How To Remotely Control Any IR Device (Like An AC) With HTC One

Smartphone manufacturers have began incorporating newer and newer hardware features in their offerings that keep expanding the horizons for what your device can do. When Google introduced NFC as a native protocol for Android, a lot of useful apps popped up that let you take full advantage of the new feature, from instant payments to dead-easy media sharing with other capable devices. These days, another feature that we see in some of the latest flagships is a built-in IR Blaster, allowing the device to double as a remote control for TV, Home Theatres etc. While it’s a mighty useful functionality to have, considering how many IR devices we usually come across in our daily life, the problem is configuration. HTC One, for instance, is a flagship that comes with a native TV app to make use of the IR Blaster, but the default options are limited to TV, Cable box and Home theatre. Technically, an IR Blaster means that the device should control pretty much anything that requires an infrared beam, but the phone won’t let you do that. The good thing is, there’s a way to configure any IR device to work with HTC One, and I’ll show you how. Read More

What Is ART & How Is It Different From Dalvik Virtual Machine On Android?

In the world of technology, new terminologies and abbreviations are nothing new, and at times, with every new release of even existing software, you might see a new term coining up that everyone seems to use and understand. The problem for beginners and even a lot of casual users, however, is that they neither fully understand what the new connotation means, nor can they easily find out about it on their own from official sources, primarily owing to the fact that developers aren't too keen on explaining many such terminologies and their technical details. At best, you’ll get pointed to an official link that does provide an explanation, but in such technical terms that it’s pretty much useless to a non-techie. We at AddictiveTips have always taken pride in dumbing down technical concepts and providing answers in terms that are agreeable to the casual user and the tech beginner. Hence, when Google decided to introduce ART with Android 4.4 KitKat, we saw this as an opportunity to introduce our readers to the new runtime environment and help everyone understand what all of this is about, and how is it different from the Dalvik virtual machine that ART is being built to replace. Read More

8 Best Music Players For Android

With the current size that the Google Play Store has grown to in sheer number of apps available, it’s more than just a tough call to pick a definitive best in any category. Still, there are always contenders that outshine all others. This especially holds true for those app genres that are more sought after, and that have a higher user base. One classic example is music players, which, although by definition, should serve only one purpose, but have so much more to offer that one could easily get puzzled as to what would suit their needs best. A few days back, I went on a crusade to hunt down the best music player alternatives that Google Play Store carries for Android devices. Without declaring a decisive winner (which is almost impossible, to be honest), the following is the list of the top contenders that might suffice for all your music playback and library management needs, while getting extra info/lyrics on your favorite artists, tracks and albums. Enjoy! Read More

5 Best Apps To Design Greeting Cards For The Holidays

Holidays are upon us, and it’s that time of the year when it’s all about sharing the joy and spreading the happiness. It’s, however, also a time to keep traditions alive, and whilst gifts are an essential element of the holiday season, for most of us, sending out greeting cards is equally important. Thanks to the advents of technology, post cards and paper cards sent through email are not as common as digital versions are now, and what's better than to be able to send a card of your choosing to your loved ones through the comfort of your smartphone? As the saying goes, “there’s an app for that”, and so, it turns out, there are hundreds of apps that will help you do exactly that. Without much ado, what follows is a list of our best picks for digital card apps, encompassing both iOS and Android devices. Spread the holiday season joys to your friends and family! Read More

8 Free Mobile Apps To Find The Best Black Friday Deals

It’s that time of the year again, when the air is full of joy and thankfulness not just for the break from work that we’re getting, but also for the gifts of life. For avid shoppers, however, this time of the year marks another significant event – Black Friday. All the holiday sales are upon us, and if you live for the hunt to find the perfect deal, we’re here to help. What follows is a list – in no particular order – of some of the best (and unique) apps for iOS and Android that ease the Black Friday deal finding fiasco for you, allowing you to score the perfect bargain on your craved items. Read More

10 Best Web Browsers For Android

Smartphones have become much more than just communication devices, and it’s years since they've been viewed just as that. In addition to playing the role of a capable media player, portable gaming device and personal information manager, your smartphone is probably your choice for all sorts of casual web browsing as well. In fact, when late Steve Jobs announced the first iPhone back in 2007, he touted internet browsing as one of the primary features of the new device. The trend continues to date, and I regularly find myself browsing some of my favorite websites on my phone the first thing when I wake up in the morning, before I’d even think of turning on my computer. In this arena, Android holds a distinctive advantage over iOS, owing to its open-source nature and larger variety of capable choices when it comes to picking your preferred web browser. Google Play Store is riddled with these, making the choice a tough one, so we decided to put together a list of some of our favorite web browsers for Android, along with the good and bad for each of them. Read More

