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Top Android App: SemiSilent

Posted on Mar 27, 2011 in Productivity, Top Rated Apps | 1 comment

SemiSilent lets you select which of your contacts can get a hold of you even when your phone is silenced.

  • Version: 1.05
  • Size: 180KB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: Free

SemiSilent bridges the gap between the seemingly exclusive states that your Android phone’s ringer can be in, silenced or not. When your phone is silenced you risk becoming unreachable by anyone or during any situation, including emergencies. However, when your phone’s ringer is enabled you risk being interrupted by anyone for any reason. Now, with this Android app you don’t have to worry because your phone can be in both states at the same time.

This app opens to a complete list of your contacts. Simply select the people for whom you’d like to be available to at all times. Whether or not your phone is in silent mode it will ring for these individuals. For most of us, we’ll select our closest family members including spouses and kids, just to have that peace of mind that you’ll never miss one of their calls.


  • Select contacts who should be able to reach you even when your phone is silenced
  • Option to toggle SemiSilent’s functionality on/off
  • Setup and implementation are extremely easy

Areas for improvement:

  • Extend functionality to SMS

Conclusion: Designate contacts who can reach you even when your Android phone is silenced and never have to worry about missing another important call.

[AppBrain Link]

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Protect Your Android Device w/ Webroot Mobile Security

Posted on Feb 28, 2011 in Productivity, Top Rated Apps | comment

Webroot Mobile Security protects your Android device from a wide range of threats and can even help when your device is lost or stolen.

  • Version:
  • Size: 2.54MB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: Free

Webroot is a powerful internet security solution that has now been brought to Android.

The first essential function is the Antivirus scan. You can setup Webroot to automatically scan any new app as it is installed as well as any newly downloaded or modified files.  Full scans can also be scheduled to occur hourly, daily, or weekly.

Second, the Lost Device Protection is a feature you’ll hopefully never need to use. First, setup a password that you are sure to remember. Then, fill your buddy list with trusted friends/family who you’d like to be sent a temporary password if you forget yours. If your device is ever lost or stolen, you can use the following commands:

  • lock [your password] – Locks your Android device and prevent unauthorized use (only your Webroot password will unlock it).
  • wipe [your password] – Wipes SD card, contacts, calendar entries, call log, browser bookmarks and history, SMS messages, all secondary email accounts, and the password of the primary Gmail account.
  • locate [your password] – Sends a link to Google Maps with phone’s current location.
  • scream [your password] – Blasts a screaming noise from your lost or stolen device.

Third, Secure Web Browsing prevents malicious websites from opening in the Android browser. Similar to Google Chrome, if you attempt to enter a site that turns out to be suspicious, an alert pops up giving you the options to block it or continue.

Lastly, Call/SMS Blocking does just that, by enabling you to filter calls and text messages received from unwanted numbers.


  • Complete package of security features to protect your Android device and personal information
  • Antivirus scans, lost device protection, secured web browsing, and call/SMS blocking
  • Easy setup and customization with minimal management required
  • GPS location function much more accurate than many other Android security apps

Areas for Improvement:

  • Ability to perform command functions via the web, including option to backup SD card and files before performing a wipe

Conclusion: Protect yourself from dangerous, unknown threats targeting your Android device.

[AppBrain Link]

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Top Android App: Quick Launch

Posted on Feb 17, 2011 in Productivity, Top Rated Apps | 3 comments

Quick Launch lets you use your Android device’s hardware buttons to launch apps and other functions.

  • Version: 1.1.5
  • Size: 77.36KB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: $0.99

Quick Launch is an incredibly simple, yet powerful Android app. Now you can multi-task your device’s hardware buttons.  Set an app to open when you double-tap the Home button or by long pressing the search or camera buttons. Additionally, there is another option to put a quick launch icon in the notification window for easy access.

Because of the wide variety of Android devices and custom UI’s in the market, there are conflicts which can nullify some of this app’s functionality (some hardware buttons may not execute the Quick Launch preference). Luckily, the developer is very active and responsive to bug reports and feature requests.


  • Launch apps with hardware button shortcuts
  • Increase the speed at which you use your Android device
  • Responsive developer committed to resolving device-specific bugs

Areas for improvement:

  • Enable quick launching of other functions, e.g. calling a specific contact
  • Option to turn off notification icon even when using notification tray launcher feature

Conclusion: A simple, smart way to launch your favorite apps in less taps/time.

[AppBrain Link]

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Top Android App: QR Droid

Posted on Feb 6, 2011 in Productivity, Top Rated Apps | 1 comment

QR Droid is the complete QR code reader, generator, and scanner for your Android device.

  • Version: 3.4
  • Size: 1.05MB (apps2SD enabled)
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: Free

You can quickly create QR codes from your contacts, bookmarks, or installed Android apps. This takes the frustration out of sharing detailed information with other Android phone users. It’s definitely a whole lot easier to scan a QR code rather than copy down someone’s complete contact info.

If you find yourself sharing particular info over and over again, generate and save the QR code for repeated use. You can also choose to copy it to your clipboard or share it via Gmail, SMS, Twitter, etc.

In the “Decode” section, you can access the details stored in QR codes that have been saved as an image, viewed with your camera, or are in your recent history.


  • Simple solution for generating and sharing QR codes
  • Generate QR codes for a contact, URL address, application, phone number, calendar event, text, or geolocation
  • Streamlined interface minimizes time/screens needed to generate a QR code

Areas for Improvement:

  • Homescreen widget/shortcut to instantly access specific QR codes.

Conclusion: The best Android app for reading, generating, and scanning QR codes.

[AppBrain Link]

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Top Android App: GO Launcher EX

Posted on Feb 5, 2011 in Productivity, Top Rated Apps | 3 comments

GO Launcher EX is an Android launcher with elegant themes and a fast, convenient interface.

  • Version: 2.01
  • Size: 1.91MB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Productivity
  • Price: Free

This Android launcher is one of the most popular because of its extensive customization options. For example, you can adjust the grid size of your homescreen to 5×4 or 5×5 so you can pack more apps, widgets, or shortcuts on each screen. You can also give your Android phone a “snappier” feel by increasing the flip speed transition between screens and decreasing the elastic effect (how the screen slides further than intended and snaps back into place).

Furthermore, you can customize the launcher bar along the bottom of your main screen. In total, there are 15 spots there that you can fill with apps or other shortcuts.

By long-pressing an app on your homescreen, you can pull up a few options that aren’t available with Android’s default launcher. You can replace the icon with a themed option or can rename the app itself. This is definitely convenient for those apps with very long names and/or icons that don’t match your background/theme.

So far I haven’t run into any force close/lag issues with GO Launcher EX, which seem to plague similar launcher apps.


  • Themes supported (additional downloads from the Android Market)
  • Adjust screen scrolling transition
  • Support for gesture shortcuts, app icon renaming, and app grid resizing
  • Extremely stable launcher

Areas for Improvement:

  • Additional theme options

Conclusion: One of the best, feature-packed, customizable Android launcher apps available.

[AppBrain Link]

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