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Best Android Apps & Games

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A collection of the best and our favourite Android apps available. This page will be updated regularly, adding new and better apps, so make sure to come back regularly to keep up with the latest apps.

Apps and games are in no specific order whatsoever.

We’d greatly appreciate it if you could also share this page!

Productivity & Storage

Dropbox
Google Drive
Box.net
Any.DO

Games

Angry Birds Space
Where’s My Water?
Cut The Rope
Cut The Rope Experiments
Grand Theft Auto 3
Fruit Ninja
Reckless Getaway
Spirit HD
Temple Run
ShadowGun

Do you think I’ve missed a vital app which should be included on this list? Tweet it to me – @Techfreak96

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Shit Apple Fanboys Say

Get ready Apple fanboys, get ready to be made a mockery out of. This hilarious video points out all the shit that Apple fanboys always say. It just shows how being close-minded and not being open to anything else can make you sound, you also end up looking like a fool and very ignorant. Same goes for you Android fanboys out there.

 

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) review – Android’s sweetest flavor yet

How does Jelly Bean look?

The build’s aesthetics generally looks like ICS but with a few tweaks here and there, which is a good thing. The problem that Android had previously was that the UI was and still is inconsistent in some areas. Jelly Bean adapts itself on the dark “Holo” theme, which is the Tron-like blue, black and gradient grey theme you can see in the settings below:

The theme itself is also a part of the open-source project for Android, which basically means that developers can adapt the theme to their apps, which was originally introduced in the ICS source – a good example of a current application that uses this is Boid for Twitter (pictured below).

Boid looks fantastic, and I believe that by Android having an actual theme, it could make applications a little more aesthetically consistent in future. However, I do feel that something like this should have been done a long time ago, but still, it’s better late than never.

Notifications

The notification slider is one of the greater features of this build and it’s easy to use. You can close or remove notifications by swiping left or right on them, and your Gmail notification will show the last few email headers in one notification. The option of collapsing and closing all of the notifications is still present also. I think the only bit of criticism I can give the notification slider is that the colour scheme could match the system theme a little better, because in my opinion, the notification slider looks like it is part of another operating system.

Social integration with Google+

Google announced at its I/O conference that it was pleased with the fact Google+ has been used primarily on mobile so it has enhanced both its Android and iOS app, and also incorporated the ability to share things via the notification slider. For example, if you wanted to share a screenshot from your Android on Google+ or simply give this notification a +1, you can do this all from the notification bar, which does make things easier seeing as having to manually go into your image gallery or the social media application of choice does take a little longer. This simply is a quick method and takes away navigation time, which is always welcomed.

Typography

A new font is present in Jelly Bean and it actually looks cleaner and nicer than the default ICS font. This new font is modern, easy to read and generally blends into the theme and the UI extremely well. The font itself is an improved revamped Roboto font and is used for notifications and demonstrations on the introductory setup page when you first boot your Android 4.1 device. The font was also used for the logo in the unveiling of Jelly Bean.

The performance

I think the majority of Android users are concerned about “Project Butter” and the performance improvements it has to offer and I can honestly say it’s butter better. The Android system now takes into account the device’s CPU, GPU, RAM and battery; and as a result, this allows maximum optimization at no cost of performance or power. For me, the most notable changes were when I purposely swiped slower on my application grid to see if things would judder or lag and it was pretty smooth, whereas on ICS there was noticeable lag – I continued to play with the system and its use in applications and I got the same positive performance and feedback from the system.

Functionality

The functionality is pretty much like Android 4.0’s, so as a whole, there isn’t a whole lot left to do to improve it. The system multi-tasks extremely well without a loss in performance and the ability to share things on social networks whether you’re on the web or in your gallery was really embraced in Android 4.0. This means that only minor things were tweaked in Android 4.1 such as the ability to view pictures after you take them by swiping left or right, as opposed to clicking the one thumbnail previously available and accessing the gallery from that.

Additionally, Android now lets you sync details with your email account and other accounts from the settings menu, meaning that Google wants you to use cloud storage and services to store and transfer data, and this is really the thing that keeps me tied to Android – I never lose my data.

Google Now and voice searching

Functionality also improves with Google Now integration which is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri. The idea behind this application is that is uses data entered on Google services and social networks. Google then uses this information to pick out things that you may be interested in and will also give you suggestions of things to do, depending on your location.

Google has powered this service with its new language engine meaning it can point out different words which are spelt the same depending on the context in which it is used. This means words like ‘Worcester’ and ‘Wooster’ will never get confused with each other, which then means results are often proven extremely accurate. I think Google has really innovated and made a service which covers all grounds of accurate voice searching. This is simply one voice searching application worth using.

Android Police had previously posted a voice command demonstration of Google Now which we covered, but it will give you an idea of what Google Now can really do in the video below:

Conclusion

All in all, I’d say Google understands that ICS was its best release yet, both performance wise and visually. The release of Jelly Bean uses the same theme, meaning that it gives developers a lot of room to embrace the system theme for their applications.

The whole idea of Jelly Bean, which you can see throughout the refined UI and performance improvements, is that it is an improved ICS build with an extreme advantage over functionality including the best voice searching we’ve ever witnessed, thanks to Google Now.

