Author Archive

Getting Reviews That Make People Want to Buy Your Book

Posted By Steve McFarlane on June 2nd, 2017

Reviews add credibility to your work, helps reader to determine what to expect if they were to read your work. As a bonus good reviews can boost book sales as well.

Buyers rely on reviews to decide whether or not they will make a purchase now or at all.  Your job is to remove as many barriers to a customer deciding to hit the buy button.

You may have an appealing blurb, title and cover as well as the right price, but the truth is some buyers may not make a purchase because there weren’t enough reviews on your product for them to make an informed decision.

While some books will sell without reviews, particularly those that come with a recommendation, books sell even better if they have good reviews— the more early reviews there are the better.  In fact, having early reviews is critical if a book is going to climb the bestseller list without hindrance.

In this article I will show you how to get legitimate reviews that make readers want to buy your books, and how to get them fast. Some methods will test your patience; some are downright simply but they are all effective.

Ask Your Readers or fan base — Easy

The best people to ask for reviews are those who are already familiar with your work. Here are some options you can use to ask your fans and readers for reviews and feedback.
Put a review request at the back of your book

The best time to ask for a review is just after someone has finish reading your work. Think about it. The book, its characters, plots and your writing style are fresh in the reader’s mind just after they finishing reading your work.

It is that time that their opinion and memory of your work is freshest so there is no better time to ask for a review than just after they just finished reading. Hopefully you have made a strong and positive impression.

Just after the story ends ask for the review. Here is a sample of how you could craft the review request:

Thank you for reading x. If you enjoyed reading this book PLEASE leave a review on Amazon. 

Ask your mailing list

If you have a mailing list you can segment the list to find your most responsive readers. You can then invite some of these readers to join an advance readers list. Send the list ARC (advanced reviewers copy) so they can read the book and be ready to post a review once the book is released.

I am sure you can image what it would be like to have 10 or more reviews on the very day your book is released. While it is true that these reviews won’t have the ‘Verified Purchase’ badge they nonetheless will help boost sales. As a bonus, some of these reviewers will actually buy your book even though you sent them a free copy. BookFunnel is a great tool for managing the release and delivery of ARC’s.

Contact Amazon’s top reviewers

One of the best places to find lots of people who are eager to read and review your books is Amazon itself. There are actually quite a few persons who enjoy writing reviews and make a serious hobby of it. It’s quite easy for you to contact them with a review request.

To find these reviewers start by looking at who has reviewed your previously published work or the work of others authors in your genre. As a bonus to doing this activity you will get an idea of what readers in a certain like and are buying.

To find reviewers do the following:

  1. Start by clicking the “customer reviews” link below the authors name that is at the top of a page on a book listing.
  2. Click on the name of each reviewer to see their profile. You are looking for reviewers that give contact details in their profile. You may need to click “See more” to see their contact details. If you don’t see any contact details move on to another reviewer.  Tip: Right click on the reviewer’s names to open each profile in a new tab. This makes going through the large number of reviewers easier.
  3. Click the “Send email”, website address or whatever other contact details the review gave. Be sure to copy and save the reviewer’s Amazon URL from the browser’s address bar and save it to a spreadsheet so you can track who you’ve contacted.
  4. Contact each reviewer explaining to them that you found their contact details on Amazon. Tell them that you have a book that you think may be of interest to them, and that you would like to send it to them. Explain that you are seeking an honest review of the item you’ll send but that there is no obligation on their part to give a positive review. You are inviting reviews not demanding it in exchange for a gift.Pay attention to the average star rating of reviewers. Don’t ask a review from someone who routinely gives one and two stars expecting—you are unlike to get a favorable review from such reviewers.

You can also find a listing of the top Amazon reviewers here:

Get in Touch with the Book Blogger Community

You can use the process outlined above to contact bloggers who review books in your genre. Just beware that this process can be time consuming. While less than 10% of the bloggers you contact will eventually post a review, contacting them is still worth the effort.

As a bonus some bloggers have a good following and any review they post to their channels has the potential to send you buyers and fans.


It can be tempting to skip the work and use online gigs to get reviews quickly, but the risk surrounding the buy-reviews strategy are too great. You may have heard of some authors who gamed the system by purchasing fake reviews and you may be tempted to purchase reviews from an online gig, but do not buy reviews.

Amazon and some astute readers will find and expose your sins. The retailer will remove your reviews and you would have spent your money in vain, not to mention the embarrassment of getting called out in a very public way. The greatest transgression of all is that you would have abused a system of trust by which real online buyers can have confidence in the purchases that they make.

No it’s your turn. Go get some reviews.

Free GPS App for Android – Best We Could Find

Posted By Steve McFarlane on June 2nd, 2012

By itself Google Maps is an impressive GPS app for Android devices, and at the low, low price of free you should give it a try. But try the Waze GPS app and you will soon find Google Maps coming up short on a number of points.

Waze for Android

This app is more than a navigation map. Not only can you see what is happening with traffic on your route but you can also contribute to keeping others informed by using Waze to report the traffic conditions you are experiencing.

In fact, Waze is backed by the largest crowd-sourced traffic community that makes it possible for you to get up to the minute traffic updates from real people, which only add to the accuracy of the data that is served up by Waze.

If you often have issues with the quality and accuracy of the other Android maps you use to navigate your way around traffic you should give Waze a look.

Because the maps this free GPS app uses is constantly being updated by its users, Waze maps are often the first to reflect traffic changes just as they happen and correct inaccuracies in new maps as well, especially those issues that can affect how well the app route the user.

Standout features:

  • Voice-guided turn-by-turn driving directions
  • Alerts you in advance as you approach reported issues, turns, intersections etc
  • Automatically recalculates route when a wrong turn is made or the user changes course
  • Voice search, enables the user to say their destination instead of trying to enter it while driving
  • Live traffic and road condition reports
  • Allow users to report accidents, road repair sites, cameras, hazards and police activity and rewards them with points for the updates and community participation
  • Shows, in real time, the position, direction and speed of other Waze members
  • Day and night map view

See Waze in action in this video:

Other Free GPS Apps For Androids

Google maps comes with everything you’d expect to find in a GPS navigation solution such as live traffic data, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting. It also has some features that make it a top contender for anyone looking for an Android navigation app. Though not as refined as Waze and Google Maps, MapQuest Mobile is also another good solution, but it is hard to recommend over Waze and Google Maps.

There are scores of GPS apps for Android, but combing through the maze of available solutions can be time consuming, which is why we compiled a list of the best Android GPS apps including free solutions for tracking family members, apps for finding great places to eat and stay and solutions for logging your back country wondering. You can the roundup in this article:

Free GPS Apps for Android – Top 9

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 31st, 2012

This is a roundup of the best free GPS apps for Android devices we could find; they are organized by the following categories:

Navigation, Phone Tracking, Finding Great Places and GPS Utilities.

Whether you want a navigation app to help you find alternative routes around traffic congestions, a GPS app to track your back country wonderings, or a solution to help you keep an eye on the whereabouts of your loved ones, the GPS feature in today’s smart phones make it possible.


Waze is backed by the largest crowd-sourced traffic community. This community constantly updates the maps Waze uses. As a result, Waze is often the first to reflect traffic changes just after they happen and correct inaccuracies in new maps, especially issues that affect how well the app routes users.

