When Apple introduced the first-generation iPad in 2010, Android manufacturers were fairly slow to respond. Android 3.0 Honeycomb was Google’s first official tablet-oriented variant of their operating system, releasing a year later as a rushed product to power the Motorola Xoom. It wasn’t until mid-2012 that Google took Apple head on with their own first-party tablet, the Nexus 7, shortly followed up by the 10-inch Nexus 10.

Now, almost four years after Apple’s initial announcement, the Cupertino company has revealed their lineup for the 2013 holiday season: the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina Display and 9.7-inch iPad Air. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what the tablets are about and just how it stacks up against the Android competition. (more…)

I was recently chatting with a few of my fellow AppStorm writers about email apps. For most of us, it’s almost a non-subject; we use Gmail as our inbox provider, and as a result, we use the official app, which just happens (in my humble opinion) to be the best Play Store offering in the email genre. But there was one writer who had just moved to Android from the Cupertino-based dark side. His main address was hosted on iCloud. Which outstanding non-Gmail app should he go for? Ah, about that…

I’m hoping that in similar future scenarios, I’m going to be able to recommend SolMail. This is an app which has clearly drawn inspiration from the smooth operators of email on iOS, such as Mailbox. But can SolMail really reproduce the kind of sleek design and ease of use pioneered by the Dropbox-owned app?


Custom ROMs are one of the most appealing features of the Android platform for knowledgeable and techie users. However, if you don’t spend your time browsing XDA-Developers’ forums and following every changelog of every nightly update from every ROM, you might find yourself quickly confused and overwhelmed by the choice.

We’ve previously tried to explain to you How to Find Custom ROMs for your Android Device, but the truth of the matter is that even a ROM’s official site sometimes fails to show you the most significant features it carries. So how are you supposed to easily pick which ROM to install?

The answer to that question has long evaded me, as I kept bookmarking page upon page of featureset and changelog, and even resorted to some quick spreadsheets to “simplify” my decision making. That’s why I was more than ecstatic to see this post on Reddit’s r/android page.

In it, the user going by the name wamen_noodles — whom I have already added to my heroes list — links to his personally crafted set of infographics that detail the features of 6 major AOSP-based ROMs: CM10.2, AOKP, Paranoid Android, Carbon, SlimBean and the newcomer, OmniROM. The graphics are superbly done, with gifs and minimal text to explain every feature of every ROM. I will be bookmarking these and checking them for months to come, and I suggest you do the same. No amount of explaining and reading can help you understand these ROMs’ options as simply and efficiently as what you will see here.

So head over to wamen_noodles‘s Reddit post, check the infographics out, and give him a big warm hug — or in Reddit lingo, upvote — for his trouble.

Google’s Play Game Services were heralded as a big level up for Android gaming when they were announced back in May. Finally we had a universal system and an easy-to-implement API for tracking achievements and leaderboards across games, carrying saved games across devices (cloud save), and enjoying real-time multiplayer with friends — even on iOS, if the App Store version also integrates Play Game Services. And it’s all accessible through an app, just like Game Center on iOS.

But you can’t just pull up a filter on the Play Store to uncover Play Game Services-supported apps, and finding them can at times feel like wielding arcane arts. So Android.AppStorm’s editorial boss lady [Ed note: that would be me – Rita] asked me to round up a big list of the best. Here are more than 40 games that use at least one of the new services. I’ve included a note on each one to say which Play game services it utilizes, for your convenience.


Leaks, leaks and more leaks. That’s the word of the week in the Android world over the past seven days. This one-time run of week 42 of 2013 has hosted Nexus 5 leaks on the Google Play store, giving us a glimpse of the design and pricing of the device. We’ve also had a sneak peek at the future of SMS in Android post-KitKat and an unofficial glimpse at a redesigned Google Play Store for Android. Let’s jump in and take a look!

In my part of the world, SMS messaging fees are exorbitant and unlimited plans are non-existent. That’s why services like WhatsApp have taken off quickly and become the de-facto messaging solution for everyone, from the tech-minded geek to the older 50-something parents, the hip teenager, and the business man and woman.

The one caveat however, is WhatsApp’s mobile-only limitation. For one, I keep interrupting my work on the computer to unlock the phone and respond to messages, and for two, I have to continuously hammer messages on my phone’s touchscreen. When you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome like I do, there are days when this is just a recipe for insufferable pain.

Enter WhatsRemote, an app that recently came under my radar thanks to Aatif Sumar. It essentially promises to let you continue your WhatsApp conversations from your computer’s browser. Does it work, and what are its caveats? Let’s take a look.


When I first saw the Meenova on Kickstarter, the project was still generically called “Mini MicroSD Reader” but it had already obliterated its funding goal, and for good reason. This small unit was designed to be plugged into the MicroUSB port of any Android device with USB On-The-Go support, to allow it to read MicroSD cards. It’s an easy and minimal solution for devices with limited storage and no MicroSD slot.

To say that I had been previously reticent about paying cash for products that weren’t manufactured yet, let alone reviewed, is an understatement. But Meenova was the turning point in my crowdfunding journey, simply because it was too awesome not to pledge for, and too cheap at $12. After all, if the project failed, I wasn’t losing a fortune.

But thankfully, the project did not fail and my Meenova made its way onto my hands last week. Does it stand up to the hype and expectations, and should you preorder yours? Read on to find out.


It’s hard to separate 5 Ants Games from Rovio Entertainment, the makers of Angry Birds and… Well, a lot of Angry Birds. The partnership between the two is bringing 5 Ants a lot of exposure, but it might not bring them longevity. That’s a shame, because it should. Their games are rightly getting great critical attention. I’m not the first to say it, but I certainly won’t be the last: Tiny Thief, their latest game, is a good way to pass an afternoon.

Tiny Thief is a side-scrolling puzzle game that encourages you to be a thief. Think of it like a more colourful, strategized version of Aladdin — without the musical. Is it worth your time? Read on to find out.


The chances are that if you’re reading this site then you are comfortable with using Android. If you’re the technically minded member of your family, it’s highly likely that you get called upon to help out with all manner of computer and mobile problems — I know this has long been the case with me!

Helping someone fix a problem can be a nightmarish task. When distance is an issue, you may decide to try resolving the problems with a phone call, but this can turn out to be an extremely frustrating experience for everyone involved: trying to explain how to navigate to different settings in an operating system can be almost impossible if the person on the other end of the phone is not familiar with what you’re telling them to do.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just take hold of their phone and do it for them? Well, of course it would… but sadly it’s no always possible. If you get a call from your mother looking for help, and she’s on the other side of the country, another solution is needed. For desktop operating systems there are numerous remote assistance tools available that make it possible to take control of the computer of the person you are trying to assist so you can make the necessary changes without having to explain it to them step by step. This is exactly what Zikk brings to Android: it is remote assistance for your phone and tablet.


Google Cloud Print is the cool beta service we all know and love for over-the-air printing. We’ve come to accept it as part of our day-to-day printing lives on our desktops but what about our Android phones and tablets? When do they get a turn?

In this roundup, we’re going to take a look at some of the Google Cloud Print-compatible apps available for Android so you can get printing literally wherever in the world you are. If you haven’t got Google Cloud Print setup or are left wondering what it actually does, be sure to check out Getting Started with Google Cloud Print on Tuts+.


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