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What We Use, 2013 Edition: The Apps, Tools, Devices, And Other Stuff Ryan Can't Do Without

In 2009, I was an iPhone user. I had been watching Android intently, but none of the hardware really appealed to me. As the end of the year grew near, I felt the itch to get out of Apple's walled garden. I didn't hate my iPhone, but I knew it wasn't the right platform for me. I bought an HTC Hero, and I still pride myself on having the commonsense to return it a few weeks later and buy the Motorola Droid.

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What We Use, 2013 Edition: The Apps, Tools, Devices, And Other Stuff Liam Can't Do Without

As Cameron explained in his latest "What We Use" entry, technology can change a lot in just one year. Around this time last year, I was running with a 2012 Nexus 7, a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and an Evo LTE. All of those devices have changed since then, as have my favorite apps and other gadgets. The family of devices I use has grown and evolved significantly since last October, so I thought it may be fun to detail just what I use to get through a normal day.

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[New App] Sidebar Plus Arrives In The Play Store With Customizable Sidebars Full Of Widgets, Settings, And Apps

Sidebar Plus got a bit of attention a few days ago when it was in testing on XDA, but now the app is done and live in the Play Store. This app creates a series of slide-out bars on your device that can be filled with almost anything you want, from quick settings to widgets.

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This app includes a few pre-configured sidebars with settings, contacts, and a few other things.

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Yahoo! Weather Android App Gets A Facelift Focusing On Flickr Photos

The built-in weather reports in Android are still a bit basic, Google Now notwithstanding. That's probably why the Yahoo! Weather app has more than five million downloads: a combination of solid weather stats, multiple cities, and a variety of widgets have won it plenty of fans. Today the app gets a significant update, adding a handful of new features and synergistically bringing Yahoo's Flickr property front and center.

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Curated Flickr photos were available in the app before, but now they're the main attraction, expanding to fill the screen in just about every part of the interface.

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Popup Widget Lets You Use Widgets On Your Homescreen Without Having To Look At Them

Widgets are an indispensible part of Android for many users, including yours truly. It's just too bad that they're so ugly - who wants to use a 1080p screen for looking at Twitter feeds or checking emails when you could stare at some fantastic wallpaper instead? All joking aside, Popup Widget is a pretty fantastic solution for those who prefer their homescreens without clutter.

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It's a simple idea: instead of having a big, space-consuming widget sit there all the time, hide it in a shortcut.

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[New App] Popular iOS App 'Pimp Your Screen' Brings Wallpaper And Widget Bling To Android

Pimp Your Screen is an iOS port that has received a complete makeover for its Android debut. While the original gives our Apple peers customizable app shelves and themed locked screens, our version comes decked out with a trunkful of decent wallpapers and nifty widgets. There's little here that we Android enthusiasts couldn't find elsewhere, but this is a nice tool to hand to a new or casual user who wants to pimp their ride without having to give it too much effort.

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[New App] Giganticon Makes Homescreen Enormous, For Some Reason

If you're reading this story on a Widows PC (Vista or later), do me a favor. Minimize your browser and any other windows so that just the desktop is showing. Hold down the control button. Then scroll your mouse wheel up about a dozen times. Congratulations, you've just replicated the effect of Giganticon without even installing the app.

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Giganticon has one purpose, and one purpose only: it makes the app icons on your homescreen enormous.

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LevelUp Studio Releases A Free Version Of Beautiful Widgets, Gives You Basic Functionality For The Cost Of Nothing

Allow me to be frank for a moment: Beautiful Widgets is one of my most-used, longest-installed widgets since I started using Android. I actually bought it on my OG Droid back in the day, and have literally used it on every device I've owned since then. One of my favorite things about it is the developer – LevelUp Studio does an absolutely fantastic job of not only updating the app, but adding new features fairly often.

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PowerAMP Updated With Lots Of Widget Tweaks (Reconfigurable Widgets!), New Languages, And More

PowerAMP, my music player of choice, has just been updated with a number of new features and fixes, the most exciting of which to me are the addition of reconfigurable widgets and widget management. You can now tap the top right corner of a PowerAMP widget to go to a new management UI where you can customize and completely change it without the need to remove and recreate it from scratch.

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BBC News App Updated To Work On 1080p Devices, Adds Widgets And A Bit More Holo

The BBC News reader on Android got an update today that should please the pixel poppers among the audience. The app has been optimized to take advantage of Super Mega Ultra dense displays like on the Xperia Z and Droid DNA (to say nothing of the upcoming HTC One and Galaxy S 4). A pile of bugs have been squashed in the new update as well.

Here's the full change log:

What's in this version:

This is a major update of our app, with improved performance and image quality.

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