Amazon Appstore Free App of the Day – Paper Glider (7/10/11)

Although the ratings weren’t all that great I did give it a try this morning.  It is really just a game where you glide a paper plane past various backgrounds.  It does have some cool power ups and the graphics are nice, but I got bored of it after a few minutes.  Definitely worth a try for the low low cost of FREE – But remember, it is only free today  7/10/11.
From Amazon:

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Amazon App Store Free App 7/9/11 – Days Left Widget Pro

Have a big event planned and constantly end up counting days on your calendar?  Fortunately for a robot, it’s a simple calculation, but unfortunately for a human things just don’t calculate that quick.  Fortunately there is the “Days Left Widget Pro”, which you can get for free – today only – on the Amazon App Store.

Basically the app is a widget that allows you to set a date, of anything you want to remember, and have a countdown for that event anywhere on your phone’s screen.  Seems kinda handy and you could use it for anything from a birthday, anniversary, vacation, oil change or whatever else you have going on. Whatever the reason you can’t go wrong with it for free, but remember that it’s only free today!


Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Age of Zombies – FREE Amazon App of the Day 7/8/11

Today’s free app of the day from Amazon is a great one.  Age of Zombies is a zombie shooter where you are thrown back in time to fight zombies.  Not just regular human type zombies, but caveman zombies and dinosaur zombies.  Because contrary to popular belief cavemen and dinosaurs did coexist (completely made up lie).

Here’s the official trailer for the game from our friends at Halfbrick:

To download the app for free (today only 7/8/11)  go here and install Amazon App Store, or follow the QR links below:

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Wireless Tethering – “Why Root?” Part 1

As discussed in the article “Root – The "What?” “Why?” “How?” Article", the first mentioned reason why you would want to root your phone is to be able to share the phone’s internet plan with your computer(s).  Computers love internet access. They almost need it anymore, with the increased popularity of apps like Google Docs, and other web based software.  Plus you humans with your addictions to things like Facebook you need the internet access as much as the computers do…

So you have a couple of options.  Pay your carrier an additional fee to use the same internet plan on another device, or take matters into your own hands and unlock the phones capability to do it on it’s own.  This process is called rooting and is discussed briefly in the above mentioned article “Root – The "What?” “Why?” “How?” Article".  Remember the disclaimer portion too, that the process is a software modification that can cause damage to your phone if you don’t know what you are doing.  You can’t blame me if you mess up your phone doing this.

As you can see from the program screenshots, the main program is pretty simple. The far left image shows that the  app loads up to a screen where all you have to do is press on the center icon and it will create and stop a WiFi network right from your phone.  The 2nd and 3rd screens are images of the settings available to the program where you can set up passwords and adjust things like the channel. The final partial screenshot is an example of what the widget looks like, so if you just want to start and stop the network, you just have to click the widget – kinda like turning te built in switches on and off.

A couple of disclaimers:  Speeds will very based on your carrier’s network. I have seen as high as 12MB on 4G, or 2 or 2MN on 3G. Also, this might not be available in the market through your carrier. Carriers have been blocking this app left and right.  Obviously because if you are using this app they aren’t getting their money from you for the “extra” service. Depending on your carrier, you may also get a message asking you to stop.

So check out their website and if you have any questions, post them in the comments.

Download links:

Android Market Link:
https://market.android.com/details?id=android.tether

Remember: If this doesn’t work try the below link for the Google Code site to download it directly.

Google Code Website Link:
http://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

Remember: To install the downloaded .APK file follow the directions at: http://www.oldandroid.co.cc/2011/07/installing-non-market-apps.html

In Use Photo:

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Fieldrunners HD launches at midnight FREE for 24 Hours – 7/7/11

UPDATE! As seculated this is the free app of the day for July 7, 2011.

Top selling iPhone game Fieldrunners will be launched on Amazon App Store tonight at midnight and will be free for the first 24 hours.  It is a tower defense sort of game that appears to be pretty promising…  Will it be the free app of the day for tomorrow, or are we looking at a bonus free app?  So remember to check it out 7/7/11.

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Easy Ways to Improve Battery Life.

