Manage Your Android Phone From PC

Android phones are gaining popularity thanks to the huge number of applications available that let you do almost anything from playing a casual game to managing your bank account with a phone. We have already covered some of the best free and paid applications for android phones. Now lets take a look at 2 more free applications that let you take complete control over your android phone, from a computer.

With memory capacity of our phones increasing exponentially, managing all your files, folders, music, applications on a few inches screen is no more convenient. This is where Wondershare MobileGo for Android comes into play. Install the free software on your windows computer and you are set to explore your device from a much broader prospective, quite literally.

Connection to your phone can be done through a USB cable or Wi-Fi although you need to install the android counterpart to connect via the latter option. Once connected, the interface is extremely neat and user friendly. The first thing you will probably notice is the screenshot of your phone. The two buttons underneath it can be used to save the screenshot on your PC or to refresh the screen.

The large green and blue buttons on the right of your phone screenshot lets you perform 1 click backup and restore of your phone’s content. You can back up your contacts, sms messages, calendar entries, call logs, playlists and the apps on your phone.

Separate icons for Music, Videos, Photos, Contacts, SMS and Apps are provided so that you can manage them individually. Some of the features include the ability to set your ringtone, add or edit contacts, send SMS’s and installing or uninstalling apps. Adding or removing files to or from your phone and memory card can also be done effortlessly.

Overall, Wondershare MobileGo is highly recommended for anyone looking for an easy yet effective android management tool. However, it has one limitation – your phone must be with you in order to connect with your PC.

To be able to control your android phone remotely, try Phonedeck. Although it does not provide as much control over your phone as in case of Wondershare MobileGo, yet it is good for those who often forget to carry their phones with them. To use Phonedeck you need to create an account, download the mobile application and sync your phone with the phonedeck cloud dashboard.

Once that is done, log into the phonedeck homepage from any browser, irrespective of where your phone is, to manage it. The activities tab will show you your recent activities and you can filter it according to missed calls, incoming and outgoing calls or only sms. The contacts tab displays all your contacts in alphabetical order and you can view the contacts and merge or delete them. The Insights tab is an interesting addition as it shows you statistics such as number of calls or sms’s made in a week, month or year, the average call duration and top contacts etc.

The top bar contains a search bar and icons for sending SMS’s or making phone calls. The last icon (present on the right) shows the battery status of your phone and also contains a ‘Locate this phone’ function which triggers a soft ding sound on your phone even if it’s in the silent mode.

All in all, both MobileGo and Phonedeck are excellent android management tools. While the former demands that you have the phone with you to manage it, the latter requires a working internet connection on your phone. Because of the differences, both the tools will satisfy consumers of different needs and requirement.

Do you use any computer application to manage your phone? Do let us know which management tool would you prefer for your phone?

Get All Round Security For Your Android Phone with Avast

Security is one area where no compromises should be made, be it for a personal computer or a mobile phone. Android developers too, have understood this very well which is why there are a lot of security applications available in the android market (now, Google Play). Among all the alternatives available, I found Avast Mobile Security to be an excellent (and free) security suite that outperforms many of its paid counterparts.

With features such as virus scanner, privacy advisor, application management, web shield, sms and call filter, firewall and anti theft, one can be completely at peace after installing it on one’s android device. Let us discuss the features in detail.

Virus Scanner

The most basic feature of any security application, this can be used to scan the installed apps and the memory card. Users can even schedule automatic scans on their desired day and time.

Privacy Advisor

Android users often complain that installing applications can result in compromising your private information on the phone. Avast privacy advisor shows you all the potential privacy issues along with the list of applications causing it. Examples include applications that can track your location or access your messages, contacts etc.

Application Management

This is a very simple yet handy tool that shows you all your installed applications and the currently running applications. The list can be sorted according to name, size, memory or CPU usage.

Web Shield

Accessing the web from your device exposes you to a host of threats such as phishing scams. Avast web shield automatically integrates with your default web browser and warns you whenever it detects a potential threat.

SMS and Call Filter

If you’re tired of all the marketing calls and SMS’s on your phone, the SMS and Call filter will prove to be a blessing. Create customized groups and then opt to block incoming or outgoing calls and sms’s at your desired days and time. Simple, yet effective.

