Top 10 Android apps for Farmers (iPhone too)

Now that the new generation of Super Phones have arrived I have spent some time trying to find apps that help improve my personal productivity. Since I am a dairy farmer I’ve been looking for apps to help me be more productive on the farm. Most of these apps will benefit you no matter what your profession.

I have posted this article partly to help my friends who are moving to the Android platform. But I am also interested in starting a conversation here with other farmers about the use of mobile computing on the farm. If you have some apps you really like that I didn’t mention here, please include them in the comments. I just ask you try to relate the app in some way to on-farm productivity.

I included iPhone in the title since many of the apps I list below have iPhone equivalents. As a side note I think competition in the Android market is going to drive super phone technology and as a result all of us users will benefit. It is amazing to me how great these devices are, and they are really only in their infancy. 5 years from now things are going to look much different. I can’t wait.

I use a Motorola Droid but am looking forward to upgrading to the HTC Incredible or whatever next generation Motorola comes out with by the time I am eligible for an upgrade.

I should also mention I wrote this entire article while driving a tractor planting corn. I will post another article some day on how that works. For now I hope you find these productivity tools as useful as I do.

1. Remember the Milk – $25/Year – Free Online – RTM, oddly enough, has nothing to do with dairy or cows. It is a Things To Do list. It is a very advanced web based application that synchs to your Android phone. One thing I loved about the palm was the ease and power of its task list. I used this feature intensively. The only down side to RTM is there is an annual fee to use the Android app but I feel the $25/year more than pays for itself in increased productivity.

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2. Evernote – Free or $45/year premium – Evernote is a multi-platform note taking program. You can use it on your desktop, on the web, or on the phone. I use Evernote on my laptop to take notes at meetings, keep track of important pieces of information like frequent flier numbers, tractor and equipment maintenance and parts numbers, etc. I do a lot of inputing on my desktop then access the info from the phone. I also use the voice note feature on the phone when I am driving around and want to leave myself a note for later retrieval. I currently use the premium version. I use it to synch files between my desktop computers and backup important documents.

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3. Bubble – Free – (Search Android Market) Bubble is basically a bubble level. You will be suprised how often you need a level on a dairy, farm, or around the house. I used this app just the other day to level the tool bar on a John Deere 1700 Corn Planter. You need to calibrate the level when you first download it. Use a regular bubble level for calibration.

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4. Target Date (lite) – Free – (Search Android Market) – Target Date is a simple program that calculates time between two dates. It also will tell you a date in the future or past by simply typing in a number. For example you can ask it what will the date be in 100 days from now. Or how many days are there between now and Dec 25. I use this to figure out planting and harvest dates and all kinds of fun other stuff. – No image available.

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    5. Ultra Chron (lite) – Free – (Search Android Market) – This is a stopwatch and count down timer. Basic. Useful. I use this to calibrate spray equipment. It was even used recently at our farm bureau’s candidate forum to keep time for the candidate’s speeches.

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    6. Weather Bug Widget – Free – (Search Android Market) – Weather Bug is a weather website. I like the Weather Bug Widget for android because the app gives you a lot of detail about the weather. Wind speed & direction, radar maps, and severe weather alerts. Very useful for planning on the farm. Especially the Radar. I also use an app called Radar Now which does only radar. It has a bigger map and higher radar resolution than most phone based radar services.

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    7. Calendar Pad – Free – (Search Android Market) – This is app extends the functionality of the default Android calendar which I found inadequate for the amount of use I give it. Calendar pad gives you month views that show your appointments. It also makes it easier to add entries into the calendar.

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    8. Real Calc – Free – (Search Android Market) – Real Calc has saved my life. This is the only calculator I’ve found for Android that does on the fly unit conversions. I use this feature a lot.. For example I want to know the number of acres for any given pass of the corn planter. I can enter (L) 1280ft x (W) 20 = 25600 sq ft. Then hold the conversion button and click SQFT then Acres. It will then return the number .587 Acres back to the calculator where I can then multiply by number of passes to get the total area. This is just one of many examples of what makes this the best Android calculator on the market. It’s a must have.

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    9. GPS Measure – Free – (Search Android Market) – This is a very cool app that will measure distance using the GPS in the phone and Google Maps. I use this tool to measure fields, check distance traveled for water, measure corrals and shades on the dairy, etc. It is not accurate enough to build a house with, but for big jobs it does good enough. I plan to send the author a note and ask if he can make the app have the ability to measure three or more points and give you the area contained within. This would be very helpful for measuring fields. – No image available.

