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WordPress for Android App Review

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 22nd, 2011

While you are better off customizing the look and feel of your WordPress blog using the larger screen of a computer, WordPress for Android enables website owners, content writers and webmasters to accomplish some basic and routine tasks from their Android devices.

Write Post and Pages on Your Mobile

If you want a way to easily write and publish a new post or page from your Android this is the app for you. WordPress for Android is an Open Source app that empowers you to write new posts and pages, edit content as well as manage comments and notifications.

View You Blog’s Stats and Moderate Comments

Administrators of self-hosted blogs can also use the app to view their stats, but will need to install the stats plugin. After you have done so, simply enter your login and select the ‘Stats’ tab to see the stats.

The app can also be used to manage discussions on your blog by giving you options to moderate comments and reply to the one you wish to engage.

Follow Other Blogs

It is not just a tool for webmasters though, the app can be used to follow another blog in a similar way you follow a RSS feed. If it is a WordPress.com blog you can just hit the “Follow” button in the app and you should start getting updates via RSS.

If the blog is not on WordPress.com, you can still follow it, provided that the blog has a RSS feed.

The app is constantly being updated with exciting new features; see what the developers are currently working on for the next WordPress for Android app at the developer blog.  Once there you can see how the new app is being developed and even request features you want included in the next release.  QR Code

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Best Android Productivity Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 20th, 2011

Smart phones and tablets have evolved into powerful tools that have enabled us to amuse and entertain ourselves whenever we want – the more serious ones among us can also use them to become more productive.  Here are some top-rated Android productivity apps that can help you do more and do so more efficiently.

Documents To Go

Using the relative small screen of an Android phone to create or even edit an Office document may not be the most efficient way to work, but being able to do so can be a life saver if you are on the road and need to review some spreadsheet numbers, or edit a proposal before sending it off.Documents to Go

Documents To Go can:

  • Transfer, and automatically sync documents between your computer and Android device
  • Apply common document formatting such as bold, italics, underline, font color, alignment, bulleted and numbered lists
  • Create, view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, & PowerPoint files
  • View PDF files
  • Insert and handle tables, bookmarks, comments, footnotes, endnotes
  • Track-changes, word count, find & replace, etc.

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Pageonce

Always being able to check how much you have to spend is a good way to spare yourself embarrassment after handing over you credit card. With Pageonce installed you can better manage the various expense and income items you have to juggle in your budget, and manage them at your convenience.

This Android app is a convenient way to manage all your credit cards, bills, banking and investing accounts in one place. It can also be used to set reminders for when bills will become due as well as other alerts regarding financial matters.

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Evernote

This app helps you to organize your ideas, jottings and the bits of information you amass while you go about living your life and doing business.  Evernote can be used to record audio notes, so you can remember your thoughts on a particular matter; take pictures while you are out comparison-shopping, so you can make an informed decision later and add tags to those picture to make them searchable.

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Astrid Task/Todo List

This is a task manager and to-do-list app. Astrid isn’t any old to-do-list Android productivity app though. With each task you can enter deadlines, set priority rankings, as well as assign tags so you can easily find a task at a later date. You can also set reminders for a specific task or hide a task until a time you specify.

Astrid integrates well with other services such as Google Calendar so you can share and manage jobs among colleagues – among other things.

Astrid has many other features that qualify it as a must have Android app including: custom filters, widgets, the ability to sync with other popular productivity tools.

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DW Contact

More than just being able to create, edit, copy, change and delete contacts, DW Contact is a useful tool for managing a single contact, or a group of contacts. The app also supports local, Gmail and Exchange accounts, so you can copy contacts from Gmail to an Exchange account, or visa versa.

DW Contact not only allows you to manage contacts and groups but you can also use the app to send messages to select contacts based on the groups, organizations and titles they are associated with.

You can also use DW to search contacts by attributes such as: name, phone number, organization, notes, address, email, relationships, websites, birthday, and sort them by name or nickname.

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Astro File ManagerAstro File Manager - Android File Manager

Simply put, this app provides a better way to easily manage the pictures, music, documents and videos you have stored on your Android.

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Top 3 Android Tip Calculators

Posted By Steve McFarlane on September 16th, 2011

Sure you can use a calculators to split a bill among a friends or colleagues, but it can get pretty tedious when you have to calculate a tax, separate drinks charges, tips and other add-on fees. If your brain is not as sharp, or your phone’s calculator is too limited, here are some apps to take the guesswork out of how much each person should pay.

