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I will be moving soon to a place of my own and since an empty or single occupancy house is a signal flare for burglars, I’ve began to experiment with the notion of a home CCTV system – or more specifically an IP camera system. The benefits are threefold. First, I can check up on the place when I’m not there. Second, I can record any burglars to help a police investigation. And third, I can see if the person ringing my doorbell is a friend or an Avon rep.

The IP camera system can be set up using a cheap webcam or two that are accessed using any browser as the camera feed is streamed over the Internet. There are dozens of Android apps available to view IP cameras but I will be incorporating TinyCam Monitor into my home surveillance system because of its features and free price tag.

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When it comes down to file explorers on Android, there is no shortage of choice and we have covered several here on Android.Appstorm, from the highly powerful File Expert, to the purpose-specific WiFi File Explorer, passing by our top 10 file managers.

However, one slightly unknown option, AntTek Explorer — which works well both on phones and on tablets — has recently become my favorite. Read on to find out why…

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In case it’s not already apparent by the fact that I write for an Android site: I love Android! Everything about my little open source assistant, camera, computer, media player and modem keeps me pegged as a loyal user. Unless there’s a dramatic upheaval in the smartphone market I can see myself sticking with the platform for quite some time.

Unfortunately, managing what is effectively a small computer using just my index finger and thumb can be tiresome. Updating contacts, software, music and so on is time consuming. The iPhone has iTunes, and Android has around a million alternatives – the vast majority of which are as useful as an inflatable dartboard.

MoboRobo promises to organise an Android phone in a quick, easy way. Turns out, that’s not all it can do…

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That widgets are one of Android’s most loved features is no secret. They are clearly one of the platform’s biggest assets and a staple on pretty much every home screen. Although most versions of Android come with a decent set of widgets built in, the real power of the widget comes to the fore with custom widgets available in the thousands on the Play Store.

Unfortunately, I’ve found myself wanting for a decent clock widget that did everything I needed it to do. A search that has seen me experiment with tons of options on the Play Store, including the excellent Minimalistic Text widget that I wrote about a while back and have been using since. As things go in the Android world, the app found its biggest new rival in my books last week with the Ultimate Custom Clock Widget – or UCCW as it is commonly called in the XDA Developer circles.

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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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Have you ever needed a way to jot down great ideas or notes quickly and easily, while still keeping them well-organized? If so, you should give mind mapping a go – and Mindjet is my favorite app for that. It allows you to easily mind map ideas, schedules, payments, or anything else you need to know and organize on your Android phone or tablet.

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1Weather is a gorgeous weather app created by OneLouder, the minds behind apps like BaconReader and Tweetcaster. Like the other apps in the OneLouder catalog, 1Weather is full of useful features, all presented in a pretty package that adds a bit of class to any Android home screen. Not only does 1Weather show you the weather, it also provides real-time updates and social integration that helps you stay on top of the ever-changing atmosphere.

There are plenty of weather apps on the market, so what makes 1Weather any different? According to the folks at OneLouder, their weather app brings a “unique animation and graphics to create a more stylish experience.” The app is not just pretty (did I say that already?), it’s also packed with useful features and a gaggle of informative content, topped off with an intuitive user interface that just about anyone can manage. As a matter of fact, 1Weather is only available for higher-end devices due to resolution, resource, and animation requirements.

Enough talking about how nice 1Weather looks – let’s take a look at some screenshots.

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Many of us feel the need to increase our space to work and play when using our computers. One way people do this is by buying a second monitor – but if you’ve already got a tablet, it might seem a little wasteful to buy yet another screen. This is where the Avatron Air Display comes into play.

Air Display is an app that allows you to use your Android device as a wireless second screen. It’s an easy and quick way to gain more space using your existing device. From the outset, this application looks brilliant. Let’s hope it lives up to its expectations…

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App Garden: A Swiss Army Knife for Your Phone

About a year ago, I reviewed an app called Extensive Notes for Android right here on Android.AppStorm. Among a whole army of note-taking apps on Android, Extensive Notes differentiated itself by providing a huge array of small but useful tools to supplement the core feature.

Fluffy Delusions, the developer behind Extensive Notes, recently released a new app called App Garden, which takes all those extra tools and wraps them together into a single multi-purpose package. The point of the app is to provide dozens of tiny but useful tools to help you with day-to-day tasks without having to install separate apps for each one.

In this post, I’ll try to make sense of what the app has to offer, where it shines and where it needs more work. It is a tough ask, mind you, since there are so many tangentially different things you can do with this thing. Let’s start with a quick overview of what it has on offer.

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One of the reasons I chose to get an Android phone instead of one from any other platform was because of the ability to customize practically every aspect of the user interface. Whether you have a problem with the keyboard, need more functionality from the dialer or dislike the default SMS program, there’s an app to help you change and tweak these to your liking.

Similarly, if you’re looking to change the way your icons, widgets and shortcuts are presented, all at once, you can try an alternative launcher. Hi Launcher is one of the new kids on this block, with a functional screen layout, a boatload of options for customization and some clever new features to keep things interesting. Let’s take it for a spin and see if it can become the default launcher on your device.

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