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How-To

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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How to Save a Life With Android

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you take your phone near enough everywhere you go, and have it available to refer to all of the time. In the UK alone, every year, 150,000 people die in situations where first aid would have meant the difference between a life lost, and a life saved.

While the only way to definitively know first aid is to do a full first aid course, either organised by your employer or in your local community, I’m going to quickly talk you through two free, simple, and easy-to-use Android apps which enable you to have a good understanding of what to do when an emergency occurs.
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I’d like to clear up some misconceptions: rooting doesn’t mean installing a custom ROM like CyanogenMod, and it doesn’t necessarily mean wiping your internal storage. All it means is unlocking your device so that you gain some extra system privileges, giving you the ability to install a custom ROM like CyanogenMod (and do a number of other neat things).

The method for doing this varies from device to device, and could change over time. So, rather than writing a guide that will only be relevant to one type of device and may soon go out of date, I’ll show you how to find the best way to root your specific phone or tablet — assuming there is a way. I’ll also include a walkthrough of how I rooted my HTC Desire, with photos, so that you can see how quick and easy the process can be.

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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…)

If you’ve rooted your phone, the process for backing up is easy:

  1. Get Titanium Backup,
  2. Use it.

But what if you haven’t rooted, or don’t want to, or can’t do so without wiping your device first? There’s a ton of data on your device, and although a lot is automatically synced to your Google account, some isn’t.

Let’s look at what you need to back up, and how you can do so.

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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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