Tip Calculator

This app simply calculates the how much each person needs to contribute to a bill. There is also an option to add a tip and calculate that as part of the bill split. It a pretty simple app that accepts the following fields: “Amount of Bill”, “Percentage to Tip”, “Total # of people”, “#People drinking (optional)”, and “Amount for drinks (optional)”. Once those figures are entered it will calculate:

  • Tip Amount
  • Total Per Person (w/o drinks)
  • Total Per Person (with drinks)
  • Total to Pay

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Tip Calculator (NO AD)-tip

This powerful and easy to use companion for calculating and dividing meal and drinking charges between any number of your friends. With over 250k downloads and above average user ratings (4.64), this is one of the best Android tip calculators you can find, not only because it has most of the tools you need to calculate tips, but also because it is a free app that doesn’t run Ads.

Features:

  • Easy to use
  • Can include and calculate a tax as well
  • Has a simple numeric soft keyboard for entering the numbers
  • Round bill and tip support
  • AD Free

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Tip Me (Tip Calculator)

Like the other tip calculators that we mentioned before, ‘Tip Me’ is a great way to determine how much each of your friends will pay after you’ve had your meal and drinks, but it has to features to make the process easier, more convenient and more flexible. For example, you can manually adjust how much each person is to pay, so someone else can pick-up the tab for someone who can’t cover their split.

Features:

  • Calculates in real time
  • Option to reset the fields with a shake of the device
  • Split bill between any # of people
  • Separately adjust each individual’s amount
  • Specify your own custom tip percent (set default in menu)
  • Rounding options
  • Calculate pre and post tax
  • Move to SD (Froyo)
  • Customize the look by choosing from three available fonts
  • Ad Free

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We searched for but could not find an Android tip calculator that integrates with a personal finance app so you can track how much you had spent on the split without manually entering it into another app. If you know of such a solution please let us know about it in the comments section.

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Best Paid Android Offline Browsing Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 28th, 2011

Whether you are often in an area that doesn’t have good data services or you want to limit your mobile data usage, using an offline browsing app is a great way to ensure that you will be able to read Internet content even where there is no network connection.  These offline-browsing apps can save web pages and articles for reading at a later date:

Read It Later Pro

Because “Read It Later” is tied to an account you can save articles from a computer browser, phone or tablet to be viewed later. This means that you can save an article or web page while you are at work and access it on a train, plane or anywhere else that you wont have Internet service.

When you are ready to read the article or webpage the ‘Article View’ feature ensures that only the words, images, captions and videos are captured and saved – as an alternative, you can download the entire webpage to preserve the user experience as the webmaster had intended it to look. In either case the app ensures that you don’t have to start reading from the beginning every time you go back to continue reading the article. It does so by remembering the exact scroll position you were at when last you read the article.

‘Read It Later’ is also integrated in many popular Android apps, so there are many ways to get the Android offline browsing experience. Some apps that have ‘Read It Later’ already integrated include: Dolphin Browser HD, Pulse, AndReader and FeedR. QR Code

InstaFetch PRO

This offline reader works in a similar way to ‘Read It Later’ in that you can save a web page you want to read later. The app is integrated with Instapaper.com so you can bookmark all the pages you want to read later on online. This means that you can continue reading on your computer, Kindle, phone or tablet. InstaFetch also allows you to listen to articles using Text-to-speech. Some of the app’s best features include:

  • Support for Instapaper folders
  • Full-screen reading
  • Automatic pagination of articles
  • Text-to-Speech capabilities
  • Night mode (bright text on dark background)
  • Star your favorite articles
  • Evernote integration
  • Wi-Fi-only auto-sync mode
  • Priority support

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A Great Android App for Recording College Lectures

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 21st, 2011

If you have ever struggled to keep pace with a fast talking lecturer or understand a very technical presentation, you will understand the need to have a simple and effective way of recording lectures so you can listen to them again at a pace that is comfortable to you.

There are lots of smart phone apps you can use to record conversations and presentations, unfortunately not all of them can enhance the audio recording process to ensure that the playback is clear and useable. One of the best Android apps for recording college lectures is one called ClearRecordLite.

Noise Reduction/Cancellation Feature

It is one thing to be able to record a phone conversation with your Android but ensuring that the audio quality is good is another matter.  ClearRecord uses an Ambient Noise Reduction technology to suppress background noise that can reduce the quality of audio recordings.

You can further enhance the quality of any audio being recorded by this app by using a quality microphone. In any case, ClearRecord will ensure that the phone’s standard microphone captures at the best audio quality it can, whether you are recording on the streets, in a train or in a lecture hall.

Playback and Transcription

This Android audio recorder also has the ability to control the playback speed without modifying the pitch. The Slow play-speed feature allow transcribers and new-language-learners to slow the speech rate so they can hear a fast speaker more clearly. You can also use this feature to fast-forward to the less important parts of the lecture in order to get to what really matters.