However, I and many get the feeling that Google won’t push Jelly bean updates to many devices, which was also a real problem last year when a lot of OEM’s denied pushing ICS builds for their devices – it also explains why HTC, Samsung and Asus were the only three companies named as the ones who will be releasing Jelly Bean updates to their devices at the I/O conference. As a result, I generally feel that Android 4.1 devices will simply be for high-end devices, until I’m proven wrong.

I think that if you’re planning to jump ship to the Android platform from another mobile OS, then you should really invest in an Android 4.1 device – preferably the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 tablet or whatever the next Nexus phone may be. The AOSP version of Android is something me and resident Neowin writer, Tim Schiesser have praised repeatedly in the past, both for its UI and general lightning-fast response to gestures.

Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is slick, beautiful, fully-functional and it isn’t the same clunky and ugly OS we saw a few years ago. Android 4.1 screams ‘modernity’, both visually and with its text and voice search features incorporated within Google Now.

How to improve Samsung Galaxy S2 battery life?

Samsung Galaxy S II had a poor battery life. Yes, Samsung Galaxy S2 battery life is bad if you don’t change anything and leave it as stock settings. But no worry, there is lot of tweaks and hacks to increase Samsung Galaxy S2 battery life. How to improve Samsung Galaxy S2 battery life? In short, disable those stuffs that you don’t use.


Increase SGS2 battery life

How to increase Samsung Galaxy S2 battery life?

Reduce display brightness
Samsung Galaxy S2 Super AMOLED Plus is the biggest battery life eater of all. By disable Automatic brightness and set it to the lowest level will improve battery life a lot.

Remove unused widget
The more widget you have, the more battery life will be eaten especially those widgets that use data connection and auto sync based on schedule. Therefore, only keep those widgets that you really need.

Poor signal decrease battery life
Phone will use more power to increase signal strength. Always make sure that your phone has a good signal reception. Switch to 2G if 3G connection signal is poor at your area.

Turn off 3G data connection, use Wi-Fi
Always gets connected with Wi-Fi when available. 3G data connection eats more battery compare to Wi-Fi connection. Turn off both of them when not needed.

Disable / reduce auto-sync
Data connection eats battery life. Disable or reduce background scheduled auto-sync applications like Gmail, Twitter. And reduce the frequency of auto-sync will also help to improve battery life too.

Turn off Bluetooth, GPS
If you don’t use Bluetooth or GPS, turn them off. Only turn on them when needed.

Turn off motion sensor
If you don’t use Samsung Galaxy S2 Motion features like turn over, tilt, panning and double tap, turn them off. Or just enable those you are using only.

Turn off new Samsung Apps notification
For those who don’t use Samsung applications like me, you can turn off new Samsung Apps notification. (Settings – Application – Samsung Apps – Off).

Use solid black static wallpaper
Samsung Galaxy S2 Super AMOLED Plus uses less power on solid black wallpaper because (almost) no backlight is output. And try not to use beautiful live wallpaper. Why? Lovely animation costs you ~ CPU power == battery life.

Fully close application that not use
SGS2 is a great multitasking machine. But by letting lot of applications running at background actually increase battery usage because they still require CPU processing. So fully close those applications that not needed.

Undervolt and underclock CPU
Besides display, SGS2 CPU is the second biggest battery life eater. If you don’t need 1.2GHz processing power, underclock and undervolt it with SetCPU for Root Users.

Freeze unused bundle applications
You can freeze Samsung bundle software like Social Hub, Email, Maps if you don’t need them with Bloat Freezer or Titanium Backup Pro. Why? They are running as service even you are not using them at all.

Use latest leaked official firmware
Android OS is using too much battery? It’s time for you to upgrade to latest leaked official firmware. Latest firmware fixed bugs and improve performance. I am using XXKG5 firmware now and battery life is better than stock XWKF1 firmware. ~ How to install firmware on Samsung Galaxy S2 with Odin?

Use custom firmware
Custom firmware has lot of optimizations, tweaks to improve performance, battery life and user experience. Do try it if you can. ~ Top Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread Firmware for Samsung Galaxy S2

Any other tips and tweaks to improve battery life that I missed out? Let me know… ;)

Pulse Cycles Your Desktop Wallpaper Based on Keywords

Windows: Pulse is a free program that downloads and cycles through wallpapers based on any keyword you give it.

We’ve featured a few ways to mass download wallpapers before, but if you have more specific tastes, Pulse will sit in your system tray and automatically cycle through wallpapers by keyword, like “cosmos” or “landscape.”

Right now, it’s in beta, and only uses one site—rewalls.com—as its source, but eventually it’ll support more wallpaper sites. It works better for certain search terms than others (for example, “space” returns a strange mishmash of results, while “cosmos” returns a very specific set of wallpapers), so keep trying if you aren’t getting the results you want. It’s also worth mentioning that rewalls.com is a Russian site, so there may be some loss in translation. A good way to start searching is to translate rewalls.com into English and look at the tags on the right hand side of the page—those should return some good results.

Pulse is a free download for Windows only.

