Saturday, February 8, 2014


Tesco Hudl
A great all-rounder with a spritely processor and 242ppi HD screen, but it has a smeary feel and lags behind the Nexus and Asus for colour and motion. The 3MP cam isn’t much good either. It’s a decent tab with Clubcard-boosting skills, but not quite the best for the price.
£120 (16GB) /

Google Nexus 7
The Nexus makes everything look sharper and more vibrant than it does on lowlier slates. It’s also lovely to hold, with a new, grippy back and even the camera takes decent shots. Our only complaint is that the power button can be a bit hard to find. Seriously, that’s it.
£200 (16GB) /

Asus MeMO Pad HD 7
Creaky plastic build aside, the MeMO plays a clever hand. The screen has excellent viewing angles and colours, while the 5MP cam is surprisingly capable. Performance isn’t perfect, but we can forgive a few stutters. Feels good, lasts for ages and only costs a handful of beans.
£100 (16GB)/

The Wikipad is a pocketable 7in tabletwithabeastofacontroller to slot it into. Compatible games get an injection of fun, but its screen is lacklustre alongside theNexus,anditmotorsthrough its battery. It’s immersive Android fun, but £250 is too much for what it does.
£250 (16GB) /

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Free Android Apps: News Readers


There's so much to read online that it can be tough to decide what to dick on next. Zite fixes this by learning what you like to read and pulling suggested stories into one place. it's the perfect app for weekend morning.s, giving you an overview of what's going an in the world and digging up intriguing stories at the touch of a button. Its like a personalised magazine made by people who know you well and want to keep you happy.

The app lets you select a few topic categories, then tracks what you read, suggesting similar stories and topics. You can give stories a thumbs up or down to get more or less of the same, and if you particularly dislike a certain publisher, you can block there - that's right, imagine a world without The Guardian/Daily Mail (delete as required).

Zite also pulls in content from blogs and other fringe news sources, offering a wider selection of viewpoints and chances to serendipitously stumble across something not normally on your reading list. Articles you like are easy to share or save for later reading including offline.

Most stories are pulled directly into the app, with Zite reflowing the text and images cleanly and stripping out ads and other guff. You can also adjust the font and other settings to make it easier to read on your device of choice. Not all publishers allow their content to be pulled in, however, meaning every now and then you're yanked out of Zite and onto a web page: a warning message would be nice.


Pocket is the opposite of zite, allowing you to save articles you find online to read later. If you're scrolling through Twitter, for example, rather than clicking "favourite" to bookmark it, click the Pocket icon to save it to the app. Pocket pulls in the text and photos, stripping out the rest for easier reading, and saves it for offline access.

Perhaps the best feature of Pocket is the way it connects to your browser. As you go about your day at your desk, dick the Pocket extension to save interesting stories; they'll be sent to your tablet or smartphone ready to read on your commute home - even if your travels take you offline. Pocket can also be used to bookmark videos, although YouTube doesn't support of fline viewing.

The app integrates with Zite and other suggestion tools, too, letting you save the stories they turn up.


Digg's app isn't so concerned with what you want to read, instead highlighting articles and videos that are trending - the "must-reads" everyone else is talking about.

Of course, much of that content you probably won't be interested in, so you can fine-tune it by selecting topics from art to technology to warfare. You can also choose specific sources - we highly recommend  - which lets you mix popular stories with those you normally check when you're online. You can also connect social accounts to share stories you find., and use boaiariarking tools - including Pocket (see left) - to save them for later.

Content can be read directly from the publisher's website or pulled into a stripped
down, easier-ta-read format. Digg's app is a beautiful-looking return to form for the classic website.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Android App: Zombies Run!

"Zombies detected!" Ft really shouldn't work, but somehow you'll come to crave and dread those two words as they trigger yet another 30-second sprint for survival. The fact that youell obey probably says more about the addictive challenge of run-tracking apps than it does about the voice acting in Zombies, Run!, but there's no denying its popularity: half-a-million runners enjoy their One Direction interspersed with the wanton slaughter of zombies.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Free App for iOS and Android: Google Maps

Google Maps remains the best choice for planning quick journeys, with routes incorporating car, bus, the Tube, train, tram, bike and foot. Google is stunningly accurate when it comes to finding destinations, too. With the best satellite views and turn-by-turn navigation thrown in for free, it isn't hard to see why it the first app most of us install on new smartphones.