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.

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.