Firewall

The Avast Firewall works only on rooted android devices and can be used to block all or selected applications from accessing your WIFI , 3G or data network.

Anti Theft

If the thought of losing your android phone gives you nightmares, then the anti theft feature alone will make you fall in love with the avast security app. To begin with, the anti-theft application can be both renamed and hidden so that any unwanted user does not know of its presence on the phone.

The application also gives you remote control over your phone via SMS commands. Every SMS command begins with your set password and this message is never displayed on your phone. With SMS commands, you can lock your phone, turn on a siren, locate the phone, make calls and SMS’s and much more. In case of a SIM change, the new phone number, along with the phone’s location, is sent to the pre defined numbers on your phone.

Some advanced options, such as to prevent USB access to the phone, forcing the data connection to remain active, and the ability to install or uninstall apps are also present but they require the phone to be rooted.

Conclusion

Avast! Mobile Security, without a doubt, performs exceptionally well and is certainly a must have application for any android phone. Moreover, it also defies the general convention of paid apps always being better than free ones.

Download Avast Mobile Security for free from Google Play.

Get Your New Music Fix With The NPR Music App

NPR MusicAs a music lover, I can understand the desire to constantly look out for the latest and greatest in the music world. All of us have our favorites, sure! But, the joy of discovering new music by known bands and awesome new indie tracks is something only a true music lover will appreciate.

As I was browsing through the iTunes App Store on my iPad this morning, I came across the NPR Music app and familiar with NPR’s other apps, downloaded this one too immediately.

Now, NPR produces a number of radio shows and podcasts and I’ve been listening to a number of their shows but I had no idea that they had such a big collection of music too. The NPR Music website is a treasure trove of music and if you like to discover new music, you’d love the website.

What NPR has done with the NPR Music App is that they’ve taken all that music and made it accessible using touch gestures on the iOS platform. NPR Music is an excellent example of an App being designed from the ground up for the iPad even though the content is all available from the website.

NPR Music

The App lets you listen to interviews with musicians, live concerts and a number of other NPR produced music programs. Trust me, whatever your tastes are, this app has enough to keep you happy listening to music for hours.

NPR Music

And if you ever do get bored listening to all the wonderful music from NPR, there is live radio too. The App has a radio section with links to some popular online radio channels and an option to add links to more if you’re aren’t satisfied with the choice available.

You have the option to listen to shows as they appear or create a playlist of your favorite content. The possibilities really are endless.

If you love music and like listening to new music all the time, the NPR Music app is a must have. Get it as soon as you can!

How To Type Faster On Your Android Phone

Touchscreens have never been the first choice of people who do a lot of typing on their phones. After all, can the tiny keys on a touchscreen phone ever provide the speed, accuracy and ease of a physical keyboard?

Even though touchscreen keyboards can never replace real physical keyboards, we’ve compiled a list applications that will ensure that the days of slow, inaccurate typing on touchscreen phones are gone. These free applications for your android device will raise your typing experience to a whole new level.

Swype

Swype is becoming an immensely popular interface for typing and it claims that users can attain over 40 words per minute with its innovative style of input. The keyboard is a standard QWERTY layout. To enter a word all you have to do is put your finger on the first letter of the word and then slide it forming a path from letter to letter and lift up your finger after the last letter is reached.

Take a look at the path formed to enter the word “quick” :

Swype comes bundled with some phones. For those who don’t have it, you can download it from the official website. There is another popular alternative SlideIT Soft Keyboard for this form of input and can be downloaded from the Android Market for free.

Tio Keyboard

If you are someone who likes the comfort of a QWERTY layout and the ease of large keys, then Tio keyboard is for you. While a regular keyboard has about 30 keys, Top keyboard has only 10 keys. Less number of keys means larger keys and of course less finger movement which results in faster typing.

Learning the Tio keyboard is also very easy as it uses simplified form of the QWERTY layout. Each key is composed of 3 characters according to the vertical layout of a QWERTY keyboard.

 

Tio keyboard not only helps in faster typing but also gives more screen space for your text. All in all, Tio can be thought of as the QWERTY version of the famous T9 format which we all have used at some point of time.

Download Tio from the Android Market for free.

