3WelcomeTo issue 24 «Welcome“NotonlyistheOneastunningdevice,butHTChasdemonstratedthatitisoneofthefewmobilemanufacturerswillingtopursueitsownpath“A QR code is a 2D barcode that can actas a shortcut for delivering information,such as weblinks. You’ll notice themthroughout the mag – scan them onyour phone and you can download appsand send us messages instantly.Welcome“A QR code is a 2D barcode that can act“HOW TOUSE THEQR CODESWhen it has read, the phone willbeep and vibrate, then launch the link.You may need to choose an app tolaunch it with.Launch the link2ShopSavvy FreeDownload this free barcode scannerto use our QR codes. Handily, you canscan normal barcodes with it too, tohelp you ﬁnd bargains on all yourfavourite purchases!Zero-click access to the bestapps in the Google Play storeOpen ShopSavvy, hit the Scan aBarcode button and then hold yourphone over a QR code so that it appearsin the window.Get scanning1»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook to send usyour comments»email@example.comDrop us an email and let us know whatyou’d like to see in the mag»twitter@lgrobotFollow us on Twitter and send usyour thoughtsThe last month has seen twomajor events for Android thisyear. The Samsung Galaxy S4was announced, and the HTC Onewent on sale. The S4 is withoutquestion the biggest – the latest in arange of devices that has helpedAndroid become the world’s biggestmobile platform. Reactions to the S4were actually somewhat muted, with many suggestingthat Samsung had followed Apple’s lead yet again andannounced, in effect, an ‘S3S’. That’s a bit unfair in myview. The S4 is not revolutionary, yet while the incrementalimprovements seen throughout seem small on their own,taken as a whole they amount to a pretty massiveupgrade over last year’s model. With hardware that isnoticeably faster and many new ideas on the softwareside, Samsung looks to have delivered another prettyamazing package.And then there’s the HTC One. There’s no doubt thatSamsung will blow it away in terms of sales, but I’m notexpecting to see a more beautifully designed, well thoughtout smartphone than it this year. HTC has been in thedoldrums for some time now, but it’s hard not to root forthe company and hope that it can turn things around. Notonly is the One a stunning device, but HTC hasdemonstrated that it is one of the few mobilemanufacturers willing to pursue its own path and trysomething different. At a time when so many devices arescarcely distinguishable from one another thatcommitment to innovation is more important than ever.MobiwolEvernoteGogobotECB CricketGoogle KeepHungry SharkEvolutionMY HOME SCREENOn (and off) Andy’sphone this month…GET IN TOUCHLet us know what you’dlike to see in next issue…Andy Betts EditorThis monthI’ve been using:HTC OneWithout doubt myfavourite phoneever. It is a trulyimpressive pieceof kitAPPSINAPPSOUT
Contents»Inside issue 24CONTENTS15SpecialofferforUSAreaders »54Exclusivesubscriptionoffer06 What to expect fromKey Lime PieWe look ahead to the launchof Android 509 Ubuntu for AndroidIs Ubuntu about to help turnyour phone into a desktopreplacement?10 Million SellersHow speech recognitionsoftware is racking up thedownloads11 The scare overmalwareHow to stay safe and clearfrom dodgy appsLauncherPreviews,news andspeculationfrom theAndroid worldwww.littlegreenrobot.co.uk12 10 things you need toknow about phabletsAn introduction to the phone andtablet combi14 Twitter appsWe take a look at some of thebest-looking Twitter apps16 MessagesSound off about anything andeverything to do with Android56 Hack-free hacksPowerful tweaksand mods that don’tneed root72 HTC One reviewWill HTC be able to giveSamsung a run for itsmoney with the One?24 35 Android secrets toenhance your phoneHidden features in your favouriteapps uncovered418 FirstlookattheamazingnewphonefromSamsungGALAXYS4
ContentsInside issue 24«Cutting-edge tablets andsmartphones on test78 Mid-range group testFour mid-range phones gohead-to-head72 Reviews72 HTC One86 Motorola RAZR HD88 Kogan Agora90 Archos GamePad92 BWC 10” tablet93 BWC 7” tablet94 AccessoriesPower up your phone or tabletwith this collection of goodiesEssential guides to getting morefrom your phone or tablet28 Master the Google appsGet more from the Google apps with thishandy guide32 Tutorials32 Use your phone as a remotecontrol35 Working with the new lockscreen36 Set up a uniﬁed inbox for all typesof message38 Merge Facebook and Google data39 Use Street View in Navigation40 Manage your internal and SD cardmemory65 7digital65 Audioboo65 BBC Sport70 Cordy 271 Die Hard67 Facebook Pages Manager63 Harlem Shake Creator Lite67 Highlight67 Hotel Tonight63 Lemon Wallet66 Lightning Browser66 Material67 Night Vision Camera71 Oddland67 Perfect36571 Pocket Stables71 QuestLord71 Real Basketball71 Robo564 Runtastic Pedometer70 The Simpsons:Tapped Out71 Sela The Space Pirate67 Skype WiFi63 Slide Meter71 Slingshot Racing66 Swapps!67 Thermometer63 Truphone62 Viddy67 Weather Live GoldAppsYour completeguide toGoogle Play62 App reviewsWe cast a critical eye over thebest new apps in the Play storeover the last month69 Free GPS appsWe test out two high-poweredalternatives to Google Maps70 Game reviewsThe latest games for phonesand tablets reviewedApp review index46 Hacking tips and tricksEssential tips for getting the most out ofyour Android device48 Tweak your kernel50 Increase memory by movingyour apps to ROM52 Copy your favourite apps toyour custom ROMExplore the limits ofyour Android phoneHackerZøneTutorialsReviews78 Mid-range maestrosFour leading mid-range phones go head-to-head32Use yourphone as aremotecontrolControl your othermedia gadgetsusing only yourphone or tablet»www.littlegreenrobot.co.ukCheck our website dailyfor even more news588 KoganAgoraIs this ultra-budget phonea bargain?86MotorolaRAZR HDThe latest in theRAZR range goeson test42 Droid SupportReaders’ questions answered, plustroubleshooting tips and tricks
6AllthelatestfromtheworldofAndroiddevicesAndroid5.0isfastapproaching,butwhatdoestheindustrywanttoseefromGoogle’slatestOSupdate?The yearly Google I/O developers conferencealways brings with it a certain sense ofexcitement and this year’s event is no different.Every year, the latest Android operating systemupdate is announced and following its dessert-focused path, this time around the event on May 15in San Francisco will see the unveiling of what isexpected to be called Android 5.0, Key Lime Pie (theversion number itself is largely irrelevant and doesnot necessarily correspond to the size of the release– previous 0.x version updates have often includedradical changes to the way the platform performs, aswell as introducing lots of new features). Google doesWhatcanyouexpectfromKeyLimePie?a fairly good job at keeping the details of each updateunder wraps, but that doesn’t stop the internetrumour mill from going crazy, and with that in mind,we’ve spoken to various people inside the industry tosee what they want, and expect to see, featuredwithin the latest update.Colin Adams, president of Andromo App Makersays: “As a user, I’d like to see continued speedimprovements in Key Lime Pie, like we saw withProject Butter in Jelly Bean. It really makes the wholeexperience feel faster. There have been rumoursabout Project Roadrunner for a while now, with talk ofimproved battery life as well. The addition of better/smarter power-saving modes and proﬁles would alsobe a nice addition.” Adams continues: “As Androiddevelopers, we’d love to see some new userinterface ideas, along with compatibility libraries sowe can use them on older versions of Android.Anything that makes it easier to make use of thelatest features in 5.0 while still supporting olderversions makes our lives easier – and results inbetter apps for everyone.”Building off the success of Jelly Bean is key forGoogle to get right, as Project Butter is still the bestway to enjoy the Android experience, and is still amuch better option than the likes of third-partyAllthelatestfromtheworldofAndroiddevicesWhatcanyouexpectfromKeyLimePie?WhatcanyouexpectfromKeyLimePie?WhatcanyouexpectWhen will you getyour slice of the pie?Ten months after Jelly Bean was ﬁrstannounced only around 16% ofAndroid users have devices runningthe OS, while around 40% are stillrunning Gingerbread from back in2010. We’d expect all new devicesfrom this year to get an update, aswell as the ﬂagship devices from2012 as well. As always it will be theNexus devices that are ﬁrst in line,with devices possibly as old as theGalaxy Nexus getting the new OSwithin days of its launch
8»www.littlegreenrobot.co.ukVisit us daily for news and morePhonePad–theultimateAndroidaccessory?ThePhonePadisatouchscreenpanelthatturnsanysmartphoneintoatablet,gamesconsoleandbusinesstoolinsecondsGameStick console showsitself off at GDCOne of the more unassuming games consoles to hitthe market soon is the two-inch GameStick. After asuccessful Kickstarter campaign, the tiny Androiddevice and its controller companion have beenshown off for the ﬁrst time at the Game DevelopersConference in San Francisco. When released in theUK, the device is set to cost an impulse-buying £60.Samsung set to start work onAndroid smartwatchSony’s SmartWatch reception was a very mixedaffair, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung deciding torelease its own. The Korean giant is looking to makea smartwatch that will tie in with not just its phonesand tablets, but also many other Samsung-brandedproducts to really dominate your living room. Nonews on a release date or availability, as of yet.Adobe brings the Photoshopexperience to AndroidAdobe is slowly bringing its full suite of apps to theAndroid platform and its latest, Photoshop Touch forphone, is the best yet. The app includes a ridiculousamount of photo-editing tools and ﬁlters to helpcreate the perfect photograph, but be warned, you’llneed a decent processor if you want to uncover allthe technical aspects of the app.Developments to watch inthe AndroshpereWHAT’SHOTUntil now, if you wanted to get the ultimateAndroid experience you’d need to buy aphone, tablet and many other Android-enabled products. But if you want to make yourwallet a bit happier, then you might want tocheck out a new concept called the PhonePad.With this touchscreen console you simply needto slide your phone into its adjustable base tosee your display on the big 10.1-inch HD screen.Once connected, the PhonePad can then bemodiﬁed into a clamshell laptop, which can havea keyboard wirelessly connected to it, a fullyuseable tablet or even a stationary gamesThe PhonePad is a jack of all trades,but is it a master of none?Fold PhonePad into a full 10.1-inch tablet Connect your controller and play some AAA titlesconsole. It caters for a wide range ofphones and the team behind it has manymore compatible devices arriving soonenough. If that wasn’t enough, thePhonePad is Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G compatible forbrowsing the internet at your leisure, andalso ships with an Xbox-styled gamecontroller that connects to the consolewirelessly via Bluetooth.You won’t be able to get your hands onthe PhonePad until May, but for the princelysum of £149.99 ($179.99) we’re sure you’llbe able to wait just a little longer.handshandshands-on
Get in touch!Send us your thoughtson all things Android»firstname.lastname@example.orgGot questions or comments? Dropus an email and let us know»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook tosend your comments»twitter@lgrobotFollow us on Twitter forall the latest gossip9WhatexactlyisUbuntuforAndroid?AnddoesitmeanthatourphonesandtabletscanreplacePCsforgood?AndroidplatformstoreplacethePC?According to its developers, the Ubuntuoperating system could be the next step ingetting our Android platforms to replace thePC entirely. Ubuntu is a free and open-sourceoperating system, based on Linux, that has anestimated 20 million users, worldwide. While this is atiny number compared to the 1.25 billion users ofMicrosoft Windows, the de facto standard operatingsystem for the PC, Ubuntu is, nevertheless, aheavyweight desktop operating system and it’scoming to Android.Ubuntu for phones was recently announced by itsdeveloper Canonical Ltd and will be available, as analternative to Android or Windows, later this year. Aversion for some tablets is already available, but onlyif you’re prepared for it to overwrite Android. Of moreinterest to Android users, though, is Ubuntu forAndroid which enables both Android and Ubuntu torun on the same multi-core handset at the sametime. Because both operating systems share thesame Linux kernel this doesn’t involve the emulationor virtualisation techniques that, traditionally, haveallowed one operating system to run inside another.UbuntucouldprovideaviableplatformforAndroidonourdesktopsRichardCollins,productmanageratCanonical“Anythingotherthannicheappealfornow”As a result,Android andUbuntu willboth run atthe maximum speedallowed by the processor.Canonical doesn’t envisage you using Ubuntu asan alternative to Android when you’re on the move.Instead, you’d use Android as normal when you’reout and about and then, when you return to thehome or ofﬁce, you plug your phone into a dockingstation that will give you access to Ubuntu with theadded convenience of akeyboard, mouse andfull-sized screen. Not onlythat but the two operatingsystems can shareaddress books, emails,text messages and thelike, thereby eliminatingthe need forsynchronisation. Richard Collins, product managerat Canonical, sees all this as a signiﬁcantdevelopment. “Ubuntu for Android is reallyimportant to giving users of high-end Androidsmartphones a fully embedded native Ubuntu PCexperience”, he said. “This is a PC capability inevery sense, meaning that when the Androidphone is docked to a desktop monitor, the userhas exactly the same set of Ubuntu services that“UbuntuforAndroidisreallyimportant…youareeffectivelycarryingyourPCinyourpocket”would run on normal PC hardware. You are effectivelycarrying your PC in your pocket.”However, David Ludlow, editor of ComputerShopper, the UK’s highest circulation PC monthly,isn’t too sure. “The ability to dock your phone andseamlessly switch to a desktop environment on amonitor sounds brilliant for people on the move, as itlets them carry around a complete personalsystem”, he agreed. “However, a phone can’tcompete with the power, ﬂexibility and storage of afull PC or laptop, so I don’t expect Ubuntu for Androidto offer anything other than niche appeal for now.”DavidLudlow,editorofComputerShopper
10»twitter@lgrobotFollow us on Twitter forthe latest updatesStay up to dateCatch up with the latestAndroid news and gossipWas Speaktoit initially launched to be a competitor to Apple’svoice assistant, Siri?No, Speaktoit was actually launched, on Android, before Siri andwas the ﬁrst conversation-based virtual assistant on the market.Siri did help bring a lot of attention to this app genre, though,which Speaktoit certainly beneﬁted from as Android users beganlooking for an assistant alternative on their own platform.How difﬁcult is it to program all the responses that theSpeaktoit Assistant gives?It’s the most difﬁcult part of designing the app, without question.We brainstorm, design, and then create tens of thousands ofinteraction scenarios, and have to then predict how a Speaktoituser will continue throughout the conversation. The biggestchallenge with this is that the Assistant is an open input system,meaning a user can ask anything and the Assistant has to havesomething to say about the topic. Because the Assistantsupports clarifying dialogue, we have to take into account howthat dialogue may evolve. In short, it’s difﬁcult!One problem noted with similar apps on the Google Play storeis that they struggle with certain dialects and accents. Howdoes Speaktoit deal with this?Speaktoit uses the voice recognition system native to Google’sAndroid platform, so much of this is beyond our control. Still,Speaktoit can take into account dialogue context – like thecurrent topic being discussed between Assistant and the user– in order to understand which speech recognition variant, ofsometimes several possibilities, makes the most sense to followin the particular situation.In your daily life, what feature of Speaktoit do you ﬁnd yourselfusing the most?Deﬁnitely the integration with my calendar, both to create newevents and to stay reminded about what’s coming up. It’s prettyeasy to tell my assistant, ‘Add a meeting with Google to mycalendar for tomorrow at 3pm’. On the calendar reminder side, Iuse Speaktoit’s Daily Brieﬁng option, which gives me a detailedrundown on all my events for that day – along with reading metop news stories, the weather etc – the ﬁrst thing in themorning, every morning.AssistantThe inside story on Android’s most popular appsAndroidtabletsA brief history of…Android tablets have had a chequeredhistory. They didn’t start too well,thanks to the lack of a tablet-speciﬁc UI,and coupled with mediocre build qualityand a serious lack of apps earned a badreputation that took some time toovercome. But that has now changed.Thanks to improvements in the UI andsterling work from manufacturers,Android tablets are now expected tooutsell the iPad by the end of the year.With its ﬁve-inch screen, the Dell Streakwas mocked upon its launch. It was, withhindsight, the ﬁrst phablet, but wastwo-handed like a tablet. Today it wouldjust be a ‘phone’.2010The Android tablet erakicked off properly with thelaunch of the SamsungGalaxy Tab. This seven-inchdevice ran a phone-optimised version of theOS and could make calls. Ittook Android some time toget past its reputation.A brief history of… thanks to the lack of a tablet-speciﬁc UI,and coupled with mediocre build qualityand a serious lack of apps earned a badreputation that took some time toovercome. But that has now changed.Thanks to improvements in the UI andsterling work from manufacturers,Android tablets are now expected tooutsell the iPad by the end of the year.Q&A with IlyaGelfenbeyn, CEO ofSpeaktoitWhen Siri was ﬁrst launched on iOS there was a massive uproar from Androidusers looking for a similar app or service they could use on their own device.Assistant by Speaktoit looked to ﬁll that gap and ever since its launch, theapp has gone from strength to strength. Assistant is the ultimate virtual assistant andcan answer questions, ﬁnd information and launch apps that are installed on yourdevice. There’s also full compatibility with a wide range of social media apps, lettingyou check on what your friends are doing whenever and wherever you are. Aftersailing through one million downloads, Assistant is continuing to grow. With an activedevelopment team always looking to implement new features into the app, Assistantwill be around for some time yet.does Speaktoit deal with this?Speaktoit uses the voice recognition system native to Google’sAndroid platform, so much of this is beyond our control. Still,Speaktoit can take into account dialogue context – like thecurrent topic being discussed between Assistant and the user– in order to understand which speech recognition variant, ofsometimes several possibilities, makes the most sense to followin the particular situation.In your daily life, what feature of Speaktoit do you ﬁnd yourselfusing the most?Deﬁnitely the integration with my calendar, both to create newevents and to stay reminded about what’s coming up. It’s prettyeasy to tell my assistant, ‘Add a meeting with Google to mycalendar for tomorrow at 3pm’. On the calendar reminder side, Iuse Speaktoit’s Daily Brieﬁng option, which gives me a detailedrundown on all my events for that day – along with reading metop news stories, the weather etc – the ﬁrst thing in theSend emailsOne of Assistant’sbest features is beingfully Gmail compatible,enabling you to typeand send emails usingsolely your voiceThe little thingsAssistant can also be used tohelp covert your currency,search for speciﬁc images andeven ﬁnd the latest weatherreports in your areaCustomiseyour assistantThe way your virtualassistant looks anddresses can also becustomised. It doesn’taffect the app, however,it’s a nice little additionto includeKeep it simpleAssistant does a surprisinglygood job at recognising mostwords, but it can sometimesfall down on certainpronunciations of wordsMillionsellersVITAL STATSASSISTANTPrice:FreeLaunched:2010Installs:1m-5mPlaystorerating:Assistant’s stand-out features revealed2009
ThescareovermalwareIn its latest Mobile Threat Report, computer securitycompany F-Secure paints a depressing picture forAndroid users. During 2012, 79 per cent of all virusesfor mobile platforms were aimed at the Android platform,up from 67 per cent in 2011. What’s more, things appearto be getting worse. In the ﬁnal quarter of 2012, another96 new families of Android malware appeared,compared to an average of 47 threats in each of theprevious quarters.In a sense, the targeting of Android isn’t particularlysurprising – after all, it is the most popular mobileoperating system. However, the threat does appear to bemore than we might expect for Android’s 69 per centmarket share during 2012. Does this mean that Android ismore vulnerable to attack than other mobile platforms?Not necessarily. According to F-Secure, a more likelyexplanation is that malware writers invariably turn theirattention from those operating systems such as Symbianthat are in decline to those that are seeing massivegrowth – and that matches Android’s description.Not only is the threat to Android on the increase but thenature of that threat is changing. During the last 12months, 66 per cent of all Android malware took the formof Trojans and many had a ﬁnancial motivation. Unlike theviruses that have plagued PCs for years, a Trojan looks likean ordinary application so it’s deliberately installed by theuser. But whereas most apps ‘do exactly what it says onthe tin’, Trojans pack a punch you weren’t expecting.Increasingly, that nasty surprise is that it ends up costingyou money. One common trick is to send texts to apremium rate number that is owned by the virus writer. Itthen deletes all records from your smartphone so that youdon’t realise what’s been happening until you receive yournext bill and get a horrible shock.While there’s no way you can fully protect yourself fromTrojans – other than never installing apps, that is –according to anti-malware vendor Kaspersky, one of thebest ways is to avoid installing apps from suspiciouswebsites. While dodgy apps on the Play store have beenreported (eg Find and Call which appeared in 2012 andwas quickly removed), in the main, Google takes itsresponsibility to protect users seriously and this is verymuch the exception rather than the rule.SecurityhaslongbeenoneofAndroid’smostpressingissues.Whatisthetruthaboutmalware?Whereisitfound?Andhowcanyouavoidit?Wesetouttoseparatefactfromﬁction2011Android 3.0, or Honeycomb, was launchedwith a tablet-optimised UI. It made its debutwith the Motorola Xoom, but a lack of appsand plenty of quirks held it back.2012With Android 4 havinguniﬁed tablet andphone, Google tookthe bit between itsteeth with the Nexus7. It was cheap yetpowerful and becamethe ﬁrst big-sellingAndroid tablet.With sales predicted to surpass the iPad,Android tablets are now well established.Devices such as the Sony Tablet Z showthat Android can also do premiummodels to match Apple.11Follow us @lgrobotto joinin the conversationCROWDSOURCEOpinion from theTwitterspheretwitter@lgrobotSo with more Nexus 4 stockavailable through the Playstore, did anyone manage topick one up?@dannynitrostock issues have killed thisphone early adopters havemoved on and as its even oldernow only bargain hunters will beinterested.@emeneloDamn straight. Absolute bargaindevice for the price! Looks reallygood next to the Nexus 7@lgrobotWhat’s the most importantthing for you when you’relooking to buy a new phone?@Mug_UKThe words “Samsung” & “S4” ;-)@PearCidreBattery life, #android version anda decent screen. current phone(zte grand x) does it for me atm.@richdavEase of rooting and availability ofa quality custom ROM. Thenhardware design/specs@atinjematprice and the screen.@TonyP_UKcamera & photo quality areincreasingly important, especiallysince pics can be shared &synced so easily now@lgrobotWhat was your main reasoningfor hacking your phone and/ortablet?@ObarieTo break the connection betweenthe device & network serviceprovider & to control my owndevice.@PaulaHunter2012HP Touchpad hacked to enabledual booting between webOS andICS. WebOS nice user interfacebut completely lacking in apps.New mobile threat families & variants received per quarterQ1-Q4 2012102030405060 616674100708090100AndroidALL THREATSBlackberryiOSJ2meWindows MobileSymbianTop tips foravoidingmalwareSean Sullivan, F-Secure’ssecurity advisor, provides histop three tips for avoidingmalware on Android…1. Stick to installing software from ofﬁcial Androidmarkets such as Google Play or one from your phoneoperator. While it can be fun to install new software, andit may be tempting to install a game you discover viaFacebook, it’s not always the best idea.2. Even when using ofﬁcial markets, exercise caution –truly ‘free’ applications are rare. Many free applicationsattempt to pay for themselves using ads, and those adscan sometimes link to scams. Always check all of thedeveloper’s apps and if you see too many similar ones,it’s a sign that negative feedback has caused thedeveloper to ‘rebrand’ his spammy code. Free apps thatare really worth installing will have genuinely positivefeedback that’s hard to fake.3. Use your screen lock so your jealous other halfdoesn’t install a spy-tool on your phone.2013
»www.littlegreenrobot.co.ukVisit us daily for news and more123Following theNote’s stepsStarting off the phabletcraze was the SamsungGalaxy Note and despite theinitial mixed reception forthe 5.3-inch device, it hasgone on from strength tostrength and introduced theworld to a new breed ofdevice. It was also the ﬁrstdevice to come with its veryown stylus in the S Pen.2Built for mediaThe larger screen on a phablet is perfect forhandling all your media content. Using apps likeNetﬂix means you’ll have access to all your ﬁlms andit’s deﬁnitely an improvement over a phone screen.They’re also the perfect choice for wanting to do aspot of mobile gaming.4EmergingmarketsDespite a rise inpopularity acrossEurope, phablet saleshave really rocketedin the emergingAsian market.Companies like LGhave launched theirown phablets intothe Far Eastmarket, namely theOptimus VU, tohuge sales andeven a follow-updevice in the OptimusVU Pro.8DeveloperannoyanceDevelopers don’t havean easy time puttingtogether apps to run ona phablet. Theawkward screen sizemeans phone appslook pixelated and outof proportion, and a lotof work goes intomaking tablet apps ﬁtthe smaller screen.5When bigis too bigHoldingaﬁve-inchphablettoyourheadwhenmakingacalldoeslookabitstupid,butwhereisthecut-offpoint?Huaweihasrecentlyannouncedthegiant6.1-inchHuaweiAscendMate,whichalsoincludesaquad-coreprocessor,4050mAhbatteryand32GBofinternalstorage.9Plummeting pricesWhen phablets werereleased they held premiumprice tags. By searchingaround, you’ll ﬁnd the ZTE’sGrand Memo will launch withan affordable price tag.7Replacing phonesShipments of phablets have increaseddramatically this past year and are set to increaseeven more in2013. An earlyreport byBarclays showsthat phabletshipments shouldclimb to 143million units anda whopping 228million by 2015.6DedicatedappsBoththeGalaxyNoteandNoteIImadegooduseoftheincludedSPenbybringingoutarangeofSPen-friendlyapps.ThebestofthebunchisSPlanner,agreatcalendarsystemthatletsyoucreateandmodifyeventswhenyouneedto.1SizemattersAmixbetweenaphoneandtablet,phabletisthetermusedtodescribeanydevicethatcomesinbetweenﬁveandseveninches.Theyofferauniqueblendoftablet-speciﬁcfeatureswithfullphonecapabilitiesaswell.4Despite a rise inpopularity acrossEurope, phablet saleshave really rocketedin the emergingAsian market.Companies like LGhave launched theirown phablets intothe Far Eastmarket, namely theOptimus VU, tohuge sales andeven a follow-updevice in the OptimusVU Pro.5Holdingaﬁve-inchphablettoyourheadwhenmakingacalldoeslookabitstupid,butwhereisthecut-offpoint?Huaweihasrecentlyannouncedthegiant6.1-inchHuaweiAscendMate,whichalsoincludesaquad-coreprocessor,4050mAhbatteryand32GBofinternalstorage.things you need toknow about...Phablets10Androidvs AppleAppleisyettolaunchitsownphabletontothemarket,butearlysignsareitcouldbedoingjustthat.TheiPadminihashadsomesuccesssoaslightlysmalleronecoulddeﬁnitelycompeteagainstthecurrentcropofAndroidofferings.