    10. My Maps Editor by Google – Free – (Search Android Market) – All this app does is allow you to access “My Maps” in google maps. I use google maps to mark and keep track of field data. I can use this little app to access that info from my phone in the field. You can also set up lists of places for a trip on your computer then access those points from the road.

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31 thoughts on “Top 10 Android apps for Farmers (iPhone too)

  1. Hey Dino – Good stuff. I am wondering with all these cool apps how you find the time to farm??? :-) Too bad you don’t have any apps for the old standby – THE BLACKBERRY!

  2. I tried the blackberry for awhile. Wasn’t a very effective PIM. Great at email, that’s about it.

  3. Hi!

    I randomly came across this article as I Googled for area measurement to see how my newly published application for android is doing. I have actually written an application that let you measure the area of a region by using the GPS and have got a mail from a farmer that used my application to divide his pastures into smaller parts. Be sure to check it out. It is called distance and area measurement and is published on Android market, and should be possible to find in several other places as well. For example: http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/tools/distance-and-area-measurement_ighf.html

  4. For the iPhone there is duping and tractorhouse also tart I wish Simone would make a simple record keeping app for farming!

  5. Hello I’m a student from Liverpool John Moores University and I’m studying Product Design and I also live on a farm. For my final Year project I’m designing a moisture meter that can be fitted into a farms drying system and my plan is that once the moisture meter has sampled the grain it sends a signal to the farmers Iphone updating him/her with the level of moisture of their grain. I need to design an app for the Iphone if anyones got any tips it will be much appreciated and also do you think this is an app that farmers would like to use?
    Thanks James Padget

  6. Pingback: More on SMBS’ plan to add wireless to their FTTH network « Blandin on Broadband

  7. Pingback: Android down on the farm. « Ray-Lin Dairy

  8. Hi, do you knwo of any specific dairy farming application / software / note taking pad or something for body weight / body condition score / feeding. Do you know anything related to that? Any good example? I was thinking if there was a application for Ipad where you could enter BCS of cows and it shows you previous BCS and then a graph of averages, don’t know!

  9. I’m a farmer from ND just getting into iOS programming, I made a app called farm tools on the iTunes app store, I’d love some feedback and maybe more options that I could add.

  10. I have just released Seed to Harvest for iPhone and iPod touch – fast and easy record-keeping for natural and organic farmers.

    You can download the “lite” version for free by searching for “Seed to Harvest” on the Apple App Store. More details are also available at http://www.alexsoftwaredevelopment.com/SeedToHarvest.aspx .

    I hope someone finds this usefull. You can leave feedback and follow Seed to Harvest on Twitter or Facebook for updates and tips.

    Twitter: http://twitter.com/SeedToHarvest
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Seed-to-Harvest/324323374297844

    Alex Schimp

  11. Hello, my name is Claire DePalma and I am currently working for a consulting firm hired by the Rockefeller Foundation. Celebrating the Rockefeller Foundation’s centennial, they are giving out grants to the most innovative organizations or ideas that focus on farming, irrigation, and data innovations, in the global south. Seeing as your blog works to better the data industry, I invite you to consider entering in this competition.

    For more information please contact Maria Pazo at, .

    Thank you,
    Claire DePalma

  12. Im a farmer from Australia and have two iPhone apps out , one is called farm manager and it helps farmers record farming information onto your iPhone and the other one is called Farm Contractor and this helps farm contractors record client and job details and allow you to email them back to the office to be invoiced .Check them out on our web site http://www.stringybarksoftware.com

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  14. I`m stil doing my pasture measuring the old school way.
    I`m looking for a app that makes pasture measuring with a plate meter easier, where you can put the amounts into the app and not having to walk with pen and paper.
    Thanks

  15. checkout the manure pit capacity estimator. designed for dairies and other livestock operations that have to be involved in manure management

  16. I’d like to recommend Field Tracker Pro from Farm-Apps Inc as a crop and field recording app. It’s a super easy to use app for any existing smartphone, tablet and computer.

    Visit the website for more info to sign up for a no obligation 30-day free trial at http://www.farm-apps.com

  17. Sure wish a lot of these apps would work on a desk or laptop. Many times I don’t like dealing with the tiny screen when a monitor is right in front of me.

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