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Tim Lenahan

Tim is a 30 something year old kid at heart. He has been working on and at computers ever since high school. He has been helping and training people on tech-related issues for years and doesn't see himself stopping any day soon. Android is his smartphone OS of choice. He blogs at timmyjohnboy.com

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Anything “mini” seems to be so popular these days. We have mini cars (think Mini Cooper), mini animal breeds (think toy poodles and Chihuahuas), and even mini candies (think miniature Snickers, etc.) Did you know there is such a thing as mini Android browsers? You may have come across one of them in the Play Store and thought the same thing I did the first time I saw one: “What in the world is a mini browser and what would you use it for?”

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Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone had their own personal assistant? They could keep track of your daily schedule, look stuff up for you, and, in a perfect world, even run out to grab a cup of coffee for you. Maluuba is the Android version of a personal assistant and it can do pretty much anything a real personal assistant can do, except maybe the coffee.

Ever since Apple embraced its own voice assistant Siri, there have been several “Siri alternatives” released in the Play Store. Finding a good one though has been quite difficult, until Maluuba entered the scene as worthy contender. Like Siri, it falls under the ”voice assistant” category, because it has the ability to listen to your voice and respond accordingly. Maluuba’s website breaks down the app’s ability into three categories: search, organize, and connect. Having used it extensively for several months, I will take a detailed look at each of these aspects.

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If you are an Android user, you have probably already been introduced to the world of replacement web browsers. Sure, the stock browser is sufficient enough for most, but until you’ve explored alternatives, you don’t know what you’re missing. There are a good number of replacement browsers to choose from — many of which work great on tablets too — so personal preference does play a role.

One of the most popular Android replacement browsers out there is Dolphin Browser which we’ve written about before but has come a long way since. There are several unmistakable reasons why Dolphin has become the default browser for so many Android users. Here are 6 of them in no particular order.

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With camera lens and sensor specs getting more and more impressive, Android devices have easily become our go-to choice for point-and-shoot cameras. Photos on our phones keep getting better and better but the issue is with transferring and backing up those precious memories seamlessly.

The best place to automatically store photos is in the cloud so we can access them anytime and anywhere. Many apps and services offer this option but with only very little free space — 2GBs is ridiculous given the higher resolution sensors on cameraphones — and expensive additional space. Google+ will backup photos with no storage limit, except it counteracts that by downsizing the image resolution. Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could back those photos up to our Google Drive account, making good use of the free space offered with the reasonably priced additional storage? Well, there’s a simple app called FolderSync to do just that.

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Our cell phones are replacing everything. Now even our wallets are being replaced. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to get rid of that bump in their back pockets or purses? Near field communication technology, along with online payment services (ie. Google Wallet and Paypal), are making payments using smartphones possible. Apps like Mint help to keep track of personal finances. Now there’s an app that becomes a digital backup of everything in your wallet.

Lemon, a company that already develops a receipt and spending tracker in Lemon Receipts, have released Lemon Wallet that goes far beyond and provides a digital backup of everything in your wallet, including your receipts.

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Any android user knows the joys of taking pictures with their phone. As a matter of fact, many people don’t even carry regular point-and-shoot cameras with them anymore because phone cameras have improved so much in the last few years, not to mention the added value of having the ability to quickly and easily enhance those photos before they even leave the phone.

A good app for auto-enhancing then quickly and easily tweaking those enhancements is a gem when it’s found. One such gem is the Perfectly Clear app that offers all these options along with sharing or saving your photos like a champ.

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In my years in college, the times I spent in the library were probably the most boring. The second most boring and frustrating times were spent writing research papers. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy writing, but research papers? Not usually. That’s why when I come across tools that make both my time in the library and my time doing research papers easier, I get excited.

Enter Cite This for Android. This handy little app makes formatting the citations for the books for researching very simple. Seriously, all you’ve got to do is create a project, add a reference, and scan a bar code. You can even choose which popular format you’ll need it exported into.

With collecting and citing references done this easily, see if you can imagine how else you can shorten your stint in the library. Maybe you can collect the citation information, find the pages in the book you want to reference, and grab pics of them with your phone for reading later in the dorm or at home. Either way, Cite This can make those citations easy (and slightly more fun).

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From the time Android came to the market, geeks have been looking for ways to record screencasts and take screenshots. If you like to show off apps, show how to do something neat, or even help troubleshoot issues, being able to share your screen is imperative.

There are apps that make taking screenshots simple and now even many models of Android devices have key combinations for taking screenshots on their own without needing extra apps. That’s all fine and good – but what about recording video screencasts? There are several apps for this, but few are as simple as Screencast Video Recorder.

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Phone calls have pretty much been the same since the advent of the telephone. You make a call and you converse. Only the basic exchange of auditory communications goes on. I know today there are apps that communicate in many other ways, such as face-to-face video calls (Skype and the like), but the everyday phone call remains the same.

The creators of the Sidecar app have something to say about that though. Sidecar, and the sharing it enables during phone calls, has the potential to change the way we think of phone calls altogether. Imagine being able to share photos, video, contacts, and even your location all during a phone call. Sidecar makes that possible.

As you’ll be able to see, if some of the tools that Sidecar offers take off, the phone call could be changed forever.

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I’m one of those people that easily forgets just about everything, all the time. You know what I mean: you could get a phone call from the wife as you’re leaving work heading home, and she tells you, “don’t forget to stop for milk on the way,” and it’s just in one ear and out the other. How many times do you only remember that errand as you pull in the driveway at home?

Okay, so what if there was a way to stop this kind of thing ever happening again? No, we’re not talking about a new brain. What we’re talking about here is an Android app that sets alarms according to the way your brain works. It’s called Brain Alarm – and after testing, it certainly lives up to its name.

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