Here’s What’s New In Firefox 25

Mozilla Firefox, one of the most popular browsers out there, has just been pushed to stable version 25 yesterday for all supported platforms including Windows, Linus, OS X and Android. The new version was available on Mozilla’s FTP servers one day in advance, but now that the release has been made official in the Firefox stable channel, anyone should be easily able to upgrade their existing installations and take advantage of the new features that the update has to offer. Speaking of new features, let’s take a look at what Firefox 25 is bringing to the table. Salient highlights include Web Audio API support, unshared find bar between tabs, preservation of browsing cache, and mixed content blocking for Android. We’ll touch all notable ones one by one. Read More

iOS 6: Lesser Known Features & UI Changes

With new versions of an existing operating system – be it in smartphones or desktop computers – the number of new features is what sets it apart from not only its predecessors, but also the competitors. While bug fixes and performance improvements are perhaps more important than how most people might give them credit for, the fact remains that a casual user is more interested in what additions have been made to the feature set. Apple’s latest iOS 6 is no exception, and the Cupertino giant is already touting over 200 new features in their latest smartphone/tablet OS. We have covered all the major ones extensively in our thorough guide to iOS 6, but in all honesty, that list only comprises about 13 different articles, and one might question (read: wonder), where are the remaining ones? The truth is, not all features are either equally-big or enough known, and in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the more important but lesser known features of iOS 6, along with user interface changes, that you might’ve missed. Read More

A Detailed Walkthrough Of New Siri Commands & Functions In iOS 6

What was the biggest marketing (and selling) point for iPhone 4S? Not the new A5 processor, right? Nor was it the 8MP shooter, or the expanded RAM. These things were awesome, but what Apple really touted as the distinguishing feature for its 5th generation iPhone, was Cupertino’s talking virtual assistant, Siri. Be it official advertisements, parodies, memes, rants on blogs or anything else related to iPhone 4S, the one thing that everyone talked about was Siri. While the personal assistant worked pretty well in most cases, it suffered two major caveats: neither did Siri work worldwide (for all queries, that is), and and nor was it supported on any device other than the iPhone 4S. Now that Apple has reaped the benefits of massive 4S sales thanks to this exclusivity, they’ve decided to bring Siri goodness, with iOS 6, to the new iPhone 5, the new iPad 3, and the 5th generation iPod touch. Aside from removing the device discrimination, Siri also now works worldwide, and has underwent some major improvements in terms of features that it can support. Past the jump, we’ll take a look at what areas have received a functional overhaul. Read More

Guide To iOS 6 Facebook Integration & Contact Sync

iOS 6 just became available to public, and just like all previous major iterations, brought with it a slew of new features that were applauded by Apple fanboys worldwide. Whether these features are real innovations or not is a separate debate, but one that I personally find highly useful and much-needed, was the system-wide Facebook Integration. While Twitter might’ve been the best micro-blogging network, the fact remains that social interactions, at large, take place on Palo Alto’s social networking giant, and it was about time iPhone users got some form of true SNS feeling. Apple delivered that, and here, we take a thorough look at just how deep the Facebook hole goes in iOS 6, right after the jump. Read More

Official 9GAG App For iPhone Available, Disappoints For Most Part

Almost every regular internet user has their own set of websites that they (almost religiously) visit on a daily basis, no matter how important a task they have at their hands. For some it might be Facebook, for others, perhaps Twitter, and for still others, it may be 9GAG. Unless you’ve been spending your online time under some virtual rock, it’s quite impossible to not know what 9GAG is. The crazily humorous portal is one of my must-made stops during the day – sometimes, even multiple times a day – and is something without which any web browsing session seems rather incomplete. That’s why it was quite pleasant to see the official 9GAG iPhone client being announced on their website this morning, and in a persistently nagging fashion (it kept hiding the post titles as I scrolled!). Naturally, I had to take it our for a spin, and past the fold you can share my experience with the official 9GAG app for iPhone and iPad. Read More

NetMeter: Monitor Your iPhone’s Data Usage From Notification Center

It might not be entirely wrong to say that mobile data gained more popularity among users with the advent of smartphones. There’s no denying the fact that the world was no stranger to capable mobile devices even before 2007, but one cannot argue with the fact (either) that Apple’s iPhone shaped the smartphone industry into what it is today, and introduced the layman to the world of easy-to-use and humane on-the-go computing. We’ve come a long way since then, and high-speed data protocols in the form of 3G and 4G LTE are the new buzz. However, mobile data doesn’t come cheap, and one thing that continues to haunt all smartphone owners are excessive data costs, should they not be on an unlimited data plan. Natively, iOS does let you monitor cellular data usage, but with a couple of caveats. One, you have to dig deep within settings to pull up the data usage stats your for device, and two, there’s really no easy way to monitor WiFi usage. True that the App Store boasts a few quite capable apps for that, again, you have to rely on an app for a reporting that should otherwise have been available at a single touch. Luckily for jailbreak users, NetMeter Widget for iOS Notification Center is a Cydia tweak that goes hand in hand with the NetMeter app, and lets you glance at your iPhone’s mobile data usage from the notification center, along with a few other useful statistics. Read More

