Thursday, April 11, 2013

Craigslist Mobile

Craigslist is huge! Almost anything you could possibly want to buy is probably available there, and equally there is probably someone on the site wanting what you have to sell. Craigslist Mobile provides a simple and intuitive interface, but an extensive set of features to search, post, browse and reply on This is the only Android app that allows you to search and post ads directly from your phone.

An extensive set of features to search, post, browse and reply on

Developer: Dudu Apps
Price: FREE

AK Notepad

This incredibly simple and easy-to-use notepad app is perfect if you don't need all the bells and whistles of a task manager or To-Do list app, but still want a quick way to make notes and reminders. The app includes one-touch note taking, reminders, the ability to pin notes to the homescreen, options to share and export your notes in a variety of ways and the useful addition of a password option. You can also sync your notes to, the makers of the app.

This incredibly simple and easy-to-use notepad app is perfect...

Price: FREE

Camera360 Free

If you are looking for a free camera effects app which still gives you a large selection of photo effects, Camera360 should serve you well. This great little app, the free version of Camera360 Ultimate, is perfect for those who just want a quick and easy way to add simple effects to their photos. This app doesn't add functionality to the camera itself, and it isn't very customisable, but it is free and it does what it does very well.

Camera360 Free mixes' semi-professional effects such as black and white, LOMO, retro with some really fun scenes which over lay the screen when taking a shot and allow you to create some very funny images. You can also combine some of the effects to add even more personalisation to your photos. The interface and controls are simple so finding and selecting effects takes little time. You can't set a default effect on launch as you can with some of the other camera apps mentioned here, but that is only a minor annoyance. The full version of this app gives you access to more effects and removes the adverts, so if you like what you see in the free version, you can always upgrade later. The perfect fun, free camera app!

The interface and controls are simple so finding and selecting effects takes little timeDeveloper: PinGuo Inc
Price: FREE

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

MX Video Player Pro

The media player app that comes with your Android device is very good. It will play most common video formats and for many people that app is all they will ever need. What it isn't so good at is playing the less common file types, nor will it always reproduce subtitles correctly. So whilst we wouldn't dream of bashing it here, there are certainly better options available, particularly if you want to make the most of watching videos on your dual-core smartphone.

MX Video Player Pro is one of the first Android video players that performs multi-core decoding. According to test results on dual-core devices, this can translate to a performance improvement of up to 70 percent over single-core devices. It is able to do this by providing an optimised rendering engine and codecs for this newer type of processor. In English, that means that it takes full advantage of the extra power your dual core can provide. Mx Video Player can decode numerous video formats, from the common to the less usual types. Not cheap, but users with top-spec phones will certainly see the benefits.

That means that it takes full advantage of the extra power your dual-core can provide.

Developer: MX Technologies
Price: £3.44 US$4.99 3,99€


Although self-diagnosis can be a fairly dangerous thing to do (particulalry if combined with self-treatment) it is sometimes useful to be able to find out more about a possible illness from the symptoms you have before making a trip to the doctors. iTriage provides you with a large database of illnesses, searchable by name or symptom, which has been put together by doctors and other health professionals. The app can then be used to find doctors or hospitals in your area, including details of average waiting times and quality reports.

Provides you with a large database of illnesses, searchable by name or symptom

Developer: Healthagen
Price: FREE

Adidas miCoach

Put your coach in the palm of your hand with the Adidas miCoach app. Get GPS and real time audible coaching to keep you going past your personal best. Choose a training plan customized for your sport and build the speed and endurance to go even farther. You can then track your workouts and show off your progress on or use it to give detailed analysis of your training programme. You can even track the wear on your trainers, if that is something that worries you when you train...
Choose a training plan customized for your sport and build the speed and endurance...

Developer: adidas
Price: FREE

Jamie's 20 Minute Meals

Time, or lack of it, is an issue many of us have to deal with every day, so being able to save a bit of time when cooking, but still produce healthy and tasty meals, has got to be a good thing. Jamie's 20 Minute Meals was Mr. Oliver's attempt to show us how to do just that, featuring amazing-looking meal ideas that can supposedly be completed in around 20 minutes. This app is the mobile version of the TV show, bringing together 60 recipes, tips, videos and even a shopping list function, so you can give it a try for yourself.

