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Rita El Khoury

Rita El Khoury is the Editor of Android.Appstorm and enjoys everything about the ecosystem. From customizing her LG G2 and Galaxy S3, to installing new ROMs, trying new apps, obsessively checking news and releases, she's a self-identified geek with a knack for living on the bleeding edge of technology. Her mobile and app addiction started in 2006, when she launched her Dotsisx blog to focus on the Symbian ecosystem. She has since enjoyed Symbian, iOS, Windows Phone and Android. When she's not keeping Android.Appstorm rolling, she's found behind a counter at Panacea Pharmacy which she owns and manages full-time. You can check her professional LinkedIn profile as well as follow her on Twitter @khouryrt.

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It’s a new month, the back-to-school time for many students of all ages, and another exciting time for Android enthusiasts. Over the past few weeks, several interesting crowd-funded projects have popped up on Indiegogo and Kickstarter and it’s time we took a look at the most interesting ones that you can pledge for.

As with last month, we will pick the most exciting ideas first, then a list of other ones that are worth looking at. Read on to discover them all, and keep in mind that, as with any crowd-funded project, you have to exercise your better judgement and no outcome is really guaranteed.

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Whether you’re a small business owner or you manage a huge corporation, whether you’re planning a short trip or a move to another country, or even if you just live in a country that imports most of its goods from the EU or the USA, you probably keep a close eye on the currency rates and conversions.

Take me for example, I own and manage a pharmacy in Lebanon, where we import most of our brand name drugs from the EU. Prices are appointed by the Ministry of Health and changed once the currency rates of their originating countries rise or fall by about 3 to 4%. This part of our work is an exercise in frustration, because if we stock on too much of a drug from France for example, and the Euro declines by 3-4%, the Ministry will lower the drug’s price accordingly and we’ll end up losing a part of our profit margin.

That’s why it’s not only important to have a good currency conversion app, it’s also essential to be able to track a currency’s rate across several months. To that end, I recently started looking for a solution on the Play Store, and fell in love with XE Currency. Read on for my full review.

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As someone who works with apps daily, researching, reading, testing and writing about them, I sometimes lose sight of what’s important: apps are personal, customizable, and adaptable. Your choice of apps on your device, the different settings you pick to personalize them, and how and when you use them remains a very individually-oriented experience.

Then I remember Todoist, and how I took a seemingly simple task management app and transformed it into the most efficient inventory and order system for my pharmacy. The adaptation to my needs is so complete that I forget, almost all the time, that this was a task app to begin with. Below is my story with Todoist, told as a reminder that when you take a powerful app and use your imagination a little, you can make it work any way you want it to.

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School is upon us and as much as we’d hate to admit that summer is almost over, it’s time to start the preparations. Whether you’re headed to school or college, you’re probably looking for the most efficient ways to get ready for your new schedules and courses.

If you have an Android tablet, be it a new Nexus 7, an old Nexus 7, or any tablet from Samsung, Asus, or other companies, you already own one of the best tools for managing your school life. In this roundup, I will look at some of the best free apps for students — and teachers — to help you make the most of your Android tablet.

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I think I speak for all of us here when I say that it always feels great when you can pick any product for a lot less than what it normally costs. That’s why people rush to stores on Black Friday, and why many items always run out of stock when they’re discounted.

But what if you wanted that Black Friday experience all year long? Sure, you could install coupon apps, you could hunt around Amazon, Best Buy or eBay for deals, or you could simply install Slickdeals. It’s a community-driven deal site, with a nice Android app to help you stay on top of the best offers, even when you’re away from your computer.

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A couple of months ago, an interesting project appeared on Indiegogo promising a new take on touchscreen keyboards: Minuum. While other keyboards were losing screen estate by adding more functions and buttons, or were trying to revolutionize input by changing the QWERTY input method, Minuum took a more simplistic and minimalist approach. It kept the QWERTY arrangement that everyone is used to, but squished it in height and used smart predictions to correctly insert words despite the lack of precision typing.

Given that my biggest gripe with onscreen keyboards is that they block most of the phone’s screen estate, I liked the premise of Minuum and decided to pledge for it. The first beta was made available a few weeks ago and I’ve been using it on and off ever since. In the following article, I’ll look at the most important questions I asked myself about Minuum before I tried it and answer them for you. Now that you can all buy Minuum for $3.99 in the Play Store, it’s crucial to know whether it’s worth the financial — and learning curve — investment or not.

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Let’s be honest, we are both app addicts — me, because i’m the editor of a site called Android.Appstorm, and you because you’re reading this. We are smitten by new apps, we like finding them, trying them, reviewing or reading about them, and we enjoy the process almost as much as we enjoy unwrapping presents on Christmas day. That’s why, as a trusted member of the App Addict Club, I’ll let you in on my top secret app discovery and curation tool: Playboard.

I have been using the service and app for several months now, almost from its first days on Android, and it has quickly become the Robin to my Batman, the ultimate tool in my arsenal as an editor of this site and an app addict. And with the recent update to version 2.0, Playboard has become a little more awesome than before, so it’s time that I take a few moments to tell you about it.

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Given the name of our site, it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to assume that we are big Android app addicts, would it? As such, we spend most of our day searching the Play Store and other app recommendation sites like Playboard, trying new apps and writing about them. However, with over one million apps available for Android, and developers getting better at designing beautiful apps and tailoring them for phones and tablets, it has become almost impossible to keep up with the flood of great content.

That’s where Drippler steps in, curating news — and more specifically app and game news — from various sites like ours to help you stay updated on the latest and greatest software to hit the Android platform. But does it live up to its promise?

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For the longest time, I have been annoyed by the state of my contacts on Android. Between college and family, France and Lebanon, my Android.Appstorm contacts and my pharmacy suppliers and customers, I had over 800 contacts that were almost impossible to manage. Then I decided to set aside a few hours one day and go through them all on Google Contacts, managing duplicates and groups, deleting contact details that I didn’t need anymore, and so on.

Now that my contact list is as pristine as possible, I still find myself with the odd duplicate every now and then. Merging these duplicates should be a straightforward process on my phone but unfortunately, most contact apps on Android — whether the default Android People app or the alternatives made by Samsung or LG or HTC — don’t offer a simple duplicate searching and merging option. Enter Merge+, the easiest and fastest way to merge duplicates on Android. Here’s how to use it.

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With 4.2 Jelly Bean, a new function was introduced to Android called Daydream, allowing you to set a pseudo-screensaver when your device is charging. From using your phone as a night clock or your tablet as a photo frame, Daydream is a convenient feature that we have already explored along with several useful apps.

However, I keep running into people who either don’t know what Daydream is, or think it’s a gimmick with little value. When that happens, I like showing them Daydream with DashClock on my phone. Suddenly, the benefits of Daydream become apparent to them. In the following post, I’ll explain how to make DashClock your Daydream app and why you should do it right away.

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