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Tether Devices to Mobile Connection w/ PdaNet Android App

Posted on Jan 6, 2011 in Communication, Top Rated Apps | 3 comments

PdaNet lets you connect devices to the internet via your Android phone’s mobile connection.

  • Version: 2.45
  • Size: 109KB (no Apps2SD)
  • Category: Communication
  • Price: Free



PdaNet provides an extremely easy way to tether devices without complicated steps or the need to root your Android phone. It offers two different methods for tethering, either through USB or Bluetooth.

For Bluetooth connectivity, click “Enable Bluetooth DUN” from within the PdaNet app. This will make your Android phone discoverable by other Bluetooth-ready devices. Using Bluetooth allows you to avoid the need to install PdaNet on your computer.

If you prefer to tether through your USB cable, you’ll need to download the installer to your Mac or Windows computer. After following the installation instructions you’ll be ready to go. First, click “Enable USB Tether” on your Android phone. Second, connect your Android phone via the USB cable. Third, right-click the PdaNet icon from the taskbar tray on your computer and “Connect.”

The free version does not allow access to secure websites (sites that require a login, e.g. https://). For this functionality, you will need to register and pay for the full edition, which is priced at $14.99.

Remember, tethering uses your Android phone’s mobile connection just as it would on your phone itself. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, make sure to monitor your usage.

Pros:

  • Easily tether devices to your Android phone via USB and/or Bluetooth
  • Supports gaming consoles like Xbox 360 and PS3
  • Includes SMS Agent application which lets you send/receive texts from your connected computer



Areas for improvement:

  • Occasionally loses connection with USB tether, have to unplug and reconnect



Conclusion: The easiest way to connect other devices to the internet via your Android phone’s mobile connection.

[AppBrain Link]

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XDA Developers Forum Android App: Tips, Hacks, Root

Posted on Oct 1, 2010 in Communication, Top Rated Apps | 4 comments

XDA Developers Forums can be accessed with a beautifully formatted Android app.

  • Version: 1.3.1
  • Size: 1.02MB
  • Category: Communication
  • Price: Free



The XDA Developers Forums are famous for their collection of Android tips, hacks, roms/root, and general knowledge. With their latest app, you can browse the full list of forums, read, post, send private messages, save favorites, get notifications, and more. For many of these features, you will need to register and sign-in to your account at the forums.

Pros:

  • User (and eye) friendly UI
  • Full forum access, read, post, download, search, etc.
  • Access to extensive Android/phone information



Areas for improvement:

  • A paid version to remove ads (very intrusive for a forums app)
  • Option to open a topic from the first post, not the last



Conclusion: For Android enthusiasts looking for tips, hacks, and rooting details, this app is a must.

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Gesture-Based Speed Dial with Sign

Posted on Aug 1, 2010 in Communication, Top Rated Apps | comment

Sign is a gesture-based speed dial app which lets you instantly call or text. Now you don’t even need to open your contact list to get in touch with your favorite people.

  • Version: 1.0.3
  • Size: 179KB
  • Category: Communication
  • Price: $1.99 (Free Lite version)



Sign works by letting you assign single/multi-stroke gestures to any or all of your contacts. First, open the app, find a phone number by selecting the Manage Contacts icon, and then draw whatever gesture you want to use for that person. The “Sign” can be a number, letter, symbol, or any type of design you choose. Make sure that you create the Sign in a manner that you’re likely to use over and over again, because the app recognizes the number, direction, and order of strokes used to make it! This design element allows for the app’s intelligent functionality.

Then, select the app icon and draw the appropriate sign. You can select whether you want the app to automatically call the contact (after a short confirmation time of 0-4 seconds where you can choose to cancel) or open a text message for you to compose.

To manage your Signs, open the Manage Contacts icon from within the app and make any changes you’d like. To change the Sign, just draw over the old one and click Save.

Pros:

  • Saves plenty of time and effort in calling or texting favorite contacts
  • Faster and more efficient than using the voice dialer
  • Extremely responsive and now syncs with 3rd party contacts in addition to Gmail contacts
  • Works as an app or as a widget (now can add to launcher apps’ docks)



Areas for improvement:

  • It would be nice to gesture for multiple contacts at once to send a single mass text message



Conclusion: The beautiful implementation, ease-of-use, and efficiency of Sign makes this app definitely worth your purchase! Try the Lite version first (limited to three gesture-based contacts) if we haven’t convinced you.

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Top Android App: Safe Respond

Posted on May 9, 2010 in Communication, Top Rated Apps | comment

Safe Respond proudly recommended to us by the developers, BIC Development.

  • Version: 1.03
  • Size: 63.5KB
  • Category: Communication
  • Price: $0.99
  • Overall Score: 4.5/5



Safe Respond allows you to automatically send personalized SMS message replies to incoming text messages, whenever the app is activated. This definitely comes in handy while at the movies, in meetings, or while driving (especially in states where it’s now illegal to text while driving). This will help during those times where people are trying to reach you but think you aren’t receiving their messages.

The other great aspect of this app is that it actually is only a widget with two simple buttons. A settings button to change the automated message, and an on/off button to activate your response. While activated, the app’s icon is placed in the notification bar so you won’t forget it’s running. Also, it will inform you of how many messages were automatically replied to while active.

Eventually, it would be nice to have the option to create multiple personalized messages for specific contacts. And along those lines, it would be great to be able to save previous messages for quick re-use. But all in all, the simplicity of this app is its greatest feature.

Conclusion: Download if you’re a texting fiend!

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New Twitter Android App: Touiteur

Posted on Feb 17, 2010 in App News, Communication | 3 comments

Please welcome Touiteur to the Twitter Android app battle!  Touiteur is developed by LevelUp Studio, the same great people who brought you FoxyRing and Beautiful Widgets.

Touiteur provides an impressive UI that is extremely functional:

  • Click on a user’s picture and be brought to their profile, including a bottom options bar that allows you to quickly message, tweet, follow, or block that user.
  • Click on a tweet to bring up a standard list of options like reply, retweet, message, and more.
  • The standard bottom bar comes with the options to check tweets, @replies, messages, search, and refresh.  All of your most used options.
You’ll also notice that you’re capable of adding multiple accounts, a prerequisite for any Twitter Android app that wants to be successful in the long run.  Standard URL shortening and picture posting abilities have been added, as well as other features you’d expect in any new Twitter app.  If you want widgets with this app though you’ll need to upgrade to the Premium addition (€1.99).
I’m a huge fan of this new release and could see Touiteur quickly joining the talk of the best Twitter Android apps.  So, have you tried Touiteur yet? What Twitter app do you usually use and how does it compare?  Comment below!
Look for a formal review soon!
Other Twitter app options include:
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