Siine

Siine is a very different way of typing and it claims to be the first icon based keyboard. The keyboard layout is the standard QWERTY form and typing is done in the regular tap to enter format. But, along with the regular keyboard comes icons – for almost everything.

You just need to hit the icon to enter the corresponding word or phrase. Be it the current time, name of month or a call me later message Siine has icons for almost all commonly used terms. And if you have your own special way of calling your friend a “Duuude”, you can add an icon for that too.

This icon based style of writing is surely fast, and can be a bliss of people who tend to use a few common terms more frequently. Download Siine from the Android market for free.

Tip : If you often change the keyboard layout on your Android phone, then going over a number of steps to do the same can be frustrating at times. A desktop widget called Switch Keys can let you choose your keyboard with 1 click from the home screen itself.
 
Which keyboard layout do you use for your typing needs? Do let us know through your comments.

Change Android Lock Screen with Magic Locker

Change is a part of life and as geeks, one of the most frequent things we change around us is our Smartphone’s look and feel. If I am not wrong, most of us take out some time every now and then to apply some cool ringtone or smokin’ wallpapers.

Indeed, we interact with these two aspects frequently and thus change is necessary to avoid monotony, but what about the lock screen? Every time we unlock our phone its the lock screen that greets us so why don’t we change that frequently?

There used to be a time when the idea of changing the lock screen required rooting the phone or flashing a custom ROM both of which are without doubt a bit risky when compared to the outcome.

Today I will tell you about an all new Android app, Magic Locker, which will make the process of changing the lock screen a cake walk and the best thing is that you don’t need a rooted phone to use the app.

Magic Locker

Magic Locker is a simple yet powerful lock screen application for Android.

To get started, download and install the Magic Locker main app from the Android Market. By default the main application contains one theme, Lost Robot, and you can apply it instantly to change your lock screen.

To install new themes you will have to download and install individual Magic Locker theme files from the market. Just do a quick search for MagicLockerTheme in the market and install the ones you like.

Magic Locker main

After you install a Magic Locker theme app, you will have to run the theme app and press Install this theme . The theme will then integrate to your main app just like the Lost Robot theme

Themetheme 3theme 2

Now every time you need to change your Android lock screen you just need to open Magic Locker and apply your desired theme.

Here are some of the amazing features of the app worth mentioning.

Amazing Features

  • You can activate phone, SMS and Camera directly from the lock screen.
  • A user can easily change the shortcuts to open any other application.
  • You can use the application on custom ROMs. I tested the application on Samsung Galaxy S running MIUI and it worked without any hiccups.
  • You can easily customize the date, time and wallpaper.
  • Support system security pattern (settings->Location and security->Set up screen lock. For HTC: Settings-> Security->Set up screen lock)

So what will be your fist new lock screen, will it be an iPhone or an HTC sense inspired theme?

5 Must Have Paid Android Apps for Every Executive & Businessman

I am sure, you must be surprised after reading the headline above. I mean, when everyone talks about must have free android apps, why am I bringing the spotlight towards the paid section.

Seriously! Why are we afraid of paid apps? Their only crime is that they come with a price tag that’s set by its developer as a price for his hard work.

If you think you’re convinced enough, let’s have a look at the apps, but before I start, let me tell you, I have compiled this list keeping in mind people who work in offices and businesses but even if you don’t fall in this category I still insist you have a look. Who knows you might find something interesting enough to pay for.

DocumentsToGo

As the name suggests DocumentsToGo gives you the power to create, edit and view your office documents on the go. You can work on Word, Excel and PowerPoint files and view the PDF files. If you work on Google Docs you can directly work on the cloud with this app.

Documents To Go 2Documents To Go

One of the best features about the application is synchronization. If you have fully synced your documents on your PC with your smartphone then any edits made in either location will automatically sync it with the other.

If you think you don’t require the features to edit or create documents and just need a viewer you can opt for the free version.

EasyTether

EasyTether is useful for people who need to work even when they are on a vacation and have activated a decent data plan on their Android device. This application allows you to share your phone’s internet connection with a PC (Windows 7/Vista/XP 64-bit/32-bit, Mac OS X, Ubuntu, Fedora 13+) via a USB cable.

Easy Tether 1Easy Tether 2

The application does not require root access and works on almost all Android versions. Even though, this functionality is now built-in to most Android phones, if you carrier for some reason has blocked it, you can use this application to still tether your laptop or PC to your phone.