Standout features:

  • Voice-guided turn-by-turn directions
  • Automatically recalculates the route if the user diverts
  • Voice search
  • Allow users to report accidents, construction, cameras, hazards and police activity
  • Shows the location, direction and speed of other Waze members in real time
  • Rewards users for reporting issues
  • Alerts you in advance as you approach reported issues

Install Waze

Google Maps – comes with everything you’d expect to find in a GPS navigation solution such as live traffic data, turn-by-turn voice guidance and automatic rerouting.  It also has some features that make it a top contender for anyone looking from an Android navigation app, some of which include:

  • Latest map data that is constantly being refined by Google users who submit corrections
  • Plain English search: Locate destinations by entering business name or landmark; no address needed
  • Voice search
  • Live traffic data
  • Alerts on upcoming traffic issues
  • Find businesses along the route being traveled
  • Satellite and 3D view of the route
  • Street View: first-person perspective of route and destination images

Install Google Maps

MapQuest Mobile is a well-known brand that has been around longer than most, of such it deserves getting a look, even though MapQuest Mobile is relatively new.

Install MapQuest Mobile

Phone Tracking

Life360 Family Locator allows the user to see where family members are, with a map-based view, as well as see what threats (i.e. registered sex offenders) are close.

Your family and friends will have some peace-of-mind if you use this app knowing fully well that everyone on your Life360 contact list will get an alert if you are in trouble and hit the panic button.

If they can’t contact you by any other means, they can also look at your breadcrumb, which shows the history of where you have been.

It doesn’t have the advanced features (secret call listening, photo and picture viewing) of a phone tracker such as Mobistealth, but it has the basic tracking feature that many will be happy with.

Install Family Locator

Glympse lets you send a link with your location to a friend, family member, business associate or anyone you want to show where you are. Because you can set a time limit on each Glympse you set, you can share just your 30-minute commute from the office so your family can track you while you are on your way home from work but prevent them from seeing your every move outside that 30-minute window.

Install Glympse

GPS Essentials – Great for mapping obscure backcountry trails, track and routes as well as managing waypoints. The app allows you to record your tracks and overlay them onto a map as well as take photos as a visual reference of where you were.

Install GPS Essentials

SpeedView: GPS Speedometer uses your Android’s built-in GPS to show your current, maximum and average speed in addition to the distance you have covered and the time you took to cover that distance.

While this is a good solution for logging speed and direction of off-road activities such as cycling and hiking it can also help you avoid getting a ticket by raising an alert when you hit or approach a preset speed.

Install SpeedView

Finding Great Places

Yelp allows you to browse nearby places in categories such as restaurants, movie theaters, hotels, ATMs and gas stations. You’ll see ratings and photos from the Yelp community as well as distance and directions to the destination. You can also use Yelp to find nearby deals as well as rate and add your own photos after you have used their service.

Install Yelp

GPS Utilities

GPS OnOff – With the GPS feature being such a battery hog on smart phones, it is a good idea to switch it off when you don’t need it. Unless you have a GPS widget installed to toggle the feature, you will normally need at least 4 clicks to find and turn of the feature in your Android’s Settings. GPS OnOff allows you to do the same with one click.

Install GPS OnOff

Songify — An Auto-tune app for Android

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 29th, 2012

Even though the novelty of using this app may quickly wear off, one can’t deny that Songify is a pretty neat app.

Technology, we all know, makes a lot of things possible, but who would have thought that it could make singers out of even crows.

Auto-tune was originally intended to disguise off-key inaccuracies, allowing vocal tracks to be perfectly tuned despite being off-key.
From mindless ramblings, to more serious music creation, Songify auto-tunes your voice to create surprising good songs.

How this Android Auto-tune App Works

This is an auto-tune app for Android devices that alters the pitch of your voice to match that soundtrack you selected. Initially you are given just a few sample soundtracks to work with, but you can acquire others if you like.

Amazingly you can even read your shopping list to the app and it will adjust your voice to harmonize with the music you selected — you don’t even need to try and sing.

The app slightly blends pitches to the nearest true semitone thus harmonizing your voice with the music. Because the pitch of the voice is raised and lowered, the effect is perceived by the listener as a sort of voice leap from note to note, much like what a synthesizer does.

Songify if pretty easy to use and works well, considering the fact that it even makes music from absolute nonsense. This auto-tune app was used in quite a number of popular Youtube videos. Here is one version of the popular “Bed Intruder Song.”


DaTuner – A Superb Android Instrument Tuner

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 28th, 2012

No amount of skill can create great music or sound from an instrument that is not tuned properly.
If you have a good ear for music, and you know your notes, it may be possible to tune your guitar, piano, violin and others from ear, but using a digital tuner makes it possible for even a novice to adjust an instrument for better sound; DaTuner is one such instrument tuner and it’s available in free and Pro versions.
DaTuner is a precise and responsive chromatic tuner app for Android that has a pretty simple interface.

DaTuner Works by…

Converting the fundamental frequency to the nearest note and error in cents for quick and easy tuning of your guitar, piano, ukelele, harp, violin, bass, cello, mandolin, saxophone, Ducati timing belt, harmonica, kazoo, among others, and it works in noisy environments as well.

Tuning in a Noisy Environment

DaTuner has a screen and filter lock that allows you to select the note you would like to tune to. The filter will then ignore anything that is outside the range you are tuning for which makes it possible for you to tune an instrument in a noisy environment such as a band practice.
Even if the instrument is extremely out of tune, set the note you want to tune to and make adjustments until the correct note is reached; the app will display the change it is detecting and change the screen to green once the instrument is properly tuned.

No Dead Zones

There are no dead zones. Once the incoming note is within range of the note you are tuning for, DaTuner will detect and display the note that was heard, while it also shows the changes in pitch it detects as you make changes.
You can configure, to your liking, both the in-tune range and the colors that are used to display them if you like. Here is a video of the app in use:

Pro vs Lite Versions

Beyond the features we mentioned above the lite version of this Android instrument tuner has the following features:

  • Auto-Sensitivity means no configuration is required
  • Tuning is accurate and precise within these levels < 0.3 cents @ E3 (329.62Hz), <0.1 cents @ C5(1046.5Hz), < 1 cent @ A2 (110Hz)
  • Ad-free
  • Reference frequency adjustment for orchestra tuning
  • Choice of colors for sharp/flat

In addition to features in the Lite version, the Pro Version adds these features:

  • Sample rate range 8kHz – 48kHz
  • Transposition.
  • Temperaments. You can modify the ones that exist or add your own using a text editor. The temperaments are saved on your external memory under the /DaTuner directory
  • Notation (i.e, Solfége, English, English sharp, English flat, Northern European.)
  • Emulated strobe tuner display
  • Displays a digital readout of error in cents
  • Pitch pipe (triangle, sine, sawtooth, square)
  • Has a no-touch pitch pipe auto mode
  • Accelerated tuning algorithm

Install DaTuner Lite

Install DaTuner Pro

Android Gallery Lock Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 25th, 2012

Pictures are worth a thousand words, but some can distort the image others have of us, or tell a story about us we don’t want others know.

While our smart phones make it easy for us to record what we have been up to and save images of things we like while browsing the Internet, these pictures can be deeply personal and private.

If you have a private collection of photos on your phone that you rather not expose to someone who may gain access to your phone, you should install a good gallery lock app. Two of the best Android gallery lock apps are: “Hide Pictures in Vaulty” and “Smart Gallery (Gallery Lock+)”.

Hide Pictures in Vaulty

If have kids, a noisy spouse or you just like protecting your privacy, you can keep your pictures & videos safe and private with Vaulty.

You can select one of multiple files from your gallery to move them to the media vault where they will be hidden.  If you want even more privacy you can upgrade to the premium version, which has more security features and disguises Vaulty as a fully functioning stock reporting app.

Once you enter the correct password Vaulty will allow you to see the vault’s contents and manage it. Other features include the ability to share pictures videos, and slideshows.


Smart Gallery (Gallery Lock+)

This is another video and picture vault app for your Android. Like other privacy apps for Android the app protects your media with a password, and also has media management capability, which you will surely need if you have quite a bit of files to work with.

