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App reviews Tips & advice

Hardware tested Hacking

Get started with hacking Android

Optimise your phone for gaming
Install incompatible apps GET

The worst Android annoyances
and how to x them ACE 3
ANDROID IN Do more with Google Now
Quickoffice & wireless printing ISSUE 34
Futuristic apps you can try today
How to test the latest apps first


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Welcome To issue 34

Well introduce you to the world of Android
hacking, and give you a dozen practical hacks
HOW TO you can use to make your phone better than it
USE THE has ever been
his month we turn our attention
Zero-click access to the best to how you can get your Android
apps in the Google Play store On (and off) Andys phone or tablet working exactly
A QR code is a 2D barcode that can act phone this month as you want it to. In our Hacking
as a shortcut for delivering information,
Masterclass feature well introduce
such as weblinks. Youll notice them
throughout the mag scan them on you to the world of Android hacking,
your phone and you can download apps and give you a dozen practical hacks
TVPlayer Solar: you can use to make your phone
and send us messages instantly. Weather
ShopSavvy Free better than it has ever been. From
Download this free barcode scanner solving that frustrating problem of nding apps that you


to use our QR codes. Handily, you can

scan normal barcodes with it too, to want to download but are listed on the Play store as being
help you nd bargains on all your incompatible with your device, to reigning in some of the
favourite purchases! ins and outs 365 Scores
more intrusive permissions that apps are increasingly
This month requesting, to making your phone run faster, weve got
Ive been using: something for everyone.
Nexus 5
Back with our Weve also set our sights on Androids greatest
favourite phone of annoyances. These are the kinds of things that everyone
Clash of Clans last year Shifu
encounters with their gadgets no matter how experienced
they are or how expensive their device was. Hopefully
never again will you nd your phone randomly drains for no
apparent reason, or will you get confused by the quirks

1 Get scanning and inconsistencies of the Back button. Weve tackled 20

Open ShopSavvy, hit the Scan a of them this month, but if youve got any other things
Barcode button and then hold your about Android that drive you mad then do let us know and
phone over a QR code so that it appears
well see if we can solve those for you as well in future.
in the window.
GET IN TOUCH And for keen upgraders weve got guides on getting the
Let us know what youd best bits of KitKat on your device whether or not youve
like to see in next issue got the whole OS, and also show you how you can get a

facebook /littlegreenrobot
sneak peak at the newest version of your favourite apps
before they hit the store. Enjoy the issue!
Like us on Facebook to send us
your comments

Drop us an email and let us know what

2 Launch the link youd like to see in the mag

When it has read, the phone will

beep and vibrate, then launch the link.
You may need to choose an app to
twitter @lgrobot
Follow us on Twitter and send us
launch it with. your thoughts Andy Betts Editor 3
Inside issue 34

17 Special offer for USA readers 70 Exclusive subscription offer

Launcher Previews,
news and

from the
Android world
06 Test drive apps
How to get a rst look at new
apps through the Android beta
test program

09 News
The latest announcements
from the world of Android

10 Million Sellers
We get the lowdown on the
popular Tagged app
12 10 things you need
to know about Google
Now commands
Discover the speech
commands you can use to get
Google Now working for you

20 28 Get the best features of

KitKat on your phone
How to upgrade to KitKat and what
14 Oculus Rift: the future to do if your phone doesnt get it
of Android gaming?
We take a look at the upcoming
VR gaming headset and how it
will work with Android devices

16 Calendar apps
Replace your built-in
calendar app with something
altogether prettier

18 Messages
Let the world know your
thoughts on everything Android

Visit the Android Magazine online shop at

Inside issue 34

Explore the limits of
for back issues and books

54 Hacking tips and tricks

Top tips for hacking Android

56 Hacking Masterclass
your Android phone 12 great hacks every user must try
Your complete
guide to
Google Play
72 App reviews
Cutting-edge tablets and Essential guides to getting more The latest apps on test
smartphones on test from your phone or tablet
82 Alarm apps
86 Reviews 34 Master the Quickofce suite Neon vs Timely
86 Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 Get to grips with the fantastic free ofce
84 Game reviews
88 Asus Transformer
Pad TF701T 92 Acer suite from Google
The latest games reviewed
90 Archos 45 Platinum
Liquid S 38 Tutorials
92 Acer Liquid S1
Is t 1
h 20
38 Explore Google Play Newsstands
40 View only the apps that you have
App review index
94 Accessories phablis
et up t0o paid for 77 500 Firepaper
Power up your phone or tablet 42 Check app permissions
scratch 77 Amazon Appstore
with this collection of goodies ? 43 Manage your location settings
81 Automagic Automation
44 Automate common tasks with
96 Wireless gadgets Atooma 73 Camera Awesome
A collection of wireless 46 Set unique screen-savers 77 Dominos Pizza
products you can pair with 48 Print wirelessly from a KitKat
79 doorbl
your phone device
72 doubleTwist
50 Droid Support 77 FlightTrack 5
86 ng Readers questions answered, plus
74 Flipagram
troubleshooting tips and tricks

Sa alaxy
81 Gravity Screen Pro
73 HTC Footballfeed
G e3 74 iHeartRadio
Ac t phone 77 iStoryTime Storybook

Budgoen test
76 Lift Daily Motivation
81 Locale
74 MailDroid Pro
77 MapQuest
79 NFC Tools
06 Test the latest apps rst 77 noozy (classic)
Try out the new version of your 77 PhotoBook in 2 minutes
favourite apps before they hit the 78 Photo Sphere
Play store 76 Quip
73 Ruf
34 Android in the 73 Swipe Panel
ofce Get up to speed with
79 Timesheet NFC Add-On
76 Todoist
79 Trigger
75 Tweedle
81 Wolfram Alpha
79 WiFiTap WiFi NFC
our website daily
for even more news

All the latest from the world of Android devices

Test the latest apps rst

Learn how you can try out the hottest
new Android apps before they even hit
the Play store

T What if you just have

he Android market is currently awash with
apps of all sorts, sizes and genres. New
Our view
examples are appearing on Googles Play store
all of the time, but what if thats just not enough? to be rst in the If youve got a
What happens if your voracious appetite for apps
exceeds the output? Alternatively, what if you just
have to be rst in the queue and learn what new
queue and learn what favourite app that
youre waiting to be
updated then the
apps are about to be unleashed onto the Android
rmament? Do you need to enter the company of a
new apps are about to new beta testing
program is a fantastic way of
receptive group of friends and talk authoritatively
about Gungeblob v.5 when v.4 has only been out for
be unleashed onto the getting a sneak peak at whats in
store. There are loads of apps that
three weeks? You could go one step beyond the
ofcial release date and become a beta tester.
Android rmament? can be tested in this way, just
make sure you join in the
Quite apart from the kudos that you bring to yourself situations that can lead it to fail, in programming community too and report any
and your ego there are rather more serious benets terms. Real life is a tough testing environment and it bugs or other issues that you
to be had for all concerned. allows the app to face new conditions, different encounter. That way you will help
Firstly, being able to utilise an early version of any phone types, it brings it into contact with unique improve the apps too.
program and test it in the real world improves the Settings setups and app congurations and also Andy Betts, Editor
robustness of the app as it faces possibly unknown allows beta testers to keep in contact with the

Stay up to date twitter
Catch up with the latest @lgrobot
Follow us on Twitter for
Android news and gossip the latest updates

Five apps that let you beta test

Test drive the latest features of your favourite apps by gaining access to the
developer codes, giving you the chance to pass on comment and criticism
Snapchat Nova Launcher
Web Web
Snapchat enables you to take a This is a customisable home screen
photo, then add a caption and send replacement for Android 4.0 that
the completed image to a friend. You can add features a range of colour themes as well as a wide
the Snap to a Snapchat Story that acts as a choice of icons and a scrollable dock. Speaking of
narrative and exists for just 24 hours. The idea scrolling, you can enjoy a range of effects such as
of the app is not to create an artistic print but Cube and Cardstock in addition to the Innite Scroll
just to capture a moment that is then that allows a continuous scroll. Other features
immediately shared and binned. include backup and restore options plus gesture
Beta testers have helped to x a range of controls. The Beta site shows an array of added
bugs including a x for back-facing ashes on effects that are veried by the testers involved. In
some phones plus a new feature that allows you addition, the designers have discussed a batch of
to scroll to and from the Add Friends page. ideas that are served for possible implementation.
Nova unveiled its KitKat theme in beta form

Dolphin Browser Sliding Message Fleksy

Web Web Web
testing/mobi.mgeek This app provides an alternative
A mobile browser, Dolphin offers a personalized donate/join keyboard option for your Android
home screen, plus interface enhancements Sliding Message allows you to manage text phone. Offering an adjustable keyboard size for
including voice control along with gesture messages that utilise the same style and tablet users plus multi-lingual support that has
facilities to access the mobile and desktop formatting as the stock message app from Google, just included French, Arabic, German and Dutch.
websites you use the most, tabbed windows but adds the ability to switch between It also includes a spacebar vibration slider to aid
and a new web app store. You are also able to conversations. This is done by moving the sliding typing while you are not looking at the keyboard
customise its settings while many users will menu on the left side of the screen or starting a itself. The beta community is very active,
appreciate its many sharing features and conversation by doing the same with the right currently discussing varying keyboard issues for
add-on utilities. menu. The app includes plenty of Emoji choices, new versions plus possible battery concerns,
Beta testing activity for upcoming versions themes and picture support. the possibility of adding Chinese to the language
has included a x for those nding it difcult to The latest beta activity has surrounded MMS pack as well as quickly switching between
access their SD cards, an issue with a support updates, the new version of the app languages and modifying the app colour
checkerboarding effect under certain conditions disappearing from the home page after updating depending on what app it is associated with at
and unobtainable buttons on certain websites. and queries on Google voice support. any one time.

developer: asking why feature X hasnt been hardy coding pioneers, battling the data elements
implemented fully and why cant the app do this or and breaking new ground in app design. But how do
that when it really should be able to? you do it? Well, there are a number of avenues. One
of the most basic ways is to ingratiate yourself with
Beta test in Google+ the developer of the app.
For the developer, this sort of testing means that When you are on the Google Play website and you
they can put the app through its paces before the nd the app that you would like to get to know
ofcial launch, thus attracting less complaints, better and help develop further, enter their page
fewer poor reviews and, hopefully, higher sales. To and scroll down to the base of the page to the
that end, Google has tried to encourage more Additional information section. In the majority of
development by providing a supportive testing Check a developers website for more information cases, you will nd an Email Developer option
environment, opening up facilities in Google+ for which, when clicked, opens their address in your
beta testing. A similar service that provides during testing isnt found on a public forum but goes default mail client. At this point, its up to you to
developers further options is the Staged Rollouts straight to the developer. As tweaks are initiated politely convey how much you would like to become
programme. This is a staggered system that also and improvements are made, then the app can a beta tester. If you have past experience of beta
depends on instigating user restrictions where become more accessible with a higher percentage testing, then all the better but, even if you dont, you
developers can choose to only push an update to a of testers allowed to see it and trial it, until it nally may have already noticed aspects of the current
certain percentage of their testers, increasing that goes public. Sounds attractive? You too could move program that could bear improvement. This and
gure later. In this way, any feedback that is realised into the beta zone, banding together with other other similar ploys will help to get yourself noticed 7
Stay up to date
Catch up with the latest
twitter @lgrobot
Follow us on Twitter for
Android news and gossip the latest updates

and possibly selected. Sometimes sheer

enthusiasm will do the trick.
If you cannot nd a link for a developer email
address then see if there is a link to the
developers website. Contact details will, more
than likely, be present on this site. Even if the
contact details dont directly refer to general
enquiries, dont be put off. Try any contact address
that might be present its a foot in the door.
Another way is to keep a look out for news of
beta testing programs and invitations to join. Some
of these can be found within the internet news
media but many others can be found if you hang
around the Google+ communities. News can be

Developers recruit
from these
forums because they Google+ is used as a central location for accessing and providing feedback to beta versions of apps

Get cosy with developers

know that you When you click on the desired icon, you will see a

must have a measure host of comments from beta testers but also
instructions on how you too can become involved.

of enthusiasm You can normally nd this category of information

on the About this community section.
Another new option is the Erli Bird website (www.
picked up here of forthcoming beta programs., a hub for start-ups and developers,
Developers quite like recruiting from these forums where you can nd new products. The website
because they know that, if youre the sort of person matches you with developers who share the same
to frequent these forums, you must have a interests, support the same hardware as you (this Betas will often be downloaded through the Play store, and
can be updated easily
measure of enthusiasm in the rst place. is not just an Android site but also iPhone, iPad,
Just search for Google+, create your prole and, Mac, Windows, Linux and more) plus lots of other you will be encouraged to report good and bad
when youre done, click on the Communities option data. Developers can then see you and invite you features, bugs, features that dont work as they
on your home page. When youre in, enter the word into their new programmes. Its a bit like a beta should, missing features that should be in the app
beta in the search bar and a whole host of beta testers dating site. and much more. You may even nd a developer
programmes will appear, allowing you to investigate Once a developer has invited you to test their assigning you with a specic task that covers only
and possibly join. product, you will be directed to their Erli Bird page, a small part of an app.
given special access codes and, during the tests, What makes the beta testers on the likes of Erli
Many of your favourite apps Bird any better than a beta tester found anywhere
are available else? Well, again, its a question of the degree of
for testing
enthusiasm. Any potential beta tester who takes
the trouble of signing up to a site like Erli Bird must
have more drive, commitment and enthusiasm
than a basic web browser who accepts a beta task
on a pure whim.
Taking part in the development of any new
product is an exciting and satisfying task. Quite
apart from the bragging rights and the fact that you
have an in on new advances, it is ideal for the
early adopter mentality and those users who are
just excited about new technologies and
developments. More than that, to know that you
played an active share in bringing a product to
market can be immensely satisfying.
On rare occasions, beta testing has lead to
more involved tasks being asked of the
individual and then full-time positions in a
company leading to a successful career in
software. It all depends on you, what you want
from the tasks and how much time and effort you
are prepared to put into it.

Get in touch!
Send us your thoughts
email facebook twitter /littlegreenrobot @lgrobot
Got questions or comments? Drop Like us on Facebook to Follow us on Twitter for
on all things Android us an email and let us know send your comments all the latest gossip

Android Magazine now on Google

Play Newsstand Theres now even more choice to get
digital magazines on your phone or tablet

lay Newsstand is Googles the full article provided within the
latest expansion of the notication. Theres also a
ever-growing Play store that fantastic read it later feature if
merges together your magazine you want to save an article on your
and news feeds in one place for device to read at your own
you to manage and read your convenience. Play Newsstand
subscriptions. Users can build makes it easier than ever to get
their own virtual library of copies of your favourite digital
magazine issues as well as magazines, including our very own
subscribe to particular news Android Magazine, directly onto
outlets based on their your smartphone or tablet for you
particular interests. The to enjoy wherever you are. If you
news part of it works very arent using Play Newsstand, but
much in the same way still want to get your hands on
as Google Currents, some of your favourite digital
with users receiving magazines, then make sure to
notications when a check out,
new headline appears which homes some of the best
from the outlets and blogs theyve technology, knowledge and video
subscribed to with direct links to game magazines around.

Samsung renes its Its a welcome and

Galaxy Camera somewhat overdue
The second-generation Android camera promises
images of exceptional quality
A ndroid-powered cameras are
yet to make a major splash in
the market, but Samsung is
instance, has received a modest
bump from 1.4GHz to 1.6GHz, while
RAM has been doubled to 2GB.
persevering with the idea. The However, the camera specs remain
Korea-based manufacturer has the same as on the original model,
unveiled the Galaxy Camera 2, the with images coming courtesy of a
companys fourth camera built 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor with
around the enhanced sharing 21x optical zoom. The Galaxy
capabilities of the Android OS.
Surprisingly for a Samsung upgrade,
Camera 2 follows the original, the S4
Zoom and the high-end Galaxy NX Sony goes compact but
theres less of a focus on hardware
specs than usual. The processor, for
with interchangeable lenses in
Samsungs line up. keeps the specs
The Xperia Z1 Compact is the Z1s little brother
T here has long been a clamour
among a sector of Android
enthusiasts for a device with the
waterproof build but packs it into
a device with a 4.3-inch display. Its
a welcome and somewhat overdue
specs of a agship model, but in a development coming after most
more hand-friendly size. Sony has manufacturers have stripped down
nally taken notice with the Xperia the feature set in the Mini
Z1 Compact. Unveiled at CES in Las versions of their agship handsets.
Vegas, the Z1 Compact has all the The Z1 Compact will be available
qualities of the Z1 from late last from February, and all eyes will be
year Snapdragon 800 processor, on its fortunes to see if there really
20-MP camera with larger-than- is the demand for smaller Android
average 1/2.3-inch sensor and full devices as many have claimed.
Stay up to date
Catch up with the latest
twitter @lgrobot
Follow us on Twitter for
Android news and gossip the latest updates

Personalise the
content feed to Get detailed
your results using
specication lters
Inside Androids most popular apps

Downloads: 5mil-10mil Developer: Tagged Inc Launched: March 2011
Price: Free Play store rating:

mong the wide range of social media applications on the
Google Play store, Tagged stands apart from many in that it
is designed to cross over from the purely digital to the real
world. Tagged offers a mix of the best features found in the likes of
LinkedIn, Facebook and Vine to provide a free way of meeting and
connecting with new people.
The app includes a clever matching system that teams you up with
people to chat to based on the information you entered on your
prole and your search criteria. If you manage to nd someone youre
interested in talking to, you can then send them a message and
strike up a conversation in no time.
Tagged is a ridiculously simple concept for an app, but the amount
of features and users there for you to explore makes the app a
must-have for any social media addict.

Q&A Matthew Wardenaar You can add

Browse and chat
with people in
pictures to your
Head of Mobile, content feed
your local area
What different criteria can Taggeds
users use to search for people in
and ll out the prole info youd like to
include. Weve tried to make your Users can decide then youll have the same sort of
experience when using Tagged.
their area? prole really customisable, so users how much data they
Theres a wide variety of ways people
can search for people in their area.
can decide just exactly how much
data they want to add to it. In general,
want to add Are you surprised with how popular
the app has been on the Android OS?
First and foremost you can search by the more data you include, the more feed feature. This keeps me up to We knew there was a market for
a specic name, as well as location ways people can discover and nd you date with everything that everyone Tagged, but the support it has
and age. Weve also included some through the Tagged app. But if users Ive connected to on Tagged is up to in received, in terms of downloads, is
additional lters for users to explore if dont want to add lots of data about an easy and informative way. fantastic. Hopefully new people
they want more specic results. On them, then thats no problem as the continue to discover Tagged and tell
top of people in your local area, we app is still completely functional In what ways can users message their friends about it.
allow our users to make contact with without it. each other?
people all over the world, again we I really like the messaging system Are there any new features youre
match them on interests and the What are your personal favourite weve implemented into the app as looking to implement into the app?
details entered on their prole to features of the app? its really easy to use and its also Were working on lots of exciting
make sure the right people connect We made sure to explore some of the customisable as well. Users can send features and design to honour the
with each other. best social media apps currently quick messages to other users Android platform and next year we
available for Android and iOS users to through the app and also attach hope to have a few updates which will
How easy is it to build your prole? make sure we were delivering the certain images to their messages. It bring some new features that weve
Its very simple to build your prole on best possible experience to our works in the same way as WhatsApp been working on. Nothing has been
the Tagged app just upload a photo users. Personally, I love the content and Viber, so if youve ever used them, conrmed, as of yet, but stay tuned!

Ever since it rst hit the stores back in

2008, Androids growth has been 2009 2010
A brief history of seemingly unstoppable. What began as 8 million Overtakes
an open source response to the iPhone Android ended its rst Symbian

Android quickly took on a life of its own as it

soon overtook Symbian as the most
popular OS in the world, before
full year on sale with
nearly eight million
devices in the hands of
Just a year later
Android outsold the
now declining Symbian

sales moving on to dominate tablets and

even other classes of products.
Soon, everything you own may be
powered by Android.
users. It was dwarfed
by the nearly 80 million
Symbian phones sold
in the same year.
for the rst time, with
two million devices
more being sold than
Nokias tired OS.

Imagine Publishing Ltd
Richmond House, 33 Richmond Hill

Oppo launches the rst

Bournemouth, Dorset, BH2 6EZ
 +44 (0) 1202 586200

CyanogenMod phone

Magazine team
Editor Andy Betts
 01202 586254
The Oppo N1 is the rst phone to launch with CyanogenMod Sub Editor Philip Morris
Art Editor Katie Peat
Photographer James Sheppard

Senior Art Editor Will Shum
he revolution is well on course for Editor in Chief Nick Jones
CyanogenMod. The custom ROM- Head of Publishing Aaron Asadi
Head of Design Ross Andrews
turned-mainstream company raised Contributors
around $30 million in funding in late 2013, Christian Cawley, David Crookes, Oliver Hill, Steve Jenkins,
Phil King, Shaun McGill, Paul OBrien, Paul Rigby,
and now the rst phone to run CyanogenMod Harry Slater, Gavin Thomas, Sandra Vogel
out of the box has gone on sale. Advertising
Digital or printed media packs are available on request.
That phone is a version of the N1 from Advertising Director Matthew Balch
Chinese manufacturer Oppo. Originally  01202 586437
launched last September running Oppos Head of Sales Hang Deretz
own Color UI it now comes with  01202 586442
CyanogenMod 10.2 as an option. Senior Account Manager Nick Marrow
 01202 586419
The N1 has a few hardware innovations

including a touch-sensitive rear panel for International

Android Magazine is available for licensing.
scrolling and a swivelling camera that use the Contact the International department to discuss
partnership opportunities.
same 13-megapixel module in lieu of Head of International Licensing Cathy Blackman
separate front and rear cameras. It also  +44 (0) 1202 586401
sports a 5.9-inch, 1080p display, a hefty
3610mAh battery and a last-generation Head of Subscriptions Gill Lambert
For all subscriptions enquiries
Snapdragon 600 processor.
 0844 245 6963 (UK)
 +44 (0) 1795 414 972 (Overseas)

CyanogenMod 13 issue subscription (UK) 51.90 (CC)

13 issue subscription (Europe) 65
13 issue subscription (ROW) 75

shares the same Circulation

Head of Circulation Darren Pearce
 01202 586200

look and feel as Production

Production Director Jane Hawkins
 01202 586200
stock Android, but The Oppo N1 launches with the option to run the popular
CyanogenMod ROM right out of the box Group Managing Director Damian Butt
Group Finance & Commercial Director Steven Boyd
Printing & Distribution
is augmented by a most popular reasons to use custom ROMs at all is to
be able to try out the latest version of Android. And
Printed by William Gibbons, 26 Planetary Road,
Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3XT
Distributed in the UK & Eire by Seymour Distribution, 2 East
the phone wont be receiving the nightly updates that Poultry Avenue, London, EC1A 9PT  0207 429 4000

few of its own are so popular among enthusiasts subsequent

updates will need to be fully tested.
Distributed in Australia by Gordon & Gotch Corporate Centre,
26 Rodborough Road, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086
 +61 2 9972 8800
exclusive features" Yet the transformation of CyanogenMod from
custom ROM developed by amateur enthusiasts to
Distributed in the Rest of the World by Marketforce, Blue Fin
Building, 110 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0SU
 0203 148 8105
But the main appeal is the OS. CyanogenMod multi-million dollar business with hardware partners Disclaimer
The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material
shares the same look and feel as stock Android, but and Google approval (the N1 comes with the full suite lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of
Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced
is augmented by a few of its own exclusive features of Google apps) marks a major milestone for the in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher.
All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose
including encrypted text messaging and enhanced Android ROM community. The next CyanogenMod of criticism and review. Although the magazine has endeavoured
to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and
audio playback. It also promises smooth phone is likely to come from Chinese startup OnePlus, availability may change. This magazine is fully independent and
not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein.
performance and excellent battery life. a company whose mission statement includes the If you submit material to Imagine Publishing via post, email, social
network or any other means, you automatically grant Imagine Publishing
It is perhaps ironic that the rst CM phone should line: We dont accept the excuse that you cant an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free license to use the images across
its entire portfolio, in print, online and digital, and to deliver the images
run 10.2 based on Android 4.3 when one of the create a perfect phone at a disruptive price. to existing and future clients, including but not limited to international
licensees for reproduction in international, licensed editions of Imagine
products. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although
every care is taken, neither Imagine Publishing nor its employees,
agents or subcontractors shall be liable for the loss or damage.
2012 2013 2014
Samsungs 80% market share One billion
strength During 2013 Android was Latest gures from Imagine Publishing Ltd 2014
2012 saw Samsung accounting for as much analysts suggest that ISSN 2047-1580z
take a stranglehold on as four out of every ve Android will pass the
Android. The Galaxy S III smartphones being sold. one billion total device
became the best selling That may prove to be the sales at some point this
Android device ever, peak as competition year. This includes
and the Note 2 was also hots up from other phones, tablets,
very popular. operating systems. watches and other gear. 11
Visit us daily for news and more

1General commands
Whether its to
nd out the author
2Web browsing
Google Now integrates
fully with the power of the
3Show me the table
No matter your
sport of interest, you
of your favourite Chrome browser to provide a can track the results
book, the stock quick way to open up your of your favourite
price of a company, favourite webpages without team or league
or even a new needing to actually load up the directly through the
recipe, Google Now browser itself. Theres also the app. Say Show me
can now be used to ability to open up any the Premier League
search for nearly bookmarks you created on table or How are
anything you need your phone or tablet, as well as Arsenal doing? and
on your device using to perform a standard Google Google Now will give
your voice alone. web search. you the answer.

10Beam me up
a selection of
4Send SMS to
By speaking directly
into Google
hidden Easter Now, its
eggs that are possible to
fun to explore send an
in Google Now. entire text
Certain message
statements through it.
such as Beam Say Send
me up Scotty!, Do a barrel SMS to
roll and Who are you? will Katie followed by the
get you an often unexpected content of your message. Its
response from the app for you pretty accurate, but is worth
to have a laugh at! checking before you send!

9 Navigate to
How far
is, Navigate
5Listen to
a whole
to and host of
Directions to compatible
will get you a
series of
things you need to know about... entertain-
ment apps

Google Now
replies within for you to
Now using the explore in
power of the Google
Google Maps app on your Now. Saying Listen to
phone. Tap the icon within the
result and Maps will launch
with your route displayed and
ready to go.
voice commands and specifying a song and
band will play that track.
A similar trick works for
YouTube videos.