Standout Features

  • Suppresses ambient noise normally captured during recording
  • Adjustable playback speeds to get through a long lecture quickly or hear a fast speaker more clearly.
  • Play recording at speeds of 0.5x, 0.75x, 1.25x or 1.5x without modifying pitch quality
  • Record speech, lectures and conversations at 16 kHz and live music performances and natural sounds at 44.1 kHz
  • Supports sampling frequency of 16 kHz for voice recordings and 48 kHz for music recordings
  • Records in the widely supported WAV file format so files can play on your computer as well
  • Store files on external memory (SD card)
  • Record in background while running other apps

QR Code for ClearRecord

 

I you need a solution that can record audio files and send them via email have a look at the AndRecord app in our roundup of Android conversation recorders; it is a great way to record lectures and share them with fellow students.

If on the other hand you want a way to record notes in text format and attach videos and audio files, consider using Evernote.

Top 3 Android Audio Apps for Recording Conversations

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 19th, 2011

This is a roundup of the best Android audio recorder apps we could find. These are great apps for recording lectures, one-on-one conversations and what’s happening in your immediate surroundings.

ClearRecordLite

Having the ability to record a phone conversation with your Android is one thing, but ensuring that the audio quality is good is another matter. ClearRecord gives your phone the ability to suppress Ambient Noise that is often inadvertently captured while recording audio.

The Ambient Noise Reduction (ANR) feature, allows you to record conversations in noisy environments (i.e. street, train, classroom or stadium) while allowing the voice to remain clear. This Android audio recorder also has the ability to control playback speed without modifying pitch quality and background recording. The Slow play-speed feature allow transcribers and new-language-learners to slow down and listen clearly to a fast speaker, while Fast play-speed cuts short the time required to listen to a long recording. QR Code

AndRecorder – Free

This is not a call recorder app , instead you can use AndRecorder as a Dictaphone, memo, voice, or conversation recorder. The app will record the audio in a WAV file and gives the options to send the recording via email. The sort feature is quite handy for finding your way through lots of recordings as well.  Additional features in the premium version include:

  • Menu option to create a ring tone from a recording
  • Direct skip to any point in the recording using the slider button
  • Increase the playback speed (double or quadruple)
  • Large button to start and stop recordings
  • Can pause and resume a recording – great for excluding unimportant bits of a conversation or presentation
  • Audio recording length is limited by only the phone’s storage capacity
  • Saves audio records in the widely supported WAV file format
  • Supports 11025, 22050 and 44100 Hz frequency rates
  • You can replay, pause-record, stop, delete or loop recordings (repeat One/All/None)
  • Sort by recording date or name (show today’s/week’s/all recordings)
  • Email recording once the file size doesn’t exceed the maximum allowed by your email service provider
  • Can specify various recording date formats
  • Records during screen-off

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TapeMachine Lite Recorder

TapeMachine is a high-quality sound recorder and editor. It features a powerful waveform display that allows you to select, edit, export, loop and scratch audio files. Other features include:

  • Fade in, fade out, normalize
  • Record when locked
  • Input gain and auto-gain
  • Compact home screen widget
  • File and folder manager
  • Send file via mail, to Dropbox, etc
  • Use front or back microphone (if available)
  • Set engine sample rate, latency etc.
  • Rec/play/convert WAV, AIFF, FLAC

There are two versions of the app; the Lite version is limited to 1-minute playback/recording per file, so you need to purchase the full version to remove this limitation. The full version ($5.70) also supports OGG Vorbis natively, as well as external codecs such as MP3. To record and play MP3 files you need to install the MP3 codec, which is not included by default.

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Review: Evernote for Android

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 19th, 2011

Evernote helps you remember bits of information, ideas and notes that are important to you and helps you stay organize as well. The app can be used to record audio notes so you can remember your thoughts on a particular matter; take pictures while you are out comparison shopping and add tags to those picture to make them searchable.

Features

The truth is that there are a million and one ways you can use Evernote to organize your life. Some of the app’s key features include the ability to:

  • Sync notes across all your computers and devices
  • Create and edit text notes, to-dos and task lists
  • Record voice and audio notes
  • Access core features and recent notes with the Evernote widget
  • Organize notes by tags
  • Email notes and save tweets to your Evernote account
  • Connect Evernote to other apps and products you use
  • Share notes with friends and colleagues via Facebook and Twitter

For this app to be truly useful you must create an online account. That account will allow you to access your notes from anywhere, providing you have an Internet connection. If you purchase the premium version you get the ability to add, sync, access and share files such as PDF, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. The premium version also allows you to share, access and modify notebooks as well as access your notes offline.

