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When Jelly Bean was officially announced, Android users had a lot to be excited about. The latest version of the OS is super-smooth (like Butter!), there are expandable notifications that actually include functionality, there is a better keyboard, better widgets, and a better camera/gallery.

The biggest announcements, of course, were the addition of a better voice search, and with it, Google Now. So what is Google Now? Let’s find out!

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DSP Manager is a fantastic application which can be used to achieve vibrating bass even with your stock headphones.

DSP Manager is like the HTC Beats sound enhancer, but taken to a whole new level. Sadly, this awesome application is not available in the Google Play store and you will need to put in a little bit more effort in order to get it working for your phone. Why? Because it’s part of CyanogenMod and will not work on stock ROMs by default.

However, in this article, I’ll show you how you can install the app on vanilla Android and HTC Sense, which should help you get it running on your own device regardless of which ROM you’re running – as long as you have root access.

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$70 can’t get you as much these days as it used to. A tank of gas or maybe two? A dinner with a cheap bottle of wine? Pay your electric bill?

What if I told you that 70 greenbacks could get you a quality phone, Ice Cream Sandwich, and a no-contract plan on Big Red (Verizon for those outside of the States)? Well, to my surprise, it can. However, it’s not without a bit of homework, eBay browsing, and some technical obstacles. But with a bit of effort, you can turn that chump change into a serious return.

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Let me start by asking a simple question: currently, what is the quickest way to switch between apps on Android?

If you have already opened the app, then simply pressing and holding the home button on your phone will show you it on a list of recent apps. (If your phone came with ICS, it may even have a dedicated button just for this.) But every time you restart your phone, the recent apps list is emptied – and sometimes, of course, you’ll want to switch to an app that you haven’t opened recently. In either case, you’ll have to open up the app drawer and scroll through the multitude of apps residing in there to find the one you want.

SwipePad: Hyperspace Jump is a much better solution. It allows you to “launch anything from within any app”, as the developers, Calcium Ion, put it. But don’t be fooled; this app’s functionality exceeds just switching between applications…
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The Android notification bar is one of my favourite aspects of the OS – and I’m certainly not alone. Even iPhone fans succumbed to its lure when Apple introduced an identical feature with iOS 5.

It’s underutilised to say the least, with most notifications coming either from the phone itself or third-party apps letting you know who just tweeted you. Imagine if your website, computer, servers, desktop apps or pretty much anything else could send you important messages, updates and alerts straight to your Android.

That’s the idea behind Pushover: push messages, straight to your phone. Here’s how to get the most out of it.

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A 2 GB data cap isn’t enough. It never has been, and it never will be. You can toe the line but not without incurring the wrath of the throttled download. Tricks like “Turn off location services” are the best we have to offer when friends and family ask how they can get more out of their data plan. That ends now with Onavo Extend.

Onavo Extend is a freshly released app that increases your Android’s data plan by 80% with a few taps. Install the app, speed through the three step setup, and the app starts working its algorithmic magic, compressing data and slashing bills. For free.

If your “unlimited” data plan maxes out at 2 GB every month, installing Onavo can cut billed usage to less than 1 GB. This lets you switch to a cheaper plan or double your surfing. I know which one I’m picking!

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I don’t want to be cheesy, but families are like boats on top of an ocean. Just when you think all is fine and dandy and start enjoying the sunrises, sunsets and the sea breeze, they tend to rock like crazy for no significant reason. No doubt, it’s highly annoying, but without those boats, many would have sunk a long time ago.

Beyond a couple of generations, it might get tougher to keep track of who our relatives were or are and how exactly they fit into our family picture. So, it is a good thing to start charting out all our family members from both the past and the present to preserve our family legacy. Ancestry.com is a pioneer in helping build family trees online.

You never know where or when you’ll make a new discovery. That’s why they have an app to carry with you all the time. After the break, let us check out how to create a family tree using their companion Android app.

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XBMC is an insanely popular piece of software commonly installed on media PCs. Apart from having an extremely customisable UI, it also is very easy to expand its functionality because of its hackable nature. Read on to find out how to control your XBMC media centre using just your Android phone.

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Even blogging, an intensive activity originally done in the comfort of a workstation, has gone mobile. With the rise of smart phones and tablets, it’s easy to take our digital life with us wherever we go.

In this article, you’ll learn about some useful apps to maintain your blog using a mobile device (either phone or tablet). Why do I recommend them? Well, because this article was written using only my phone – with the help of these apps.

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Android mobile devices are portable powerhouses with a lot of power under the hood. The screen sizes can be huge, with top notch resolutions, making them perfect for watching high resolution video and listening to high fidelity audio. Yet despite the built in storage space and the extendable memory card slots, encoding and carrying around audio and video files is such a pain.

How awesome would it be to stream the media stored in your house to your mobile screens via WiFi or mobile broadband? Skifta is an easy way to control, play and enjoy your music, videos and photos at home and on the move. In this article, we’ll see how best to set it up for enjoying media files on the go.

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