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.

The Carrier IQ Saga So Far

It all started with a young security researcher finding out that his android phone was sending out sensitive data out to a third party. It turned out that a small utility installed on his phone was intercepting EVERYTHING on the phone and sending it out to a company called Carrier IQ.

The researcher broke this news on his blog and all hell broke loose !

All the major cell phone manufacturers and carriers scrambled to announce via press releases how Carrier IQ’s software is really harmless and is only installed for ‘diagnostic’ purposes. The company Carrier IQ also issued a press release how this whole thing was a non-issue and blamed everything back on the manufacturers and carriers.

I’m still surprised how this even managed to stay under the radar for this long. I live a big part of my life online to really worry about privacy, but this is HUGE. My phone which forms a big part of my life is sending data about me to a third party company without my permission.

Even if the data being sent is insignificant, I still think this is a pretty big deal. The US govt has launched an investigation against the company while major carriers such as sprint have announced that they’re ‘disabling’ Carrier IQ on their phones. Yes, disabling, Not removing.

Anyone remember the Location Gate saga? And the mainstream press’s reaction when that news broke?  I don’t understand why this is not being played up as much as it should be.

I understand that Apple is an easy target and well, any news and negative news, even more so, about Apple sells but why treat them on a different pedestal subject to a different level of scrutiny.

If you’re really worried about privacy, don’t carry a cellphone. Even if you carry a regular feature phone, the carrier ALWAYS knows your location and where you’ve been. The carriers need this information to serve you. Of course, they don’t need to read your texts to your loved ones or details about each and every call that you’ve made but that is for the investigating agencies to find out.

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.

4 Websites To Compare Cameras and Cell Phones Online

Do you get confused while buying a new gadget, particularly mobile phones or cameras? With the number of new launches in the market these days, it is becoming difficult for consumers to differentiate between the various models of a product and decide which one suits their needs best.

Very often we wish if there was a service which would just tell us exactly how two or more products vary and thus make our lives easier in deciding which among them is better. Take a look at these two websites that we’ve dug up for you, that give you exactly that.

Compare Cell Phones

Gsmarena is a well known name for cell phone lovers and it lives up to its reputation with its cellphone comparison feature. The Comparison page shows two columns to compare two different cell phones. The comparison results are very detailed and include almost all the specifications of each of the phones such as size, display, sound, memory, data, camera, extra features, battery and price group.

However, if you are looking for a service that instead of just showing you the specifications, also tells you which one is better and why, then head over to compare-cellphones.org.

The interface is neatly laid out and shows various popular cell phones. Comparison results include specific reasons why either of the phones is better and in which department and by what margin. There is also a suggestion for popular competitors and the pros and cons as compared to recent cell phones. The bottom of the page shows the appearance of both the phones for a visual comparison.

Compare Cameras

dpreview is a popular photography and camera review website that provides an excellent camera comparison tool. Users can choose upto 20 different camera models for simultaneous side-by-side comparison. The results let users compare cameras by specs such as sensor, image details, optics and focus, screen / viewfinder, photography features, videography features, storage, connectivity, battery etc.

Since the results show only the difference in specifications, a newbie in this field might have difficulty in analyzing what the specifications mean and determine which camera is actually better.

And to solve that dilemma, head over to Snapsort.

Snapsort Comparison compares two cameras and shows the results in three different tabs namely High Level, Specifications and Score. The high level picks out a winner between the cameras and also pinpoints the reasons for buying either of the cameras. One handy feature is the performance section where users can cast their vote on the uses and features of the cameras being compared. The competitors section lists various competitors for both the cameras and mentions the advantages and disadvantages of each competitor. At the bottom of the page is a visual comparison of the two models.

Clicking the specifications tab will give you the detailed individual comparison of all the specifications. The Score tab shows the rank and score of both the cameras when compared to the best recent cameras in their category.

These are 4 of our favorite sites for comparing cameras and cellphones online. Do you use any websites to compare gadgets ? Please let us know your favorite websites in the comments.