Recommended Ways to Use Evernote

Here are some ways you and use Evernote to stay organized, work and study more efficiently and record what is important to you:

  • Organize and save recipes so you can search by ingredients when you go shopping
  • Create a grocery list or task list and check things off as you go
  • Capture ideas that inspire you
  • Research smarter: snap photos of whiteboards and books
  • Take meeting and class notes, draft agendas and research notes
  • Plan a trip: keep track of travel plans, plane tickets and passports
  • Access files and notes you create on your phone from your desktop
  • Keep track of products and prices when comparison shopping
  • Keep your finances in order: save receipts, bills and contracts
  • Reduce paper clutter by taking snapshots of bills, business cards and labels

Install/Download Evernote

See Evernote in action in this video:


Phone Apps You Can Earn Money With

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 15th, 2011

There seems to be no end to the number of apps you can use to waste time, while these are great for passing time, when you genuinely have nothing to do, we think that consumers will welcome solutions that allow them to spend their time more productively. We came across some apps that pay anywhere from $5 to a few hundred dollars to complete some simple tasks that we think you would like to know about.

Gigawalk

With Gigwalk you can join a mobile workforce and get paid for completing commissioned jobs. This app uses geo-positioning to find jobs nearby that you can claim and complete. For example, you may find a job that requires you to verify that a one-way sign is present at a specific intersection or you may be required to confirm that a roadblock actually exist. A typical job will pay $5, but you can qualify for higher paying gigs the more high quality work you submit – you get paid via PayPal.

Checkpoints

This one pays you in reward points that are redeemable for gift cards, airline points and gadgets. You earn points by using CheckPoints to scan the barcodes of featured products that are on offer in 1,000,000+ stores. When you’re not in a store check out the “Anywhere” section to find opportunities to earn extra. You can redeem your points for Amazon.com Gift Cards, donations to charity, Delta and Alaska airline miles and gadgets.

See the app in action:

WeReward

You can earn point for checking into an establishment or completing a task. Find a checkin for a local business by doing a keyword search or use the app to look for opportunities that are close to your current location. A typical check-in asks you to visit a store; make a purchase; take a picture of yourself with the product and submit it to WeRewards; storeowners use this service to drive traffic to their stores and reward customers for visiting their establishment.  You can also earn 10% off the verified earnings of others by referring friends to use the service. You can claim your points via a PayPal account.

See the app in action:

Field agent

Get paid to complete surveys, verify information, take photos etc. The app connects people who want information with those who can provide that information. A typical job asks the agent to verify the price of an item in a competitor’s store; you may be asked to take a photo of the item and send it through the app – not a bad gig if you are already planning to go to the store.

See Field Agent in action:

We have to conclude that getting yourself in the frame of mind to collect a mere $5 for a job that will cost you valuable time to complete is not the mentality of would-be-millionaires. While you are unlikely to make your next million using these apps, we recognize that it is cool that consumers can get paid to complete tasks they need to do anyway.

The Best Android Wi-Fi Analyzer

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 15th, 2011

It can be challenging to optimize Wi-Fi signals without the right tools. However, with an Android device and the ‘WiFi Analyzer’ app you can improve the performance of your personal and business wireless networks by identifying the channels with the best signal strength and avoid using crowded channels.

Wifi Analyzer

Wifi Analyzer allows you to view a graphical representation of the various Wi-Fi networks that are within range. The app also shows the channels that are being transmitted on and whether they are overlapping other channel’s broadcasts.  This information can be very useful in that it can allow you to identify crowded channels so you can configure your router to avoid using them, if possible. This is also a great way to remedy network congestion problems and other wireless network performance issues.

To reduce how much power the WiFi service consumes you can specify when the app powers on or off the Wi-Fi transmitter. For example, you can configure Wifi Analyzer to turn on the service when you start the app and to automatically turn it off when you exit the app. Other features:

  • Merge duplicate AP (merge access points that have the same BSSID, SSID channel)
  • Shows security protocols being used
  • Shows a real-time graphical representation of Wi-Fi signal strength and channels being used
  • Shows signal strength in the dBm unit of measurement
  • Great for analyzing public and free Wi-Fi access points.

This free WiFi analyzer can be installed from this Qr code.

 

See the app in action in this video:


How to Create Awesome Apps Even if You Can’t Code

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 12th, 2011

I had no Idea! I didn’t know it was so easy to create an app. Like many other persons, I thought it took weeks, technical know how and thousands of dollars to create an app for the Android and iPhone platforms. So, I was totally amazed to find that there are solutions that will give you the tools you need to create great looking and feature-rich apps, even if you can’t write a line of code. I kid you not; once you can drag & drop you can create an awesome app.

What they can Do

By and large, the app development software that we are going to look at below offer easy drag and drop type interfaces for creating iPhone and Android apps. In most cases app creators provide all the assets, tools and resources you need to create a great looking and fully functional app. You may need to hire a graphics artist to create a custom logo and other graphics; you can find one at 99designs or eLance.