4 Great Android Taxi Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 24th, 2012

It can be a hassle and a waste of time to stand on the side of the road hailing a cab or waiting on the cab the dispatch service said would be there in just a few minutes.

Taxi apps make it easy for you to see what cabs are near your, request service from one of those cabs and watch it as it makes its way to you; they are indeed the modern way to hail a cab.

By and large most taxi app booking services are localized, so it can be difficult to get service outside of where some services are concentrated. That said, some smart phone taxi booking services have crossed national borders. Here are some of the most popular ones.


To be politically correct, you refer to your Uber driver as a personal driver, not a taxi driver. Uber is an on-demand private driver request system. To use the service:

  • Set your location
  • Send a request and wait for the car
  • Hop out of the car and rate the driver.

You don’t need to worry about payment, as that will be taken from the card you have on file.


Taxi Magic

Taxi Magic’s booking service is available in 65 taxi fleets in over 40 major U.S. cities and tap-to-call fleets in over 4,000 U.S. and Canadian cities. Taxi Magic allows you to:

  • Find taxis based on your location or you can specify an alternate location you want to be picked up from
  • Book a taxi in a few quick taps
  • Track the arrival of your taxi through dispatch updates and a map that is updated in real time
  • Display the driver’s name and the taxi number
  • Charge the ride to your credit card
  • Expense the trip with an e-receipt

The Taxi Magic app and booking service are free. If you want to pay for your ride with a credit card through the app and receive an e-receipt there is a $1.50 documentation charge you will have to pay.

If you leave home without your smart phone you can even book a taxi via text messaging. Simply send a text to Taxi Magic with your pickup location and you should get a confirmation of the booking from dispatch with the taxi number and the name of the driver who is on his way.


cab4me taxi finder

cab4me is an award winning taxi app that helps you to get a cab when you need it. The app shows distance of companies in result list and shows taxi ranks where available.

myTaxi – Passenger Taxi App

If you are in Germany, Austria, Australia, Zurich try MyTaxi. Your service request is sent to the nearest driver, and like most other taxi apps, driver details such as ratings, picture, name and ETA are displayed for you to see.
MyTaxi service is also available in:
Augsburg, Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Essen, Hamburg, Hannover, Heilbronn, Frankfurt, Gera, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Kassel, Cologne, Leverkusen, Leipzig, Lubeck, Munich, Mainz, Nuremberg, Offenbach, Stuttgart, Sylt, Salzburg, Wiesbaden, Wurzburg and Vienna.



How well these apps work will depend on the quality of the GPS service and the professionalism of the drivers you use. For instance, it is not uncommon for a taxi app to tell you that a cab is 1.5 miles away only to report that it is in fact 3 miles away when you refresh the app.

All-in-all, ordering a taxi with your Android is way better than calling dispatch and being left on hold. Using a taxi app is also safer for the rider and taxi driver alike, because the rider can see details about the driver before he/she gets there and the driver can use the panic feature, that is built into some apps, to alert dispatch if there is an emergency.

There is no app that can give you full service in all areas so you may still need to do some searching for a service that works in your area.

Android App Locks

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 22nd, 2012

Sure you can use PINs and Patterns to secure your Android, but for times when you allow others to browse your phone but you don’t want them to see what apps are installed, you will want an Android Application lock to manage what installed applications are visible.

An Android App lock not only hides installed applications but some of the best also allow you to create a secret vault for your photos, videos and documents as well. Two of the best-rated Android app protectors are “Hide It Pro” and “Smart Lock”.

Hide It Pro

Hide It Pro hide makes your apps, pictures, videos and audio files vanish as if they aren’t installed on your Android. While it will be easy enough for you to find your content when you need it, someone who is casually browsing your phone will not know they are there; and if you setup the app correctly they won’t even know that an app vault is installed either.

When you are ready to use your applications or file all you need is the right password and knowledge of how to access the app lock. Hide It Pro disguises itself as a fully functioning audio manager app. However, when you long press the Audio Manager’s title the actual app will launch.

Other Features:

  • Built in military standard 256-bit AES encryption
  • Organize media into folders
  • Can unhide entire folders at once, or individual files
  • Optimization for low-end phones
  • Disappears from recent apps list
  • Escape pin/password for times when you get caught


Smart Lock Free (App/Media)

If you are not only concerned about others seeing your pictures and videos but want to reserve the use of installed apps for just yourself, you should give Smart Lock a try.

In essence, Smart Lock hides installed apps, pictures and other media files behind a password. Once Smart Lock is installed and setup, your media or applications can’t be discovered or viewed in the normal way, certainly not without the password.

If you decide to use this app, we counsel you to try and not forget to unhide any asset you had previously hid before you uninstall the app. If you fail to do so, you may lose your files for good. In any case you can try to recover the files by reinstalling Smart Lock, clicking “Setting” then clicking “Recovering locked media”.

Other Features of Smart Lock:

  • App Locking
  • Can lock an individual picture, media, file or entire gallery
  • USB storage Locking
  • Selectable lock types (PINs/Pattern)
  • Fake mode shows fake error massage on lock screen
  • Quick start (Executing Smart Lock by calling to dial #000)
  • Manage pictures by folders
  • Hide service icon in Notification area
  • Schedule when an app should be locked
  • Show or hide the app’s icon in Home Launcher and the installed Apps list
  • Backup/Recovery


Android Video, Photo, Gallery and App Locks

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 22nd, 2012

Whether others may or may not find the videos, pictures and apps you have on your Android questionable, sometimes you just want to keep things private or ensure that your stuff is not available for all to see if you Android phone or tablet gets into the wrong hands.

Android privacy apps aren’t only great at hiding your media from those you never want to use your phone, but these apps are also great in situations where you want to allow your child to play around on your phone without risking them stumbling across content that is not appropriate for them, or risk having them messing around with important apps, media and documents you have stored on the device.

Here are some apps that will lock your pictures and videos in a vault and also hide the installed apps you want to keep secret.

Hide It Pro

Hide It Pro password protects and hide the pictures, videos, audio files and even applications that you don’t want anyone to see.  The apps disguises itself as a full functional audio manager app which can be used to turn the volume up and down, but when you long press on the Audio Manager’s title the actual ‘Hide It Pro’ app will launch.

You can hide Images/Videos/Audio Recordings etc. from the Phone’s stock gallery by selecting all the files you want to hide and selecting ‘Share’. Applications can be hidden from within ‘Hide it Pro’ as well.


  • Hide It Pros disguises itself behind a fully functional Audio Manager
  • Segregates videos, pictures and audio within the dashboard
  • Categorize media into folders of your choice
  • Unhide entire folders, or select multiple files to unhide each
  • Thumbnails for pictures and videos on all devices
  • Optimization for low-end phones. (uncheck the low memory mod from settings to get crisper pictures back)
  • Disappears from recent apps list
  • Escape pin/password for times when you get caught
  • Built in military standard 256-bit AES encryption


Hide Pictures in Vaulty

Keep your pictures & videos safe and private with Vaulty. If you have pictures and videos on your phone that you don’t want others to see, you can hide them from prying eyes with Vaulty. Once Vaulty is at work, hidden pictures can’t be viewed, even by file managers.

If you want even more privacy, upgrade to Vaulty Stocks, which disguises your picture and videos as a fake stocks app. Other features include the ability to share pictures videos, and slideshows.


Smart Gallery (Gallery Lock+)

This is another video and picture vault app for your Android. Like other Android gallery lock apps this privacy app protects your media with a password, and also has media management capability, which you will surely need if you have quite a bit of files to work with.