8Square root of
If maths isnt
your thing, no
7 Remind me to
If youre an avid user of
Google Keep, then make sure
6What is the time
As well as being
able to see forecasts
worries, as Google to use the note-taking of the weather all
Now can provide feature. With this command around the world,
answers to a range you can set reminders of you can also search
of mathematical everyday tasks, input details for the time in a
problems as well as of upcoming appointments, specic location. You
conversions for create shopping lists, or even can use natural
measurements. Say set an alarm. All these notes language to ask
Convert [currency] can be synced with your Google Now, and it
to [currency] to get Google Keep account. The should speak the
your reply. calendar works likewise. answer to you.

Stay up to date
Catch up with the latest
twitter @lgrobot
Follow us on Twitter for
Android news and gossip the latest updates

Oculus Rift: the future

of Android gaming? Say hello to the revolutionary
At a glance
Product name Oculus Rift virtual reality device set to
Available from
Price Rumoured to be 250/$300 take 2014 by storm
The Oculus Rift is a head-mounted virtual
reality gaming headset that puts the user
directly into the game. It also connects to
your Android smartphone or tablet.

The Oculus Rift

is set to be one of
2014s big talking points

G Many big name

aming on our Android devices has certainly phone or tablet as a controller for any game played
come a long way over the past couple of on the Oculus Rift headset via USB tethering.
The design of the Oculus Rift headset may look
years. One look at the Google Play store will
show amazing sprawling 3D adventures, AAA titles strange to some, but it has several benets for its
users. As well as being able to interact with games,
mobile game
ported over from home consoles and some of the
most addictive games on the market today.
But a new product is soon to hit the market that
the Rift includes positional tracking, from which the
user can control the direction they are looking in
developers are
looks to take the gaming experience on your Android
phone or tablet to the next level and beyond for
within the game, as well as full movement tracking
capabilities that youd expect from a virtual reality
already onboard
half of the price of either the Xbox One or Playstation
4 games consoles.
headset. Theres also things like 1080p support,
wireless operation and even a HDMI port to tether
with several
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that
puts the player in the game by attaching to the
the unit to your HDTV for other people to see what
youre seeing.
ambitious projects
users head and using an external controller. Using Many big name mobile game developers are Oculuss technology and immerse the player further
the mounted display, users get really involved in already onboard with several ambitious projects to into the game itself. With developer units of the
their favourite games and tether the headset itself transform the ways users can experience their Oculus Rift already available for users to get
to their Android device to experience their mobile games using a combination of the Rift alongside experimenting with, and consumer units touted for
games on a bigger and more immersive screen. On their Android device. Games like Dead Trigger have a mid-2014 release, expect to see a new era of
top of being used as a platform to load games from, already seen great critical success on Android interactive gaming appearing soon on your Android
there are future plans to be able to use any Android devices, but will be heavily modied to support the device and on your head!


Highlights of the Oculus Rift

The best games for
Seven-inch display
The seven-inch mounted display has been designed to optimise
the Oculus Rift
graphics for each game played. Although its built in the same Here are ve of the best conrmed
vein as an Android tablet, the actual processing power is built games that will be available for the
into the surrounding headset. The chosen design helps the Oculus Rift at launch
display unit stop heating up after prolonged use.
Among The Sleep TBA/$20
Developer Krillbite Studio
Interchangeable lenses Following on from
One of the greatest additions to the Oculus Rift are its the likes of Silent
Hill, Among The
interchangeable lenses, which can be used to move the Sleep is a rst
display to suit different peoples eye. With the intense 3D person survival
horror game that
gaming experience that the Rift provides, the ability to alter
puts you at the
how the display works and functions will certainly help forefront of a young
prevent eye damage. boys terrifying
nightmare. Use the Rift to explore the dark and dingy
world youre plunged in to.

Kairo TBA/$5
Developer Locked Door Puzzle
Virtuix Omni Set in a minimalist
world, Kairo is a
Alongside the Rift is the Virtuix Omni, a omnidirectional puzzle game that
treadmill that enables users to jump, walk, crouch and run gets users
interacting with
in their game. While wearing the Rift you can add to the
everyday objects to
immersive nature of the game by stepping into the Omni uncover the dark
and taking your experience to the next level. secrets of the
world around them.
Puzzles get tricky quickly, so prepare to spend hours
solving everything the game has to offer.

Q&A Oculus VR, CEO Palmer Luckey Retrovirus TBA/$19.99

Developer Cadenza Interactive
What are the main ways the Oculus moving so fast, we really believe that As far as rst
Rift can transform a users gaming Android-powered VR will be a key part of person shooters
experience? go, Retrovirus is a
the future. very ambitious
The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality project. Taking the
A headset that allows users to step into Are you expecting more mobile game ght to a computer
virus, users need to
the game. It provides an immersive, developers to get onboard and start blast their way
stereoscopic 3D experience with a huge developing for the Rift and also make through waves of
eld of view 110 degrees diagonally and their current games compatible with enemies and tackle a selection of truly terrifying
bosses along the way.
overcomes latency challenges. Though the Rift?
gaming is what we are most excited about, We certainly hope developers will get DARK 24.99/$29.99
weve also seen it used in other industries A as excited as we are about mobile. As Developer Realmforge Studios
and disciplines such as lm, architecture, of now, we shipped more than 40,000 Rift After already being
released on most
travel, real estate, military, medical development kits and content developed
home consoles,
treatment etc. The skys the limit, and using that hardware should be compatible DARK is one of the
weve seen the development community with the Android SDK, which means many few fully stealth
games announced
continue to innovate across disciplines and of the Unity and Unreal titles weve seen for the VR headset.
markets we never imaged to see the Rift already from the community should be able The Oculus Rift port
used in. to be ported over. will see new levels
introduced to make full use of what the Rift can do.

It has been conrmed that the Oculus Do you see any other ways users
Rift will eventually be compatible with might be able to use their devices with DayZ TBA/$29.99
Android devices. Can you shed any light the Oculus Rift in the future? Developer Bohemia Interactive
on how this will be made possible? DayZ promises to
Another interesting possibility is
We will deliver a single Oculus Rift, A using phones and tablets as
be the biggest
MMO available for
A which will tether to multiple devices. controllers for the Rift. If the Rift and a Oculus Rift users.
In a zombie-lled
We are currently in the development phone or tablet both have good positional universe, each user
process of supporting tethering to a mobile tracking, it would be possible to show the must scrape
together supplies
device such as an Android smartphone or tablet in the virtual world and use it as a to ght off any
tablet. And with mobile hardware tactile interface. zombies they encounter on their travels. 15
Stay up to date
Catch up with the latest
twitter @lgrobot
Follow us on Twitter for
Android news and gossip the latest updates

1 2 3


4 5 6

1 Sol 2 Calendar+ Note 3 Cal 4 Month 5 DigiCal 6 Agenda

Sol is without Everything From the makers Calendar Calendar Agenda is an iOS
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built-in weather is one includes extras like elegance and ease of dates for the month With all the required typographically heavy,
of the few extra importing birthdays use over functionality. ahead. Best used in calendar views, the app and puts your upcoming
features and full from your social As such it is great for conjunction with can handle even the events front and centre.
touch-based navigation networks, along with those with light another calendar app, most crammed of Its also strongly
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Inside Android Magazines virtual mailbag

I shouldnt need
to root
m I alone in not wanting to root my Android
phone? I consider myself to be an enthusiast
I read Android Magazine, after all and I am
both competent and condent at working with
computers on quite technical things, I just dont feel
that I want to root it. I also get a little annoyed that
whenever anyone points out a problem with Android
the default reply is: Root it, ash a ROM, xed. Why
do we allow manufacturers and software developers
to get away with producing buggy or under
performing products just because an elite bunch of
users are happy to x it themselves. Nobody expects
iPhone users to have to jailbreak just to x things,
anymore than youd be required to rewire your
toaster. Ive got better things to do than ashing
ROMs and reinstalling my apps afterwards. Id rather
keep my warranty in tact and let the manufacturers
do what they are supposed to be good at.
Jon Forrbes

We say: We get many letters on the subject of

rooting. For many of our readers being able to root,
tweak, ash and mod is the primary reason for
buying an Android phone in the rst place. Well
agree with you that it isnt a substitute for a properly
working phone right out of the box, but the freedom Is hacking an integral part of
the Android world?
that comes from hacking Android is hard to beat.

We need 1020. I hope that this gets rectied

in 2014. Theres some talk that Nexus 5 the battery life. This is the rst phone
I have owned with a xed battery,

camera Google is going to add RAW support

to the camera app in Android. That battery and even though I have admittedly
never switched batteries on my

In Trending in issue 33 you asked
would send a big message to
camera phone enthusiasts who at
the moment are left to feel like the
I recently became the proud owner
other phones, I did like the
reassurance that it was an option. I
was wary that the Nexus 5 would be
what do you want to see from camera on their devices is barely of a Nexus 5, and I must say that it is a problem. I had also read a number
Android in 2014. For me the answer more than an afterthought. the best phone I have ever owned. of user reports online that suggested
is simple: camera innovations. In my Carl Ross The most impressive thing for me is the battery was only okay. Im not
opinion the camera is still the one
part of Android that is sub-par. I
agree that most of the big main
We say: Were with you, Carl. Weve
been pretty happy with the most Weve been happy with the most
devices have perfectly okay
cameras, HTC, LG and Samsung are
recent batch of cameras on the
Android agships, but we cant help recent batch of cameras, but we
what you would describe as good
enough. But there is nothing that is
feel that theres a whole lot more to
come. Our moneys on Sony, who will cant help feel that theres a whole
as plainly useable as the iPhone 5s,
or with the quality of the Nokia Lumia
hopefully put its innovative Imaging
division to good use. lot more to come
Get in touch!
Send us your thoughts
email facebook CROWD /littlegreenrobot
on all things Android Got questions or comments? Drop
us an email and let us know
Like us on Facebook to
send your comments
Opinion from the

I must say that Phablets may look odd when

making a call, but the extra
So, Sonys Z1 Compact is a
4.3 phone with agship
it is the best screen size has benets
specs. At last! Whats your
preferred screen size? Bigger,
phone I have or even smaller?

ever owned @djomlakus 4.3/4.5 perfect size

for me :)
sure what theyre doing with their
@afcbandy I wanted something
phones, or maybe they are just in smaller but then I got an S4 and
bad signal areas, because I am wouldnt want to go back. The
getting fantastic performance from iPhone seems tiny now!
my battery. I was happy with the
battery on my Galaxy S III, but the @lgrobot
Nexus 5 beats it by miles. I routinely And following on from that - do
get between four and six hours of you feel like a phone should
screen on time according to the be useable one handed?
battery stats, and I rarely actually
@afcbandy I can use it one
need to use my phone for that long,
handed for the most important
which means it runs into the next
day with ease. Add in the other
whenever she made a phone call on
it, Im worried that Im starting to be Nexus 4 things
great things like the screen and very
smooth performance and Im
starting to doubt whether I will buy
won round to this phablet
phenomenon. Ive even been eyeing
up the new Sony Xperia Ultra, which
I was disappointed to see that the
@jglen_TNA Im rocking a Z1 and
can use it one handed with no
issues. The big screen makes
anything other than a Nexus device Ive never even seen in the esh but Galaxy Nexus was not going to be viewing stuff a proper experience.
ever again. gather is even bigger than the Note. getting the KitKat update despite
W Hall I think what won me round was being less than two years old when @lgrobot
seeing how much my wife genuinely KitKat was launched. Some have Anyone planning to upgrade
We say: Weve also had good enjoys using her phablet. With the stated that this is due to the fact
this year? What feature must
your new phone have that
experiences of the Nexus 5 battery, little ip cover attached she holds it that the phone uses a TI processor your current one doesnt?
although it is worth remembering like a book and has embraced its which is no longer supported,
that battery life can vary wildly for size in all its two-handed glory, while while Googles own reasoning @yenrod A exible screen! - at
each user depending on what they Im left still trying to stretch my seems to be that the phone is least a 2100mah battery also -
use their device for, whether theyre thumb up to the top of the screen older than 18 months. the xperia z compact looks good..
using 4G, and what the reception is on my HTC One X in resolutely This leads me to wonder what
like in their area. one-handed fashion. Im starting to the prospects are for my Nexus 4 @neilybhoy1888 am not sure an
think that if I cant use my phone and original Nexus 7, upon both of upgrade until next year :-( I do
currently have a the @htc one tho
Sold on properly one handed then why
compromise on size? My wife keeps
which the clock is ticking. The
reason I chose to go with
so am happy :-)

A few months ago my wife upgraded
it in her bag so doesnt have to
worry about it tting in her pocket,
which may be my only problem.
Nexus devices was precisely
because of their reputation for not
only being updated, but for being
@Vass88 ability to pick up weak
3G signals in a non remote area
like Guildford would be good.
to a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. After Im due an upgrade in a couple of updated quickly. never mind 4G
spending some time mocking her months, by when there should be I can only hope that as these
for its ridiculous size, especially even more phablets available to devices both run processors that @Peter_Vernelen Android 4.4.2,
choose from. Bring them on, I say. are still mainstream (from Nvidia LTE connectivity a good camera
The bigger the better. and Qualcomm) that they will be and a high capacity battery :)

Let us know your thoughts on
Tim Harris able to be easily updated to the
next version of Android when it
@Mug_UK Got my Note 3 and it
works for me. A big screen for a
these hot topics We say: Phablets may have seemed arrives, removing any practical big hand .. unless Im playing
like a gimmick at rst, but they reasons for it not happening. Carmageddon ;-)
 Do you plan to buy a arent going away now. Well admit Stephen Dyer
smartwatch? to be surprised at just how many @nerdyessence85 A decent size
 What is your all-time phablets we see out in the wild. We We say: We wont know until the screen, camera and longer battery
favourite app? didnt dismiss them out of hand as update comes out, of course, but life would be nice.
many commentators did when the wed be inclined to predict that it
 How long does your original Note was launched, but we will come to both of the Nexus
phones battery last? did think it would only ll a very devices you refer to. The
Get in touch! niche part of the market. That niche difference between a Galaxy Follow us @lgrobot to join has turned out to be far greater than Nexus and Nexus 4 is far greater in the conversation
anyone could have predicted. than a Nexus 4 and Nexus 5. 19
Solved! 20 Biggest Android problems

Feature Solved! 20 Biggest Android problems

ts the bane of owning a smartphone
apps can, and will, demand data. And
when theyre not demanding it, theyre
sending it. While youre on a Wi-Fi
connection this will usually be okay. The
problems start when youre using metered
mobile internet.
There are several ways you can deal with
background apps, but rst a question:
does it actually matter? Do you really need
to worry about these apps?
It really depends on what theyre up to.
Battery discharging often? Metered
connection exceeded, resulting in big bills?
If either of these things have happened to
you, or your Android is just running slow
through the sheer weight of expectation
from all of the background apps currently
running, then yes, it matters.
You can get a handle on which apps are
causing problems by opening
Settings>Apps and switching to Running.
Here, all active apps and services are
listed, along with the resources currently
apportioned. Spot apps that shouldnt be
Open the menu in order
there? You can tap an app to force stop it. to nd the Restrict
background data
This wont stop apps from restarting
option. Use the Mobile
later on, however. Unless you plan to hotspots screen to
uninstall your data vampire apps, the best block apps from
connecting via hotpots
way to proceed is to prevent them from
getting online in the rst place.
Using Androids data usage tool you can
manage which apps access the internet, Alerts
Alerts can be activated,
potentially saving yourself a bit of battery informing you when your data
power and even reducing your phone bill. usage limit has been reached.
In Settings>Data Usage you can check Setting your alert point below
the actual limit is wise
how much data your phone has used over
the past month. All web-connected apps
are listed, displaying the data use of
individual apps as well as a grand total. Chart
To cap data use by apps while theyre The chart displays your
recent internet usage.
running in the background, open the menu With the Data usage
and select Restrict background data. Youll limit activated you can
nd this makes quite a difference to your block apps accessing
the internet based on
Androids performance. your preset limit

There are too many junk apps installed

hile checking what apps are making a Is your phone rooted? If so you can take
connection to the internet, youll advantage of an application such as Greenify,
probably notice a few that you had which will freeze a problematic app for you,
forgotten about, or dont want to use anymore. preventing it from running in the background. This
There may also be some that you dont access all is ideal for apps you use rarely but still need to
that often. You can tidy things up pretty easily, run occasionally.
either by disabling the apps, uninstalling or even If your phone isnt rooted, dont worry.
freezing them if your phone is rooted. You might Third-party launchers such as Go Launcher EX
also move the apps to a secondary launcher, so or Nova Launcher can be installed and set up,
theyre visible only when you want to use them. with your rarely used apps dropped into the new
Open Settings>Apps to view your current apps, home screen. Once youve done that then you
tapping Disable to prevent the app from running can go ahead and delete the shortcuts from your To avoid stability issues, exit Use Greenify to nd and
or Uninstall to remove it from your system. main home screen, saving space. an app before you disable it freeze troublesome apps 21
Solved! 20 Biggest Android problems

Android phones slow down over time. When you switch your phone on it is
typically fast and responsive. As apps are launched and closed and tasks

ondering why your friends Android switched, however, things tend to become sluggish, with the user interface
has a different look, or built-in hanging and apps slow to launch.
apps missing from yours? One way
to make your standard Android handset These ve tips offer hope to lethargic Androids
look like your friends is to install a
launcher that supports themes, such as
Go Launcher EX. For instance, if you
like the look of the HTC One, you can
1 Restarting your phone will refresh
Android and kill any resource-
draining apps.
add a HTC Sense theme on your
phone or tablet. Meanwhile, if
youre a fan of the Galaxy S4
Lockscreen, its functions are
2 Blocking apps from accessing
the internet (as described
previously) can speed things up.
replicated in an app for
non-Samsung devices.
Search the Play store for
Galaxy S4 Lockscreen
3 Selecting an app and using the
Clear data button on a
troublesome app in Settings>Apps
to view your options. will clear the app cache, although
third-party apps such as App Cache
Cleaner will do the job in bulk.

4 The System Monitor app by

Pavel Petrov (nd it in the Play
store) displays resource use and
Clearing data can help to speed up your Android

enables you to kill all non-essential tasks with a single tap.

Enjoy a HTC Sense

theme on your
non-HTC Android
5 Widgets for email, social networks and other regularly updated services can
slow things down considerably, so drag these to your Android trash can.

Using Google Maps? Without an internet

connection, sooner or later youre going to walk off
the edge. With the latest version of Google Maps
(make sure yours is updated before setting off) you
can download map data for ofine use.
Just open the app to check the area youre
travelling to later, tap into the Search bar and tap
the Make this map area available ofine button,
which will appear at the foot of the screen.
A few moments later the map data will have
downloaded, ready for ofine viewing ideal for
Phone Notier offers excellent conguration options for
trips to places with limited connectivity!
delayed alerts Clearing app data and cache can x force close problems

It can be easy to miss a notication on Android, Apps misbehaving? Continually seeing them force
especially if your phone is out of earshot. Rather closed by the system? There are a couple of
than keep checking your smartphone, you can use straightforward ways to x force close problems.
an app to repeat audible notications until you The rst method works for all devices and versions
respond to them. of Android open Settings>Apps, select the app
Phone Notier, available for free in the Play store, youre having problems with and use the Clear Data
is a good solution to this problem, and is easy to and Clear Cache options. Note that game progress
set up. Open the app to display the settings. Here will be lost if its data/cache is cleared!
you can tap the entries for SMS notications, MMS For rooted devices, you might reboot into
notications and Missed call notications, each of recovery mode to use the provided utility to solve
which can be congured with a different force closing apps by xing permissions. You might
notication sound, LED, repeat frequency and prefer to save time by installing Fix Permissions, a
repeat interval. Downloading maps for ofine use is possible with one tap free Google Play utility.

Feature Biggest Android problems

utton to
x a c tly which b your
ut e ing
work o re read end
n h e lp you to
s ta nc e, if you n w ill s
this ca . For in k but to
ot w he n re b a c n you to
o n? Y oure n pre s s, and th e h ardwa
g u p w ill retur
k butt to ppin g ppin again
nd roid bac th is is due e m ails, ta v io u s app; ta o d e xample et to
d by th
e A nt, bu t g of e pre is a go ail widg
onfuse s in consiste n d e rstandin of you to th he Email app sin g the Gm t ly to that

u box. T gets. U direc
lo n e . It seem tion or a mis e . A s a rule th e in to w id k e y o u the
ta rs alik mes will ta you to
poor im n d d e velope w a re back w h en it co ew message n w ill return a p p to
sers a hard
een the pps is simple

ean k butto ou within the
u rp o s e, by u e b e t w a c p in g the bac o ve y an d
its p ferenc und in . Tap ill m tly,
, the dif ack button fo back screen ile up w ton consisten
thumb e b ld c ycle you b a ck e scre en, wh c k b u t
and t h ho u ap p hom eb a ted.
button utton s hile the . Use th ave as expec
o n e s back b n ed apps, w e app. It is th e inbox b eh
the p h e uld
usly op ithin th k butto
h previo ke you back w pp bac
throug ta e in -a o w ing
should hat th '. Kn
button gnise t t as 'up
r ta n t to reco a s 'back', bu
impo ferred
fact re How the back button works
isnt in 23
Solved! 20 Biggest Android problems

obile websites can be useful, especially if you have limited
bandwidth. But what if you want to enjoy a feature that is
only available to desktop browsers, such as leaving a
comment or voting in a poll? Instructing the mobile Chrome browser
to open the desktop version of the site is the answer.
You can quickly do this by opening the browser menu and checking
the Desktop View option. The menu should close as the page reloads
in the background in desktop mode. If the text appears small,
double-tap the screen to zoom in for easier reading.
Find a desktop class browser

1 The Opera Browser includes a full, permanent desktop mode that

will bypass the mobile site in almost all instances.

2 If you still need Flash on your mobile device then FlashFox is just
about your only option. Dolphin with a hacked Flash player also works.
Switching to desktop
versions of websites is

3 Firefox for Android has desktop quality rendering and supports a

growing range of extensions to enhance its useability.
simple, but youll need to zoom in

Rooting your smartphone enables you Sharing links is a great way to highlight
to run special utilities that require interesting material to friends, family
enhanced permissions. Unfortunately and even save links to read yourself
some apps can stop running correctly later when you've got a bit of spare
after rooting. time on your hands.
You can easily deal with this by With too many sharing options,
nding a way of unrooting your phone however, the share menu can become
temporarily, so as to allow the bloated, overloaded with way too
application that no longer works to run much choice. If only there was some
as intended while enabling you to way to speed things up, to organise
quickly re-enable the root when you the sharing list.
require it to work. Well, searching the Play store will
There are several apps that allow reveal Andmade Share (free and
this all you need to do is search for premium versions available) a share
unroot in the Google Play store. menu replacement that is fully
OTA Rootkeeper is one such example, customisable. You can decide which
and is equipped with a handy sharing services appear in the list, as
temporary unroot button however, it well as in which position, saving you
currently doesnt work with Android Apps like OTA Rootkeeper can protect and time when you want to share Big sharing options lists like this can be
4.3 or above. temporarily disable root something quickly. replaced with Andmade Share

It would be great if alarms for all-day events Rather than be disturbed by notications at
didnt go off when the clocks strikes midnight. inopportune times such as pesky spam
Switching off audible notications might sound notications from some apps you can easily
like a good idea, but you run the risk of missing block notications.
something important. When such an alert appears, long-tap the
The best way around this is to employ a notication and tap App info (or open
third-party app. A popular option is AudioGuru Settings>Apps and select the app in question),
Audio Manager, which lets you set up volume looking for the Show notications checkbox.
for everything from voice to alerts and alarms. To block future notications from this app, clear
To do this, install the app from Google Play, the checkbox. A warning box will appear informing
create a new prole and tap the clock button. you that no more notications will appear for that
Dont let annoying midnight This opens the schedule screen where you can Clear the notications box to app click OK to conrm. If you need to re-enable
alerts ruin your sleep! specify a time for proles to be activated. prevent future alerts notications for any app, tap the checkbox again.

Feature Solved! 20 Biggest Android problems
drain. Disa
battery to ck can be
apps using ear
ere is no cl
last tricky as th ich apps
be built to essing wh
battery is th a n a day? way of ass y is to
ra ining Android all more it. One wa
he fas t- d
s to affect might are using ave it for

T g that seem one While you r phone, le

so m e th in O n the nnectivity s ta rt yo u
nd then
me to time. disable co ttery
minutes a
users fr o m ti
at such to prevent ba around 30
rprise us th options to a certa
ings>App s>
ouldnt su ch power; ly w o rk s st
han d it sh
s eat up so m u drain , th is o n d in is be
ra open Sett pen apps.
d e vice d tin g a battery a a look at o
advance d re advance extent. Pre
ve n
, g an d ta ke m monitor
o th e r hand, they y u n de rstanding n d s Runn in
b e to use a syste ps
on th e
y can achieved b re that ha
Another m
ig h t d which ap
surely the a ge ment featu p p s u ve identie
devices powe r m a n
nd displa y to a
app. But o
n ce yo you deal
your CPU a er s, how do
tro l o f y on ra th WakeLock akeLocks?
co n
your phon
e to sta are using a ble W
that want ep. You ? C an you dis
a uto m atically to sle with the m
go ur
than it ht cause yo
n se e h o w this mig

Tapping an app will
expand the entry to
display your
Running apps available options
The native application
settings list displays
currently running apps

The numbers reveal
Normal how often
Many of these apps WakeLock has been
and processes will activated for each
be using WakeLock application in use

There are two

stages of
WakeLock: partial
(CPU) and full
(display). Wakelock
Detector enables
you to check which
apps are draining
your battery in
Patience required
1 After 2 Apps in focus 3 Get rid
installing, make sure your After a couple of hours, run Want to close an app with
standby mode. You phone is charged above 90%. Wakelock Detector. A list of apps that regular WakeLock activity? Tap the app
can then edit the Wakelock Detector will need a couple have used WakeLock will be displayed. entry, then App Info and use the Info
permissions or of hours to assess which apps are The clock icon switches between screen to Force Stop, Disable or
uninstall apps. using the WakeLock function. screen and CPU Wakelock-using apps. Uninstall battery-draining apps. 25
Solved! 20 Biggest Android problems

ver dismissed a notication in error? Perhaps you were in the
middle of a call when it sounded. Either way, you want it back,
as soon as possible, as it might just have been a calendar
update informing you of a very important birthday. In previous
versions of Android, if a notication was dismissed, it was gone
unless you were prepared to go looking. Since Android 4.3,
however, notication history has been introduced

1 Noti cations menu

Open the app drawer, then
2 Find widget
Switch back to the home screen
Widgets, selecting Settings from the where you dropped the widget, and tap to
Shortcut menu and dragging it to the home open it. This is where you will nd a list of
screen. You will be prompted to select a all the notications you've received over the
shortcut type choose Notications. past few hours.

