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Sam Cater

Web Writer and avid motorcyclist, http://twitter.com/samcater, https://plus.google.com/107530176600699500969/

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The CyanogenMod team have begun rolling out their Alpha-rated CM10 series of custom ROMs. These ROMs use Google’s latest ‘Jelly Bean’ build of Android, otherwise known as 4.1.

I’ve been running it on my Transformer TF101 this past week, and thoroughly enjoying it. Now I would like to highlight some features of the ROM, both from the Jelly Bean updates and CyanogenMod’s own additions.

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Chameleon is Teknision‘s bold attempt to re-imagine and re-invent the way Android home screens look and operate. Their view is that the home screen is what you look at on a device 90% of the time, so why shouldn’t it be fully customizable, tailored to your exact needs?

Earlier this year, the company launched a Kickstarter project, accompanied by a demonstration video of Chameleon. The project raised over $60,000 — over twice what they needed — and the beta has now been released.

In this Preview, let me take you through the current version of Chameleon…

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Welcome to another edition of  “Apps That Made My Week”. Today I would like to introduce you to a novel way of reading SMS messages, a great way to look at the weather, an app that gives to charity whilst you run, and my favourite keyboard.

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Every week, we at Android.AppStorm come across lots of apps that impress us – far more than we could review! These posts are a chance for us to highlight the apps we’ve been enjoying recently, so that you can enjoy them too.

This week: an addictive game, an Ice Cream Sandwich orientated Twitter client, a beautiful way to browse Reddit, and a floating browser!
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You’ve undoubtedly heard of Ice Cream Sandwich’s ‘Face Unlock’ feature. It was a big selling point for the Galaxy Nexus, and more and more devices with front-facing cameras advertise it as a feature.

Though it’s a nice novelty of a tool, it hasn’t got a tremendous reputation. A lot of people have trouble getting Face Unlock to recognise them for the first time, and even when it does work, it only protects the lock screen of your device. Wouldn’t it be nice to use a face-locking mechanism on a per-app basis? Well thanks to Visidon Applock, you can!

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I think it’s fair to assume that you’ve heard of The Sims. In case you’ve never actually played it, The Sims is a series of simulation games in which you create virtual people and manage their needs, home, jobs and so forth. The computer versions are known for being incredibly addictive – you can lose hours designing a house alone, without even playing the game proper.

Recently, EA Games released a free-to-download version for Android phones and tablets, called The Sims FreePlay. Can it live up to its name?

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Keeping track of your device’s data usage is of concern to everyone who is on a data contract with their mobile provider. In the contract you’ve signed there was a specification of how much data you are allotted per month, which can sometimes be alarmingly low. If they decide you have abused your data connection or exceeded your allowance, you get hit with monumental charges. This isn’t nice, of course, but they will use the ‘you agreed to it when you signed the contract’ argument.

By monitoring your data usage and identifying which applications are heavy users, you can reduce the risk of going over your data threshold. Onavo is an application which claims to do a good job of this for you, but is it as good as advertised?

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With the growing concern about privacy on the web today, it makes more sense than ever to keep your identity, information, and traffic secure. In my hunt for secure browsing I discovered the Tor Project: a collection of routed computers which gives you anonymity online. Once I had enjoyed the desktop version I noticed the Android version. I downloaded it, loved it, and would now like to share this application with you.

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The Latitude application was released as Google’s answer to the ‘check-in’ craze about two years ago. It comes packaged with most Android phones, and everyone with a Google account is automatically a member. However, despite millions of people having this application on their devices, I’ve never seen people ask for Google addresses so they can ‘add you on Latitude’.

There is rarely talk about it online either, and the entire project seems to be on its way out with so many competitors being far more popular. But why?

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There are few people who have not heard of the Sonic game series. The world’s favourite blue hedgehog was introduced over 20 years ago, has been the star of dozens of games, and been featured in yet more.

One of his earlier games was Sonic CD, which became world renowned soon after it came out in 1993, and has remained a cult classic title today. As the original release was only playable on the Sega CD – a Genesis add-on bought by about 15% of Genesis console owners – it has not received quite as much mainstream attention as Sonics 1, 2, 3, and Knuckles.

It’s been ported a couple of times since then: to PC in 1996, and to PS2 and GameCube in 2005. Over the past few months, Sega has released an updated and enhanced version of the game to PSN, Steam, iOS, Windows Phone, and of course Android. Sega has slipped up with previous ports, but have they succeeded here?

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