Get in touch!Send us your thoughtson all things Android»email@example.comGot questions or comments? Dropus an email and let us know»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook tosend your comments»twitter@lgrobotFollow us on Twitter forall the latest gossipPlaystorepicksThe RatsJames HerbertPrice: £0.99The late British horrorwriter’s classic debutnovel is as chilling todayas it was on release30 years ago.Our favourites from the Playstore this monthJames HerbertPrice:ArgoPrice: £3.49 (rent)This year’s Best Picturewinner at the Oscarsabout a hostage rescueco-stars Breaking Bad’sBryan Cranston.FillyourtabletwiththebestdigitalmagsGot a Nexus 10, Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire HD orother Android tablet? There’s no betterway to put it to use than by ﬁlling it withthe best digital magazines around.At www.greatdigitalmags.com you can getover 100 magazines and books thatcover a wealth of technology,photography and gaming titles.Every magazine listed on thesite is offered at asubstantially discountedprice and is available to you 24/7.As well as Android Magazine, you canﬁnd a host of other popular titles including How ItWorks, Digital Photographer, SciFi Now and gamesTM.They’re available on a range of platforms, including Zinio, Amazon,Google Play, Kobo and iTunes.Imagine Publishing’s super-site gives you instant accessto a wide range of quality contentPrice: £7.49Bowie’s ﬁrst album inalmost a decade is thebest of his latter-dayperiod and his ﬁnest since ScaryMonsters from 1980.The Next DayDavid Bowieot a Nexus 10, Galaxy Tab, Kindle Fire HD orother Android tablet? There’s no betterway to put it to use than by ﬁlling it withthe best digital magazines around.you can getover 100 magazines and books thatprice and is available to you 24/7., you canﬁnd a host of other popular titles including How ItDigital Photographer, SciFi Now andDigital Photographer, SciFi Now andDigital Photographer, SciFi Now gamesTMgamesTMgames .They’re available on a range of platforms, including Zinio, Amazon,01202 552936 WWW.CLOVE.CO.UKSMARTPHONES.TABLETS.ACCESSORIESAll prices include VAT, but exclude delivery. Prices are correct at time of going to press. Website price always applies. Errors and omissions should be excepted.COMPETITIVE PRICES . RAPID WORLDWIDE DELIVERYSONY XPERIA Z• IP55 & 57 ratedAndroid phone• Quad-coreprocessor• 5” full HD display• 13MP camera• PlayStationcertiﬁed• FREE speakerworth £65 withall pre-orders£522SAMSUNG GALAXYS4• 5” HD SuperAMOLED display• 13MP camera• 16/32/64GBmemory options• MicroSD Memorycard slot• Dual camera andvideo call mode• Eye tracking for smartscrolling & pausing£TBCHTC ONE• 1.7Ghz quad-coreprocessor• 4.7” display• Unique Ulta-Pixelcamera• Dual frontal stereospeakers• 32GB internal &25GB cloud storage• Metal body, just9.3mm thick•processor••camera•speakers•25GB cloud storage•9.3mm thickCelebrating 20 years of business•AMOLED display••memory options•card slot•video call mode•scrolling & pausing£510
14»twitter@lgrobotFollow us on Twitter forthe latest updatesStay up to dateCatch up with the latestAndroid news and gossip06 07 0805 0401 020305 04The gallery of…BeautifulTwitterclients1. Tweet Lanes2. Twicca3. Neatly4. Falcon Pro5. Explore 1406. Tweet Analysis7. Janetter8. Serca2
Subscribetodayandgetfourfreeissues*ENJOYINGTHEMAGAZINE?SubscribetodayandgetfourfreeissuesENJOYINGTHEMAGAZINE?ENJOYINGTHEMAGAZINE?ENJOYINGTHEENJOYINGTHEENJOYINGTHEENJOYINGTHEENJOYINGTHETerms and conditions*This is a US subscription offer. You will be charged £75 sterling for an annual subscription of 13 issues. This is equivalent to $116 at the time ofwriting, although the exchange rate may vary. Your subscription will start from the next available issue. Four free issues refers to the newsstandprice of $12.50 for 13 issues being $162.50, compared with $116 for a subscription. This offer expires 31 July 2013.1 »ONLINEOrder via creditor debit card – just visit:www.imaginesubs.co.uk/andand enter code USA2 »TELEPHONEOrder via credit or debit cardon the phone – just call:+44 (0) 1795 414 972and quote code USAIT’S EASY TO SUBSCRIBE…EXCLUSIVEUSAOFFER
16InsideAndroidMagazine’svirtualmailbagMessagesI recently purchased a Nexus 7 and thought as aproject I would look into the best methods to playDVD movies at full quality speciﬁcally on the Nexus7. Personally for any method to be worthwhile itwould have to take a minimum of time.To me the question of conversion suggestedcompression and loss of quality and althoughHandbrake, a free conversion program oftenrecommended, has the facility to adjust the amountof compression, if you increase it much beyond thepreset default it takes forever to convert. There isalso that grey area that is always pointed out in themagazine that although Handbrake will convert toDVD Video.ts ﬁle format it will not accept protectedDVDs, therefore requiring the time consuming ‘greyarea’ process of having to rip the DVD ﬁrst. There isa differing of opinion on the legality of the subjectbut everybody knows there is a mountain ofsoftware available to help with the process.Well, provided you are prepared to run thegauntlet at your own risk and rip a DVD which youown personally and just want a copy to view on yourNexus 7, here is what I discovered.First you need to download two free apps fromGoogle Play. The ﬁrst is called Daroon Player and thesecond is a later version of that app calledWondershare Player. Although the apps aresupposed to be the same I found that a DVD playedwith distorted sound on the latter but playednormally when tried on Daroon Player– to be fair itwas only the one example. These apps will play thefull DVD without any conversion as they contain thecodecs to play most video formats, which includesthe Video.ts folder format on commercial DVDs.From the choice of the many ripping programsavailable, I used a free 21-day trial called AnyDvdfrom slysoft.com. My initial plan was to connect theNexus via USB then rip the DVD straight to theNexus. I found that it copied the main movie to myhard drive in about ten minutes and if I couldachieve that time straight to the Nexus that wouldbe ideal and hard to beat.Sadly like all good plans when things are goingwell you nearly always get a snag. The problem wasthat although the Nexus 7 showed as an externaldrive on the computer it didn’t show as a source tosave the output from the ripping software. Thismeant that a rip to the hard drive was necessary,followed by a copy to the Nexus 7. This more timeconsuming double operation wouldn’t have beentoo bad but for the very slow copying speed to theNexus, which turned out to be about ﬁve minutesper GB, adding another 25 minutes to the rippingtime for the average DVD ﬁlm.Back to the drawing board as far as I wasconcerned. I remembered reading in a previousissue of the magazine about the app called ‘NexusMedia Importer’ on sale from the Play store forunder £2. It occurred to me that I could rip a DVDdirect to a high speed SD memory card and using aUSB plug-in card converter, in conjunction with aOTG cable, I could stream from the card, eliminatingthe need for the Nexus’ onboard memory. To cut along story short, that didn’t work, playback from thememory card through the ‘Media Importer’ app wasjerky and unwatchable.The ﬁnal solution was to use the free app ‘MXPlayer’, and for the rip employ a program called‘Pavtube Bluray Ripper’. Now using Pavtube, ripdirect to a USB3 stick or fast memory card whichtakes about 10 minutes. Notice I say USB3 as eventhough it is plugged into USB2 on my computer it ismuch faster than a standard USB2 memory stickwhen used for this purpose.Final tip, as the Pavtube software is set to ‘DirectCopy’, the output produces one continuous video‘VOB’ format ﬁle which normally exceeds the ﬁle sizewhich Fat32 can handle – all memory sticks have tobe formatted in the NTFS ﬁle format. I won’t try toexplain how to do that here as it is a simpleprocedure and instructions for doing this areavailable on the internet.To sum up, if you don’t mind spending the time,use the ﬁrst method, ie rip your DVD to the harddrive and copy it to the Nexus 7 through the USBthen play it on the Nexus with the free apps DaroonPlayer and Wondershare Player.If you prefer the quickest method then employPavtube Blu-ray Ripper to rip to a memory stick orcard then play back through ‘Nexus Media Importer’attached to the Nexus USB socket with a OTG cable(bought on eBay) using the MX Player app.Don ClarkWe say: Don, thanks for this brilliantly exhaustivetest of DVD rippers. We’d normally add another stepof compressing the movie for storage reasons,although that does inevitably come with a furthertime cost.Playing DVDson the Nexus 7Letter of the monthRipping DVDs to a Nexus 7 can be along-winded process
18The complete guide towhat you can expectfrom the follow up to theworld’s biggest-sellingsmartphoneFeature»Galaxy S4 is here!GALAXY 4GALAXY 4The complete guide toGALAXYGALAXY 4It was seen as the most threatening answer tothe iPhone yet, and as all of those who have gothold of Samsung’s much-hyped handset willconﬁrm, there is little in the way ofdisappointment with the Galaxy S4.With a launch event in New York that manybelieved was taking on Apple on its own territory,the South Korean company pulled a blinder,producing a new device that one survey suggestedwas on the wish-list for a whopping 25 per cent ofiPhone owners.Although we wouldn’t wish to keep up the Applecomparisons, it is clear how far the Cupertino giantis starting to fall behind – its iPhone 5’s biggestselling point was a larger screen; the underlyingoperating system largely remained the same.Samsung’s new baby – which will likely outsell“Crammedwithfeaturesthatredeﬁnewhatweexpectfromoursmartphones”
20Guide to the GalaxyWhat’s new in the Galaxy S4?Feature»Galaxy S4 is here!Group PlayIf you have lots offriends who ownGalaxy S4s you will beable to connect them together forthe Group Play function. You cancombine the speakers on multipledevices for vastly improved audiooutput, or join them for a session ofmultiplayer gaming online. Allwireless, of course.Smart pauseThe phone knowswhat your eyeballs aredoing. Look away froma playing video and the video willpause. Look back again and it willstart playing once more.Smart scrollThe S4 recogniseshow you hold yourdevice, and the wayyou are looking at it, and willsubsequently scroll text-heavy pagesaccordingly. Coupled with the stayawake feature ﬁrst introduced onthe S III, the device moves into fullyhands-free operation for eBook andwebpage reading.Dual cameraThe S4 enables you tocapture photos orvideos using therear-facing 13-megapixel camera andthe two-megapixel front-facingcamera. Most interestingly of all, youcan use both at the same time,letting the person behind thecamera appear in those familysnapshots after all. Gimmick orgenius? Only time will tell.Innovativecamera featuresThe camera app ispacked withinteresting features. The mostinteresting is Drama Shot, which canshoot a burst of up to 100 imagesin four seconds, then create acomposite of the action shownwithin them. There’s also Sound andShot, which adds real audio to yourstill photos, and Story Album, afeature that can turn your imagesinto a rich album of information.Thinner withbetter processorThe S4 is only 7.9mmthick. It is 137mm talland 70mm wide and this is animprovement on the S III, eventhough the screen is an extrathird-of-an-inch larger from corner-to-corner. There are two versions of thephone with top-notch processors inboth, with the Snapdragon versionsupporting 4G.Air gesturesThere are times whenyou can’t touch yourphone to make orreceive a call or send a text. Whendriving or if your hands are full ofpaint after a decorating session,make use of air gestures and SmartCall Accept.S TranslatorIt’s not quite real timetranslation, but if youspeak into your phone itcan translate it into another languageas soon as you stop talking. Get theperson you’re holding a conversationwith to do the same and you canunderstand the response, letting youhave a full conversation withoutlanguage barriers.Sensitive screenNot quite a ﬁrst forsmartphones but theextra sensitivity givento the screen to enable the hands-free gestures also means the devicecan be used when you’re wearinggloves. It’s only a minor point, yet forthose of us in colder countries it islikely to become the kind of featurewe take for granted.Air ViewSimilar to Air Gestures,Air View is not unlikethe mouse-over effectyou’ll be familiar with on your PC.Hover your ﬁnger over a speciﬁc itemand you’ll get a small preview of thatitem – contact details will be brieﬂyexpanded to reveal more information,or thumbnail images will blow up togive you a better look.
21Need for speedScreen test PenTile vs RGBWill your S4 processor have four or eight cores, and does it matter?What is a PenTile matrix screen, and is it any good?The Galaxy S4 will be available in two differentvariants, with different processors in each. TheI9500 model will feature Samsung’s own Exynos1.6GHz octa-core processor, while the I9505 willhave the 1.9GHz Snapdragon 600 CPU (the sameas used in the new HTC One, albeit clocked faster).The octa-core processor is quite interesting, andsince more cores have been adopted by specenthusiasts as a good thing, would appear to bemore desirable than the Snapdragon variant.However, it’s not quite as simple as that. First, theocta-core CPU might actually be more accuratelydescribed as a dual quad-core CPU – rather than astraight eight cores – it features four cores forhigh-power functions and four for low-power usage,with the aim of ﬁnding the perfect balancebetween performance and battery life, so speedimprovements over the Snapdragon may benegligible and nonexistent. Secondly, the Exynosprocessor doesn’t currently support 4G LTEnetworks, meaning the Snapdragon variant hasgreater future prooﬁng.The phone will launch initially in the UK with theSnapdragon processor, and be compatible with 4Gnetworks, although it is widely rumoured that theExynos version will be available in due course. Mostother markets with established 4G networks willalso have the Snapdragon offering at launch, withsome markets having both.Early benchmark tests of the Snapdragon variantof the S4 put it way ahead of the competition.Primate Labs, the company behind the Geekbenchbenchmarking software, has analysed the initialtests of the processor and found that it beats allthe competition on all platforms by some margin.This includes the iPhone 5 as well as last year’sGalaxy S III.Primate Labs founder John Poole commented onhis company’s blog: “It’s clear that the SamsungGalaxy S4 will be the fastest smartphone availablewhen it is released in April. What’s not clear is howthe Galaxy S4 will handle the increased power andcooling requirements that generally come withfaster processors.”The Samsung Galaxy S4 features astunning ﬁve-inch, 1080p AMOLED display,with a pixel density on a par with the SonyXperia Z, considerably higher than on theiPhone 5, and bested only by the HTC One,which packs the same resolution into a4.7-inch panel.However, display aﬁcionados may bedisappointed to discover the S4’s screenuses a PenTile matrix, which some argueactually reduces the effective resolution.Where the pixels on a traditional displayare created from red, green and bluesubpixels, a PenTile display most oftenuses a red, green, blue, green subpixelarrangement, just two subpixels per pixel.The extra green pixels can potentiallyresult in a green tint on the display, whilethe presence of a third fewer subpixelscould be interpreted as meaning thedisplay technically has a lower resolutionthan is reported.PenTile displays are used in AMOLEDscreens for reasons of power and lifespan.Blue subpixels require more power toachieve the required brightness levels,which in turn can reduce their lifespan.Halving their number reduces the amountof power needed, and so ensures they lastlonger as well.Whether this matters now isquestionable. It is generally agreed that ata pixel density below 230ppi, the PenTilematrix is clearly visible to the eye and istherefore much less desirable. At muchdenser levels, such as the 441ppi on theS4 you’ll have to look very closely indeed todiscern them.The subpixel arrangement on an RGB display (top) is tighter andmore uniform than on a PenTile screenSource: www.primatelabs.comGeekbench 2 benchmark scoresSamsung Galaxy S4HTC OneLG Nexus 4Samsung Galaxy S IIIApple iPhone 5BlackBerry Z10316326872040171715961480FeatureGalaxy S4 is here!«“Itbeatsallthecompetitiononallplatformsbysomemargin”tbeatsallthecompetition
22S3 vs S4And the winner is...Samsung Galaxy S4There isn’t a single feature in the S4 that you could considerrevolutionary when compared to last year’s model. Yet whenyou put all the smaller improvements together – the screen,the battery, the software, the camera – it amounts to anoticeable advancement over the S3. It should be more thanenough to keep the Galaxy in its position as the must-haveAndroid device. And, of course, it will mean that the stillexcellent S3 will become available at even keener prices too!We can’t get enough Galaxy.So here we have Samsung’s brand-new S4, which is supposed to be better, notbigger, but sleeker, than the S3, a phone that we have unconditionally loved since itwas released in March last year and which has served us well into the era of JellyBean. But just how good is it? We look at the key areas of both phones, fromprocessor to software features, to work out if the S4 is a worthy upgrade (clue – it is).It’s also handy to see why an S3 still represents good value and will be worth buying ifyou don’t own one already.SpecscomparisonbetweentheS4anditspredecessorFeature»Galaxy S4 is here!So here we have Samsung’s brand-new S4, which is supposed to be better, notbigger, but sleeker, than the S3, a phone that we have unconditionally loved since itwas released in March last year and which has served us well into the era of JellyBean. But just how good is it? We look at the key areas of both phones, fromprocessor to software features, to work out if the S4 is a worthy upgrade (clue – it is).It’s also handy to see why an S3 still represents good value and will be worth buying ifbetweentheS4anditsIt’s also handy to see why an S3 still represents good value and will be worth buying ifbigger, but sleeker, than the S3, a phone that we have unconditionally loved since itwas released in March last year and which has served us well into the era of Jellyprocessor to software features, to work out if the S4 is a worthy upgrade (clue – it is).It’s also handy to see why an S3 still represents good value and will be worth buying ifIt’s also handy to see why an S3 still represents good value and will be worth buying ifIt’s also handy to see why an S3 still represents good value and will be worth buying ifSamsung Galaxy S4Samsung Galaxy S3One version (the one sold in the UK) has a1.4GHz quad-core Cortex-A9 and the second hasa 1.5GHz dual-core Krait. With 1GB of RAM andeither 16 or 32GB of ﬂash memory, a 2100mAhbattery ﬁnished things off nicely.PROCESSOR ANDKEY SPECSVersion one has an Exynos octa-core 1.6GHzprocessor while version two includes aQualcomm quad-core 1.9GHz processor. Bothhave 2GB of RAM, 16, 32 or 64GB storage and abeastly 2600mAh battery.A thickness of 8.6mm combines with a heightof 136.6mm and a width of 70.6mm. It is madeof plastic but looks good with its large,dominating screen.DESIGNAND BUILDA sleek device that is just 7.9mm thick. At137mm tall and 70mm wide, it is bigger than aniPhone. It is made of plastic which can feelrather cheap.With eye-tracking and voice-control that givesaccess to weather forecasts, web searching andscheduling, the S3’s software features kept ittruly in the game. The machine-gun camera is agreat feature.SOFTWAREFEATURESBut the S4 improves. While software featurescapable of running on S3 will be made available,we like the pause-when-you-look-away-from-the-screen feature and the touch-less interfacingthat can be done.Released with Android 4.0.4 Ice CreamSandwich, the S3 is upgradeable to 4.1 JellyBean. It weighs 133g and that is more than theS4 but not by a massive margin.OTHERFEATURESThe S4 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. It cantake advantage of 4G too. The actual deviceweighs 130g which isn’t hefty and will not weighdown a pocket.The 1,280 x 720 pixel screen looks wonderful.The 4.8-inch screen allows for 306ppi which isnot as good as some of its rivals but does thejob incredibly well.SCREENFor all the talk of the iPhone 5, its four-inch 326pixel screen doesn’t compare with the 1,920 x1080 ﬁve-inch, 441 ppi screen of the S4 whichperhaps is better suited to a phablet.Quite why the Galaxy S3 stuck with a 8-MPcamera from the S2 beats us. We forgave itthen and Buddy Photo Share, Burst Mode andFace Zoom helped things along.CAMERAA whopping 13-MP offering makes all thedifference. Yes, it doesn’t always matter howmany pixels there are but this camera is a vastimprovement on the S3.There isn’t a single feature in the S4 that you could considerrevolutionary when compared to last year’s model. Yet whenyou put all the smaller improvements together – the screen,the battery, the software, the camera – it amounts to aadvancement over the S3. It should be more thanenough to keep the Galaxy in its position as the must-haveit will mean that the stillexcellent S3 will become available at even keener prices too!SOFTWAREFEATURESBut the S4 improves. While software featurescapable of running on S3 will be made available,we like the pause-when-you-look-away-from-the-screen feature and the touch-less interfacingthat can be done.CAMERACAMERAA whopping 13-MP offering makes all thedifference. Yes, it doesn’t always matter howmany pixels there are but this camera is a vastimprovement on the S3.
23AccessoriesAccessoriesHRMThis ofﬁcial heart rate monitor strapsaround your chest while you’re out runningand the corresponding app will track yourhealth and ﬁtness as you progress.Body ScaleAnother S Health related accessory. TheBody Scale is a set of bathroom scales thatBluetooths your weight to the S4, plotting itin the S Health app.Wireless charging padNo cutting edge device is complete withoutwireless charging capability. Simply restyour S4 on the pad when not in use and itwill be fully charged when you need it.Grifﬁn RevealA one-piece shell that adds less than 2mmto the thickness of your device. Withrubberised edges it helps to protect thephone from the impact of drops and falls.Make yourown Galaxy S4How to get the best new software from the S4 on your phone todayFeatureGalaxy S4 is here!«Dual cameraWHAT IT DOES: With theDual Camera feature youcan shoot with both yourfront and rear-mountedcameras at the sametime, meaning you won’tbe cut out of the familyalbum if you’re the onecontrolling the camera.HOW YOU CAN TRY IT:Multi-lens Camera (free).There’s no direct alternative on the Play store forusing both cameras together, but an app likeMulti-lens Camera offers a very simple way ofcombining multiple shots into a single image.OpticalReaderWHAT IT DOES: Scansdocuments, businesscards and the like via thecamera and converts theprinted word into digitalform. An easy way tocombine your physicaland digital worlds.HOW YOU CAN TRY IT:Google Goggles (free).Interacts with the physicalworld better than any other. Point the camera at textor pictures and it can help you identify them.S HealthWHAT IT DOES: A suite oftools that help yourGalaxy S4 handsetmonitor your health andﬁtness. Comes with arange of accessoriesincluding a heart ratemonitor and even a handyset of scales.HOW YOU CAN TRY IT:Instant Heart Rate (free).There are plenty ofseparate health apps on the Play store. Instant HeartRate is a simple and effective way of tracking yourheart before and after exercise.S TranslatorWHAT IT DOES: Hold liveconversations withpeople in variouslanguages. Simply speakinto your S4 and STranslator will translateand read aloud yourwords in one of ninedifferent languages.HOW YOU CAN TRY IT:Google Translate (free).Google’s similar app isalready well established as an excellent multi-lingualtool. Like S Translator it needs a data connection, butsupports 64 languages.S Voice DriveWHAT IT DOES: Interactswith your in-car Bluetoothsystem to give you a fullyvoice-controlledsmartphone. Whether fortexts or directions, youcan go hands-free whileon the road.HOW YOU CAN TRY IT:Text’nDrive Drive Safely(free, pro version alsoavailable). Google Maps Navigation already has a goodspeech-controlled option as default, while thisapplication helps you compose or listen to textmessages while driving.SamsungWatchONWHAT IT DOES:Samsung’s TV remoteservice incorporatesinfrared for controllingyour viewing habits andmay be extended to otherequipment in and aroundyour home in future.HOW YOU CAN TRY IT:Sky+ (free). There’s nosubstitute for an infraredport, but if your Sky box is connected to your Wi-Firouter then you can use the Sky+ apps to recordshows, manage your planner and change channels.