As mentioned, the app features around 60 separate recipes, or about 20 meals. You can mix and swap different dishes, but if you want to try for the 20 minutes target, you really need to stick to the meals as suggested. The couple we tried took slightly longer than the suggested time, but with a bit of preparation and some practice we are sure that we could get our timing pretty close (and we really aren't the most accomplished cooks). The 21 vidoes that feature on the app have been shot specifically for mobile and are very useful. However, they do make the app quite large, and you will need at least 110MB of storage space to fit it on your phone. Despite the slightly bloated size and relatively expensive price, this remains a useful and well designed recipe app.

The mobile version of the TV show, bringing together 60 recipes, tips, videos...
Developer: Zolmo
Price: £4.99 US$7.99 5,99€

Monday, April 1, 2013

IMDb Movies and TV

Have you ever sat on the sofa, watching a film and thought IMDb "where do I know him from?", or more likely, sat on the sofa arguing with your other half about where you have seen a particular star before "I'm telling you, Brad Pitt was not in Pirates of the Caribbean!". Well now you have an answer to those arguments right in your pocket, with the outstandingly good IMDb app for Android. If you don't know, IMDb stands for Internet Movie Database and is quite simply the best place to go for film, TV, actor and entertainment information.

An unmatched treasure trove of film, TV and actor knowledge

With this app you get access to the world-famous and unmatched database of films, actors, TV, stars and all things silver (and small) screen that is the Internet Movie Database. The level of information available on this website is simply astonishing, with listings for over 1.5 million films and TV shows, and 3.2 millions celebrities, actors and the like. You can search the full database with this app, rate movies and TV shows and check out the charts of the greatest films of all time. You can also watch the latest trailers for hundreds of films. Pretty much an unmatched treasure trove of film, TV and actor knowledge.

Developer: IMDB
Price: FREE

3G Watchdog Pro

Keeping an eye on your data usage is important if you don't have an unlimited data deal with your carrier. Even using things like Skype and Viber cost you data, so being able to track how much you are using is very useful. 3G Watchdog Pro does just that, it tracks how much data you are consuming and alerts you when it reaches preset levels. It can even predict in advance how much data you will use over the course of a month by accessing historical data.

Tracks how much data you are consuming and alerts you when it reaches preset levels.

Developer: Richard Gruet
Price: £1.95 US$2.90 2,30€

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Android App Guide: Manage Your Apps

As you add more apps to your Android phone, it becomes more important to be able to manage them properly. The guides in this section will introduce you to, amongst other things, the Application Management screen for your Android phone.


There are many apps available on Google Play which will provide the same or similar functions to your phones' built-in tools. When you download and install one of these apps and then use a particular function it provides, Android will ask you which of the apps you want to use and will give you the option to make it the default app for that function.

In this screenshot you can see that the choices for sending a message are the stock SMS app, or Handcent SMS. To pick a default app, tick the Use by default for this action option and then choose whichever you wish to use.


If for any reason you decide that the default app you have chosen is not the one you want to use all the time, you can easily remove its default status.

Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications. Choose the app you want to alter and scroll down the Application Info screen until you see the Clear Defaults button. Touch this to reset the default status of the app.


An alternative to uninstalling an app, is moving it to the SD Card in your phone. This is also done via Settings > Applications > Application Management. Select the app you wish to move and then instead of clicking Uninstall, touch the button below it labelled Move to SD Card. This removes it from the internal phone memory and places it on the removable SD Card. Not all apps will allow you to do this and not all apps will work from the SD card (or they may have reduced functions).


Most apps take up just a few MB of space in your phone memory, so most modern Android phones can fit a lot of apps inside them before they start to run out of space. If, for whatever reason, you wish to remove an app, the process is simple.

Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications. The tabs at the top will show you Downloaded Apps, Running Apps, All Apps and Apps on SD Card. The tab titles are fairly self explanatory, so for now concentrate on Downloaded Apps.

Select the app you wish to remove and then touch the Uninstall button. Confirm that you want to remove the app on the next screen and click Ok. If uninstall a paid app and then decide you want to reinstall it, you will be able to download it again from Google Play for free.


If you have tried clearing the cache and data, and the app is still not working properly, it is worth checking to see if there are any updates available for it. If the issue is known, the developer may have released an update which fixes the problem.

Open Google Play on your phone and open the My Apps screen from the tabs at the top of the page. If the problem app has "Update" next to it, click on it and choose Update from the next screen. It is also worth ticking the Allow Automatic Updating option so that you keep up to date with future updates.