3 View App
info screen In previous versions
Tapping a notication entry will
open the corresponding App
of Android, if a
info screen. From here you can
opt to disable notications for
notication was
the chosen app. Dismissed
apps cannot be reset.
dismissed, it was gone
You can disable
unless you were
and force stop apps
and their pesky notications prepared to go looking

In order for Android to open particular les with the right app, an association is Choose the right open to deal with your files
made that sets an app as the default for that le type. For example, you
wouldnt want an APK le to open with your image editor instead, it opens
with the Play store app.
App picker
1 After disassociating your app, you
When associations become
can use the native app picker to set a new
disconnected, problems
default. This will happen when you try to
occur. If the wrong app is
open the disassociated le type.
set as the default for a

2 AMake sure
particular le type,
correcting this will ensure box labelled Complete action
the continued stability of using will appear, prompting you to select
your phone. It's always from two or more suitable apps. Make sure
useful to pick a default app youre happy before proceeding.
for speed and simplicity,

3 IfBe selective
but if you have multiple
apps that can handle the
you want to try all available apps,
same le you can also use
select the Just once option, choosing each
To change the default app, open Settings>Apps>All. Tap the app picker as an 'Open
in turn to assess which you prefer. The
Clear defaults against the appropriate app, leaving it ready with' menu.
for association with the correct le type menu will appear until Always is selected.

Feature Solved! 20 Biggest Android problems

Some Android devices come with surprisingly

quiet speakers. The obvious way around this is
to turn the volume up but what if its
maximum level is still too quiet? Before you
head to the Google Play store, check
Settings>Sound to conrm the volume for
ringtones isnt too low. Also check here to
conrm that any built-in audio enhancements
are activated. You can also use the Speaker
Boost app, available for free, but use this with
care as it is capable of damaging your
Clearing data is a more effective x for troublesome Dont let spam text messages and PPI calls wake you up
apps than reinstalling
speakers if turned up too high. Also, if your in the middle of the night
headphones are too quiet, check they are
Sometimes, apps just stop working. Probably Why is your smartphone waking you up with
connected correctly!
the most common way of xing this is to rst notications in the middle of the night? It
turn your phone off and back on before moving might be that youve snoozed a reminder, or
to the second choice x, that of uninstalling that you have received a text message or
and reinstalling the software. However, there email. Nights Keeper (do not disturb) is a good
is one other x you can use when apps stop option for enjoying a good nights sleep,
working clearing data. This magic x enabling the easy scheduling of night time
(Settings>Apps, select app, then Clear Data) hours within which your phone will not disturb
cures a multitude of app-related ills from apps you. The app supports scheduling for
refusing to launch correctly, causing your individual days or the whole week, saving them
smartphone to hang and even force closing. If as proles. You can also congure a white list
you have continuing problems, check the of important contacts who can contact you
apps compatibility with your Android device even when the phone is muted, making sure
Make sure any built-in sound enhancements are
and delete if necessary. activated before installing speaker-boosting apps you don't miss crucial communication.

pdates come in thick and fast for Android apps hardly surprising with
regular system updates. But what happens when a key feature from
your favourite app has been removed? You can prevent this from
happening altogether by making regular backups with a utility such as App
Backup & Restore. If you do this you will then be able to restore your favourite
older version should you ever wish to. To roll back to older versions of system
apps simply nd it in the Play store and select Uninstall.

Five top tips for backing up apps

1 In App Backup & Restore, nd the apps you want to back up, checking the
boxes to select.

2 Tap Backup to proceed backing up apps; the more apps selected, the
longer it takes.

3 For devices without removable storage, backups will need to be synced to

your PC before performing an Android system restore.

Keep a backup of
4 When an app has been updated and a feature removed, use the Archived
list to Restore the older version.
your favourite apps
stored on your phones
removable storage 5 The Settings menu offers various tweaks such as changing backup paths
and activating Auto Backup. 27
Get the best features of KitKat


When will your phone get KitKat? And what can you
do if it doesnt? We take a look at all the ways you can
bring your Android device bang up to date

Feature Get the best features of KitKat

lthough your Android phone has served you
well in the time that you have been using it,
there is always room for improvement. In
order to keep getting the very best from your
handset, you need to keep it as up to date as
possible and now that the brilliant KitKat OS has
been released, this is the standard that you will no
doubt be aiming for.
First of all, though, we deliver some bad news.
Not every device is supported by KitKat, but this is
the case with all upgrades. The newest and most
powerful phones will have no issues in this regard,
but if you have a handset that fails to make the
upgrade list, then you are largely stuck with the
operating system you currently have.
To a degree, at any rate. KitKat is actually far more
accessible than many other operating systems. It
only needs 512MB of RAM to run and it has been
structured in such a way that only the core
components are included, with the rest being
separate upgrades. This enables less powerful
handsets to upgrade and it also makes it easier for
carriers to send the updates across. handsets that would receive it and users are able to Itoo long for the Galaxy Nexus to be given the
The problem is that lower-end devices won't be check whether their device is among them by going chance to surpass the last-gen OS. The Motorola
as readily supported by manufacturers that want to to the upgrade checker on the Motorola website at Droid 4, Droid Bionic, original Droid Razr, original
continue the cycle of upselling. It means the KitKat Droid Razr Maxx, Electrify 2 and Atrix HD Developer
roll-out is less likely to break on older phones, even software-upgrade-news/g_id/1949/action/auth. Edition are all ruled out from upgrades by their
though Google wants those who still use Asus, HTC, LG and Samsung have also been on manufacturers. But don't lose heart.
Gingerbread to upgrade their handsets and take the ball with the 2012 and 2013 editions of the There are ways around not getting an ofcial
advantage of the latest features. Nexus 7, the HTC One Google Play Edition and rollout of KitKat. While Google has no control over
Developer Edition, the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and what the carriers do, the open source nature of the
Understanding upgrades Google Play edition of the Galaxy S4 all quick off the operating system means it is readily available for
You'll know when your device is all ready to be mark. The HTC One Max and HTC One Mini and the download on various websites. By downloading the
updated. The phone may ping you with a notication Huawei Ascend P6 were on the list for upgrades. ROM and ashing it to your Android device yourself,
and all you have to do is agree to it or you can take a And Sony owners should check out the ofcial blog you can circumnavigate the ofcial channels with a
look in Settings under About Phone to see if the at bit of patience and some technical know-how.
upgrade is sitting there, waiting for action. on-jelly-bean-4-3-kit-kat-4-4 for news regarding their One way of doing this is via CyanogenMod
Different companies will make it available at specic Android handsets. although it does have a warning for potential
different times. If you have a Motorola handset, then But the list of have-nots is, unfortunately, too upgraders. Lots of folks are reading into the
you may well be in luck because the company is long. Don't expect over-the-air upgrades for the Acer '512mb' item on the release notes, it says. No,
right behind KitKat. It swiftly announced a long list of Android tablets dating from 2012 and 2013, nor wait this does not mean a sudden resurrection of older


Phone ExDialer & Contacts This app integrates with Skype and has the ability to see the most frequently used contacts

Hangouts WhatsApp An incredibly popular messenger app that lets you send messages for free. It has cross-platform support

E-mail MailDroid Comes with the ability to search for IMAP mail online, as well as password protection and customised inboxes

Camera LINE camera Boasting in-app photo editing, frames, stamps and 20 lters, this is a brilliant alternative

Music player Sensor music player This sensitive app lets you tap your phone or wave your hand to skip to the next track

Video player BSPlayer Plays an assortment of video formats and enables software decoding for greater accessible

Contacts GO Contacts Ex Batch SMS messages or email with group contacts and have people on speed dial

Search Quick Search Browse your device and the web in one app even search through your music, contacts and messages

Calendar Jorte Calendar Show the day's agenda, the monthly view and even integrate with Google Maps. Free and easy to use 29
Get the best features of KitKat
hardware, there are dependencies beyond the RAM
(and CM has enforced that minimum since ICS).
Which, in better English, means KitKat needs more
than memory in order to work and that some older
phones can't cope with it.
Make sure that
That said there is little harm in giving it a go if all
else fails, you could always reash an older ROM. If
you upgrade to the
you want to install the OS direct rather than use the
CyanogenMod version, then search Google for
latest Maps so that
Android 4.4 OTA packages and use the latest version
of the Android SDK your device is
sdk/index.html in order to install it. When using this
method, you will need to place the .zip package into
the Android SDK/platform tools folder. Be sure to
leading the way"
carry out a full internet search for instructions on
your particular device and read and re-read them
before you attempt to do anything. Inexperienced
hands can lead to the bricking of a device so do be
aware. Follow things correctly, though, and there will
be few to no problems.

Replicate KitKat features

If, after all of that, you nd yourself stuck with an
older operating system because, try as you may, you
just cannot get the latest to run satisfactorily, then
you can just forget about updating and try to
replicate the features of the latest OS on your
current device instead.
For example, KitKat listens out for your voice so
when you say OK, Google it knows to get on the
case and keep an ear on your voice controls. But
older phones needn't go without this handy feature.
If you want excellent voice activation on a handset
running Jelly Bean, then you could do far worse than app SCR Screen Recorder Free *root but, as the latest Maps so that your device is leading the way
downloading Open Mic. name suggests, you will need to have a rooted far more effectively, and download the Google
Available for free, it will let you say OK, Google or phone in order for it to work. Search app to replicate many of the latest search
wave a hand in front of the screen and then deliver features of KitKat too.
some instructions. It runs in the background while it Improve phone performance By updating your Android phone to KitKat, you will
absorbs and acts upon your vocal instructions, and Two other great features of KitKat are Caller ID and a be able to go a long way towards improving its
it uses ofine voice recognition so that the results blocker that gures out who may be calling you if the performance. Updates usually bring greater stability
are faster and less data is used, making it perfect number isn't in your contacts and subsequently let and they tend to be more rened so that handsets
for older, less speedy phones. you lter them out if you are unhappy. To replicate run faster, the feature set is bettered and the
KitKat also has built-in printing which you can get this feature, you need to try the WhoAreYou Caller ID connectivity enhanced.
on any Android phone by setting up Google's Cloud + Blocker app. You can also download the new But it's no good just updating the operating
Print, a free app that can be downloaded from Hangouts, which replaces Talk. It integrates SMS system and believing you don't have to do anything
Google Play. If you want to take advantage of and MMS and becomes a great communication else to enhance the performance of your
screencasting, then this is possible using the free hub. Finally, do make sure that you upgrade to the smartphone, and this goes for anyone who just

REPLACE THE LAUNCHER One of the simplest ways to customise the look and
Nova Launcher Action Lightning
A customisable launcher Launcher Launcher
that lets you adjust With a user interface that is If you are using an
animation speeds, very much Ice Cream older Android smartphone,
transitions and icon sizes, Sandwich, folders can be then this will make a
Nova Launcher allows for hidden behind applications marked visual difference
app renaming and has a and you can see which straight away. Scrolling
vast range of themes for a widgets are associated works vertically and
bespoke look. Very popular with particular apps by horizontally too, while it all
and easy to see why. swiping them. works fast.

Feature Get the best features of KitKat

Programmers work
hard to make their
code more efcient
and bug free"
couldn't get KitKat on their handset. Updating your you are better able to make a judgement over just such as those pre-installed can be disabled via
applications is also important. Alterations are made how much bloating it could possibly handle. Older the Disable button that will appear here. They will
to apps all the time by developers and they are phones, for example, would benet from an disappear from the home screen and app drawer,
often doing more than just adding extra features. extensive spring clean, whereas newer ones give helping to reduce screen clutter.
Programmers work hard to make their code more you more leeway. You should also keep a check on your dynamic
efcient and bug free so ensuring you're at the The rst thing to do, then, is remove any apps you widgets. If you have too many of them, then your
cutting edge when it comes to your existing apps don't use or need. See how much data your tablet is device will slow down. And if the widgets are pulling
will make them perform better and faster, and that's using by going to Settings>Data Usage. It will list the in information from the internet, you're tapping into
something every Android user should aspire to. apps that are most resource-hungry and you can a resource that most likely will be hampering the
From that point on, it's a case of delving into your make a decision over what stays and what goes performance of your handset. That's because they
phone and making sure it is not bloated. Over the based on this information. constantly run in the background and are always
course of using a phone, you will download apps Delete the apps you do not want by going to active. By all means use widgets because they are
and store much data, and a lot of it will barely be Settings>Apps, selecting one for the chop and very useful, but be selective and don't be afraid of
used. By understanding the capability of your phone, tapping Uninstall. Apps that cannot be uninstalled axing those that you barely glance at.

feel of your phone. Here's our pick of the best

Go Launcher EX Launcher 8 Smart
A classic and well-known
launcher, this has the
Do you fancy making your
Android phone look much
It has support for live
benet of smooth more like Windows Phone wallpapers and drawers
transition animations and and its tile-based design? organised by categories,
more than 5,000 themes so You can with Launcher 8, boasting that it is the only
you can really give your a free download from the launcher that sorts and
operating system a Google Play store, but catalogues apps for you,
much-needed spruce up for it can still be quite buggy making it an intriguing
the new year. in places. addition to explore. 31
Get the best features of KitKat
One type of widget you may want to install, search bar for the home screens. This way you can

FIVE MORE though, are those that offer extended controls and
enable you to turn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more on and
maintain the fresh look of the new OS while still
maintaining control over the smaller details.

FEATURES FOR off. By letting you inuence the settings of your

phone from the home screens, you are more likely Power up your phone
to use them. Their convenience will help to boost So youre up to date with a phone that runs, if not
the performance of your phone since only the KitKat, then at the very least a close approximation
features you really need can be enabled, leaving of it. But your upgrading endeavours need not stop
those you don't deactivated. there. One of the key elements of the entire Android
concept is that everything is up for grabs. Theres
Find a stolen phone Customise the phone almost no single feature in the OS that cannot be
App name Top Security Anti-Virus Now we turn our attention to launchers. These apps upgraded or improved upon in some way.
Price Free at least make your Android phone look like KitKat To extend the functionality of your device even
As well as being an and they are available from Google Play. Apps such further you can download a host of third-party apps.
anti-virus package, this app as KitKat Launcher+ or KitKat Launcher are two Dolphin Browser, for example, has all of the
by Lookout also has a Find examples of offerings that replicate the look and multi-touch zooming, tabbed browsing and synced
My Phone feature that can feel of the brand-new OS, although there are bookmarks that you would expect as well as in-page
be used to trace a stolen limitations such as a lack of quick access to Google search, but it also has themes and add-ons
or mislaid handset. Now and voice search. Two of the most popular available. You can also make websites open on the
launchers, Nova and Apex have also recently been desktop rather than mobile version and integrate
updated to introduce a series of KitKat-esque with Evernote or post pages to Facebook.
Scan bar/QR codes options, which can be activated or not depending Opera is another brilliant browser that more than
App name Barcode Scanner on your preferences. While you are not actually matches Google Chrome. It has a download
Price Free getting KitKat, you'll be able to organise apps into manager that you can stop, start and resume.
Get straight to webpages folders on the home screens, access the launcher Firefox is fast and you can add on features such as
by scanning QR codes or settings by pressing the menu button and do many ad blocking, while Skyre has the ability to add
compare prices of goods of the things you would expect of KitKat. extensions so you can go straight to Facebook or
when out and about If youre an existing Android 4.4 user its also Amazon and speed up your browsing experience.
with this great barcode worth taking a look at these launchers to x some Indeed, if inputting is a chore, then consider
scanner app. things that you might not like about the default upgrading your phone's keyboard. SwiftKey X has a
Google Experience Launcher, such as the larger- good memory and it will predict what you are trying
than-usual app icons or the now non-removable to type. It begins to understand your trends and it
Manage les
App name ES File Explorer File Manager
Price Free
If you need to get to grips
This way you
with the les that are on
your phone, then you can can maintain
do far worse than this
cloud-storage compatible the fresh
le manager.
look of the
Get extra storage
App name Dropbox
new OS"
Price Free
For more space to store
photos and other les,
Dropbox is a top choice and
you can use it to drop les
onto your phone from a
computer too.

Record phone calls

App name Auto Call Recorder
Price Free
It may be a legally grey
area but you can record
phone calls in very high
quality with this
software and listen
back at any time. Nova+ (left) and
Tasker (right)

Feature Get the best features of KitKat

will grow to know the types of words you use. It can

even plug into your blogs, Twitter, Facebook and
email for greater learning. Meanwhile, Swype also
turns Android into something that is streets ahead
BATTERY CHECKLIST Settings in KitKat to keep
your battery fresh
of iOS by letting you type with one continuous nger
or stylus motion across the screen.  Close down any running apps by going to  KitKat continues to search for Wi-Fi
Productivity will also rise if you use an app such Settings>Apps and selecting Stop next to any networks even when Wi-Fi is turned off. Go into
as Tasker. You can use any of the in-built actions or that you want to cease. Advanced to disable this
create your own, and these take the sting out of
automating tasks on your handset. So you can get  Alter the brightness of the screen since the  Turn off automatic
your phone to perform a certain task if a text more it shines into your peepers, the greater updates in the Play
message comes in, for example, or trigger the opportunity it has to burn away battery life. store to ensure you
something according to the GPS location. You could don't encounter hefty
have the phone turn off Wi-Fi automatically during  Use the new Location settings to control downloads when you are
certain times of the day, making your device far which apps can use location features, and least expecting them.
more efcient. Some enterprising users have even whether they use GPS or Wi-Fi for it Update apps manually.
managed to combine Tasker with the speech
recognition software in Google Now and even some
remote control hardware for the lights and locks plugging in an external pack via the USB port of the be left on the phone when in general use but if you
around their home to produce a fully voice phone, you can typically get a good 11,000mAh of have a handset that you love, then it can be a
controlled home. Thats one for the future, but there charge and often more if you are willing to spend low-cost alternative if you wish you had a better
can be little doubt that things are heading that way. extra. Older phones that seem to lose their charge camera function, although there are some very
If you are looking for something that matches the far quicker will very much benet from one of these. ambitious models out there that would enhance
iPhone's Siri or Google Now on Android, then try Wireless chargers are also brilliant additions and even the best performing Android phones.
AVX. It actually goes one step beyond the default they mean you can get your phone back up and
services and for the price (12.99/$19.99) it running again without having to fuss around with In conclusion
should do integrating with Google+, Evernote and messy wires. They're not cheap but more and more What all of this shows is that, with some thought
Tasker and enabling you to email, message and devices allow for wireless charging these days, not and maybe a small amount of money, you can give
send memos using your voice. A car mode is least the excellent Nexus 5. The Nexus Wireless fresh life to an old phone. There is, contrary to what
included and there is a proles feature that lets you Charger is available from Google Play, but Amazon many believe, a lot of life left in older phones even if
change loads of settings in an instant. and others of its ilk also have a great selection. you cannot access and run the latest OS. Android is
Keen photographers will enjoy the benet of such a versatile and fun operating system that is
Improve the hardware using clip-on lenses for their camera. There is so fully expandable. Because it is open source, so
Finally, we look at interesting accessories that much choice from Fisheye to Wide Angle and it's all many people dedicate their time to workarounds
improve the existing hardware. Battery packs give about improving the scope of your photographs and and getting the most out of their handsets. With a
you a major boost of power just when you need it. revamping the camera. Some of them are bit of luck, you'll be able to enjoy your handset for a
Many people get caught out on a regular basis and standalone cameras that link to the phone using little while longer and, best of all, get a lot of
have to run around nding an power outlet, but by Bluetooth or NFC. All of them stick out so they can't satisfaction in doing so.

UPGRADE YOUR HARDWARE New software but same old phone? Here's
some KitKat avoured add-ons you can try

Audio enhancements Improved sound recording

Product name a-JAYS One Product name iRig MIC Cast Price 29.99
Price 39.99 Web
Web Plug in the external device to your Android's
With a set of tangle-free at cables, you can jack and record podcasts, voice memos and
listen to music with this comfortable set of speeches with the utmost of clarity that works
buds that will enhance the sound that comes close up and at distances.
from your Android device.

Clip-on lenses
Product name SONY DSC-QX10W Lens-
Style Camera Price 149.99
A stunning 18.9-megapixel camera that pairs
up to your smartphone via NFC and Wi-Fi and
lets you take some high-quality images that you
can then store and edit on your handset. 33
Master the
suite Create better documents,
spreadsheets and presentations
with the Quickofce app

uickofce is a fairly recent with the apps Google Drive
addition to the plethora of compatibility. Youll also nd
Google apps available to tutorials covering the process of
smartphone and tablet users that creating simple spreadsheets
Ask your own
are completely free of charge. As far question online at and presentations from scratch,
as ofce suites go, Quickofce is one of as well as an easy solution to
the best on the market, offering an Can you open up documents stored on
easy way to create, manage and edit restore corrupt your devices internal storage
documents and other ofce suite documents? without the need to access the
If some les didnt
products. Compared to other ofce copy over properly and cloud at any point.
suites available to Android, appear corrupted,
when you open up the
Quickofce is fairly basic, but being Quickofce app, you
Five great Quickofce features
able to sync all your les with other can automatically 1. Any le you create in
Google apps, including Google Drive, repair them. Quickofce can be opened and
Depending on the
makes it an app worth downloading issue thats occurred, edited in many other Android
onto your phone or tablet. In the it may take quite a ofce suites. This adds a great
following masterclass weve taken a while for the repairing deal of exibility to how you
process to complete so
look at some of the apps best features, be patient. create and manage documents
which every user should check out, and other les on your phone
including the various ways you can or tablet.
format word documents and sync all
of your created les into the cloud 2. Although you cant add
animations to your presentations
created in Quickofce, by opening Quickofce gives you

Being able to sync all your them up in Microsoft PowerPoint, you

can then add animations to it, which
a fully featured ofce
suite on your Android

les with other Google apps, will really make the presentation
stand out from the crowd.
leave notes for colleagues or other
people who are allowed to make
including Google Drive, makes 3. By adding comments to your
changes to the documents. They can
then add their own comments for you
it an app worth downloading documents and other les, you can to see and work with.

4. If youre working on collaborative

Quickoffice hidden features Theres more than meets the eye in Quickofce projects, make sure to use the Shared
with Me feature on Quickofce. If
Find a Explore Clear recent there is more than one person
specic cell sharing documents working on the same le, here youll
Jump to cell options Clearing junk be able to see a preview of the
While making a File sharing Through the recent
spreadsheet, instead Although all your les documents page on changes theyve made and the latest
of scrolling through are shared with the main screen, you copy of that le.
every row of cells, you Google Drive can choose to delete
can select the Jump to automatically, you can certain les. Not only
Cell option from the also share your les does this clear space 5. Use the search feature at the top of
top menu to instantly with various email in your Google Drive the app if youre looking for a specic
jump to a specic cell accounts, or also account, it also makes
on your created share them with other it easier to nd other le or document stored on your Google
spreadsheet. devices via Bluetooth. les you want to keep. Drive account.

m as offic

as ter e s

ter th ui
cla e te
Works with Varies with device

Create high-quality 2min Add and

equations into
guide your spreadsheets

presentations Make a
Use Quickofce to create fantastic presentations from
scratch to wow your audience document
ou may nd that many ofce suites available to Android users lack the PowerPoint
functionality you need, but thankfully Quickofce does contain it. Through the app
youll nd many of the same PowerPoint-creating functions that are found in Microsoft
Ofce, as well as some exclusive features that make it a feature worth checking out on your
phone or tablet. As well as being a great way of creating PowerPoint presentations, thanks to
Quickofce you can also add your own media les into the presentation and save them all
directly to your Google Drive account to access on other devices. It is a powerful tool that works
especially well on tablets and phablets.

After adding a new spreadsheet, begin

1 implementing your various data and
other equations into the spreadsheet before
adding the formatting options at the top.

1 Start from scratch

Press the + symbol at the top of the app
2 Add a new slide
Press on the + symbol at the bottom of
and select the presentation option from the list the app to begin the process of adding a new
provided. You can now begin adding a title and slide. Once pressed, a menu will appear showing
additional details to the initial blank slide youre you a range of different slide types. Some slides
provided with before formatting the design. are image based, where some are purely text.
To create and add equations into the
2 spreadsheet, press the FX button on
the left side of the menu. Manually type in the
equation and the app generates the answer.

3 Adding media les

After adding a new slide, press the + icon
4 Implementing shapes
From the same menu, you can also choose
at the top of the app again. Here you can select a to add a shape to the slide. The selection of Through the + symbol at the top of the
media le to add from within the Gallery app. Once shapes is pretty vast and each can be coloured 3 app, you can begin to add a chart to
an image is placed within the slide you can move it and placed at a different spot in your slide. Simply your spreadsheet based on the equations
around the slide by selecting it. double-tap the shape to conrm your selection. and data you entered previously. 35
Works with Varies with device

Correctly format Word

documents Make your docs stand out with the
formatting features in Quickofce

he primary reason many of us use an implement onto it, none of them will be
ofce suite app, such as Quickofce, is removed if you choose to edit and print the
for a quick solution to create word document within a different app or on a
documents from scratch. The process of different device. Youll also nd the formats
creating a new document from scratch is easy you implement are compatible with the
enough, and by pressing the + icon at the desktop and Chromebook versions of the app.
top of the Quickofce home screen, you can In this tutorial weve explored some of the
select a blank document to choose from. One best formatting options available to
reason in particular why Quickofce is a Quickofce users, as well as a few extra tips
great app to use for creating word documents to make formatting documents in Googles
is that no matter what formatting options you mobile ofce suite a pleasant experience.

1 Open formatting options

After opening up your document of choice,
2 Changing fonts
Highlight a portion of the text and select
press anywhere on it to open the keyboard on your the Fonts menu from the top of the app. Here
device. At the same time youll nd an array of youll see a small selection of fonts that you can
eye-catching formatting options will appear at the top of the app implement onto the selected text. After selecting
documents is easy for you to use on the document. a font, the text will change automatically.

Shades and colours

3 Scroll 4 Formatting paragraphs Comment on documents
5 After
to the right on the menu at the top of One of the best formatting options saving all the changes to your
the app and press on the paint option. Here you available to users is the shift feature, which can document, nd the list of all the stored
can select a specic shade or colour for the font, help align your text to a certain part of the screen. Quickofce documents on your device. Here you
as well as add colour to any underlined text you This is also the section where you can number or can select the information button and add
may have added to make it stand out. bullet point your paragraphs as well. comments to each of them for you to look over.

mMas offi
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as ter ce s
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ter th u
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and Twitter

cla e ite
Facebook community questions and thoughts

s s
Works with Varies with device

Sync and open C

loud storage is common practice for most Android
users and there are plenty of apps out there offering
free cloud storage to users. Due to its Google afliation,
Drive closely links with the Quickofce app. Although you may
think that you can simply just save your created documents to

cloud files
You can open les stored in Drive within
your Drive account, through the Quickofce app, users can
actually sync all their documents and other les to the cloud,
as well as open and edit any le stored in their Drive account.
If you have several Drive accounts, no worries, as through the
Quickofce app, its easy to switch between multiple Drive
the Quickofce app accounts to make sure all your documents are edited and
formatted correctly.