Discover features you never knew existed on your phone ortablet with this in-depth guide to Android’s hidden secretsGetmorefromtheGalleryapp01Use the Filmstrip viewWhile browsing your photos, pinch on asingle photo to bring up a ﬁlmstrip-style view thatmakes it easier to ﬂick between your images.03Take pictures while recordingAs you record using the video function onyour device, long-press on your screen and youcan take a photo of that frame for safe keeping.02Apply custom cropGo to the Crop feature within the Galleryapp and locate the small menu at the bottomthat lets you choose a crop template to use.24Feature»35 Android secrets
Hiddenmenusandmore04Edit personal dictionaryThe stock Android keyboard has a limiteddictionary, but you can add words to it by goinginto the Personal Dictionary folder within theLanguage & Input menu. Add as many words asyou like – or know!05Trackyourbattery usagePress on the graph inthe Battery section inyour Settings app touncover a more thoroughand comprehensivegraph listing, showinghow your phone batteryis being used.06Solve sudokus with GogglesOne of the coolest features in GoogleGoggles is something you wouldn’t expect an appto do. Simply use the app to take a picture of asudoku puzzle and the app will ﬁnish it for you.07Beanﬂinger Easter eggLong press on the Android version numberin your Settings application to see the hiddenBeanﬂinger screen.08Avoid delivery reportsDepending on your network, deliveryreports can cost you 1p for every time you send atext message. To disable them, go to yourmessage settings and ﬁnd the Stop DeliveryReports option and enable that. To check if it hasworked properly, it’s best to check your phone billat the end of the month.09Reboot tosafe modeNeed to rid your phoneof malicious software?No problem. Long presson your power buttonand on the Power Offtab that appears. Youcan now choose toboot your phone up insafe mode.10Add faces to Face UnlockYou can add several faces to the FaceUnlock feature to make sure it recognises youwhen you try to unlock it. Particularly useful ifyou’re prone to growing a beard!11Ofﬂine voice inputYou don’t need to be online to use thevoice search function on your phone or tablet. Goto Settings>Language & Input>Voice Search andselect Download Ofﬂine Speech Recognition.12Filter yourapp contentThere are over 675,000apps on the Play store andsome of them aren’tsuitable for younger users.To block them from yoursearches, go to the Playstore’s Settings page andedit the Content Filter list.13Secret keyboard symbolsLong-press on a speciﬁc letter on yourkeyboard to add accents to it.19AlternatedrivingdirectionsSee differentdriving paths inNavigation tohelp avoidtrafﬁc androadworks.18InvitefriendstoLatitudeConnectGoogle Latitudeto yourFacebookaccount andsee whereyour friendsare going.17GetaquickaddressLong-press ona building orroad to seethe exactaddress andpost code.16FindyourLocationhistoryFind theLocationhistory tab inMaps’ mainmenu to seeyour mostvisited places.15OnefingerzoomDouble-tap,long-press andthen slide yourﬁnger up ordown to zoomin and outwithin a GoogleMaps view.DomorewithGoogleMaps14TopsecretdiallingcodesBuilt in to the Android OS are a series of dialling codes that whenentered will activate a number of hidden features and settings thatyou can take a look at on your phone. To get them to work, typethem exactly as you see below, and wait a few seconds for theoutcome to appear.Note: Not all dialling codes work with every device.*2767*3855# – Hard reset your phone*#*#1472365#*#* – Quick GPS test*#06# – Displays IMEI number*#*#34971539#*#* – Shows complete information about yourdevice’s camera*#*#526#*#* – Wi-Fi tests*#*#4636#*#* – General phone information*#*#1234#*#* – Firmware information*#*#0842#*#* – Vibration and backlight test*#*#44336#*#* – Displays build time and changes list number25Feature35 Android secrets«
24Full screen browsingType ‘chrome://ﬂags/’ in the address barand enable the WebGL option. Then go to http://bit.ly/10QfLqM and select Start Experiment tobegin your full screen browsing experience.26Find data savingsType ‘chrome://net-internals/’ into theaddress bar to open up some advanced settings.Scroll down and choose the Bandwidth option tosee how much data you’re currently saving.25Enable auto-ﬁllOne of the new features in Chrome isbeing able to use auto-ﬁll on any emails andpasswords you use. Find the Auto-Fill optionwithin the Sync folder in Chrome’s Settings.20Developer options inAndroid 4.2In previous versions of the Android OS,the Developer options menu has come asstandard, but with Android 4.2 the menuseems to be missing. The menu can beretrieved with a bit of digging, however.Go to Settings>About Phone and ﬁnd thetab listing the build number of yourdevice. Make seven short presses on thistab to bring the Developer options back toyour Settings menu for you to usewhenever you need it. All the settings andtoggles within this menu are the same asthey were in previous OS versions.22Update apps ondifferent GoogleaccountsYou could have a series of Googleaccounts for many reasons, but trying tokeep the downloaded apps on each ofthem updated can be a difﬁcult andtime-consuming project. A great way toquicken the process up is by going intothe My Apps section of the Play store,navigate to the Update tab and select adifferent email account from the menuprovided. This menu lists each app thathas been installed on each device andyou can choose which apps to update.21Simple settings toggleThe new settings window is agreat way of gaining access to some ofyour most commonly accessed menusand settings. You can make the processof altering some of the settings listedhere even quicker, however. By long-pressing on the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth orAeroplane mode buttons, you’ll be able toinstantly turn them on or off without everneeding go into the actual menu. The onlylimit to this feature is that you’ll be unableto choose the Wi-Fi network you connectto, so for that, you’ll need to venture intothe appropriate menu.23Swipe-to-deletegesture in GmailThe Gmail service has recently undergonea massive update and there’s now awhole host of features to uncover. One ofthe biggest features, and one that wasdesperately wanted by the Androidcommunity, was a new way of quicklydeleting messages from your inbox. Bysimply swiping to the right on the emailyou want to delete, it will nowautomatically be placed in your Deletedfolder. On top of this, there’s also a newmenu in Gmail’s settings to alter what theswipe function does.TweakChromeforfasterbrowsing26Feature»35 Android secrets
27ProfeaturesintheCalendarappOne of the most overlooked appsthat comes as standard on mostAndroid devices is the Calendarapp. As well as being a simpleway to keep track ofappointments and importantdates, there are plenty ofadditional features buried withinthe app that you can also use.The latest update to the Calendarenabled users to put togethertheir own interactive notiﬁcationsthat can display appointmentdetails on. If you’re an avidCalendar app user you can lookup previous entries to mimicthem and create the samenotiﬁcation as before, which is amassive help if trying to createlots of entries at the same time.Finally, by long-pressing on a date,you’ll be able to create a newentry using the month view mode.After creating astandard event, anotification will beautomaticallycreated. The layoutand detail of thenotification can bechanged in theSettings menuLong-press on any date onyour calendar and select theCreate Event option to createa new entry on your calendarusing the month view modeWhen entering anevent location,press on the menubutton provided tosee suggestionsbased on yourprevious Calendarentries28Rename Wi-Fi hotspotThe Wi-Fi hotspot feature is great forsorting out pesky internet issues and connectingyour non-3G devices to the internet. Although theWi-Fi hotspot is a well-known feature, by openingup thesettings pagerelating toyour hotspot,you canrename it to aname thatsuits youwhile alsocustomisingthe passwordneeded toconnect to it.29Use 2G only3G is a massive drain on your battery life,so to help save some precious minutes, turn onthe Use 2G Only option within the Settings menu.Although your connection will be slower, it willcertainly save you precious battery life.31Stop screen from sleepingHaving your screen turn itself off whileyou’re using it can be an annoyance, but it’s aneasy ﬁx if you look in the right place. Choose theStop Screen from Sleeping option withinDeveloper options to disable it.32Show RAM usageOpen up the Apps menu within yourSettings and scroll across to the Running tab.Press on the Show Cached Process button foundin the top-right of the app to see a display ofwhere your RAM is being used.34Shortcuts for contactsInstead of ﬁlling your various homescreens with widgets, why not create a shortcutof your most contacted numbers on your deviceinstead? Open up the Contacts app and long-press on a contact’s name to add a shortcut ofthem directly onto your home screen.33Change your spell checkerNavigate to the Language & Input sectionof the Settings menu and ﬁnd the Keyboardsection within. From this menu you can ﬁnddetails about your spell checker and customisethe language you want it to recognise.35YouTube as a second screenOne of the best things about the defaultYouTube app is being able to connect it to yourPS3 and Xbox 360 accounts. When you then usethe YouTube app on either console, you cancontrol it using the playback controls on yourphone or tablet.30Full screen moviesWhile watching a movie in the PlayMovies app, press on the screen symbol locatedin the top-right of the app to play the movie in fullscreen mode. That way you make better use ofyour device’s extra screen real estate.“Additionalfeaturesburiedwithintheapp”27Feature35 Android secrets«
TutorialsTutorials28GetmorefromtheGoogleappsThe staple of many anAndroid phone is therange of Google appsthat come with it straight out of thebox. These apps perform a widevariety of functions to help makeusing your device that little easier,and in some cases they can unlocknew features on your device. With somuch on offer in these apps, it can behard to keep track of all the featuresthey include, but with the help of thismasterclass, we’ll help you discoversome new things to try out with theGoogle suite on your device.In our ﬁrst tutorial we’ll be delvinginto Google’s own social network site,Google+, and showing you how tomake free video calls to your friendsand family. One of the newest Googleapps to be launched is the GoogleSettings app. This is the hub for allyour various Google accounts andwe’ll show you how to get started withit. The app in focus in our thirdtutorial is Google Maps, and how bydigging a little deeper you can ﬁndalternate driving directions for yourjourney. Our ﬁnal two tutorials coverextra features in Gmail and GoogleNow, respectively.UnlockadvancedfeaturesfromGoogle’sbiggestapps»masterclassEvenmoreGoogle ThreeGoogleappsyoushoulddownloadnowAdd two-steppasswords» GoogleAuthenticatorUsethisGoogleapplicationtoaddatwo-tierpasswordsystemforwheneveryouorsomeoneelsetriestoaccessyourGoogleaccount.TheAuthenticatorappgivesyouauniquePINtouseaftereverylogin,helpingyoutokeepyouraccountsafeandgiveyouthatextrapeaceofmind.WhetheryouaccidentallydeleteaGoogleapporyourdevicedidn’tcomewithitasstandard,you’llbeabletodownloadeach andeveryoneofthemfromtheGooglePlaystoreforfree.I don’t have acertain Google app onmy phone, can Idownload it?Track yourwebsite’sprogress» Google AnalyticsIfyouhaveawebsite(businessorpersonal)you’dliketokeeptrackof,useGoogleAnalytics totracktrafﬁcand otherstatisticaldataregardingit.There’sarealtime pagewhereyoucanseehowmanypeoplearecurrentlyonyoursiteandaday-by-daybreakdown onwhatbitsofyoursite werethemostpopular.Find newinformation» GoogleGogglesGoogleGogglesperformsafullGooglesearchbasedonsomethingyouscanortakeaphotoof.It’sremarkablycleveratﬁguringoutthepictureinquestionandthenprovidingyouwithalltheinformationaboutit,butsometimesitlinkstoplaceswhereyoucanﬁndoutevenmore.GoogleappsUnlockadvancedfeaturesfromGoogle’sbiggestappsIn our ﬁrst tutorial we’ll be delvinginto Google’s own social network site,make free video calls to your friendsOne of the newest Googlewe’ll show you how to get started withThreeGoogleappsyoushoulddownloadnowI don’t have acertain Google app onmy phone, can Idownload it?Track yourwebsite’sprogress» Google AnalyticsIfyouhaveawebsite(businessorpersonal)Find newinformation» GoogleGogglesGoogleGogglesperformsafullGoogle“Withthehelpofthismasterclass,we’llhelpyoudiscoversomenewthingstotryoutwiththeGooglesuiteonyourdevice”
29StartavideohangoutinGoogle+MastertheGoogleSettingsapplicationUsejustoneapptocontrolthevarioussettingsofallyourGoogleappsandlinkedaccountsYou’ll ﬁnd plenty of Google+ settings youcan alter within the app. All changes willautomatically update the correspondingaccount it’s linked with.32guideminYou can change how your phone startsup a Google Search by pressing it fromthe menu. There’s also the option to choosethe type of results you want displayed.2The app’s main screen will list a varietyof options you can change and edit.Making changes should beneﬁt the variousGoogle apps stored on your device.1After adding all the contacts you want tochat to, you are ready to begin your video hangout.All your contacts will be represented by athumbnail at the top of the app, but by pressing onone of the thumbnails, you can see them in fullscreen mode instead.Go full screen4After opening up your Google+ proﬁle,scroll from the left-hand side of the screen toreveal the side menu. From here you’ll need tochoose the Hangouts tab that is labelled half-waydown the list. Then, you get to choose between avideo or non-video hangout.Find Hangouts1Now choose a single contact to start yourvideo chat with. Your phone will begin to call thatperson and you should soon see yourself on yourdevice’s screen. By then pressing the back buttonon your phone, you can start adding more peopleto the hangout.Who to add?3Depending on how many people you’reconnected to on Google+, you’ll now need toconﬁrm which circles you want to include in yourvideo chat. If you want to add someone to yourvideo chat who you aren’t connected with, justinput their email address.Conﬁrm your circles2For those who are new to Google+, video hangouts are a novel way of being ableto stay in contact with some of your closest friends and family. Not only does itwork in the same way as a messenger program would, you can also take fulladvantage of your camera’s video function by performing Skype-like video chats. Once you’veset up your video hangout, you can then add people from your various circles to take part andcreate a truly social experience. Quality is generally good and easily matches the likes of Viber,Tango and Skype.PerformfreevideocallsinGoogle’ssocialnetworkWorks with »Android 2.2 and up Difﬁculty »Easy»masterclassGetmorefromtheGoogleappsadvantage of your camera’s video function by performing Skype-like video chats. Once you’ve
30TutorialsRoutingandre-routinginGoogleMapsAvoidtrafﬁcandroadworksbydiscoveringdifferentroutestoyourdestinationThere’s no denying that Google Mapsis not just one of the best Google appsaround, but possibly one of the beston the Play store. A large portion of the app is used tohelp you get from one place to another by providingyou with the best and most convenient route anddirections. Google Maps can then be used as a fullyfeatured satnav replacement and with the help of theNavigation beta that is built in to the Maps app, you’llﬁnd your way to your destination without any issues.On occasion, however, you might come across asudden trafﬁc jam or collision, leaving the routeyou’re travelling on to be slow, congested or evenimpassable. This isn’t a problem though, as withMaps and Navigation you’ll be able to easily discoveralternative driving routes to reach your destinationand avoid long queues altogether – and road rage! Byfollowing our tutorial we’ll show you where you canﬁnd the alternative route option and how toimplement it while you’re on the move.Depending on your route, Navigation willnow give you a couple of alternatives that bypassthe worst of the trafﬁc congestion. By simplyselecting one of these with a tap, the app willautomatically redirect you and give you a new setof directions to follow.Choose a different route5Open up the Google Maps app from yourdevice’s app drawer and follow the instructions toturn on your phone’s GPS if it isn’t alreadyactivated. Once opened, press on the Directiontab at the bottom of the screen to continue on tothe next step.Open up Google Maps1In Navigation your route is labelled indifferent colours depending on how busy it is. Lotsof red on your route means you should look for analternate route. Press the Menu button at thebottom of the app and choose Route andalternatives from the options displayed.Look for alternate routes4Use this menu to input where you want toget directions from and the destination you wantto arrive at. Once you’ve entered all theinformation that’s required, press on the GetDirections tab to get your planned route explainedto you in a series of straightforward instructions.Search for directions2Your route will now appear in front of you,but to follow it you’ll need to open up theNavigation Beta feature by pressing the compassarrow in the bottom-left of the screen. This willtake a few seconds to load as it generates athorough overview of your route.Access Navigation Beta3Works with »Android 2.3 and above Difﬁculty »Easyon the Play store.
31ExplorenewGoogleNowactionsNewcardsandvoiceactionsmakeGoogleNowevenmoreusefulthaneverbeforeIt’ll take a few seconds for your individualaccount settings to load up so be patient, butonce loaded, scroll down the list until you reachSignature under the main options. Press on thisoption to begin inputting your personalised emailsignature to your chosen account.Find signature option2 You can add whatever you like in your emailsignature, but unfortunately you can’t edit orformat the text once completed to add an evenmore personal touch. After ﬁnishing, press OK andyour signature will automatically be added to allyour sent email from that point on.Create the signature3Open up the Gmail app as you wouldnormally and navigate to the menu button in thebottom-right of the app. From the list that nowappears, select the Settings option to continue.On the next screen, select the correct account youwant to create a signature for.Open up Settings1AddcustomsignaturesintheGmailappPersonaliseyouremailsbyaddingbespokesignaturestothemWorks with »Android 4.0 and above Difﬁculty »Easy»masterclassGetmorefromtheGoogleappsMessage us!Get in touch via Facebookand Twitter»facebook/littlegreenrobotGet help from ourFacebook community»twitter@lgrobotFollow us to send yourquestions and thoughtsOne of the new voice actionsyou can use in Google Now isthe event locator that lists all eventsthat are currently happening nearyou. If there’s nothing currentlyhappening near you, the app willperform a Google search for events.One of the coolest new cardsimplemented into Google Nowis the ability to get a QR version ofyour boarding pass that can be usedwith most airlines just before yourﬂight. It also includes vital ﬂightinformation that you can check out.By asking Google Now to scana barcode, the app willautomatically bring up a barcodescanner and link you to an onlineversion of the product you scanned.A great way to buy online withouthaving to go through a web browser.Google is constantly looking toimplement information aboutany recognisable landmarks in theUK and the rest of the world. Byasking Google Now to look for locallandmarks, the app will give youinformation about what is nearby.1 2 3 4intheGmailapp
32TutorialsUseyourphoneasaremotecontrolLet’s be honest, we take our Androiddevices with us everywhere. When we’resat watching TV or surﬁng the internet,it’s a decent bet that there’s going to be anAndroid device somewhere close by. Well,what if you could use that Android device toconnect to your home entertainmentnetwork, tapping on the screen to pause yourentertainment, manage ﬁles and whateverelse you’re playing with when you’re on yourPC or smart TV.Well, to coin a phrase, there are some appsfor that, and in this tutorial we’re going towalk you through getting one set up, and giveyou a few tips about what to look out forbefore you buy a new TV to make sure yourAndroid devices are going to be happytalking to it. We live in a world whereeverything is connected, so it makes sensethat your Android device should be part of ittoo. So, without further ado, let’s look at thecool stuff your phone and tablet can do…Works with »Android 1.5 and up Difﬁculty »IntermediateOnce the server and the app are installed,tap the button and your phone or tablet will searchfor your PC. When it brings up the server list, tapon the right one and you’re all set to startcontrolling your PC remotely.Connect your device3You’ll have to download the server that letsyour PC talk to your Android device. Head over touniﬁedremote.com and download the version ofthe software that’s right for your PC. You’ll need tomake sure it can get through your Firewall too.Download the server2First up, head over to Google Play and grabUniﬁed Remote. There’s a free version, but if youlike that we recommend grabbing the paid version.It doesn’t cost much and it adds extra support fora lot more programs and media players.Go get the app1More optionsTapping on the button at thebottom-right of the screen thatlooks like a play symbol will openthe program, and tapping on theicon that looks like a set of drawerslets you quickly switch between theremotes for different programs youhave favouritedDifferent combosIt might seem cumbersome at ﬁrst tohave different remote screens fordifferent programs, but with the variouscombinations of controls required, it’s amuch better system than trying to ﬁgureout which button does what every timeyou load up a different media playerControlsThe buttons are pretty selfexplanatory, and set out in a waythat’s going to be easy tounderstand for anyone who’s everpicked up a remote control before.Tapping at the bottom lets youcontrol the mouse, the keyboard oruse voice commandsDifferent remotesThis is Uniﬁed Remote, an app that turnsyour phone into a multi-functional remotecontrol for your PC. There are differentremotes for different programs, and it alsolets you use your device to control thecursor. This is the remote for WindowsMedia CenterTheGalaxyS4andHTCOnecanbeusedasremotecontrols.Here’showtoaddthefeaturetoyourphone,too.
33Before you start though, it’s a good idea toget everything set up just the way you like it. Fromthe main menu, tap on the Preferences option andyou’ll be able to have a play round with a vastamount of settings.Set your preferences4Next up choose one of your remotes. Thisis the Google Music remote for example. Tap onthe bottom-right button to bring up the service or,if it’s already open, use your Android device as atouch pointer to navigate to it.Have a play6You can set up customised widgets onyour home screens so that you don’t even need toopen the app to get control. It’s pretty complicatedto set them up though, as you need to programwhat the different buttons do.Get adventurous8It’s important to remember that theremote won’t work on programs that aren’tcurrently in focus on Windows. It’s simple enoughto rectify though thanks to the fact you can quicklyuse the remote as a touchpad or keyboard.Stay focused7From the Preferences menu scroll down toQuick Switch. This is where you can set theremotes you’re going to be using most. Tap on it,then select your media players from the list to setthem as quick switch favourites.Find your players5It doesn’t take much to connect a PC toyour TV, which means with a few cables and a bitof know-how you’ve now got a media systemcontrolled wirelessly from your Android device. Justmake sure you don’t run out of charge.Show off to your friends9Need help?Got a problem with yourAndroid phone or tablet?Get in touch with us...»facebook/littlegreenrobotGet help from ourFacebook community»twitter@lgrobotFollow us to send yourquestions and thoughts»firstname.lastname@example.orgSend your questions for our team ofexperts to tackleForusingyourAndroidsmartphonetocontrolyourPCorTV1CarefulwhatyoutypePredictivetextdoesn’talwaysworkasitshouldwhenyou’resendinginfotoyourPC.2Readthe manualPickaremoteapplicationwithlotsofsupportandyou’relesslikelytogetstuckwithproblems.3Play indifferentroomsWi-Fiappsmeanyoudon’tneedtobeinthesameroomtobeincontrolofyourmediacentre.4Think outofthe boxAstrongnetworkconnectionmeansyouneedn’thaveyourPCandTVnexttoeachother.5UseyourNFCNFCtags canbe settoactivate theremote whenyoulayyoursmartphonedown,forexample.quicktipsCan I use myAndroid device tocontrol my TV?It all depends on your TV. A lotof modern smart TVmanufacturers, like Panasonic,Sony and Samsung, have appson the Google Play store that letyou use your Android device, soit’s always best to have a readup before you buy. It’s likely ifyour new TV can connect to theinternet via Wi-Fi that there willbe an app you can use tocontrol it on your phone.Are there appsother than UniﬁedRemote that let mecontrol my PC?There are plenty. UniﬁedRemote is among the best, buta lot of it comes down topersonal preference. Someapps need more technologicalnous than others as well. Ourbest advice is to ﬁnd trialversions of the apps and seewhich one suits you best.Ask your ownquestion online atlittlegreenrobot.co.uk
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35WorkingwiththenewlockscreenWorks with »Android 4.2 Difﬁculty » EasyThe Android lockscreen adds a level ofsecurity to a device and the latestversion has been given a revamp. Thedefault lockscreen uses the slide method forunlocking, but now the user can drag inany direction and unlock. Different screensecurity options will offer variations on theunlock option. Users can add a PIN,Password, Pattern or use the Face Unlockfeature to gain access to a device.Adding a PIN, Password or Patternreveals additional options including theoption to automatically lock a deviceafter a set time period. Plus, users canset up the power button to instantlylock a device. A selection of widgetsincluding Email, Gmail, Google+ postsand Calendar can be added to thelockscreen for quick access.DiscoverthenewfeaturesintheupdatedAndroid4.2lockscreenMultiple usersIf a device has multiple users thesewill be placed along the bottom ofthe screen just above the Googlebutton. Each user is assigned adifferent colour and the currentlyselected user will be larger in size.Select an alternative user to switchto their lockscreenManaginglockscreensecurityThelockscreen,bydefault,simplylocksthescreentostopusersaccidentallyopeningappsandchangingsettings.Nowit’stimetoaddanewlevelofsecurity…Google hubThe Google connection is subtlyplaced at the bottom of thescreen. Tap the small dottedcircle to activate the Google Nowicon. Drag to the Google Now iconto open and start using therelated Google servicesWidgetsThe digital clock widget takes centrestage, but dragging the screen to the rightwill reveal the add screen. Tap to revealthe available widgets; these include Gmail,Calendar and Email. Tap a widget to add tothe lockscreen. To remove a widget, tap,hold and drag awayAdd textsTo add more information to thelockscreen, or a personal message,head to Settings. Under Securitywill be Owner Info, tap and add atext message. The message will beautomatically added to thelockscreen. A user can only add atext messageThe power button is used toshut down a device, but selecting thePIN, Password or Pattern optionsenables the power button to be usedas an instant lock. Switch the optionon to activate and tap the powerbutton to lock the screen.Power button3Selecting the PIN, Password orPattern option will activate theAutomatically lock option. By default,this is set to 5 seconds, so after ﬁveseconds the screen locks. TapAutomatically lock to change the locktime to suit you better.Automatic lock2SecurityAccess to a device will differdepending on the screen securityoption chosen. The default screenlock slide option simply enables theuser to slide the padlock to getaccess to the device. To add anextra layer of security choose aPassword, Pattern or PINTo stop users accessing adevice, switch from Slide to Pattern,PIN or Password. To change option,go to Settings, select Security, tapScreen lock, choose your option andadd the relevant details beforesetting up a new screen lock option.Secure screen lock1
36TutorialsSetupaunifiedinboxforalltypesofmessageHowtogetallofyourmessages,emailsandtext,deliveredtothesameplaceforeasyaccessRight now there isn’t a uniﬁed inbox systembuilt into Android. One might be arriving soon,and it’s certainly something that the Androidcommunity is clamouring for, but unfortunately, ifyou want your messages delivered to the same space,it takes a bit more tinkering than it maybe should. Inthis tutorial we’ll show you the simplest way to createa uniﬁed inbox for your emails, and set up an SMSforwarding app that will deliver new messages directto the same inbox. There are limitations, as you’ll see,and this is just one of a number of solutions that areavailable to you. If you’re based in the US, and can geta Google Voice number, setting up the SMSforwarding is much easier, and you can reply tomessages directly from your Gmail inbox. If you’re inEurope though, things are a bit less clear cut, which isa real shame. With that in mind, let’s start by settingup a uniﬁed email inbox for all of your accounts.You’re probably using the Gmail app for mailgathering. Unfortunately though, it’s not thatuseful when it comes to combined inboxes. Yourbest bet is to use the Email app that comespre-installed on Android devices. It looks like this.Change your app1Next up you can play with the settings ofyour new account. Different types of account,such as Gmail or Hotmail, will give you differentoptions. Set your choices as similar as you can tothe ﬁrst account you added.Change your options5Fill in the address and password forms withthe details for your new account. When you’redone make sure you uncheck the box that says‘Send email from this account by default’, then tapon the Next button to continue.Add your details4Now sign in to your primary email accountand get it set up the way you like it. It shouldn’ttake too long. When you’ve signed in, let youremails populate and then bring up the Settings tabby tapping the menu button.Set up your account2Once you’re in the Settings menu you’ll seea General preferences title and a tab that relatesspeciﬁcally to your account. Ignore them both andtap on the ‘+’ icon in the top-right hand corner toadd another account.General preferences3Works with »All versions of Android Difﬁculty »Intermediate
37Give your new account a name. If it’s a workaccount, for example, then call it something workrelated. This helps you keep things organised if youever need to stop receiving emails into the sameinbox for whatever reason.Give it a name6You should be given a list of the accountsyou’ve got running on the app. The option we wantis at the top though, marked Combined view. Tapon that and the app will amalgamate the accountsyou’ve added to a uniﬁed inbox.Unify your inboxes8Once the app is installed you’ll be taken toa simple looking interface. You’ll need to tap themenu button to bring up the Preferences tab soyou can add the email address you want yourincoming texts forwarding to.Set up your email11You should now ﬁnd that your emails fromdifferent accounts are marked in different colours.If you want to add more accounts, just follow thesame steps and you’ll have your email inboxuniﬁed in no time. Now for text messages.Differentiate accounts9Once again, wait for your address topopulate with emails. When it’s done it’s time tojoin the two together. You’ll need to tap on theInbox tab at the top of the page to reveal adrop-down menu.Check your new emails7Add your email address to the app. Whileyou’re there, you can choose whether or not youwant outgoing text messages to be forwarded toyour email address as well. Once the address isadded you should be all set.More details12There are a couple of apps out there thatlet you forward text messages. Here we’re going toshow you how to use an app called TextBusy,which automatically forwards incoming SMS to anemail address of your choice. It costs 75p/$1.16.Find the right app10You won’t be able to reply to the texts fromthe same inbox, but you will be able to read them.It might not be a perfect solution, but until Googleadds a native uniﬁed inbox in an OS update, it’sone of the best we’ve got.One uniﬁed inbox13Get in touchWe’re on Facebook and Twitter, orjust drop us an email»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook andjoin our community»twitter@lgrobotFollow us to send yourcomments and pics»email@example.comNeed help? Got a question? Drop usan email and let us know
38TutorialsTutorialsMergeFacebookandGoogledataSync.MEcombinesyoursocialnetworkandrealworldcontactsGone are the days when you would haveto launch the Facebook app, search for anumber or email address in yourfriend’s proﬁle and then paste this into theappropriate tool before using it. This time-consuming process can be overcome for goodwith just a few taps using the excellent Sync.MEapp. All it requires is for you to add yourFacebook account, enable syncing and then waita few moments while the contacts from yoursocial network proﬁle are merged with those onyour smartphone for full integration.Works with »Android 2.2 and up Difﬁculty »Easy1. Smart MatchingSync.ME will ask you to enter your phonenumber in order to start using its SmartMatching service. However, there is noreason for you to do this if you don’t wishto, and you can simply click the Skipbutton in the top-right hand corner tobypass this request.2. Conﬁgure your syncBefore adding your Facebook details,conﬁgure how often you would like yourcontacts to be synced, as well as the typeof info you would like to see. Tap the cogicon and tap Auto-Sync frequency tochoose a Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Manualsync, and check the appropriate boxes tosee Photos, Birthday, Website and CurrentAddress information. Your choices shoulddepend on how often you add newcontacts. Tap Back to conﬁrm.3. Grant Sync.MEpermissionsThe beauty of Sync.ME is that you don’teven need to have the Android Facebookapp installed, however you must still grantpermission to the app to access youraccount. Tapping Press to Sync will takeyou to the Facebook page. Use the Log inbutton to enter your Facebook credentialsand agree to the app’s requirements.4. Solve MatchesSync.ME will automatically combine asmany contacts with the same name as itcan ﬁnd. However, if your contacts arelisted with slightly different names on yourphone than on Facebook, the SolveMatches tool will enable you to assign thecorrect contacts or even selectalternatives. Suggested contact matchingcan be denied or conﬁrmed, with theformer discarding the suggestion. Entriesfrom your address book labelled withquestion marks should be tapped and thecorrect contact browsed for and selected.5. People contactssynced with FacebookAt any time during the process you canswitch out of Sync.ME to view the progressin the People app, where your contacts arelisted. Those that have synced will bequickly identiﬁed by the addition of theirFacebook proﬁle picture.[FIG 3] The Facebookapp permissionsscreen enables you todetermine whatinformation you’rehappy sharing withSync.ME. If you’reunhappy with anything,click Cancel and tryanother app[FIG 5] You canmanage yoursuccessfully syncedcontacts via the Sync.ME app, but bymerging yourFacebook friends andyour contacts youprobably won’t need toload the app againWhy doesn’tAndroid offernativeFacebooksyncing?Thetoolsareincluded,butunfortunatelyanongoingdisagreementbetweenAndroidandFacebookmeansthatathird-partysolutionisstillrequiredforthetimebeing.Ask your ownquestion online atlittlegreenrobot.co.uk
39UseStreetViewinNavigationWorks with »All versions of Android Difﬁculty »IntermediateSatnavs have been around for years, buttheir transition to smartphones andtablets has made them even morecommonplace. Android’s ode to routedirections is Navigation, which is intrinsicallyconnected to Google Maps. Users can plan aroute, get alternative routes, get textdirections, add points of interest and get ahost of related route information. Until nowNavigation has stuck with the standardGoogle Maps 2D view, but users can nowswitch to Street View to get a visual guidealong with the audio.The standard navigation screen boasts acompass icon which is the key to switching tothe Street View option. Selecting the compassicon switches the map to an alternative GPSview. This activates the street view mapmarker icon, which takes the user to theStreet View mode. A big blue arrow helpswith directions, while the static Street Viewhelps a user get their bearings via the visuals.MakethemostoutofNavigation’shiddenStreetViewfeaturetogethelpfulvisualcluesasyoudriveRoutes AndAlternativesTap Routes And Alteratives to panout the map and the see thecomplete route onscreen. This willinclude any alternative routes anddisplay the length of the journeyand estimated journey time. To gettext directions, tap the icon in thebottom-right cornerLocateanduseStreetViewAddtheStreetViewoptiontoNavigationtogetavisualandaudioviewofanapproachinglocationMenu optionsThe menu enables users to change the off/on voiceinstructions, exit the Navigation app, set a new destinationor reroute the current set of instructions. The Searchoption lets users search for a location, while Layers offersdifferent views and adds POI such as petrol stationsJourney detailsSitting at the bottom of the screen are twopieces of information relating to thejourney. The start location, ie the name ofroad, sits to the right. To the left is theestimated journey time. Tap the journeytime to view the estimated time of arrivalStandardStreet ViewThe Navigation Street View optioncan be switched to the standardstreet view by simply pressing theﬁgure icon just above the name ofthe road at the start of the route.Tap the back arrow to go back tothe Navigation Street ViewTap the Street View icon in thebottom-right corner. This will switchthe map view to the Street View. Thecurrent location will be displayedwith a big blue arrow up the centre ofthe screen. Tap the next direction toswitch to the next view.Street View directions3Tap the compass icon in thetop-left corner, which will activatedirections. The top of the screen willshow directions. Tap the currentdirection at the top of the screen toactivate the directions and StreetView icon.Get Street View2Current positionThe current position along a routeis displayed at the top of thescreen. This will indicate where youare and will also indicate whichroad you are approaching. Thevisual indicator to the left tells theuser which direction they will betaking nextHead to the Apps screen andselect Navigation. This will display aselection of options. Select Speak orType destination, or alternatively useContacts, Starred places or Recentdestinations. This will activate a mapof the route.Choose a destination1
40TutorialsManageyourinternalandSDcardmemoryHintsandtipsfortakingcontrolofyourdevice’sinternalandexternalmemoryYour Android device is, to all intents andpurposes, a computer you carry around inyour pocket. That means you get all of thebeneﬁts of being able to take a powerful, connecteddevice with you, but it also means you have to dealwith some of the problems too. One of those problemsis disk memory. A lot of Android devices come with achunk of internal memory and a micro SD slot forexpansion. Keeping on top of what goes where, andhow much space you’ve got left, will make for a muchsmoother and more intuitive Android experience.Here we’ll give you some tips about how to manageyour device’s internal memory, and how to get themost out of your micro SD expansion slot as well.Your experience with Android’s stock memorymanager might differ from device to device,depending on what version of Android you’ve gotinstalled and what skin the manufacturer hasoverlaid, but the functions you need should still bethere when they’re required.Google Music remembers your purchases,so if you ﬁnd yourself using a lot of space withmusic, cut down your collection so you’re nottaking up as much space. You can alwaysdownload songs again. Clearing tracks from yourDropbox folder helps too.Sort your music5First up, from your device’s home screen,bring up the Settings menu. From there you shouldbe able to navigate to your Storage screen. It’ll behidden in the Device tab which is usually thesecond group down depending on your handset.Once you’ve found it, tap on it.Open the menu1In a very similar vein, tapping on thePictures and Videos tab will take you to yourdevice’s gallery. If you’re using up a lot of spacehere, back up your ﬁles to a computer ﬁrst for safekeeping, then delete them from your storage tomake room for new photos.Delete unwanted pictures4Give the page a moment to load and youshould see a detailed breakdown of just how muchof your device’s internal storage you’re using atthat present time. The different coloured chunksrepresent the different kinds of items that aretaking up the room.Storage rundown2Each of the descriptions below the graph,apart from Available, are accessible, and will helpyou clean up unwanted or unused ﬁles. Tapping onapps, for example, takes you to the Applicationspage where you can clear up some space bygetting rid of ones you don’t need.Tap and ﬁnd out3Works with »All versions of Android Difﬁculty »Intermediate
41TimetotackleyourSDcardstorage…GettingaholdoveryourSDcardmemorycanbealittletrickier,butwe’reheretohelpYou’ve probably downloaded quite a fewitems without even realising it, so it’s worthtapping on the Downloads tab to see if there’sanything to clear to save a bit more space. Youmight even have the .APKs of apps you’ve installedfrom other sources you can delete.Delete some downloads6Cached data won’t take up a lot of yourmemory but it can drastically slow downperformance if you let it build up too far, and that’san easy thing to do. Have a clear out every nowand again to keep things running smooth andquick. Hit the Clear cached data option.Clear your cache7The Misc. tab contains all the files thatdon’t quite fit into the other categories. Therewon’t be loads of them, and some of them mightbe important. A quick Google of file names willseparate what you need and what you can bin, butproceed with caution nevertheless.Deleting random files8Crucialmemorymanagementtips1AlwaysunmountyourSDWhentakingyourSDcardout,makesureyouunmount,oryoumightloseimportantdata.2MovetoSDYoucanmoveappstotheSDcardfrom internalmemoryintheApplicationsmenu.3Keep itcleanKeepontopofyourmemoryregularlyandyou’llhaveamuchsmootherAndroidexperience.4Godeeper and fasterFindagoodmemorymanagementappthatcanscheduleclean-upssoyouneedn’tworry.5Ifin doubt,searchIfyoudon’tknowwhatafile does,Google the file name tofindout.Commonsenseshouldprevail!quicktips2guideminManaging the memory on your SD card isa little harder, and you’ll either need todownload an app or connect your device to a PCand manage the files that way. Astro FileManager is free and pretty easy to use.You’ll need an app1 Once the app has been installed you’llneed to figure out which of the storage optionsis the SD card. It’s pretty simple to figure out.When you tap through, the SD card should have‘ext’ before its name.Find your SD card2Now you’ve got a list of the folders andfiles that are stored on your SD card, but wewant to know how much memory they’re takingup. Just long press on a file or folder to bring upsome management options.Find your files3 Tap on the Properties link and you’ll beable to see how much space a file is taking up.You’ll need some know-how and a bit ofGoogling to clear your space, but it’s easier thanbuying a new SD card, that we can promise!Save some space4
»troubleshootingadvice»hintsandtipsDroidSupport42»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook and joinin our Android community»twitter@lgrobotFollow us on Twitter to sendyour thoughts and questions»email an firstname.lastname@example.orgGot an Android-related problem thatyou need solving?Let us know!Share your tips & tricksJoin us on Facebook and Twitterto share and receive somegreat tips and adviceTetheringforfreeHi Daniel. It’s interestingthat you mention 3 becausethis is a network that buildsitself around mobile data use and isusually very generous when itcomes to tethering. However, thereis an exception and it is noted in theterms and conditions that tetheringcannot be done on pay as you go andselect monthly contracts. This wouldusually mean that it is not possible,but countless users have writtenabout the fact that they can tether ontheir pay as you go SIM cards andthat it has never been questioned bythe provider. We would suggestdouble-checking before doingthis, however, as you may runinto unforeseen chargesshould you attempt it.The other option is to usean app like EasyTether,available from Google Play,which will let you tether aWindows, Mac or Linux computerand also mask the fact you aredoing so. Even better, you willnot have to root your device touse it, but you will have to usea USB cable to enable thetethering. Another option is1-Click WiFi Tether No Rootwhich enables you to set upyour device as a Wi-Fi hotspot tolet other devices connect to itwirelessly. No matter whichsolution you choose, you have alot of options, and in most cases,the apps you need are very cheapand straightforward to set up. Youwill never need to worry about whatyour network provider would preferyou to do again.“Isthereanywaytotetherforfreeonacontractthatdoesn’tincludetetheringonthe3network?MycontractstatesthattetheringisnotavailableandIwouldprefertoavoidgoingontoahighermonthlycontractifpossible.”Daniel WadeAEasyTetheris easy toset up andvery reliableUnfortunately you cannot empty theGmail trash folder with one tap, but youcan still delete the emails. Select anyemail you want to delete and then tapthe trash can to delete the selecteditems. It is actually quicker to empty thetrash folder on a desktop.Didyouknow?
