Saturday, February 19, 2011

Data Usage Monitors for Android Roundup Published

I have rounded up various apps that collects stats about your data usage, how much of that data quota are you using, and so on, and tested each and every one, so you don't have to!

If you ever worry about going over your data plan, you need to read this!

Friday, February 18, 2011

AAQR: 3D Digital Weather Clock

3D Digital Weather Clock has the ability to give you clock that has nice weather on a 3D-desk with 3D clock, battery, date, and more.

And it's free.

If you enjoy taking up 4x2 space on your screen for just a clock, this is a pretty fancy one.

New Roundup: Blogger Clients on Android, mobile blog editors reviewed

Blogger, BlogAway, AndroBlogger, BloggerDroid reviewed... Which is the best blogging client for blogging on the go? Find out here:

More Weird Android Devices: Android Netbook In Japan

From NEC, this Android Netbook has a compact keyboard

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2011 Weirdest Android Phones Volume 1

Would you buy a $50000 USD Android phone?

How about a Lamborghini Android phone?

Here are 7 weirdest Android phones of 2011 (and 2010)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Android Web Browser Review Updated

The Android Web Browser Review Roundup has been updated to account for the new version of Netfront Life Browser. Changes are actually rather minimal, IMHO.

Home Replacement App Roundup updated

37 Home Replacement Apps Updated for the new version of Netfront Life Screen. Not that much change except Evernote integration.
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Android in Space? You bet. That's Google Android, really

Scientists are testing satellites built with modern smartphones, esp. Android phones.

Why? Smartphones are power sippers, easily powered by solar panels on a satellite, and doesn't even need to be that big, while it has everything from GPS, accelerometer, and more.

Imagine what sort of satellites that say "powered by Android"!
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AVI Player for Android Roundup Updated, added MoboPlayer

Added MoboPlayer, yet another software player out of China. It appears to be a clone of VPlayer. It has almost the same controls.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weirdest Android Phone of 2011: Final Seventh Candidate

LG Optimus 3D... That's right, 3D stereoscopic camera, dual core, 4.3 inch 3D display (no glasses needed).

Weirdest Android Phone of 2011: Sixth Candidate

Ever seen the Ulysse Nardin Chairman? This Android phone cost $50000 USD! (Missed it last year, as it's technically 2010 phone)

Not a Phone, but related to Android...

Ever seen the Sony Ericsson Live View? It's a mini Bluetooth auxiliary display that you can wear as a large pendent,or a watch. And you can use it as a secondary display AND remote.
I could have swore that I had this idea more than 10 years ago... Probably 20 years ago. :D
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Weirdest Android Phone of 2011: Fifth Candidate

Ever seen the Huawei Desk Phone running Android?

Weirdest Android Phone of 2011: Fourth Candidate

Would you buy a Lamborghini smartphone? Here's Torino Lamborghini Evolucione

Weirdest Android Phone of 2011: Third Candidate

Viewsonic Viewpad 10, dual booting both Windows 7 (NOT Windows Phone 7!) AND Android 2.2

Weirdest Android Phone of 2011: Second Candidate

The second candidate is the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play. As the name suggest, it is an Android phone like all other phones in the Xperia series. In fact, this one runs 2.3 Gingerbread. AND if you slide the phone open you'll find full Playstation Controller underneath. AND shoulder buttons.
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Weirdest Android Phone of 2011: First Candidate

Engadget highlighted a phone from Asia that's a mere $100 USD, solar powered (huge solar cells that covers the front), LED flashlight, and yes, it runs Android 2.2. Froyo.

Monday, February 14, 2011

AAQR: Norton Mobile Utilities (for Android)

Logo SymantecImage by tchuntfr via FlickrNorton Mobile Utilities (for Android) is a combo program that packs a lot of punch for only 600 KB. It has four main functions:

App manager -- kill running apps, as well as uninstall existing apps

Device info -- battery level, temp, CPU, memory, network, SD storage used, and system info

Usage meter -- how much voice minutes, text messages, and data did you use?

Installer -- install any apps found on the SD card, or delete them.

Unfortunately, it seems to be missing some features. It's as if each of these features are partials.

App Manager -- doesn't show services, or even make distinction between apps and services, nor does it stop apps from starting. It's basically task killer combined with an app manager

Device info -- nice graphs, but no history saving of any sort, nor any display in notification area like SeePU

Usage meter -- doesn't do per-app data measures, notifications of possibly exceeding quotas, estimate overages, even disable data

Installer -- really no big deal, as it doesn't actually make any backups. It is PURELY an installer.

