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10 useful Android apps for IT pros

Logan Kugler | April 11, 2011
Manage files, monitor servers, discover network devices, remotely access desktops and more.

Shrinking the desktop down to fit on your phone's screen obviously presents some disadvantages, but AndroidVNC is a neat and useful app. Another caveat: The target device(s) must be using VNC.

Astro File Manager Android app
Astro File Manager
Click to view larger image.

Astro File Manager

From: Metago
Price: Free

This neat little tool is designed to help you wade through the clutter of files and apps that accumulate on your phone. Astro File Manager offers a folder view of the phone, including folders for third-party apps and the contents of your root system folder. A toolbar makes it easy to navigate through the directory and includes buttons for searching, editing an entry and bookmarking folders.

What does this have to do with IT? Over a Wi-Fi connection, IT administrators can use Astro File Manager to track and control all the files in a network shared folder or system. Simply set up a network location via SMB (server message block) and readily view file details and permissions. You can also easily copy, rename or delete files.

Astro File Manager also kills tasks, sends files as attachments, and creates and stores backups of your apps. As with most free apps, the downside is that you have to put up with banner ads.

bMonitor Server Monitor

From: bSoft
Price: Free ($1 donation requested)

One of the many nightmare scenarios for an IT professional is having servers go down while you're out of the office -- and not knowing about it. bMonitor can help ease the stress of that scenario by keeping you updated on the status of your servers. The app works by testing servers remotely via ping, port or Web page monitoring.

If the server does not respond, bMonitor will ring your phone, alerting you to the problem. You can even have it ring different IT staffers when there's a problem; simply enter multiple phone numbers in the "Alert Recipients" field in the setup screen. All errors and other events are automatically logged in a text file on your phone.

One problem users have found with bMonitor is that constantly checking servers consumes a great deal of battery power. The app does, however, offer a variety of customization options, including one that lets you control how frequently your phone tests your server.

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