1 Find Drive les

When you rst open up the Quickofce
2 Selecting a le
One of the best things about Quickofce is
3 Editing documents
Once youve nished editing any
app, youll have instant access to all the Google its compatibility with many le types. You can open documents, use the save function. Thanks to the
Drive les currently linked to your account. If youve any normal document le, but also preview photos apps cloud functionality, youll nd the document
recently uploaded a le, youll want to navigate to within the app, although the editing options for is automatically saved to the cloud with all the
the Recent folder listed halfway down the page. them need to be completed in a different app. changes you added.

2min Edit files stored in internal storage

guide It isnt just cloud-stored documents that can be edited in the Quickofce app

When you rst open up the After selecting the Internal If youre struggling to nd your Select and open one of the
1 Quickofce app, youll nd the
2 Storage option, all the folders
3 le through the list of folders
4 documents stored on your
Internal Storage option listed at the included on your phone will now on your device, make use of the phones internal storage. You can
bottom. Although you can use this load. If you know where your le is, search feature at the top of the app. now add an array of formatting
option to explore local documents, it simply scroll through the list until Here you can search all of your cloud options to it and choose to save it
can also be used to open you nd it. It can take a few seconds les, as well as everything stored in back to your internal storage, or over
documents stored on an SD card. for the document to load in the app. your devices internal storage. to your cloud storage. 37
Works with Varies with device

Explore Google Play

Manage your magazines Search
and news feeds within Due to the sheer amount of
publications stored on Google Play
the Newsstands app Newsstands, youll certainly want to
make use of the search feature at the
top of the page. This will let you nd a

ombining together the best specic title or news feed in a matter
elements of Google Play of seconds
Magazines and Google Currents,
Newsstands is your destination when
you want to read the latest headlines or
manage your magazine subscriptions.
Further options
By pressing the menu icon at the top-right
Through the app you can subscribe to of the app, a whole selection of options will
be opened to you. Through the Settings
thousands of magazines that are
menu you can switch Google accounts or
currently available through the Play even integrate them together
store, as well as download and read the
latest issues of your current
subscriptions. On the news side of things,
users can explore various news sources Magazine feed
All your subscribed magazines are
based on their hobbies and interests and stored together for you to access.
subscribe to the latest feeds of some of Whenever you open up the
the biggest news outlets around the Newsstands app, youll be notied of
any new issues that are available for
world. If you arent always near a secure you to download onto your device
Wi-Fi connection, no problem, as you can
take advantage of the Save to Device
feature, meaning you can read the latest
headlines on your device no matter News feed
Both news outlets and RSS feeds will be
where you are. In this tutorial well be stored within your news feed section. Not
exploring the new Google Play only can you read the latest headlines, you
Newsstands app and show you where can also see recommendations of new
blogs to follow
and how to access all of its best features.

Side menu
1 After 2 Add new material 3 News feeds
opening the app, read the guide to Press the Explore option at the bottom of There are hundreds of news feeds to
managing your subscriptions that youll be the menu. Here you can begin searching for subscribe to within each category. Simply scroll
prompted to look through. Now open up the side magazines and news feeds to subscribe to. You through the options listed until you nd something
menu for the app by pressing on the Newsstands must rst choose a category from the various of interest and press the menu icon underneath
icon in the corner of the app. ones listed within the app. the icon to subscribe to it.

Master the new features you can use when reading an article
1 Bookmark a story 2 Send to someone 3 Quick scroll 4 View in Browser 5 Take a closer look
Press the + icon at the top of the Similar to sharing magazine Swipe left and right to access the Press the menu option and then To get a detailed look at a storys
story to Bookmark that specic details, you can also send a story to latest stories from one of your View in Browser to open up the image, simply press on it to get it in
story for later reading. a friend. favourite news outlets. storys webpage. all its glory.

Ask your own

question online at

Is there a way to
look solely at the
news saved on
your device?
Yes. By accessing the My News
section of the app and selecting
the menu icon, you can tick the
4 The latest headlines
When you then open up the news feed
5 Add RSS feeds
As well as many news outlets, Newsstands
On Device Only option, which
will simply show you the feeds
youve just subscribed to, youll be able to see the also enables users to subscribe to the RSS feeds and articles that are stored on
latest headlines published by them, as well as of some of the most popular webpages. After your device. This is a great way
links to any various social media accounts that the subscribing to the feed, youll be notied of any of saving the data allowance on
outlet has created. new content they add. your device.

Im nding it hard
to read certain text.
How can I change
the way it looks?
You may come across text that
isnt correctly formatted, which
often makes it a lot smaller. Go
to the Settings page of the app
and youll nd an option to
resize the text shown to make
it easier to read.

6 Read Now
Open the side menu once again and select
7 Reading a story
For Google Currents users, youll notice
the Read Now option at the top. This option will immediately the formatting used in Newsstands
show you the latest headlines across your as its near enough the exact same. Text can be
subscriptions, as well as quick links to download customised and images can be enlarged by
the articles onto your device. pressing on them.

Need help?
Got a problem with your
Android phone or tablet?
Get in touch with us...
Get help from our
Facebook community

twitter @lgrobot
8 My Magazines
Through the My Magazines section not only
9 Share a magazine
If youve found a magazine that might be of
Follow us to send your
questions and thoughts

can you manage your current subscriptions, you

can also add new magazines to your list. Use the
search function or the category system to nd a
interest to someone else, then use the Share
function to share the details of it. Press the menu
icon and then Share to send the details over to
Send your questions for our team of
magazine of interest. someone to follow and download. experts to tackle 39
Works with Android 2.3.3 and up

View only the apps

that you have
paid for Purchased Apps lets
you see only the apps
youve bought

lthough the Play store is
capable of many things,
Missing apps
After the Purchased Apps app has
its missing the capability nished scanning, make sure to
check through the list carefully. If
to check through all your
youve noticed any purchases are
previously paid-for apps that missing, use the refresh button at
youve downloaded onto your the top to scan again
device. Users can indeed go
through the My Apps section on
the Play store and see every Payment amount
As you scroll with the list of paid
single app theyve downloaded, apps, each listing will come with
but the lack of a sort function to the amount you paid for the app.
simply view paid apps makes the This offers a great way to quickly
check the most expensive, or
task a whole lot harder. cheapest apps youve purchased
With the Purchased Apps app for your phone or tablet
from the Google Play store, its
now possible to quickly access a
list of every paid application Side-loaded apps
youve downloaded, as well as If youve previously side-loaded an
APK of a paid app onto your phone
see how much you paid for them or tablet, in some cases they may
without having to trek through be listed here with the price of the
lists of the free apps that have app also listed, but most of the
time they wont be included
been downloaded.

Make use of Purchased Apps

Purchased Apps is really helpful, but by following
these three steps, you can get an even better
experience when using it

Scan for apps Sale prices Re-download

When you rst open up One of the best features apps
the Purchased Apps app, of Purchased Apps is
dont be worried if it being able to see all the
Each listing in Purchased
Apps also contains a
Switching accounts
takes a while for the app apps you bought that quick link to the apps
When logging in to Purchased Apps, Chronological
to gather your list of apps. were on sale. Simply it will use your primary Google Although one or two might be out
listing on the Play store.
The scanning process scroll through the list and account to gather your list of paid of place, for the most part youll
Simply press on the app
takes a while, especially pay close attention to the apps. Youll need to manually sign nd your most recent purchased
and you can then choose
if youve downloaded listed prices to see where out and then sign in to another apps at the top of the list. Scroll to
to re-download the app, if
hundreds of apps. you got the best deals. Google account to see the apps the bottom to see the very rst few
previously downloaded.
linked with it paid apps you purchased

We dont keep



Learn the truth about iPhone, iPad, Android, Photoshop and

more with the Tips & Tricks series expert advice and tutorials


Print edition available at
Digital edition available at
Available on the following platforms
Works with Android 2.2 and up

Check app
ecurity is a massive thing for a device function. Each
Use F-Secure lot of Android users and whether and every app you
to keep an eye its keeping our phone from download onto your
being stolen, or the sensitive data we device requires a certain
on malicious dont want people to access, knowing amount of permissions to
and costly app exactly whats on your phone is vital. run properly and its these
permissions Although theres an abundance of
mobile security apps on the market
permissions that you need
to be careful of. With the
that are great for discovering and F-Secure app, users can quickly
removing malware on Android devices, scan and identify potentially
one of the commonly overlooked areas harmful and costly permissions that
that users should really be regularly could leave you out of pocket and
checking on is how the apps on their render your phone useless. Keep an eye on your
app permissions

Filter permissions
1 When 2 Apps that cost money 3 Check permissions
you rst open the app, it will perform The rst lter youll want to check out is to Take a closer look at each app by selecting
a scan on your phone to show you just how many see the permissions that could potentially cost it from the results page. Now you can see exactly
permissions each app on your device has. Press you money. After selecting the option, youll be how the permissions affect your device. The
on the F-Secure icon in the top corner of the app able to see which apps contain these permissions problematic permissions will be highlighted in blue
to open up the side menu. and how many of these each app has. for you to read through.

4 IfLocation information
you dont want your phone tracking your
5 Start an Advanced lter
Theres also the option to perform a lter
6 See the results
The app will now perform a full scan on
location, then make sure to check the location based around a specic set of permissions. Open your phone searching for the permissions you
information lter. You might be surprised with just the side menu and press the Advanced lter outlined. After gathering the results, you can press
how many apps require some location information option before going through the permissions you on an app to take a closer look at the other
while running on your device. want to scan your apps for. permissions it requires to function on your device.

Works with Android 4.0 and up

Manage your
location settings
Find out how to take control of location data for your device
and heavily used Google apps and services

eeping track of a users location is set on Google Maps, and will only be associated with
a per-device basis. This enables specic the Google account that the device is logged in to.
apps to offer more accurate information if The Google settings effectively offer two options
location access is switched on. The same that work together: Location Reporting and
principle applies to Google apps, but Google has Location History. The rst option ensures that
its own set of location settings. These refer your location is reported, while History lets you
Managing your location
specically to any installed Google apps, eg view location data by day, week or month. settings is important

options will not affect a devices general

[FIG 3] Location location settings. Location Reporting lets
History data is
stored for as long as Google store and use a devices recent
Location Reporting is location data. This includes activities such
switched on. Delete
at any time by going
as walking and cycling.
to Location History
5. Location History
Location History works in conjunction with
Location Reporting and lets Google store
location data from any device logged in to
a specic Google account. Keeping the
Location History on means that certain
Google services can often provide more
accurate results. Users can view the
Location History of a Google account by
This offers two display options: Map and
[FIG 5] Google Dashboard. Map provides a visual display
stores location
data, which can be of routes on a specic day. The
accessed to view Dashboard, currently in beta, provides a
where the user has
been in your
selection of graphs for you.
Google Maps app

1. Locations settings 3. Google Settings

To manage the location settings on an To take care of location settings for Google
Ask your own
Android device, the rst thing you need to apps, head to the Apps screen and locate question online at
do is to make sure they are switched on. Google Settings. This will include the

Head to your Settings app and select Location option. Tap it to open. By default, I cannot nd
Location access and switch on the Access the Access location option is switched on. the location
to my location option. This will activate the Deactivating the Access location option settings on my
Location sources. will in turn deactivate the associated
device. Where
are they?
options. Note these settings are related to Googles location
2. Location sources the account that the device is signed in to. settings can differ
depending on device
By default, switching on location access and version. On
will turn on both the GPS Satellites and 4. Location Reporting devices running 4.3 or
Wi-Fi & mobile network location options. Googles location settings has two options lower the location
settings can be found
Either of the options can be switched off if associated with it: Location Reporting and under Location. On a
you dont want location data sent to Location History. Both of these options are Nexus running Android
Google. However, both cannot be turned only related to Google apps and can be 4.4 there are
additional sub-menus.
off at the same time. switched off if desired. Switching off the 43
Works with Android 2.3 and up

Automate common
tasks with Atooma
Boost your he life of a mobile device is all about processes when the battery reaches a certain level. But, this is
performed by the operating system and tasks just a simple example of what can be achieved. Plus,
productivity by actioned by the user. And, its the users who there are a host of If options that can be extended by
automating tasks want to spend less time performing tasks and more signing in to a Google account.
time doing what they want. So, what else can users do? Users can automatically
with scenarios The simple solution is to automate everyday or store les in a selected folder, or a favourite cloud
and outcomes regular tasks. Sounds easy, and with the help of service like Dropbox. There is the option to shake a
Atooma, it can be. Atooma uses the if this happens do phone to switch to silent mode and much more. The
this premise. The user chooses a scenario and possibilities are almost endless, so the best thing to
conclusion via an intuitive visual interface. It can do is experiment to get all the rules you want and
automate simple tasks such as popping up a message need. Heres how to get up and running.

Sign in
1 The 2 New Atooma
Atooma app can be accessed in a The My Atooma screen is initially empty. To
variety of ways. There is the option for Facebook add a new Atooma, rst tap the My Atooma icon in
and Google+ users to sign in with their accounts. the top-left corner of the home screen and select
This offers better integration with the app and the the rst option in the drop-down, New Atooma.
Make your Android
device work even accounts. Alternatively, hit the Skip button to get This will present a visual collection of categories to
better for you started without signing in. choose from. Tap Files to get started.

If actions
3 The 4 Battery actions 5 Set element
Mobile category will display a selection Tap the Battery icon to view a further To set the condition for the battery level,
of related options in a circle. To view the options, selection of options; spin the dial to see all. On select Less or Greater, tap the option and select.
tap, hold and spin the dial. The selections come offer is Level, Plugged and Unplugged. Select Level Now set the battery level, for example 10%. Once
under the If banner. This is the rst part of an to add the trigger. This will now display the related set, tap OK to continue. Note that the new addition
action (known as triggers) that can be put together options. In this case there is a Less/Greater option has a red close icon next to it. This allows for the
to do a specic task. We will start with Battery. with a percentage slider. user to delete an item.

Get in touch
Were on Facebook and Twitter, or
twitter /littlegreenrobot @lgrobot
Like us on Facebook and Follow us to send your Need help? Got a question? Drop us
just drop us an email join our community comments and pics an email and let us know

Ask your own

question online at

Is this similar to the

more famous
Tasker app?
Atooma does cover the same
sort of ground as Tasker but is
much more accessible as it
doesnt require the basic
understanding of programming
6 Do option
After setting the If part of your new
7 Add message
The notication option offers two further
logic that you need to get the
most from Tasker. That app is
Atooma rule the Do button makes a welcome options: Pop Up and Status. Both of these enable probably more powerful for
appearance. This takes the user back to the Do the user to add a message. Tap Pop Up and insert advanced users.
menu, which offers the same menu options as the text of the message to go with the previously
displayed previously. Tap Mobile and select selected If option. For example, Battery is now at
Notication this time. 15%. Press OK to continue.

8 Complete rule
The Do element works in the same way as
9 Tap your Atooma
To complete the New Atooma, rst tap on
10 A different rule
The example shown in the previous steps
the If element. The newly added element can be the Tag your Atooma option. This will display a long is relatively straightforward. To extend the power
removed and replaced if necessary. An equals sign list of tags that can be applied to a new rule. To of Atooma, a user can tap the Apps option and log
will now appear on your screen; tap to complete add a new tag, simply tap to activate the in with a Google account to add apps to the rule.
the New Atooma. Tap the Title text to add a title for checkbox. Multiple tags can be added. When Try using Twitter to create a new rule. Note a
the new rule. nished, tap Apply and Save. Twitter account will be needed.

11 Edit rule
The My Atooma window displays all the
12 Stop rule
By default, the newly created rule will be
13 Icon and delete
By default, a new rule is assigned a default
rules created within the app. To view and edit a active, or running. To stop the rule from being colour and icon. To change the default, rst tap
rule, simply tap the associated icon. This will active, tap the on/off button icon. This will turn to the icon in the top-right corner. Now choose a
display the construction of the rule. Tap the pencil grey to indicate its state. Tap again to switch back colour, select a new icon and tap OK to apply.
icon up in the top-right corner to edit or add on. Go back to My Atooma and the icon will be Finally, to delete a rule, simply tap the trash icon at
conditions to the rule. greyed out as well. the bottom of the screen. 45
Works with Android 4.2 and up Activate the
After customising your Daydream,
make sure to select when you want

Set unique
the Daydream to activate. By
default, the Daydream wont work
when your phone is on charge or
docked, but this can be changed
within the settings

Use Daydream to add a custom
Stop daydreaming
While the Daydream feature is
running, by pressing on the screen
you can quickly exit from it. Through
the Settings menu, you can also
set how long your phone has to be
inactive for the Daydream feature
to start running
screensaver to freshen up your
phone or tablet

ne of the most overlooked customisation
features available to Android users is
Daydream. Accessible through the Display
sub-menu within the Settings on your device,
Daydream is a custom screensaver that you can
implement to your device when it isnt in use. Although
its a fairly basic addition to the variety of
customisations you can make on your device, it does
offer several unique features worth checking out.
As well as offering both photo and clock options, Currents integration
which are fairly standard screensaver options, you can Google Currents is one of the
also use several third-party apps as part of your additional compatible apps. When
set, Currents will provide the latest
Daydream. Both Flipboard and Currents offer the latest headlines for you to read through,
headlines in a customised Daydream and apps like and you can open up the story
Tasker and Locale are also compatible. Apart from this, through the Daydream as well
theres a whole host of additional apps that bring more
functionality to the Daydream feature, including a
launcher built around it, the Daydream Launcher.
Other apps
As well as Google Currents, there
are a range of other apps that are
Set a new Daydream compatible with the Daydream
feature. Popular apps such as
From clocks to Google Currents, theres a wide range Tasker and Locale can be added to
of choices when it comes to adding and implementing make your Daydream a bit more
functional for you
a new Daydream on your device

If you choose to also download the
additional Daydream Launcher app,
you can add a separate notication
that enables you to quickly access
and open your customised
Daydream whenever you want

1 Choices
Open the
2 Pictures
There are
3 Set a clock
The most
Daydream Settings several options traditional Daydream
app and select the
Pick a Daydream
available to users
wanting to use a
you can set is a digital
clock. There are You can also use several
option. Here you can
see the types of
Daydreams you can
picture as their
Daydream. You can set
a single picture or
different styles of the
clock interface you
can choose to
third-party apps as part of
add. Certain third-party
apps are compatible,
like Tasker.
select a few and
arrange them into a
collage-style effect.
implement if the
standard display isnt
to your exact liking.
your Daydream


100 %



Works with Android 4.4 only

Print wirelessly from a

KitKat device
Send and print rinting a le or document has long been part in the process has to have wireless support. The
of the desktop experience. However, transition addition of wireless printing comes in two guises:
documents to a mobile device hasnt always been so easy. cloud printing and standard wireless printing. Cloud
directly from a Plugging a device directly into a printer has never printing enables those who do not have access to a
been a feasible option. The obvious solution is via a wireless printer a selection of alternative options. If a
device to a wireless connection, but this relies on the OS Google Drive account is available, a document can be
wireless printer providing the support. And, this is exactly what the saved there. Another option is to save the current le
KitKat update brings to Android users. as a PDF. The wireless printing option works in the
The latest version brings with it wireless printing. same way as standard once connected. Simply select
The obvious issue here is that the printer being used a printer and hit the Print button job done.

1 Do you have KitKat?

To implement the printing process, the rst
2 Wi-Fi network
Wireless printing means that a wireless
step is to make sure that you have KitKat installed. printer is needed and that the Wi-Fi on the device
Head to Settings and locate System, tap About to print from is switched on. To check that Wi-Fi is
and this will give you a rundown of the current switched on, head to Settings>Wi-Fi. Tap Wi-Fi to
provides new version. If necessary, update the OS according to check the connection. The device must be on the
printing options the onscreen instructions. same Wi-Fi network as the printer.

Printing services
3 Head 4 Cloud print HP printers
5 The
back to your devices main Settings The premise of cloud printing is that users alternative default printing service is
screen and locate the Printing option. Tap Printing can print to any web-connected printer. Cloud- provided by HP. The HP Print Service Plugin is
to reveal the printing services currently available to ready printers are the ideal choice. Selecting Cloud pre-installed. Tap the link and your device will start
you. By default, there are two options: Cloud Print print will search for any available printers. If none searching for nearby wireless printers. Any
and the HP Print Service Plugin. Both of these are are available, the option to save to Google Drive available printer will appear here and in the print
on by default. will still be available. list below.

Check the different settings to get the printout you want
1 Save as PDF 2 Check the colour 3 Cloud printers 4 Get Google Chrome 5 No cloud please
Instead of saving to Google Drive, It may seem obvious, but check the For the best experience use a To work with wireless printing it is Once connected to a wireless
use the Save as PDF option. This colour setting to see if you can print wireless printer. See recommended that the Chrome printer the cloud print option can be
allows up to A0 size. in colour as well as black and white. cloudprint/learn/printers.html. browser is installed. switched off in Settings.

2 Manage and add

min new printers
guide Take control of the current crop of printers and discover
how to add a cloud-ready or wireless printer

6 Start printing
Open the document you wish to print. We
are using a Word document created in Quickofce.
Tap the menu icon and select Print from the menu.
When there are no printers available, the Save to
Google Drive option is default. Tap Print to save to
the current Google Drive account.

1 Cloud settings
Head to Settings>System>Printing and
2 Print jobs
Under Settings>Manage resides the
tap the Cloud Print option. This displays the Print job option, which lists the documents
available options, typically including Save to saved to Google Drive. To Refresh the list all you
Google Drive. To view the current settings, tap need to do is tap the refresh arrows. To select a
the menu button and select Settings. This will document for removal, quickly tap your le of
display the account being used. Tap to add choice, or hold and wait for it to turn blue. Tap
another account. the Trash icon to delete.
7 Print to paper
Where wireless printers are available it is
simply a matter of selecting the appropriate printer
from the list. Check the paper size, typically A4 as
default, and the Colour and Orientation options
before hitting Print. This will differ depending on
the printer being used.

3 Google Cloud printing 4 Add a printer

8 Change HP settings
The HP Plugin enables users to modify a
Google Cloud Print printers connect
directly to the internet and will be available
There are a couple of options for adding
a standard printer. The rst is to follow the
few settings. These can be found via without the need for a laptop or desktop previous step and select Add Classic printer.
Settings>System>Printing. Select HP Plugin and computer. Under the Cloud Print option, tap the The other alternative is to select HP Print
tap the menu button in the top-right corner and menu icon (top-right) and select Add Printer. Service Plugin (via your devices Settings app)
select Settings. Now tap the 2-sided off button to This will redirect the user to the online location and tap the menu icon, select Add printer and
allow for two-sided printing. with more information. tap on the + icon. 49
troubleshooting advice hints and tips
emailGotan expert
an Android-

related problem that

you need solving?
Let us know!
Missing features
Share your tips & tricks
Join us on Facebook and Twitter
to share and receive some
great tips and advice

on the Nexus 5
Like us on Facebook and join
Ive recently upgraded from a
in our Android community
Samsung Galaxy S III to a Nexus
@lgrobot 5. I love pretty much everything
Follow us on Twitter to send
your thoughts and questions
about the phone, but I am
missing a few of the features
that I took for granted on my S
III. These include things like the
quick settings shortcuts in the
Did you know? notications pane, and
Google has launched the Android Device
Manager app that enables you to track
advanced video and camera
the whereabouts of your Android
devices. Its essential if you have both a apps. What are your
phone and a tablet as it means youll be
able to nd, or remotely wipe, one from recommendations? Chronus is our
the other should you ever lose it.
Paula Vine pick of the best clock
and weather widgets

The Nexus 5 is indeed a encounter. And as for a better

A fantastic phone, but as
youve noted it does
camera app, there are literally
dozens in the Play store that you
lack a few of the subtle can choose from. Shot Control or
usability touches that Samsung Camera FV-5 are our choices for a
incorporates into its devices. more professional app, while
This represents the different Camera Zoom FX or Camera
attitude of the manufacturers: Awesome will add the more
Samsung wants to produce a consumer-friendly options youll
phone that does everything you be used to from Samsung. While
could want it to do right from the were recommending some apps
Settings Extended gives you full control of
outset, while Google is producing your phone via the notications shade
you might also want to try
a pure smartphone that you Battery Percent for KitKat (free
customise with apps in order to you to toggle Wi-Fi and data on from the Play store) to display
get it to do exactly what you and off, control the backlight vital battery information, Textra
want. This means that there are and even have a quick shortcut as a classier alternative to
apps for everything you are to a torch feature. Its one of our Hangouts for text messaging,
missing. For example, to add favourite apps for the Nexus 5. and Chronus, our current
shortcuts to the notications For video, check out MX Player, favourite home screen clock and
pane you can use the Settings which supports just about every weather widget (which also
Extended app. This will enable kind of video format youll ever works on your lock screen too). facebook email

Ask your questions
Got a problem with your Android phone or tablet? /littlegreenrobot
Get help from our Send your questions for our team of
Send it to us and well nd the solution Facebook community experts to tackle

Why cant I swap Try to nd a way

to use free apps
picture messages? like WhatsApp,
I am in the UK, my friend is in Australia. We have no problems even if that does
texting and calling but for some reason we cannot swap picture
messages. I have a Samsung S3 and a contract with T Mobile/EE. I mean your friend
am not sure what phone she has, but know that she is pay-as-you-go purchasing a
with 3. I dont believe it is a smartphone. budget device
Laura Davis

This is a difcult a warning advising you of the

A problem to solve
because we do not
fact when sending fails, it simply
fails to send messages. Also, you
know all the information mention that your friend does
required to see where the not have a smartphone. Is it even
process is failing. If your friend capable of sending and receiving
does not use a smartphone that picture messages? Our advice
will immediately rule out many would be for each of you to Apps like WhatsApp almost
potential solutions such as contact your providers to make Picture messages can be very expensive to make picture messaging obsolete
send abroad
WhatsApp, which would make sure that picture messages can
swapping pictures easier, be sent before you do anything aforementioned WhatsApp, even cannot offer a full answer due to
quicker and less expensive. Our else, and to check the costs of if that does mean your friend lack of detail, and this applies to
rst thought is that one of you doing so across countries purchasing a budget Android all questions we get. Please
does not have picture messaging because they could be extremely device. Potentially that could supply all of the detail and we
enabled and we have seen in the expensive. Next, try to nd a way save you both a lot of money in will do our best to make your
past that you will not always see to use free apps like the the long run. As we said, we Android dreams come true

Get more from your Android phone with our handy hints

1 Change volume
settings quickly
On many Android devices you can change the
2 Magically add
an SD card
Not all devices support SD expansion, but
3Free up valuable
Apps will use up memory even after you have
volume settings by holding down a volume key Meenova ( makes an stopped using them, but App Cache Cleaner
and then tapping the icon cog. This will then let accessory that will work through a standard Pro from the Google Play store will let you clean
you tweak the system volume, ringtone, Android port and use an SD card for expansion. up the caches with one tap. This is particularly
notications and media sound levels. You can It is tiny, can connect to your PC and works on useful if you nd your device slowing down or if
also use a widget to do this. many different devices. memory is low. 51
Did you know?
DroidSupport If you use your device with a desktop cradle you can go into
Settings>Developer options and set the screen to stay awake
when charging. We are past the time where leaving the screen
on will cause damage and this will give you a useful desk clock.