We are going to look at some iPhone and Android app creator software below, but in general they can do the following:

  • Have a WYSIWYG user interface
  • Offer low cost and sometimes free alternatives to customized app programming services that can cost well over $20k for a good app
  • Online/web-base app development software
  • No coding required
  • The best solutions will help you create a developer account and manage the app approval process
  • Require no special hardware
  • Have custom app services if you want to integrate advance features

Quick and Low & No Cost Solutions

These solutions can be used to quickly and easily create apps to feature digital content you already have on your website or other popular media sites such as Youtube.  In a similar way to how RSS feeds help website readers access website content, you can create an app that will pull videos, articles and discussions from your site and present it in your custom app.  Some of the best ultra-low-cost Android and iPhone app makers that allow you to do this include Snappii and iBuildApp.

App creators do have some limitations so you will need to do some homework before deciding which solution to use. For example, some solutions don’t have support for: push-notifications, automatic display rotation and integration with the GPS functionality of the device. If you need to develop a feature-rich Android or iPhone app, try Mobi Roadie.

Creating Awesome Apps

Mobile Roadie is both an app creation software and app creation service that allow users to create their own apps for either the Android or iPhone platforms, or they can have the software create apps for both platforms from the one design. Mobile Roadie has been used to create apps for well-known artists such as Madonna and Bon Jovi.

The app has a large selection of assets you can use to create your app; so you can choose from a large selection of templates, or you can design each element yourself; in any case, you are able to customize each pixel of the app if you want. Mobile Roadie hosts all the apps, so clients automatically get all the new features that Apple and Google release from time to time without them needing to worry about the technicalities of ensuring compatibility with the apps they have already created.

Because the apps are hosted by Mobile Roadie you can make real-time changes to published apps without having to resubmit the apps to the iTunes stores or the Android Market. In other words, the minute you make changes to your apps the updated version will be available for users to enjoy.

If you want a simply app to feature your website’s content try either the Snappii or iBuildApp app creator.  However, if you need a more robust solution to stream and sell music; push your photos and videos to your fans or send location specific messages to users, Mobile Roadie is the most cost effective option we could found.

Here is a Mobile Roadie overview video:

An App for Email Marketers – iContact App Review

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 10th, 2011

iContact is one of the most highly rated bulk mailing software that Internet marketers, businesses and organizations use to reach their subscribers. iContact and Aweber are regarded as the top two email marketing software for getting messages pass the spam robots and into subscriber inboxes. What many Internet marketers don’t know is that iContact has mobile apps for the iPhone and Android platforms that can be used to manage some autoresponder features.

Overview

The iContact app gives Internet marketers some of the tools they need to be productive while they are away from their computers. With this contact manager installed, savvy marketers can update, add or delete contacts, send a message to one or multiple email lists, track sent messages, and even email the tracking results to others.

The reports will show the numbers, percentages and graphs relating to: unique opens, unique clicks, bounces, unsubscribes and forwards; These stats can be share with colleagues, your boss or anyone you want to share the numbers with.

Limitations

You will not get all the iContact features you normally get with the desktop version. For example, you won’t be able to create and install email capture forms or perform advance autoresponder management tasks. What this email manager is good for is sending a single message to a group or an individual and entering a new contact into mailing lists.

iContact for Android is free, however you will need to have an account so you can evaluate the service. If you don’t already have an account you will need to get one, or signup for a free trial account.

Here is a video showing the app in action:

Best Contact Managers for Android

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 10th, 2011

A good contact manager will allow you to manage a group of contacts whether they are host on Gmail, an Exchange server or a bulk mailing service such as iContact. In addition, you should be able to add or delete contacts, or easily message an entire group of contacts. Here are some Android contact managers that will allow you to do these and more.

DW Contacts & Phone

Once you have the app installed you will be able to manage (create, edit, copy, change and delete) a single or multiple contacts at once. With its support for local, Gmail and Exchange accounts, it is possible to copy contacts from Gmail to an Exchange account, and visa versa.

DW Contact not only allows for the management of groups but how you interact with contacts as well. For instance, you can use the batch mode to send SMS, MMS and emails to one or multiple contacts, groups, organizations and titles.

Searches can also be done on contact attributes such as name, phone number, organization, notes, address, email, relationships, websites, and birthday. With these powerful features it’s easy to send a happy birthday note to a friend, or a status update to a group of co-workers. QR Code

GO Contacts

GO Contacts is a powerful contact manager that is an ideal replacement for the stock Android Contact and Dialer apps. Some of its best features include the ability to do fast searches, group management, merge duplicate contacts and perform secure backups and recoveries. Most notable features of this Android contact manager are as follows:

  • Search for contacts by letter, name or keyword
  • Send batch SMS or email to a Group
  • Merge duplicated contacts
  • Backup/restore contacts to SD card

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iContact App for Android

This app comes from the well-respected autoresponder software provider called iContact. You can use the app to manage mailing list and message entire lists as well. You won’t be able to use the app to created and install email capture forms and more advanced autoresponder management tasks, but it is a great way to send out a quick email, enter a new contact into a mailing list and review stats and graphs on how your email marketing campaign is performing. QR Code

iGroups

Manage your contacts and even share emails and SMS with them based on multiple criteria you can set. iGroups has the following features:

