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Showing posts with label ANDROID APPS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ANDROID APPS. Show all posts

Saturday, 4 February 2017

5 TIMES YOUR PHONE IS RIGHT AND YOU ARE WRONG

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You're a smart human and your phone is just a dumb piece of glass, metal and micro electronics run by equally dumb software, right? But sometimes, just sometimes, your phone and apps do know better than you. 

No calling zone

Remember the last time you went out with friends, got a little bit more drunk than you planned and ended up sending embarrassing texts to that guy/girl you like? Yeah. Not cool. Even worse if what you actually did was insult that annoying work colleague. 
Of course, if you'd been using an app like Drunk Text Blocker, that wouldn't have happened. So next time, before you go out, just lock the apps you don't want access to - whether that's incoming calls, outgoing messaging or social apps, and you won't make the same mistake again. 
If you don't want to quite commit to having no access to your selected apps when using Drunk Text Blocker, it lets you set a password to enter. Once you've typed that in, you can drunk tweet to your heart's content. If you don't enter a password, you have no option but to wait for the time period you selected. 
It's also got some handy designated driver features too.
drunklocker

Why so sleepy?

There's a good chance that the reason you feel so sluggish in the morning is because you're not getting enough sleep, or at least, you might be waking at the wrong time mid-way through a sleep cycle. 
And while there are a lot of activity trackers with robust sleep modes, those require hardware. Sleep as Android, however, offers the best of both worlds - sleep tracking via a phone or wearable devices, and far more detailed, accurate and actionable sleep data than others. 
The free version of the app is essentially a two-week trial that allows you to test everything out before deciding whether it's worth paying for the premium version. If you do want to make that leap, it'll cost $3.99.
So next time you get a reminder on your phone or smartwatch that you're supposed to be going to bed, you should probably just go ahead and pay attention. It knows better on this one. 
sleepasandroid

Take yo pills, fool

OK, the fool bit was unnecessary, but taking pills that've been prescribed whether long or short term is usually a non-optional process if you want manage any condition successfully. 
Remembering to take your various tablets, and whether you have already, however, isn't always that easy. It's particularly difficult if you need to remember to take pills that leave you feeling disoriented. 
Apps like Medisafe Meds and Pills Reminder will give you a wide-ranging set of features to manage virtually any condition. If, however, you'd rather stay away from apps that offer in-app purchases and just want a simpler version, the MyTherapy app is free and well worth a look.
There are lots of different generic and branded medications to select from, and if yours isn't listed, you can just add it in easily enough. You can also use it to set reminders for things like taking measurements and a few other bits too. 
mytherapy

Plant a seed

We can't all be genius financial investors, but micro investing apps like Acorns or Moneybox (depending on where you live) can help you squirrel away a little extra cash without even knowing it.
How each of them work and what the charge is for providing the investment services can vary a little, but the basic premise is the same: they round up your purchases by tapping into your bank account, and use those extra few cents to put towards investing in an automated portfolio of stocks.
If you're happy giving access to your accounts to these companies, it's a relatively risk free (note: not risk free) way to dabble in the waters of investing. Do watch out for the fees though - you'll need to end up investing fairly consistently across a year to make the interest you gain worthwhile (2% fees on savings of $500 isn't going to net you any profit). Some people might still find it a viable way to put money aside though.
acorns

Do I need an umbrella?

Maybe you live somewhere that has the sort of temperate climate that doesn't leave you wondering why you need to dress for spring, summer and winter in one day, but I do not. And while looking out of the window is a fairly good indicator of the weather now, it's entirely useless for in, say, 10 minutes when I'm waiting for a bus.
With so many weather apps and widgets available on Android, you can pretty much take your pick of the features you really want - but if it's granular, minute-by-minute weather predictions, Dark Sky is a long-standing favorite of many people. 
Where Dark Sky gives with one hand, it also takes away with the other: there's a two-week trial to see if you like it, but after that it'll cost you $2.99 each year. Yep, that's right, an annual fee for your weather app. If that doesn't put you off and you really need to know it's going to start raining in 17 minutes exactly, then check it out. It's still less than the price of a coffee. 
androidpit dark sky

When else is your phone right and you're wrong? Do you think smartphones can sometimes be smarter than us? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

Sunday, 15 January 2017

BEST CAMERA APPS FOR ANDROID: 8 TOOLS TO MAKE YOUR PHOTOS BETTER

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While smartphone cameras have gotten a lot better in recent years, increasing our ability to capture even more stunning images, if you have the skills. But often, if you want to get the best out of your Android camera, you'll want to install a third-party option, and that's where this list of the best Android camera apps comes in handy. 

