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Customization

One of the more common complaints about Android is its lack of aesthetic appeal or polish, especially compared to that of iOS and even (or perhaps, especially) Windows Phone 7. While Android isn’t by any means ugly, it almost certainly seems to lack that special something its competitors have. In all likeliness, a quick glance at your phone will reveal a random array of icons, widgets, and folders scattered among your home screens in no particular order.

However, thanks to the flexibility of the Android platform, this doesn’t have to be the case. By employing the right launcher and widgets, you’ll find yourself with a layout that’s not only attractive, but more importantly, functional in all the ways your home screen is now. Sound interesting? Let’s get started.

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After an enormous wait, it is now possible to bypass HTC’s locked HBOOTs and root your previously unrootable Android 2.2 device. Now HTC Android users who were unable to root beforehand (such as those with an original Wildfire) can enjoy custom ROMs, CPU Scaling, advanced WiFi Sharing and much more. This article will show you how to do just that.

This guide also applies to the Aria, Incredible S, Desire, and Desire CDMA.
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Your ringtone is the most basic and common way of customising your phone to better suit you. I live in an apartment inside a bed and breakfast, so I’d like to set my tone to Madness’s classic track, Bed and Breakfast Man. I’ve already got the MP3, but how do I set it to play whenever someone calls me?
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You would be surprised to know the number of people who don’t know how to get Gingerbread on their phone for under $10. In some cases, depending on what you have to hand, it can be possible to get it even cheaper. Read on to learn the secrets!

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Have you ever found yourself wanting to be able to use a launcher that only comes on a certain brand of Android phone but didn’t want to change devices? With the abundance of UI tweaks out there, it’s hard to find one and stick to just one.

The most popular are HTC Sense, and Motorola’s Blur. These “skins” that are placed over the Android platform act as a sort of “replacement” for the stock Android UI. If you are looking for an application that allows you to seamlessly change the look of your home replacement with one click, HeLauncher might be for you.
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Though it is a brilliant and compact smartphone, HTC did regrettably hinder the Wildfire’s CPU and graphical processing capability. Due to the small 528mhz chip, people have often complained that the eyecandy transitions, default applications, and general experience can be a bit slow, laggy, or unpleasant. I have found this to be the case myself.

Since getting mine late last year I have found a few ways to reduce these problems and better my Wildfire’s overall user experience, as well as increase productivity and gain a few great applications too. Now I would like to share these tips with you! No purchases are needed. Rooting of your phone isn’t needed either.

Some of these performance boost techniques will be unnoticeable on higher-end devices, but do apply to most Android phones.
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Android phones are useful, fun, and generally interesting, but when your phone has a battery that lasts all of five minutes, fear can be struck into even the bravest of people at the thought of having to leave the house for a few hours.

“Will my battery survive the day?” – an often-asked question amongst Android owners. With this guide I plan on improving your phone’s battery life by at least a few hours. Results will depend on your phone – its specifications, software version and usage.
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The world is a scary place. People want your data. These are facts of life and are the same whether you’re on Android, iOS, or some other platform. Some individuals will go to massive lengths to access your bank account, but for some it’s as simple as picking up your phone while you’re ordering your morning coffee.

This week we saw Android malware DroidDream hit more than fifty apps in the Market. As phones get smarter and smarter, and gain access to more and more of our sensitive data, we must be more and more aware of security in all aspects.

There’s a variety of solutions to eliminate the risk, both built into the Android OS itself and available as apps on the Market. We’ll cover both of these types of security in today’s Android How-To. (more…)

The beauty of Android is that literally everything is customizable because the platform is open-source. Other mobile OSes provide little room for home screen customization, but Android has several choices for you and your inner creativity. Called “launchers” or “home screen replacements”, these apps allow you to customize the way the screen looks when you press the Home button on your phone. The best part is that anyone can do it and there is absolutely no hacking or trickery involved; just download, install, and begin customizing.

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