I have Caring for

forgotten my the elderly
I own a Smart Pad EP750 and
I have an elderly Zepad running
ICS 2.3.4. Do you think it possible
to upgrade to a later version of
managed to forget my password Android? I notice that the device
after being interrupted. The pad is already rooted as it shows a
has no volume control, only an SuperUser app and a Terminal.
On/Off switch with a reset Paul Reitman
Some budget tablets have unusual software
hole on the rear. What can I do? and hardware setups
J Keane The problem with

Normally when you lose

process so in theory you should
be able to update the rmware
A updating tablets and
phones that are quite old
A the password you will
have serious problems
and get it running properly
again. These are the ofcial
is that you can give yourself new
features, but at the expense of
trying to get a device working downloads from the less reliability and slower
and you mentioned in your full manufacturer and so should performance. This is exacerbated Not all devices have enough power to
question that you may have to present no problems in the if a device was not highly support software upgrades
send the device back to the slightest, but you could also specied in the rst place and so
manufacturer to get the problem consider rooting the device and our rst inclination is to advise you a lot of time and if reviews
sorted. We would suggest visiting doing it that way instead. to just use it for what you can from other users are favourable, and looking However, the Smart Pad that you and not try to push it beyond the it could be worth trying. The
for the rmware download that own is not a well-known brand limits of the processor etc. worst that could happen is that
is specic to your model and and so your options may be However, if you are determined, you will have to purchase
then downloading the PDF limited in this area. Once you take a look at http://forum. another tablet if it fails to
instructions as well to be on the have updated the rmware and to see if respond, but to match the
safe side. According to the everything is working as it anyone has made a ROM that Zepads specications you should
instructions the tablet needs to should, dont forget to write will work on your device. The not need to spend very much
be turned off at the start of the down your password! fact it is already rooted will save at all.

Nexus-PC connection issue

I am a new owner of the Nexus 7 and when I connected it to the USB port
of my desktop computer for the rst time everything was ne, but on a
second attempt (the next day) I could not get connected.I found a message
today (in Computer) that an unknown device was connected.The leads
are OK.Is my Nexus 7 faulty? Dave Brock

This seems to be a common problem, but

A there is some hope because there are a
number of things you can try. Firstly, we
would advise to download Android File Transfer
from and see
if that lets your computer see the Nexus. In our
experience, many PCs will be able to see a
device using this software even when the
standard le manager cannot. If that does not The ofcial Google USB driver is always
help, check to see if USB debugging has been worth downloading

enabled accidentally in Settings. If it has, disable it purely because this problem is not uncommon on a
for the moment. In Settings>Storage look for the Nexus 7. If you are brave, some people have actually
button in the upper-right and make sure that MTP is made their own drivers to resolve connection
checked. If neither of these work, try going to http:// problems like this, and a quick search on the net will and downloading and installing the highlight which are available. You will of course
ofcial Google USB driver. It sounds as though some need to carefully consider what to install if its
settings have changed on the PC as it worked coming from an unofcial source. Good luck getting
initially and then failed, but we remain sceptical your Nexus connected.

Share your tips twitter email

Got a great tip, or found a cool /littlegreenrobot @lgrobot
Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to Discovered anything good about your
shortcut? Let us know! join our online community send us your tips & tricks Android phone? Let us know!

My device Cant connect to Wi-Fi

is slow
My Galaxy S3 sometime struggles
I have had my Nexus 7 for ve months with no problems. I went
away for a week and when I returned home I nd that I cannot sign
to cope with certain tasks, and in to get a Wi-Fi connection. All the time Ive been away there has
despite trying various ROMs, it been no problem connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots. Can you help Update
still slows down when I push it. please? Jack Gowing 60% Complete
Any ideas?
Clive Morgan This is unusual

The problem with device

A because most Wi-Fi
connection problems
A performance is that we receive usually involve
everyone has a different
usage pattern and so
devices losing Wi-Fi parity
some time after connecting, but update update
specications are rarely the main the fact you cannot connect at We bring you the news and
factor in determining how well a all is unusual. We would rumours on the latest Android
phone or tablet will perform. The suggest looking at our rst updates, and the phones that can
run them
fact that you have tried ROMs related tip to forget the router

means that your device is rooted you are trying to connect to and he Moto G has become
so you could try an app called maybe also doing the same for one of the rst phones
Seeder, which is available from other connections that are to get the full KitKat
the Google Play store. It is currently listed on your Nexus. update. The budget device
designed to speed up Android The rest will be trial and error was already one of the most
tasks that try to take large until you can nd the exact impressive on the market
amounts of data from limited cause; can you connect to other thanks to its combination of
sources and potentially it can routers from the Nexus? Can low, low cost and much better
speed up your device when you other devices connect to your than expected build and
are pushing it very hard. It isnt router? Is the password correct performance. It is now an
guaranteed to help you for every and have you tried to change it? even more compelling
Wi-Fi connection problems are common
task you use as an individual, but The last option may sound purchase and highlights the
it does highlight that there is no strange, but it can often x question it is difcult to be more Google-owned Motorola as
one guaranteed way to deal with problems where devices are specic as to an exact answer. It being one of the
all performance issues. As we having problems connecting. could well be that a full factory manufacturers to watch over
said, we are all different and it Finally, it will be worth checking reset will be needed eventually, the next year. Other devices
may come down to trying tweaks to see if others have a similar but there are many different in the budget range have yet
and ROMs out until you nd a problem with the router you use, things you can try before you to be earmarked for updates,
solution that works acceptably for but as it was not quoted in the reach that stage. and past history suggests
you, but by far the best way to they may not be. Meanwhile
ensure good performance most of then the wait continues for
the time is to buy the very best
device you can, and one with the
1 Forget the router
If you are having problems connecting to a
the rollout proper to begin.
The Nexus devices have been
best specications. In theory, all specic router or hotspot, go to Settings>Wireless updated to 4.4.2. The second
new high-end Android devices and networks, select the router and then tap update was a minor bugx
should be able to cope with Forget. Now try connecting to it again and it may release following the rst
anything users and third-party work perfectly. which was aimed primarily at
developers throw at them. the Nexus 5 and brought with
it a considerable upgrade to
2 Wi Fixer
Wi Fixer is a free app available from
the performance of the
camera. Other phones
Google Play that deals with all kinds of Wi-Fi issues expected to be getting KitKat
and is worth having installed even if you only include the HTC One, One
occasionally suffer Wi-Fi connection problems. It Max and One Mini; the LG G2;
could make a huge difference. several older Motorola
handsets including the the
RAZR HD; the agship Galaxy
3 Dont sleep
When devices fail to connect to a router
devices of the last year or so;
and several key members of
after not having been used for some time, it is the Sony Xperia range
usually the Wi-Fi sleep policy causing problems. including the Z and Z1. The
Look for the advanced Wi-Fi settings and select Huawei Ascend P6 is also
Seeder will help performance in a Always to resolve the problem. among scheduled recipients.
non-obvious way 53
Explore the limits of your Android device

status update
Hacker Zne Tips and tricks
Which devices are best for
the hacking scene? with most modern rooted devices. notications on the lockscreen if you
Download it from http://bit. dont use any of Androids security
Google ly/19jG6Ws. options. Using this feature, your
Nexus 5 devices notications can be easily
Rooted? Yes
Active Development:
Access viewed and swiped to be dismissed.
If you want to tap to open the
As easy to root as any
other Nexus, the 5 will
almost certainly
notications application associated with them you
will be prompted to unlock before you
become a test-bed for
ROMs and mods. while locked can proceed.

Nexus 7
GravityBox has some awesome
hardware tweaks
Another Xposed hack that we could
not live without comes through the OTA updates
Rooted? Yes
Active Development:
Control Notication mod module. This, as
you may gather from the name, when rooted
Easily rooted and with
almost unlimited
music with houses a host of modications for
the notications pane. The one we
Over the air updates come out on a
semi-regular basis, especially for new
potential for hacks
and mods should you the volume nd most useful is the Lockscreen
Notication option that enables you
devices, and are often a source of
confusion for rooted users.
need to improve on
what youve got.
buttons to pull down the notication pane
even when the phone is locked.
Most rooted devices will accept
over the air updates so long as the
Samsung One of our current favourite Android Without it you can only view system itself has not been modied.
hacking tools is the Xposed So, for instance, rooted with custom
Galaxy S4 Framework, with the GravityBox recovery should be ne, but if youve
Rooted? Yes
Active Development: module. We looked at this in some deleted some system apps any
If you want to remove
depth back in issue 32, and it is the attempt at installing an OTA will fail.
some of the Samsung gift that keeps on giving. And, of course, if youre running a
bloatware or optimise Of the numerous essential tweaks custom ROM then youll need to ash
the phones
performance youll nd you can perform in GravityBox one of an updated version of that rather than
many options. the absolute best is the ability to use trying to ash an ofcial update.
your phones hardware volume keys If you do have problems on a rooted
HTC One to control the music app. In short, device then you should try disabling
Rooted? Yes
Active Development: when your phone is in your pocket Superuser rst in the settings area of
QQQMedium with the screen turned off you can the Super SU app (assuming that is
Not a massive number
of ROMs available.
skip tracks forward and back simply what you have installed). And if youre
However, most of the by long pressing either volume up or using a framework like Xposed youll
popular names are volume down. This option is found in need to disable that too use the
present and correct on
the device. Media Tweaks in GravityBox. The Dont let a lockscreen stand between you Uninstall option with the Framework
Xposed Framework is compatible and your notications settings rather than uninstalling the

Unlock the
Nexus 1 Install the SDK 2 Enter the command 3 Check its unlocked
bootloader Download the Android SDK to
your desktop computer from
Connect your Nexus (youll need
drivers for Windows from developer.
The process will now begin. It
will only take a few seconds, but
If youre planning on rooting and and make sure you dont interrupt it.
hacking your Nexus device youll html. Open a command line or boot into fastboot mode by holding Once done you can reboot your
need to unlock the bootloader Terminal window and use the cd the power and volume down keys. device. On the boot screen you
rst. Its a good idea to do this command to change the directory to The command to unlock is fastboot should now see an unlocked
straight away as the process will the platform-tools directory in the oem unlock. On a Mac or Linux padlock icon this means the
completely wipe your storage. SDK download folder. machine it is ./fastboot oem unlock. unlocking was a success.

facebook email Jargon

Hacker Zne
Share your tips
Discovered a great hack or
tweak? Let us know!
Like us on Facebook and
send us your comments
Is there anything youd like to see us
cover in the mag? Drop us a line!
Get up to speed on all the
maximum amounts of RAM the app are required to be running in the terms you need to know
has been using and also what other background at all times and well when hacking your phone
services it has been connecting to. written ones should ideally use as
You can also switch between little RAM as possible.
Short for operating system. Often the
background and foreground apps. Android ROM will be referred to as the
OS this just means the system les
Google itself describes these as
geeky stats and they are, but they Upgrading on the Android device that make up
your user experience, similar to
are also useful for identifying any
apps that are using excessive the Galaxy Windows, Mac OS X or Ubuntu on a
desktop computer.

amounts of system resources when

running in the background. Android
is generally very good at controlling
Despite the fact that Android 4.4 has
Stands for read-only memory. In the
context of Android, the ROM refers to
the les that make up the operating
background apps, but some apps been optimised to work better on system installed on your device.
less powerful hardware, and that the Gaining root privileges allows for
replacement of the standard ROM
main selling point of Nexus devices is with a custom one.
You may need to disable Super SU when to get the latest OS updates, the
trying to install an OTA update
Galaxy Nexus has been overlooked in Root
Rooting your phone gives apps access
entire app itself. On installing the the recent KitKat rollout. to parts of the OS that are normally
update you will almost certainly lose This is likely due to the fact that hidden from consumers. This enables
root and may even have your custom the phone runs on a Texas you to run more powerful software and
install custom ROMs on your phone.
recovery replaced with stock. In most Instruments chip, and the company
cases re-rooting is as easy as it was is no longer in the smartphone ROM Manager
initially, although do check for business. But that has not stopped An app available from the Android
Market that enables you to install
updated versions of Super SU and Androids eager army of modders. a whole new version of your OS with
your preferred recovery before you The Galaxy Nexus is now in a single click. It requires a rooted
attempt to do it. possession of a full and (for the most phone to use and is ideal for those
new on the scene.
part) stable ROM. It is based on
Titanium Backup
See masses Process Stats is packed with info on what
your apps are getting up to
CyanogenMod 11 and after a month
of development all the functions of This app from the Market enables you
to back up everything on your phone

of app info Youll see info

Theres a new feature in KitKat called
the device are now fully working.
There will inevitably be a few quirks to
using it, since it is one of the more
apps, data, settings and all. It means
that you can restore your phone to how
it was, even after youve updated or
changed the ROM.
Procstats (as in Process Stats) that
gives you masses of detailed detailing the unofcial updates, but reports from
users wanting to keep their devices Unrevoked
Available from,
information about the apps running
on your phone. You can nd it by
going into the Developer options
average and up to date are very positive.
Download CyanogenMod 11 for the
Galaxy Nexus from http://bit.
this is a one-click tool that can be
used for rooting many popular

these are hidden by default so if you

havent already you can show them
maximum ly/1e7Rqcr.
HTC smartphones.

by going to Settings>About phone,
scrolling to the bottom and then
amounts of RAM Stands for Android Debug Bridge. ADB
is mainly used for software
development, but it also has some
tapping Build number a few times
and hitting Process Stats.
the app has uses for hacking your phone. It can be
used to push les onto the system

What you will see is a list of all the

apps that have been running on your
been using and folder, for instance.

device recently and for what
percentage of the time they have
other services it You might come across the phrase
perform a Nandroid backup. This
means using a custom recovery tool

been running. Tap on one of the

apps name and youll see
has been to make a back-up image of everything
currently on your phone: OS, apps,
data, etc. Its very useful should you
information detailing the average and connecting to Test out KitKat on your Galaxy Nexus
wish to restore your phone to its
previous state later.

Hacking the easy way Get great new features without getting your hands (too) dirty Radio
Radio refers to the software on your
Android device that deals with making
Anti-theft (rooted) One Power Guard Droid Backup & Share phone calls and data connections.
Free Free Free Updating your radio version can bring
From: Play store From: Play store From: Play store better battery life and signal strength
Need root? Yes Need root? Yes Need root? No to your device. Some ROMs require the
This new security app One Power Guard is a With Droid Backup & latest radio.
from AVAST offers the complete toolkit for Share you can back up
usual tricks youd
expect from a nd your
extending your phones and restore your
devices data to either
battery life. From The storage in your device comprises
lost phone app and a optimising the kernel to an SD card or straight
ash memory, a type of solid-state
lot more. The app closing down power to the cloud. Key data,
storage. The terms ash or ashing
cannot be uninstalled draining apps it is an plus text messages
mean installing new software onto your
or even removed after extremely are included and root
devices storage.
a factory reset. comprehensive app. is not required.
Check our website daily
for even more tips & tricks 55


ne of the biggest appeals of Android is its everything you want it to do, in the way that you almost any of the frustrations that you encounter
openness and the ease with which it can want, but inevitably you will encounter a few with the OS can be xed one way or another.
be hacked and modied. When you buy a things youd like to change. Android is unique Sometimes its just a simple app that you can
phone or tablet you hope that it will be able to do among smartphone operating systems in that install from the Play store; often you need to go a

By hacking your
Android device
you can overcome
any problem
you can even
install a whole new
version of the OS if
you want

Hacking Masterclass

Get started with

hacking Android
We guide you through what you need to know
before you hack your phone or tablet
little deeper. By hacking your Android device you
can overcome any problem you can make your Theres plenty of discussion about the rise of
phone run faster, install apps that are listed as malware on Android, but they are mostly designed that boots the OS, and so needs to be unlocked if
being incompatible with your device (even though to steal data from devices. What they cant do is you want to install a custom ROM. On some
theyre not) and even install a whole new version of properly infect your device by modifying the OS. devices it is unlocked already. HTC and Sony
the OS if you want. It is these kinds of hacks that Rooting removes all such restrictions and gives you devices can be unlocked using ofcial tools at
well be focusing on in this masterclass. full access to every part of the Android OS. and unlockbootloader.sonymobile.
Rooting isnt ofcially sanctioned by device com. For other devices that need it unlocking it will
First steps manufacturers but there is a general acceptance be incorporated into the root process. Note that
Before you can undertake any hacking on your throughout the industry that it is something unlocking the bootloader will completely wipe the
device you will need to root it. The term root comes enthusiasts want to do. Sony, HTC and Motorola device, so its a good idea to do it as soon as youve
from the Linux world where root is the name of the tend to take a fairly relaxed approach to the topic, decided youre going to root.
default account on a Linux machine, and has full making it easy to unlock their devices and The rooting procedure differs from one device to
access to the entire system. The equivalent in the frequently publishing resources to aid those who the next, with varying degrees of difculty. For
Windows or Mac world is the administrator create hacks for the products. In recent months some devices there are one-click solutions or
account, and that is essentially what rooting your Samsung has been gaining a reputation for being toolkits that run on your desktop computer. These
device gives you: administrator privileges over your less hack friendly, although its devices can still be are useful for beginners, although getting your
phone or tablet. rooted and modied. hands dirty at an early stage will probably benet
Despite Androids reputation for openness an So how do you root your device? Unfortunately you in the long run.
out-of-the-box Android device is pretty well locked that is a difcult question to answer. Not because Rooting involves several steps, and they may be
down. You can do what you like within the connes rooting is especially hard on some products it is automated or may require some user input. The
of a walled garden, but access to the system itself trivial but because the process differs on virtually steps include the installation of a custom recovery.
is strictly off limits. This is primarily a security every device. Most often root access is gained by Recovery is a small partition that boots
measure. If you can access crucial system les exploiting a security hole in the OS. This needs to independently of the OS and is used when ashing
then you can also edit and delete them, and if you be discovered in each instance by a developer, who ROMs, making full backups to x problems. Devices
edit or delete the wrong le you can render your will then document the process. have a stock recovery installed but it is not
device unbootable. Likewise this locked down Before you undertake the rooting you will need to designed for user use. A custom recovery is
state also prevents third-party apps from make sure that the bootloader on the device is essential, and your root process will normally give
accessing the most sensitive parts of the device. unlocked. The bootloader is a piece of software you either CWM (ClockworkMod) or TWRP (Team

Hacking Dos and Donts The quick guide to hacking Android

 DO Make a full backup before DO Ensure your phone or tablet DONT DONT
you undertake all but the most is at least 50% charged and Try and ash a ROM or mod that isnt Expect performance of ROMs to be
basic hacks. Back up your data preferably also plugged in to the designed for your specic handset. as smooth and stable as the one
using an app like Titanium Backup or mains supply when ashing It will not work and may break it. that shipped with your phone.
Helium, and make a Nandroid anything. A loss of power during the Double check the model number Although the best are excellent for
backup if youre ashing ROMs. It procedure could brick your device. too, as some have international and daily use, it is inevitable that you
will help you recover from any country-specic variants with will likely encounter bugs from time
problems you encounter. DO Report problems to the incompatible specs. to time.
developer as many hacks and
DO Follow the instructions fully ROMs are a perpetual work in DONT DONT
for everything you do. Most tweaks progress and bugs can be xed. But Fiddle with things unless you know Panic if things go wrong. As long as
are largely risk free and user error is also check it isnt your mistake exactly what they do. Many of the there is some sign of life when you
by far the most likely reason for many root apps have one-star options youll see are not designed press the power button on your
problems to occur through them. reviews from users whose devices for consumer input and refer to the phone then even the worst
Don't be complacent! arent rooted. core workings of your device. problems can be recovered from. 57

Win Recovery Project), which look different but

perform the same role.
Then the su binary gets injected into the system.
Before you begin
Rooting and hacking your device should consider. First is that a and if you can they will almost
su stands for Switch User and is what gives you
is a relatively easy process, and few select apps may no longer certainly unroot your device in
root access where literally nothing is off limits.
everything you do to it can be work. These are mostly apps the process. (You can still
Finally a superuser apk is installed. This is an app
fully undone. So should you that require a certain level of update manually, of course.)
that runs within Android and controls which apps
ever need to restore your phone security, such as banking apps Third, rooting may invalidate
and services can have root access.
or tablet to its original state you or some commercial media your warranty. Should you ever
To nd the best rooting procedure for your
will be able to. There are streaming apps. Second, is that need to make a warranty claim
Android device head over to forum.xda-developers.
however three potential you may not be able to install you should restore the device
com and locate the forum dedicated to your
downsides to rooting that you over-the-air updates anymore, to its factory conditions rst.
handset. Each forum will have an up-to-date guide
to the best method for rooting, along with links to
the software required to complete the process. Be have been able to use. Greenify, Titanium Backup life. Or if youd rather stick to smaller
sure to read the instructions and follow them to the and Root Explorer are three you should check rst. enhancements and problem solving you can
letter and it should complete very quickly. After that you can begin to explore the world of investigate the wealth of mods and tweaks. A
custom ROMs an entirely new version of the couple of our favourites, that weve included in this
Hacking options Android OS that often has new features, a different guide, are ones that enable you to run different
Now that your device is rooted you can do a whole look and is based on a newer version of the OS keyboards depending on whether youre holding
lot more. The rst thing to try is to head to the Play than youve got ofcially installed and kernels, your phone in portrait or landscape mode, and how
store, search for root and youll see a whole which enable you to control the hardware and to to revoke certain permissions from apps and stop
selection of apps that you previously would not optimise it for better performance or longer battery them tracking you or snooping on your data.

After that you can begin to explore the world of custom ROMs an entirely new
version of the Android OS and kernels
Works with Varies with device Difculty Easy

Increase your phones storage

Want to add extra storage for your media content? Heres how to use USB ash drives

ven with the gradual shift towards areas of poor network coverage and so be card that your phone will support (check the
keeping content in the cloud there are unable to access your important les; or specs for your specic device as it is often
still times when you need as much when youre overseas youll be mostly limited to either 32GB or 64GB). For Android
local storage on your Android device as restricted to Wi-Fi areas to avoid running up devices without a memory card slot you can
possible. When travelling on a train, for huge roaming bills. For some devices the often use a USB On-the-Go adapter and add a
instance, you might frequently pass through simple answer is to add the largest micro SD ash drive.

1 IfCheck root
external USB storage is not supported
2 Add the drive
Launch StickMount and give it root
3 Access the storage
You can now go to Settings>Storage and
natively on your phone and it tends to be on permissions when prompted. Plug your USB OTG you should see the USB drive and its associated
agship devices from HTC and Samsung your cable into the USB port on your phone or tablet, details, such as the amount of space used and
best bet is to use the StickMount app from the with the Flash drive also connected. OTG adapters available. The content stored on the drive should
Play store. This needs your device to be rooted in can be picked up inexpensively online. Tap the show up in related apps. Tap the Unmount button
order for it to work. Mount button to access the drive. before you remove the drive.

Hacking Masterclass
Works with Varies with device Difculty Easy
Works with Android 4.0 and up

Difculty Easy

Solve problems Auto-brightness in Android can be

quite patchy either too bright or too
dark. Heres how to make it better

with Safe Mode Configure

Booting in to Safe Mode is the easiest way to deal with
apps that start misbehaving
or the most part, downloading and installing Android apps is a pretty safe and
reliable process. You may occasionally come across one that is poorly written and so
crashes frequently, but the problems it causes will be limited to the app itself. On rare
occasions however you may nd an app that causes wider problems and makes it difcult for
you to use your phone, maybe an app that is conicting with a mod youve made to your
device, or is causing other system apps to crash in such a way that you cannot even uninstall
it normally. Safe Mode is the solution to this problem.

Install the app Lux from the Play store

1 and then enable it when prompted. Set
the Adjust setting to Dynamically to ensure
the brightness level changes based on
ambient conditions.

1 Calamitous crashing
As you can see in our example weve
2 Safe reboot
Once weve got the phone off we can
got an app conict that is causing the Dialer app to reboot into Safe Mode. Hold the power button until
crash repeatedly. This error message pops up the the Google logo appears, then hold volume down
moment we dismiss it, leaving the phone to be until the phone has nished booting. Youll see the
completely unusable. Even powering off is proving Safe Mode notication in the bottom-left corner of
to be some challenge. the screen to show that it has worked.
You can now set the brightest and
2 darkest levels for the app to use. Move
into bright conditions and move the backlight
slider to a level youre happy with. Hold down
the chain icon to remember the setting.

3 Remove the app

Youll notice that none of your widgets will
4 Restore your widgets
When you reboot your phone you will most
have loaded. This is because Safe Mode runs only likely need to restore your home screen and Now move into a dark area and repeat
the core OS and no additional apps. As a result lockscreen widgets once again. You may also nd
3 the process. Note that moving below
your persistent crashes will no longer happen. that you have been logged out of certain accounts zero in the backlight settings wont improve
Open the Play store and uninstall the app that was on some of your apps. None of your data will have your battery life as it places a lter on the
causing you problems, then reboot. been lost, however. screen rather than using less power. 59
Works with Android 4.1 and up Difculty Easy

Enhance your
phones UI
Use the GravityBox app to add useful shortcuts to your phones UI

ravityBox is a module that runs on
the Xposed Framework and is
compatible with Jelly Bean and
KitKat devices. It opens your phone up to a
whole host of hacks and tweaks of the kind
that would previously have required you to
ash a new custom ROM to get. To get it up
and running your phone must be rooted.
Then download and install Xposed Installer
from Open Xposed and go to
Framework, then tap Install/Update to
activate it. Youll need to reboot when done.
Next reopen Xposed and go to Download.
Locate GravityBox and choose the right one
for your device. Download and install it, then
1 Lockscreen shortcuts
In GravityBox head to Lockscreen tweaks.
2 Battery notication
Next in the Lockscreen tweaks is Show
press Back and select Modules. Tick the box Here you can congure how the lockscreen works battery arc. Tapping this adds a nice visual ourish
next to GravityBox then reboot once more to when you dont have a pattern lock set. Tap Unlock to the unlock ring, showing the status of the
activate that. Youre now ready to start ring settings and tap On to add as many as ve battery inside it. This tweak will not work if you use
exploring GravityBoxs great features. app shortcuts to the unlock ring. security to lock your screen.