Nexus 4 OTG problemspossible. Also, don’t forgetBluetooth which can be used toeasily transfer all manner of ﬁletypes between devices inseconds and could prove to bethe most efﬁcient method of all.device via a number of servicesand bring the chats back to theNexus. It may require someﬁddling to move all of your dataover, but there are options thatallow you to do it so it is alltypes of tweaks. Take a look athttp://bit.ly/Zlinfm which detailsthe process, but we would like tosuggest a much safer, and just asefﬁcient, method of moving yourhistoric data over.Set up a Dropbox, oralternative online service,account on your Optimus andthen copy your images andmusic to it. For WhatsApp youcan go to Settings>More>Chathistory backup and save theincluded data. This can then, intheory, be moved to the new“IhaveanLGOptimus2xrunningAndroid2.2andrecentlyItooktheplungeandboughtaNexus4.IwasundertheimpressionthatIcouldtransferﬁleslikemygallery,musicandWhatsApphistoryviaanOTGcable.ItseemstheNexus4doesnotsupporttheOTGtransferandIdonothaveacomputertotryAndroidFileTransfer.IsthereanywaytodothiswithoutaPC?”StevePiniDroidSupport43It is unfortunately truethat the Nexus 4 doesnot support OTG out ofthe box and that some workneeds to be done to let thefunctionality work, but thegood news is that it can bedone provided you areprepared to undertake sometechnical changes to yourdevice and root it. The processis admittedly not easy and wewould probably advise to avoiddoing so if you are notcompletely conﬁdent with theseAIt is easy to upload all of yourimportant photos to DropboxNew photos can be automaticallyuploaded in the backgroundhints&tips GetmorefromyourAndroidphonewithourhandyhints1Check those permissionsIf you have installed an app and didn’t takemuch notice of the permissions it requires,you can easily do a double check. Go toSettings>Apps and select the app in questionand scroll down. You can now check eachpermission at your leisure.2Developer optionsYour Android phone or tablet will almostcertainly have a Developer options section inthe Settings screen. Don’t be afraid by the titlebecause there are some useful tweaks you canuse which are perfectly safe. Experiment withthem to see which ones you like.3Keep it cleanIt has been proven that on some screensusing a black background and minimalcolours can help battery life. It doesn’t make ahuge difference, but every little helps and withsome care, fewer colours can help you to keepyour home screen organised more naturally.Ask your questionsGot a problem with your Android phone or tablet?Send it to us and we’ll ﬁnd the solution»facebook/littlegreenrobotGet help from ourFacebook community»email@example.comSend your questions for our team ofexperts to tackle
DroidSupport44How do Iupgrade anSD card?I use an Android phone with a 32GBSD card that is almost full. I want toupgrade to a 64GB card, but onlyhave 16GB available on my phone sowhat is the easiest way to move all ofthe data over to the new card?John DobsonAHi John. There arevarious ways that youcan tackle this problem,but the most secure would be touse a PC with an SD slot or an SDcard reader attached. You cansimply copy the contents of yourswift movement. Also, don’tforget to back up your SD cardfrom time to time for safety andadded peace of mind.I can’t get afull batteryMy HTC One V will not charge to100%, but instead gets stuck at 78%and will not charge any higher. Whyis this? Chris VacherAThis may appear to be abig problem Chris, butfortunately it is notdifﬁcult to ﬁx and we willcurrent SD card and then formatyour new one. Now copy thecontents to the larger card withexactly the same folder structureand everything should workperfectly. If you really do nothave access to a PC, you couldmove the data in chunks usingjust your phone. For example,you can copy 5GB of data to yourdevice’s memory from yourcurrent card and then put in thenew card and move it over. Thisoption, however, will take sometime and increases the chancesof corruption as you continuallyinsert and remove the cards, sowe have to recommend ﬁnding aPC and doing the move in oneIt’s best to make use of your PC to movedata to and from an SD cardSome calculators installed on Android devices are incrediblybasic, to the point of not even including a % sign. You can getaround this by downloading an app like RealCalc Plus, whichoffers all of the functionality you need in an familiar interface.Didyouknow?Recalibrating your battery puts itssoftware back in syncexplain why. The Androidsoftware has to calibrate withthe battery to know how muchcharge is left and from time totime this calibration gets mixedup, which can result in somestrange readings. Chances arethat after you have given yourbattery a long charge it stays at78% for some time beforedropping, which is evidence thatthere is nothing wrong with theactual battery. Run the batterydown to 0% and then charge itfully as far as it will go. Run it allthe way down again and itshould now charge to 100%. Thisconditions the battery, and thesoftware, and puts them back insync so that future readings areaccurate. It’s a very commonquirk and can even happen withbrand new devices, butultimately there is very littlewrong that cannot be ﬁxed aseasily as we’ve shown.so it may be that your handset is justoutside of the most tested apps on thisoccasion. The desktop version of GooglePlay will advise if your device iscompatible and you may not even see theapp listed on the mobile version if it is notavailable for the smartphone you areusing. The good news is that there arenow so many apps available in GooglePlay that you are more than likely to ﬁndAThere is a common misconceptionthat all Android apps work on allphones, but this isn’t quite true.While it is true that 99 per cent of popularapps are designed to work on the mostpopular handsets, there will always beexceptions and inconsistencies. For example,a small software house would have to test itsapps on multiple devices to ensure completecompatibility and this is not always possibleWhywon’tanyappsdownload?“IrecentlyupgradedmyAndroidphoneandnowIcan’tdownloadalloftheappsthatIcouldusebefore.Help!” PaulJefferyeasily as we’ve shown.Changingdevicescan affectwhichapps youcan runsuitable replacements for your mostneeded titles, and if you ﬁnd that there isnot one, you can take other steps. Emailthe developer and ask the question – theymay let you test a tweaked version of theapp for them which offers advantages toboth of you, and if they receive enoughrequests, a compatible version could bereleased anyway.
Don’t forget that you can simply place yourtablet in a stand on your desk and run Twitter, youremail and many other apps separately from yourPC. It’s a second screen without the physicalconnection and hassle.Forget the connection3iDisplay can work with PCs via USB orwirelessly and lets you interact with the extratablet display to use it as a control device, as wellas a second screen. It is an incredibly ﬂexible andpowerful solution.iDisplay2Air Display is designed to let you use yourtablet as a second display in the mostconventional way. You can view separate apps onyour tablet or view separate parts of an app inboth screens at the same time.Air Display1Can I use a tablet as asecond screen?“IamwonderingifitispossibletousemyAndroidtabletasasecondscreenformyWindowsPC?ThescreenonmyPCisquitesmallandIhavebeenconsideringupgradingit,butifIcanusemytabletaswellthatwouldrepresentamuchcheapersolution.Canitbedone?” PhilCantIt certainly can Phil,and the solution is infact very easy to set upand use. On top of this, you canexpand your thinking evenfurther and use a second screenfor a number of different tasks.There are apps that simply letyou add a second screen to yourMac or Windows PC, and whichfacilitate the running of extrasoftware or moving appsbetween each screen. There arealso apps that let you use yourtablet as a remote screen to viewyour desktop computer noAmatter where you are, and evenmulti-purpose solutions that letyou use the software with atablet and other devices that youhave to hand, such as laptops.We will detail some of the bestsolutions to get you up andrunning. Remember to try tokeep your tablet plugged in ifyou are going to use it as asecond screen for a lengthyperiod of time, but we recognisethat it makes for a brilliant extrause for a device you already ownand should improve your PCusage dramatically.An Android tablet can boost your available PC screen real estate»www.littlegreenrobot.co.ukCheck our website dailyfor even more tips & tricksupdateupdate»WebringyouthenewsandrumoursonthelatestAndroidupdates,andthephonesthatcanrunthem…Samsung and HTC havemade their big launchesfor the year, and bothare crammed with themanufacturers’ ownsoftware. The good news forusers of last year’s ﬂagshipphones is that you can expectto see some of this great newsoftware making its way toyour handset in the comingmonths. Samsung’s Galaxy S4sports a wealth of newfeatures, ranging from anupgraded version of S Voice toall manner of gesture controlsthat use the front facingcamera, accelerometer andother sensors to work outexactly how you areinteracting with the device.Samsung has conﬁrmed thatthe Galaxy S III and GalaxyNote II will be getting most ofthe new features, the onlyomissions being thosefunctions that are reliant onspeciﬁc hardware, such as theremote control and some ofthe health functions. It’s thesame story for HTC. Sense 5will be made available as anupdate for the One X, One X+and One S. Again this will notnecessarily include all thefeatures – while we wouldexpect the new BlinkFeedhome screen panel to be akey part of the update, someof the elements of the Zoecamera software may well bereliant on the new hardwarein the HTC One and thus notincluded in the older models.Update60%Complete45DroidSupportRooted orunrooted?Help!?!“Hi,IhadalocalmobilephoneshoptrytounlockmyAtrix4G.Theycouldn’tﬁndanappropriatecodebut‘rooted’myphoneforfree!AtthetimemyphonewasonFroyo,butsomemonthslaterIupgradedtoGingerbread.Ihavesincetriedtoinstallafewappsthatrequirearootedphone,buttheappssaythatmyphoneisNOTrooted.IhavedownloadedFlixtertowatchultravioletcopiesofmyBlu-rays,buttheappsaysthatIcan’tdownloadasmyphoneisrooted.IsthisbecauseSuperUser isstillinstalledonmyphoneandthatFlixterseesthis?”Gareth EvansHi Gareth. This is atricky situation becauseit would appear that youhave been left with a device thatdisplays some of thecharacteristics of both a rootedand unrooted Android device. Inthis case it is offering the worstof both worlds and puts thephone in a position that makes itdifﬁcult to recover from. Youcannot simply factory reset itbecause the SuperUser and rootwill remain, so the best bet foryour situation would be to seekout specialist help from the likesof xda-developers.com whereyou will ﬁnd a solution involvinginputting lines of codes and thepotential re-ﬂashing of thephone. It’s not quite as dauntingas it sounds. It is sadlyimpossible to offer an exactsolution because we would needto see what position the phone isin and so some trial and errormay be in order to get thingsworking nicely again. Onceunrooted, we would advisebuying an unlock code, and notrooting, to save further problemsin the future.AShare your tipsGot a great tip, or found a coolshortcut? Let us know!»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook andjoin our online community»twitter@lgrobotFollow us on Twitter tosend us your tips & firstname.lastname@example.org»emailDiscovered anything good about yourAndroid phone? Let us know!
»www.littlegreenrobot.co.ukCheck our website dailyfor even more tips & tricks47HackerZøneAndroid Central forum (http://forums.androidcentral.com/verizon-galaxy-nexus-rooting-roms-hacks/220830-jelly-bean-4-2-camera.html). Download the zip,connect your device to the computerand copy the zip across. Boot intoRecovery and install from the zip. Ifyou encounter problems with the 4.2camera app, there are severalpossible solutions to get it runningGesturecontrolforAndroidGMD GestureControl bringsmulti-touch and multitask gesturesto Android. The free version includesa range of pre-deﬁned gestures forcommon tasks, and a gesture-activated ‘launchpad’ pop-up thatcan be fully customised withshortcuts to your favourite apps.The Pro version adds the option tohide Android’s status and navigationbars, and to create your owncustomised gestures. To create anew gesture, swipe to the CustomGestures page within the app, entera name for your gesture and create a‘gesture path’ using letters torepresent the different directionsand actions (tap the ‘?’ button toview the available options). Choosean area of the screen where thegesture begins and an action type,and tap Save. You’re now ready tobegin using your custom gesture.accessibility service. To do so, all youneed to do is head to OpenSettings>Accessibility and tapNotiﬁcation Popup to enable. Youcan then launch the application andopt to receive all notiﬁcations, or pickand choose which apps it shouldmonitor. There are also some basicoptions for customising theappearance of your pop-ups.Android 4.2camera fornon-JellyBeandevicesOne of the major updates for JellyBean is the new camera app, withthe added novelty of those360-degree, panoramic shots. If youdon’t have Android 4.2, you can stillget your hands on the new cameraapp thanks to a release by developerdmmarck. The Jelly Bean camera canbe downloaded as a zip ﬁle at theNotiﬁcations are displayed as pop-upsInstall the latest 4.2 Android camera app toany Android deviceMulti-touch and multitask gestures are fullysupported in Gesture ControlShare your tipsDiscovered a great hack ortweak? Let us know!»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook andsend us your comments»email@example.comIs there anything you’d like to see uscover in the mag? Drop us a line!OSShort for ‘operating system’. Often theAndroid ROM will be referred to as theOS – this just means the system ﬁleson the Android device that make upyour user experience, similar toWindows, Mac OS X or Ubuntu on adesktop computer.ROMStands for ‘read-only memory’. In thecontext of Android, the ROM refers tothe ﬁles that make up the operatingsystem installed on your device.Gaining root privileges allows forreplacement of the standard ROMwith a custom one.Root‘Rooting’ your phone gives apps accessto parts of the OS that are normallyhidden from consumers. This enablesyou to run more powerful software andinstall custom ROMs on your phone.ROM ManagerAn app available from the AndroidMarket that enables you to installa whole new version of your OS witha single click. It requires a rootedphone to use and is ideal for thosenew on the scene.Titanium BackupThis app from the Market enables youto back up everything on your phone– apps, data, settings and all. It meansthat you can restore your phone to howit was, even after you’ve updated orchanged the ROM.UnrevokedAvailable from www.unrevoked.com,this is a one-click tool that can beused for rooting many popularHTC smartphones.ADBStands for ‘Android Debug Bridge’. ADBis mainly used for softwaredevelopment, but it also has someuses for hacking your phone. It can beused to push ﬁles onto the systemfolder, for instance.NandroidYou might come across the phrase‘perform a Nandroid backup’. Thismeans using a custom recovery toolto make a back-up image of everythingcurrently on your phone: OS, apps,data, etc. It’s very useful should youwish to restore your phone to itsprevious state later.Radio‘Radio’ refers to the software on yourAndroid device that deals with makingphone calls and data connections.Updating your radio version can bringbetter battery life and signal strengthto your device. Some ROMs require thelatest radio.FlashThe storage in your device comprisesﬂash memory, a type of solid-statestorage. The terms ‘ﬂash’ or ‘ﬂashing’mean installing new software onto yourdevice’s storage.GetuptospeedonallthetermsyouneedtoknowwhenhackingyourphoneHackingtheeasyway ThreetweakingutilitiesthatmayormaynotrequirerootaccessVybe» FreeFrom: Google PlayNeed root? NoCreatecustomvibrationpatternsforeachofyourcontacts,soyouknowwho’scallingwithouteventakingyoursmartphoneoutofyourpocket.Afun,easy-to-useapp.ClockworkmodSuperuser» FreeFrom: Google PlayNeed root? YesPreviouslyonlyavailablethroughROMManagerandinﬂashableform,thisopensource superuserappcannowbedownloadedfromtheGooglePlaystore.MiHome» FreeFrom: Google PlayNeed root? NoThisMIUI-themedlauncherworksonanydevicerunningAndroid2.3orabove.Evenifyourdeviceisn’tsupportedbyMIUI,youcanstillgeta tasteofthisopinion-dividingROMifyouwishto.JargonBustermore smoothly, including forcingAndroid to delete the original cameraapp before installing, performing afactory reset and clearing cache anddalvik in Recovery mode.You may also need to edit yourbuild.prop ﬁle on certain devices(http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1948558). Asdevelopment is ongoing, ensure youread the most recent few pages inthe forum thread to see if there areany issues or bugs you should beaware of, and, as always, make sureyou’re fully backed up beforeinstalling the camera app.