You may have noticed that your Android device likes to consume a lot of battery.  You don’t have to tell me about it.  I am always thirsty for a nice fully charged battery – on the rocks, shaken not stirred… Delicious…

Well back on point.  Battery life, and what you can do to keep it charged.  Well it all starts with your charger.  If you pay close attention to the fine print on the charger you will see a little number on there that tells you the wattage of the charger.  Even though the chargers have the same end (most have micro USB) you will not get the same performance with a different charger.  Especially for these gigantic screened newer models with all the newfangled features like 3D and dozens of built in types of wireless technology.  If you lose your charger you will need to find something similarly rated to get the best performance out of your battery.
The next thing to keep an eye on is the notification area at the top of the screen.  the more things that are up there the more processes are probably running on your phone, and the more things running, the shorter your battery life will be – along with the performance of the phone taking a hit too.  As you can see by the screenshots below there is an app called Advanced Task Killer running.  Although it is an app that claims to improve your battery life, remember that if it is always running in the background then it will have to take some sort of hit to your battery.  Also – with the improvements made to the Android OS a task killer is no longer useful. It is all built in to the OS. So if you have one, uninstall it now. 
For a more detailed look at all of the applications that are running in the background navigate to “Settings” – “Applications” – “Running Services”.  This will give you all the details of what is currently running in the background in real-time.  If you constantly see an app listed here that you don’t uses a lot consider uninstalling it.  You have to weigh the pres and cons of these apps.  Also keep in mind that the above and below screenshot was taken on an HTC phone, so your results may vary.
One other place that you can go to to lessen the drain of you battery is under “Settings” – “Accounts & Sync”.  This gives you a list of what data is synchronized from the web into your phone.  Things like your Google data will show up here, along with Facebook, weather apps, stock widgets, etc.  If you don’t use it, uncheck it.  See the final screenshot below:
So before you give up on your Android phone, or take it in for service because the battery isn’t holding a charge, try these simple tips.  You will definitely notice an improvement in your battery life.

Some “Best of the Best” accessories for your Android phone:

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Installing Non-Market Apps

So you found a cool app you want to try out, but when you click on the download link it doesn’t take you to the familiar grounds of the Android Market.  A great example of this is the Amazon App Store application.  It makes sense that you wouldn’t find a link to this great application on the Android Market, because it is a direct competitor.  Another great example is the large number of apps that are available on http://code.google.com.

The first thing you are going to need to know is that out-of-the-box the Android system won’t let you install anything non-market.  BUT, there is an incredibly easy workaround to this problem. All you have to do is select the little “Settings” icon from your main menu, and choose the “Applications” menu.  Once you are there you will see a little icon that looks like the below image.  Along with a little checkbox labeled “Unknown Sources”.  This would be that quick fix. 
Just check the box and you are all set.  
Next, simply load up your browser to one of the above mentioned sites and click download.  You will notice that the file being downloaded ends in .APK.  This is the standard format for an android application.  If you find that it is a zip your best bet is to hook up to a computer and unzip the file.  You can also do this with a few different programs, right on your phone. Just fire up Android Market and search for unzip.  If you decide to go that route you will also want to look into a File Manager app, so you can view your memory card – especially the “Downloads” folder.
This is a great trick that doesn’t force you into hacking/rooting your phone at all, and a relatively safe trick too.  Post up a comment if you have any questions.
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Root – The “What?” “Why?” “How?” Article

(Me in my younger days.)

So you bought yourself a nice little android phone and are wondering what more you can do with it?  I mean you are probably already bored with the hundreds of thousands of apps that are available to it, let alone the amazing built-in capabilities it already has, like the calendar and email and browser.  So what more can you do with it?

Before I get ahead of myself and jump into the “Why?” portion of the article, I want to tell you a little about what rooting your phone actually is. The wonderful humans that put together Wikipedia define Rooting as:

Rooting is a process that allows users of cellphones and other devices running the Android operating system to attain privileged control (known as “root access”) within Android’s Linux subsystem, similar to jailbreaking on Apple devices running the iOS operating system, overcoming limitations that the carriers and manufacturers put on such phones.

