Are your emails not enough? Do you need some ads to spice up your communications? Be happy, then, that it looks like Google’s going to be introducing advertising in Gmail for Android shortly! If that doesn’t take your fancy, how about a look at the upcoming Nexus 5, all in this week’s instalment of This Week in Android?

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One of the most important functions of a smartphone, for me, is note-taking. I don’t want anything clunky or heavy-handed to do it with either. The app has to sync and it has to work across multiple devices. So while I like Evernote and it fulfills most of those goals for me, particularly if I want to extensively organize my notes, it’s also too cumbersome just for simple little things like lists or brainstorming.

On my iOS devices and my Mac, I’ve been using Simplenote for years. One of the worst things about my Android toys, for me, is that Simplenote wasn’t an option. There is one app called Glance Note, but it’s slow and unwieldy and therefore defeats the purpose. That’s why I was extremely excited to see Simplenote show up for Android devices this month.

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Blueprint 3D is one of those things that makes you stop and go, “Huh? How’s that work?” It plays with optical illusions and geometry in the most wonderful, magical ways, time and again wowing you with its clever, delightful puzzles.

There’s lots to like about it, with inventive mechanics, cool presentation, three difficulty levels, and loads of puzzles, and little to dislike. Its one noteworthy fault almost undoes it at times, though, frustrating and testing your patience whenever it pops up.
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Mobile phone plans can be quite complicated to manage, depending on your carrier and subscription. Take my own example: I’ve used unlimited data plans in the US and France for a couple of years now and never monitored anything but my data consumption, which was usually capped at 3GB.

But I recently moved to Singapore and found that local plans were a little more traditional, with an actual limit on the minutes, text messages and data you could use each month. Tracking these figures manually was a pain, as there’s no easy way to check how many minutes and text messages I have left on my plan — data consumption on the other hand is fairly easy to keep an eye on. Thankfully, Dodol Phone makes it incredibly easy to track all of this information in a remarkably effective way. (more…)

I might be an oddball, but at this point in the Android game, I really don’t spend a lot of time customizing my Nexus devices. I’ve got a Nexus 4, and Android has been really usable and very friendly since 4.1 — I haven’t felt like it’s really required me to make any changes. And in all honesty, I prefer it when my phone just works like it should. Android is pretty much there.

But sometimes, I still get the temptation to just fiddle with it and see what I can do and it’s a bit of pain mostly. At this point, there are so many ways to customize your Android device that you’ll have to start Googling just to figure out a good place to start. Kitty Play solves some parts of that problem by aggregating a ton of customization resources within one app. The last time I got the itch to customize, I gave it a whirl. Read on for my thoughts.

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This week marks a milestone for Android as we celebrate it’s fifth birthday, the anniversary of the operating system’s first unveiling. This special week has also given form to new Kindle Fire models from Amazon, a golden Galaxy S4 and more, so let’s dive in and check in with This Week in Android! (more…)

I’ve been an Android user for a few years now – and a devout one at that. You know those people who are the anti-apple-fanboys, the ones who proudly refuse to buy Apple products, who gloat at every opportunity to criticize the iconic company and its fanboys? Yeah, that was me. Actually, I’m still not a big fan of Apple, but things have been different since I had to get my first iDevice – an iPod Touch – simply to be able to preview and test the apps we design for iOS at work.

Having lived extensively in a two-devices-in-my-pocket-at-all-times world, I’ve come to see reason in my arguments – both for and against Android & iOS. There are multi-platform apps that I happily use on both, my Android phone and the iPod touch. And there are those that I’ve come to love on Android, but just haven’t found replacements on iOS as yet. What follow is just that – apps I can’t live without on Android, and miss sorely on iOS.

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The new fall TV season is upon us and, if you’re anything like me, you’re already giddy with excitement to see your favorite shows return or new ones grace your screen. This TV season promises to be quite impressive, with How I Met Your Mother bowing for its final run, The Big Bang Theory’s nerds improving their social skills one awkward step at a time, Scandal continuing to grab everyone’s attention, and Revolution, Elementary and Arrow returning after a lot of success in their first season.

That’s not to mention the many new exciting shows and incredible actors coming back to TV. James Spader is already causing trouble on The Blacklist, Andy Samberg has induced many giggles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Robin Williams is going bonkers on The Crazy Ones, Tony Shalhoub and Michael J Fox are set for a big comeback in We Are Men and The Michael J Fox Show respectively. And did I even mention the high-concept Sleepy Hollow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?

So how do you keep track of what’s airing and when? There are probably dozens of solutions, but none have worked for me over the past couple of years as well as SeriesGuide. Being a self-confessed TV addict — my Trakt profile tells me I’ve seen over 5000 episodes in more than 80 series — I can vouch for how well SeriesGuide works for any serious TV enthusiast and in the following post I’ll show you the three features that I really love about it.

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I’m always impressed when I find a really great game on a smartphone that feels like it’s really been handcrafted for the platform. Most of the games I play on smartphones feel like they’re console game imitations, unaware of their own limitations or grossly ignoring them.

That’s what makes Finding Teddy such a joy for me. This is one of those rare Android games that’s not only excellent and tons of fun to play, but truly built from the ground up for a mobile platform. In every sense of the word, this is a smartphone experience. But that doesn’t mean it feels small — in fact, I’d argue the opposite.

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Digg had been stagnating over the past few years. The site’s previous owners weren’t investing the time or effort in updating the systems or design and users rapidly fled to Reddit and Twitter for their news fix. However, new Digg owners at Betaworks have launched a long waited for Digg app for Android.

The app, which brings the web’s news aggregator to smartphones goes head to head with several other RSS readers that promote popular news stories such as Feedly and Pulse. Initial impressions are good as the app mirrors the look and functionality of the Digg website. Set-up time is extremely fast as it pulls your preferences from your current Digg account. But has Digg done enough to entice users?

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