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Top Android App: My Data Manager Free

Posted on Jul 18, 2011 in Tools, Top Rated Apps | comment

My Data Manager Free lets you take control of your mobile data consumption, saving you money as you use your data connection more wisely.

  • Version: 1.1.11
  • Size: 1.10MB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free (~$4.17 ad-free version)

My Data Manager Free monitors the data you use over your mobile connection, WiFi, and while roaming. For reporting accuracy and proper notifications, you’ll need to enter the general details of your mobile plan. In particular, the type of plan you use (monthly vs. pay-as-you-go), data allotment (fixed amount vs. unlimited), and the date your billing cycle begins.

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PhoneLocator Pro: Android Device Protection

Posted on Jun 26, 2011 in Tools, Top Rated Apps | 3 comments

PhoneLocator Pro helps protect your Android device by enabling utilities that help find, lock, or wipe it if it’s been lost or stolen.

  • Version: 3.01
  • Size: 1.43MB (apps2SD enabled)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: $2.82

PhoneLocator Pro is focused on securing your Android device so that in the event it’s lost or stolen, you will have the necessary tools to handle the situation.

Full setup steps and supporting descriptions:

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Screen Filter Android Widget, Advanced Brightness Control

Posted on Jun 11, 2011 in Tools, Top Rated Widgets | 1 comment

The Screen Filter Android widget lets you apply a brightness shade to your Android device’s screen.

  • Version: 1.2
  • Size: 52.75KB
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free



Reduce your screen’s brightness more effectively with the Screen Filter Android widget than you’d previously done with the default Android options. The brightness reduction is perfect for nighttime viewing, eBook reading, or for just saving battery.

Long-press your Android homescreen to find and create a new Screen Filter widget. When the customization options popup, use the slider to set the desired brightness level. The default, 48.6%, is a nice compromise between functionality and visibility. Use the example text to decide which setting is best for your needs. Additionally, there is an option to toggle the backlighting of soft-keys (menu, home, back, search). Unfortunately, the developer states that this feature doesn’t work for all Android devices (and didn’t consistently work on my Samsung Galaxy S phone).

For those of you who also use the Tasker or Locale Android apps, you’ll be happy to know this widget includes a plugin allowing you to enable brightness configurations based on time, location, etc.

Pros:

  • Widget access to multiple brightness shade presets
  • More advanced than stock Android settings adjuster
  • Plugin for Tasker and Locale Android apps
  • Option for toggling soft-key backlighting



Areas for improvement:

  • Make the widget dynamic by enabling brightness adjustments via the homescreen



Conclusion: An Android widget used to quickly enable a brightness shade to your Android device, with more advanced battery and eye saving power than the stock Android brightness settings.

[AppBrain Link]

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GPS Aids Android App Fixes Samsung Galaxy GPS

Posted on Jun 8, 2011 in Tools, Top Rated Apps | comment

If you own a Samsung Galaxy device and are annoyed by its non-functional GPS (like I am), then you’ll be excited to hear about the GPS Aids Android app. This app was designed and developed specifically to address problems with the Samsung Galaxy GPS.

  • Version: 2.5.057
  • Size: 0.92MB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: Free (~$2.50 Donate version)



If you’re like me, you’ve tried almost everything to get the GPS to work on your Samsung Galaxy device, including making adjustments in LBS Test Mode and running Samsung’s own GPS Restore app, all to no avail.

The GPS Aids app features multiple tools to correct and manage GPS functionality. You’ll be able to inject an updated XTRA image file which contains important GPS aiding data like detailed satellite positioning in the sky. As explained by the developer, many times when using GPS without WiFi, issues can crop up with XTRA injection. The LTO (Long-Term Orbit) file, which contains lightweight GPS satellite positioning, can also be easily reset. Plus, you can update the NTP (Network Time Protocol) servers which sync the device clock with the precise time, enabling increased GPS accuracy. In order to avoid latency, it’s best to choose a server in close geographic proximity.

Once I had reset the XTRA file, injected time from NTP, and downloaded/reset the LTO, my GPS was able to lock on to my position in less than 10 seconds (tested multiple times). Once locked, the GPS continued to update my position, even allowing me to use and trust Google Maps Navigation for the first time ever on my Samsung Galaxy phone.

Note: there are native and forced parts to this Android app, meaning that you should start with the native functionality to see whether that fixes your GPS problems. If not, the forced options can be used but require that the app has root access to your device.

Pros:

  • Samsung Galaxy GPS fixed!
  • Multiple tools to correct and manage GPS functionality
  • App is easy to use even though the content is advanced



Areas for improvement:

  • GPS setup briefing info could use more in-depth details/explanation



Conclusion: Fix your Samsung Galaxy GPS functionality using the relatively foolproof GPS Aids Android app. Consider purchasing the donate version of this app to unlock additional tools and to support the developer that accomplished what Samsung couldn’t.

[AppBrain Link]

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Top Android App: Wave Launcher

Posted on Jun 1, 2011 in Tools, Top Rated Apps | comment

Wave Launcher is a gesture-enabled quick-launcher for your essential Android apps.

  • Version: 1.2.2
  • Size: 1.28MB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Tools
  • Price: $0.99



Wave Launcher lets you access your own configurable action-bar from any screen on your Android device. The action-bar can be filled with any of your currently installed apps, quick shortcuts (e.g. Gmail label, web bookmark), or a link to your entire app drawer.

First, open the app and edit your wave by adding the items you use most or want instant access to at all times. In my case, I chose to include the Gmail, Messaging, Web browser, Barcode Scanner, and WordPress apps to my wave. Next, choose the Calibrate option to choose where you’d like the gesture-enabling region to be located (bottom, left or right-side) on the screen. You can also edit the size of the gesture area to avoid unintentional app activations.

To use Wave Launcher, press the gesture-enabling region you previously setup until you feel a slight vibration. Then, slide your finger towards the middle of the screen until your wave appears. Next, slide your finger left/right to launch the specific app or shortcut. If you accidentally open the wave, just drag your finger back to the gesture area to close it.

There is an extensive, useful list of application settings you should configure to your needs. For example, to avoid issues with your virtual keyboard while in landscape mode, choose to disable Wave Launcher at that time. The wave colors, animation, number of apps, and more are also completely customizable.

Pros:

  • Instantly switch to the apps/shortcuts of your choice
  • Save time, clicks, and navigating multiple screens to find what you need
  • Complete list of customizations to fit your needs



Areas for improvement:

  • Improve responsiveness/performance of the wave



Conclusion: Wave Launcher accelerates the action of switching to your favorite apps and shortcuts from any screen.

[AppBrain Link]

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