HackerZøne48When you ﬁrst step into theworld of Android hacks, itis likely you’ll headstraight for the custom ROMs andother mods that make tangible andvisible changes to how your devicelooks or functions. But there isanother area you can focus on that issomewhat more abstract but canhave an even greater impact on yourdevice – the Android kernel.The kernel sits at the heart of everyAndroid device. It is the crucialcomponent that connects thehardware and the software. Everytime the operating system requiresaccess to the hardware – which is forpretty much everything it does – itgoes via the kernel. Every screen tap,swipe and scroll; every time youincrease the screen’s brightness,access the data connection or open aﬁle, the software and hardware arecommunicating with each other, andthe kernel is managing it.As a result, tweaking the kernelcan have a massive effect on thespeed and performance of yourdevice. You can overclock it so thatthe processor runs faster anddelivers more power to apps thatneed it, or you can reduce the voltageso that the battery life is longer.Tweaking the kernel is a ‘techie’process but the controls are accessedvia an app, which at least cuts downon the amount of knowledge youneed to get started. For this tutorialwe’re using franco’s kernel, which isavailable for many devices and canbe installed through the app on thePlay store.TweakyourkernelWantlongerbatterylifeorafasterphone?Byusingacustomkernelyoucangetboth…Works with » Android 4.0 and up Difﬁculty »AdvancedGet tips, tricks, help & adviceSend us your comments, tips and questionsthrough email and social networksHead over to the Google Playstore to download the franco.KernelUpdater app (£3.45/$4.99). There is afree alternative that will enable you toﬂash the custom kernel but it doesn’thave the control panel for conﬁguringit, so the paid option is preferredhere. Hit the Install option just likenormal to get downloading.Install the app1The Governor option controlshow the processor functions.Performance will keep the processorrunning at top speed – great forbenchmarking the CPU’s performancebut terrible for the battery.‘ondemand’ ramps up the speedquickly, as and when it is needed.Experiment with which works for you.Set governor6“Thekernelcanhaveamassiveeffectonthespeedandperformance”
49HackerZøne»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook tojoin our online community»twitter@lgrobotComments or questions?Follow us on Twitter»firstname.lastname@example.orgIf you’ve got questions or just want tosay hello, drop us an emailYour Android phone needs tobe rooted in order to be able toﬂash a different kernel (and alsoneeds to be compatible withfranco’s kernel – there’s a list ofcompatible device’s on the app’sPlay page). Within the app, selectKernel backup/restore and then hitBackup to save your current kernel.Back up kernel2 You can now ﬂash the newkernel. From the app’s main screen,select the franco.Kernel updateroption. You’ll see which versionyou’ve got (if any) and then whichversion is the latest. Tap theDownload button to startdownloading the kernel. Choose theAuto-ﬂash option to install it.Flash new kernel3 Flashing the kernel onlytakes a matter of a few secondsand your phone will quickly rebootafterwards in order for you to beable to use it. Once that iscomplete, re-open the Updater appand you can begin browsing throughsome of the conﬁguration optionsthat are on offer.Start conﬁguring4 First choose Frequencies>Voltages. Here you can set themaximum and minimumfrequencies for your processor.Setting a higher maximumfrequency makes the processor runfaster, but may also reduce batterylife. A lower frequency will make itslower but may extend the battery.Set frequencies5Tap the ‘Set on boot’ optionsfor CPU and Governor to ensurethey are used when you restart yourphone. Finally, head to Voltages.This is a very advanced option thatreduces the amount of power theCPU uses at certain frequencies.Reducing extends battery, but goingtoo far could lead to instability.Adjust voltages7 Head back to the mainscreen of Updater and selectCustom Kernel Settings. Tick theboxes next to Turn Logger off andTurn Events logging off for a smallbeneﬁt in battery life. Ignore theother options listed here. They arestrictly for expert and highlyexperimental use only.Custom settings8 Once you have familiarisedyourself with kernels, and how thechanges impact performance, youcan create a custom Power mode.Choose a maximum and minimumCPU frequency, plus Governor andIO scheduler and name it. Examplescould include a high-power modefor high-end gaming.Power mode9 Finally the Updater app givesyou a real-time view of how thecores in your processor are working.This gives you a useful insight intohow the processor works and howmuch power certain apps use. Thisshould help you create a Powermode that combines battery savingwithout impacting on performance.Device Monitor10
HackerZøne50With Android devices increasingly moving awayfrom SD cards and new must-have apps beingadded to the Google Play store all the time,space on your average Android device is very much ata premium. Although cloud services are improving,you’ll still want to install all sorts of apps on your localmemory. If you’restruggling for space,you can get anBoostyourmemorybymovingappstoROMInstantlyincreaseyourdevice’smemorybymakingfulluseofthesystemspaceatyourdisposalGet tips, tricks, help & adviceSend us your comments, tips and questionsthrough email and social networksTitanium Backup has all thefunctionality you need to ﬁnally startusing the system space, so downloadit from the Google Play store. Toaccess all the features, you’ll need topurchase the paid-for Pro version.You’ll also need to make sure youdownload the license key too.Install TitaniumBackup1As already mentioned,updating pre-installed system appscan result in duplicates, eating upmemory. To force your device tooverwrite the pre-installed versionwhenever it updates, open TitaniumBackup and press your phone’s menubutton. This will bring up the mainmenu. Tap the Batch actions option.Updating apps6“GetaninstantmemoryboostbyunlockingwastedmemoryinyoursystemROM”instant memory boost by putting any wasted memoryin your system ROM to good use.There are two major problems with the systemspace on your typical Android device. This is where theAndroid system itself lives, but even then there’susually some space left over that you can’t access bydefault. Secondly, when you update pre-installedsystem apps (for example Gmail) you’re actuallyinstalling the newer version as a complete download inthe user space. The older version in the systemspace is masked rather than overwritten, creatingunnecessary duplication and eating up memory.The Titanium Backup Pro app can solve both ofthese issues. Once you’ve rooted your deviceyou can move apps into the system space,making use of this previously wasted memory andfreeing up more internal memory in the process.You can also integrate updates of systemapps into the ROM, preventing unnecessaryduplicates from being installed in the usermemory. Here we show you how.Works with » Android 4.0 and up Difﬁculty »Intermediate
51HackerZøne»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook tojoin our online community»twitter@lgrobotComments or questions?Follow us on Twitter»email@example.comIf you’ve got questions or just want tosay hello, drop us an emailTitanium Backup requiresthe SuperUser permission. Openthe SuperUser app that wasinstalled when you rooted yourdevice, and check that TitaniumBackup is on the ‘Allow’ list. If not,tap Titanium Backup in the list andtoggle the happy/sad Android iconin the toolbar.SuperUser2Open the Titanium Backup app. Onthe ﬁrst screen, you can get aninsight into how much memory isavailable on the system ROM,compared to your internal memoryor any SD cards. Tap the ‘Backup/Restore’ button to review all of theavailable apps.Review availablememory3Long press on the application youwish to move to the system ROM. Inthe subsequent menu, slide thescreen to the right to access the‘Special features’ section. Scrolldown to the ‘System ROM’sub-heading and tap the ‘Convert tosystem app’ option.Convert tosystem4 Once the process is fullycompleted, you need to open theapplication to check it’s runningcorrectly. If you encounter anyserious issues, you can alwaysreopen Titanium Backup and returnto the ‘System ROM’ section. Tapthe new ‘Convert to user app’option to undo the move.Has it worked?5Scroll down to the Move/Integratesub-heading. Here, you can reviewthe allocation of all your appsacross the internal memory and anyavailable SD cards. Below this, youwill ﬁnd the ‘Integrate updates ofsystem apps into ROM’ option. Tapthe Run button.Move/Integratemenu explained7Review the list of apps and selectwhich one(s) you’re integratingupdates for. You can toggle theOrder by box if you’re looking for aparticular app in the list. Onceyou’re happy with your selection,tap Run. This process may take aminute to complete.Integrateupdates8Once the process has run, you’llsee an update in your notiﬁcationsbar. If you return to the Move/Integrate section, you’ll see that thetally in Integrate updates has gonedown. Future updates will nowoverwrite the existing version,rather than duplicate it.Check it’sworked9 Spend some time convertinguser apps to system apps, andensure that all of your system appupdates overwrite rather thanduplicate in future. This will ensureyou’re squeezing all the possiblememory out of the system ROM,freeing up precious user memory inthe process.…and repeat10
“You’llstarttothinkaboutthetweaksthatcouldmakeaROMperfectforyou”“You’llstarttothinkabout“You’llstarttothinkabout“thetweaksthatcouldmakeaROMperfectforyouHackerZøne52Once you’ve rooted yourdevice, the ﬁrst step for mostpeople will be trying out allthe major custom ROMs. This cantake time, particularly if your devicehas really captured the hackercommunity’s imagination. However,eventually you’ll start to think aboutthe tweaks that could make acustom ROM perfect for you. Maybeyou had to track down all of yourfavourite social media apps afterﬂashing, or wasted timeuninstalling book, magazine ormovie apps you didn’t want.Adding and removing appsbefore ﬂashing is one of the easiestways to give a ROM your own slant. Italso saves you from hunting aroundthe Google Play store, as the ROMﬂashes with exactly the apps youwant. Adding and removing apps isdone via the Android applicationpackage ﬁle (apks), which holds all ofan app’s code and resources. Deletingan apk is essentially the same asdeleting an app.If you’re a hacking newbie, thenAPK Swapper is a great tool to get youstarted. This easy-to-use appdownloads onto your computer,where it enables you to add andremove apk ﬁles with a few clicks ofthe mouse. It will also unzip andre-zip your custom ROM, making it atruly end-to-end process. Here weshow you how to get the most out ofthis beginner-friendly tool.CustomiseROMSwithAPKSwapperMakeacustomROMperfectforyoubyremovingandaddingapkﬁlesGet tips, tricks, help & adviceSend us your comments, tips and questionsthrough email and social networksDownload the latest version of APKSwapper from the XDA Developersforum (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1568913).Before using APK Swapper or similartools, it’s generally a good idea toread through the last few pages ofdiscussions to check for any bugsor issues.Download theSwapper app1To remove an apk, right-clickon the ﬁle and select ‘Delete .APK.’The apk will then be removed fromyour ROM. It’s not quite a permanentprocess – bear in mind that thischange is only applied to a temporaryversion of the ROM. You’ll need tocreate a new zip ﬁle to make thechange permanent.Remove apps6Works with » Android 4.0 and up Difﬁculty »Intermediate
53HackerZøne»facebook/littlegreenrobotLike us on Facebook tojoin our online community»twitter@lgrobotComments or questions?Follow us on Twitter»firstname.lastname@example.orgIf you’ve got questions or just want tosay hello, drop us an emailOnce the download andinstall process has ﬁnished, extractthe zip ﬁle on your desktop andyou’re ready to go. Double-click theAPK Swapper app to launch andleave it running in the backgroundwhile you proceed. You may alsowant to take a look at the Readmeﬁle and Changelog for moreinformation about the app.Launch the app2The number of custom ROMs variesfrom device to device, but the XDADevelopers forum is a good place togo for inspiration if you don’t haveany particular ROM in mind. Typeyour device into the search bar atthe top right of the forum to locatethe dedicated pages for yourAndroid device.Choose yourcustom ROM3 Once you’ve found onedownload your ROM of choice ontoyour personal computer, but do notunzip it. Drag and drop the entire zipﬁle into the blue bar inside the APKSwapper user interface. APKSwapper will automatically unpackall of the ROM’s apk ﬁles. This maytake a couple of minutes dependingon how large it is.Unpack your ROM4Once APK Swapper has ﬁnishedextracting the ﬁles, it will list all ofthe apk ﬁles. Most of the namesare self explanatory, but if you’reunsure you should always consultthe internet before altering them inany way. Deleting the wrong apk canrender a ROM virtually useless, sobe cautious.Which apk iswhich app?5To add an app ensure you have thecorresponding apk convenientlyplaced. Right-click anywhere withinAPK Swapper’s list and select the‘Inject new .APK’ option from the ‘.APK Options’ menu. Locate the apkﬁle on your computer and APKSwapper will inject it into your ROM.Add your ownapps7Once you’re happy with theresult you can zip the ﬁle ready forﬂashing. Right-click within APKSwapper’s list section and select‘.ZIP options’ followed by ‘Compilenew .ZIP ROM ﬁle.’ Enter amemorable name and a location foryour zip, and APK Swapper will do allthe hard work for you.Zip your ROM8Connect your device to thecomputer and drag the zip ﬁle ontoyour device’s SD card. Flash asnormal by opening ROM Manager,tapping ‘Install ROM from SD Card’and scrolling through your ﬁlestructure until you locate the zip. Asalways, create a backup beforeﬂashing a new ROM.Flash9Give your tweaked ROM aspin and if you encounter anyissues, or simply aren’t a fan, justrestore from the most recentbackup. The great thing aboutAndroid devices is that there arecountless ROMs waiting to becustomised to your exact needs.Get experimenting!Test it out10
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56When you buy your Android smartphone, the perceived wisdom is thatyou have a choice to make. You can either accept the operatingsystem as it is, with all of the bells and whistles that have beenadded by your mobile phone manufacturer and network, or you can reject thisand root your device in order to customise the phone and have things justhow you want them. We know which sounds more enticing.This might be in order to tweak the user interface or add apps thatwouldn’t be possible under normal circumstances. The idea of course is toget your Android smartphone running just the way you want it, maximisingyour productivity by having a phone that does exactly what you need.Of course, the problem here is rooting. You, like many other users, may notbe comfortable with the process, which is easier on some devices thanothers. Bearing this in mind, how do you feel about hacking and tweakingAndroid without rooting? Yes, you read that right – over the next few pageswe’re going to show you how to speed up your phone, remove bloatware, adda new launcher and install a ﬁrewall – no root required!Rather than browse the Google Playstore for applications to speed upyour phone, ﬁrst you should take aclose look at those that might beslowing down your progress. Forgetabout phone performance and thinkmore about your own. If there is anapp that you are using that takes along time to load up or use, then youneed to ﬁnd a replacement straightaway. Begin by looking on GooglePlay for good apps that can doexactly the same job. When youhave found a good replacement,install and use it instead!If you use widgets extensively(perhaps for displaying email,bookmarks or social network data)then you’re potentially slowing yourphone’s performance. Whether yourphone is low-end or top of the range,it is probably optimised more forperforming tasks than smoothscrolling and speed. You can help byreducing the number of widgets inuse; perhaps limiting yourself to oneper screen. Spend time ﬁnding howAndroid’s performance is affected,and look for ways of replacing oravoiding the widget concerned.Arguably the best way of ﬁxingperformance issues (particularlyslowness and hanging) in Android isto take a look at the Displaysettings. In Android 4.1 these can befound in Settings>Device. Here, youcan tweak things such asBrightness, Automatic backlight andRotation. Of these, the latter canhave an impact on your phone’sperformance, while disabling thebacklight settings can also have amarked improvement onperformance and battery life.It’s also best to avoid ‘live’ themes.Although a seemingly desperate act,if you take the necessaryprecautions with your data (see Fullybackup your phone) you can resolvea lot of problems simply by restoringyour Android back to the factorysettings. The steps differ slightlyacross different versions of Android.In Android 4.1, go to Settings andﬁnd Personal; listed last is Backup &reset, and in this screen you will ﬁndthe Factory data reset option. Notethat you will also have the option oferasing the SD card – make sure youhave backed up your data ﬁrst!Replace slow apps Cut down on widgets Adjust graphics settings Restore factory settings
57A major culprit for slow performance on Android is an always-activatedinternet connection. If your apps are draining data in the backgroundthere are several ways to manage their impact…Perhaps the easiest ﬁx is to disable your mobiledata connection. To disable this open Settings>Wireless & networks>More>Mobile networks andclear the Data enabled option.Disablemobile data1You can also restrict the data transfer frombackground apps, useful for gaming or browsingthe web. Open Settings>Data usage, tap Menuand select Restrict background data.Restrictbackground data2Similarly, you can reduce data use by disablingsome Google services. In Settings>Apps, swipe toRunning and tap Google Services. Use Stop todisable each service in turn.ManageGoogle Services3Android Booster FREEPrice: FreeAdvanced Task ManagerPrice: FreeEasy Cache CleanerPrice: FreeDoes it work?An attractive interface stops Android BoosterFREE from being too complicated to use – wewere very impressed.Does it work?Results are arguably better on older devices,but the task killing widget alone is worth theinstallation process.Does it work?An impressive app, it works well enough tooffer a noticeable short-term improvement toyour Android device.Bursting with features, Android BoosterFREE is perhaps the ultimate Androidperformance toolbox, offering fourbattery presets, automatic task killers, appmanagers and even a virus scanner.Surprisingly easy to use, we were particularlyimpressed with the phone optimisation.Task manager apps can be disappointing,but Advanced Task Manager is the realdeal – a single utility to deal with a varietyof task-killing scenarios. Designed to run onall versions of Android, this tool can even beconﬁgured to disable apps at system startup,when Android loads.Temporary ﬁles will slow down your phoneand take up valuable storage, but with anapp such as Easy Cache Cleaner you canregain this space and speed up Android.Featuring a useful reminder system andone-click cleaning, few utilities will give suchinstantaneous performance boosts.HackerZøneHACK-FREEHACKS
58One way in which you can improve the performance of yourphone is to add a new launcher. When you ﬁrst switch onyour Android, you are presented with a screen with iconsand widgets – this is the default launcher, better known as thehome screen. The visual look of this interface is largely overseenby Google, but various manufacturers have their own launchersthat they use instead, such as HTC Sense UI and SamsungTouchWiz. These launchers still allow full access to Android, butoffer a new look and feel – like a new ‘skin’.For some users, however, even the improvements offered bymanufacturer launchers aren’t enough. In this situation, a moreeffective choice is the custom option.Available as downloads from the Google Play store, apps such asGO Launcher EX, Nova Launcher and SPB Shell 3D offer a wholenew way to use your Android phone, offering new user interfacefeatures such as improved scrolling, transparency, improvedarrangement of widgets and icons, icon themes and more.Installing a launcher isn’t for everyone, however. You might bevery happy with Android as it is – but if you want improvedperformance and an interface that is more customisable than thedefault, then using a launcher is a positive step.One thing to bear in mind with launchers is that although theyshould install without any problem from Google Play, you may needadditional software in order to persuade your chosen launcher towork correctly. The most popular option here is Home Switcher(although there are alternatives) and the purpose of this app is toenable you to designate a launcher as the default means ofopening other apps on your phone. If you’re planning on using alauncher, this tool is highly recommended.Larger widgets idealfor bigger ﬁngersWidgets offer moreoptions than anythingAndroid offers nativelyA colourful appearancefor the dock iconsSlick, stylish dock iconscatch the eyeAccess to Google oneach home screenVital information displayedon the notiﬁcation barretainedGO Launcher EXPrice: FreeNova LauncherPrice: FreeLauncher 8Price: FreeIncluding access to over 5,000 themes and offering apleasurable and smooth transition animation betweenscreens, this launcher also includes the ability to setcustom gestures to launch apps.With a range of colour themes, scroll effects and theability to add 1x1 widgets to the dock, Nova Launchercleverly imports icons from your existing launcher andsupercharges them.The main feature of this application is that it restylesAndroid with a new Windows Phone-style user interface,offering conﬁgurable tile sizes and colours – not quitethe usual launcher.FeaturesThe memorable, minimalistic design of the defaulttheme is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so manystunning ways to skin Android with this app.Nova Launcher incorporates a stunning ‘cube’ scrolleffect, enhanced by enabling you to quickly switch fromthe ﬁrst home screen to the last by ‘wrapping around’the transition between them.Based on the metro look of Windows Phone 8 andWindows 8, Launcher 8 includes slick tile animation(including the live contacts tile) and leaves a lastingimpression because it’s so different.DesignFast, but perhaps not the fastest to be found. Withwidgets and other further add-ons installed, anyperformance gains from installing GO Launcher EX canend up being compromised.Sporting various performance boosts that enable you tosave time launching apps and viewing new screens,Nova Launcher is perhaps the fastest home screenreplacement available.Other than conﬁguring which apps are launched bywhich tiles when you ﬁrst run, Launcher 8 is surprisinglyfast and impressive, and certainly worth trying out onyour phone.SpeedA massive amount of add-ons are available for GOLauncher EX, many of which can be downloaded viawidget links on the home screen. Their presence mayslow performance, however.A huge collection of themes and icons are available forNova Launcher, enabling you to restyle your Androidhome screen without sacriﬁcing the launcher’sperformance gains.Icon packs and companion apps can be found forLauncher 8, and when these are used with the launcherthey give your Android phone a radical new look.Add-onsNova Launcher is our choice given its selection of features and superior performanceWinner Nova Launcher
59Pre-installed apps supplied by the manufacturer ornetwork are supposed to offer a beneﬁt to you – but inthe end, they usually turn out to be useless. Taking uppotentially valuable system resources, the addition ofbloatware to new Android phones is usually intended toencourage you to use particular apps.These might be by third-party developers that have paid forthe privilege of pre-installation, or by your device manufactureror network – in this case, the intention is probably to forceyou into using a particular service.As such, steps are taken to make removal difﬁcult, which iswhy disabling or freezing the bloatware is such a good idea.Freezing or disabling an app in Android 4.x can be done inseconds, and the app will continue in this state until youunfreeze it. Get started by opening Settings and tap on Apps,swipe to All and select the app you want to disable. Next,look for and tap the Disable button in the upper-right cornerof the screen. Tap OK to conﬁrm and exit Settings. A rebootmay be required.If this doesn’t work, try the Bloatkill script which can bedownloaded from XDA Developers: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2058944.Your PC has a ﬁrewall – but what aboutyour phone? After all, your Android devicecarries your address book, socialnetworking apps and potentially even access todocuments through your favourite cloud drive.Millions of people are wandering around rightnow with their phones connected to the internet,their data exposed to online threats via activeapps and malicious websites. This has thepotential of being a big problem, particular forAndroid users, but it is one that you can protectyourself from using a ﬁrewall.There are several ﬁrewall apps available forAndroid, but the majority of these require arooted phone. Mobiwol is different, however,offering exactly the sort of features you wouldexpect from a desktop ﬁrewall, such asmanaging connectivity on an app-by-app basisand receiving alerts when a new app attempts toconnect to the internet. Mobiwol is alsoextremely easy to set up…Ensure that Mobiwol is conﬁgured to runwhen you restart your phone, via Firewall Settings.Here you can also conﬁgure your connection logsto check which apps have internet access.Logs and settings3If you want to control app access to theinternet, open Firewall Rules and toggle thecheckboxes for wireless and mobile dataconnection – or tap menu for master controls.Setting ﬁrewall rules2When running Mobiwol for the ﬁrst time,activate the ﬁrewall. Android will warn you thatMobiwol is about to intercept network trafﬁc –don’t worry, that’s the point of a ﬁrewall!Activate the ﬁrewall1“Disablingorfreezingthebloatwareissuchagoodidea”HackerZøneHACK-FREEHACKSre-installed apps supplied by the manufacturer ornetwork are supposed to offer a beneﬁt to you – but inthe end, they usually turn out to be useless. Taking uppotentially valuable system resources, the addition ofbloatware to new Android phones is usually intended toThese might be by third-party developers that have paid forthe privilege of pre-installation, or by your device manufactureror network – in this case, the intention is probably to forceAs such, steps are taken to make removal difﬁcult, which iswhy disabling or freezing the bloatware is such a good idea.Freezing or disabling an app in Android 4.x can be done inseconds, and the app will continue in this state until youGet started by opening Settings and tap on Apps,swipe to All and select the app you want to disable. Next,look for and tap the Disable button in the upper-right cornerof the screen. Tap OK to conﬁrm and exit Settings. A rebootIf this doesn’t work, try the Bloatkill script which can behttp://forum.xda-t=2058944.their data exposed to online threats via activeapps and malicious websites. This has thepotential of being a big problem, particular forAndroid users, but it is one that you can protectyourself from using a ﬁrewall.There are several ﬁrewall apps available forAndroid, but the majority of these require arooted phone. Mobiwol is different, however,offering exactly the sort of features you wouldexpect from a desktop ﬁrewall, such asmanaging connectivity on an app-by-app basisand receiving alerts when a new app attempts toconnect to the internet. Mobiwol is alsoextremely easy to set up…HACK-FREEHACKSnetwork are supposed to offer a beneﬁt to you – but inTaking upThese might be by third-party developers that have paid forthe privilege of pre-installation, or by your device manufactureror network – in this case, the intention is probably to forceAs such, steps are taken to make removal difﬁcult, which iswhy disabling or freezing the bloatware is such a good idea.Freezing or disabling an app in Android 4.x can be done inGet started by opening Settings and tap on Apps,swipe to All and select the app you want to disable. Next,look for and tap the Disable button in the upper-right cornerof the screen. Tap OK to conﬁrm and exit Settings. A rebootIf this doesn’t work, try the Bloatkill script which can be“Disablingorfreezingthebloatwareissuchagoodidea”
60Backing up data on your phone is just asvital as protecting it from intrusion, and ifyour phone was rooted then you wouldhave several popular choices of app to choosefrom. For those of us without a rooted Androiddevice, however, data backup has long been acombination of manual data syncing and relianceon our Google accounts.Carbon changes this, however, by enabling thebacking up of apps or data to your SD card, PC oreven cloud storage (restricted to the premiumversion) without requiring you to root your phone.This changes things hugely, and whether you backup regularly or occasionally, the ﬂexibility that thisessential application offers means that youshould never be without your most vital data andfavourite apps.Note, however, that Carbon doesn’t currentlyrun on Android devices manufactured byMotorola. Backups can, however, be made andrestored in a matter of minutes on other devices.Restore and Sync enables you to browsefor backed up data stored locally or in the cloudand restore it, quickly and painlessly, to yourAndroid device.Restoring your data3Backing up your data is simple. Under theBackup tab, select the data to be archived and tapthe Backup button before selecting the destination– Google Drive, for instance.Select data to back up2After signing into your Google account,Carbon requires you to download its desktop appfrom www.clockworkmod.com/carbon. Windowsusers will also need drivers for connecting.Sign in and conﬁgure1The idea of a lockscreen foryour Android phone that offersaccess to apps and contactsis surprising, but in the cast ofActive Lockscreen it is alsoincredibly effective.A new lockscreenThis lockscreen gives accessto messaging, social networksand apps – without unlocking!ActiveLockscreenPrice: FreeOffering Facebook integrationto populate your contacts’photos, Full Screen Caller IDenables you to customise howyour phone alerts you toincoming calls.Enhance the phoneDisplays your incoming callsusing the full size of yourdevice’s screen.Full ScreenCaller IDPrice: FreeA Siri-style personal assistant,you can instruct Alice to makecalls, send messages andemails, launch apps, accessyour calendar, play music andmuch more.Voice controlBrings clever Google Voice-style control right to yourAndroid phone.AIVC (Alice) -Pro VersionPrice: £1.74/$2.36If you need to ﬁnd out whatyour data usage is – ideal forsomeone on a metered mobileinternet connection – NetworkMonitor displays a notiﬁcationwhen you near your limit.Track your dataOffers easy to view real-timemonitoring of wireless, 2G and3G data.NetworkMonitorPrice: FreeOne of the most strikingfeatures of Android 4.2 JellyBean is the analogue clock,which can be added to anAndroid device running version1.5 and above.Classy clockDisplays the time with ananalogue–style clock onnon-Jelly Bean devices.Jelly BeanClockPrice: Free
Wedon’tkeepsecretsLearn the truth about iPhone, iPad, Android, Photoshop andmore with theTips &Tricks series’expert advice and tutorialsTMBUYYOURCOPYTODAYPrint edition available at www.imagineshop.co.ukDigital edition available at www.greatdigitalmags.comfacebook.com/ImagineBookazines twitter.com/Books_ImagineAvailable on the following platforms
ViddyPlaymarkersScan these QR codes for directlinks to the Google Play StoreApps62Seamlessly share with your mates viaFacebook and TwitterCapture Viddy Moments on your phone – aslong as it’s running Ice Cream SandwichWant your money back?You’ve got 15 mins to decide!refundkeep15min wonder»0-5 minutesThe sheer number of users istruly remarkable!51015!»5-10 minutesThe video effects are easy toapply and look great51015!»10-15 minutesWhy didn’t I download thisfantastic app sooner?51015!As a free download, there’sno excuse not to getinvolved with ViddyPerformanceDesignValue»specificationDesigned for: PhoneRequires Android: 4.0Price Free»verdictSocial media hasexploded in recentyears. There are plentyof fantastic apps outthere that let you follow your friendson websites like Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn. Android users havereason to celebrate – until recentlythey’ve been left out in the cold,while iOS users have been enjoyingViddy for months. Viddy takes socialnetworking to a new level. Whatmakes Viddy so amazing? Billed asthe Instagram of video, Viddy is aneasy way to capture, beautify andshare video from your phone.Transform every moment into atrademark Viddy Moment and turnyour dull videos into wonderfulmovies with this fantastic app.Whether it’s a stroll at the beach, ahigh stakes football match or an epicconcert, Viddy Moments areeverywhere and prime for sharing.With 40 million users, Viddy isalready a hit with iOS usersworldwide. This isn’t just a rehash ofits iOS version – app developer Viddybuilt the app from the ground up tomake it work seamlessly withAndroid devices. Viddy is compatiblewith just about every Android deviceout there. As long as you’re runningthe Ice Cream Sandwich OS andabove, the app should workﬂawlessly. Viddy can be enjoyed byan impressive 757 Android devicesacross 136 countries in 16 differentlanguages. However, Viddy did missthe mark on a few notablesmartphones, including the MotorolaDroid RAZR and Sony Xperia P.Viddy isn’t simply a video sharingapp. Dress your videos up with tennew video effects. Effects includevintage to futuristic – no two videosare guaranteed to look alike. You canalso add music to your movies with16 snazzy soundtracks.Best of all, you can seamlesslyshare your Viddy Moments with allyour followers on Facebook, Tumblr,Twitter and YouTube with one-touchsharing. You can even includehashtags and share your videos viaemail and SMS. You can commentand view the Viddys of your friends inan instant.To harness the full power of Viddy,you’ll need a 4G Android device. Acouple of years ago 4G devices werea rarity, but now that 4G deviceshave exploded in popularity it’sViddy’s moment to shine. If you don’thave a 4G device, watch out! You’llneed to be patient while your videoprocesses (although you can runViddy in the background while youuse other apps). You’ll also have towatch your phone’s data cap – ifyou’re not on an unlimited plan youcould easily use up your phone’sdata after hours in Viddy.How does YouTube, a websitesynonymous with video sharing, ﬁtinto the equation? Android users canalready share videos seamlessly forthe world to see through YouTube.Video sharing takes place with nohiccups thanks to full integrationwith Android. No muss, no fuss – noneed to worry about hardwarecompatibility issues. One area Viddyhas the leg up is video sharing. WhileYouTube simply lets you follow feeds,similar to Twitter, Viddy offers a moreorganic experience and lets youfollow what’s trending worldwide.ViddyCapture, beautify and share video from your phone»like this? try this!InstagramInstantlysharephotosviayourfavouritesocialnetworkswithonetouch.Transform videoswith tenspecial effects
SlideMeter TruphoneHarlemShakeCreatorLiteLemonWallet63SlideMeterUse your smartphone as a tape measure? What ever next…Why lug around a heavytoolbox when you don’thave to? Slide Meter isa handy app that actsas a makeshift tape measure andlets you measure the world aroundyou. Whether you want to measure apiece of lumber or a chair, SlideMeter has you covered. Don’t let thename fool you – Slide Meter doesn’tjust provide metric measurements,you can also switch to imperial unitsif you feel more comfortable workingin feet and inches.Slide Meter takes some gettingused to, but once you learn how touse the app you’ll be measuringaccurately like there’s no tomorrow.It’s recommended and a good ideato watch the app’s instruction videoon the main screen to learn how toproperly use the application. Thevideos include pop-ups to makelearning easier – it can be a bit trickyto learn at ﬁrst.Measuring with Slide Meter is easyenough. Start by aligning the left sideof your phone to the left side of thething you’d like to measure. Yourphone must be lying on a ﬂat surfaceto measure accurately. Press thestart button to begin measuring andquickly slide your phone to theopposite side of your object. Onceyou’ve reached the right side, wait asecond before taking your ﬁnger offthe start button. Voilà, themeasurement should appear onscreen! Similar to a trafﬁc light, thereare green, yellow and red lights at thetop of the app’s user interface.These lights are important. If you seea green light everything is good andyour measurement should beaccurate. If you see a yellow light youalmostgot itright, butyou shouldtry again for amore accuratemeasurement.However, if you see a red light you’vedone something wrong and you’llhave to redo your measurement allover again.Carefully follow the instructionsto measure in seconds»like this? try this!Line2AmobileVoIPappthataddsa secondlinetoyourAndroiddevice.»like this? try this!Smart MeasureQuicklyslide yoursmartphoneacrossaﬂatsurface togetanaccuratemeasurement.Are you looking to make your smartphone a better phone? You candial your friends and family faster, cheaper and with crystal-clear, highquality anywhere in the world with Truphone. Instantly call otherTruphone users online worldwide for free without paying a dime. Does thatsound good? If that doesn’t ﬂoat your boat, you can call mobile phone andlandline users worldwide at rock-bottom long-distance rates. If you’re in need ofa second phone number for international calls, no problem – you’ll receive yourown Tru Number just for signing up alongwith free credits so you can enjoy the fullfeatures Truphone has to offer. Did wemention the design and interface aresleek and very easy to use? And if you’resick of paying for voicemail, good news– you can listen to your voicemail for freeat the tap of a button.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2 and upTruphoneSaving your monthly minute allowance one call at a timeHarlemShakeCreatorLiteShake, rattle and roll onyour phoneIf you’re not familiar withthe Harlem Shake, you’renot alone. It’s an internetphenomenon that went viral in 2013.For the Harlem Shake you’ll have toget your groove on by dancing (oftenin a mask) for 15 seconds,surrounded by other people whohave no idea you’re there. The app ispretty easy to use – it utilises yourphone’s camera to take high-qualityvideos to sharewith your friends viaYouTube. To savevideos to yourlibrary and avoidads, werecommendupgrading to pro.»Price Free ($0.99 for pro version)»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.3 and upLemonWalletNever lug around a heavywallet again»Price Free ($9.99 for premium)»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 4.0 and upProbably your worstnightmare is losing yourwallet. It contains all yourpersonal information – a treasuretrove for someone who wants tocommit identity theft. Who wants tocarry around a wallet full of dozens ofcredit cards when you don’t have to?Digitally store a copy of all your cards– government, insurance, loyalty,debit and credit – inthis handy app.Storing your cardsis easy – simplytake photos of yourcards and theapplication doesthe rest for you.It’s great for a quick noveltymeasure, but we can’t see itreplacing the real thing»specification»verdictDesigned for: Phone and tabletRequires Android: 2.2 and upPrice Freealmostgot itright, butyou shouldtry again for amore accuratemeasurement.However, if you see a red light you’vedone something wrong and you’llhave to redo your measurement allover again.
