It’s been around 10 months since I got an LG Optimus One, my first Android phone. It’s isn’t terrible, but it’s not a beast of a phone either. There used to be at least a couple occasions every day when I would wish it did just a tad more – especially in the last couple of months when my installed app base had started to reach monstrous proportions, threatening to use up all my internal memory every couple of hours.

Over a comparatively quiet weekend in August, I decided to finally take the plunge and install a custom port of the insanely popular CyanogenMod for my phone. The research started at trying to find the best ROM for my phone and going through page after page of discussions, tutorials and walkthroughs of how to do it. I ended up spending around six hours trying to absorb as much information as there was about the process before hitting the dreaded ‘Wipe’ button that you need to press before installing a new ROM. The actual process took no more than 20 minutes, and I’m so happy with the end result, I spend an unhealthy amount of time every day hitting myself for not doing it before.

In this article, I will try and compress all my research from various sites into a single FAQ, hoping to reduce the time you’ll spend trying to figure things out, so you can spend more time playing around with the new coat of paint on your device’s walls. Let’s jump in right away.
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The advent of social media has given rise to many (many!) photo sharing applications: Facebook, Twitpic, Flickr, and Picasa just to name a few. While there are merits to all of these applications, sharing via a smart phone is still pretty cumbersome, especially if you don’t want to post it to a social media site. There are applications like Live Profile, that will help you send photos, or trusty MMS, but there isn’t a great way to share photos as a group of people. This is where CliqueIt comes in.

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Amazon is going to be bringing out a tablet soon, and TechCrunch got the scoop on the details. We’ll go over the specs in a moment, but what’s important is that it’s a 7″ Kindle successor that runs a heavily modified port of Android – without the Market. But, honestly, that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that this Kindle tablet will not equal the iPad’s price, nor surpass it. It will cost just $250.

The Kindle is an extremely popular device, even if not in sales numbers. While I don’t personally own a Kindle, I know people who do and they love their device when it comes to its primary purpose: e-reading. And it’s became very evident that Android’s chance at success is not trying to “kill” the iPad, but trying to target specific markets, like the Kindle does.

I think Android is failing in the tablet market, and I don’t think they are going to improve fast enough to turn a profit. However, I also think there’s a massive potential for Android to move into brand new markets and take over the world. (more…)

OK, so you’ve just heard on the news that people are starting to turn into zombies. No one knows how or why, but one by one, the population are turning into brain-thirsty living dead. What are you going to do to survive this awful apocalypse? Well, fret no more, because you can survive with the help of this roundup of essential Android apps to help you live in a society overrun by flesh-eating zombies.

This list attempts to cover as much as possible: from finding out the latest news about what’s going on, to first aid, food, equipment, geography, organisation, security and even preparation for such a day. It’s not going to be easy, but survival is essential until the government scientists work out some kind of cure. You can do this, I have every confidence in you. Just pay attention. One small piece of advice before we start… always go for the brain stem.

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Task-management apps are among the most popular on mobile app marketplaces. Why? Simple, because people are always looking for tools to make life easier. That’s where Wunderlist by 6Wunderkinder comes in.

Wunderlist, among the top multi-platform task-manager apps, has just received a massive update for Android users. Launched a little over five months ago, the first version of Wunderlist for Android brought the great concept of managing your task on your smartphone, but omitted the UI that iOS and Mac users grew to love.

This month’s new version fixes this; from the sign-in the the “more” shortcut, this app has been rebuilt from the ground up.

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Gameloft recently announced that they would be unrolling a subscription service in the UK called ‘Gameloft Club’. The idea is that you fork out £0.99 a week, and in return you get to download the full version of one of their games. You get to choose the game you download, but is it worth it?
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Instant messengers are a dime a dozen in all mobile platforms. When it comes to Android, you don’t even have to download and install one to begin with.

So why bother getting another? Well, there might not be much of a difference between the popular chat protocols like MSN, Yahoo, GTalk etc, but it isn’t uncommon to have multiple accounts for business and personal uses. Moreover, our friends tend to have accounts on various platforms or social networks too. The best way to stay in touch with all of them at the same time is to have a chat client that can handle multiple chat accounts and protocols. BeejiveIM is a well known chat client and is available for almost all leading smartphone platforms, including Android.

Come, let us see how BeejiveIM helps you stay connected to all your instant messaging buddies, everywhere you go! (more…)

I’ve always been fascinated by activity trackers and GPS technology in general. It surprises me how accurately and effectively it’s done. Once a connection is established to the satellites, it sends a signal to them and calculates the time it takes to respond, then uses math to determine your position on the globe relative to the position of the satellites. This is just a basic explanation on how GPS technology works, to give a general idea. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than that – but that’s not what this article’s about!

Today I’d like to cover Endomondo. Yes, it’s another fitness activity tracker; read the rest of the article to learn more about it and find out why I like it more than RunKeeper and the other similar apps.

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For months people was expecting the announce of the Sony tablets, previously known as S1 and S2 in rumors. Sony finally announced them at IFA 2011, now with the (just slightly better) names of Tablet S and Tablet P. Both tablets are “Playstation Certified“, and each has an exotic design. But are these features really worth it?
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Today, Dean Sherwin gave his opinion about HTC’s recent announcement that they would team up with Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics to add its sound capabilities to their phones.

Brendan has strong opinions on this topic, but I suspect these are not shared by all of our readers. It’s important to clarify the question, though: yes, many people use their smartphone as their only portable MP3 player, so it makes sense to improve the sound capabilities (much like how phone cameras get better and better which each iteration). But is that the only reason for HTC’s new arrangement?

I don’t personally draw an immediate connection between HTC and Dr. Dre; “quietly brilliant” and “**** tha Police” don’t quite gel. This is largely where the calls of “sellout” come from: HTC partnering with someone they wouldn’t usually be associated with, to generate publicity and reach a larger audience. If they had simply announced that they were working on improving their audio technology because they thought that mobile users would appreciate it, they would not have received as much attention.

But perhaps I’m being unfair. Maybe HTC did decide that audio was their next important area to tackle, realised they’d be better off partnering with an existing technology company than trying to develop something from scratch, and found that Beats was both high quality and willing to do business. What do you think? Vote in the poll, and leave your opinions in the comments.

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