Smart Lock Free (App/Media)

If you are not only concerned about others seeing your pictures and videos but want to reserve the use of installed apps for yourself only then you should give Smart Lock a try.

Smart Lock essentially hides installed apps, pictures and other media files behind a password. Once the app is installed no one will be able to see locked apps, pictures, and video and documents unless they have the password.

The only reservations we have about this app is the risk of loosing your file if you forget to unlock your files before you delete the app. If you forget to unlock your files before deleting the app you will loose your files. However, you can try recovering files by reinstalling Smart Lock, click ‘Setting’ then ‘Recovering locked media’.


  • App Locking
  • Can lock an individual picture, media, file or entire gallery
  • Locking USB storage
  • Select lock type (PINs/Pattern)
  • Change button size/image
  • Fake mode shows fake error massage on lock screen. (Move to lock screen when pressing error message longer.)
  • Quick start (Executing Smart Lock by calling to dial #000)
  • Manage pictures by folders
  • Hide service icon in Notification area
  • Schedule when an app should be locked
  • Show/hide Smart Lock icon in installed App list, Home Launcher
  • Backup/Recovery


Best Android Walkie Talkie Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 22nd, 2012

Turn your phone into a Walkie Talkie with these handy apps. They are great for saving your money you would normally spend on making a call or sending a text.

If you regard an audio messaging as a good alternative to email and SMS then you will like what these apps can do to improve and enhance communication between you and your contacts.

Because Walkie Talkie apps can record audio messages for you to listen to later, if you aren’t able to listen to it right away, many regard Walkie Talkie apps as superior to traditional Walkie Talkie solutions, if only for the fact that you can get the feature on your current phone and that the voice quality is much better.

All the apps that are listed here work over WiFi, 3G, 4G and EDGE, they are therefore a great way of saving your voice minutes and SMS quota.


This is a cross platform PTT (push-to-talk) app that is great for communicating with your friends whether they are on Android, iOS or a Windows Phone 7 device. You can specify who can contact you, whether you prefer being contacted by only family or friends, only those you had previously added to you address book or you can leave it open so any can call.
The app has a large ‘Hold and Speak’ button which is great especially if you need to use the app while driving. This HeyTell can also be used to send text, photos and your location to an individual or a group.
Install Hey Tell

Voxer WalkieTalkie PTT

Voxer is a completely zero charge and ad free Walkie Talkie app for Android and other smartphones as well. When you send an instant audio message your friends can listen to it while you are talking or listen to it at a later date. Voxer can also send text, photos and location messages to one friend or a group of your friends.

Key Features:

  • Live Walkie Talkie
  • Talk with friends on Android and iPhone
  • Group chats
  • Get notifications for new messages
  • Create messages even offline
  • Connect with Facebook friends on Voxer

Install Voxer

Zello Walkie Talkie Loudtalks

Zello is a fast and truly cross platform Walkie Talkie solution that makes it possible to talk with other users on Android, iPhone, Blackberry, PC and Windows Mobile devices. You can talk to your contacts privately or you can join public channels to discuss a hot topic.
If you don’t want to talk you can always set your status to busy or away. When you are ready to talk with your friends you only need to set you status to Available or headphones; the app will also allow you to see the status of your contacts.

Key features of Zello include:

  • Realtime streaming, high voice quality
  • Contacts availability and text status
  • Public and private channels for up to 100 users
  • Hardware PTT button mapping
  • Voice history
  • Also available on iPhone, BlackBerry and PC

Install Zello

TiKL Touch Talk Walkie Talkie

This app also allows free, real-time one-on-one voice calls between you, your friends, family and colleagues and groups as well.
No setup is required to talk to someone as the app will allows you to talk with contact from your phone’s contacts or Facebook friends. This PTT app has one of the highest ratings among other PTT Android apps, so you should give it a try.
Install TiKL

With the phasing out of the Nextel service by 2013 there is no wonder that consumers are looking for push-to-talk alternatives for their mobile devices. While we highlighted some of the best Walkie Talkie apps for Android, we realize that there are other great good apps as well. Some of those we didn’t include in this roundup but are worth mentioning include talkbox and Kakao Talk Messenger.

Best Apps for the HTC One X

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 17th, 2012

Oh, aren’t there tons of Android apps that can be installed on a HTC One X, but of course you will want to install only those apps that will take advantage of the phone’s special capabilities among which includes its game changing superb photo capturing capabilities and its awesome sounding Beats Audio feature, to name just two.

Photaf Panorama (Free)

What can you do with the many photos you can take with the photo burst mode of the HTC One X, well you can make a panoramic photo. This app enables you to easily create beautiful, seamless 360 panoramic photos because it utilizes the camera and the orientation sensor to know the exact angle each picture was taken so it can stitch each image together to create one 360-degree photo.


Voxer Walkie-Talkie

If you find it easier to just say what you want, instead of typing, perhaps a Walkie Talkie app will interest you. Voxer turns your phone into a Walkie Talkie that also allows you to send, for free, text, photos and your locations to an individual, or group even if they aren’t on the same mobile platform as you are.
This means you can talk with your contacts from your Android to users on the iPhone, Windows Phone or even Blackberry platform. The audio is delivered to the recipient in a real-time manner, as you would expect from push-to-talk/walkie talkie solutions. Voxer works over WiFi, 3g and 4g.



Enjoy the excellent audio that comes from the HTC One X with content from one of the best Android Internet radio apps. The one and only Pandora is one of the top-rated Android Internet radio apps you can find for listening to your favorite Internet radio stations and find other great ones as well. It works on Wi-Fi and 3G as well.


Handcent SMS

You may think that the stock Android messaging app works just fine, but you will be discontented with it after using Handcent. Handcent allows you to fully customize everything about the look and feel of messages, popups and your contacts as they communicate with you.


ESPN ScoreCenter

Whether or not you like checking live game stats and box scores, or reviewing your team’s current standings, ESPN ScoreCenter will help you follow over 100 sports leagues.
You can also use the myTeams section to have instant access to your favorite teams. The app also gives you access to content from the editorial staff who will keep you informed with the latest analysis and breaking-news.


Lookout Mobile Security

While malware isn’t as prevalent on the Android platform as it is on the PC there is no doubt the underground communities will become more focused on exploiting vulnerabilities in smart phones. Protect your phone with a good antivirus and general security application.
While there are quite a few Android Antivirus apps, Lookout is without a doubt one of the best. The app will protect your Android from malware, phishing attempts, and can even help you recover the phone if it is lost or stolen.



Stick-it notes became popular because they provided a simple solution for helping us remember the things we need to do. Task Managers on mobile devices work fine for many, but the fact that they can be hidden behind the notifications system makes them too easy to forget.
ColorNote allows you to create a note and stick it as a big color square on your phone’s home screen, as a constant in-your-face reminder.



It often makes little sense to pay for a separate data connection for your phone and computer. PdaNet lets you share you phone’s Internet connection with your computer, through a PdaNet desktop client, without requiring that the phone be rooted.

The app adds no latency to your data connection so the computer will connect as fast as the phone’s Internet speed allows, whether that is EDGE or even 4G.



The HTC One Xs screen is pretty nice for watching video, but watching a movie on a mobile device will never outshine the big screen experience. Flixster helps you get instant movie times, watch trailers, read reviews and more on flicks you can watch at your local theatre. The app lets you see what movies are coming out soon, and can even help you get the movie on DVD.

Words With Friends

Those who loathe shoot-em-ups and racing games and prefer the more intellectual type may like “Words With Friends”. The game was built on the same concept as Scrabble so you must have a good vocabulary or at least have a good Scrabble solver. The game is fun and can engage you for hours.