RuntasticPedometerPlaymarkersScan these QR codes for directlinks to the Google Play Store 7digital AudiobooApps64RuntasticPedometerHow many steps are you taking each day?encouraging you to get off the couchand be active. You might besurprised to hear, but a healthy,active person should walk at least10,000 steps per day. Do you knowhow many steps you’re walking? Youwill now thanks to Runtastic.Whether you’re walking to work,jogging at the beach or playingfootball, Runtastic will keep track ofhow many steps you take towardsyour goal of 10,000. Runtastic worksto improve your well-being, whetheryou’re just looking to stay active or tolose weight.Runtastic Pedometer has a host ofwonderful features to help you stayin shape. Each step you take isautomatically recorded and saved inthe app. You can view your history,including your last ﬁve walkingactivities instantly on yoursmartphone. Best of all, Runtasticworks just about anywhere –whether your Android smartphone isin your back pocket, backpack, purseor gym bag, it will be with you everystep of the way.Runtastic isn’t just an app – it’s away of life. Visit runtastic.com toconnect with like-minded individualswho want to stay in shape. Readinspirational stories and learn tips forshedding those pounds. Runtasticpromises to transform you fromsomeone who takes the elevator, tosomeone who wants to tackle thestairs in only a few weeks. Runtasticis simple, with all the bare featuresyou’d ever need, including the abilityto save your statuses to the web. Ifyou’re looking for even morefeatures, download RuntasticPedometer Pro, which includes theability to track your weight and howmany calories you burn.As the saying goes, youmay never know a manuntil you walk a mile inhis shoes. At least you can nowkeep track of his footsteps withthis brilliant app. While mostphone apps encourage you to besedentary, Runtastic takes a pagefrom the Nintendo Wii’s book byView a variety of information, includingyour heart rate, calories and the weatherThere are a whole family of Runtasticapps to keep you in shapeStaying in shape has neverbeen so easy!PerformanceDesignValue»specificationDesigned for: Phone and tabletRequires Android: 2.1Price Free (proversion available)»verdict»like this? try this!Pedometer CaloriesCounterCaloriesCounterletsyoumeasurejusthowmanycaloriesyourhardworkisburningoff.Want your money back?You’ve got 15 mins to decide!refundkeep15min wonder»0-5 minutesI just started the app and I’malready breaking a sweat.51015!»5-10 minutesThe app is easy to set up– you’ll be jogging in no time!51015!»10-15 minutesIt’s easy to use – you’ll be inshape before you know it51015!Track everything fromyour distance to yourrunning speed
»www.littlegreenrobot.co.ukCheck our website dailyfor even more app reviewsBBCSport65»like this? try this!Amazon MP3Nowyoucaneasilydownloadyourfavouritesongstoyoursmartphone.like this? try this!Amazon MP3Nowyoucaneasilydownloadyourfavouritesongstoyoursmartphone.BBCSportFollow your favourite sportswhile you’re on the goAre you looking for a way tofollow your favourite sportswhile you’re on the go?BBC Sport’s app offers a host ofcontent sports fans are sure toenjoy. Instantly access live sportnews, video highlights, scores stats,ﬁxtures and results from the BBC’steam of award-winning journalists.iOS users have already been enjoyingthis fantastic app for months, so it’sgreat to see it on Android. Thispowerful app delivers breakingsports news as it happens, includinglive text commentary and top stories.BBC Sport is fully integrated with yourfavourite social media sites –instantly share content to Facebookand Twitter. BBC Sport offers supportfor a wide variety of Android devices,including newer smaller seven-inchtablets like the Nexus 7.Despite its features, BBC Sportfeels like a stripped down version ofthe websites. Although it does havesome handy features, it’s a prettybasic app. The video content islacking – it would have been nice tohave access to iPlayer and the greatvideo content available online.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2Follow your favourite sports, includingfootball, Formula 1 and cricket»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.17digital20 million songs atyour ﬁngertipsAlthough smartphones aremainly made for talking,listening to music comesin a close second place. 7digitalinstantly brings over 20 millionhigh-quality songs to your ﬁngertips.Searching for music is easy – you canbrowse through what’s in the chart,your favourite genre of music or bysimply typing your favourite artist inthe handy search tool.7digital has been available onGoogle Play for quite some time, sowhy are we reviewing it now? Theapp has undergone a major face-lift– not only has the interface beenredesigned to make listening to yourfavourite tunes easier, you can nowinstantly download music to yourAndroid device. Best of all you can trybefore you buy – listen to a30-second preview of all songs in7digital’s library. The app is fullyintegrated with the cloud – sync yourmusic wirelessly in seconds.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.1AudiobooCapture the world of sound in ﬁve minutes or lessDeveloped right here in theUK, Audioboo is like Twitterwith a unique spin. Insteadof being limited to 140 characters orless, you can record audio clips of upto ﬁve minutes. Best of all you canshare your voice and surf the worldof sound, listening to the recordingsof fellow Audioboo users. Everybodyfrom journalists to the general publichave taken a liking to Audioboo.Whether you’re at a sporting event,on the tube or at a protest, Audioboolets you capture the sound ofwhatever is happening around youwith crystal-clear quality.Audioboo has been recentlyrevamped. The user interface hasbeen greatly improved – not only is iteasier on the eyes, it’s easy tonavigate. If you don’t have Wi-Fiaccess, no problem – you candownload and keep your favouriteaudio snippets to listen to ofﬂine atyour leisure.The new search options also makeit easier than ever to ﬁnd the widevariety of fantastic content Audioboohas to offer.»like this? try this!Falcon ProWiththebeautifulFalconProyoucankeepuptodatewithTwitterinstyle.Listen to previews of yourfavourite shows
LightningBrowserPlaymarkersScan these QR codes for directlinks to the Google Play Store Material Swapps!Apps6666Are you tired of searching the web for your favourite content?Wouldn’t it be nice if the content came to you? Material is a contentdiscovery app that instantly delivers all your favourite content to yourdevice. Here’s how Material works – simply sign in to your Facebook or Twitteraccount and Material does the rest – no lengthy set up, and best of all, it’s free.Material searches millions of sites on the world wide web to deliver contentthat’s relevant to you. Whether you enjoy politics or sports, Material instantlydelivers news, blogs and articles based on your interests. Best of all, Materialwill discover websites you’ve never evenheard of before. The only downside isMaterial is made for phones – if youhave a tablet you might be out of luck.Material delivers on its promise and willchange the way you discover newstuff forever.»Price Free»Designed for Phone»Requires Android 2.3MaterialTop notch content delivered instantly to your phoneIf you’re looking to get the most out of your Android, you’ll want todownload this handy app. Swapps! by developer ShizTech is an appguaranteed to boost your efﬁciency and make you more productive.Whether your phone has a small screen or your home screen needs somede-cluttering, Swapps! will instantly solve your problem. Swapps! is a greatmultitasking app. If you ﬁnd going back to your home screen to switch appscumbersome and a pain, this app is for you. Swapps! works with a simple swipeof a ﬁnger, instantly bringing up the app’spowerful sidebar. Your apps are put inthree categories: starred apps (ten ofyour favourite apps of your choosing),recently used apps (the ﬁve mostrecently used) and your full app list.Swapps! offers all sorts of features – youcan even make changes to the sidebar.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.3Swapps!Access all your apps, everywhereLightningBrowserBrowse the webat lightning speedLet’s face it, when itcomes to mobile phonebrowsers there areplenty of decent ones already outthere – Firefox, Chrome andDolphin to name a few. If you don’thave the latest and greatest andyou’re just looking for the barenecessities of browsing, LightningBrowser is right up your alley. Billedas the most powerful webbrowser of its size, LightningBrowser lives up to the name andthen some. You can quicklybrowse the web for the latestnews headlines before Firefox iseven open. This brilliant app haseverything you’d ever need in abrowser – Flash support, tabbedbrowsing and convenient shortcutkeys. There’s a free version, but»like this? try this!ChromeLooksbestontablets,althoughit’sfullysupportedbyAndroidsmartphones.Fast browsing and smooth scrolling– what more could you ask for in an app?you’re limited to just ﬁve tabs andﬁve bookmarks – if you’re lookingfor the full smartphone browsingexperience you’ll want todownload the paid version. It’swell worth the money.DOLPHIN BROWSER »AnotherviablealternativetoyourdefaultAndroidwebbrowser,Chrome.»best freealternativeThis is the perfect no-frillsbrowser to meet all yourweb needsPerformanceDesignValue»specificationDesigned for: Phone and tabletRequires Android: 2.2Price Free»verdict»like this? try this!UberSocial for TwitterDon’twastetimesearchingforcontentwhenyoucouldbeenjoyingit.»like this? try this!SidebarInstantlyaccessyourfavouriteapps–a greatwaytomultitask.
67Perfect365Make yourself look greatwith a single tapAre you camera shy due toblemishes on your face?Don’t be! Perfect365makes those embarrassing unsightlyblemishes a thing of the past. In onesimple tap you’ll look amazing everytime. By applying one of the manynatural touch-ups or a sizzlingmakeover you’ll see remarkableresults. There are plenty of amazingfeatures including clean-up, whichremovesblemishes anddark circles underyour eyes, andenhancement,which makes yoursmile look amazing.There’s even acomparison tool.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2ThermometerKnow the exacttemperature outside»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android Varies with deviceThermometer is the mostpopular thermometer appfor a good reason. It claimsto be the most accurate temperatureapp, right down to a tenth of adegree. Whether you’re in London orThailand, you’ll know exactly what theweather is like outside. So whatexactly sets this application apartfrom the crowd? It providesup-to-the-second temperatureinformation – whileother apps rely onhour-old data. Withthe weather beingup and down, thatdifference is key.You can switchfrom Celsius toFahrenheit too.WeatherLiveGoldThe best-looking weatherapp ever? We agreeThere are plenty offantastic weather apps, sowhat makes this appdifferent? This app calls itself ‘themost beautiful weather app ever’and with good reason. Weather LiveGold instantly transforms yoursmartphone home screen into a liveforecast of the weather. You’ll knowup to the minuteweather withouthaving to glanceup from yourphone. Whetherit’s raining, cloudy,snowing or a nicesunny day, you’llknow ﬁrst.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2HotelTonightBooking a hotel has neverbeen so easy!»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2Instantly book hotelsthrough your smartphoneand save money, too! HotelTonight is an amazing app that letsyou book same-day hotel rooms withup to 70 per cent discounts. You’llnever have to waste time phoninganother hotel. Hotel Tonight offersexclusive deals on the nicest hotelsaround the worldin major citiesincluding NewYork, London,Toronto andChicago. You’llreceive the bestrates possible,guaranteed.NightVisionCameraTake photos in the dark…Night Vision Camera is theultimate app for night owlswho enjoy taking photos atnight. How does this unique appwork? It maximises your phone’scamera in the dark by automaticallyadjusting parts to improve visibility.There are a host of handy features,includingadjustable lightsensitivity, theability to adjustﬂash and theoption to savephotos. The qualityof photos dependson your phone.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2HighlightWatch the world around you»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2Have you ever been walkingdown a crowded street andwondered if your mates arenearby? Wonder no more thanks toHighlight. Highlight offers anenjoyable way to connect and sharewith the friends and strangersaround you. As you go about yourdaily routine, Highlight runs in thebackground. When you run intosomeone you know it will pop up andinstantly notify you when friends areclose by. It’s fullyintegrated withyour Facebook andLinkedIn proﬁlesso you’ll knowwhat all yourfriends are doingin person andonline too.SkypeWiFiAccess over a million publicWi-Fi hotspotsIf you travel frequentlyabroad this is a must-haveapp. A traveller’s worstnightmare is to receive a hefty bill forthousands of dollars in roamingcharges. Sleep easy at night withSkype WiFi. Hop online at over amillion Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide,including airports, bars, hotels andrestaurants. Pay conveniently perminute of usage with Skype credit.With a simple tapof the ﬁnger youcan instantlybrowse theinternet, checkemail and evenchat with yourfriends and familyvia Skype.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2FacebookPagesManagerManage your Facebookpages from a single app»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2Social media isn’t just away to connect with yourfriends and family, it’s alsobecome a major way for businessesto grow their brand online. Whetheryou’re promoting your brand,business or organisation, a Facebookpage enables you to let users shareand interact with companies. It canbe daunting to manage multiplepages – this app makes managingthem a breeze. Post new updatesand photos instantly from yourphone and respond to comments.Gain further insight into your page byviewing your latest page insights.quickhits
facebook.com/webdesignermag twitter.com/webdesignermagDESIGN INSPIRATION BEHIND THE SCENES STEP-BY-STEPADVICEBUY YOUR ISSUE TODAYPrinteditionavailableatwww.imagineshop.co.ukDigitaleditionavailableat www.greatdigitalmags.comAvailablefromallgoodnewsagentsandsupermarketsON SALE NOWPower up WordPress | Create scroll-based animations | Master caption stylesDESIGN INSPIRATIONBUY YOUR ISSUE TODAYSTEP-BY-STEPADVICEBUY YOUR ISSUE TODAYPRACTICAL TIPS INDUSTRY OPINIONBUILD A BETTER WEBwww.webdesignermag.co.ukAvailableonthefollowingplatforms
69OPERAMINIGOOGLECHROMEvsheadWhich one of these highlyrated web browsersreigns supreme?headtoheadtoheadThere are plenty of good things about Opera Mini. It’s a great choicefor people new to Android, but it can’t compete with Chrome. If youneed a web browser with super-quick speeds, decent features andremains easy to use, then Chrome is deﬁnitely for you.Browsing is made simple inOpera and there’s even atutorial to help. Bookmarkingis a bit more difﬁcult tomaster, and having too manycan slow down the browser.Loading speeds arephenomenal in Chrome andthere’s a great bookmarkingand ‘favouriting’ systemimplemented here.Websites render well too.Opera is a fairly slick lookingapp that uses some simplefeatures to really make itstand out. Its minimalistlayout will help new users getto grips with it.Despite the sheer amountof features includedwithin Chrome,everything is laid out invarious menus that areeasy to navigate.In some ways, Chrome isincredibly detailed and hasenough settings to keepthe most die-hard Androidfan happy, but it can be abit over complicated.Opera is tailored to newerusers of mobile browsingand it has plenty of featuresto give you the bestexperience possible withouthaving too much jargon.If you want a no-frillsbrowser, then Opera is foryou. All the basic featuresare present and counted for,but there’s little in terms ofadditional items to explore.Google has done a great jobat adding numerousfeatures. The multi-tabsystem is a highlight andreally sets itself apart fromthe competition.And thewinner is...GOOGLECHROMEREADINGTEXTCUSTOMISABLESETTINGSBROWSINGDESIGNMobile web browsing has come on leapsand bounds and there are now plenty ofbrilliant browsers available. Opera Miniand Google Chrome are two of the best,but which freedownload should begracing yourhome screen?There aren’t too manyoptions to edit your readingexperience in Opera. Text isresizeable from within theSettings menu and thezoom function works well.You can edit text to suityour reading style – Chromeis very customisable. Withinsome websites, you can usethe text-only mode to read abook-styled version.FEATURES»specificationDesigned for: Phone and tabletRequires Android: VariesPrice FreeGoogle ChromeOpera Mini»specificationDesigned for: Phone and tabletRequires Android: 1.5Price Free
TheSimpsons:TappedOutPlaymarkersScan these QR codes for directlinks to the Google Play Store Cordy2Games70what we’vebeen playingSporos FreeA classic case of easy tounderstand but a lifetime tomaster. Sporos is an intriguingpuzzle game that requires youto simply turn off all the lights on aplatform full of spores. Very addictive!Sonic Jump £1.46/$1.99One of the ﬁrst original Sonicgames to make anappearance on Android isSonic Jump, a new spin onthe Sonic format that sees you jumparound collecting coins on the move.»twitter@lgrobotRecommend a game…Bring back Springﬁeld to its former gloryThe Simpsons is thelatest franchise torelease a tie-in game toits popular TV series.The game tells the story of Homeraccidentally setting off a nuclearexplosion in Springﬁeld and itbecomes your job to rebuild it howyou see ﬁt.There’s a fantastic tutorial thatguides you through the variouselements and menus of the game.It’s surprising how much detail itgoes in to, so make sure you’ve gotplenty of time to play through it all.As the game progresses you caninvest in new buildings forSpringﬁeld’s residents, most ofwhich you’ll recognise from the show.After a while you’ll have a sprawlingmetropolis and you’ll need tocarefully manage what eachcharacter does and the impact it hason your new city.Alongside the daily managementof Springﬁeld, there’s a wide range oftasks that need to be completed.Some tasks can take just a fewminutes to complete, but some cantake a while longer and tend to be abit repetitive. You can reach yourgoals faster by purchasing in-gamecurrency, in this case doughnuts, forreal cash. The game likes promotingits freemium items on a regularbasis, but this can be disabled withinthe game’s settings menu.The Simpsons: Tapped Out shouldbe applauded for containing contentdesigned by some of the writers fromthe show, and even some of thevoice actors are included in thegame. Graphically the game alsoshines – all the in-game charactersare easily recognisable and eachSpringﬁeld landmark can be locatedeasily. The HD aspects of the gameare also very apparent, again anotherstrong plus.From a gaming perspective, TheSimpsons: Tapped Out is a prettyordinary city sim, but what it lacks indepth it certainly makes up for incomedy and style. It isn’t perfect, butdeﬁnitely worth a download.»Price Free (in-game purchases optional)»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.3.3TheSimpsons:TappedOutAs you complete tasks you earn more money and… doughnutsMany recognisablecharacters can befound in the game»Price Free (£2.99 after ﬁrst four levels)»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2Cordy2Electrifying fun from Cordy,Volt and friendsThe follow-up to the hugelypopular Cordy sees ourelectrical friend come backto rid the world of the evil Boogalooand his various Boogie Bots.Fundamentally, the game works inthe same charming way as itspredecessor did, with acombination of a simpleplatformer action mixed inwith a great side story youcan follow along with.This time around, Cordyhas the ability to unlock arange of new tricks to helpvanquish his enemies.Some of them are quitehard to unlock and evenharder to performcorrectly. As you learn new tricks,you’ll unlock further worlds to exploreand the sense of exploration helpsthe longevity of the game and thesense of value for money.It’s a little ropey graphics wise,and although the cartoony graphicslook the part, there’s an occasionaldrop in frame rate that markedlyslows the game down. Apart fromthat, Cordy 2 is a brilliant addition tothe platformer genre on Google Play.The more gears you collect the higheryour score will be
»www.littlegreenrobot.co.ukCheck our website foreven more game reviewsDieHardSelaTheSpacePiratePocketStables71The portfolio of Kairosoft games is ratherimpressive and its latest foray into the micromanagement genre is Pocket Stables. From theoff you’re thrown into the world of horse racing and it’syour job to hire and manage jockeys, while also taking careof your current crop of race horses. As with any Kairosoftgame, the main driving force is progression and your lowlyhorse and jockey will start off fairly terrible, but withenough experience and time they’ll blossom into aformidable duo. As you progress you’ll be able to hire morejockeys and horses and with your stable constantlygrowing, you’ll need to invest in more buildings andtraining grounds. The management aspects are asfantastic as ever, and you’ll still ﬁnd the same level ofaddictive management gameplay. However, the formula isgetting a bit tiresome – we were hoping for better.The basis of Sela The Space Pirate is simple –shoot as many things as you can until theyexplode. Instead of collecting treasure as youwould expect with any pirate themed game, you insteadneed to collect the coins that are dropped by your alienfoes. The action is very fast and it can take a little while toget used to how the game works. Apart from the ‘shooteverything and everyone’ aspects of the game, there’salso a strong driving element that sees you control yourspaceship through a wide variety of industrial wastelands.Graphically the game shines and even though there’salways so much going on at times, the game copes with itall well and you won’t ﬁnd any lag of note. It is pretty short,however, and if you manage to pick mechanics quickly,you’ll be able to get through the game in one sitting. It’s anenjoyable ride regardless.PocketStablesSelaTheSpacePirate»Price £2,99/$4.99»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 1.6»Price £2.33/$2.99»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.3Is Kairosoft starting to lose its touch?Treasure hunting in the futureIf you’ve seen the new AGood Day To Die Hardblockbuster, then you’llnotice that several scenes havebeen recreated in this ofﬁcialtie-in to the movie. The game is anendless runner that needs you toblast your way out of theradioactive ruins of Chernobyl,while also collecting coins tounlock new weapons and armour.As you progress you’ll comeacross a number of balaclavawearing Russian goons, who you’llneed to quickly tap on to shootthem before they shoot you. At thesame time you need to tilt yourphone to avoid obstacles andmake sure your life bar doesn’t hitthe dreaded zero mark.DieHardPlay as John McClane’s son in this fast-paced, but ultimately dull action caperThe problemwith Die Hardis that it soongets repetitiveand there’slittle replayvalue here.Enemies alllook the sameand onoccasion willsimply standthere and let you shoot them. Yoursurroundings are very bland and itcan be hard to distinguish betweenwhat is actually a background pieceand what is an obstacle that canhinder your progress.Die Hard is deﬁnitely worthy of aquick play through, but the ropeygameplay issues and uninspiringgraphics means there is little hereto keep you interested for long.»Price Free»Designed for Phone and tablet»Requires Android 2.2Alien Breed £2.99/$4.99Despite being made over 20years ago, Alien Breed is asuperb top-down shooter nowon Android. Blast your waythrough endless waves of aliens with awide variety of ﬁrepower.QuestLord £1.27/$1.99In the spirit of old schoolRPGs, QuestLord is aturn-based game with fulldungeon crawling action. The8-bit graphics lend themselves well andthere’s plenty to keep you going.Robo5 FreeRobo5 is a 3D puzzler thatputs you in control of a robottrying to climb up a mountainof boxes. You’ll constantlyface tricky puzzles, but the game getsbeyond frustrating after a few minutes.Oddland FreeTaking place in a post-apocalyptic future, Oddland isa ﬁrst person action gamethat sees you trying to rid theworld of aliens. Great fun at the start, butrepetitive gameplay lets it down.quickhitsReal Basketball FreeWork your way up throughvarious basketball leagues asyou aim to become an MVP.There’s plenty of addictivegame modes on offer and a strongmultiplayer focus.SlingshotRacing £0.69/$0.99This novel take on the racinggenre sees you needing touse a grapple hook tonavigate around courses. Themain career mode is in-depth, while alsobeing a good challenge for most gamers.Blast your way through the Chernobyl wasteland
Reviews72HTCOneHTC’s only ﬂagship phone of the year combines bleeding-edgespec and innovative with class-leading design.Is this the one you’ve been waiting for?
