15 ways Android helped me save money (lots of it)

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 08:  The Motorola Backflip...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

A bit of History First

It was roughly a year ago that I got my first Android phone. Unlike the advertisements in India, where a first android has to be a dead cheap phone, mine was a rather very expensive Motorola Backflip. I gave motorola Rs. 17000/-- for the having manufactured me this phone. The device came with Android 1.5 (with no update till date for Asian customers), which is the element of surprise to anyone who buys the device, for a high price tag. Thanks to Cyanogen, I could crack my device to Android 2.3. Except for the Motorola Nav (original Motorola GPS-Nav software), I have never missed the previous version.

The money saving Part

Here is the Savings calculation followed by it's 'Hows'?

Lets do this in Indian Rupees(per year) and convert it to Dollars, for ease on both Indian and International Eyes alike.

My phone has replaced quite a number of devices that were in close contact with me. Such replacements can be branded a victory when I don't miss the old devices anymore.

Here is a list of Devices that I can now do away with, because of greater efficiency that the Android phone provides me. And also given is the approx. spending on everone of these, every year.

  • Calendar : Rs: 200 per year
  • Wrist watch : Rs.1200 (assuming my Casio edifice [Rs.6000] is used for 5 years) 
  • Personal Organiser : Rs.800 ( a good leather bound one)
  • Alarm / Time piece : Rs. 250 
  • Pomodoro timer : Rs.250
  • iPod : Rs. 4000 min. to Rs. 20000 max.
  • At times a laptop : Can't be totally done away with, I'm typing with it
  • About 1025 books in Aldiko : (Rs.200 * 1025 assuming each book is appoximately Rs.200, which is an under-estimation = Rs.2,05,000/--)
  • Offline Dictionary : Rs.75/--
  • Newpapers and Magazine : Rs.2400/--
  • Voice recorder : Rs. 1500/--
  • To do lists : Rs.80/--
  • Inland letter and posts (email) : Rs. 2000 per year (by the number of emails we send)
  • Innumerable Volumes of Encyclopedia : (Rs. 12000)
  • Intangible Savings : (Intangible... I reapeat..intangible...)

TOTAL = "Rs.2,45,755/--" OR "$4,640.40" every year


The 'Hows' of it...

1. Calendar

Carrying around a calendar is a pain, given in size and dimensions. Android calendar stays within your phone, and the best part is it gets sync'ed with Google online calendar, hence doubling as a productivity tool and organizer

2. Wrist watch

LAS VEGAS - JANUARY 08:  The Motorola Backflip...


Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The greatest use I put my Casio-Edifice watch is to complement my formal dressing, and thats all, beyond which I never use it. All phones have a clock screensaver option, and Motorola Backflip has a damn-good-looking clock.

3. Personal Organizer

This could be a painfully long list. Rather lets stop with the most essential ones. 
  • A day journal to note down thoughts: Springpad
  • A long term notes manitaining tool: Evernote
  • Read-Later for Webpages : Instapaper {converted into a book( .epub format using the Instapaper website and used with Aldiko book reader)}
  • A torch Light : Though not an organizer, without this things could get disorganized in the dark
  • Documents: Word, powerpoint, excel and such office suite stuffs
  • A many more, for now, lets stop here

4. Alarm / Time-piece

An alarm just needs a gentle pat to silence it or snooze it. However, the Android app "Alarm Clock Extreme", makes you solve simple to advanced maths to enable silencing it. Waking Up Guaranteed.

5. Pomodoro Timer

A pomodoro timer is something cute enough that I would like to buy, unfortunately I don't know where would I get one in India. I searched it in app market and.....hundreds of apps for it!

Unlike Apple app store, Android apps are mostly free, and also good. "Paradox!"

6. iPod 

Only if someone wants to flaunt a white wire connecting the ears with the jeans pocket, it makes sense to use an iPod. With a support for 16 to 32GB memory card, why would I need a 8 GB overpriced iPod?! Besides have a look at all the Music options I can use in Android system
  • Podcasts
  • Online radio
  • Winamp player
  • a host of other players, which does even lyrics search on the Internet
  • Sharing my #np (now playing) to twitter
  • Social Music (knowing what others are listening and start tuning in into their playlist)
  • Amazon Audible.com app for audiobooks
  • and What not!

7. At times a laptop

As the name Backflip says, the device has a Keypad. A robust one indeed. There are apps for Wordpress, Posterous, Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, into all of which I actively participate and write articles, mostly from my mobile phone, from the most unusual places possible. 

8. About 1025 books in Aldiko

Aldiko Book reader is an award fantastic ebook reading software. It's free, as in beer. A few months ago, there was a torrent file doing rounds by the name "Thousand books to read before you die", it has now been removed due to copyright probs. I saved the equivalent of 1025 book's price. And thats all I am saying.

9. Offline Dictionary

There of course is online "Your dictionary" app, in the app market, but there are also many free offline-dictionaries for you to download. Vocabulary is knowledge right?

10. Newspapers and Magazines

Some of the Newspapers I really like are The Hindu, The Economic Times, and the Times of India. The International ones I like are WSJ, The NY-times, Ney-Yorker and Le monde.

Economic times and Times of India have a brilliantly designed Android app. The other websites work really fine in Opera browser or even the Android default browser.

11. Voice Recorder

I used to use a voice recorder a lot. Not anymore. I don't even use the Android default anymore. It is the Soundcloud app that I use now. It does quite some fixing on your recording and your recording is now podcast ready. Play guitar? Speak well? This is the place for you!

12. To do Lists

We all use to-do lists, some in the mind and some on paper. Some use it to buy milk and groceries, some use it for GTD (Getting-things-done). It's our own personal experiment. Whatever be the use, I use an app by the name : any.do. The design of this app is great and intuituive, something even Apple.Inc. can learn a thing or two from.

13. Post and Mail

Thanks to the e-mail, the image of a mail-train transporting written (not typed) posts can now be a part of classic or Gothic novel. Every email you send is saving you what? a cent or two? and how many do we send each day?!

14. Innumerable Volumes of Encyclopedia

This is somewhere everybody would agree with me. Android users or not. Invariably every Internet user would agree. Information availability has never, ever, in the history of mankind, been so easy and freely available.

15. Intangible Savings

This could include a huge variety of things, based on one's perception. Based on my perception, here are a few. 

Savings in Time/Money:

  • time taken to flip pages to find a page in a book
  • time wasted in bookmarking
  • time wasted in searching the written to-do list paper
  • money and time wasted in reaching the post-office and on stamps
  • Online shopping is a huge saving of petroleum, more often than not cheaper goods too
  • Ability to do things, when you can and not when you have to:
  •      Read news in office
  •      Listen to podcast while driving
  •      schedule a tweet/mail for later
  •      write first and schedule the blogpost for later
  •      reminders set for your event n calender and to-do list
  •      you get the idea right? In short : The ease of time-management


The Caveman with the sharpest weapon won. He evolved into what we are today. Today again, the human with the sharpest tool shall win and continue to evolve.


Here is a list of Further reads, that you could make use of : Happy reading.


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