Pulse <- Click here for Download

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your Stuff

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffFiguring out the smartest places to store your stuff is time well spent—mostly because it results in time you don’t spend cleaning. Here’s are 10 smart storage solutions for your excess cords, shoes, spices, and all kinds of computer stuff.

Photo via Instructables.

10. Make Your Shoes Float

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffFormal shoes, work boots, summer wear, running shoes, the spare brown pair—even those with minimal fashion sense can end up with lots of these suckers. You could pick up one of many hanging/sliding shoe storage solutions, but we dig both the look and convenience of this DIY “floating” shoe rack. For a slight upgrade, This version goes one better, hiding the hanging hardware entirely out of sight. (Original posts:onetwo).

9. Keep Your Cats and Their Necessities Hidden

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffCats are great, generally low-maintenance creatures, but the stuff they need and like does take up some space. Avoid sacrificing a room or closet to mother nature’s needs with some litter box modifications. The ideas for turning big cupboards,entryway shelves, andunder-sink spaces all come from IKEA modifications, but other furniture builds and storage bins can be adapted, too. As for providing some space for Whiskers McMeowerton when he’s not taking care of business, you can convert a bookcase into a cat tree, or fulfill every cat’s cardboard fantasy by converting a box into a kitty chaise lounge. (Original posts: furnitureentrywayunder-sinkcat treecat chaise).

8. Get Your Bike Off the Floor

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffBiking is a lot more fuel-efficient than driving, but keeping a bike assembled in your home isn’t space-efficent. Avoid paying for pricey bike mounts with some DIY offerings, like afew tension cables, a very cheap, board-based version, a modification of an IKEA storage pole, and that pole’s carpet-friendly cousin. (Original posts:DIYrevisitedIKEAcarpet-friendly).

7. Make Your Filing Cabinet Actually Useful

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffIf your filing cabinet serves more function as unintended shelf space than an actual filing destination, it probably needs some work. Gina showed us her extreme filing cabinet makeover, touching on the physical changes she made to make paper shuffling more convenient. Jason gave us a tour-de-force of his filing system workflow, which gave order and purpose to his old documents and made him actually want to file things away. Photo by Matthew Cornell.

6. Declutter Your Spices and Make Them Accessible

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffHaving spices you can read, see the fill level of, and easily access saves you time while cooking, and money on unnecessary purchases, as suggested by the Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories. Then there are the magnetic spice racks, which hang your dried goods both under a shelfand on the wall. Then, for those with quite a few spices to grab, there are the minimalist, all-access shelves that most anyone can make themselves. (Original posts: DIY spice jars,magnetic under-shelfmagnetic wallminimalist).

5. Stash Your Headphones Without Tangled Wires

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffHeadphones, of both the big-can and inner-ear variety, get tangled and never quite tuck away neatly. Not without some crafty assistance, anyways. Try installing a coat hook under your desk for a hidden-but-available hiding place. For your earbuds, first learn the “devil’s horns” wrapping method(R.I.P., Dio), then keep them together and close by with an old vinyl badge clip, or other makeshift wrappers.

4. Stash Your Peripherals When Not in Use

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffUSB headsets, USB cables, and other sometimes necessary gear will creep its way into your workspace if there’s nowhere to put it all. MAKE points us to a DIY iMac monitor shelf, utilizing the space betwen a flatscreen monitor and a wall to tuck away items so they’re within reach but out of sight. There’s also acommercial version, if you don’t like building your own mini-shelves. This Slashdot thread contains the thoughts of some very hardcore peripheral geeks on tidying up their wares (think velcro ties, not plastic zips), and our featured workspaces have provided some inspiration before, like thesehollowed out shelves, or this IKEA cabinet-turned-workspace. (Original posts: monitor shelf,IKEA cabinet).

3. Store Stuff Vertically with DIY Shelving

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffIf your home or apartment didn’t come with great shelving, don’t give up on it. Whether it’s books, gear, or just general stuff that needs a new home, you can give it space with“Hungarian” square shelves (as demonstrated in this workspace), more simply-made DIY shelving, or compression bookcases that don’t require any wall drilling. Lots more ideas and inspiration can be found at our full shelving collection. (Original posts:HungarianDIYcompression).

2. Tuck Your Cords Away

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffWe’ve covered far too many cord management tricks, techniques, and one-offs to cover inside one list item, but here’s an attempt. Adam and Gina have both detailed their own comprehensive cord clean-ups, and we’ve posted a notably cordless dorm workspace. Gina previously rounded up 10 cable control tips, and our full cord management tag page is getting regularly updated. Don’t let your cords litter your space and distract your mind—bend them to your will.

1. Hide Your Cables in Plain Sight

Top 10 Creative Ways to Store Your StuffIf you can’t find a space or a compartment to tuck your cords into, do the next best thing—consider creatively arranging them in plain sight. If design and sketching isn’t your forte, you don’t have to get quite so fancy—something like agreen cable “flower stem”, or an equivalent cable-as-hanging-platform idea, can fly just as well. If it’s a short distance and a flat space, and you’re willing to spend a little bit on style, we’ve dug the idea of FlatWire, too. (Original posts: creative displayflower stemFlatWire).