EDITOR’SCHOICE74ReviewsDual-speakersTwo speakers are housed on the front,neatly incorporated into the phone’sdesign. They’re pretty loud and sincethey’re facing you, give off great soundwhen you’re watching videosNo expansionThe micro SIM slot is located on thetop-left edge, and the uncovered microUSB on the bottom. There’s no spacefor a micro SD card slot, and the batterycannot be replaced eitherTwo buttonsThe only buttons below the screen areBack and Home. The task switchingfunction is assigned to a double-tap ofthe Home button. At no point did weﬁnd ourselves pressing the HTC logoinstead of a buttonAluminium unibodyThe phone is crafted from a single blockof aluminium. The build quality isexceptionally high. It feels extremelysolid, high-end and looks fantasticIR portThe power button is located on thetop-left of the phone, and is a little hardto reach. However, it doubles up as anIR port you can use to control your TV.It’s one of the most welcome additionalfeatures we’ve seen in some timeSuperfast dataThe phone runs on 4G networks whereavailable and also supports 802.11acWi-Fi for superfast data connections inexcess of 100Mbpsmove with the Galaxy S II, and all its momentum waslost. In 2012, despite a recognition of its mistakes,the company was still not able to turn a generallypositive reception for its devices into sales. Now in2013 we have the HTC One. It will be HTC’s onlyﬂagship device of the year, and the product taskedwith turning around six consecutive quarters of loss.It certainly feels like a fresh start. The Onedisplays incredible attention to detail, as if everysingle feature of the phone has been thought andrethought. HTC has pulled back from the unwinnablespecs race, taken its own path in industrial design,and in the process has produced the mostimpressive Android phone we’ve ever seen.Back in 2010 HTC was well placed to becomeAndroid’s dominant manufacturer. It hadpopular ranges at all the key price points andhad also been chosen by Google to make the ﬁrstNexus phone. In 2011 it built too many mediocrehandsets, with muddled branding and poormarketing just at the time Samsung was making its
Design and buildThe HTC One raises the bar for the design of notonly Android devices but all other smartphones. It’ssafe to say that it is in a class alone with the iPhone5, but where such comparisons would normallyinvolve an amount of wishful thinking on the part ofthe Android camp, here it is not so. You could easilyargue that HTC has surpassed what Apple has beendoing – the One unquestionably looks like the moremodern device, and is beautiful.HTC has returned to the aluminium unibodydesign that it helped pioneer and has nowperfected. The phone feels incredibly solid, it isweighty but not heavy, and with a curved back helpsit ﬁt comfortably in the hand. With a smaller thannormal bezel down the edges of the screen, thephone is also a couple of millimetres narrower thanyou would normally expect of a 4.7-inch device, andthat also has great ergonomic beneﬁts.Stereo speakers sit above and below the screenand are nicely integrated as a design feature. Alsobelow the screen are capacitive buttons for Backand Home. The Menu button is now virtual and onlyappears as and when needed, and the taskswitching function is assigned to a double-tap of theHome button. The two buttons straddle an HTC logoin the centre, and although it is an irregulararrangement, we never had any issue with it.The power button is located in the top-left. Thisisn’t ideal, although in this instance the buttonserves a secondary function as an IR remotecontrol. Other features are minimal. The microSIM tray requires a tool to open, there’s nomemory card slot and the back plate is,of course, not removable.ScreenThe phone boots incredibly quickly, andwithin about seven seconds you ﬁnd yourselfstaring at the best screen on any smartphonetoday. Like with last year’s One X the screen islaminated, meaning there is no discernible gap75PerformancetestsAsexpected,theOnebetterstwoofthebiggestpowerhousesontheAndroidmarketcurrently.IttrumpstheXperiaZandNoteIIintestsforCPU,graphicsandbrowsing,somethingthatwasmatchedinourrealworldexperience.TheHTCOnedeliveredaseeminglyunprecedentedlevelofspeedandsmoothnessinanAndroiddevice.AntutuHTCOneXperiaZ2321219780GalaxyNoteII13619GPUGLBenchmarkHTCOne3743XperiaZ33321975BrowserVellamoHTCOne238521721287Processor&graphicsXperiaZGalaxyNoteIIGalaxyNoteIIbetween the actual display layer and the glassabove it. The 1080p resolution over 4.7 inches givesa pixel density of 468ppi, higher than any otherdevice. It is noticeably better than 720p displays,and also better than another 1080p display, in theSony Xperia Z. The One has vastly superior viewingangles, far deeper blacks and more vibrant colours.It’s even viewable in the (winter) sun, although wemight need to revisit it in a couple of months to seehow it holds up in the middle of summer. The screengoes very bright if you need it to. We found theauto-brightness setting to be acceptable for mostpurposes, but a bit too dim for video viewing. A quickdownload of MX Player, with its own app-speciﬁcbrightness setting, quickly rectiﬁed that though.Performance and batteryEven though HTC has made the One about muchmore than its core specs, the device is still bleedingedge and still holds its own against all. There’s aquad-core Krait processor clocked at 1.7GHz, Adreno320 graphics and 2GB of RAM, which all help things“TheOneunquestionablylookslikethemoremoderndevice,andisbeautiful”move along as smoothly as possible. It is aided toan extent by a version of HTC Sense that is muchlighter than normal. All traces of lag were all buteliminated – any very minor jerks that we may haveencountered were those that appear to beunavoidable realities of the Android OS.Our review unit had 32GB of storage, and a 64GBversion is also available. Of that 32GB about 29GBwas available out of the box.The overall hardware performance can be largelytaken for granted. No apps can really stress thehardware in modern smartphones, so whetheryou’re using them for web, video, gaming or phone,you will be satisﬁed. As a phone, incidentally, theOne also impressed, with clear call quality and goodreception at all times.The HTC One is without equalwhen it comes to design – this isthe best-looking phone ever
76ReviewsAway from the basic specs the other hardwarefeatures also add real value. We’ve mentioned thatwe like the look of the front-facing speakers, butthey are an awful lot more than a superﬁcial designfeature. For almost the ﬁrst time in a smartphonethey sound like proper speakers, something thatyou actually want to use instead of reaching for theheadphones at the ﬁrst opportunity. There’s nochance of you sleeping through the alarm with thisdevice, and the awesome stereo output combinedwith that display helped give us the best mobilevideo experience we’ve had.Audio recording was equally impressive, as wasthe inclusion of an infrared transmitter to use as aremote control for your TV. With a large database ofsupported TVs and set-top boxes, along with theability to ‘learn’ from any other remote, plus aninteractive TV guide that will automatically changethe channel to the show you want to watch, it wassurprisingly useful and has lots potential to grow infuture as well.With so much power in the One, battery life wasalways going to be a concern, especially as it is anarea where HTC devices tend to stumble. Thankfullythe 2300mAh battery surpassed our expectations.It comfortably got us through a day of ‘average’ useand with heavy use would start to hit warning levelsaround early evening. We did not have a chance totest the phone on a 4G network, which may reducebattery life further.CameraThe main area where HTC has rethought itsapproach is with the camera. Rather than follow thecrowd and go for a 13-megapixel sensor, thecompany has stepped back to 2006 and chosen amere four megapixels.HTC rightly talks about the megapixel myth, howthe idea that more megapixels is automaticallybetter is wrong. In an imaging sensor of the samesize, the more pixels there are, the smaller they are.The smaller they are, the less light they can take in.This is what causes grainy, noisy images to beproduced in low light conditions. HTC’s approachmeans the four million pixels in the One’s cameracan capture 300 per cent more light than the 13million pixels in a camera, such as that on theGalaxy S IV. To try and avoid direct comparisons –however ﬂawed – with higher megapixel cameras,HTC is calling its pixels Ultrapixels, but this is a puremarketing strategy and has no actual meaning in animaging sense.The lower megapixel count is also not withoutsome downsides. Four megapixels offers little in theway of future-prooﬁng for your images. The displayon the Nexus 10 tablet already has a four-megapixelresolution, so you wouldn’t be able to zoom in onyour shots on that device without a serious loss inquality. More megapixels also equates to moreIn daylight, images from the One are good, althoughthe lower resolution means they lack detail.The One can handle lower light conditions betterthan most devices, but is still far from perfect.Camera on test detail in an image, and the loss of detail on theOne’s camera is noticeable. If you’re shooting purelyfor sharing online then you won’t have issues withthis, but more ambitious photographers will certainlyneed to bear it in mind.It’s also worth noting that the One shoots in 16:9aspect ratio. This is ﬁne for shooting in landscapemode but not for portrait. You can switch to 4:3 butthis only crops the image, reducing the resolutionyet further to a measly 3.1 megapixels.To aid low light capture, the One is also equippedwith an f2.0 lens, which lets in 44 per cent morelight than the f2.4 aperture lens in the iPhone 5. Andthere is also an optical image stabilisation featurewhich enables you to shoot at lower shutter speeds(to allow more light in) without introducing anymotion blur. It also helps smooth out the judder inhandheld video.And HTC has one further trick up its sleeve in theform of Zoe Capture. This is a brand-new featurethat begins shooting fractionally before you pressthe shutter button and continues for a couple ofseconds after. If you’re trying to photograph amoving subject it takes away the pain of timing yourshot just right – tap the button and you’ll capturearound three seconds worth of images from whichyou can pick the best shot. It’s a great idea, anddoes work very well in certain circumstances. Userswith young children who refuse to stay still will loveit. But be warned: excessive use of Zoe will eat awayat your storage space quite quickly, and if you haveauto-upload enabled on one of your cloud servicesthey will all end up there as well.So how does the camera perform overall? Thehonest answer is – not quite as good as we’d havehoped. It is the most usable camera we’ve seen in asmartphone, with fantastic software and effectivelyno shutter lag. The stabilisation works brilliantly.Stills are possible in low light without resorting to thefeeble LED ﬂash where on other devices theywouldn’t be (although note that with the shutterspeed typically dropping to around 1/15 of a second,moving subjects will still come out blurred). In videoThe HTC Oneoffers the bestvideo experienceon any mobiledevice
If ever a smartphonedeserves to be a success itis this one. Simply the bestAndroid phone to date»VerdictSonyXperiaTissue019 issue013SamsungGalaxySIIIworse thanbetter thanHTCOneValue for moneyLike all flagships it is expensive. But youcan see where your money has goneFeaturesYou can quibble about a few hardwareissues, but the software is well thought outDesignMiles ahead of the rest of Android. It’sbeautiful, with a very premium finishPerformanceSuperfast and extremely powerful. Wecouldn’t find a single task to tax the OnePrice £520»More informationwww.htc.cominformationHTCOneBattery lifeIt should get youthrough the day onnormal use, butpower users mightneed an end-of-daytop-up.Sony Xperia Z HTC OneThe HTC One has a marginallyhigher pixel density than the SonyXperia Z, and both are well inexcess of 400 pixels per inch.However, there is a cleardifference between the twodisplays. The blacks on the Oneare far deeper and the laminatedeffect on the HTC screen make itblend into the hardware far better.It is a stunning display.Screen testit is even better, introducing a steadicam effect thatenables you to shoot while walking and not bringabout a feeling of seasickness in anyone watchingthe resulting clip.But if you’re after sharp, clean, low light imagesthen HTC’s ‘Ultrapixels’ are not able to deliver. Thereare improvements over rival camera phones butcolours were washed out and noise reduction wasstill evident. It is good, but HTC has not reinventedcamera phones with the One.SoftwareThe HTC One runs Android 4.1.2 with HTC’s Sense 5skin. It’s a vast improvement over previous versionsof Sense. It’s quicker and lighter than in the past,the cartoony graphics have been largely replaced bya more mature styling and there’s far less bloat.It’s not perfect – the condensed system fontwould not have been our choice, and the appdrawer’s default grid size of 3x4 makes poor use ofspace (although it can be changed to a moretraditional 4x5 easily enough).Sense 5 contains two new pieces of software.First is BlinkFeed, the new main home screen panel.This is essentially a full-screen Flipboard widget,showing news, Twitter updates and the like. Itguarantees you’ll have something to look atwhenever you’ve got a few seconds to kill, but wedidn’t appreciate having the news headlines thrustin our face every single time we turned the phoneon. You can’t disable BlinkFeed but you can set astandard Android home screen to be the default –with BlinkFeed positioned one swipe to the left itbecame less intrusive and more useful.The other feature is Zoe Highlights. This, an onlypartly related companion to Zoe Capture, groupsstills and videos in the Gallery app into ‘events’ –stills and videos shot at the same time or in thesame place – and automatically edits them intoshort movies without any user input at all.Zoe Highlights is a wonderful innovation with hugepotential, yet in its initial form it is crippled. The clipscan only be uploaded to HTC Share, and they’ll onlybe hosted for 180 days. If HTC doesn’t update theservice so they can be posted directly to Twitter orFacebook then it will be a missed opportunity.Elsewhere the software is equally great. You canlaunch four apps from the lockscreen, including the77Review»Operating system...............Android 4.1.2»Processor...................................Snapdragon 1.7GHz quad-core»Memory.......................................2GB RAM, 32GB storage»Dimensions..............................137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3mm»Weight..........................................143g»Display size...............................4.7-inch»Display resolution...............1080 x 1920 pixels»Expansion slot.......................Nonetechnical specscamera, even when the phone is passwordprotected. The extra apps are well chosen anduseful, ranging from a full ofﬁce editing suite andnotes app with Evernote integration to a musicplayer that displays song lyrics. HTC’s own widgetsare as valuable as always, and you even get supportfor Flash. The keyboard is also a big improvementon previous HTC efforts, especially with swipingsupport, which is turned off by default.VerdictWith the One, HTC has demonstrated that it is oneof the few companies willing to try somethingdifferent. The combination of industry-leadingdesign, high-quality components and genuineinnovation in the software are great enough that youoverlook its minor downsides, such as its slightlydisappointing camera and the potential issues withstorage shortage. Put simply, this is the bestAndroid phone to date, and arguably better than anyphone on any platform.worse thanbetter than
79Mid-range phones can be an awkward combination of dodgy softwareand even worse design ﬂaws. But for those without the cash to splashout on a high-end device, there are some real alternatives out therethat can rival many of the high-end phones currently on the market. We’ve pulledtogether four of the best devices from different manufacturers to try and ﬁndthe ultimate mid-range phone that you should consider buying.They include the big Xperia T that offers enough size and power to competewith many of its more expensive companions, as well as the Samsung GalaxyS3 Mini which looks to bring all the high-quality features from its much largersister device into a tiny package. We’ve taken a look at HTC’s best mid-rangeoffering in the One SV, which looks to make great design a must-have, and ﬁnallywe’ve scrutinised the Motorola RAZR i to see if its software is up to scratch.We’ve got four of the best mid-range devices on test this month,but which one should you consider buying next?
Reviews80»head-to-head»Operating system........Android 4.1»Processor...........................Snapdragon 1.5GHzdual-core»Storage................................1GB RAM, 16GB storage(expandable to 32GB viamicro SD)»Dimensions......................129.4 x 67.3 x 9.4mm»Weight..................................139g»Display size......................4.55-inch»Display resolution.......720 x 1,280 pixels»Connectivity....................Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n,Bluetooth 4.0, GPS,HSDPA 42.2 Mbps,HSUPA 5.76, micro USB(via MHL)»Camera...............................13-MP rear, 1.3-MP front,1080p full HD videotechnical specs»Price £334.80»More informationwww.sony.co.uk»Supplied bywww.vodafone.co.ukinformationDesign and buildThe 4.5-inch screen is a nice addition, butis let down by the plastic casing and rubberbackplate. For a company that promotesstrong aesthetics, this is a letdown.FeaturesThere’s plenty packed into the Xperia T tokeep you interested and you’ll ﬁnd manydecent pre-installed apps available. The13-megapixel camera is also a big plus.Battery lifeAlthough the 1850mAh unit handlesaverage tasks well, it soon drains withheavy usage. Being unable to swap it for asecond battery is therefore a problem.Value for moneyWithout doubt, you’re getting plenty ofbang for your buck with the Xperia T. Bigscreen, plenty of features and a great userexperience make this phone attractive.Plenty of pleasing features,but it lacks the polish tocompete with other handsetsin the category»VerdictSonyXperiaTSony looks to push the boat out, highlighted by both greatfeatures and a superb cameraThe SonyecosystemThe range of pre-installedapps on the Xperia T allpoint to Sony’s attempt todominate your living room.You’ll ﬁnd apps that linkyour phone to your BRAVIATV, Walkman audio playerand PlayStation 3Dedicatedcamera buttonOne of the Xperia T’sdistinguishing features is thededicated camera button. Itenables quick access to thephone’s camera and meansyou’ll never miss a picture-perfect moment againThe Xperia T is the biggest device in the grouptest, but a bigger screen doesn’t necessarilycorrelate to better design. The problem with theXperia T is that it feels like a budget device; its plasticcover and rubber backplate lack a premium ﬁnish. Allthe usual ports can be found on the right side of thephone, including a clever ﬂap that hides micro SD andSIM card ports. You’ll also ﬁnd a dedicated camerabutton, something not included on the other phones,but one that highlights the Xperia T’s best feature.Turning on the phone reveals Android 4.1 and you’llﬁnd all the quirks and features associated with it areincluded. Sony’s own skin works well and although itstill lacks behind the pure Android experience it’sstreaks ahead of TouchWiz and HTC Sense. When youbuy a Sony phone, you’re also buying into its brandand this is immediately noticeable when you realisethe amount of pre-installed software that comes withit. You’ll ﬁnd apps that will link to your Sony TV,PlayStation and Walkman, but they are completelyredundant and eat up a considerable amount of the16GB of internal storage if you don’t own any of theproducts. The saving grace for the Xperia T has to beits camera though, as the 13-megapixel offeringdisplays some beautiful images that take fulladvantage of the 4.5-inch display, even if colours canlook a bit drab from time to time.The Sony Xperia T couldn’t be any more of a mixedbag if it tried. You can’t fault Sony for packing in asmany apps and features as it does into the device, butmany of them are pointless if you don’t own thecorresponding Sony products. Even though the phoneis typically mid-range, for your money you’d expectsomething more well made than the offering here.If you’re on the look out for a great camera phoneand you can overlook its many problems, the Xperia Tis a decent enough choice for those not wanting topart with too much money.SonyXperiaTAndroid 4.1Although it’s fairly wellhidden underneathSony’s skin, the Xperia Tincludes all the usualfeatures found in Android4.1. You’ll soon get usedto them
81Group testUsingTouchwizTouchwiz has itscritics, but thisiteration is probablythe best yet. It’squick and easy touse, but is nowherenear as useable asthe pure AndroidexperienceFamiliar designSamsung like to encase all itsdevices in a plastic shell and that’swhat you get in the S3 Mini. It’sincredibly lightweight, but we can’tfault how the phone feels in handNo extraportsOne of the unusualfeatures on the S3 Mini isthe lack of ports. You’llﬁnd the usual volumerocker, power button,3.5mm audio jack andmicro USB port, butnothing else of noteDoes the signiﬁcantly smaller version of the Galaxy S3 liveup to the expectations its bigger brother set?The Galaxy S3 Mini is a carbon copy, albeitsmaller, of the much bigger Galaxy S3 and forthe most part it works well. Samsung hasadopted its usual plastic chassis onto the Mini, andalthough the device may look metallic in parts, it isn’t.The plastic build isn’t as premium a ﬁnish whencompared to some of the other devices in this grouptest, but it does feel well put together. Fortunately, thebackplate is removable meaning you can switch the1500mAh battery at any point – a deﬁnite thumbs upover the ﬁtted backplate of the Xperia T.Samsung tends to have decent, if unspectacularscreens, and it follows suit here with a four-inch SuperAMOLED offering. Colours look deep and vivid, butthere’s slight pixelation if you look closely. For a deviceof its size, the 1GHz dual-core processor blitzesthrough all tasks we set it, and with the Mini shippingwith Android 4.1, you’ll have your hands on nearly thelatest operating system update.As with all its Galaxy devices, Samsung hasimplemented its TouchWiz skin and it offers a mixedbag. The latest version of the skin is the best yet, butclearly lacks behind Sony’s version and the pureAndroid experience. A positive of TouchWiz, however,is that you do get full access to the Samsung suite ofapps, with S Planner being a particular highlight.One of the limitations of a device this small is theimpact it has on the camera and the S3 Mini producesdistinctly average photos. However, there are plenty ofﬁlters and options available for you to customise, andvideo recording is generally of decent quality.Samsung has done a terriﬁc job in bringing asmaller version of the gigantic Galaxy S3 to themarket, and for the most part, it’s a great little device.It’s small enough not to impact on your everyday use,the processor is superfast and the selection ofpre-installed apps is impressive. But, it does lack anybreakthrough features that make it a must have.SamsungGalaxyS3Mini»head-to-head»Operating system........Android 4.1»Processor...........................Cortex-A9 1GHz dual-core»Storage................................1GB RAM, 8/16GB storage(expandable to 32GB withmicro SD)»Dimensions......................121.6 x 63 x 9.9mm»Weight..................................111.5g»Display size......................Four-inch Super AMOLED»Display resolution.......480 x 800 pixels»Connectivity....................Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n,Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, HSDPA14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76,micro USB»Camera...............................5-MP rear, VGA front, 720pvideo recordingtechnical specs»Price £282»More informationwww.samsung.com»Supplied bywww.clove.co.ukinformationDesign and buildThe familiar plastic chassis is in full forcehere, but it isn’t as ‘high-end’ as we’d like.It’s very well put together, however, sokudos to Samsung for that.FeaturesThere isn’t an overwhelming selectionof pre-installed apps on offer, but theincluded Flipboard and Samsung suite ofapps are great additions.Value for moneyWith the Galaxy S4 recently hitting theshelves, expect the S3 Mini to lower inprice considerably over the next fewmonths. Look out for a bargain!ConnectivityHaving a removable backplate is a big plusfor heavy users on the go, and meansswapping the fairly basic 1500mAh batteryis an easy process.The S3 Mini is a much smallerdevice, and it certainly hassome nice touches but there’snothing to make it stand out»VerdictSamsungGalaxyS3MiniSamsung suiteBy taking a look at the appdrawer of the S3 Mini, you’ll beable to use some of the ofﬁcialSamsung apps, including SPlanner, S Voice and S Suggest
Reviews82»head-to-head»Operating system........Android 4.0»Processor...........................Qualcomm S4 1.2GHzdual-core»Storage................................1GB RAM, 8GB storage(expandable to 32GB withmicro SD)»Dimensions......................128 x 66.9 x 9.20mm»Weight..................................120g»Display size......................4.3-inch Super LCD»Display resolution.......400 x 800 pixels»Connectivity....................4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS,HSDPA 42 Mbps, HSUPA5.76, micro USB»Camera...............................5-MP rear, 1.6-MP front,1080p full video recordingtechnical specs»Price £349.99»More informationwww.htc.com/uk»Supplied bywww.clove.co.ukinformationDesign and buildThe curved back of the One SV helps itfeel great in hand. HTC has implementeda plastic body here, but it has a premiumlook and feel to it.FeaturesSense is still trying to make ground on thepure Android experience, but Sense 4.1 iscertainly the best iteration of the customskin we’ve seen.Battery lifeYou can get a fair amount of usage out ofthe 1800mAh battery, but hardcore usersshould be sure to carry a spare battery orportable charger with them.Value for moneyFor what you get for your money, the HTCOne SV is a great investment. It’s also thebest solution for those looking to get theirﬁrst 4G phone while on a budget.As far as mid-range devices go,the HTC One SV is definitely upthere. We’d even recommendit over some high-end phones»VerdictHTCOneSVAll about 4GDevices that offer 4Gsupport aren’t good for yourwallet, but the One SV is nowone of the cheapest ways toget your hands on a4G-enabled phoneSuccessfullayersThe colour combinationof the casing highlightssome great aesthetics.HTC always does a goodjob at bringing stylishtouches to its phonesand it has done it againBeats AudioHTC has implemented Beats Audio into theOne SV, offering users a chance to listen totheir favourite tunes in crystal-clearhigh-quality. The speakers on either side ofthe SV are also great for soundMake sense ofSenseSense 4.1 still doesn’t offer aperfect user experience, butthere’s no denying it’simproving. Browsing yourphone is a lot smoother andthe suite of pre-installed appshas certainly improvedHTC looks to blend premium speciﬁcations with anaffordable price tag, but does it deliver?When you get your hands on an HTC phone,you know there’s a design treat waiting foryou. The SV is a beautiful device. It feels wellput together and the black, white and grey layeringmakes the device feel a lot more premium than boththe Xperia T and S3 Mini. Taking a look at the back ofthe SV will reveal the 4G LTE branding and it’s the onlyphone here that caters for the new high speeds.When turning on the device you’re greeted to a4.3-inch display sporting a LCD 480 x 800 resolution.It isn’t anything spectacular and suffers from thesame pixelation problem as the S3 Mini, but for whatyou’re paying, it does the job well. One of the bestuses of the display is to use it in conjunction with thedecent camera that has been implemented. Thereare some terriﬁc features included and plenty ofphoto sharing options available as well.To use all these features you’ll want a speedyprocessor that can keep up. The One SV is a quickphone and the dual-core processor handledeverything we could throw at it with ﬂying colours.Whether you’re doing a spot of downloading, browsingor simply just using the camera, the processorhandles it all very well.The One SV ships with the Ice Cream Sandwichupdate and runs Sense 4.1, which is by far the bestversion of HTC’s custom skin yet, and there are somequality features included in this phone. You’ll ﬁnd newentertainment hubs at your disposal and the defaultbrowser has undergone some changes. Sense is farmore useable now and HTC has done a great job atupdating it into a more user-friendly skin.For a mid-range device, the One SV excels in mostareas. We take our hats off to HTC who hassuccessfully combined plenty of premium featureswithout the premium price to boot. It’s also currentlyone of the cheapest ways of getting your hands on a4G-compatible phone.HTCOneSV
83Group testWelcomingIntelWhat really sets theMotorola RAZR i apartfrom the competition isthe Intel processor thatpowers the device. Itblitzes through mosteveryday tasks andhandles even the mostcomplex tasks withabsolute easePixel perfectThere’s no denying that thehighlight of the RAZR i has to beits magniﬁcent Super AMOLEDdisplay. We can’t stress enoughjust how crisp and clear itmakes everything lookCameraqualityAlthough Motorola isn’treally known for itscameras, the RAZR iincludes a useablecamera for the mostpart. Colours looksuperb, but thecamera isn’t as goodin low light conditions»head-to-head»Operating system........Android 4.0»Processor...........................Cortex-A9 1.2GHz dual-core»Storage................................1GB RAM, 16GB storage(expandable up to 32GB viamicro SD)»Dimensions......................130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1mm»Weight..................................127g»Display size......................4.3-inch Super AMOLED»Display resolution.......540 x 960 pixels»Connectivity....................Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth4.0, GPS, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps,HSUPA 5.76, micro USB»Camera...............................8-MP rear, 1.3-MP front, 1080pfull HD video recordingtechnical specs»Price £318»More informationwww.motorola.com»Supplied bywww.clove.co.ukinformationDesign and buildThe rubberised back of the RAZR i is oneof few plus points. The phone has anawkward bezel and has several visiblescrews on show.FeaturesAndroid users want to be able to add theirown apps and media to their devices. TheRAZR i lets you do this thanks to a lack ofbloatware and plenty of spare space.Battery lifeThe 1780mAh battery is good enoughto get you through an entire day withoutneeding to charge, but hardcore usersmay need to keep a charger handy.Value for moneyCompared to the competition, theRAZR i isn’t cheap. For the most part,however, you’re getting some greatsoftware and an overall very good device.A solid offering that provideseverything you could want inan Android phone. Some poordesign touches do let it down»VerdictMotorolaRAZRiAndroid4.0You’ll ﬁnd Android 4.0 infull force here and itcomes with all thefamiliar features.Motorola has alsoincluded a few extratouches to try andimprove your AndroidexperienceMotorola aims a shot at the big boys by combining apremium processor and superb display in the RAZR iThe Motorola RAZR i lacks the design featuresfound in the One SV, but it certainly makes upfor it in other areas. Each side of the phone isencased with a thick plastic, with the backplatehaving a nice rubberised feel to it. Despite being oneof the smallest devices of the group, it feelsnoticeably heavier than the rest. This could be to dowith the visible screws used to hold different areas ofthe case in place. It isn’t an ugly device, but it doesn’thave much going for it.Turning on the device reveals something completelydifferent, however. The 4.3-inch Super AMOLEDscreen looks amazing and colours really stand out. Itdoesn’t have the same pixelation problem as the S3Mini and One SV and runs the Xperia T into a closesecond for having the best display of the bunch.Motorola’s custom skin is the lightest in the groupand certainly the most Android-like, and it works wellfor the most part. Browsing is great and thanks to theIntel-powered processor onboard, it handlesmultitasking extremely well. The only problem wefound was when ﬁrst booting up the smartphone –you’ll notice a bit of lag when you ﬁrst use it.Motorola doesn’t ﬁll its phones with unnecessarybloatware, so although you won’t ﬁnd lots ofpre-installed apps on the RAZR, you have plenty offree space to add your own apps through the Playstore. The expandable micro SD slot on the right-handside of the phone means you’ll be able to swap microSD cards whenever you need to.There’s certainly a lot to like about the MotorolaRAZR i. Not only does it feel well made and has asuperb screen, it also feels more like an empty shellthat users can ﬁll with the stuff they want on theirAndroid phone. If you can look behind the uninspiringand slightly dodgy design choices Motorola hasimplemented here, then the RAZR i might be theperfect mid-range phone for you.MotorolaRAZRi
