Asad Salman

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It can be stressful to look after a household (not to mention your housemates), so whether it’s with running errands or getting the laundry done, any sort of assistance is a blessing.

Fortunately, there are many Android apps built for just this type of help – let’s take a look!


When you are travelling, especially in foreign countries where everything feels alien – from the people to their clothes, names, places, and food – it’s easy to be intimidated. You might have no idea of the cost of everyday items, or how to behave according to the local customs. Of course you can make use of Google Translate, Wikipedia, and Google Maps, but the cost of using these on your home data plan while abroad can really add up.

However, if you decide to take your Android with the right selection of apps already downloaded, you can find yourself surprisingly at ease. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best apps for travelers like you.


Ever been crazy about defense games? I love them; they allow you a chance to be a hero or the savior of your people as you prevent the collapse of your castle or tower. This concept of game is available on Android phones and tablets to help you pass the time, especially when you have a fair amount on your hands.

Tower defense games have really come of age, with a lot of thinking and strategy involved in these games today. Gameplay is not “aim and shoot” but rather takes a lot of planning and strategy to defend a particular structure from marauding enemies that are hell-bent on destroying your structures. From a long list of tower defense games, here are my favorites.

When it comes to design, I am a minimalist. But, more than that, I am a perfectionist. When I work on a new design, I do everything I can to get it exactly right. The same thing happened when I sought to make myself a minimal lockscreen after buying the new version of WidgetLocker. So, this is my attempt at a minimal lockscreen, using a couple of widgets to show the date and time, a SMS/Missed call counter, the current weather, battery percentage remaining, current music track, and of course the actual unlocking slider.

The Minimal Lock Screen

My Minimal Lock Screen


BlueStacks and AMD have teamed up to create an Android app player for Windows; it’s in alpha and could use some UI tune-ups but it delivers what it promises: Android apps running smoothly on Windows 7.

There’s a free and a pro version. The free version will be limited to only allow you to install 26 apps, while the pro version lets you install as many as you like. BlueStacks is first of its kind and I can only imagine what prospects it will have on touch screen Windows Devices like the upcoming Windows 8 tablets – and even the already present Windows Tablets, like the Acer Iconia W500. (more…)

XDA-Developers is a great community, famous for all sorts of mobile hacking and development but with a particular focus on Android and Windows Phone. It provides great resources and information about all things developer-related, with a wiki and a large forum that has over 4,000,000 active users. It is due to those active developers and forum members that XDA is considered a leader among all dev communities. Most of the custom ROMs ever built are made by the experienced developers over at XDA.

These developers often create apps and software which are not suitable for the Android Market – some of which are even against the Market’s Terms of Service. Here are a few great examples that I find to be very useful and one of a kind. Some of these can be found on the Android Market, but many can’t; all are made by members of XDA-Developers.


Astrid Task is an open source, simple todo list app on the Market, and is by far the most popular with over two million users. It focuses mainly on ‘social productivity’, making your tasks available to other people – for example, it allows you to assign tasks to colleagues for a specific project.

Let’s have a look at what this intelligent and user friendly todo list app has to offer.