Focal (Beta) Aims To Be The One Camera App To Rule Them All [Android]

Focal camera modes
I'll be the first one to say that there is little in this world that can beat Google's Camera app. I have yet to find anything that comes close for either Android or iOS. Having said that, there's always a chance something better or something different comes along. Focal is a new camera app for Android and before you read further, know that it is in Beta and it does have bugs. It's an all encompassing app for recording video or taking photos with several flash modes, white balance, scene mode,, HDR capture, effects, exposure adjustment, and burst mode. Read More

Get Audio Guided Instructions For Taking Selfies With The Rear Camera [Android]

Smart Selfie focus mode
As I write this post, I know I'm helping to further the selfie epidemic that plagues this generation but Smart Selfie is an app that is hard to pass up. It's an Android app that helps you take a selfie with the rear camera instead of the front one which, on many devices, is a lower resolution than the other one. Smart Selfie asks how many people are in a photo, and what orientation it is being taken in. The app then gives audio instructions to move the device up, left, right, closer, and away until everyone is in the shot and then it takes the selfie. Read More

Digify: Secure, View Only, Self-Destructing File Sharing With Dropbox Support

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It’s seemingly pivotal, from time to time, to discuss the essential process of protecting your sensitive data. We’ve discussed apps before that are designed to help you securely share files online, but today we’re going to take a look at another entry in that race that combines Snapchat like prowess with Dropbox-esque file sharing. The app is simply referred to as Digify and it aims to give you the most secure file sharing solution. The application achieves this via the good ‘ol file destruction method. That is, rather than giving recipient permanent access to a file, it sets a time limit from the sender and initiates self-destruct automatically. Read More

Essential Calls: Allow Your Phone To Ring Only If It’s Important [Android]

Essential Calls settings
Call forwarding and voice mail are how we deal with calls when we're caught up with something important. Of course, not all calls can just be forwarded to voice mail. Some are important enough to take during a meeting. Essential Calls is an Android app that lets calls from white listed contacts bring your phone out of silent mode and ring or vibrate, whichever you prefer. The app has a Lite version and a premium version. The Lite version lets you white list only two contacts (a bit too restrictive to be honest) while the premium version lets you add unlimited contacts and get SMS alerts for text messages sent by them. Read More

New Features In Firefox 31 For Desktop & Android

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Has it been six weeks already? Yes it has and that means it's time to get a new version of Firefox for both desktop and Android. Firefox 31 is now available for direct download or you can upgrade the current version by clicking the help button in the options panel. Firefox 31 for desktop brings new features for both end users and developers. Noteworthy among them is the Prefer:Safe feature which tells websites the current user is accessing the web behind parental controls. A new search field has been added to the new tab page, and a nice color picker tool has been added for developers, among other things. Firefox for Android is expanding on the home panels feature and you can now install more add-ons to add a larger variety of feeds to the home page. The API for adding content to the home page has also been introduced for developers. Users can now force sync open tabs from their Android device and reorder the home panels. Read More

Facebook Now Lets You Bookmark Posts From Web And Mobile

Facebook - save
Something that's long been missing on Facebook is a way, any way, to find a link or photo you liked a month ago. Even searching for a page you like but have forgotten the name of is difficult. That struggle is now a thing of the past because Facebook is rolling out a new 'Save' feature to its users. This new feature lets you save places, events, music, links, and photos from your news feed. A new 'Save' link is added under the Favorites in the left side bar where you can access them, share them, revisit the links, or delete them. The feature is being made available in both iOS and Android apps, as well as for the web. Read More

HandyCall: Answer, Reject, Or Mute Calls From A Floating Button [Android]

HandyCall settings
We've reviewed apps that add floating chat heads for Google Chrome, and Android Notifications, and even a nice floating button for accessing the dialer app. Floating buttons aren't that new a concept and these handy, omnipresent buttons are no stranger to Android users but they seem to centre around replicating Facebook chat heads to a great extent and the majority of these apps do indeed cater to the messaging function of our phones. HandyCall is an Android app that adds a floating head to your screen when  you receive an incoming call. You can answer, reject, or mute the incoming call and continue to do whatever it is you were doing. The app comes with a built-in scheduler that lets you set when the app should be active if you don't want to use the floating head all the time. Read More