Reviews84SonyXperia TDimensions 129.4 x 67.3 x 9.4mm 121.6 x 63 x 9.9mm 128 x 66.9 x 9.20mm 130.7 x 68.9 x 7.1mmOS Android 4.1 Android 4.1 Android 4.0 Android 4.0Processor Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm S4 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 1.2GHz dual-coreMemory1GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandable to32GB via micro SD)1GB RAM, 8/16GB storage(expandable to 32GB with micro SD)1GB RAM, 8GB storage (expandableto 32GB with micro SD)1GB RAM, 16GB storage (expandableup to 32GB via micro SD)Weight 139g 111.5g 122g 127gDisplay Size 4.55-inch Four-inch Super AMOLED 4.3-inch Super LCD 4.3-inch Super AMOLEDDisplay Resolution 720 x 1,280 pixels 480 x 800 pixels 480 x 800 pixels 540 x 960 pixelsConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0,GPS, HSDPA 42.2 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76,micro USB (via MHL)Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0,GPS, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76,micro USB4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth4.0, GPS, HSDPA 42 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76,micro USBWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS,HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76,micro USBCamera13-MP rear, 1.3-MP front, 1080p full HDvideo recording5-MP rear, VGA front,720p video recording5-MP rear, 1.6-MP front,1080p full video recording8-MP rear, 1.3-MP front,1080p full HD video recordingSamsung GalaxyS3 Mini HTC One SV Motorola RAZR iThewinner…With so many devices falling into themid-range category, it was hardenough picking the best four deviceson offer, let alone choose a winner from theshortlist. In the end, we had to think about thephone that best met our expectations andwhat the average user wants from anAndroid smartphone.After deliberating, the HTC One SV reallystood out against the competition for severalreasons. It was unmatched in terms of thefantastic design – the various colour layersand gorgeous curved backplate really set itapart. It also is a great example of how customskins are slowly gaining ground on the pureVanilla Android experience, and the same canbe said not only about HTC Sense, but alsoTouchWiz and Motorola’s skin too.It has some nice software touches and agood selection of pre-installed apps too, mostof which are incredibly useful, even if you’ll ﬁndbetter alternatives to them on the Play store.Dig a little deeper and you’ll even ﬁnd a fullAndroid 4.0 experience, with promises of anupdate to Android 4.2 sooner rather than later.As we’ve previously mentioned, the One SVis also one of the most cost-effective ways toget your hands on a 4G phone, and for thatreason alone makes it worth a look. If youhaven’t got the cash to splash out on its biggercompanion, the HTC One, the SV will be amore than suitable replacement.Overall scoreHTC One SVGROUPTESTWINNER
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86ReviewsMotorolaRAZRHDMotorola continues to gain momentum with another great addition to its RAZR rangeMotorola doesn’t always hit the headlineswith its handsets. They can bedisappointing. But the RAZR HD showsthat Motorola really does know how to do the rightthing. It is a super phone.The RAZR HD is really nicely made. Thedistinctive angled corners that Motorola useswidely these days as a signature design featuremake an appearance, and the back also has arecognisably Motorola-style block pattern finish.The Kevlar material means the handset is tough,and it has a splash guard coating that helps it resistsmall amounts of water. What this handset is not,though, is waterproof. Its left-side mounted USBand HDMI connectors are not protected by a cover,and nor is the top mounted headset slot. It’s farfrom Xperia Z levels of protection, then, but may beenough for you to use the device in a rain showerwithout being too worried about potential damage.There’s more than a little attention to detail inthe build. The main power switch and volumerocker are both found on the right edge. The rockerhas two small knobbles – one at each end – whichWebThesharp,clearscreenisidealforreadingwebpagesonyourdailycommutegoodfor...StylishdesignWith taperedcorners and asmart backplatedesign theMotorola RAZRHD looks verydistinctiveGreat batteryThe high capacity batterykeeps this phone alivelonger than many, whichmakes the device great forbusiness users especiallySmart appsThere are some clever appsand widgets on board toaugment Android 4.1, andMotorola’s skin is generallyvery consistently designedwith Android as a wholeMemorymattersWith 12GB of onboardstorage and a micro SDcard slot for expansion,there’s plenty of memorycapacity for your appsand contentLargescreenThe 4.7-inchscreen hasvibrant coloursand is clear andsharp
87ReviewGamingWithagoodbatteryyoucouldstretchtheprocessorwithseriousgamingsessionsVideoThe screenisfreshand vibrant–perfectforvideo watchingPhotographyThere’sadecenteight-megapixelcameraonboardtopleaseamateursnappershelp you ﬁnd it by touch alone. You’ll want to do thisto change music volume, for example, when thephone is in your pocket.The main power switch is ridged, so that it feelsrough under the ﬁngers. Again this helps you ﬁndthe button without actually looking down at thephone. The RAZR HD is large, but it feels wellweighted and it is just 8.4mm thick, making it avery comfortable hold.Things are just as good when you start looking atthe speciﬁcations and capabilities of this handset.The screen is one of the larger ones around atpresent, with its 4.7-inch corner-to-cornermeasurement. The 1,280 x 720 pixels put it amongthe previous generation of devices, but the screencan handle plenty of detail, and crisply too, with apixel density in excess of the magic 300ppi mark.And the Super AMOLED technology means it isvery, very sharp, and the colours are extremelyvibrant. Not everyone likes this screen technology– some people ﬁnd the colours oversaturated fortheir tastes. But if it is your cup of tea, then thescreen is a treat. A clear beneﬁt of the large screenis the ability to read many webpages withoutzooming in at all, and it naturally works well forvideo viewing too.One area Motorola has put some effort into isbattery life. With a large screen to keep going and a1.5Ghz dual-core processor to power there’s a lotof pressure on the battery. It’s disappointing thatyou can’t actually get inside the handset to removethe battery, but on the other hand we found it didkeep going rather longer than the average andought to get many people through a day withouttoo much trouble.Even better, Motorola has included its ratherclever SmartActions app on the handset. Thisapplication gives you the opportunity to set thephone to do things automatically when certainconditions are met. For low battery status thiscould be to disable some functions. Equally,though, you could use it to turn on silent modewhen you are in a meeting or switch the musicplayer on when you put in headphones, or a wholerange of other things.There’s 12GB of user accessible storage. Withno access to the battery area your micro SD cardgoes in a slot right next to the SIM. Both are undera cover on the left-edge of the phone. Theeight-megapixel camera shoots average qualitypictures, about in line with our expectations for adevice that does not sell itself on its imagingcapabilities.Android 4.1 is built in, andthe RAZR HD has 4G supportand NFC. Motorola hasn’tﬁddled with Android toomuch, but there are somevery neat widgets. A weather/time/battery statuswidget displays information in circles, each ofwhich you can ﬂip with a ﬁnger ﬂick to get to asecond function. Meanwhile, swiping right from thehome screen takes you to a settings area for Wi-Fi,GPS and so on. The skin is similar to that which wesaw and loved on last year’s mid-range RAZR i. It’ssubtle and light, and is styled mostly in line withAndroid’s Holo theme, which means it feels like anatural extension of the OS rather than somethingsimply dumped on top of it. It’s possibly ourfavourite skin to date.Overall, it is hard not to come out in favour of theMotorola RAZR HD. Inside and out, there are somevery alluring features. The specs may not be able tomatch up to the bleeding edge ﬂagship devices of2013, but then if you’re not too concerned aboutthat then there’s an awful lot to like here.Motorola’s RAZR series isstarting to shape up nicely.The HD is another excellentaddition – classy and reliable»VerdictSonyXperiaZissue023HTCOneissue024worse thanbetter thanMotorolaRAZRHDValue for moneyNot quite a top-end handset, butappealing at the price pointFeaturesNice additions in both hardware andsoftware that don’t overload AndroidDesignVery distinctive, thin, stylish looks. Oneof Motorola’s best devices yetPerformanceSmooth and sleek with good batterylife. Easy to use thanks to a great skin»Operating system...............Android 4.1»Processor...................................Dual-core 1.5GHz»Memory.......................................12GB storage»Dimensions..............................131.9 x 67.9 x 8.4mm»Weight..........................................146g»Display size...............................4.7-inch»Display resolution...............1,280 x 720 pixels»Expansion slot.......................micro SDtechnical specsPrice £400»More informationwww.motorola.co.ukinformationMotorolaRAZRHD“Itisvery,verysharp,andthecoloursareextremelyvibrant”Battery lifeA 2350mAhbattery helpskeep the RAZRHD alive longerthan theaverage phone
88ReviewsKoganAgoraAgoraKogan’s Agora low-cost smartphone offers a mixed bag offeatures, but the rare ability to support two SIMsWebThescreenislargeenoughforacomfybrowsing experiencegoodfor...Big screenThe screen is vast consideringthe cost of this handset, withﬁve diagonal inches of viewingspace on offer. However theresolution is somewhat lowerthan you’d expect at this sizeKogan isn’t a name you’d normally associatewith smartphones, and its aggressivelypriced Agora is the ﬁrst to become availablein the UK. Does it do enough to establish Kogan asa force to be reckoned with?Well, Kogan has managed to cram a ﬁve-inchscreen, dual-SIM support, dual-core processor anda pretty neat design into a handset that it is sellingfor a mere £119 ($149). Really, with just thosebasic speciﬁcations listed many people will bereaching straight for their wallets. But, as ever, thedevil is in the detail and it is worth looking closer tosee if, even at such a seemingly bargain price, youget good value for money here.Dual-SIM support is rare enough in any handsetand to see it pop up in such a low-cost phone is areal treat. The software support for a double SIMsetup is good and you could easily combine workand home SIMs, or save the second slot for thecheap local SIM you buy when you are travellingand don’t want to get stung by roaming costs. It’s anice option to have.When you are using two SIMs, it is easy todecide which SIM to use for different services –SMS, voice calls, video calls and so on, so you canmake the most economic choices easily.Of course there are compromises. There arealways going to be compromises when you arelooking at a high specced handset that is thisaffordable. The screen is a case in point – it giveswith one hand and takes away with the other. Thefact that it measures ﬁve inches is likely to be aBasic AndroidAndroid 4.0 is barelyskinned, making for a lighttouch appearance and aneasy to use device lackingthe gaudy effects so oftenseen on the morebudget-minded devicesAll the basicsGiven its low cost, it isgood to see all thebasic smartphonefeatures are presentand correctFront facingcameraThe front camera is a very basic0.3 megapixel effort. It’s passablefor video calling but you won’t wantto use it for anything elsereal draw, putting it line with devices like the GalaxyS4 or Xperia Z, but it is short on pixels with only800 x 600 on offer. This amounts to a pixel densityof just 200ppi, a throwback to previousgenerations, and has a quite serious effect onviewability, with text often lacking crispness.There’s something odd about the colours too –they look faded rather than vibrant.While neither of these is a disaster, we wonderwhether Kogan might have been better offdropping down to 4.5 or even 4.3 inches to make
90ReviewsArchosGamePadAndroid gaming devices are set to be big news this year. Has Archosstolen a march on the competition with the GamePad?GamingThearrayofphysicalgamingbuttonsshouldpleaseany gamergoodfor...ButtonsYou certainly can’t quibblewith the number, and range,of gaming buttons to befound hereShoulder buttonsIf you don’t want to use thefront-facing buttons, a pair of shoulderbuttons are ready to do your biddingStereo speakersTwin front-facing speakers deliver thestereo sound that accompanies yourplaytime. However they aren’t as loudor punchy as we’d likeAndroid is a very ﬂexible operating systemso in a way it is surprising to see it largelyrestricted to just phones and tablets. Thenagain, when it does break out of the standardmold, things can go wrong.The Archos GamePad is a case in point. Archosis a dark horse of the Android ecosystem. It hasbeen producing tablet-based devices for a verylong time and its history in the portable musicsector is the stuff of legend. But its GamePadmight just be something Archos wishes it hadnever brought to market.There is nothing wrong with the basic idea. Takean Android tablet, give it a fast processor and agreat screen, and give it really good sound output.stolen a march on the competition with the GamePad? Shoulder buttonsIf you don’t want to use thefront-facing buttons, a pair of shoulderbuttons are ready to do your biddingStereo speakersTwin front-facing speakers deliver thestereo sound that accompanies yourplaytime. However they aren’t as loudor punchy as we’d likeEquip it with controls that are appropriate tohandheld gaming and Bob’s your uncle.Sadly the basic idea has somewhat eludedArchos. The GamePad might look like a greathandheld gaming device, but the reality doesn’tstack up. Let’s start with the screen. A seven-inchscreen sounds just about right for some seriousgaming. It’s not too big to be unwieldy to hold, butlarge enough that you’re not going to need tosquint at the screen. However, the screen quality is“Ifyouareaseriousplayerthenyoumaywellgetfrustrated”
91ReviewAppsFullAndroid4.1isherewiththecompleteselectionofappsMusicYoucouldputmusic onamicroSDcardtosave some of the 8GBof nativestorageWebTheseven-inchscreenmakestheGamePadagoodportable webbrowsernot great. At 1,024 x 600pixels it is far from leadingedge. The colours look a bitwashed out and while thescreen delivers ﬁne forgameplay it isn’t what we’d calltop notch.Sound isn’t great either. There are twospeakers either side of the screen, well positionedto punch out sound, but the quality is average andquite tinny at times.Along the short edges of the GamePad is a hugeselection of controller buttons. As well as fourbuttons on each side you’ve got a D-Pad and L2and R2 buttons, complete with two smallerbuttons for select on the left and start on the right.There is also a pair of shoulder buttons.There’s a smart button mapping utility that letsyou map touchscreen controls onto buttons so youcan set things up how you like them. In theory thisis a great idea, and when it works well it is good.But a lot of Android games are designed fortouchscreen controls and the buttons just don’tmap onto a screen sweep. Nor is the D-Pad verygood for arc type actions. Sometimes, then, youstill need to touch the screen either because it ismore convenient, or because you just have to.Get beyond that and the buttons themselvesaren’t actually all that great. They just don’t feel asresponsive as they should. They’re probably ﬁne forcasual gaming, but if you are a serious player thenyou may well get frustrated. Smaller hands will ﬁndusing the D-Pad and shoulder button on the sameside of the GamePad a challenge too, just in termsof being able to reach them both at the same time.The build is plastic throughout and the chassiscan creak a bit. We’re sure it is tough enough, butthere’s no getting away from the fact that theGamePad’s looks are more on the budget side thanthe premium one.Of course, the GamePad functions as a standardAndroid tablet too, and you get a reasonable set ofspeciﬁcations. Android 4.1, a dual-core 1.6GHzprocessor supported by 1GB of RAM, 8GB ofonboard memory and a micro SD card slot, HDMI, afront camera (but not back-facing main camera),Bluetooth and, of course, Wi-Fi.For the money, that’s not a bad set of standardspeciﬁcations, though the obvious competitor, theGoogle Nexus 7, isn’t so much more expensive. Butthe GamePad isn’t sold as a standard Androidtablet, but one with a specialism. And sadly itdoesn’t do that specialism very well. To add to itswoes, there are some higher-end games that itcan’t cope with at all.Archos could have produceda winner with the GamePad,but ultimately it feels like amissed opportunity»VerdictNone Nexus7issue015worse thanbetter thanArchosGamePadValue for moneyInexpensive, but that might be theproblem with the GamePad…FeaturesAndroid 4.1 is nice to see but other featuresare lacking. Screen is very mediocreDesignTidy looks, but it feels a bit chunkythanks to the gaming ‘wings’PerformanceButton mapping is not perfect and notall games are as smooth as you’d like»Operating system...............Android 4.1»Processor...................................Dual-core 1.6GHz»Memory.......................................8GB storage»Dimensions..............................229.8 x 118.7 x 15.4mm»Weight..........................................330g»Display size...............................Seven-inch»Display resolution...............1,024 x 600 pixels»Expansion slot.......................micro SDtechnical specsPrice £130»More informationwww.archos.cominformationArchosGamePadBattery lifeDisappointingbattery life,especially for adevice that will beused with power-hungry gamesReviewAt 1,024 x 600pixels it is far from leadingedge. The colours look a bitwashed out and while thescreen delivers ﬁne forgameplay it isn’t what we’d callSound isn’t great either. There are two»Operating system»Processor»Memory»Dimensions»Weight»Display size»Display resolution»Expansion slottechnical specsPrice»More informationwww.archos.cominformationArchosGamePadChassisdesignThe chassis isplastic throughoutand feels very muchthe budget deviceScreenThe seven-inch screen isnot the most impressivewe’ve ever seen and theresolution is lowcompared to somethinglike the Nexus 7A normaltabletThe GamePad doesdouble up as a regularAndroid 4.1 tablet withmost of the expectedfeatures and reasonableperformancedevice that will be
Reviews92ReviewBWCRazerThin10”HDBulky Android tablet looking to bring big size to thoseon a small budgetThe ﬁrst thing you’ll notice about the BWCRazerThin is the complete absence of anymajor features on its front or back. Thefamiliar black slab look is in full effect here, just likethe 7” offering, but the metallic back is a welcomeaddition. You’ll ﬁnd a couple of two-megapixelcameras located on the front and rear of the tablet,as well as a small speaker located in the corner.Sound quality isn’t the best through the speaker,so your best bet is to use the 3.5mm audio jackprovided to listen through headphones. All theother ports on the RazerThin are located on oneside of the tablet and include a HDMI port, DCcharger, micro SD slot that’s expandable up to32GB and also a micro USB port.For the price you’re getting a great range of portsand the tablet does feel well built, even if it’s a littleheavy and uninspiring on the eye. For the priceyou’re also getting a pretty bog-standard display,but at 1,024 x 768 resolution, the tablet does agood job at bringing colours to life, but is clearlyleft behind by many higher end tablets.Turning on the tablet reveals a very bare Androidexperience, but one that acts as a canvas for youto customise the tablet. Running Android 4.1means you get the full Android experience and thelack of pre-installed apps means you’ll be able toﬁll up the 16GB of internal storage in no time,thanks to access to the Google Play store.Getting around the tablet is pretty fast becauseof the dual-core processor, but opening andclosing apps was a bit time consuming. There wasalso problems when moving from landscape toportrait orientation, as the tablet seemed to take afew seconds to recognise the change.BWC has done a good job at packing plenty offeatures and ports into the RazerThin, and on thewhole it works well. It isn’t without several faults,however, but at an impulse buy price, you mightjust be able to forgive it.BWC has crammed a lot intothe RazerThin. The results aremixed, but it is reasonablygood value»VerdictDisgoTablet9104issue017FujitsuStylisticM532issue016worse thanbetter thanBWCRazerThin10InchHDValue for moneyA low price point for a tablet with aten-inch displayFeaturesHaving the pure Android 4.1 experienceis a great addition to a budget tabletDesignUninspiring looks, and pretty weightycompared to similar tabletsPerformanceThe processor blitzes through tasks, butthere are screen orientation issues»Operating system...............Android 4.1»Processor...................................1.5GHz dual-core A9»Memory.......................................1GB RAM»Dimensions..............................243x187x10mm»Weight..........................................737g»Display size...............................Ten-inch»Display resolution...............1,024 x 768»Expansion slot.......................micro SDtechnical specsPrice £139.99»More informationwww.mobicity.co.ukinformationBWCRazerThin10”HDBattery lifeThe 8000mAhbattery shouldsee youthrough awhole day withlight useCreate gesturesOne of the few apps included onthe device is Gesture Control,which lets you make your very owngestures and dictate how you wantto interact with the tabletRange ofportsIf you’re a multimediabuff then you’ll love therange of ports includedon the RazerThin. There’seven a dedicated HDMIsection in the tablet’ssettings where you canadjust the resolutionWeight issuesDespite the tablet beingpretty thin, the samecan’t be said about itsweight. At just over700g, the tablet can bea bit of a problem to holdfor long periods of timeworse thanbetter thanBWCRazerThin10InchHD
93ReviewBWC7”HDTabletCan BWC’s budget seven-inch offering challenge thelikes of the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD?The budget tablet market is awash withdevices vying for your attention, and thelatest to enter the fray is from BWC. At seveninches, the tablets utilises the standard black slablook, but with a wide bezel encompassing theslightly odd 1,024 x 600 resolution screen. There’sno major design inclusions to note, but therubberised back of the device feels great in hand,and as a whole the tablet feels well put together. Allthe usual ports and rockers are included, as well asa micro SD card slot, 0.3-MP front-facing cameraand a full HDMI port which is a nice touch.Turning on the device reveals the full Android 4.1experience and all the features it brings with it. Thedual-core processor does a good job of making thetablet feel nippy and this is also helped with thelack of bloatware included on the tablet. We did likethe included Apkinstaller app that can be used toinstall apps from your SD card, which was a greataddition and something you don’t often see ondevices this cheap.Despite handling most tasks well, the screen isbelow par when compared to the competition. The1,024 x 600 resolution leaves most app icons andwords squashed up which looks ugly and webpagebrowsing can be a problem when in portrait mode.It also leaves a pretty wide bezel around thescreen that loves to embrace ﬁngerprints.The BWC 7 Inch HD Android Tablet doesn’t doanything that is truly amazing, but it doesn’t doanything wrong either. In fact it falls slap bang inthe middle of what you could want from a budgettablet. If you can look past the dodgy screenresolution, then this offering from BWC might justbe a suitable choice for you if you’re in the marketfor a sub-£100 tablet.A no frills budget tablet thatoffers a solid Android 4.1experience at a very attractiveprice point»VerdictPrestigioMultipad9.7Ultraissue020GoogleNexus7issue015worse thanbetter thanBWC7InchHDAndroidTabletValue for moneyYou can find similar and some better tabletsfor around the same price markFeaturesLack of bloatware is a big plus, but theincluded Apkinstaller app is greatDesignWell-built tablet with an oddly shapedand clumsy-looking displayPerformanceDual-core processor makes the tabletfeel very nippy while using it»Operating system...............Android 4.1.1»Processor...................................1.6GHz dual-core»Memory.......................................1GB RAM»Dimensions..............................230x150x50mm»Weight..........................................599g»Display size...............................Seven-inch»Display resolution...............1,024 x 600 pixels»Expansion slot.......................micro SDtechnical specsPrice £99.99»More informationwww.mobicity.co.ukinformationBWC7”HDTabletBattery lifeThe 3000mAhbattery lasts ameagre twohours withheavy useAndroid 4.1If you’re looking for a relativelycheap way to get your hands onAndroid 4.1, this seven-inchercomes with it pre-installedSolid designThe tablet has a nice weight to itand the rubberised back helps itfeel good in hand for prolongedperiods of timeAwkward screenThe 1,024 x 600 resolution means that inportrait mode icons and words often looksquashed up together, making them ratherunsightlyOperating system...............Android 4.1.1...................................1.6GHz dual-core.......................................1GB RAMtechnical specsBattery lifeThe 3000mAhThe 3000mAhbattery lasts ameagre twohours withheavy useworse thanBWC7InchHDAndroidTablet
OBDLinkMXBluetoothOBD2ScantoolIf you don’t know your way around acar engine, then chances are theOBDLink might not be a product foryou. However, it does have a seriouspurpose and is easily one of the mostadvanced products in its ﬁeld.The OBDLink MX Bluetoothconnects to the diagnostic linkconnector found under the dashboardof a car and transmits valuable dataregarding your car’s performancedirectly to your phone.After ﬁtting the OBDLink, you needto connect your phone to it viaBluetooth and download the TorquePro app from the Google Play store.The OBDLink is a very small package,which not only makes it easilyconnectable, but it’s also lightweightand easy to carry around with youwhen not in use.When you then start up the appyou’ll see a wide variety of differentinformation regarding how your car isperforming. As well as displayingareas such as torque, accelerationlevels and your speed, it also has aningenious monitor to see your currentfuel levels and how long you can travelbefore requiring to stop for more.But what makes this OBD unitstand out from the competition ishow it can help identify problems withyour car. After the unit has run itsseries of tests on your car’sperformance, it can identify the areasin which you need to keep an eye on,or let you know if you need to takeyour car to a mechanic.Although the OBDLink MX might beredundant to many, for carenthusiasts or people havingproblems with how their car isrunning, this is an invaluable tool. TheBluetooth link means it’s easy toconnect your phone to it and thewealth of knowledge at your disposalis second to none.94Monitor your car’s performance with this ingenious piece of techThe ultimate diagnostictool for car enthusiastsPerformanceDesignValue»specificationMore informationwww.espautomotive.co.ukPrice £149.99/$199.95»verdictAccessoriesRun some testsIt can also be used to do somegeneral maintenance checks onyour car. Connect the OBDLink upand open the Torque Pro app toperform some simple fuel andengine checks before you set offfor the dayConnecting toBluetoothOn the front of the OBDLink aredifferent symbols that let you knowwhen the unit is connected to yourdevice via Bluetooth, turned on andwhen it’s running some testsSource theproblemThe OBDLink does afantastic job at ﬁndingany problems with yourcar’s performance, sokeep an eye on theTorque Pro app to see if itﬂags up any issues as theOBD is runningEDITOR’SCHOICE
95Accessories95Bluetooth headsets can be bought fornearly nothing, so for the moreexpensive ones that enter the market,such as the Voyager Legend, they reallyneed some standout features. On theoutside, the Voyager Legend looks likeyour standard headset, with thelightweight piece of kit being comfortableto wear and the attached microphoneadjustable to suit your needs.Where it stands out from thecompetition is with its range of gesturesthat can be used to control it. By simplyputting the headset on, the VoyagerLegend will automatically accept anincoming call and you can then use oneword commands to stop the call or evenalter the volume levels. All the gestureswork surprisingly well, but we’re not surejust how necessary they are.The range of dynamic drivers included in the CX 275s are impressive and theyoffer a good range of sounds. Bass is also another plus here, and despite theirsmall size, the earphones do a good job at offering quality audio playback. Theprice in which they’re priced at means the CX 275s are against a lot ofcompetition and although the sound quality is good, there are better alternativesout there. Sennheiser has offered a strong design here and you’ll ﬁnd all thenormal Sennheiser branding dotted about theearphones. They’re incredibly light, which helpsimprove comfort, but we’d like to have seen a bitmore care in the build quality of the slightlymisaligned headphone jack connector.»Price £89.99 /$119.95»More informationwww.plantronics.com»Price £49.99/$69.95»More informationwww.sennheiser.co.ukSmart Bluetooth headset with intuitive sensor technologySennheiser aims for big sound in a small packagePlantronicsVoyagerLegendSennheiserCX275s»Price £39.99/$49.99»More informationwww.maroo.comThe Maroo KAIMATA has a weighted base encased in plastic to help offer astable platform for your tablet to be placed on. Attached is a protruding silverhinge that can be altered to different angles and heights to ﬁnd the perfectview that suits you. The entire unit feels very sturdy and the aluminium ﬁnish tothe hinge is a nice addition and adds a premium ﬁnish.Your tablet can be placed in either landscape or portrait orientation with twohooks holding them in place at the bottom. There isn’t anything holding yourtablet in place on its sides, but unless you heavily knock the unit this shouldn’tbe a problem that you’ll encounter.A universal tablet stand forenjoying media and moreMarooKAIMATA AccessoriesPlantronicsVoyagerLegendthat can be used to control it. By simplyputting the headset on, the VoyagerLegend will automatically accept anincoming call and you can then use oneincoming call and you can then use oneword commands to stop the call or evenword commands to stop the call or evenalter the volume levels. All the gesturesalter the volume levels. All the gestureswork surprisingly well, but we’re not surework surprisingly well, but we’re not surejust how necessary they are.Price £89.99 /$119.95More informationwww.plantronics.comSmart Bluetooth headset with intuitive sensor technologyPlantronicsVoyagerLegendMarooKAIMATAMarooKAIMATA AccessoriesPlantronicsVoyagerLegendEDITOR’SCHOICE
96Accessories96AccessoriesPortablespeakersWe’ve got a selection of pocket-sized speakers this monthto see which one offers you the best bass for your bucksuLinkBot»Price £18.99/$25.00»More information www.salomshop.comNot only a nice desktop speaker in the shape of everyone’sfavourite droid, the uLinkBot also enables you to take calls byspeaking into it. At the bottom is a small speaker that worksgreat, but is slightly mufﬂed when the uLinkBot is stoodupright. As well as connecting to the gadget throughBluetooth, you’ll also ﬁnd a 3.5mm audio jack and mini USBport around the back of the unit. Once connected, there’seven a semi-transparent strip that lights up to indicate ifuLinkBot is working.EdifierSoundToGoPlus»Price £57.02/$79.99»More information www.ediﬁer-international.comThe aluminium frame of the Sound To Go Plus is a deﬁnitepositive and it adds a premium ﬁnish to the soundbar. Thereare a variety of speakers enclosed in the front mesh that helpcreate a sound far bigger than the unit’s size. You’ll ﬁnd a miniUSB around the back that can be used to stream audio and acontrol panel on top of it to alter volume levels and otherbasic settings. It’s a bit pricey when compared to the rest ofthe group, but it certainly warrants the outlay.NokiaMD-11»Price £18.29/$TBA»More information www.nokia.comAs with any Nokia product, you know you’re getting a wellconstructed piece of kit, and the Nokia MD-11 offers just that.The hardened plastic does a good job at protecting the speakerfrom bumps and scratches. Around the back is a short audiocable that plugs in to any 3.5mm audio jack, but it does lack theBluetooth support we found with other products in the grouptest. Sound is great for the price, but it could do with a bit of atweak to improve how it deals with bass-heavy songs.
97Accessories97AccessoriesOtoneAporto»Price £34.99/$TBA»More information www.otoneaudio.co.ukThe Aporto comes in one cylindrical unit, but it can thenbe separated to show two distinct speakers with acentral hub. Each two-inch driver located in bothspeakers offers powerful sound and being able to movethem about helps create a surround sound experience.There are a range of controls on the central hub, but theycan also be controlled with most audio player apps afteryou connect your phone to the system via mini USB.STKSMC950»Price £29.95/$TBA»More information www.accessoryvillage.co.ukSound quality is generally good with the SMC950 and itsminiscule size means you’ll be able to pick it up andplace it wherever you want. It’s easily connectable toyour phone through Bluetooth and streaming your songsdirectly to it works ﬂawlessly. However, its shiny exterioris very dust friendly and the build quality isn’t aspremium as we’d like to have seen, but for the priceyou’re paying it’s only a small issue.KitSoundLittleBoom»Price £19.99/$TBA»More information www.kitsound.co.ukThe two 36mm drivers offer surprisingly clear sound fromthis tiny boombox, but they do tend to collect dust due to thelack of a mesh front on their coverings. You can connect theLittleBoom to any device via its 3.5mm audio jack and there’seven a mini USB port that can be used to recharge it. Withevery charge you can expect to get around ﬁve hours ofplayback, depending on your volume settings and the deviceit’s connected to.“Notonlyanicedesktopspeakerintheshapeofeveryone’sfavouritedroid”
NEXTMONTH16 May10PRACTICALHACKS…thatyoumusttrytoday!GALAXY S4ON TESTIssue 25goes on sale:GETREADYFOR KEYLIME PIEHowtoprepareyourphonefortheyear’sbiggestupdateGALAXY S4Howtoprepareyourphonefortheyear’sbiggestupdateYouramazingAndroidsnapsHot Shots »email@example.comTaken a great shot with your Androidphone or camera? Send it to us at:From Martin BirkbeckUsed Samsung Galaxy S IIIFrom Wayne ClancyUsed Samsung Galaxy S IIFrom Brett CartwrightUsed Samsung Galaxy S IIIFrom Roger EgertonUsed HTC Sensation
AstonishingValueNote: All prices correct at time of going to press on 26th March 2013, prices will vary,see our web site for current price. All errors and omissions must be excepted.