Home Manager

While the HTC Sense interface on the HTC One S, One V, One X and One XL improves upon previous versions and is actually very good, there is no doubt that many users will want to customize their phone’s interface, if only to give it a personal touch.

Home Manager lets you manage the many launchers you download and install. In addition you will be able to specify which launcher will operate as the default, among other things.


Asphalt 6

I wish you luck trying to bog down the phone’s quad core processor, but you can try by running graphics intensive games such as Asphalt 6. The HD graphics lets you see details and animations as you speed over gravel, snow, mud and dirt, and race by the many scenic locations in a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi racecar or Ducati sport bike.

If you see a fall in your HTC One’s performance, one possibility is that there is a bottleneck at your Internet connection. Use to test the download, upload and ping speeds of your connection. You can do each test in less than 30 seconds and track past tests to see trends, or troubleshoot problems.

Cut The Rope

Like many other games ‘Cut the Rope’ will look good on the phone’s 4.7″ display. The objective of this award-winning game is to feed the cute little monster (Om Nom) with candy to keep him happy.
The challenge is to cut the rope, on which candy is swinging at just the right time so the treats reach Om Nom’s mouth… this one is fun.

Android Apps for Lovers of Photography

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 16th, 2012

Android is considered to be not only the best-selling, but also among the top two best smart phone platforms, so lovers of photography are sure to find great Android photography apps for taking superb photographs. Android photography apps should be more than just apps for taking photos; they should do what traditional point and shoot cameras can’t and in fact elicit wonder as to ‘how did I ever do without this’.

Taking photos with one’s phone is becoming more and more popular. This is clear because there is an endless supply of mobile apps to both capture and enhance pictures.

There are a few Android photo apps that are standouts and are definite must-haves for those who love using their mobile phones to take photos. Some examples of key Android photography apps include PicsArt, BeFunky, and Photo Grid.

PicArt is considered to be one of the best photo editors, especially since it offers a wide array of features which include the ability to take photos, apply drawings, magic and photo effects (i.e, flames, stickers, text effects), as well as photo filters such as HDR, Lomo, comic and red eye remover.

BeFunky is another photo app that allows users to take any photo and turn it into something more fun. Make your pictures memorable by using BeFunky to crop, adjust the brightness, hue and saturation of the photos you take. You can also add frames such as rounded corners, postage, filmstrips and winter effect.

Photo Grid is another excellent Android photo app that makes it possible to create amazing photo collages; so you can create an interesting composition from the very best shots from your last trip into a single but awesome piece. 

The Android photo apps mentioned above are just a few of the many Android photo applications that are available for photography lovers, you can explore the Photography section of our AppStore to find more apps like these — it lists only those with the highest user ratings.

Roundups & Recommendations on the Best Android Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on February 20th, 2012

There is an ocean of Android apps to choose from, but with lots of great ones and some duds it can be pretty daunting trying to find the best for your phone or tablet. This is a list of the best Android apps for several different categories. Have a look at each roundup, you may be surprised at what you find.

Free Android GPS Cell Phone Trackers

Here are some of the best  cell phone tracking solutions you will find for your Android that won’t cost you a dime. These GPS trackers can do: real time tracking, on your spouse, friend, employee or child and provide information as to what they are doing on the phone and where they have been.

Best Antivirus Apps for Android Phones and Tablets

Yes, your smart phone can get viruses too. These Android antivirus apps can stop and remove spyware, malware, and viruses as well as locate lost/stolen phones.

Best Android Bible Software

A roundup of the best Android bible software. These Android bible apps include: bible readers (NIV, KJV), bible concordances, devotionals and bible study guides: Olive Tree, audio bible and free bibles for your Android.

Best Free Android Games

This is a list of some of the top-notch Android games. The list consists of arcade, puzzle, card, physics-based and other free Android games.

The Best Android Email Clients

This is a roundup of Android email clients that support POP3, and webmail services (IMAP, SMTP) and accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo.

Best Android Fitness and Workout Apps

A roundup of the most highly rated fitness and workout apps for Android phones and tablets. These apps can track your fitness level, plan exercise routines, keep a log of your BMI and other body stats.

Android Apps for Stocks, Options and Derivative Traders

Here are some must-have apps for those who actively trade stocks, options, derivatives and currencies. These trading apps have charts, technical indicators and price quotes that will free you to trade on the go.

Best Android TV Apps

With these apps you can watch live television, and streaming videos and movies for free.

Top 5 Android Apps for Music Lovers

If you are a music lover you will dig these apps. This review list includes a music recognition app, a powerful Android music app with equalizer features, and a radio and iTunes remote controller.

The Best Android Expense Tracker Apps, Hands Down

A review of top-rated Android expense managers, expense tracking, budget tracking and expense reporting apps.

A Romantic Android Valentine’s Day Wallpaper

Posted By Steve McFarlane on February 14th, 2012

Create a romantic evening for two with a beautiful Android wallpaper — in true 3D style right on your Android.

This live wallpaper allows you to create a beautiful 3D Live wallpaper, that is perfect for Valentine’s Day.

Create a beautiful candle light dinner scene from some of the most romantic cities such as a Paris and Barcelona or even a place an image in a frame of that special someone in the background.

Useful When

You can use this wallpaper as part of your Valentine’s Day plans or set the mood wherever you are if you can’t take her somewhere special. Place a picture of someone special in a frame, or as the background image. Celebrate with a chilled bottle of champagne and two sparkling glasses at your choice of locations – Paris, Barcelona, and more. Place a gift with your customized message on the table – a rose and rose petals complete the atmosphere for your candlelit dinner.

Setting the Mood

You can customize the scene to your liking with a romantic scene, a bottle of Champagne, a flaming candle and special message on the table. In fact you can customize the entire scene to your liking with your own photograph in the picture frame or background, a custom message for the title, and a custom text for the gift card.

You can have floating hearts drift through the background, or turn off the hearts altogether. You can also choose from a preset theme or completely customized the scene to suit the tastes of yourself of your valentine.

This Valentine’s Day Live Wallpaper is a 3-D wallpapers that features silky-smooth animations while conserving your battery life. It works on phones, tablets, and any device that supports live wallpapers.

Many of us are guilty of not showing how much we love our significant other except on Valentines days.  If you don’t have access to the person’s phone you can customize your own with this Valentine’s day wallpaper and invite her to do something on your phone such as play a game or read a message.  She will be completely surprised by the romantic scene that you spent time creating in honor of your love for her.

This app is great for setting the mood or saving the day if you had forgotten to get something. QR Code

A Brief Review of GTA 3 for Android Devices

Posted By Steve McFarlane on January 26th, 2012

Rockstar Games, as is known to all its fans, is singularly related to the blockbuster series of GTA (a.k.a Grand Theft Auto) – has celebrated the tenth birthday of one of its most influential games by repeating history. Late last year, the 10th anniversary of GTA 3 brought the action packed open world 3D sandbox styled game to mobile devices i.e. Android and iOS.

This reincarnation of Liberty City from the classic consoles to the high tech world of mobile computing has been a success. Considered as a port because of the fact that the original setup of the game remained intact, GTA 3 for mobile devices allows the massive and diverse world of crime along with its complete set of characters to be played on touch screen devices and is now available on Android Market sites such as the one over at AndroidPIT.


Unlike other iOS GTA clones the interface on this version is more like the real one. The game play as we said before follows the original, only the controls have been changed to fit mobile devices. The map, options and open world is the same as that in the older version as well. It functions smoothly especially on larger tablet screens but the old essence of the game is still preserved. Unfortunately, it may come as a disappointment to longtime Grand Theft Auto players who have played the later installments of the game to find that recent features such as jumping out of moving cars is none existent. But that in some sense it keeps the spirit of GTA 3 unspoiled. All GTA fans should be in their element on this one.


