Reviewed version: 2.0.4 Requires: Android 1.6 or newer Cost: Free
I have fat fingers. There. I said it. With my old Sanyo Katana, it wasn’t a problem because I would just multitap and tap and tap to enter text. But when I finally made the jump to a smartphone, I quickly ran into a stumbling block with the virtual keyboard.
The HTC Hero has a pretty compact screen, especially in portrait orientation. Trying to hit letters on that tiny virtual keyboard drove me crazy, particularly since I usually touch type and find hunting and pecking my way across a QWERTY keyboard difficult.
Have you ever wanted to make custom ringtones, alarms, or notification sounds in Android but had no clue how to do it, even if you already put a media file onto your device? I can't blame you - Android is absolutely terrible about letting you do anything but pick one of the existing system sounds and offers no way of adding your own.
Enter Ringdroid. Ringdroid's sole purpose is to let you take an existing music file, crop it exactly how you want it, and then save it as either a ringtone, an alarm, or a notification. The end result - the newly created sound shows up in the corresponding dropdown, ready for all that waking up, notifying action you can throw at it.
Last month, AP contacted Smith Micro with the intention of writing a detailed hands-on with SendStuffNow (SSN). Specifically, we wanted to look at SSN from a corporate-use perspective with the (then) new Android app. They made themselves available in a beautiful fashion, with Matthew Covington, Senior Director of Product Management, taking the time to thoroughly demonstrate the software to us. Unfortunately, complications arose on our end of things, with the end result that SSN has landed in my un-corporate lap. Thus, I'll be providing an overview and a very brief hands-on, but not in the depth we'd planned and not from a corporate-use perspective.
Get that boss-key ready, because it’s time to kick off the first installment in Android Police’s productivity series! We’ve scoured the [sometimes murky] depths of the Android Market for those vital productivity boosting applications that can save you time, money, and hopefully, some sanity. We’re always looking for new apps to cover, so if you have any suggestions, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m always looking for ways to make using my Android device easier and faster. Well, I’ve discovered four apps in the Market that will do just that… and, best of all, they’re free.
This little app does exactly what it says: it allows you to turn WiFi on or off, no matter what you’re doing on your Android device.
From the day I eagerly removed the cellophane wrapping around the artful, Google-themed box which contained my Nexus One, I have had only one real gripe with Android: volume management. For a while I just dealt with it - the only way to adjust in-call volume was during a call, and other volume settings had to be controlled via the sound settings menu, or in their proper context.
It was a hassle. Reaching the settings aside, remembering if I had quieted my phone (unless it was silenced) or turned down the alarm volume was up to me, the user.
Modder's Column, formerly known as Modder’s Monday, is a column dedicated to rooting, hacking, and other forms of modifying Android and is written by Jaroslav Stekl, a man who spends his days coding, hacking, hiking, and of course, writing for Android Police.
As I mentioned in the last edition of Modder's Column, one of my favorite things about Android is how customizable it can be, even for novice users who would rather not spend all day hacking their phone.
Unfortunately, one thing Android does not allow you to do right out of the box is install custom ROMs, which allow you to further customize your device by adding features, removing useless apps, and possibly even speeding it up or improving battery life.
The barren desert that is gaming on Android has been with us for as long as the platform itself, and it appears that it is only now changing, with the release of games like Angry Bird and Fruit Ninja. The newly released MiniSquadron looks to be another one of those games that attempt to bring the quality level up to that of iOS, featuring OpenFeint alongside some of the most addictive gameplay I've ever seen from an Android game. However, it is a port of an iPhone game, and we all know how well that's gone historically. Will MiniSquadron break this trend?
Apart from SlideScreen, it seems like pretty much every alternative Android launcher out there is a slightly different version of the same thing; namely, the stock Android launcher. Well, SlideScreen is no longer alone. With Zune Home, we have something rather familiar but entirely different to what we’ve seen before on Android.
As the name would suggest, Zune Home is an homage to the laudably sleek interface found on Microsoft’s Zune HD portable media player. What it does is replace your standard homescreen with a simple list of clickable text labels: phone, contacts, etc. These link to applications of your choosing (apart from phone and marketplace, which are preset), meaning you can have the “internet” label open up your preferred browser, eg Fennec.