3 Get quick
torch access 4 The ever-present
app launcher 5 Choosing your apps
Pick up to eight apps you want to assign to
Finally on the lockscreen tweaks is the Enable From the GravityBox main screen, locate this omnipresent app launcher. You can also
torch setting. This is a simple one: hold down the Navigation bar tweaks and select that. Tick Enable choose shortcuts to common tasks you perform.
unlock ring on your lockscreen and the LED ash navigation bar (even if youve already got one) then When done reboot your phone youll see the app
on your phone will illuminate. Long press it again to Show app launcher key. Now press Back and nd launcher icon in the Navigation bar. Tapping that
turn it off. and select Application launcher. will show the apps.

Hacking Masterclass
Works with Android 2.3 and up Difculty Intermediate

Installing I
ts a fact of life with Android that you will, from time to
time, come across apps that are listed on the Play store as
being incompatible with your device. Sometimes theres a
good reason for this a high-end game that wont run on

problem apps
An app in the Play store listed as incompatible
low-end hardware, for example. Other times it seems like an
entirely arbitrary restriction. You can get around the problem
by editing the build.prop le in the System folder.
You need root access to locate this le. build.prop contains
identifying information for your phone, and by changing how
it identies itself to the Play store you can access apps that
with your phone? Dont worry about it were previously unavailable.

1 The build.prop editor

Get Build Prop Editor from the Play store,
2 Change the ID
In the main window scroll down to ro.
3 Reboot and test
You may also need to change the ro.
launch it and grant root privileges. The rst task product.model, tap on it and change the Property product.manufacturer value to that of the
is to ensure youve got a backup of your build. Value to that of a different Android device. You manufacturer. When you are nished you will be
prop le, so open the sidebar and tap Create may need the product code rather than its prompted to reboot. Do this and then test that it
backup. You will also restore it from here should common name, for example, the Samsung works. You can restore your backup if not, or
you wish to in future. Galaxy S4 is the I9505. make further changes.

Works with Android 2.3 and up Difculty Intermediate

Block spam calls and texts
The more you use your smartphone as your main phone the more youll be on the receiving end of junk calls and texts. With the
root app Call Master you can reject or block them without ever even knowing they existed

Root permissions
1 Call Create a list
2 Tap 3 InBlock and allow Start the service
4 Repeat
Master requires root so on the List option from the Block screen tap the + Step 3 for the Allow
you will need to grant that when the main screen. This is where youll icon to add numbers that you want function to create your whitelist.
prompted. Also take note of the assign instructions to specic lists blocked. You can choose from Now head back to the apps home
warning when you launch the app of numbers. Well be creating a contacts, or add them manually. screen and select Settings. Tick the
incorrect use of the options could whitelist of allowed numbers and a Swipe left shows you Special box next to Enable service then
result in you blocking numbers that blacklist of those we want to block. options, such as blocking any reboot your phone. Once started,
you dont want blocked! Tap the Block option to proceed. number that shows up as Unknown. call blocking will be in progress. 61
Works with Android 4.1 Difculty Intermediate

Revoke unwanted
app permissions
XPrivacy enables
our Android device is custodian to a whole restrict exactly what information is made available.
host of your private data. How condent are You can block access completely or you can feed an
you to take you that your information is safe? XPrivacy, an app fake data, such as an empty contact list or a
control of which app that links deep into Android using the Xposed pre-determined location. Unlike some tools, XPrivacy
framework, lets you take back control of your doesnt revoke permissions from apps, which can
apps can access sensitive information. On a granular, app-by-app and result in them stopping working. Instead it tricks
your data. category-by-category basis, the application lets you them into thinking everything is working normally.

Check the prerequisites

1 The 2 The Xposed Framework
key requirement for using XPrivacy on The Xposed Framework is installed via an
your device is that your device must be rooted. APK. Point your device browser to http://repo.
XPrivacy uses the Xposed Framework, which
allows Xposed modules to hook into the low-level installer, download the APK and then click Install.
functionality of the Android operating system. You will need unknown sources checked in
Remember that rooting your device may invalidate security settings. After installation, open Xposed
Take greater control
your warranty and is an expert operation. Installer and complete the Framework steps.
over your security

Get installation utility

3 After 4 Enable XPrivacy 5 Filter apps
you have installed Xposed and After downloading the Installer, youll see a After the reboot, you can uninstall XPrivacy
rebooted, you need to get XPrivacy. The easiest XPrivacy Installer icon in your launcher. Click this Installer and use the main XPrivacy icon. Upon
way to do this is via the Play store. Although and a wizard will take you through each of the launch, youll see all of your apps listed. You can
XPrivacy itself is not deployed this way, the required steps checking root, checking youve use the drop-down to choose specic permissions
Installer, available at enabled unknown sources, checking youve made to limit (and lter the apps). Although XPrivacy will
details?id=biz.bokhorst.xprivacy.installer, will take a backup, checking your Xposed install, enabling prompt for new apps, you should ensure you set
you through the steps needed. the module and rebooting to enable the mod. the required privacy settings for existing apps.

Hacking Masterclass

Works with Android 2.1 Difculty Intermediate

Automatically change
the keyboard you use
Keyboard Manager enables you to switch software keyboards based on
screen orientation and running application

6 Dening fake data

In the Settings menu of XPrivacy youll nd
a Fake Data section. This is where you can dene
the data passed to apps where you have marked
that they should not receive your real information.
These are primarily text input elds; for your mock
location a search box to retrieve the appropriate
latitude/longitude co-ordinates is provided.

1 Download and install

Keyboard Manager 2 Dene your
preferred keyboards
Keyboard Manager can be downloaded from After installation, if you are using the paid
the Play store. Two versions are available a version, you will need to enable the
free version which offers basic orientation- application in Accessibility settings. You will
based switching and requires root, or an be prompted if this is required the rst time
enhanced Plus version, currently priced at you open the app. Pressing the Keyboard
1.28/$1.99, which removes the need for Preferences button lets you set keyboards for
7 Using the data access log
Also in the Settings menu, the Usage
root and adds the ability to switch based on
the running application.
portrait and landscape orientation, as well as
for different dock congurations.
data menu item lets you see exactly which
applications have been using your information.
Youll see the time of access, the app icon, the
apps user ID and the function used. You can see
requests that were blocked in here as well as
requests that were allowed.

3 Add app-specic
keyboards with 4 Retain compatibility
with multiple
Keyboard Manager Plus hardware keyboards
8 Be careful with root apps
Although XPrivacy does a great job of If youve splashed out the on the Plus version, Some devices (particularly the Asus
keeping control of your data, you should be wary of you also have a button labelled Apps Transformers) require that the stock keyboard
root apps. By their very nature (root equals full Keyboard. As the name would suggest, this is enabled when the hardware keyboard is
access to your system), root apps are the only lets you set a keyboard based on the docked, or the key mappings are incorrect.
applications that can circumvent XPrivacys currently running app, great for switching to Keyboard Manager allows you to specify a
restrictions completely. You should be very careful Hacker Keyboard when in your SSH client or keyboard specically when a hardware
when granting root access to untrusted apps. an Emoji-lled keyboard for your IM chats. keyboard is connected, avoiding this issue. 63
Works with Varies with device Difculty Expert

Take performance
to the next level with
a custom kernel

your phone
for gaming
A custom kernel can help you eke out every ounce of performance

odern Android devices have more
than enough power to handle any
task thrown at them, normally
with capability to spare. The one exception
to this however is games, which as in the
PC world have a tendency to work available
processing and graphics hardware to the
limit to provide the best possible experience.
Android devices are built much like cars,
they are designed for stable, safe everyday
use by general buyers. In the same way that
cars can have software upgrades chips
to push the hardware that little bit further,
phones and tablets can do the same with a
1 Check availability
Custom kernels are reliant on three
2 Unlock your bootloader
After you have conrmed that a custom
customised kernel. Custom kernels consist of factors. The rst is a public release of the source kernel is available for your device, you need to
xes, tweaks and extra functionality. The code. The second is an unlocked bootloader to ensure the bootloader is unlocked. The exact
process for using a custom kernel is very allow ashing. The third is an active developer process depends on your manufacturer for HTC
similar to using a custom ROM and carries community that is creating the custom kernels. devices you need to visit, Samsung
the same caveats ashing a kernel will Checking your device area at XDA-Developers is a devices come ready to ash and Motorola also has
likely invalidate your warranty. good place to look for kernel activity. its own unlock site.

3 Ensure you have a

recovery plan 4 Flash a custom recovery
Now that you have your bootloader
Choose your kernel
5 For the more popular devices, there will
Before you start modifying your device you should unlocked, you should ash a custom recovery. likely be a whole host of custom kernels available,
ensure that you have a way to revert back to stock Depending on your device, you may or may not offering many different features. The best place to
should things go wrong. This could be in the form need to use the custom recovery to ash the look is the development forum for your device at
of a stock ROM ash (eg a RUU for HTC or an Odin kernel, but either way it is very useful for creating XDA-Developers compare features, feedback and
ash for Samsung) or with your own backup made your own backup. Ensure you pull the backup off update frequency when choosing. Remember you
using a custom recovery. your device in case you accidentally wipe! can try different ones too!

Hacking Masterclass

Works with Varies with device Difculty Expert

Double tap the screen to

wake your phone
Popularised by the LG G2, (double) tap-to-wake can now be retro-tted to most
devices with a custom kernel. Heres how

6 Flash the kernel

The support topic should include ashing
instructions. Kernels are often ashed using
custom recovery, the Odin app on Samsung
devices or the fastboot utility, particularly on
Nexus devices. Double check before ashing that
the kernel is denitely for your model of device.

1 Check for a
custom kernel 2 Prepare your device
If you havent ashed a custom kernel or
The rst step is to check whether a tap-to-wake custom ROM already, you need to prepare your
kernel is available for your device. The best device. Unlock the bootloader, ash a custom
place to look is the development forum for your recovery, backup (and pull the backup from the
7 Check for companion app
Many kernel developers such as faux123
device at XDA-Developers. Kernels with
tap-to-wake support are usually marked with
device) and ensure you have a recovery plan
should things go wrong for example a stock
and franco offer companion apps. These allow you DT2W search for this term to nd kernels. ROM ash.
to enable and disable functions as well as tune
specic settings for features like voltage and clock
speed. These are normally downloaded from the
Play store. Prices vary some are free and some
offer more fully featured paid versions.

8 Stay updated
3 Flash your kernel 4 Double tap to wake
Custom kernel developers tend to update
their kernels frequently with new features, Follow the instructions in the kernel After installation you should nd that a
optimisations and xes. For this reason its a good support topic to ash your kernel. Depending on quick double tap on the device screen wakes
idea to try and stay up to date with the latest your device this may be using your custom the device. You can also congure a similar
version. If you are using a companion application it recovery, a manufacturer tool such as Odin for action to put the device to sleep using custom
may offer an auto-update option, otherwise Samsung or fastboot. After ashing, check for a launchers such as Nova Launcher (although this
subscribing to the support topic will help. companion app to let you congure features. action will only work from the home screen). 65
Works with Varies with device Difculty Intermediate

Install CM
with an all-in-
one tool Root your device, unlock
yanogenMod is the biggest
name in Root Town, and its
your bootloader and change your
ROM with CyanogenMod Installer
new installer is like a
welcome pack for anyone moving
1 Back up your data
The rst thing to do is make
in, containing everything youll sure that youve backed up your les
need. CyanogenMod Installer and data using an app like Titanium
doesnt care whether or not youve Backup or Nandroid Manager, both
rooted your device beforehand, or free on the Google Play store. After
if youre already sporting a custom that, head into your Settings app and
ROM it scans your device, works then tap Security. Scroll down to nd
out what it needs to do and then Enable Unknown Sources and then
installs CyanogenMod, requiring give it a tick.
you to do nothing more than follow
some simple instructions.
Its a fantastic tool, and though
its a shame that it was pulled
from the Play store (for
encouraging users to void their
warranties by getting rid of the
default manufacturers OS), its
still available to anyone with a
browser. All you need to do is
boot up your PC, grab your
droid and then hit a
download link on each device.
The Installer comes in two
parts: one for Android and one for
Windows. Once the two parts
are talking to each other, your
computer will then download all
the les before passing them
across, via USB, to your Android
device. Your device will then
reboot into Download mode, and
youll see it restart a few times,
6 Download the
Windows Installer
but soon enough it will boot up Fire up your browser and go to beta.
again into a brand-new interface., which is another ofcial
If you get into a little trouble at CyanogenMod page. Youll see a page
any stage, or nd that the of instructions, so scroll down to Step
Installer doesnt work properly for 4 right at the bottom. Click on the
you, head over to the underlined link to download the
CyanogenMod CyanogenMod Installer support companion installer, which will take
Installer is an
easy way to get page: http://wiki.cyanogenmod. care of almost everything from here.
into rooting org/w/CyanogenMod_Installer.

2 Download the
Android Installer 3 Begin installation
The rst thing youll see is a
4 Follow the
instructions 5 Finish and switch
Next up is enabling PTP
Now open up your browser and conrmation screen, where you First, you need to enable USB mode, and you will again be shown
head to Its a direct need to grant the app permissions. debugging, and an image shows where that setting is located. Hit
download link from the ofcial Tap Install, and then tap Open once you which section of your Settings Continue and make the setting.
CyanogenMod download page, so the installation has nished. The app it should be located in. When With that done, youll be prompted
you can safely accept the warning CyanogenMod Installer app will then you tap Continue, youll be taken to continue the process with the
to begin downloading the le. Once load up, displaying a welcome straight to that screen, and after CyanogenMod Windows Installer.
its nished, youll receive a message with instructions. Tap you tick Enable USB Debugging Leave your device on that screen
notication. Tap it to continue. Begin once youve read it all. youll return to the Installer. and switch over to your PC.

7 And continue
Run the Windows Installer
8 Plug in your
Android device 9 Start installing
CyanogenMod 10 Leave it be
Your device will now reboot
once its downloaded. After it opens Next, youll be asked to connect With everything ready to go, into Download mode, which means
up, it will then take a little time to your device to your computer with a CyanogenMod Installer will now that it is waiting to receive
update itself rst. Once thats USB cable. Once youve done that, download the CyanogenMod ROM instructions from your computer.
nished, youll be asked to tap OK on your device to give your plus all the system apps. This can Fortunately, the installer takes care
temporarily disable your antivirus computer permission to connect. take a while, but eventually it will of everything for you no more Odin.
program, so that it doesnt interfere After that, the Windows installation nish and youll see a reminder to Sit back, wait for the nished
with the installation. Do so; just will continue (and you can put your back up all your les and data. If message on your computer, then
remember to enable it later. phone down again). youve done so, hit Install. check out your new device. 67
Works with Android 2.2 and up Difculty Expert

Tweak everything
with Pimp My ROM
imp My ROM is a multi-device, multi-feature process much easier. The hacks are logically grouped
Change lots of toolkit which enables users to modify lots of by category in the very slick app and in many
inaccessible normally inaccessible settings on their device. instances clearly explained. Pimp My ROM requires
Many of the options that can be congured are root access and, as with all apps of this type, could be
settings on your normally only modiable via the command line or by potentially dangerous its important to ensure you
device with ease editing system les, so Pimp My ROM makes the have a backup before you start changing things.

Install the app

1 To 2 Build Rescue Package 3 Pimp your CPU
download and install Pimp My ROM, When you rst open the app, youll see a Also in the Tools section youll see an
search for the app in the Play store. A couple of number of tabs, including one labelled Tools. Click option labelled Pimp My CPU. By selecting this
different versions seem to be available, so before this and select Rescue Package to build your youll be able to change the minimum and
downloading make sure you check the last update ashable safety net. Should things go wrong, youll maximum clock speeds of your device as well as
date. Youll need root access and its also a good be able to boot into your custom recovery and the Governor and IO Scheduler. The Apply at boot
idea to have a custom recovery such as TWRP. apply the Rescue Package to reverse the changes. option is probably best left alone for now.

Explore tweaks
4 The 5 Improve your GPS 6 Bundled apps and mods
tweaks are grouped into categories. In On the Tools tab, GPS Conguration allows Pimp My ROM includes additional bundled
the Network & Internet tab, adjusting the default you to download and install a custom GPS.conf features youll nd these under the Apps & Mods
WiFi Scan Interval can help improve battery life. le. Installing this le will speed downloading of tab. From here you can install enhanced Beats or
Multitasking settings can help prevent apps being the ephemeris data, which in turn will help your xLoud/ClearAudio sound, the Sony Bravia screen
swapped out of memory. The Telephony section device get a faster and more accurate lock when engine or an enhanced Sony album app. You can
lets you optimise in-call settings. you rst re up your GPS. also easily add OpenVPN support to your device.


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Playmarkers 15min wonder Scan these QR codes for direct
links to the Google Play Store doubleTwist
Want your money back?
Youve got 15 mins to decide!
! 5 0-5 minutes
New interface looks good, bar
15 10
our missing art

! 5 5-10 minutes

Quite a few features require
15 10
an in-app purchase

! 5 10-15 minutes
Works well now weve
15 10
unlocked everything

The veteran audio app gets a complete revamp keep refund

The doubleTwist app missing artwork, spoiling the effect. podcasts and have new episodes device or SD card (but, as with most
has been around for a While there is a facility to get artwork downloaded automatically as they third-party apps, not tracks pinned
good few years now, for the currently playing tune, this is become available. While its easy to using Google Music). However,
starting out as a one of several premium features search for podcasts, for some doubleTwist has always been very
swisher, more feature-packed requiring an in-app purchase more reason theres no such facility for iTunes-friendly and can be synced
alternative to the stock Android on this later. Even then, the artwork radio stations, so you have to browse with your desktop iTunes library and
music player of yore remember didnt always appear for the current by genre. playlists once youve installed the
that? The arrival of Google Music track in portrait mode. Returning to the main music-player free doubleTwist software. While its
was a game-changer, but The apps pull-out side menu also functionality, the app will naturally free to sync music playlists, photos
doubleTwist isnt done for yet and holds entries for Artists, Playlists pick up any music stored on your and videos with iTunes via USB, the
this new version features support for (which are easy to add to and handy ability to sync via Wi-Fi (known
Android 4.4 and a new interface manage), Songs and Genres, along here as AirSync) is another of those
designed specically for tablets. with Radio, Podcasts and Videos. As premium features. You can either
The user interface certainly looks you might infer from this, doubleTwist buy it separately (4.99/$6.99) or
very clean and polished, focusing on is a one-stop shop for all your pay for the Pro version (7.99/$9.99)
album art. The default view shows a listening needs, eliminating the need to unlock all the premium features
grid of album covers arranged by to switch between a handful of apps including AirPlay, (to stream to Apple
title. Unfortunately, quite a few of our for specic purposes. Here you have TV or compatible speakers), AirTwist
albums dragged and dropped to everything you need in one place. As (to stream to PS3 and Xbox), an
the device from iTunes were youd expect, you can subscribe to Equalizer and ad-free podcasts.
Alternatively, you could subscribe
to doubleTwists Magic Radio
streaming service to get all premium
features and obtain access to over
13 million songs if you live in the
USA, that is, as the service is
currently limited to that territory. A
less costly rival to the likes of Spotify
and Google Music All Access, Magic
Radio even looks at the songs in your
library to tailor stations to your taste.
The Equalizer is a paid-for feature
Lets hope they roll it out
internationally soon, as it seems to
be the nal piece in the jigsaw to
make doubleTwist indispensable.

Price Free
Designed for: Phone and tablet
Requires Android: Varies with device

A versatile music app for all
your listening needs

Swipe up for the play controls

The Album Grid

view works well, Like this?
Try this!
WINAMP No podcasts, but it includes internet radio and offers a
host of premium features.
if you have all the art
Footballfeed Ruffl Swipe Panel

Camera Awesome
Take better pictures and edit them in one app
Originating on iOS options. Firstly, there are overlays to exposure level from another. Other CHOICE
devices, Camera help you compose a better shot: the controls include front/rear camera
Awesome has now standard Thirds criss-cross grid, a toggle, ISO and white balance. You
made the leap to Square frame, Golden spiral and can also switch to video mode, with
Android. And, to be honest, theres Trisec. Even more useful is the an option to pre-record ve seconds Alongside a wide range of
shooting modes, theres a
probably a greater need for it here, spirit-level tool, enabling you to line so you never miss anything. helpful spirit-level tool
as most stock Android camera apps up pictures perfectly with the horizon Tap the thumbnail pic and you can
arent that great. While the Google using a rotating guide never take a edit your photos, including moving
Play store is already awash with wonky landscape shot again. the Awesomize bar to auto-enhance
third-party camera apps, Awesome Tapping the small triangle brings them and applying a range of lters,
really stands out by offering a greater up a selection of shooting modes, textures and frames. Its all here in
degree of control for photo taking some of them device dependent. the one awesome app.
while also providing built-in picture- These include big button (just tap
editing facilities.
Just tap the camera button and it
the middle of the screen), burst
mode, timer, interval, HDR, face
takes an instant shot with no lag detection, panorama and image Price 1.87/$2.99
whatsoever. The various viewnder stabilisation. Those with shaky Designed for: Phone
Requires Android: 4.1
icons lead to a whole range of useful hands will appreciate the latter as it
only takes the photo when the
device is still. One extra trick is the
like this? try this! ability to set separate focus and
Everything you need to take
ProCapture better photos on your phone
exposure points: just tap the screen
Offers a wide range of shooting
options, including a reduced noise mode. with two ngers and you can then
focus on one item while setting the Editing facilities enable you to enhance pics

HTC Footballfeed Ruffl Swipe Panel

Keep up to date with the beautiful game Eat out in London Get a new lockscreen for a
with condence fresh look
Things move fast in the world of football, but HTC Footballfeed will
help you stay ahead of the game or at the least the Champions General business and Since this is an extension
League and Europa League. With info supplied by UEFA itself, the restaurant-nding apps of the GO Locker screen-
latest news, stats and live match updates are sent direct to your phone. And sometimes bombard you locking app, youll need to
since you might not be all that interested with too many results. Ruf is download and install that rst of all.
in Maribor vs Shakhter Karagandy, theres designed on the principle that less is You then have to choose a
the option to tailor the apps info by more although wed disagree replacement lockscreen from within
selecting your favourite club(s). where food is concerned! For GO Locker, before activating Swipe
The UI is slicker than Lionel Messi, with starters, it focuses exclusively on Panel via the settings Plugin
the photos on the news section tilting as London. Also, when you search for a manage screen a bit of a palaver.
you scroll up. Tap the top-left to switch particular restaurant by price and Now, whenever the new lockscreen
between the two competitions, then number of people it only offers ve is shown, you can swipe from the
swipe right for other sections. The Stats results. As well as right side of the
menu shows next matches, standings, avoiding overload, screen to reveal a
results and info relating to individual this enables Ruf panel of up to six
clubs including players and their stats to hold seats at app icons (which is
while the Gallery showcases photos of each of the ve easily
players and managers. restaurants while customisable) for
you choose. You quick launch from
Price Free can then book a the lockscreen.
Designed for Phone
Requires Android 4.1 table via the app. Very handy.
All the latest news stories and stats are Price Free Price Free
provided in a super-slick interface Designed for Phone Designed for Phone
Requires Android 2.2 Requires Android 2.0
Like this?
Try this!
SKY SPORTS LIVE FOOTBALL SC Skys score centre also
includes info and live match stats for domestic competitions. 73
Scan these QR codes for direct
links to the Google Play Store
Pro Flipagram iHeartRadio

MailDroid Pro
An advanced email client with some clever features
The stock Android Email client
(rather than the specic Gmail
Go radio gaga with your own
app) is known for being a bit clunky
and limited in features. No wonder there are
custom stations
so many third-party alternatives around. Built Currently only ofcially available in the USA and Australia (though
from the ground up, MailDroid (also available there is a web proxy workaround), iHeartRadio lets you listen to
in a free ad-supported version) works well favourite stations and create your own custom ones based on an
with most accounts and permits push email artist, song, station or show much like in Pandora. You are then able to
for many of them, including Yahoo. Features save the station to your favourites and tweak it to your liking by icking a
include a spell-checker, custom mail rules, rotating dial to listen to Familiar, Mixed or Less Familiar tunes.
cloud storage integration, spam lter and full Alternatively, the Perfect for option offers preset stations designed for
WYSIWYG editor. such things as driving, the gym and working for the man. While listening to a
Of particular note is the connection track, there are buttons to instantly purchase it on either Amazon and
management option, which can be used (by Google Play. You can also give the
creating custom rules) to set up exactly how song a thumbs-up or down, which
and when MailDroid connects to your
specification provides feedback for the custom
accounts mail server. Another useful feature The combined inbox colour-codes
messages for each account Price Free station. You do have to put up with
is the ability to bookmark email folders for Designed for: Phone/tablet on-screen ads from time to time, but
easier access. Ideal for business Requires Android: Varies with device this is still a very polished radio app.
users, MailDroid offers a desktop-style
Price 11.87/$17.99
Designed for Phone/tablet verdict Buy it
email client on Android, although you Requires Android 2.1 Really enjoying the currently playing
might well want to try out the free Performance song? These handy buttons enable you
version rst. to buy the track instantly from either
Design Amazon or the Play store and download

Like this?
try this!
K-9 MAIL This open source community-created client is a
favourite of many Android owners.
it to your devices music library

A slick, US-centric radio app Skip it

with cool custom stations Tap this button to skip the current track.

Flipagram Note that theres a limit of skips per

station (six per hour) and for each day
(15) across all custom stations

Turn your photos into ipbook-style videos

The idea of making videos Try this?
Like this!
TUNEIN RADIO Lacks custom stations, but the tiled Live
View of genres is great for music discovery.
from still photos isnt a new
one, but Flipagram makes it
very easy to create effective short video Get to know
stories accompanied by whatever The iHeartRadio app offers a range of options and
music you want. You can import screens to nd the music you want to listen to
pictures from either your Gallery or
Instagram account. If you need some
inspiration for what to use Flipagram for,
just tap the link on the opening screen
to see other users creations.
Once ready, choose to add a
moment, select the photos, then
arrange them in the order you want. You
can then preview the video and add a
title and optional audio from tracks
stored on the device or on Google Drive. Adding audio to your video gives Flipagram a
real boost
By altering the speed, you could create
anything from a standard slideshow to a Live radio Perfect listening Talk radio
fast-moving ipbook-style video which
Price Free See the stations near your The Perfect for screen iHeartRadio also offers a
Designed for Phone location or swipe left to offers a selection of preset special section for talk radio.
works particularly well if the photos Requires Android 3.0 switch to an entirely new custom stations designed Tap the Featured option at
were taken at regular intervals during a city. Swipe right to browse for certain situations. the top to choose a genre,
genres and talk radio. Or just Working for the man such as comedy, health,
journey or holiday. manually search for quickly came up with Take news, sports, spirituality or
something in particular. this job and shove it! even technology.
Like this?
try this!
TWEETCASTER Create fast-moving videos from photos, although
youll have to pay for longer ones.