It is well known that controls can kill or make a game, even more so when you are playing on a touch screen as opposed to traditional consoles. GTA 3’s controls are designed to be intuitive and the buttons are all in their right place and sensitivity is just perfect. However, the auto camera works very well until you try and change it. This is when one has to bring his finger to the middle of the screen, which unfortunately disrupts game play. Otherwise everything about the input is snazzy.


The gaming experience would be enhanced if the scenery was better.  It is not too ‘real estate’ but this Android game has just enough realism to make you feel in your element, though the pixel density and colors seem to have remained unchanged from the previous version. We just hoped that the real estate would have been better rendered to enhance the gaming experience, but then some have argued that more refined visuals would have made the game out of character with its theme.


It’s only recently that modders have found a way to work their magic on the Android GTA 3 too. Since all the files are there, only in different places, users can easily mod the game if they are so inclined.


GTA 3 has fit extraordinarily well onto the Android platform. Since the game has a sapping effect on the battery, producers have made it easier to save missions. Instead of heading to your safe-house gamers can exit the game and return exactly where they left off. Overall, GTA 3 is well worth its $5 price tag for all the nostalgia, excitement and experience.

About Author: Sarah Smith who is a professional Guest blogger. Writing for PC Keeper – useful software that also contains disk cleaner and registry cleaner.

Apps for Backing up Your Android Contacts

Posted By Steve McFarlane on December 1st, 2011

Here are five apps that can backup your contacts and then some.

Backup to Gmail

Because this app syncs your contacts, calendar, SMS and Picasa album to Gmail, its users have what amounts to an automatic contacts backup solution. Owing to the fact that your SD card can be lost, along with any backup that has been stored thereon, this solution can give even greater security to your backups by putting it on the cloud where it can be access at anytime and easily used to restore content and other phones settings to another devices should the need arise.

Anti-virus Free

This suite of security software will protect your Android from viruses, malware and exploits in real time. In addition to being able to protect your phone from malware, Anti-Virus Free can:

  • Scan apps, settings, files, and media in real time
  • Find/locate a lost or stolen phone via Google maps
  • Backup and restore contacts, apps and other data
  • Lock and wipe the phone
  • Kill tasks that slow the phone down

Lookout Security & Antivirus

This Android antivirus app is more than a solution to protect your phone against viruses. Lookout can also:

  • Backup your call history, photos and contacts
  • Help you recover a lost phone
  • Remotely wipe the phone if it can’t be found and
  • Restore you backups to a new phone.

MyBackup Pro

You can schedule this app to periodically backup you apps and data to online servers or an SD card. In addition to being able to backup you contacts, the app can also backup your calendar, system settings, applications, photos, contacts, call log, bookmarks, SMS (text messages), MMS (message attachments), Home Screens (including shortcut positions), dictionary, music playlists, alarms, and more.

GO Contacts EX

This Android contacts app is a powerful tool that is ideal for replacing the stock Android Contacts and Dialer.

Other features worth mentioning include:

  • Quick find: by letter, name, company, keyword
  • Fast search of contacts even if you can’t remember a contact’s full name
  • Easily organize contacts using drag and group
  • Identified duplicate contacts by name, phone number or email and merge them
  • Backup and restore contacts to and from a SD card.


Top Android Food Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on November 30th, 2011

Whether done for sustenance, or for pleasure, finding good or even great food is a matter that no stomach will allow you to forget.

This is a roundup of Android food apps that can help you plan a meal, find great places to eat, or record what you have been eating.


If you are not in the mood to cook, there are quite a few food apps you can use to find a good place to eat, but one of the best is Yelp. Truthfully, Yelp is more than an Android restaurant finder, you can also use it to find a place to stay, bars, drugstores, banks and nearly everything else.

Yelp also uses AR (augmented reality) to help you find great restaurants. Do a search and the app will show a map of restaurants you may be interested in — each restaurant is represented by a small bubble that you can tap on to see its: ratings, opening times, menu items, a contact numbers and price ranges.

If you are in the mood to explore, you can use the AR feature to identify restaurants that are close by. Once the feature is activated the app will display icons to represent food establishments that are in the direction you are pointing the phone. QR Code


It happens to all of us, we are not in the mood to cook, but can’t quite decide what we want to eat or where we want to eat. Urbanspoon provides a solution of sorts by suggesting some of the best eateries that are close by.

To get a suggestion simply open the app and shake the phone and it will give you a list of restaurants you can try base on their distance from your current location. You can also find eateries in distant places by manually setting a location and having the app find places that are close to that location. This is a great feature you can use to find a good restaurant in another city even before you leave home. QR Code

Recipe Search

If you have ever felt like making a dish that includes a particular ingredient, but aren’t sure about the recipe, you may find ‘Recipe Search’ useful.

You can browse thousands (well over 70k) recipes in categories such as main dishes, appetizers, drinks, side dishes, desserts, ethnic recipes, soups, stews and diet recipes.

You can also browse by top recipes or newest recipes, but we think you will love the single ingredient recipe suggestion feature. This feature allows you to find a recipe based on a single ingredient, which is great for using what you currently have in the fridge to make a tasty meal. QR Code

Food Additives

Even if you are not super health conscious, it helps to know what is in the foods you buy and eat. ‘Food Additives’ provides information on the ingredients that are in the foods we eat and the way those ingredients affect our health.

Though the app has some translation issues, it is still a good resource. The next time you are in the grocery store use this app to check ingredients you are not sure about, you will be surprised what you find. QR Code

Diet Assistant – Weight Loss

Proper meal planning will inevitably come around to managing portion sizes, nutrition and counting calories. It doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds though, well, that is if you have the right app.

Diet Assistant is a dieting tool for people who want to better manage their weight as well as have a healthy lifestyle. Use Diet Assistant as a personal dietitians to plan how much nutrients you take in as well as track and graph how your eating habits contributes to your weight loss or gain. QR Code

Ingredients Substitutes

If you are using the Food Additives app it is very likely that you will come across an ingredient that your conscience will demand that you boot from your diet. In such instances you can use this app to find alternatives to the ingredients you want to replace.

That said, this app is most useful to vegetarians, especially vegans who constantly face the challenge of finding good alternatives to some popular ingredients that make traditional foods look and taste good. Ingredients Substitutes aims to solve this problem by presenting substitutes to 150 popular ingredients.

This app is a great concept, but it is hard to justify paying anything for a list of 150 ingredients and their substitutes, especially when a simply Google search can reveal the same.

How to Get iPhone 4s Siri Like Features on Your Android

Posted By Steve McFarlane on October 18th, 2011

While Androids have always had voice control, how envious many Android fans must have been when the Apple guys previewed awesome Siri voice assistant on the new iPhone 4s. Siri has an incredible ability to understand and respond to questions and queries in natural language

A team from came together to build a Siri-like solution and accomplished the feat in 8-hours. According to them “in no time, we added voice input, text-to-speech, also a lot of hueristic humor into Iris. Not until late evening we decided on the name iris.”

The name is Siri in reverse; it means “Intelligent Rival Imitator of Siri”.

You can find an early version of the app on the Android Market. Use it to question your Android on any topic ranging from philosophy, to culture, to history, to science in a natural conversation style.

Top Rated Android Food Diaries

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 29th, 2011

Proper meal planning, and by extension effective weight management, almost always comes around to managing portion sizes, nutrition and the number of calories one eats in each meal. It doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds though, well, that is if you have the right tools.

Here are some of the best Android Food diaries you can use to monitor and record what you eat and in what quantities you eat those foods.