Therefore Rooting would be the equivalent of that little popup you get in Windows 7 (Or Ubuntu/Linux) when you want to make a change to something.  The difference is that in the world of cell phones you can’t just accept a change and be done with it, because it is blocked by the manufacture. I don’t think that it is blocked to take away you humanly freedoms, or to take away the fun of it.  It’s there because people are dumb by nature and if phones came out without any sort of security on them they would all get messed up by the end user…

So now onto the “Why?”.  Although it seems like I have a million reasons, I have it narrowed down to the 5 greatest things you can do with a rooted phone.  I will look at each of these in more details over the next few days.

1. The ability to use your phone’s internet on your laptop. (for FREE)
2. Enhanced Apps to SD.
3. Over/UnderClocking
4. Custom Roms.
5. Get apps not “approved” for your phone.

Sounds pretty cool, huh?  You are probably asking yourself, “How can I do this to my new shiny Android phone.  Well before you just jump right in, keep in mind.  Doing this may void your warranty, and/or disable your device – and by disable I mean brick your device.  And yes, the name means just what you would think. Turn your phone into a brick.  Also keep in mind that I have seen a lot of you humans attempt to root your phones successfully. As long as you follow the specified directions for your make and model you will probably be fine, but either way I am not liable for any damage – besides… I am a robot anyway. Who takes advice from a robot…

So the moral of this article is that you will need to do a little research on directions for you specific make and model.  A great place to search is the XDA site. There is a section for a majority of all phones released in the US, and around the world. So do up the research and post any questions you might have.

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Amazon Free App of the Day – Convertr

Convertr – Normally $.99, today FREE.
From Amazon.com:
Convertr

Length: inches to yards
Convertr

Adjust result precision
Convertr

Configure unit categories
The Only Unit Converter You’ll Ever Need
If it’s convertable, Convertr can calculate it, instantly and accurately.
From angles, to energy, to mass, to torque, and many more, find exact conversion of units in precision that you can set to 12 decimal places.
A Wide Range of Conversion Units
For example, in the Angle category, you can convert units of degree, radian, grad, mil, and revolution from one to another. For Area, you can convert units of square inch, square foot, square yard, square mile, square millimeter, square centimeter, square meter, square kilometer, acre, and hectare from one to another. Length has 26 conversion units, Mass has 16, Volume has 48, etc.
Convert Units in These Categories:
  • Angle
  • Area
  • Currency
  • Data Rate
  • Data Size
  • Density
  • Energy
  • Force
  • Frequency (disabled by default)
  • Fuel
  • Length
  • Mass and Weight
  • Power
  • Pressure
  • Speed
  • Temperature
  • Time
  • Torque
  • Typography
  • Volume
Elegant Function with No Clutter
Convertr is designed for fast, efficient, and visual unit conversion on your smartphone. Its uncluttered layout won’t get in the way when you want to make conversions quickly.
Currency Converter Par Excellence
Do you need to make multiple currency conversions? Perhaps as many as 61 different currencies? No problem for Convertr.
With the Currency Updates feature, you won’t have to wonder if today’s rates are different than those the app is using. With data connection, Convertr automatically keeps its currency values up to date.
Favorites
Do you like the idea of having so many categories of units available, but can’t imagine yourself scrolling endlessly through the categories list for units you use often? You can mark categories of units you use a lot as favorites. Then, whenever you want to make a quick calculation, just tap the Favorites button and only those categories you’ve marked come up in the list. Did we mention uncluttered and quick?
Rate and Follow
This app is well supported by Vervv, the developer, and you are welcome to follow its progress on Twitter. You can also rate the app on the Amazon Appstore using a handy link in the app.

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Welcome Post

Starting today I decided to share some Android info. As an old bot I have spent my life as an android, so you can expect to see the best and most accurate info in the world posted right here on this site.

I plan to cover everything from how to use your Android device to how to hack your Android device, plus all things in between.  I will share with you some apps that might help you be more productive, or just have a little fun.

So be ready for a lot more, and if you like what you see click the “RSS Feed” link at the top, or copy and paste the link into your favorite RSS reader (like Google Reader).

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