Executive Assistant+

Having an assistant at work can be really helpful but not everyone can afford one, but I am sure everyone can spare some for Executive Assistant+.

Executive assistant 2Executive assistant

Just like a real assistant, the app will give you information regarding your incoming emails, SMS, Missed Calls, Calendar Events, Tasks, Notes and your social media timeline all at one place.

I don’t think I need to convince you more about how helpful this app can be.

BlackList Pro

Are you fed up of unwanted calls and text messages? If your answer is yes, BlackList Pro will take all your pains away. This is a simple app, but is enriched with powerful features to manage unwanted calls/texts from anyone.

Black List Pro 1Black List Pro

There is a free version as well but if you want full control, getting the Pro version is what I advice.

MyBackup Pro

If I ask you, why do you think that your phone is not just an ordinary phone, but a smartphone. I am sure you will talk think about applications, emails, notes, games and so much more that you can accomplish with your phone. Most of us use our smartphones as an extension of our brain and thus we can’t afford the loss of any data.

My Backup Pro 2My Backup Pro

MyBackup Pro is your friend. It’s the easiest way to backup your Android phone. MyBackup Pro will work on all Android mobile devices, wether they are rooted or not.

If you have a rooted device, Titanium Backup is also another good app that you can use.

So what do you think of our list ? Did I miss something? Do let me know in the comments below.

10 Must Have Free Android Applications

One of the major reasons why Android phones are so popular (and still growing) is the huge number of free and paid applications available in the Android Market. The choice of applications available under each category is so huge that new users often have a hard time deciding between the many exellent options.

Here we have picked top applications from 10 different categories to give you a superior, all round Android experience. All the mentioned applications can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.

Home Screen Replacement

Go Launcher EX is one of the best home screen replacement applications available in the android market. It lets you make the most of your home screen with features such as a scrollable dock, gesture support, app drawer, resizable widgets etc. It also supports themes and several supported themes can be downloaded from the site for free.

Alternatives : LauncherPro and ADW Launcher

Messaging

Go SMS Pro replaces your default messaging app to give you enhanced features such as 3D transition effect, scheduler, encryption, backup/recovery, reminder, gesture support, personalized themes and lots more.
Alternative: Handcent SMS

News Reader

An award winning application, Pulse News, works as good as it looks. A mosaic grid shows news updates from your favorite websites or from saved keywords.

Alternatives: Taptu and Google Reader

Security

Lookout Security & Anti-Virus protects your phone against malware, spyware and phishing attacks. Added functions such as phone locator and backup and restore makes it a must have application for any android device.

Alternative: Norton Mobile Security

Dictionary

With a database of around 1.4 million words, Advanced English Dictionary & Thesaurus is an excellent source to find out meanings,  synonyms, antonyms, similar and related words, hypernyms and even hyponyms. It also has a fuzzy filter which can be used when you are not sure of the correct spelling of a word.

Alternative: Dictionary.com

Browser

Dolphin is an excellent browser for your Android phone with support for add ons, gestures, tabbed browsing, speed dial and themes.
Alternatives: Firefox and Opera Mini

Instant Messaging

eBuddy Messenger is an all in one chat client for  MSN, Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, GTalk, MySpace & Hyves that lets you chat simultaneously on more than one network.

Alternatives: Meebo and Nimbuzz

Application Lock

Smart App Protector protects the privacy on your phone by locking SMS, Mail, Photos, Contacts or any other installed application. Once you set the list of applications to be locked, an unlock pattern or password can be used to unlock and use the individual apps.
Alternative: Smart AppLock

Photo Editor

With over 3 million downloads, PicsIn Photo Studio is a free photo editor that is hard to resist. Various editing options are provided to play with the photos including Kaleidoscope, Drawing and Collage modes.

Alternative: PicSay


Games

This is one category where we could not hand pick any clear winner. Hence, we’ve listed down all of the 5 must play games on your Android phone.
  1. Angry Birds,
  2. Paper Toss,
  3. X Construction,
  4. Mouse Trap,
  5. Bubble Blast 2

Do let us know through your comments how you liked the above mentioned applications. Also, tell us your favorite apps and the ones you think we should have included in the list.