Calorie Counter by FatSecret

Calorie Counter is a simple and easy to use tool for helping you meet your weight management goals. The app is the essential app for those who want to find nutritional info on the foods they eat as well as record their exercise routine and the resulting weight gain or loss.

In addition to the exercise and food diary features, the app also has these features:

  • Barcode scanner and manual barcode input to help you easily identify and enter food items
  • A journal to record your progress
  • Calorie and nutrition info on your favorite foods, brands and restaurants
  • A diet calendar that shows the calories you consumed and burned
  • A weight tracker
  • Recipes and meal ideas

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Ultimate Weight Watcher Diary

No doubt this is one of the most highly rated Weight Watchers style application for Android phones and tablets.

This application has a barcode scanner, a large online database of everyday food items, and a database of popular restaurants and the meals their offer. You can also use the app to track your food choices and record daily notes.

If you are not satisfied with the pace of your weight loss there is an accelerated weight loss feature that will help you intensify things.

Full features list:

  • Daily Point Diary Tracker with Weekly Points allowance
  • Barcode scanner to quickly add items to your diary and favorites
  • Can set an unlimited number of food and activity favorites
  • Can export and email data in plain text and csv (spreadsheet) file formats
  • Allows you to tailor your plan to give allowance for special needs users such as nursing moms
  • Accelerate weight loss program with the Extra Boost Mode
  • Allows you to quickly & easily tailor meals to your desired portion size
  • A database of over 500,000 food items along with a built-in database of over 20,000 food items
  • The app can track your daily intake of liquids, fruits & vegetables, multi-vitamin and let you know if you have met your daily requirement
  • Activity Points Calculator for all plans
  • Progress Tracking with advanced graphing, lets you monitor your Weight (inc. BMI Calculator) & body measurements (includes waist, calves, hips, chest, neck, upper arms and thighs)
  • Has two homepage widgets, one for daily/weekly information and another for weight loss
  • Can run offline
  • Backup and Restore function for all database

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WW Points Plus Diary & Scanner

This is a Weight Watchers tool for tracking activity points, weekly points and your daily targets. You can use it to graph your results and keep a diary of everything you eat. The app is a food diary, points tracker, food lookup and restaurant finder as well.

This is one of the best Android food tracker that is available. In fact, it can help you track and stay focused on your weight loss goals by helping you monitor the number of calories, fat, carbohydrates and other nutrients you take with each meal.

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There are other good Android diaries that didn’t make it into this review. Notable mentions must be made of “Simple Calorie Count” and “Weight Watchers Diary”.

Android Weight Watchers Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 28th, 2011

Weight Watchers is an awesome resource for those who want to better manage their weight. While the Weight Watchers Mobile app promises to offer many of the online features that made the program popular among users, it really fails to deliver the experience as promised; in fact, the app still has some stability issues that need to be worked out.

Here are some unofficial Weight Watchers like apps that will help you track and follow a weight management program.

WW Points Plus Diary & Scanner

This is a Weight Watchers tool for tracking activity points, weekly points and your daily targets. You can use it to graph your results and keep a diary of everything you eat. The app is a food diary, points tracker, food look-up and restaurant finder as well.

Indeed, this is one of the best Android Weight Watchers apps that is available. It can help you track and stay focused on your weight loss goal by helping you monitor the number of calories, fat, carbohydrates and other nutrients you take in after eating certain foods.

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Ultimate Weight Watcher Diary

No doubt this is one of the most highly rated Weight Watchers style application for Android phones and tablets.

This application has a barcode scanner, a large online database of everyday food items, database of popular restaurants. You can also use the app to track your food choices and record daily notes. There is also a mode to help you accelerate your weight loss and track you progress with advanced graphs and 2 homepage widgets.

Full features list:

  • Barcode scanner to quickly add items to your diary and favorites
  • Daily Point Diary Tracker
  • Can set an unlimited number of food and activity favorites
  •  The ability to export & email data in plain text and csv (spreadsheet) file formats
  • Allows you to tailor your plan to give allowance for nursing moms and the Extra Boost Mode for accelerated weight loss
  • Allows you to quickly & easily tailor meals to your desired portion size
  • Has a database of over 500,000 food items along with a built-in database of over 20,000 food items
  • The app will track your daily intake of liquids, fruits & vegetables, multivitamin and let you know if you have met your daily requirements
  • Activity Points Calculator for all plans
  • Progress tracking with advanced graphing, lets you monitor your weight (i.e. your BMI) and body measurements (waist, calves, hips, chest, neck, upper arms, thighs etc.)
  • Two homepage widgets, one for daily/weekly information and another for weight loss
  • Ability to run offline so there is no need to use your mobile data plan
  • Backup and Restore function for all database

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There are other good Android Weight Watchers app that didn’t make this list. If these apps can’t serve your needs consider looking at the “Weight Watchers Diary” Android app.

Birds PRO – Android Bird Guide

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 28th, 2011

Birds PRO by Nature Mobile is a stylish and easy-to-use bird breed identification guide with an integrated picture and sound quiz game. The app allows the user to read fascinating information and learn facts about 230 common European bird breeds; browse more than 1500 professional bird pictures; listen to more than 460 spectacular calls and songs and find your favorite bird.


Though many of the screen shots feature the Deutsch language, the app is also available in English. You can select English when the app starts up or you can click Info and select the language you want.

Due to the high-resolution of the bird images and sounds (about 150MB), this Android bird guide needs to be installed on the SD card – which means you wont need the Internet to access the resources on the app.

You can try the free version before spending the $14.28 asking price for this app. Fortunately; you can uninstall the free version without loosing any pictures in the full version.


As mentioned before, the bird guide has over 230 common European bird breeds with 1,500 high quality pictures of the male and female birds, their young and their eggs. There are also 468 recordings of calls and songs.

The app allows you to identify birds by their appearance, size, feathering, beak type, and you can also filter them by geographic range and habitat.

Users can submit their own pictures for possible inclusion in the app. To submit your own pictures visit the app’s official website at  The developer promises to consider every serious, curious, and hilarious picture — high-quality pictures may be included in future updates. QR code

Remote Wipe Apps for Android Phones and Tablets

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 28th, 2011

The remote wipe feature exists to give mobile phone owners, companies and system administrators a way to wipe data from a device that contains important/sensitive information that should never get in the hands of others.

There aren’t many persons who know that every Android device contains a Master Clean command. The code is a simply security feature that was designed for corporations and entities that can implement the feature on their Microsoft Exchange servers and similar systems.

Fortunately consumers can still have access to this feature by installing an Android security app that has the remote wipe service.  Here are some of the best Android remote wipe apps.


While other Android security app developers offer separate solutions for data backup, anti-virus protection and remote data wipe, Lookout provides an all-in-one solution for free. The solution allows you to see a map-based view of your phone’s current location and manage other features from the company’s web-based interface.

If the phone is lost you can opt to remotely delete all your contacts, photos, videos, emails and text messages using the web interface. You can then restore what you had deleted to a new phone, from the backups you had saved to

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Norton Mobile Security (Beta)

This is also a feature rich mobile security app that can be used to remotely lock, wipe or locate a phone, if it is misplaced, lost or stolen. The app also provides Norton-grade anti-malware protection, as well as call and SMS screening of unwanted callers.