Make a favourite
Tap the + sign at the top to add the current
station custom or otherwise to your list of
EDITORS favourites. The latter can be accessed from
CHOICE the top section of the pull-out side menu. Up
to six stations can be stored here
A lightweight and customisable Twitter
client for your Android
The high number of
third-party Twitter clients
is partially a result of the
Twitter API limiting the number of
tokens available to each developer.
This effectively limits the
number of users for each
client and some popular ones,
like Falcon Pro and Tweetro, have
already hit the buffers.
While some Twitter apps try
to grab our attention with
extended feature sets, Tweedle
keeps things simple with a
very clean user interface.
Recently rewritten from
scratch by its developer, its
new design is heavily inspired
by Google Now cards. You
can change the colour
scheme by selecting a
preset theme (including a
Falcon one) or creating your
own, picking shades for each
element. Its not just about the
aesthetics, though: you can
customise the main screen by
rearranging columns and adding The tweet details screen
extra ones, such as Favorites, shows any photos, websites,
location maps and replies
Search Items and Trends. There are
also extensive notication and alert Back on the main feed screen, you
options to tweak, plus the ability to can tap a tweet to bring up a details
add multiple accounts. screen including any website
previews, photos, location maps and
replies. Its slick and easy to use.

Tweak the Like this? try this!

While listening to a Plume for Twitter
custom station, you This attractive client offers plenty of
can move this customisation and even lets you post updates
rotating dial to one of to Facebook.
three positions, to
listen to More
Familiar music, a
Mixed selection or
Less Familiar tunes.
Naturally, the latter is
the best for nding Price Free
new music Designed for: Phone
Requires Android: 2.3

Slick Twitter client that has a
lot of potential

Create a custom interface theme by

choosing colours for each element 75
Scan these QR codes for direct
links to the Google Play Store Quip
Lift Daily
Motivation Todoist

Lift Daily Motivation

A mobile-rst word
processor with Just get on and do it!
advanced features Need a bit of extra guidance and motivation to reach your goals?
Whatever it is you want to achieve be it career, tness or home
Launched as a web related the Lift app could help. Rather than simply adding your goals
and iOS app last to a to-do list, it provides a host of step-by-step plans written by its experts and
summer, Quip was other users you can write your own. For
designed to be a collaborative instance, you could learn to play guitar in
mobile-rst word processor. ten hours by following the 21 steps in the
To this effect, it appears to programme, which include links to blog
combine aspects of word- posts and videos. You can even join in
processing (such as text with a discussion about it, conversing
formatting and insertion of with other users. This community aspect
tables, pictures and document is key to the whole ethos of
links) and note-taking apps encouragement and you can follow
(syncing and sharing). Basic friends Twitter-style and see their daily
membership of the service is activity. Also, like a standard to-do list,
free and allows up to ve you can set regular reminders to send to
users to collaborate on yourself via notications or email. So now
documents via shared folders there really is no excuse.
and cross-platform syncing. A
unique feature is the chat-like
Price Free
Designed for Phone
thread for each document, Requires Android 3.0
showing any edits and
messages which makes for Each plan comprises several steps
easier collaboration.
At the time of writing, the Like this?
Try this!
MOTIVATE ME! A very simple tness-focused app encouraging
you to keep working out.
Android app is still a preview
version. This means that
users are only currently able
to view (not edit) existing
documents and reply to
conversations. Still, its useful for
Personal task manager integrated with Google Now
existing Quippers to have a play As well as
with and it should eventually offer formatting text, you can Considerably more sophisticated than the average personal task
insert pictures, tables and weblinks
all the same features, including manager, Todoist is a premium option costing 18.99/$28.99 per
the ability to import documents year for the full service (covering all platforms). Still, you can try out
from Word, Google Drive, Evernote like this? try this! the core functionality from the free app, the latest version of which adds Google
and Dropbox. Evernote Now support. So, for instance, if you
Offers syncing and sharing of speak note to buy bread and milk into
notes, but limited collaboration. the latter, it will save it as a task in
Todoist. This makes it much quicker to
set tasks without having to launch the
specification app. In addition, version 2.1 links up with
Price Free the DashClock lockscreen widget to
Designed for: Phone show tasks within the latter, including
Requires Android: 4.0.3 info on when theyre to be done. The
Todoist app is well designed and you can
verdict set priority levels for tasks. You can also
Performance create projects comprising multiple
tasks (setting their levels and priorities),
Design which is ideal for work-related matters.
Value Price Free
Very limited in Designed for Phone and tablet
functionality for now, but Requires Android 2.2
looks promising
Create a multi-task project with levels
A chat-style thread shows all document
edits and messages Like this?
Try this!
WUNDERLIST An alternative cross-platform task management
service with optional Pro subscription.


Amazon FlightTrack 5 Dominos MapQuest

Appstore Track ights all over the
world from one app
Pizza Satnav and trafc app for
North America
A major revamp for Rebuilt from the ground up, A feast for the eyes and The newly rebuilt version of
Amazons own app store the brand new version of the stomach the MapQuest satnav app
The old Appstore app was the popular ight-tracking A vast improvement on the enables you to show
clunky, so this is a much application lets you create trips that previous version, this app layers for trafc info and points of
needed major update. It comprise multiple ights useful for features a slick interface interest (gas stations, parking, bars,
brings with it a much slicker user those ying non-direct. Just search that makes it easy to order your hotels etc) on the map. Choose a
interface and smoother scrolling for for an airport, then either view a list favourite pizza. Just enter your destination and it offers step-by-step
easier navigation around the store. of scheduled departures or search postcode to nd your nearest store navigation with voice directions, plus
The main screen has sections for for a destination and select a date and then browse the special deals, live trafc updates and rerouting
featured apps, recommended ones, from the apps calendar. Once youve pizzas (with some mouthwatering just like a dedicated satnav. One
plus free, paid and new apps. The added a ight, you get all the photos), sides, desserts, drinks and major drawback is that it currently
pull-out side menu information for it wraps. You can only covers the
offers links to all plus airport even create your USA and Canada.
categories. This weather reports own custom pizza. Some previous
app doesnt just and can see the One slight snag is features have also
run on Kindles and current position of that not all stores gone, such as
you might well the plane over a deliver and theres multiple routes
want to install it smooth satellite no easy way to and the ability to
just to get the Free map. A very nd a local one enter destinations
App of the Day. slick application. that does. by voice.
Price Free Price 3.05/$4.99 Price Free Price Free
Designed for Phone and tablet Designed for Phone Designed for Phone Designed for Phone
Requires Android 2.2 Requires Android 4.0 Requires Android 2.3.3 Requires Android Varies with device

iStoryTime noozy (classic) PhotoBook 500 Firepaper

Storybook Powerful digital effects for in 2 Live wallpaper with hi-

your tunes
Audiophiles will feel right at minutes resolution images
There are plenty of
home with this specialist Get a printed photo book wallpaper apps around, but
A limited library of
app. As well as functioning this one is a bit special. It
childrens books as a highly polished music player, it
made from your pictures provides a live wallpaper and
The app offers a slim offers built-in EIZO advanced digital Photo books seem to be all daydream that updates with new
selection of 29 childrens lters to enhance the sound the rage at the moment hi-res images throughout the day.
books, most of which are although it must be noted that not all and this app enables you to Upon launching the app, you get to
based on lm franchises such as devices support this. Effects range have one printed containing up to choose from various settings,
Madagascar, Ice Age and Kung Fu from the MaxxBass II bass enhancer 180 pictures. Alternatively, you can including the update interval, Wi-Fi
Panda. As well as making purchases, to the detail-enhancing Crysalyzer order calendars or postcards. Just only updating and a vast array of
you can opt to subscribe to the and vocal-focusing NuVocal choose a book style, tap the pics you picture categories. You can then set
whole library. However, upon linking Ultralinear. High-end headphones or want, add a title, then rearrange the 500 Firepaper as your wallpaper and
via Facebook, you speakers are photos in the enjoy the changing
get four free recommended to preview. We found scene. The images
books, which is really appreciate the interface a bit are impressive and
pretty generous. the quality. In awkward in places, you can even
You can opt to addition, this but you can get a triple-tap the
have it read aloud classic version free digital version wallpaper to open
or read it yourself, enables you to of your creation to the current picture
although the text switch to external share via social on the services
is quite small. FX on your device. media or email. main website.
Price Free Price Free Price Free Price Free
Designed for Phone Designed for Phone Designed for Phone Designed for Phone and tablet
Requires Android 2.2 Requires Android 4.0.3 Requires Android 2.2 Requires Android 4.0 77

Futuristic apps special

Photo Sphere Free

The updated Photo Sphere now enables you to create Street View images

hoto Sphere is a brilliant addition to the stock Google camera app that View, adding to Googles library of images and letting people see a chunk of the
lets you take 360-degree panoramic pictures and convert them into earth the way it was when you were there. And all you need is a phone with a
gorgeous 3D bubble worlds. Its an impressive piece of photo-stitching kit, GPS connection, so you can tag your Photo Sphere image when you take it. In
and you can also share the images you take with the rest of the world by this brief tutorial well walk you through how to get started with creating your
uploading them onto Google Maps. Essentially, youre creating your own Street own personal little slices of Google Street View, wherever you nd yourself.

Create a 3D Street View image

1 Make
sure 2 Take
your 3 Share to the
geo-tagging Sphere Once the panorama is
First you need to make sure Now take your Photo Sphere. stitched, head to your
your Photo Sphere includes a Hold the camera steady and Gallery and hit the share
location. Tap the settings line up the dots in a smooth button. Tap Google Maps,
menu, then tap the little movement to get the best and then submit it, and
geo-tag and your phone will results. It may take a couple youre done. Youll be notied
automatically add the info. of attempts to get right. when its live.

Like this? Try these other augmented reality apps

Wikitude Free Sky Map Free Layar Free SpecTrek 1.69/$2.58
Turn on Wikitude, hold up your This powerful app is a wonderful Layar bridges the gap between Make a wander in the real world
phone and the app uses your way to explore the sky above and the digital and physical worlds. If that much more exciting by
camera, location and other below you. Turn on the app and you see some text or a QR code booting up this neat app and
information Google Sky with the chasing some ghosts instead. A
to display a variety of Map shows you the Layar mark, scan it in map mode helps you search for the
points of interest. You constellations of the the app and youll be spectres, and
can choose what it night sky, as well as treated to video and when you get
displays, and nd out the planets, the moon web content designed near to a
more information with and other points of around the product spook you can
a tap. Perfect if youre interest, and lets you youre checking out. reel it in by
somewhere new and explore and learn Its not that common holding up
looking for something about the universe at the moment, but your devices
to do. around you. its growing. camera.


NFC and wireless apps
Trigger NFC Tools WiFiTap 5 top apps for...

Use NFC to automate

your life
Create your own custom
tags for using with your WiFi NFC
NFC phone Connect to Wi-Fi networks
Pick up some NFC tags and
this handy app lets you use NFC Tools is a great free
with ease
them as triggers. Put one app that lets you read the This app lets you take the
on your nightstand and the second information from any NFC Wi-Fi connection data
your NFC-enabled phone touches it tag you might nd, as well as letting from an NFC tag and input
you can set the ringer to vibrate, the you create and save your own. Its it into your device, meaning you can
screen to dim and switch an alarm free and super-easy to use. All you connect without having to ask for
on, for example. Theres loads of need to do is put your NFC-enabled the password and input it manually.
other clever stuff you can do, and Android device near an NFC tag while You can set up your own tag at home
other triggers to set as well, like Wi-Fi the app is as well so
or Bluetooth. A pro version adds even running and it friends can
more triggers and actions. takes over. simply shake
Perfect if you their phone over Spotimote 1.99/$2.58
need to set up it to connect to An app that lets you control a
Windows version of Spotify
some NFC tags your wireless from your smartphone or
for the other network. A good tablet. Perfect for a party.
apps to be found idea, but not
on this list. The always 100%
app works well. successful.
Unied Remote Full
Price Free Price Free Price Free 3.00/$3.99
Designed for Phone and tablet Designed for Phone and tablet Designed for Phone and tablet An impressive
Requires Android Varies with device Requires Android 4.0 and up Requires Android 2.3 and up remote control
application for
loads of PC
programs. Use a Windows
PC as a media centre? This
is the app you need.

Timesheet Tapmynote doorbl

NFC Add-On Aadd-on
practical NFC-powered
for the popular
A great concept for the
future, but unlikely to be
Plex 3.05/$4.99
Connect your
smartphone to
your PC and
Track your time using Evernote app used as yet watch and
NFC tags Tapmynote is an add-on for Doorbl is a clever app that listen to the content from
your home server when
Youll need the Timesheet Evernote that lets you lets you set up an NFC tag youre out and about.
app installed for this to attach notes to NFC tags. for your door. If youre not
work, but its a clever way With a few taps you can set up an in, the person whos calling taps their
of tracking the time youre spending NFC tag so every time you place your device on the tag. Then they can let
on projects. Attach a product to an phone close to it that note will open. you know that theyve been, and Netix Free
NFC tag, then hover your phone over How about a to-do list that pops up leave a number for you to call them Stream a
to start the clock every time you back on. Its a library of
running, and sit down at your brilliant idea, and lm and
TV to your Android
hover again to desk? Or a a wonder that it device. A great way
turn it off. Its shopping list hasnt caught to avoid arguing over the TV.
quick and really that appears on. The app is
smart, and very when you get easy to use, and
precise as well. A into your car. The you can print a
great tool for app is a doddle QR code for PowerAmp 2.49/$3.99
An incredibly
those working to use and looks people without powerful and
from home. pretty great too. NFC devices. easy-to-use
music app
Price Free Price Free Price Free that lets you take control
Designed for Phone Designed for Phone Designed for Phone of all your music collection
Requires Android 2.3.3 and up Requires Android 2.3.3 and up Requires Android 2.2 and up with no fuss. 79

Speech apps head-to-head

There are loads of speech recognition apps on the Google Play store, and a decent one is essential if you want
to get that futuristic feel. Here we compare three of the most popular to see which comes out on top

Iris Skyvi Assistant

Price Free Price Free Price Free
Designed for Phone Designed for Phone Designed for Phone
Requires Android 2.2 and up Requires Android 2.2 and up Requires Android 2.2 and up

How do they look?

A simple, minimalist interface, but A bit unremarkable, the buttons are Easy on the eye and quick to show
theres not much clue as to what laid out quite nicely, and its easy to you what you need to tap to make
you have to tap or swipe to actually know what to do, but theres an things work. A bit odd that theres
try and get the app working. objectionable ad front and centre. actually a picture of a woman there.

WINNER: Assistant The only app to introduce an element of personality to its UI

Once you work out what to do the You need to be a little closer to your Uses Googles own speech
recognition is okay, although the handset than with the other apps, recognition software, and tended
app missed a few words on simple and it needed some things to perform better than the others.
sentences that the others didnt. repeating before it understood. Quick to pick up words and reply.

WINNER: Assistant The best understanding of our speech, and the quickest to reply

Ease of use
All controlled by a few taps and Reasonably easy to use, but theres A Google account sign-in means its
voice. Its unwieldy, and there were no keyboard if you want a quiet already got a lot of info about you.
a few times when the app crashed: word, and it took quite a while to You can type your answers, and its
not great if youre driving. answer some questions. the quickest of the three.

WINNER: Assistant Fast, and taps into Googles existing knowledge about you

Often sends you in conversational Tends to look for local things rather Quick, to the point and usually right.
loops rather than giving answers, than general ones, so is stumped Links you to webpages and maps
and rarely comes up with anything by quite simple questions. Very where necessary and, in spite of a
that looks like the right answer. good for nding things near you. few glitches, is the best on test.

WINNER: Assistant The most intelligent feeling of the three apps in our test

Send a message
Goes a long way around, getting Easy to use and pretty clever, it Not quite as easy to use as Skyvi,
you to speak your text before gives you the chance to cancel the and requires some taps if youve
adding the contact. Its not as easy message before it sends, and will got multiple contacts with the
to do as it should be either. read back replies that you receive. same name. Still better than Iris.

WINNER: Skyvi Fast and simple to do, and works exactly as you would expect it to

Assistant is hands down the best of the speech recognition apps. Its quick, simple to use and links in with a variety of
And the winner is... other services to make sure youre always getting the best information. With a better message sending provision itd be
ASSISTANT an essential download, but even now its impressive.


Intelligence and learning apps
A new standard in intelligence The ultimate automation app
A clever and supremely easy-to-use app that Theres something ridiculously pleasing about
looks gorgeous as well. LIFTTT lets you set a planning your life through Tasker. The app lets
variety of recipes that trigger when you go to a you set a variety of parameters, changing the
certain place. You can essentially use the app to join state of your phone depending on the time, where you
together a variety of apps, so you dont need to remember are, battery life and a huge number of other settings. If you
to mute your phone at work, for example. It goes a lot want to control and automate your Android device down to a
deeper than that though, and you can set routines to granular level, then this is the perfect app, letting you tinker
basically automate a huge chunk of your digital life. to your hearts content. Youll wonder how you ever did without it.

If you want to control

and automate your
Android device, then
LIFTTT is a powerful automation tool
this is the perfect app
Price Free Price 2.99/$2.99
Designed for Phone and tablet Designed for Phone and tablet
Requires Android 4.0 and up Requires Android Varies with device
Tasker is packed with options

Wolfram Automagic Gravity Locale

Alpha Automation
A complex but potentially
Screen Pro This positioning tool
automates tasks based on
The smarter side of the An app that reacts to how your location
search world powerful app you are holding it Locale uses your position
A remarkable reference app This neat tasking app lets An very clever, simple-to- to change a variety of
that teaches and learns in you create automated use app that recognises parameters on your phone.
equal measure. Its actions on your Android the position your phone is It can change your wallpaper, turn on
essentially a huge repository of device with a series of ow charts. in using the accelerometer, and your Wi-Fi and silence your ringer
knowledge, but presented in a Its not as simple to use as some turns it off accordingly. That means when you get near work, for example.
conversational way. Have a problem similar apps, though. In one way no more pocket dialling and no more More than that though its a
you need solving? Ask the app and thats good, because it means youre battery-sapping when youve put constantly expanding app, with new
theres a pretty good chance its going going to be able to take ner control your phone down. You can tweak the add-ons being built by the
to come up with an answer. of the tasks youre setting, but it also angles to suit how you carry your community on a pretty regular basis.
Responsive and means that if phone too, and the Its expensive, but
quick, you can use youre less app is designed so considering how
the app to generate condent with it doesnt use up little battery it
reports on a vast code and HTML, your battery by uses and how
number of different youll be better checking the angle useful it is, youre
topics. Its like looking elsewhere constantly. Its so not going to
having a Star Trek to begin your simple you wonder begrudge the
computer in automated why it hasnt been premium price tag
your pocket. adventures. done before. too much.
Price 1.86/$2.99 Price 2.40/$3.90 Price 1.10/$1.77 Price 7.99/$9.99
Designed for Phone and tablet Designed for Phone and tablet Designed for Phone Designed for Phone
Requires Android 2.3 and up Requires Android 2.2 and up Requires Android 2.2 and up Requires Android Varies with device 81
Which one of these alarm clock apps
should you use to help wake up?

One of the best things about the range of

alarm clock apps available on the Google
Play store is just how customisable they
are. Weve put two of the best offerings
specification head-to-head to specification
Price Free nd out which Price Free
Designed for: Phone and tablet one you Designed for: Phone and tablet
Requires Android: 2.2 Requires Android: 4.0.3
should download
Neon Alarm Clock Timely
Use the interactive dial to Although you can choose to
quickly set the time of your manually set an alarm within
alarm. Theres also a series
of predetermined alarms for
SETTING AN Timely, theres also an easy-
to-use interactive dial that
you to choose from for ALARM enables you to quickly set
quick access. an alarm.

From sounds to animations, Customise options are few

Neon contains a plethora of and far between in Timely
features for you to use to
personalise each alarm.
CUSTOMISE the key to this app is
simplicity but what is on
Nothing unique, but all the OPTIONS offer can help differentiate the
bases are covered. look and sound of any alarm.

The timer function in Neon is Timers play a big part in the

fairly basic and lacks the Timely app, which are easy to
additional customisation create and can be added to
features that can be applied to TIMERS your phones home screen. It
alarms. Neon is focussed on is a more fully featured time
the morning alarm. app than Neon.

Although you have the You get both the stock range
standard selection of alarms of ringtones, as well as any
available, the low volume ringtones downloaded
levels might not suit deep RINGTONES through other apps or stored
sleepers. MP3s can be used in on an SD card. Its a
the paid version of the app. comprehensive approach.

If you use the same alarm There are some fantastic

continuously, make sure to gestures to explore in Timely.
use the label feature that
saves it within the app. It
ADDITIONAL It is also a beautifully
designed app that ranks
enables you to have alarms FEATURES among the very best looking
for different purposes. on the platform.

And the Although Neon Alarm Clock includes some great features, its the
winner is... additional features available in Timely that make it the best app to
wake you up. Having the added benet of the timer function means its
TIMELY an app of multiple functions that users should denitely download.

from all good
newsagents &

Dual boot Linux on any device 16 pages of Raspberry Pi


Print edition available at
Digital edition available at
Available on the following platforms
Playmarkers Scan these QR codes for direct
links to the Google Play Store
Final Fantasy
IV: The After

Assassins Creed Pirates

Assassins Creed takes the battle to the sea
It can be quite worrying
when companies attempt
to port big console brands
to Android devices, so we met
Assassins Creed Pirates with some
reservation at rst. The game is a
spin-off on the recent console hit
Assassins Creed Black Flag, seeing
you play as Alonzo Batilla, a young
pirate aiming to control the seven
seas. To do so he must ght in
various naval battles and take over
opposition ships.
After the lengthy tutorial, youre
thrown in the deep end of the game
and are required almost instantly to
ght off an enemy pirate attack and
its from there where you start to
notice a few key issues. Although it
may use the Assassins Creed name,
thats all that the console games and
this instalment have in common.
Follow your compass to different missions and checkpoints
Instead of controlling a single
character much of the gameplay What we did like, however, was the AC Pirate on is with its graphics.
sees you tapping away on your epic boat battles you can get Ubisoft has done tremendous work
screen to get to different areas on a involved with. These battles see you here to bring some superb animation
map which trigger different missions. needing to strategically blast away onboard, but dont expect your older
Some missions see you having to certain areas of enemy ships to Android devices to run it, as this is
race against other ships, while make them sink, without taking one meaty game.
others may see you needing to much damage to your own vessel.
scavenge some loot. Theres no real Thankfully these battles come along
Price 2.99/$4.99
Designed for Tablet
difculty in completing many of the fairly often and break up what is a Requires Android 3.2
missions so you may blow through rather bland game most of the time.
the game at a fairly rapid pace. Line up cannons to cause the most damage The other area which we cant fault

what weve Final

been playing Fantasy IV:
Football Manager
2014 6.99/$9.99 The After
Any football fanatic will
immediately love FMH 2014. The new
version has a redesigned training and
tactical interference for you to explore
and tinker with. Another successful JRPG
port on Android Each character has a different story to play through

Train the Brain: Square Enix has been storytelling. Where The After Years FF game, youll easily plough many
Memory gradually porting over the stands out from the rest is that there hours into it and the 3D redesign of
0.69/$0.99 popular Final Fantasy series are multiple storylines for players to the game is fantastic.
The daily challenges in Train the Brain will
help improve your memory. For those to Android devices with great get to grips with. The story changes
wanting to put their brain through its success. FF IV: The After Years so much that it might be a little
Price 10.99/$15.99
paces, this is a great download to have.
Designed for Phone and tablet
follows on closely from the original FF daunting for people new to FF, but Requires Android 2.3
IV, offering users some classic RPG seasoned players will love the
Recommend a game moments with a great bit of changes. As youd expect from any

84 twitter @lgrobot
The Rivers of
Sonic Dash

The Rivers of Alice

A mesmeric adventure through an alternate universe
The Rivers of Alice is
without doubt one of the
most beautiful and well Nakama
designed games weve Free
encountered on the Google Play With a simple combination of
button bashing and 8-bit graphics,
store, and if you mix that in with
Nakama is a fantastic little platformer
the superb puzzle gameplay, that is the perfect pick-up-and-play title.
youre onto one of the most
rewarding game experiences for a
while. The game sees you play as
Alice, a girl lost in an alternate
world and you must guide her
Puzzles get harder as you progress
through it solving problems as you
go. Theres no controls as such progress. Although the selection of all fronts that both phone and
and instead you guide Alice puzzles isnt as vast as certain other tablet users should get playing
through taps on the screen to titles, its enough to keep things right away.
move from panel to panel; certain interesting for the duration of the
objects on each panel are game. With the addition of Alices
Price 3.80/$6.06 Micro Miners
Designed for Phone and tablet 0.57/$0.99
interactive. These objects often journey being the main story, The Requires Android 2.2 Micro Miners is a devishly
contain puzzles for you to solve Rivers of Alice is a great story and difcult puzzle game that requires quick
and gradually get harder as you puzzle combination that delivers on reexes. The screen is constantly moving
and you need to expertly avoid obstacles.

