your brakes can cause your car to have a really bad day. Don’t be that person on the side of the road wondering why their engine is smoking. Car Maintenance Reminder makes it easy to remember those things you need to do for your car that nobody gives a second thought to.
Get notified when your car needs work and easily keep track of fuel usage and efficiency. It’s especially useful if you’re more geek than gear-head.
If you use eBay to buy and sell stuff, this app is likely for you. The app provides you full functionality for buying, selling, bidding, and paying for items while mobile. More importantly, it reminds you about “items ending, being outbid, outstanding offers, new items matching your saved search criteria, new messages, and when an item status has changed.”
With the help of this app, you’ll never be outbid again, even (especially?) if you’re buying something you likely don’t need!
A little something for ladies: brought to you by Rethink Breast Cancer, this app reminds you to show your lady parts some TLC (That’s “Touch. Look. Check.”) but uses hot guys to do so. Choose your type of guy, and he will popup on your screen to provide a bit of encouragement and a reminder to touch yourself.
Get your mind out of the gutter! Detecting breast cancer early gives you a much higher chance of beating it.
If you still haven’t completely cut the cable, you likely still have a few shows on TV that you actually enjoy watching. While House is no longer one of them (since they cancelled it and all) this little app will make sure you never miss an episode of your favorite show. Choose your favorite channels and set reminders for specific shows and series.
Price: Free Requires: Android 2.1 or above Google Play Link:TV Guide Developer:TV Guide
Life Reminders, as the name implies, is your reminder jack-of-all-trades. It can remind you of pretty much anything: email that needs to be sent next week, meds you needs to take, mom’s birthday, important calls, and about anything else you could imagine.
Life Reminders sets itself apart from other apps by being a bit more comprehensive while also providing a decent interface for specifying these complicated contexts.
Locale is another location-based reminders app. It comes at a price, but that’s simply because it’s a very polished app which includes customer support and is fully extensible with plugins. Locale also boasts low battery usage.
There are currently over 300 Locale plug-ins on Google Play, which means you have a huge number of ways to implement your reminders. The app is actually nice to look at and the location reminders are easy to set up.
No article on Android reminders would be complete without mentioning Tasker. It is, hands down, the most flexible and feature-filled app of its kind. It will not only fully automate your Android device, but it can remind you of just about anything given just about any conditions. This is not really an exaggeration.
This power and flexibility come at a price, though. While apps like Locale and Spoty provide somewhat intuitive interfaces for creating reminders, Tasker has a bit of a learning curve to it. If you like hacking, tweaking, reading documentation, and being able to force you Android to do your bidding, then Tasker is likely the best choice for you. Going over the features of Tasker is a post all by itself, and we’ve previously covered it in detail.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are too many apps to name that help us memory-challenged people. From remembering the milk to making sure you get your brakes checked the next time you pass the mechanic, there is something out there for all of us. This list should serve as a jumping off point for finding just the app you may need. What apps do you use to make sure you don’t forget?