Metroon Brings A Working Windows 8 Experience To iPhone

I remember back in the day when customization was one of the bigger reasons behind jailbreaking an iPhone. Over time, the jailbreak aesthetics scenario evolved much like the platform itself, and Winterboard was no longer the sole theming platform for iOS devices. Of the many contenders that surfaced (and vanished), Dreamboard remained the sole worthy alternative to the much-acclaimed Winterboard, and brought with it perhaps an entirely new scope for iPhone and iPod touch themes. Not only was theme switching made dead easy, but the themes and skin packs themselves were much refined and more customized on Dreamboard. We even did a roundup of our top 5 picks in free Dreamboard themes back in November 2011. What that roundup was missing, however, was the new Metroon theme, a fresh release in Cydia that brings a complete and (surprisingly) functional Windows 8 experience to jailbroken iPhones. Whether you hate Microsoft’s latest operating system or deem it a right step towards the future is another debate, but Metroon is one Dreamboard theme you have to try out, and we’ll explore it in depth just past the jump. Read More

QuickIM For iPhone: Google Talk & Facebook Chat Client With Quick Reply

One of the biggest advantages of smartphones is connectivity on the go. Although you get that with almost any phone (that’s the whole purpose of a mobile phone, anyway), these devices allow internet access without restricting mobility, and that makes the whole idea all the more practical and useful. In today’s world, Google Apps have replaced plenty of enterprise suites for a lot of organizations, and even outside that, many users prefer using Google Chat due to its deep integration with Gmail and lightweight desktop client. Then, Facebook being the most popular social network, its chat service, too, is one of the most convenient methods of staying connected on the go. All the major smartphone platforms – iOS, Android, Windows Phone et al – have a plethora of multi-protocol chat clients that allow connection to various instant messaging services. The problem, however, is that not all solutions are equally effective; some may be resource intensive, others may lack (push) notifications, while still others may have an ugly interface. Furthermore, for iPhone and iPad, even though we have Facebook Messenger, it’s not that efficient, and on the Google chat front, neither is there any official client, nor are the third-party solutions that impressive. Perhaps that’s the reasoning behind the Cydia app, QuickIM. Currently supporting Facebook Chat and Google Talk, this app for jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch and iPad makes it super easy to stay connected with your buddies on these platforms, employing an easy interface, push notifications, and quick reply & compose features. Read More

Put iPhone, iPod touch Or iPad In DFU Mode Without Using Home/Power Buttons

Jailbreaking an iPhone or any other iOS device yields many benefits, since the device literally opens up to any sort of modification and breaks free the shackles put in place by Apple. In its stock form, the powerhouse contained within an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad is quite tame, but once unleashed, these wild beasts can perform so much more than what you’d have previously thought, and I am not just talking about themes and aesthetic modifications. Apps and tweaks like MyWi, BiteSMS, InfiniFolders, Zephyr etc, change the entire scope of using an iDevice. In all honest, if you’re choosing to stick to Apple’s stock offering, you’re missing out on a lot. However, the sad truth is, not everyone is opting out of a jailbreak by choice – some people are just forced for it, mainly because of a faulty hardware. How, you may ask. Since most jailbreak methods require your device to be put in DFU mode, which, in turn, requires use of the Power and Home buttons, a broken button from either of these renders you pretty much helpless. There’s been a workaround for that for quite a while, in the form of a modified IPSW, but that required some manual working that might not have agreed with all users. Thankfully, the iPhone Dev Team, in their latest redsn0w release, redsn0w 0.9.14b2, have included an easy way to restore your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to DFU mode without using any of the hardware buttons, making it a lifesaver for all users with faulty hardware. Read More