  • Send Email/text messages to contacts within groups.
  • Share pictures/camera through Email with groups
  • Create groups based on search results
  • Easily add or remove group contacts
  • Share any field of a contact through Facebook, Twitter, SMS, mail and Bluetooth
  • Supports using on-screen gestures for searching through contacts
  • It has a slew of options to sort events (month, day, year) and contacts (title, company and IM type)

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Other Android Contact Managers

Of course there are other contact managers, but the above-mentioned are among the very best. Nonetheless, you will be able to use apps such as ‘Contact Remover’ to easily remove contacts that you don’t need, and those you don’t know. It is especially useful for deleting the many email contacts that Gmail usually imports to you Android device.

Speaking of Gmail, it is also a sort of contact manager, in that it will automatically sync your contacts with the Google mail service, thus creating a backup for you.

How to Send Emails & SMS to a Group Using your Android

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 8th, 2011

Being able to send emails or SMS out to a group is an effective way to communicate with a number of persons without having to type and send separate messages to each contact. While it is true that using an auto-responder, such as AWeber or iContact is the most reliable way of ensuring that you message reaches recipient’s inboxes, if you don’t send bulk messages from your Android they shouldn’t get block by spam filters.

In any case, here are some of the best email apps for Android phones and tablets; they will also do a pretty job of delivering SMS as well.

DW Contacts & Phone – Use this app to manage (create, edit, copy, change and delete) one or multiple contacts at once.  DW Contact not only allows for the management of groups but also how you interact with the contacts within groups as well. For instance, you can use the batch mode to send SMS, MMS and emails to multiple contacts, groups, organizations.

GO Contacts – This is yet another powerful tool that is an ideal replacement for the stock Android Contacts and Dialer apps. Some of GO Contacts’ best features include the ability to do fast searches, group management, merge duplicate contacts and perform secure backups and recoveries. But most importantly, you can use it to send batch SMS or email to a Group.

iGroups – Use this app to manage Android based contacts and send them emails and SMS based on multiple criteria. You can message contacts based on their name, phone number, organization, address, email, relationship, website, and birthday.

Review: DW Contact Manager for Android

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 8th, 2011

Once you have the app installed you will be able to manage a single or multiple contacts, groups, organizations with the ability to create, edit, copy, change and delete contacts.  The app supports local, Gmail and Exchange accounts, so you can copy contacts from Gmail to an Exchange account, or visa versa.

Managing Android Contacts

DW Contact not only allows for the management of groups but how you interact with contacts as well. For instance, you can use the batch mode to send SMS, MMS, emails to one or multiple contacts, groups, organizations and titles.

Users can search all their contacts using attributes such as name, phone number, organization, notes, address, email, relationships, websites, birthday, and sort them by name or nickname to allow for easier searching. With these powerful features it’s incredible easy to send a happy birthday wish to a friend, or an email to a group of co-workers who are working on a special project with you.

Other notable features include:

  • The ability to set ring tones for single and multiple contacts, groups, organizations and titles
  • The option to create home-screen shortcuts for contacts, groups, organizations, titles)
  • Manage and receive event notifications relating to your contacts, i.e. birthdays and anniversaries
  • Support for lunar calendar format
  • Call filter (blocking calls on free definable date- and time range)
  • Send SMS, email
  • Extended incoming call view (show organization, group, notes)
    fully integrated phone (dialer)
  • Display call history on dialer
  • Share (text, vcard, call log)

Without a doubt this is one of the best Android contact managers for replacing the stock contact manager. If you go with the free version you will have the following limitations though:

  • Advertiser messages/ads
  • Multi-select limited to 5 items per action
  • Background service for contact-events-notification (reminder for birthday)

Sync Android Contacts with Gmail

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 7th, 2011

Android phones aren’t only capable of syncing with Gmail contacts but in fact all of your Google services (i.e. calendar, bookmarks); this helps you better integrate your digital life into your Android phone or Tablet. One of the things that you are asked to do when you first turn-on your Android is to enter your Gmail email address.

Once you enter a valid Gmail address you will receive all emails that come to that account on your Android; you will be able to reply, send, edit and attach files to emails just as you would from the desktop version of Gmail.

Its Easy

In essence, you don’t need to synchronize your Android with Gmail. Once you enter your Gmail address your Android contact manager should be synchronized with the Gmail server automatically. So there is no need for USB connection kits, driver installs, PC syncing and backup programs.