Overall, it's nice to have multiple functions in a single app, but why are all four apps so... half-sized?

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AAQR: Netfront Life Browser V2.0

Netfront Life Browser recently upgraded to 2.0. While it looks about the same as the previous version, there was a few tweaks under the hood.

One of the new features is "tilt mode", which is half-way between portrait and landscape. Really. Hold the phone at 45 degree angle (between landscape and portrait) and you'll get a "slightly larger" virtual screen that's neither, but still scan be scrolled. WEIRD but usable!

The browser has a "main" screen. The top-half are similar to Coverflow. Each 'tab' is one panel. Swipe left and right to switch between them. When you go into the web view the bottom half disappears.

The bottom half are "history", "bookmarks", and scrapbooks.

History and bookmarks are obvious, and they are presented as front-back scrolling folder metaphor, very neat looking.

The scrapbooks needs a bit of explanation. Basically, you can clip any webpage you see by tapping the "scissors" icon and draw a freehand shape around the area you wish to clip. That clipping then can be shared with other apps, or clipped into the "scrap table".

From the scrap table, you can make 'scrap books' where you can toss in the various clippings from the scrap table. However, what you can do with them from there, I have NO IDEA.

If you "clip" something from a webpage, you can now "share" that with Evernote. However, this feels half-hearted, as once you decided to clip it to the scrap table, it can no longer be shared. Still, this is better than the normal browser, where the "Evernote" share only consist of an URL. You do get a picture if you shared it from Netfront Life Browser.

Supposedly if you use this on a a tablet with more screen space you'll get more bookmark previews and such on the nav screen.

Probably will not displace Dolphin Mini, but these features are VERY interesting.
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AAQR: AppMonster

AppMonster is a backup utility that actually backs up all your installed apps (APKs) onto the SD card, so if need be you can restore them. You can also restore an earlier version should you not like the "upgrade".

Just open the app and after it has cataloged your phone just hit "back up all" and let it get to work.

NOTE: This will not backup system apps, and protected apps (i.e. paid apps). However, those either came with the phone, or can be downloaded again from Android Marketplace.

Great if you plan to swap phones.

However, this will NOT backup your pictures, contacts, and other information.

This is also NOT the same as Titanium Backup. This is strictly for apps, and none even the attached data.

Useful as a secondary backup.

AAQR: App 2 SD

Not a backup app for your Android, but one that helps you move apps to and from the SD using the "move2SD" feature, where the app can reside partially in main "app storage" and a portion can be moved to the "SD card" secondary storage, leaving you with more room to install more apps.

While you can check apps individually to see if they can be moved (in "settings / applications / manage applications"), this allow you to move them all at once, or individually.

Keep in mind that if the app have any widgets, moving them to SD will break the widgets. Also, some apps behave unpredictably when moved.

This will not let you move an app that its designer had not marked it as movable.

Latest version also added a "cache cleaner" (for the apps) and ability to "ignore" an app even though it was deemed "movable". Perhaps it has widgets and such that you don't want to break.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

AAQR: Wormhole Live Wallpaper (U)

Wormhole, even the free version, is one of the best live wallpapers available on Android, and I am telling you, this is my favorite.

It looks good and takes up minimal CPU power on the phone. It reacts to side-swiping (to different screens)

The paid version looks better as it has more color transitions, but the freebie version is pretty good. On the other hand, why not donate the $1.49 USD to the maker for a good job and get the better version?

AAQR: DroidWall (Root Required)

DroidWall is a firewall for your phone. It takes the "whitelist" approach. Only apps that you approve can access the Internet. You have to specify exactly which app you want to access the Internet, and which not. It also logs which apps tried to access the Internet, and to which IP address did it tried to send packets of data.

The problem is you need to be pretty geeky to understand the log data. You get the raw IP addresses, no RDNS lookup here. It also will not ask you to let an app through. The only clue you'll get is when the app says it can't connect.

It also does not log how much data did each app used. For that, you'll need 3G Watchdog, CallStat, CallUsage, DroidStats, or a similar app.

Still, if you are worried about security, like what app is sending data out, DroidWall will keep your phone secure.

Need Some Help With MiniSquadron? Here It Is.

The MiniSquadron Unofficial Strategy Guide