Prevent iPhone Banner Notifications From Obscuring The App In Use

Has it ever happened to you that you were deeply immersed in the intense gameplay of perhaps a tower defense game on your iPhone or iPod touch, laying down your strategy to prevent the oncoming hordes of enemies from reaching your base, when suddenly, the whole world comes to a halt! You hear the game’s mystifying soundtrack fade out as the familiar chime of a text notification takes its place, and the game pauses itself to give room to the banner notification dropping down from the top of the screen. If you’ve experienced this, or anything similar to what I described, you’d know what a big annoyance this whole situation is! What’s worse, the dropping banner notification covers the top part of the screen, so if any navigation controls are there (which is quite common across the iPhone ecosystem), they’re temporarily (and unnecessarily) blocked, and should you accidentally tap in that area while the notification is visible, you’ll immediately switch to whatever app sent the notification. Considering all this, and perhaps many other similar scenarios, one can only deduce that Apple has made a fundamentally erroneous judgment call with iOS banner notifications. CoverMeNot is a new Cydia tweak in town that addresses this seemingly-small yet highly annoying banner behavior, and modifies it in the simplest of ways to make our lives easier, which we’ll discuss just past the jump. Read More

Tiled For iPhone & iPad: Powerful Collage Maker With A Metro-Style UI

One thing that you’ll find in abundance across any platform – iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and even Web – is perhaps photo editors and manipulators, and within those, collage creators, to be more specific. These tools not only make it easy to produce astounding images that can awe your friends on social networks, but may also help if you’re a meme fan, as the panel-layout provides an easy base for creating your humorous masterpieces. The thing about smartphones is, they’ve put every sort of tool in the palms of our hands, and collage creators are no exception. iOS, in this regard, is rather well-endowed, as the platform boasts several capable apps for creating collages on the go. We have reviewed several of the kind before; Photo Wall, which lets you create collages graffiti style on iPhone/iPad, or Nostalgio, which impresses with its wide array of Frame templates, and my personal favorite, Frame Artist, which is arguably the most comprehensive collage maker for iOS that I’d seen to date. Tiled is a new entry in the same genre which packs a vast and handsome set of features, capable of rivaling the best in business while maintaining user friendliness. Read More

InstaTalks Is A Chat Client For Instagram Users [Android, iOS]

When it comes to mobile-only social networks, Instagram needs no introduction. The insanely-popular photo sharing network for iPhone and Android has gathered countless fans across the globe in a rather short span of time. However, it holds true for Instagram as well that nothing’s perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. Take the interaction among the service’s users, for instance. The only interaction options that you get are through comments and “loving” a picture, but that’s about it – there are no direct messages, chat or anything else of the sort. While Instagram itself seems to deem it sufficient, third party developers disagree, and that’s perhaps the reason we see InstaTalks released in the iTunes App Store. Developed by Natrobit S.r.l., the app allows you to chat with any of your Instagram followers that also use InstaTalks. You can even search for the app’s users in your vicinity and connect with them on the go. Update: InstaTalks is now available for Android. We've added a link to its Play Store page at the end of the article. Read More

Open Any URL In Chrome For iPhone & iPad Through iOS Action Menu

Chrome for iPhone and iPad took the Apple fanboys with a storm, and the speed with which it reached the top free app slot on Apple’s mobile platform is a testament to the popularity of Google’s most-popular web browser. Then, it wasn’t just Chrome that made its way into iTunes App Store and then to millions of iPhones, iPod touches and iPads worldwide; a lot of Cydia tweaks and hacks for the mobile browser sprouted in the very week of its release. Just a few days back, we covered Jon Abrams JavaScript-based bookmark for opening any Mobile Safari link in Chrome, and then did a compilation of some of the most useful Cydia tweaks for Chrome on iPhone/iPad, catering to our jailbroken users, and featuring the likes of immensely-useful BrowserChooser and Chromizer. A new contender in town in this regard is Chrome for Action Menu. Courtesy of r_plus, the package essentially adds a ‘send to Chrome’ shortcut to iOS’ action menu, letting you view any link in Google’s browser rather than Apple’s own offering. Read More

Could Interface Get In The Way Of An App Submission Being Approved By Apple? [Case Study]

When it comes to what apps make their way into the iTunes App Store, Apple’s policies are rather ambiguous, at best. Developer forums across the internet are riddled with complaints of app rejections, despite a lot of otherwise-similar submissions making it past the Cupertino giant’s scrutiny. There have been fiascos like the infamous I Am Rich app, an insanely-expensive and ridiculous app that just splashed a fancy icon on your device’s screen, telling the world that you’re rich (the app was priced at a mind-boggling $1,000!), and had no other function or use whatsoever. Then, a simply Google search for App Store rejections would provide you enough tips on what to do and what not, to get your app past Apple’s strict and inconsistent regulations. This article, however, is neither aimed at making you an app submission champion, nor will it point out the flaws in Apple’s policies. This here is a case study into a certain variety of apps that got approved after several rejections, which our friends over at Sparkling Apps were kind enough to share with us, and anyone who’d benefit from this knowledge. Read More