How to Manually Sync or Import Email Contacts

If you wish to manually confirm this process, you can use the following steps:

  • From your computer, login to your Gmail account
  • Click the ‘Contact’ icon, it is usually located in the top right hand corner of the Gmail homepage
  • Press ‘New Group’; you will be directed to creating a new contacts page. Just make entries of all the contact you have on your Android device and press ‘save’ to save all the recently updated contacts
  • From your Android, Sign-in to your Gmail account
  • Proceed to the main menu and press the ‘contacts’ icon.
  • From the drop-down menu, select your Gmail account, and then click turn on the “Sync Contacts” option.

This will confirm that you have successfully synchronized your Android contacts with those on your Gmail account; all the available contacts on your phone or tablet will be transferred to your Gmail contacts list.

Here is an official video from Google explaining the process.

Android App Review: Call Reminder Notes

Posted By Steve McFarlane on August 7th, 2011

Regardless of how good your memory is, sometimes we all need a little help remembering those important bits that can make all the difference in our relationship with others. I am sure you have had something important to say to someone but in deciding to let it wait until the next time you talk, you forget that you had something to share.

Whether you can’t talk to the person now because of time constraints, or you prefer to wait until they call you (to keep your phone bill down), you will find Call Reminder Notes to be a blessing. This is a productivity app that allows you to easily and conveniently assign a reminder/note to a contact that will be displayed the next time you talk to that contact. Whenever something crosses your mind that you would like to share it with a colleague, friend or family member on the next call to him/her – just create a note and attach it to that person’s contact in your phone.

How it Works

The next time you call the person, or the person calls you, the note will be displayed so you can be reminded of what you want to say. Once you end the call the note will be automatically deactivate. However, if you cancel or reject the call the note will not be deactivated. Nevertheless, you can manually delete or deactivate the note if you choose.

Feature Summary:

• You can create a reminder note and assign it to one or more contacts
• Reminders are shown for the duration of the call
• After talking to the person(s) the reminder will be deactivated automatically
• Reminders can be manually activate/deactivate from the settings screen
• If the call is cancelled or rejected, the corresponding reminder will remain active

We think this Android Call Reminder Notes is a good Android contact manager that many Android users should find it to be very useful. There is also a Blackberry and Ovi version of the app.  See the app in action below:

Android Apps for Aspiring Professional Photographers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on July 27th, 2011

To become a professional photographer you will need to learn how to properly use your equipment. If you’ve never had the time or resources to attend photography school, or take an online course, you would be happy to know that there are great online resources that can help you develop the skills you need to take awesome photos. Some of them can be found in unassuming places, such as Android devices.

You can download any of these photo apps by scanning the QR Code with a barcode scanner app..

Photography Trainer

This is a must have app for amateur photographers and aspiring professionals alike. Whether you want to do night, sports, or architecture photography, this app guides you with step-by-step instructions on how to setup a DSLR to take the perfect shot. The application helps photographers to truly understand how to best setup a camera (shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings) to achieve the effects that they want.

The learning progress is further enhanced with the inclusion of dozens of sample photos along with tutorials and tips to help photographers setup the camera to achieve similar results as shown in the sample photos. It is not the same as going to digital photography school, but this app does an awesome job for $1.99. In our opinion, paying $1.99 for photography training is a good deal. (more…)

Top 5 Android Photo Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on July 27th, 2011

Here is a roundup of the best photography apps for Androids. This top 5 list includes a photography training tool, a photo editor and other tools to add special photo effects.

You can download any of these photo apps by scanning the QR Code with a barcode scanner app.

Photography Trainer

This is a must have app for photographers, 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 DSLR to take great photos. The application helps photographers to truly understand shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings.Android photo app

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 the app does an awesome job for $1.99. (more…)

Android Signature Capture App Review – SIGNificant e-Signing

Posted By Steve McFarlane on June 15th, 2011

Electronically signing documents reduces the need to scan, fax, print and courier them. In fact, digitally signing documents can greatly speed up the processing of documents as well as eliminate a significant amount of money that is often spent in copying and mailing them to another party, not to mention to speed with which one can get a document signed and emailed without wasting time scanning an original and waiting for it to arrive by regular mail.

SIGNificant Signature Capture App

The SIGNificant signature capture app accepts digital signatures and annotates them to a PDF. Once you open the document with the SIGNificant PDF reader, navigate to the section of the document that should be signed, in theory you should be able to sign anywhere on the PDF; click the signature icon (a graphic of a pen) to bring up the signature box. If your device’s screen is large enough you may be able to sign with your fingers, otherwise it may be better to use a stylus or some other object that can improvise as a stylus.

Once you have captured the signature the apps sends everything back to a central server that will attach the signature to the PDF document and seal it with a digital signature; this seal can be used to verify the document’s authenticity. After the signature is processed and attached you have the option of emailing the file or sending it to Dropbox. (more…)

Top Android PDF Readers Creaters and Viewers

Posted By Steve McFarlane on June 13th, 2011

Whether you need to use your Android to create PDF files, use your Tablet to view a PDF ebooks or use your Android phone to attach a signature to a PDF, we believe this list of Android PDF apps are up to the task.

