Many people use multiple mobile platforms these days. A common situation is one where you have both an Android smartphone and an iPad.

it’s true that when you get used to certain tasks on one platform, they aren’t automatic on the other, but once you get past that, you can work seamlessly.

Why? It’s because of apps with multi-device ecosystems.

Multi-device ecosystems: staying in sync across devices

Here’s an example. Evernote is a useful app for keeping track of all kinds of information. One of their slogans is “available on everything you use every day.” Your Evernote account is available on the web as well as multiple desktop and mobile platforms — and your information syncs between all of them.

That makes it very easy to save information from your desktop and access it later on your smartphone or tablet (and vice-versa).

There are quite a few apps that work this way and that’s good news for the user experience of mobile computing.

50 best apps for our multi-platform world

All of the apps in this list are available for both Android and iOS. Most also have desktop clients or web clients. Some of them integrate with different apps on the desktop — for example if you scan a document with Genius Scan on your phone, you can send it directly to Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, OneNote, and a few more apps.

These are the best kinds of apps because we are in a multi-device world.

Available for both Android and iOS:


  • Feedly and Flipboard – read news feeds
  • iAnnotate PDF – read and annotate PDFs and other documents
  • Instapaper and Pocket – save webpages for reading later
  • Kindle and Google Play Books – read ebooks
  • Zinio and Texture – read magazines
  • Overdrive and Adobe Digital Editions – read borrowed library ebooks

Productivity & Writing

  • 1Password or LastPass – manage and generate passwords
  • Box or Dropbox – cloud storage
  • Dragon Diction or Dragon Mobile Assistant – speech recognition
  • Genius Scan and Neoreader – scan documents, scan barcodes
  • Google Docs, Sheets, Slides – word processing, spreadsheets, presentations
  • Evernote and Microsoft OneNote – personal content management
  • Mindmeister – mind mapping
  • and Wunderlist – to-do lists

Research & Reference  

  • Google Maps – mapping and geography
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary – dictionary with voice search
  • Wolfram Alpha – “computational knowledge engine”


  • Adobe Photoshop Express, Pixlr, and Snapseed – photo editors
  • Bamboo Paper and Autodesk Sketchbook – sketching and drawing
  • Pandora Radio, Spotify, Amazon Music with Prime Music – streaming music
  • Shazam and SoundHoud – music identification
  • TuneIn Radio Pro and Pocket Casts – streaming radio and podcasts

Communication and Social Media  

  • Buffer and Hootsuite – social media management
  • Google Hangouts – live video calls, group conversations
  • Instagram, Flickr – photo sharing
  • Skype – phone calls and group chatting via text, audio, or video
  • Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest – social media updates

Stay current with the best apps

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10 Tips for Finding the Best Apps

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