ProShot

While its interface might take a little while to learn to navigate, it's a feature-packed app for shooting better pictures. The grid overlay is a useful thing to have on hand, and there are two kinds of on-screen levels to help make sure you're shooting straight.
The usual manual controls are present – ISO, exposure, focus, white balance –  and the built-in gallery also displays ISO and shutter speeds for each picture you've taken. It's not the best-looking gallery but it's certainly a powerful app that has some intuitive features throughout - like the precise one-finger zooming and a fun Light Painting option that 'develops' photos in front of your eyes.
It'll even support up to 4K video capture, providing you have the right hardware. 
While there used to be a free version to try out, there's now just a paid $5 version.
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Camera FV-5

FV-5 also offers grid overlays, histograms and other similar options, but they're tucked away in the menus, making them less accessible than through ProShot's interface. You're afforded full control over ISO, light-metering, focus, white balance and the like. There's also an exposure bracketing feature that allows you take several photos in quick succession with different exposure values, letting you review them and choose the best to keep.
It's cheaper than ProShot, and worth it considering alongside that and a Manual Camera (see below) is there – if you're after high-quality manual control. There's also now a 'lite' version that gives you a taster of the app too. 
AndroidPIT best widgets 1441

Open Camera

When you want a lightweight camera app, and you want it to be totally free, there's not much better than Open Camera. It has many of the same manual control features as premium apps and even offers up a handy home screen widget that lets you take a photo with a single press. 
Using that widget isn't going to get you the best visual results from your camera, but when that isn't a priority, it's a handy button to have. Otherwise, the multitude of options provided in the app will help you get your pictures looking just the way you want.
ANDROIDPIT take photo app

VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam isn't the most user-friendly camera on our list, but it is trusted by an awful lot of people and has been around for a long while. It's a little different to most of the apps we've seen in this list up until now though. 
This is primarily because it combines - and indeed, focuses on - providing an Instagram-like capturing and sharing experience. There are a number of pre-made filters you can apply to your images to change the tone and feel, and the quality of those adjustments is one of the reasons to use VSCO Cam. And if they don't cut it, there are some rather unintuitive menus to dig your way through, in which you can adjust image settings manually. 
The company killed the photo edit syncing feature it used to offer, but VSCO Cam still has some worthwhile skills. 
androidpit vsco cam camera app

A Better Camera

A Better Camera is basically what it says it is: a superior camera app to the standard Android one that comes pre-installed on 'vanilla' devices. A Better Camera brings a number of interesting features, including group portrait settings, 'Sequence Shot' and the ability to remove unwanted objects from images simply. There's also a useful Best Shot option that takes multiple images then allows you to select the one you think looks best, and the ability to use focus and exposure metering from separate points. 
A Better Camera also includes immediate post-processing, and you can record video with real-time HDR. Unfortunately, many of the app's best functions are only available via in-app purchase, so A Better Camera sometimes feels a bit like an annoying free-to-play game - for example, you get 5 free Super Shots, but then need to upgrade. Thankfully, the app's on sale at the moment so you can unlock everything for very little money. 
If you take a lot of pictures, and are happy with a little investment, A Better Camera certainly lives up to its name – and more camera apps should make use of its slide-out grid gesture. If you want an app that lets you apply filters and easily edit the shots post-capture, you'll need to install another companion app called A Better Editor. 
androidpit a better camera app 2

Camera360 Ultimate

Camera360 is hugely popular in the Google Play Store. It offers a comprehensive camera app that's capable of pretty much anything. It uses a lens-filter system that can be applied before a picture is taken, meaning you don't have to wait until later to see whether your picture is fixable by adding a cheeky filter. It contains a huge variety of options and effects, even to the point whether you might wonder if some of them are truly a lot of use.
What's particularly good is that it's easy to use and doesn't bury all of the options away in individual menus. This is something which other cameras lack, but it's really useful to have everything in one place instead of going through several different screens. 
It also brings across features like stickers and cartoon effects that you can apply to your photos easily enough before sharing or saving them. Those are features more often found in messenger apps like Line or WhatsApp, but some people will find having that ability directly in the camera app more useful. 
androidpit camera 360 app screenshot

Manual Camera

Most camera apps are designed to make photography as easy as possible for the end-user. This results in some Facebook-friendly snapshots, but certainly not professional pictures. Experienced photographers may be more at home with Manual Camera, which provides a range of settings options that many other apps just don't offer. 
Shutter speed, focus, white balance, exposure compensation – you get to control every detail of your picture. This app also lets you save images in the lossless RAW format. 
So, if you take photographs pretty seriously, but still want to use your smartphone, Manual Camera is an excellent solution. As it's a paid app ($2.99) on the Play Store, you'll probably want to test out the compatibility checker before you cough up any cash. 
androidpit manual camera screen one