From time to time you might find that an app is not behaving as it should. You might see an error message pop up on screen or you might not. Sometimes an app just won't seem to open, despite repeated tries. In these circumstances, there are several things you can do to try to resolve the issue.

Go to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications and select the Running Apps tab at the top of the screen. Have a look to see if the app is shown as Running (if not, select the All Apps tab) and select it to see the Application Info screen.

This might sound worse than it actually is. It simply forces the app to stop running. You can then try running the app again to see if it works properly.

If the app still doesn't work properly, try clearing the cache. This removes files and data that the app has stored to help it run smoothly. No essential data will be lost when you Clear Cache. Go back and try running the app again.

Your third option, if the app is still not working as it should, is Clear Data. This is more drastic (for the app) than clearing the cache and will remove stored password and settings. This basically restores the app to its original state when you first installed it.

The fourth button on the App Info is self-explanatory. If nothing else has helped, uninstall the app and download it again.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Amazon Kindle: a totally free Android app that you must have

It is functionality like this that makes Kindle more than an average e-reader and ultimately essential.

    This e-book reader from Amazon allows you to browse, buy and read any of the thousands of eBooks available on the website. The Kindle store is well organised into categories of Books, Magazines and Newspapers, as well as Bestsellers, New Additions and Free Popular Classics. Just getting through the free e-book classics would take anyone a long time, so when you consider the thousands of premium e-books available from the Internet giant, you can see that this idea has some legs.
    Once you have purchased a book (or downloaded one of the hundreds of free books) the app allows you to sort your library by author, title or by order of download. Below each title in your collection a small graph shows you how much you have read of that book. Unlike a non-virtual book, kindle allows you to change everything from the font size to the background colour, as wel as allowing you to alter the brightness of the screen to suit your needs.

    This lets you check definitions, add notes or highlights to a particular word or phrase and also search for the word in the book, in wikipedia or via google. It is functionality like this that makes Kindle more than an average ereader and ultimately essential.

Developer: AMZN Mobile
Price: FREE

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Using Google Play

There was a time when you had to get all of your Apps through the Android Market program built into every Android phone. While this was fine, it did feel a little bit restrictive and the whole experience of choosing apps certainly lacked the finesse of Apple's App Store. Thankfully Google has now rectified that problem and given Android users a better choice of ways to choose and install apps.


Connect to the Internet, either with a data connection or WiFi, and then touch the Google Play shortcut on your Homescreen. If you don't have a shortcut on your homescreen, you can find it in the main App menu of your phone.

From the first screen of Google Play you can choose to view Apps, Games, Books or Films. Tapping any of these options will take you to a list of Featured downloads. Links to new or popular content will also be shown on the main screen.

From the Featured list, you can scroll the screen left to see a full list of categories for that download type (apps, games, books, etc.) or scroll to the right to see various additional categories such as Top Paid, Top Free, Editors Choice, Trending and Staff Choices.

If you don't want to browse through every app in a category or if you are looking for a specific app, you can use the search feature. Touch the search icon (magnifying glass) at the top of the screen, or press the search button on your handset.

To see any of the apps, books, films or games you have downloaded previously, press the Menu button and select My Apps. This displays a list of all the apps, games, etc, that you have downloaded, as well as showing you if anything needs an update.

Before downloading any apps, games, books or films, you can read a description, view screen shots and read user reviews. When you have decided to download the app, click on the Install button (or the price button if not a free app), check the permissions the app requires and agree to them (unless you don't agree). Finally, click on the Accept button to start


Load up the Google Play website on your PC or Mac https://market. and sign in using the google account you used to set up your Android Phone. If you have not signed in online before, you might need to connect to Google Play via your phone to prompt the website to recognise the account.

Browse through the thousands of Apps and Games and click on the name or the picture of the one you want to read more about it. If you are signed in, this screen will also tell you if the app is compatible with your handset.

To install the App, click on the blue button which either say Install for a free App or shows the price of a paid App. If it is a Paid app, you will then be taken to the payment information screen where you can enter your payment details before the app downloads. If it is a free app, it will simply download to your phone.


Any paid app you buy can be removed and the money refunded for 15 minutes after dov,nload (thic, was originally 24 hours) To return an App, open Google Play on your phone, touch My Apps and any that are eligible for return will naxe Uninstall and Refund next to them. You can only do this once per app, so if you download the same app In the future, you won't get the chance to return it.