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Author

Abhimanyu Ghoshal

I’m a photographer and musician based in Bangalore, India. I also dabble in graphic design and writing, and travel across the country whenever I can. I make noise on Twitter too.

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I love finding great design and video content on my Tumblr feed, my Facebook friends never fail to entertain, and I follow a carefully curated set of creative folks on Twitter. What I hate is having to use separate apps for each network, with different interfaces and clunky workflows for sharing between them. That’s why I’m really glad I came across Scope.

Still in beta, Scope is a unified social networking app that brings together all your content and activity from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Foursquare in a simple, beautiful interface that’s really easy to use. Scope differentiates itself from other apps like Flipboard and Feedly in that it not only allows you to view content from your social networks but also interact with item just like you would on their native apps.

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Finally! Pinterest has launched its official app for Android devices, which means you can now pin and browse to your heart’s content from wherever you are. Since it’s taken so long to see the light of day, expectations for this release are very high amongst power users and casual browsers alike. I took it for a spin to see how it matches up to its mighty web counterpart — and I must say, I’m impressed!

For those who came in late: Pinterest is a visual social bookmarking platform where you can find inspiration, ideas and even great deals on stuff you want to buy. Users ‘pin’ images (mostly from the web and sometimes from their own libraries) and enrich them with descriptions, tags and links. Apart from contributing to the ever-growing library of visually stimulating shareables, you can also browse what others have pinned, by going through categories or more specific collections called ‘boards’.

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If you’re like me, you spend way too much time customizing your smartphone with launchers, widgets, wallpapers and icons. And why not? With custom interface elements, our phones look cooler than when we took them out of the box. But how about getting them to sound better too?

Enter Ringtonium Pro. It’s a well designed workspace to create ringtones with, whether it’s for calls, messages or Facebook notifications. The app isn’t just all about looks though, and comes with some clever controls for precise editing. But is it worth the money? Let’s find out.

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There’s an app (or several) for everything, including core functions, to suit just about anybody’s needs and preferences. That applies to video playback apps in the Android universe too, and there are a ton of them to tackle your TV shows, movies and viral clips. But which one is right for you?

Today we’re taking a look at eight great free video players as well as one of the most hotly-anticipated apps coming to the Play Store. Android’s stock Gallery does a decent job of playing videos but can’t recognize certain formats and doesn’t allow you to set up playlists. Most of the apps in this group are similar, so it’s as much a battle as a roundup of the various options available to fit your needs best.

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As a photographer, I never thought I’d use my smartphone’s camera much, given that it obviously doesn’t have the capabilities of a DSLR. But lately, I’ve learned to love it for what it is – a simple camera that’s on hand whenever I need it – and that’s really the best kind of camera you can have. Having come to terms with my phone camera, I now use it for discreet street photography, making note of locations and props I could use for upcoming photo shoots, and working on my composition.

I’ve been hankering for a solid photo editing app, though – something that offers at least a smidgen of the control over how pictures turn out that desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop do. There are a fair number of editing tools out there, but none seemed to have the complete package of features, usability and fine-grained control over various parameters that I wanted. Then, I discovered Aviary.

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I’ve never really understood how the urban legend of alligators living in sewers ever came to be, but Disney found a way to put a cute spin on it in their super-fun puzzle game Where’s My Water?

Although it features cartoonish graphics that kids will enjoy, the levels are suitable for players of all ages. And to puzzle fans who think this looks like a piece of cake, be warned – this game has bite!

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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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It seems like there’s no end to the buzz around Instagram, the uber-popular photo sharing app initially released to iPhone users back in 2010. First the launch of the Android version two weeks ago, then the surge of new users (10 million in 10 days), and then the acquisition of the company by Facebook. But does the app deserve all the attention it’s getting in the Play Store?

For those of you who came in late, Instagram lets you take photos, apply filters to spice them up and then share them with the world on social networks. The app is free to use and now boasts a community of over 40 million users worldwide. Since it took so long to reach Android users, other developers created photo apps incorporating similar functionality. Let’s shoot a few pictures and see how Instagram holds up on this platform.

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As an avid music fan, it’s important that I carry some tunes with me wherever I go – which should explain why I still tote around my 120GB iPod Classic. I’ve had music playback-capable phones for quite a while now, but none of them offered what you’d describe as a listening experience. With a smartphone however, it’s a completely different ball game. In a good way.

There are several options when it comes to music player apps for Android devices, including the fairly competent stock app. I’ve been more partial to Winamp though, mostly because I’m very familiar with the desktop version – and I thought that’d be the last music player I’d need to try. That’s when I discovered n7player. It’s slick, it’s well-designed, and it showcases your music collection elegantly. But is beauty only skin-deep? Let’s turn up the volume and find out.

n7player's Music Library (L - zoomed out, R - zoomed in)

n7player's Music Library (L - zoomed out, R - zoomed in)

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One of the major draws to iOS devices is Instagram, the wildly popular free photo app that allows you to snap a picture, apply a retro filter, and share it on social networks. iPhone users have enjoyed this platform-exclusive luxury for a long time while Android fans haven’t had anything with quite the same usability, charm or community.

Most app makers’ attempts to create something similar have been met with lukewarm responses, but there’s now a strong contender that could be just what Android users have been waiting for. It’s called Lightbox.

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