Set Device To Silent Or Vibrate Based On Time, Location, Event, Or Contact [Android]

Mr. Silent dashboard
The way you can automate tasks in Android is something you can't do even half as well on other smartphone platforms (we're looking at you iOS) and the apps that are developed to cater to Android's customization abilities are simply amazing. You may have heard that a Do Not Disturb feature is coming to Android L and while we don't have an app that replicates it for lower versions of Android, we have some that can tie us down well enough until Android L arrives. Mr. Silent, Auto silent mode is an Android app that lets you automate when your device is set on either silent or vibrate mode. You can set time slots, locations, events, and even select contacts, that the app will automatically mute your device for. Read More

Search Everything: Index All Internal Storage Files, OS Included [Android]

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I have always managed to quickly access my files on my computer via Everything Search, thanks to its fast indexing of files and folders. A similar app called Search Everything is now available for Android that makes the process of finding files you store on your phone tenfold easier. At its core, the app is nothing more than a file manager for Android. However, it bears some distinct and useful features which make it worth having in your arsenal. The stated aims of Search Everything are to be a free file manager that gives you instant access to your files by indexing all the files and folders you have stored on your device. Read More

How To Add Voice-Over While Drawing On Your Android Device

Clarisketch brushes
Drawing apps aren't something we cover very often but with Clarisketch, I couldn't help myself. It isn't the next big thing in drawing apps as far as creating stunning art on your Android device is concerned (though that is subjective to the skill of the artist). It is a drawing app that lets you record a voice-over as you draw. Given you have a device with a large enough screen, you can create drawing tutorials on the device. If you aren't into drawing, you can take a picture from your camera roll and draw over it, while still recording a voice-over. The brush size, opacity, and color can be customized but it seems color selection is restricted at the moment. Read More

Headset Menu Adds An App Switching Menu When Headset Are Plugged In [Android]

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Music apps, as abundant as they are will offer a new interface, a new way to access your music library, perhaps some new features, smarter search, and more. What few apps think about is the most important accessory we use when listening to music, i.e. our headphones. Headset Menu is an Android application that takes your headphones into consideration. The app is triggered only when you plug your headphones in. This goes for both your ordinary earbuds and Bluetooth headsets  The app lets you access apps from the notification area and while you can add any app to it, it makes more sense to add music apps only. Read More

ShortPaste Shortens All URLs From The Clipboard When You Paste Them [Android]

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Link shortners come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Services like Bit.ly and Goo.gl can quickly turn a lengthy URL into a smaller one, which can prove useful in several situations, such as when the text field is limited (like on Twitter) or the said URL has too many characters to type. Generally when you need to shorten links you head over to a link shorting website, paste the URL and retrieve its shortened version. But if you use Android, and want to cut a few extra steps from the process, the new app ShortPaste can automatically shorten all links you highlight and copy to the clipboard. Read More

Lingua.ly Teaches You English, French, Spanish, Arabic & Hebrew

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Learning a new language online isn’t something new. We’ve seen tools like Duolingo that make the process easy and fun. And a quick search on Google will reveal a lot of similar techniques and methods, in the form of browser extensions, web and mobile apps, and well, whatnot. Lingua.ly is one such amazing tool that wants to make the entire web your language learning playground. It lets you know how well you know on particular language and then recommends different words and text to read and improve your skills from there on. Quizzes can also be taken from time to time to see the outcome of your efforts. Read More

StuffMerge: Gather & Arrange Clipboard Text Into A Single Message [Android]

StuffMerge
I often share stories from both my Twitter and Facebook feed. Sometimes it's a simple retweet or clicking the Share button but most times, after I've read an article through, I like to share an interesting snippet from it too. When sharing from Twitter to Facebook, or vice versa, it's a more complicated process which has me copy pasting and switching between apps a lot. StuffMerge Message Wizard is an Android app that is an extension of the clipboard, allowing you to gather text and links to a clipboard. It sounds ordinary enough to not be a big deal but StuffMerge is not a replacement for your device's default clipboard. It records snippets you save to the clipboard when you want it to. These snippets are added to a board and can be added with a simple tap, so you can gather, arrange, and share them as one. Read More