Pixlr

Pixlr has come a long way since it was a standalone image editor, and while it doesn't quite offer the same granular level of control as Manual Camera, it's an excellent choice if you need a good balance of tools alongside a set of really useful and impressive visual effects. There's even a perfectly functional gallery built in too that lets you show file size alongside the thumbnails.
It has the option of automatic image correction, and adjustments such as heal, focus and splash, it feels like a near-Photoshop level experience. Some of the effects and features are more useful than others. You can also add text to your photos with a number of different font styles or choose to pixelate or blur other parts. 
Pixlr is an excellent all-rounder to pick, and is also free to download. Some filters and features require an in-app purchase but even without, it's worth a look.
androidpit pixlr

What's your favorite Android camera app? Let us know in the comments below.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

HERE ARE 5 APPS YOU SHOULD REMOVE RIGHT NOW

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Smartphones quickly become consumed by unnecessary apps that not only take up storage space, but can also affect your handset's performance and battery life. Well, enough is enough – it's time to clean up your smartphone. Here are five apps you should remove immediately. 
Whether it is by killing your battery life, using too much mobile data or shoving ads in your face: apps can be annoying in many ways. Sometimes we end up with too many apps on our phones, and the time arrives to tidy up. Delete these apps today and enjoy your smartphone more.

1. Apps that claim to save RAM

Apps running in the background eat up your RAM and use battery life, even if they're on standby. The idea behind apps that claim to boost your memory is to close these background apps systematically. Unfortunately, this exacerbates the problem.
AndroidPIT google play not working 1
Apps running in the background have to restart after you close them. Memory and battery life is used to restart the apps, and this constant closing and restarting of apps can make your phone unstable. So, these memory saving apps don't make any sense. Furthermore, Android manages RAM usage automatically and knows when to run an app or not, so third party apps aren't necessary.

2. Clean Master (or any cleaning app)

Cleaning apps promise to clean up your phone to boost performance. While it's true that deleted applications sometimes leave behind some cached data, it's not necessary to download a dedicated cleaner. Just go to Settings > Storage > and tap Cached data. At the Clear cached data prompt, hit OK.
Alternatively, you can clear the cache of individual apps by going to Settings > Apps > Downloaded and tapping on an app. On the next page, tap Clear Cache
Clean Master and similar apps often require a lot of battery power, and their in-app advertising has the potential to take a chunk out of your monthly data allowance. Remove such apps at your earliest convenience. 
AndroidPIT smartphone clean 02

3. So-called antivirus apps are unnecessary for most

Your Android device and the Play Store can already do everything that antivirus apps can. For theft protection, Android Device Manager works securely without an additional app. And whether an app is actually hiding malware, Google checks with the Play Store automatically.
So-called Android antivirus apps are only useful if you are often downloading and installing APK files found outside the Play Store. Then, anti-malware apps can examine these apps during installation and offer warnings before you open them. However, you can't disinfect your smartphone. The best method to do this is – ironically – without an app.

4. Battery savers

Similar to RAM boosters, battery-saving apps are often a load of rubbish. These apps offer a solution to one of the most-loathed smartphone problems in the world and promise miracles. There are only a few exceptions to the truth that battery-saving apps are merely billboards disguised as useful apps.
To really increase battery life, you have to reduce energy demand from the operating system and all running services and apps. So to be effective, energy-saving apps would need to take control of running Android. But since Android doesn't can't be controlled without root privileges, apps available in the Play Store can't simply step in and take control. At best, apps can advise or warn you when you're chewing through too many Energon cubes, but that's about it. If it closes power-hungry apps, those apps will likely automatically reopen anyway. Thus, the effect is reversed and energy consumption could actually increase.
androidpit nexus 5 end of day two battery doze
The alternative? Open your Battery settings. Find the app with the highest consumption in the list and forcing close it. Some app errors can also be resolved this way, which might have caused increased energy demand to begin with.

5. Difficult to delete manufacturer bloatware 

Many smartphones have a lot of apps pre-installed. Whether it's apps for hotel booking, games, or functionally questionable office apps: many manufacturers install their own useless apps alongside the compulsory set of apps from Google. Ideally, it's just storage space wasted, but in the worst case, they take up battery life, screen real estate and can't even be uninstalled.
It is therefore worthwhile to look through your app list and delete the pre-installed apps. The easiest way to do this is by grabbing the respective app in the app drawer and then pulling it onto the app info icon. Then you will see if the app is uninstallable or only deactivation. The latter option simply means the app is no longer launched upon restart and disappears from the app drawer, but it continues to occupy space anyway - these deactivated apps can only be completely removed after rooting your phone.
Some vendors won't let you uninstall Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks on your smartphone. This is annoying for users who don't care about social media, or those who don't need the app taking up space on their device. After all, in many cases, the mobile site is sufficient enough.
Remedy is to buy smartphones from manufacturers which allow the uninstallation of bloatware - for example, Huawei and Honor. Or buy smartphones which only come with a few third-party apps, like Google or Lenovo.