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PhoneLocator Pro

This app has quite a few tricks up its sleeve, some of which include the ability to:

  • Get notifications about phone numbers that a thief is calling or receiving calls from as well as the phone’s location when the calls were made
  • Receive a notification if the SIM card is changed
  • Find your nearby phone by making it ring at maximum volume, even if it is left in silent or vibrate mode

The app also has some other advance features that are only available on devices running Android 2.2 and above. These features include the ability to:

  • Remotely lock and/or wipe the phone
  • Lock the device if an unregistered SIM is detected
  • Lock the device when the display goes to sleep

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 Kaspersky Mobile Security 9

Kaspersky Mobile Security is a comprehensive security solution for popular smart phone platforms such as Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Androids. Not only does the app provides real-time protection against viruses, but it also has other powerful security features as well. Some of which include:

  • Lost or Stolen Phone Locator – sending a special SMS to the missing device, will cause it to respond by sending you a Google Maps link that pinpoints its exact location.
  • Make the phone unusable – You can also remotely block anyone from using the device and accessing its contents. Kaspersky Mobile Security 9 also gives you the option to remotely wipe that data.
    If you had planned ahead, you can also set a message that will be displayed when the phone is blocked; this should help anyone who finds the device to locate the rightful owner, if they are so inclined.
  • Privacy Protection – This feature secures your contacts and content from unauthorized access. Use this feature to hide your contacts and call logs just in case the phone gets in the wrong hands.
  • Call and SMS Filtering – Block unwanted calls and messages from certain numbers.

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Roundup of the Best Android Comic Readers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 28th, 2011

There are lots of comic book readers for Android phones and tablets; here are some of the most highly rated comic viewers.

Mango – Manga reader

Mango is a free, but ad-supported manga (Japanese comics) reader for Android devices. Choose from a huge library of over 8 thousand fan-translated manga, including: Bleach, One Piece, Naruto, Fairy Tail, Air Gear, Gantz, D.Gray-man, and thousands more.

The Mango Service strips down HTML data before sending it to the phone, which speeds up download times. This Android comic reader can load all 7,000 of MangaFox’s titles in just a few seconds, and all on one page. You can then save them to your SD card and read them later.

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Fast Dilbert Reader

Gives access to more than 22 years of Dilbert strips. The comic strips are pre-downloaded before you reach them so that there is absolutely no loading delay when switching from one strip to another.

Of such you will not be left hanging if you lose data connection as often happens in subways and other low-reception areas. It is also possible to share strips with your friends, through Facebook, Twitter and MMS.

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Comic Reader

This is an all-in-one free and ad-free comic strip reader for Android phones.  Use it to read 345 of the most famous comics including Garfield, Dilbert, Xkcd, Abstruse Goose, PhD Comics, Pickles, Geek and Poke, Calvin and Hobbes, Spiked Math and many more.
You need to have a SD card on the phone, as Comic Reader won’t run on a mobile without a SD card. QR code

Comic Strips

This comic reader has an easy to use interface and allows you to read over 300,000 comic strips from over 120 comics. Supported comics strips include: The Academia Waltz, Adam@Home, Agnes, Alley Oop, Andy Capp, Animal Crackers, The Argyle Sweater, Legend of Bill, Liberty Meadows, The Meaning of Lila, The Middletons, Minimum Security, Moderately Confused, Molly and the Bear, Momma, Monty.

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Android Apps for Professional Photographers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 26th, 2011

This is a roundup of Androids photography apps for professionals. While professionals are unlikely to use their phones as their primary camera, they can still use their phones as a training tool, a photo editor and a tool to add special photo effects.

Photography Trainer

This is a must have app for photographers, especially those who want to improve and or are just learning the art. Whether you want to do night, sports, landscapes, portraits or architecture photography, this app guides you with step-by-step instructions on how to setup a camera to take perfect photos. The application helps photographers to truly understand shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings.

The learning progress is further enhanced with the inclusion of dozens of sample photos along with tutorials and tips to help you setup the camera to achieve the same results as the sample photos.  In our opinion $1.99 is a small price to pay for photography training. It is not the same as going to digital photography school, but it does an awesome job for only $1.99.

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Photography Calculator

This is an Android photography app for advance photographers. This app can calculate the depth of field (DoF) details and the hyperfocal distance for the given parameters, has a 1,500 plus camera database, can measure focal length, aperture, and subject distance. It’s also has a field of view (FoV) calculator that can calculate the photo count to compose a panoramic photograph.

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Sundroid Sunrise Sunset Pro

Sundroid calculates sunrise, sunset, twilight, length of day, golden hours, moonrise & moonset times for any corner of the globe you can find yourself. While this app is great for hunters, Sabbath keepers and astronomers, it also makes a good resource for photographers as well, especially those who do sunset and sunrise weddings. In that it can help you plan how to handle the unique lighting conditions that are present at sunset and sunrise.

Features include:

  • Sunrise and sunset times
  • Solar noon
  • Civil, nautical and astronomical twilight times
  • Golden hours
  • Length of daylight
  • Notifications for all events
  • Azimuths of rise and set
  • Moonrise and moonset times plus moon phase
  • Monthly calendar views showing difference for each day
  • Daily summaries
  • Four home screen widgets

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Advanced Android Phone Trackers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 26th, 2011

We covered some free trackers in another article, but those free cell Android trackers aren’t as feature-rich or reliable as the paid solutions we cover here.  These apps are good for locating a lost cell phone, tracking a family member and even collecting evidence for legal matters.

While one of the solutions that we cover here is good enough to be employed in professional surveillance work, all these apps are user-friendly and can be used by anyone who knows how to point-and-click.

Family Tracker by Fibercode

This app was originally developed for the iPhone to allow its users to track family members. Now the app is available on the Android platform, best of all, the Android version can be used to track iPhones and visa versa.

The app will even restart the tracking process if the phone is rebooted. Even though the app costs $4.99, there are no other fees to pay.

  • Remotely force updates without the user having to do anything
  • Stealthily request a location update from the remote device without the person being notified
  • No monthly or periodic fees
  • Track phones via the web
  • Find a lost or stolen phone
  • Force a misplaced phone to alarm even if the phone is on vibrate or silent
  • Track your vehicles, shipments, etc.

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PhoneLocator Pro

This app has quite a few tricks up its sleeve, some of which include the ability to:

  • Receive a notification if the SIM card is changed
  • Get notified about the phone numbers that the thief is calling or receiving calls from plus the phone’s position at the time of call
  • Find your nearby phone by making it ring at maximum volume, even if it is left on silent or vibrate mode

The following features are only available on Android 2.2 and above:

  • Remotely lock your device
  • Lock device if an unregistered SIM is detected
  • Lock device when display goes to sleep
  • Remotely wipe the device
  • Protection from being uninstalled

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This cell phone tracking and monitoring software is a full feature application that does a very good job of tracking cell phones with ninja like prowess. We should tell you that this is not just a solution for Android phones. In fact, there are versions of the software for all the major mobile phone platforms (Android, iPhone, Symbian, Windows phone and Blackberry).

If the double-digit monthly growth rate of Mobistealth is any indicator, it’s serving its customers well, or at the least is meeting the needs of its customers.

Mobistealth packages start from $39.99. Of course, it is up to consumers to decide what package of features they need. In any case, Mobistealth’s list of features include the ability to:

  • Secretly record, download and listen to phone calls
  • Download call history
  • Track phones from the web
  • Stealthily request the current location of the phone
  • Remotely wipe data from a lost or stolen phone
  • View the duration of each call made from the phone
  • Retrieve call, picture and video logs from the phone
  • Perform reverse phone lookup on numbers to and from which calls are made
  • Get notification of a SIM card change with details on the new SIM card
  • If GPS is not working the software can track the phone using information from the nearest cell phone towers
  • Automatically resumes tracking even after a reboot
  • Has solution for Tablets
  • Find a lost or stolen phone

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 In Our Opinion

As you can see these Android cell phone tracking solutions are feature rich and do much more than the average consumer may need, they are in fact a cut above the limited feature set of free phone trackers.

That said, it is up to you to decide if the more powerful features and increase reliability of these apps are worth the fees consumers are asked to pay – from our experience and standpoint, they are.