BeamReader PDF Viewer Full Key

If you need to be able to view Adobe PDF files from your Android mobile device in the same quality that you are used to when viewing them on a desktop computer you should have a look at this premium application. You will pay a premium for the app ($9.00), but at that price you get:

  • Fast full fidelity rendering
  • Intuitive granular zoom/navigation
  • Text wrap view
  • Multi-touch/Pinch-to-zoom
  • Encrypted/password protected PDFs
  • Text search
  • Bookmarks
  • Embedded links

Install/QR code (more…)

Mobile Search: An Innovative Way to Find Great Content and Apps as Well

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 31st, 2011

To search for content using a mobile device we normally do a Web search (search bar, search widget etc) or open a specific application to find the information or content that we want. The problem with the traditional search results is that the pages aren’t always formatted for mobile devices and at other times the results just aren’t irrelevant.

On the other hand, if one wishes to search for information using an app, that app would have to be already installed and functioning. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a hybrid of these two search techniques? In essence, it would be great to be able to ask all the relevant apps to return the most relevant result they can serve up.

How Do@ Works

It turns out that the tech company Do@ has developed such a solution. When the user enters a search criterion the app queries all the relevant mobile apps it can find and presents each result within the interface of the app that provided the result. DO@ does so by showing the search results in the HTML version of the application. (more…)

Best Android Apps for Small Business Owners and Employees

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 27th, 2011

Software has the power to make things more convenient, life more fun and business activities more productive. From saving money, by planning and reschedule your own business itinerary, to refining a presentation on your Android smart phone here are some great apps for the small business owners or employees.

PdaNet

Being able to pull out a laptop and work wherever you like can seriously increase one’s productivity and effectiveness as a businessperson. Using a tethering solution means that you will not need to have a separate data card for the laptop and another for your cell phone. Unfortunately, cellular service providers aren’t always keen on allowing their customers to tether computers and other network devices.

As a work around, many have resorted to rooting their phones to enable tethering. However, you can save yourself the hassle by installing PdaNet to share your Internet connection with other devices without requiring that you sign up for a tethering plan. Install/QR Code

Documents To Go

Using the relative small screen of the smart phone to create or even edit an Office document may not be the most efficient way to work, but being able to do so can be a life saver if you are on the road and need to review some spreadsheet numbers, edit a proposal before sending it off or make a PowerPoint presentation using an Android device. Documents To Go can:

  • Transfer, and automatically sync documents between your computer and Android via USB
  • Format documents: bold, italics, underline, font color, alignment, bulleted & numbered lists, tables, bookmarks, comments, footnotes, endnotes, track-changes, word count, find & replace, etc.
  • Create, view, edit Microsoft Word, Excel, & PowerPoint files
  • View PDF files

(more…)

The Best Microsoft Exchange Activesync Clients for Androids

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 27th, 2011

Finding a good Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync solution for Android devices can be challenging, to say the least. If, like most users of the stock Android mail app, you are frustrated with the Exchange PIN requirement, or you simply need a more robust solution, we feel that the follow Android Exchange Activesync apps are the best that is available at this time.

TouchDown

This version of TouchDown was specifically developed for devices that are running Android 2.0 and above. TouchDown is one of the best Exchange ActiveSync clients you will find, and it should be because the developer has been working on various versions of TouchDown since 2008.  The Android 2.x version of this app supports Email, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes and SMS syncing with Exchange 2010 servers. It also supports a number of Enterprise Mobile Device Management (MDM) Systems such as: Sybase Afaria, AirSync, FiberLink, NotifyMDM,  SOTI, Zenprise. (more…)

Best Android RSS Reader Apps

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 18th, 2011

Being able to follow your favorite, blogs, websites and news services is a great way to stay in-touch with what’s going on without the need to visit individual sites. We have assembled a list of some of the best RSS readers for Androids that will enable you to access all your favorite web-based content from your Android phones and Tablets.

World Newspaper

Whether we believe it or not, we live in a relatively small world, what’s happening in another country may very well have implications for you and your loved ones as well, if not physically, financial or emotionally. World Newspapers syndicates the news and happenings from more than 105 countries as told from the perspective of over than 6,000 newspapers and magazines. (more…)

Top Rated Android Remote Desktop Access Clients

Posted By Steve McFarlane on May 10th, 2011

Some of the apps in this review come at a premium, but considering the fact that they enable their users to be productive, even while they are away from their workstations, more than justify the premium that consumers are asked to pay; nevertheless, there are free VNC apps as well. We will not show you how to use these RDP clients, instead we are presenting an overview of some of the best Android remote desktop apps (more…)