Sonic Dash Ridiculous Fishing Double Dragon Trilogy

Classic Sonic with a modern twist As extreme as shing could get 2.69/$2.99
The classic beat-em-up Double
Weve seen numerous Sonic ports appear on the Its important Dragon trilogy has nally been
Play store over the past couple of years, with the to cast away ported to Android. Although its great for
re-living some classic gaming moments,
results producing some stellar titles. Instead of preconceived its highly buggy and the game seems to
the classic Sonic action many of us are accustomed to, ideas of shing games stutter a lot on older devices.
Dash is instead an endless runner game, very much in the before playing
same vein as the likes of Temple Run. Each level you play Ridiculous Fishing,
sees you collect stars and coins which can be used for because as its name Farming Simulator 14
power-ups to help you get past tricky parts in certain suggests, its all a bit 2.20/$2.99
levels. Due to the speed over the top. Instead of From harvesting crops to taking
of the game, chances casting with your care of cattle, theres a
surprising amount of detail in Farming
are youll be needing to standards rods, Simulator 2014. The main aim is to build
use different power-ups Ridiculous Fishing sees and maintain your farm from scratch, but
fairly often, and without you shing with it soon starts to feel a bit repetitive.
the necessary stars chainsaws, toasters
youll need to buy in-app and other random
purchases. Where Sonic items that you acquire. Chicken Boy Free
Dash does play homage Although in essence Avoid the smaller sh to reach the Although Chicken Boy does
to previous instalments you still need to catch ocean oor borrow from other platformers,
its cute and colourful design
of the franchise is with sh to progress, the makes it a title worth checking. Theres
its epic boss battles at main objective is to avoid many of the smaller sh and lots of levels to get through and the
the end of each level, navigate your bait to the ocean oor where the bigger sh range of superhero powers that Chicken
Boy has will give you a few giggles.
but it still isnt the await you. Its a simple enough concept, but the
quality Sonic game numerous stages you come across are varied enough to
weve become keep it interesting. Latter levels also become frustrating
accustomed too. and theres little room for error if youre trying to get the Dr Who: Legacy
Collect stars and rings to get points big scores. If you mix together a shing game with some Free
slapstick humour, Instead of ghting with Daleks
Price Free Price 1.99/$2.99 Ridiculous Fishing
and Cybermen, Dr Who Legacy is a fairly
Designed for Tablet Designed for Phone and tablet mundane colour matching game, which
Requires Android 2.3.2 Requires Android 2.3 is what youd end sees you travel through time and space.
up with.
Check our website for
even more game reviews 85

Samsung Galaxy
Ace 3 The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
is a low-cost 4G handset that
bears clear Samsung hallmarks

hile Samsungs high-end handsets get a
lot of attention, the company has a much
broader range. The Galaxy Ace 3 is now
on its third incarnation, and at 210 it sits neatly in
the budget to mid-range category.
This is a 4G handset with a distinctive Samsung
look and some distinctively Samsung features. It
has to be said right at the outset though, that, like
all handsets hovering around this price range, it
sits in the shadow of the Motorola Moto G. Theres
good news in that it betters Motorolas offering in
some respects, so all is not lost.
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 has the distinctive
Samsung physical Home button beneath its
screen, and the very recognisably Samsung shiny
4G plastic chassis too. That chassis means it suffers
The 4G support is a
pleasant surprise in such a from the same problem other Samsung phones do
low-cost handset. Whether
of lacking grippiness.
4G tariffs are suited to
entry-level users is another This is a neat little handset with a four-inch
matter, however screen. The screen size isnt really a problem
plenty of people want to prioritise a handset they
can pop into a pocket and whose screen they can
reach across one-handed over a larger phone with
a bigger screen.
Small enough But the resolution is lower than were now used
With a four-inch screen the
to at 480 x 800 pixels. Text can lack clarity and the
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 is
small enough for little ner detail isnt great. While that might not be a
hands to cope with problem for some people, its difcult to smile
about it when you consider the Moto G, which is

Near Field
It isnt often you see near eld
Shiny communications in a low-cost
phone like this
The Ace 3 sports
Samsungs usual glossy
plastic. It feels more at
home on an entry-level
device than a agship one,
but its still not great

good 4G
for... You get fast web and data speeds at an
affordable price

Samsung Galaxy
The key plus point is Moto G does not have. The same goes for the
presence of the micro SD slot. You can use a micro
Ace 3
its 4G capability this
isnt something you
SD card to boost the 5GB of available memory out
of the 8GB thats installed. These are not
inconsiderable benets.
Battery life is reasonable, though depending on
Price 210
More information
see very often at such your usage pattern you may well need to recharge
daily. Certainly if you are a keen internet user or like

a low SIM-free price some gaming during the day you might do well to
budget for a mid-day power boost. If youre buying
on a pay as you go deal and are more limited in your
data usage you should be able to get through the
Battery life
considerably less expensive (150), has a 1,280 x day more comfortably. The battery should
last a day on fairly light
720 pixel, slightly larger 4.5-inch screen. The key plus point of the Samsung Galaxy Ace 3 use, but if you are a
Samsung fans will be pleased that the Galaxy is its 4G capability this isnt something you see big gamer then you
may need an
Ace 3 has some of the special gesture and very often at such a low SIM-free price. But in the afternoon top-up
motion-based features that make its handsets so end every handset at this kind of price is going to
distinctive. There is Smart Stay that keeps the be pitted against the Moto G for a while to come.
screen on while you are looking at it, and Smart Unless you specically need the features the Ace 3 technical specs
Alert which gives you a little vibrating alert to has that the G doesnt, then we would still Operating system...............Android 4.2
missed calls and messages when you pick the recommend that device ahead of this one. Processor...................................1GHz dual-core Cortex-A9
handset up as well as the ability to mute calls by Memory.......................................1GB RAM, 8GB storage
turning the handset over. Dimensions..............................121.2 x 62.7 x 9.79mm
Theres a dual-core processor keeping the Weight ..........................................119.5g
Galaxy Ace 3 running and as long as you dont force Display size...............................Four-inch
things too much it should be ne. Certainly for Display resolution...............800 x 480 pixels
everyday stuff like web browsing and all but the Expansion slot.......................micro SD
upper end of game playing you should be okay,
though average is denitely the best way to
describe performance.
Samsung includes its usual gamut of add-on Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
apps too, including its S Voice, S Translator, S Samsung Motorola
Planner, ChatON, Game Hub, Music Hub, Readers Galaxy Moto G
Ace 2
Hub and its own Samsung App store too. Theres
issue 021 issue 033
also the standard Samsung easy mode a less
complicated home screen arrangement that is
ideal for users who dont want, or want to build up
better than worse than
to, the full Samsung user interface.
This is a 4G handset, and NFC is also here, giving
you a degree of future-proong that is welcome in
Not a speed demon, but smooth
an entry-level handset and two features that the
enough for most basic functions
Compact, plastic and therefore
distinctly Samsung
4G and NFC plus lots of Samsung apps
and extras make a good package
Smart Stay Value for money
Many of Samsungs quirky
software features are
Good value if you really need 4G in
onboard including Smart your new device
Stay, which keeps the Buttons
screen on when you are
looking at it
Samsungs commitment
to hardware buttons is
still here, with the menu
and back buttons
Youll find better value phones,
positioned as always the
opposite way round to
most other phones
but the Samsung Galaxy Ace
3 offers a good package for
One-handed use Touch communications Memory expansion
an entry-level phone
The four-inch screen makes for easy NFC is here, giving the phone a certain level of You can add a micro SD card to augment the
one-handed use future proong 5GB of available onboard storage 87

Asus Transformer
Pad TF701T
Top heavy
Asus brings the Transformer
line up to date, but the idea is
beginning to look a little tired

The screen and keyboard

he rst time we saw the Asus Transformer
sections are fairly evenly
weighted, so if you try to use Pad idea we were blown away. How clever, to
the touchscreen the whole produce a high-end tablet and a keyboard into
thing can topple over
which it slots to make a very useful laptop device.
How much cleverer to build a second battery into
the keyboard section and to support USB
peripherals like keyboard, mouse, stick and hard
drive. What a stunner.
Time marches on, and since that very rst
Transformer Pad, Asus has updated and upgraded.
Now the latest model in the series, the Asus
Transformer Pad TF701T has appeared. It has
retained many of the features of earlier models,
including some of the downsides, and while it is a
very clever and very desirable piece of kit, it does
feel a bit dated and we think Asus should have
addressed a couple of fundamental issues that
have arisen.
Essentially, we have two main problems with the
Asus Transformer Pad TF701T. One is about

Splendid screen
The super high-res screen
can be tweaked with Asus
Splendid app to alter the
colour hue

Twin set good Ofce work

Screen and keyboard clip
together to make a
laptop-style device
for... Polaris Ofce is included for real productivity
on the work front

Asus Transformer
Pad TF701T
Price 460
More information

Battery life
USB 3.0 There are two
Power packed A USB slot on the batteries
As well as a battery in the tablet keyboard section available, so
section theres one in the keyboard caters for storage, automatically
too for extra long life mouse and keyboard this makes it
market leading

The Transformer concept remains a great technical specs

Operating system...............Android 4.2
one, and Asus has done well to bring the Processor...................................1.9GHz quad-core
Memory.......................................2GB RAM, 32GB storage
Transformer Pad TF701T bang up to date Dimensions..............................263 x 180.8 x 8.9mm (tablet)
263 x 180.8 x 7mm (dock)
Weight ..........................................585g (tablet) 570g (dock)
usability. The keyboard section and screen are saturation even going down to black and white if Display size...............................10.1-inch
fairly evenly weighted, so that if you tap the you want to so you can get things looking just Display resolution...............2,560 x 1,600
touchscreen when youre in laptop mode, the how you want. Expansion slot.......................micro SD on tablet,
whole thing can topple backwards. What Asus Theres 32GB of built-in storage, 5GB of Asus USB 3.0 on dock
could do about this we arent entirely sure. The Webstorage, a micro SD card slot on the tablet
screen section has to contain a lot of tech because section, SD card and USB 3.0 on the keyboard.
Asus Transformer Pad
it has to function as a standalone tablet. That latter can be used for storage options or for
To prevent toppling, the keyboard section would mouse or keyboard. It coped perfectly well with a Gemini Sony Xperia
Devices Tablet Z
have to be even heavier than its 570g. Added to the hub with three slots occupied during our tests. JoyTab 9.7
585g tablet you are looking at 1.1kg of weight The 1.9GHz Tegra4 processor is amazingly issue 017 issue 027

which is a lot for anything with a 10.1-inch screen. capable, and 2GB of RAM is in support. Battery life better than worse than
More weight would not necessarily be well is excellent with up to four hours from the keyboard
received, so weight loss from the tablet would be section and 13 from the tablet. The proprietary
required. The keyboard is great, though, with charge cable annoys, though. Performance
well-sized keys that are light to touch, and theres a While the Asus Transformer Pad TF701T is Blistering performance, handles
good array of Android-specic buttons to help you obviously no Windows laptop or MacBook, Asus everything you throw at it
work efciently. has tried to give it a strong range of onboard apps.
Our other problem is price. At a whopping 460, So theres a tray of apps you can call up to sit on Design
the Asus Transformer Pad TF701T costs more than top of what you are doing, SuperNote for drawn and Solid but stocky when you take the
many laptops. Yet it isnt a laptop. Many people will typed jottings (it also supports handwriting dock into consideration
nd it hard to justify the expense of something that recognition) and Polaris Ofce for much more
could be matched, though nowhere near as serious document creation.
Theres plenty going on to keep you
elegantly, with a good all-round Android tablet and The Transformer concept remains a great one,
busy, but nothing particularly innovative
a separate keyboard. and Asus has done well to bring the Transformer
Still, there is a great deal here to like. Theres a Pad TF701T hardware up to date. But we would like Value for money
very solid build for both keyboard and screen. The the next version to be slimmer, lighter, better Theres no doubting that you get a lot
screens 2,560 x 1,600 pixels deliver superb clarity weighted and with some new ideas to support for your money, but do you need it?
and Acer includes the Splendid app weve seen in existing ones. At present, its looking dated but has
recent devices, which lets you alter colour plenty of potential to recapture former glories.
A good
device, but we want
Long life Good viewing Masses of storage
more innovation next time
Two batteries provide long life that you wont The high-resolution screen is superb work You can even use external hard drives thanks
be able to match and play is perfectly crisp to the docks USB 3.0 support 89

Archos 45
Platinum Archos builds dual-SIM support
into the heart of its current
smartphone series

rchos might once have been best known
for its music players, but the company is
busy reinventing itself as a maker of tablets
and smartphones. The Platinum range currently
includes three handsets, all of them dual-SIM and
with quad-core processors. If money is tight or you
dont particularly need a quad-core processor, then
look to the Titanium range, whose handsets are
also dual-SIM, but which have dual-core engines.
The Asus 45 Platinum has a 4.5-inch screen. This
sounds pretty healthy by modern standards, but
take a look beneath that headline and things are
not necessarily all that wonderful. The resolution,
for example, is just 960 x 540 pixels. The screen is
quite reective too, and theres a denite lack of
zip to its touch responsiveness. Sometimes we felt
it was holding us back.
Thats a bit of a problem for us, as we tend to
think of the screen as one of the most important
aspects of a handset. Theres also an issue with
memory. The 4GB of built-in storage is not all
available to you. In fact, youve got about 2.6GB to
Viewability install apps to. Dont expect to have many
The screen measures a leading-edge games on the go at once.
healthy 4.5 inches, but its
resolution is low at just You can at least augment the built-in storage
960 x 540 with a micro SD card, and the slot, which is under
the backplate, can be reached without removing
the battery. So you can easily side-load audio or
video if thats what you like to do.
That dual-SIM support will be a draw for some
people and if you fancy the phone but dont have
two SIMs you only need to use one slot youll just

Search button
Theres a dedicated search
button beneath the screen
that calls up Google Now

Theres an FM radio
and support for
lossless audio les
among the devices
multimedia goodness

good Budget buyers

for... This is a relatively low-cost handset, one for
the bargain hunters

Archos 45
This shows Archos can do originality and be Platinum
quirky, but sadly theres not enough of this
kind of thing on offer information
Price 169.99
get a no signal symbol in the notications area for and Google Now opens up. This shows Archos can More information
the SIM-less slot. Bear in mind, if you do go for this do originality and be quirky, but sadly theres not
phone, that only one of the SIM slots supports 3G. enough of this kind of thing on offer.
The other is 2G. It is disappointing that the Archos 45 Platinum
Given Archoss history of selling portable music runs on Android 4.1 when we are now at 4.4 KitKat. Battery life
players you might expect some sophisticated That quad-core processor is a way off the leading
You may need
capabilities in the multimedia department. But edge, being a Snapdragon 200 running at 1.2GHz. a mid-
youd be wrong to do so. Theres an FM radio and Its fast alright, but not blisteringly so. afternoon
Archos provides a pair of multimedia apps called And theres been a bit of fudging with the battery battery boost
to keep the 45
Archos Music and Archos Video. But theyre pretty too, which is just 1600mAh. Corners do have to be up and running
mundane, to be honest. The music player does cut to reach the kind of price Archos has achieved
have an equalizer, and its nice to see support for here, but cutting battery capacity is going to be technical specs
the lossless OGG Vorbis format, but theres nothing problematic for some, including those who like to Operating system...............Android 4.1
really standout about either app. use their handset for music playing. Many users will Processor...................................1.2GHz quad-core
If you are feeling a little nonplussed by the need to budget for an afternoon shot of power. Memory.......................................1GB RAM, 4GB storage
Archos 45 Platinum, the build may cement that In the end this is a frustrating handset. We do Dimensions..............................71.8 x 9.2 x 142.5mm
feeling. Its a fairly blocky design, and rather taller understand that Archos will have had to think Weight ..........................................150g
than it needs to be for the screen size, with a big carefully about how to meet its price. And we like Display size...............................4.5-inch
bezel top and bottom. Archos has been clever in the dual-SIM approach. But the screen and battery Display resolution...............960 x 540 pixels
putting a Search button beside the more standard life are both key components in any phone, and Expansion slot.......................micro SD
three touch buttons beneath the screen. Tap this both are disappointing.

Four cores Two sims Archos 45 Platinum

The quad-core processor is at the There are two SIM slots under the
lower end of the range from backplate. One supports 3G for ZTE Blade Motorola
Qualcomm but it is good enough to voice and data capabilities, while the lll Moto G
meet budget level expectations other supports only 2G for voice
issue 032 issue 033

better than worse than

Quad-core but at the lower end of the
performance scale

Blocky and a bit oversized for the
screen, but nice and original in places

Fairly basic feature set on show doesnt
inspire confidence

Value for money

You can do better on a tight budget if
you have a look around

around for a better
budget buy or just head for
Music Travellers Simplicity the Moto G aisle
Micro SD support and an equalizer are handy Support for two SIMs will appeal to frequent Android is not overpowered by added apps or
for music fans travellers scared of roaming charges a complex skin 91

Acer Liquid
S1 Duo Acer comes up with a smashing
low-cost phablet that has some
very neat features

e cant pretend to like the term phablet
but it does do a fairly good job of
describing a device that is too large to be
Two SIMs
There are two SIM slots strictly speaking called a phone and too small to
under the backplate be strictly speaking called a tablet. Screen sizes
below seven inches but over 5.5 inches fall into this
category and, for want of a better descriptive word,
were sticking with it.
A lot of phablets are expensive and for the most
part you are looking at more than 500. While
Samsungs Galaxy Mega is under 300 theres
nothing in the phablet category that can match the
220 of the Acer Liquid S1 Duo, which has the
added advantage of two micro SIM card slots.
Considering its relatively low price there is an
awful lot going on here. We did nd a bit of ex in
the chassis, but the overall design is attractive and
Big screen the 5.7-inch screen nestles quite well without too
The screen measures 5.7
inches, making it large much bezel adding to the overall device size. Even
enough for video viewing so, the Acer Liquid S1 Duo is large for holding to the
and rewarding hours of ear to take a call and slipping into a pocket.
web browsing
The screen itself is not the highest resolution,
but its 1,280 x 720 pixels are good enough for the
full range of activities from watching video to web
browsing. More expensive phablets like the Galaxy
Note 3 have since moved up to full 1080p HD.
One big disappointment is that theres only 5GB
of accessible internal storage from the 8GB thats
installed, but that is partly assuaged by the fact
that there is a micro SD card slot that you can use
to add more storage if you need it.
The quad-core processor is good enough too. It
Pop-up apps is not a top of the range model, but it handled what
Long press the multitasking
button for access to a we threw at it well, and really, considering the price
range of pop-up apps of the Liquid S1 Duo it is perfectly acceptable.
Acer adds a fair range of apps to Android 4.2,
and many of these will please you if you want to
use the Liquid S1 Duo for work. Theres a print
utility for using wireless printers, and support for
wireless displays too.
Theres also Polaris Ofce. Add in that dual-SIM
capability, which means you can have both work
and personal SIMs in the same device, and the
Acer Liquid S1 Duo might make a very good
business phablet. There are also some other

good Phablet rst steps

for... The price is attractive, especially compared to
other phablets on the market

Acer Liquid
S1 Duo
Price 220
More information

Quad-core Battery life

The quad-core processor Slightly
seemed to handle our underpowered
requirements nicely battery at a time
when battery
expectations on
phablets are high

technical specs
Operating system...............Android 4.2
Writing Processor...................................1.5GHz quad-core
words Memory.......................................1GB RAM, 8GB storage
Polaris Ofce is on board Dimensions..............................83 x 9.6 x 163mm
so you can write all those Weight ..........................................195g
important documents Display size...............................5.7-inch
Display resolution...............1,280 x 720 pixels
Expansion slot.......................micro SD

Acer Liquid S1 Duo

Samsung Samsung
Galaxy Galaxy
Mega Note 3
issue 028 issue 031

better than worse than

Theres nothing in the phablet category that Performance

Responsive and speedy. Handles most
can match the 220 of the Acer Liquid S1 Duo, common tasks with ease

which has the advantage of two SIMs Design

Slightly flimsy but visually attractive.
Very large, obviously
utilities including a notes app called LiveScreen, This is a really useful added bonus feature, and
which lets you annotate screen grabs or photos, theres another that might not seem so useful at Features
Evernote, Facebook and a le manager. Its quite a rst thought. The two cameras, front and back, can Some good ideas to make full use of
nice bundle if were honest. take photos when you say cheese. This is probably the big screen
Acer has taken a cue from those other handset most useful when the front camera is in action and
makers who let you run pop-up apps that sit on youre taking a group shot that includes yourself as
Value for money
top of whatever app you are running at the time. you can stand back from the camera to better
A very affordable phablet. Good options
for those on a budget
You can long press the multitasking button to call frame a photo. An added bonus on that front is that
up a menu that offers a selection of these the front camera has a wider angle lens than usual,
including a calculator, a couple of notes apps,
timer, web browser, Google Maps and even a
camera applet making it easy to take a quick photo
so that when used in wide screen mode in
particular you can cram more into a shot.
If you have wanted to dip your toe in the phablet
A good
value phablet for
without leaving the application you are in. This waters before now, but have found the options those that want to test big
long press action also pops up an additional eight available just that bit too rich, the compromises
app shortcuts so you can have all your favourites the Acer S1 has made to reach its 200 price point screen devices without
readily accessible. are small enough that it becomes worth a look. saddling themselves with
Multitasking Video viewing Work and play expensive contracts
Pop-up apps are useful and aid productivity on The big screen works well for video, especially Two SIM slots give you support for both work
this large screened handset with the HD resolution and play modes 93

Our round-up of the best Android extras

Supertooth Disco 3
Price 69.99/$99.99
More information

The Disco 3 is a small and portable Bluetooth speaker

available in multiple colour options ranging from a bright
yellow to the more conservative grey we were testing.
Its one of the those products that just works. Theres
minimal setup time, produces good and loud audio and
has excellent battery life in standby mode, making it
ideal for the more casual user. Heavier use, especially
at louder volumes, does strain the battery more.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus

Price 24.99/$24.95
More information

If youre trying to do creative things with your tablet then the Bamboo stylus is
a real benet. Whether for artistic endeavours or for more productive tasks like
annotating PDF documents and the like, it comes in very handy. The pudgy,
soft-tipped ending is not for the most delicate details in your artwork but is
highly responsive and very comfortable to use. It doesnt have any of the
smartness of the S Pen seen on Samsungs Note devices, but it is beautifully
designed and something you will want to use.


Groovez headphones Minx Go

Price 59.95/$TBA Price 99.95/$149
More information More information
Despite the rather plastic feel of the Groovez The Minx Go is an impressive speaker
headphones, they feel rigid and well built. Theyre also system. Compact and very unassuming
comfortable to wear, thanks to the cushioned pads and it has a style that would suit any home,
lightweight frame. The frame also includes a range of and it packs a surprising punch. It
playback controls, as well as a micro USB charging connects easily to your devices over
port. Youll be using the micro USB port a lot with the Bluetooth and delivers very good sound
Groovez, as the eight hours music playback that is quality at good volume. It is powered by
described on the box is a bit far fetched while we were either mains or the built-in battery that
using them. Music quality is superb, however, and charges in only a couple of hours and
having options to connect to your phone via Bluetooth lasts for a good few days of heavy use.
or 3.5mm audio jack offers users multiple options to
enjoy their music at all times.


Misfit Shine EDITORS

Activity Tracker headphones
Price 99.95/$119.95 Price 79.95/$129.95
More information More information
Wearable tech is on the rise, and it is in the tness sector where it The MA750 headphones from RHA are a high-quality mid-range set. They come with no
is moving into the mainstream rst. The Mist Shine is a tiny, less than ten different-sized and shaped tips for a perfect t in your ear (although
coin-sized device that comes with a wrist strap, although you can ironically they are rather difcult to t onto the headset itself), and use an over-ear
keep it in your pocket or wear it round your neck if you prefer. It design which helps reduce some of the weight of the heavier-than-average cord. Sound
tracks your motion, including while youre in bed to determine the quality is excellent, with good dynamic range, and though there are no extras such as a
quality of sleep, and syncs the data to the Shine app on your phone. remote or accompanying app we never felt like we were missing out. 95

Wire-free fun for your Android devices
BeeWi Scara Bee
Price 84.84/$109.99
More information

The Scara Bee is a remote-controlled buggy for your

smartphone. Install the app, connect via Wi-Fi and youre
able to drive it as far as 30 metres away. Theres a small VGA
camera attached to the front which streams live back to
your phones screen. Its fun for a short while, but a few
connection issues made it occasionally frustrating to use.

Minix Neo A1+ Freedom

Price 22.95/$30.72
More information

The Neo A1+ is described as a wireless gaming mouse. It houses a full

Bluetooth keyboard
Price 39.95/$TBA
Qwerty keyboard plus mouse buttons activated via the IR port on top and More information
supplied adapter for a desktop machine. It is designed primarily to work with
This version of the Freedom Bluetooth keyboard has backlit keys and comes
one of Minixs Android media devices, and also has a built-in gyroscope
with its own compact stand and water resistant case. It runs off its own
which can detect motion, giving you an element of Wii-style control. We had
internal battery, recharged via the micro USB port. The keyboard is quite small
issues with the ergonomics of the keyboard it wasnt the most comfortable
and so is a tad cramped, although we were able to type at decent speeds,
product to hold and we struggled to stretch our thumbs to hit the most
and far faster than using an onscreen keyboard.
central of the keys.



Sync by 50 Hepburn
Price 169.95/$229.95 Price 149.99/$TBA
More information More information
Although you may not be familiar with 50 Cents music, his new SMS Audio range This DAB radio/Bluetooth speaker system is as beautiful and
has enjoyed rave reviews. The Sync by 50 is a premium-feeling wireless speaker 50s-styled as its name implies. With its large front speaker,
that is small enough to be portable, but big enough to deliver big sound on a chrome effect buttons (theyre actually only plastic) and full-on
regular basis. Connecting to the speaker via Bluetooth is easy enough to do, with attention to every retro detail wed be inclined to recommend it on
the fascia of the speaker including a selection of standard music controls to use. looks alone. Thankfully its also pretty good. Predominantly a DAB
Mainly due to the dual 50mm drivers built in to the Sync, music is surprisingly radio, it isnt a full replacement for a dedicated speaker system for
clear. It isnt as loud as similarly priced speakers, but both the clarity and overall audiophiles, but the ability to stream your own choice of music
quality is second to none and should please both casual and audiophiles alike. over Bluetooth adds real value. 97
The tastiest bits of Android
4.4 that Google forgot to tell
you about

From Darren Abbott
Used Samsung Galaxy Note 3 EVERYWHERE!
From cars to TVs to laptops

Hot Shots Your amazing Android snaps

Taken a great shot with your Android
phone or camera? Send it to us at:
and more. How Android will
soon be powering every
device you own

From Chris Everall From Mike & Valeria Finch

Used Samsung Galaxy S III Used Samsung Galaxy S III
OF 2014
The best Android gear
heading your way over the
next few months


From Zilll Niazi
Used Samsung Galaxy Note 2 The hottest new Android
phones and tablets tested
in full

Issue 35
goes on sale:
20 Feb

by Philippe Starck,
Parrot Zik are the
worlds most advanced
wireless headphones

+ Wirelessly stream music via Bluetooth from smartphones and tablet + Active noise cancellation
only hear your music, not background noise + Companion App to customise and optimise audio
settings + On-ear controls no need to reach for your phone or tablet + Automatically pause and
restart music when taken off/put back on + Carry case and spare battery options also available
+ Available now in four gorgeous colours

Buy now from top retailers including