Microsoft’s Climatology Educates You On The Climate Of Any Place [Android]

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Wherever you go in the world, there is one hugely variable constant, the weather. We’ve reviewed a ton of different weather apps in the past several months, many of which we found fairly fantastic. That being said, most of them have the same essential functionality, that is, to tell users daily, weekly or often hourly forecasts. But as weather apps have become simpler, so too has the data they provide. Climatology is a new weather app from Microsoft, and it’s only available for Android at the moment. Climatology aims to differ itself from the plethora of weather apps by letting users view a different trove of weather information. Instead of ogling at current forecast, it lets you pick any location in the world, such as India, a month, and view average climate information for that location. Read More

Parental Control App TimeAway Lets You Manage Your Kids’ Device [Android]

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When computers first became common, parents were reluctant to let their children use them, fearing the fact that they would spend all their time playing games or surfing the internet. Today, smartphones have the same bad reputation. Apparently, children today have mobile devices with more processing power than all of our childhood technology combined and is a concern for many parents who aren't sure how to curb mobile usage. TimeAway is a new Android application that aims to limit your kids mobile usage and give that control back in your hands. The free app offers plenty of features such as tracking time your kids spend on apps, detecting their current location, and remotely locking and unlocking their phone. Read More

Sleep Timer: Set A Timer To Sleep Your Device And Turn Off Music [Android]

Sleep Timer activate
A feature I craved badly on my phone (an iPhone) was the ability to play music for a certain time period. I had to do a quick Google search to find out that it is something the native Music app supports. It's something that every smartphone should be able to do and while a native app may not support it, there are third party apps. Sleep Timer (Music&Screen Off) is a free ad supported Android app that lets you set a sleep timer for your screen in general, and music in particular. The app lets you set a timer and when the timer expires, it will sleep the device and turn off any  music that is playing. Putting the device to sleep means that perhaps you fell asleep using an app that keeps your device awake but if a timer is enabled, it will sleep your device and save precious battery. The app isn't available freely in all countries so you might need a work around to download the region restricted app. Read More

Use Date Or Time With Modifier Rules To Set A Dynamic PIN – Smart Phone Lock

Smart Phone Lock activate
Locking our phone with a 4 digit PIN, or with a pattern is a common way to keep our device secure but to be fair, it doesn't take a lot of stealth to stand next to someone when they unlock their phone and guess what pattern or PIN they use. Smart Phone Lock is an Android app that locks your phone behind the same 4 digit PIN but it makes it much harder for anyone to guess what your PIN is because the app will change it every time. Obviously this sounds ridiculous because if the app is changing the PIN, how are you going to know what it is? Smart Phone Lock has two types of PINS that can be set; a Date PIN and a Time PIN. These PINs, as you can guess, change according to the current date and time. If you set a date PIN, it will change daily, and if you set a time PIN, it will change every minute. If you still think this isn't secure, the app comes with two modifiers that change the value of the PIN making it all the harder to guess. Read More

Add Ok Google Detection To All Screens On Your Device [No Root]

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A recent update to Google Now made it so the it listened for the hotword on your home screen without you having to launch it or do anything else. Naturally, everyone went 'yay' and it was business as usual. The update, although not that amazing made it a little easier to use Google Now but it still doesn't have anything on Siri which, although not voice activated, can be launched from any screen. It turns out you can get Google Now to listen for the OK Google hotword on any screen, even if you're playing a game, or using Facebook. There's a trick to unlocking it that involves nothing more than a quick voice search and a little tinkering in Google Now's settings. Read More

Commandr: Control Hardware Switches Using Google Now’s Voice Recognition API [Android]

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The “OK Google” hot-word detection is purportedly the best bit about Android. Introduced with Moto X, it is useful enough to quickly open Google Now and perform specific actions like check weather, set an alarm etc. However, the feature hasn't been able to do much with the actual hardware of supported devices. That being said, Google Now essentially lets you interact with Google related services, but if you want to toggle a few device specific features like the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth without touching your phone, you’re pretty much out of luck. Commandr is a new Android application that aims to fill this gap. The app uses Google Now’s powerful voice recognition API to let you flip hardware switches. You can even add custom commands via Tasker and make them work in Commandr. Read More