There’s no shortage of clock and calendar widgets in the Android Market. You can find everything from the super-sleek MIUI clocks to the highly functional Simi Clock Widget and a whole bunch of them that come with launchers and widget sets. But in my experience though, not one of those fits my requirements to a T. There is always some customization I have to have, but is not possible with the widget I choose.

There were no bounds to my happiness last week then, when I finally bumped into one that was so customizable, I’m now lost for ideas on what to do with it! The widget is called Minimalistic Text, and I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce you to the basic concept behind it, discuss the interface and try and walk through the creation of my own customized home screen clock widget.


Invented by the brilliant Bram Cohen, BitTorrent is one of the ground breaking technological advancements of this century. The Nobel Prize does not include computer science as a category, otherwise BitTorrent would surely have been awarded one. Sadly, it is forever linked to piracy as many among us overlook the other possibilities for a protocol which distributes large files with such ease.

For one reason or another, lots of us use a BitTorrent client to download and distribute files online. Now that mobile phones (particularly Android powered ones) are rivalling computers with their processing power, it’s only natural to carry a P2P client in your pocket. tTorrent is one such torrent client, but how does it stack up? (more…)

It’s kinda crazy to think, but our little internet startup, Envato, has been on the air now for five years. We started back in 2006 as four very enthusiastic and totally green entrepreneurs with a shoestring budget and a love of the web. Fast forward five years and while we’re hopefully a little less green, we’re still incredibly passionate about Education, Marketplaces and the web! It’s been an amazing time and we’d like to share a look inside our Melbourne HQ offices, some stats about Envato and a big thank you to the community.


Classic Notes, like its sister app Extensive Notes, is an app to do pretty much everything. The developer’s description of the app is much longer than would fit in the description — and, wow, there are so many features included in less than half a megabyte! There is so much to cover, so let’s get started…


I, like 200 million other people, am a keen Twitter user. I use it to disclose my daily thoughts and opinions (and, from time to time, to have a good rant) as well as to keep up with current affairs. Twitter has become one of the fastest growing social networks of our time, with people signing up to it then discovering just how useful it is.

Buffer, from British developer Joel Gascoigne and Austrian developer Leo Widrich, is a great way to space out your tweets whilst you’re not online. This way, you avoid bombarding your followers with 20 tweets in a row.

Every proud new owner of a smartphone will end up frustrated with the short battery life and memory issues. I am no exception and naturally I have scoured the Android Market for “System Utilities” to help me handle some these issues. There are some really amazing apps that can boost memory, improve battery life and improve device performance significantly, but many of these “All in One” solutions require rooted phones and some may not work in all phone models.

In this article we will explore 35 apps currently available on the Market that are very useful for monitoring your Android phone usage, tweaking, the system and taking control of how you use your device. Some of these apps will help you understand your Android phone performance and advanced features. The apps I like the most are those that show detailed infographics: graphical displays of usage statistics and system performance. Many of these apps have really helped me to fine-tune my phone’s performance.


Recently I explained how to choose an Android phone. This article follows on from that one, and details the different ways you can go about buying a phone today.

I’m sure you already know that you can get an Android phone from a variety of places: the Internet, high street retailers, second hand shops – but which would be best for you? In this article I’ll look at the pros and cons of the different ways you can get an Android phone without a new contract.

From the erudite technology expert to the everyday blogger, the furore surrounding the heavyweights of the smartphone and tablet industry is generating a wonderfully stimulating blend of fierce discussion. These patent wars have not only captured the imagination of the avid tech enthusiasts among us, but have also made headline news across the globe.

As many of us start to draw our allegiances to our preferred brand for a battle that promises to be strenuous, drawn out, and riddled with underhand tactics, speculation is rife as to what lies ahead. How will Google fare in its new partnership with Motorola? Can HTC really succeed in its litigation battle against Apple? Will Apple ever be able to get along with anyone?!

I’ll leave those questions for another day (and let the complex and rather tedious details of patent infringement to be discussed in court) and focus on just one: has Apple taken its patent infringement claims too far?


We’ve all heard about Angry Birds. It’s available on every major platform (Android, iOS, web). The only place you wont find it is on consoles. Quite frankly I’m tired of seeing those birds everywhere. After browsing the Android Market, I found a new, refreshing Angry Birds styled game.

It’s called Bouncy Mouse and it’s a new take on a slingshot platformer. Read on to find out whether this really is a good alternative to Angry Birds.


I never took my last smartphone on holiday. I was too scared that I’d accidentally hit the Internet button and end up paying more than I spent on the holiday. (I live in the UK, so going on holiday often means going abroad, which in turn means paying data roaming fees.) I used to stick my SIM card in a spare phone that couldn’t handle anything more than WAP and take that instead.

Thanks to airplane mode, hotels with WiFi, and a widget that lets me quickly disable data sync, I’m comfortable taking my Android abroad. It’s weird not to be free to quickly Google directions to a place I want to go, though — although I suppose if I plan ahead that’s not an issue, since Google Maps now caches local data.

Of course, bringing a mobile phone does mean being tethered back home, to some extent. I’ll still get my emails when I’m at the hotel, and I’ll still check Facebook and Twitter and Google Plus, just out of (bad) habit. Some people leave their phone at home, or force themselves to switch it off, and I can see the appeal of that — though it’s nice to be able to snap a quick photo of the surroundings and post it to my friends from the nearest café with WiFi, just to say, “Wish You Were Here”. Or perhaps more accurately, “Don’t You Wish You Were Here?”

What about you — do you take your phone? Do you take your tablet? Vote in the poll, and give us the details in the comments.

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