What other Android apps should I uninstall?

You should consider removing any app you don't use, seems to cause a particularly big battery drain, or consumes excessive data. You can check which apps have the largest impact on the last two things by going to your battery settings page or data usage page in your Settings menu.
There are often alternatives to power-hungry apps that you regularly use, so give one of those a try and you might grow to love it as much as the original. 
Which Android apps do you think should be uninstalled? Which ones are you having trouble removing? Let us know in the comments below. 
This article has been rewritten since first publication. Comments below may not reflect current content.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Best free apps for downloading free music on Android UPDATE: bye-bye GTunes, hello Anghami

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What's better than a music download? That's right: a free music download. You've got Spotify, you've got Rdio, you've got Pandora. Even YouTube provides a perfectly viable way to listen to music for free. But what if you don't just want to stream music, but want to keep it for offline listening too? We're here to help with our list of the best free apps to download free music on Android.
com teaser
All of these apps are capable of downloading files from the internet for free. However, it's worth remembering that just because something's available as a free music download doesn't mean it's there with the copyright owner's permission: there are loads of free music downloads on pirate sites, and you can be sure they're not there legally. Always ensure you have Creative Commons / Copyleft permission before downloading MP3s. 
Previous versions of this article included GTunes Music Downloader, which offered a free music download service on Android. At the time of writing it appears to have been given the boot from Google Play, although the apk files may be available elsewhere. As with any sideloading, be careful what you install from third party app stores.

4shared Music

4shared Music has an enormous library of free music: at the time of writing there were some 5,965,819 tracks. The app enables you to search the vast 4shared database of files for your favorite music, and automatically filters searches so that they only display MP3 files. Music you download automatically gets added to a 15 GB 4shared cloud folder, which is also available to listen to offline, and you can add your own tunes to that folder too.
This is a fantastic app for finding classic, out-of-copyright music as well as relatively unknown tunes from emerging artists. The interface has an old-school look that will appeal to fans of KitKat and older Android versions.
androidpit 4 shared music
4shared Music is a great source of free music on Android. / © New IT Solutions
4shared MusicInstall on Google Play

 

RockMyRun

RockMyRun lets you download or cache music for offline playback, which is just as good (and less likely to exist in a gray area of the law). RockMyRun delivers awesome DJ mixed playlists for the perfect workout soundtrack.
You can match your BPM to your heart rate, filter my playlist length to perfectly match your workout or make use of the myBeat feature to automatically change the tunes to match your current state. What's better than custom built DJ mixes to suit your workout style?
AndroidPIT RockMyRun music app
Find the DJs and genres you like and get your sweat on with RockMyRun. / © ANDROIDPIT
RockMyRun - Best Workout MusicInstall on Google Play

Google Play Music

This is another one of the top apps for downloading music that you can find in the Play Store. Google Play Music is known as Google's marketplace for music on Android, but it also regularly offers free songs and albums to download. Google Play Music is also a music player in its own right (it's even one of the ones that has graced our best Android music players list). It's a fantastic app and well worth checking out.
androidpit google play music free music
Google Play Music is often home to free music downloads. / © ANDROIDPIT
Google Play MusicInstall on Google Play

Advanced Download Manager

Advanced Download Manager lets you download three files simultaneously including MP3s and MP4s. It includes a number of different settings so you can customize how the files are actually downloaded, including limiting the maximum speed of the download (so you don't use up too much of your bandwidth), and the number of simultaneous downloads you can have. Advanced Download Manager also provides incredibly fast download speeds. 
The in-app browser doesn't make searching for free tracks as simple as it could be, but once you find what you're looking for, it makes light work of downloading tracks. 
advanced download manager for android
Advanced Download Manager is a great way to manager your files and download free MP3s / © ANDROIDPIT
Advanced Download ManagerInstall on Google Play

Anghami

Fancy some Arabic music? The excellent Anghami is targeted to users in the Middle East where it's a similar service to Google Play Music, but for those of us who don't live in the area it's still an excellent source of free Arabic songs. The free service isn't unlimited and will play the odd ad, but that's worth putting up with in order to discover some genuinely new music.
anghami
In the Middle East Anghami is a Google Play Music-style service; for the rest of us it's free Arabic tunes. / © Anghami
Anghami - Music UnlimitedInstall on Google Play
What’s your favorite app for free music downloads on Android?