Perhaps you’re wondering why there’s been no full review of Amazon Cloud Player on Android.AppStorm? It’s because we’re waiting to see whether Amazon is going to be allowed to continue. Last week, the streaming music app Grooveshark was kicked off the Android Market, and we’re wondering whether the same thing will happen to Cloud Player.

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I recently spent a long weekend in France. Now, I haven’t taken a French lesson in ten years, and my exam results were hardly a tour de force, so I thought it best to grab an app that would give me a hand vis-à-vis communicating abroad.

Jacob Schweitzer’s recent roundup of translation apps was very helpful, but the problem with most of these (as with most such apps on the Android Market) is that they’re powered by Google Translate, and so require an Internet connection in order to function. Data roaming is pretty expensive in Europe, so I wanted something I could use offline.

Travel Interpreter, which has a database of phrases that can be downloaded to the SD card over WiFi, seems to be the crème de la crème of foreign language phrasebooks — but how does it measure up when trying to use it in the real world?
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It’s been a good month for fans of Amazon and Android. Last week the Amazon Appstore was opened, and this week sees the launch of Amazon Cloud Player for Android, an app which lets you store your personal music collection in the cloud and access it on your phone, without having to connect to your computer’s library.

We’ve been expecting to see similar technologies from either Apple or Google for a long time, but there are still no clear signs on the horizon. So, has Amazon scooped the big two, or should we keep waiting for the manufacturers to get around to building their own services?

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This week sees the US launch of a new marketplace for Android apps: the Amazon Appstore.

Naomi Bush wrote about the new marketplace, and what it might mean for you, last month. Let’s take another look at it now that it’s up and running.
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I’d like to clear up some misconceptions: rooting doesn’t mean installing a custom ROM like CyanogenMod, and it doesn’t necessarily mean wiping your internal storage. All it means is unlocking your device so that you gain some extra system privileges, giving you the ability to install a custom ROM like CyanogenMod (and do a number of other neat things).

The method for doing this varies from device to device, and could change over time. So, rather than writing a guide that will only be relevant to one type of device and may soon go out of date, I’ll show you how to find the best way to root your specific phone or tablet — assuming there is a way. I’ll also include a walkthrough of how I rooted my HTC Desire, with photos, so that you can see how quick and easy the process can be.

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Yesterday, Apple unveiled the iPad 2; check out the details over on our sister site iPhone.AppStorm.

Steve Jobs is dubbing 2011 “the year of iPad 2”. I think he may be a little biased. Let’s take a look at what effect the new tablet is likely to have on Android.

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If you’ve rooted your phone, the process for backing up is easy:

  1. Get Titanium Backup,
  2. Use it.

But what if you haven’t rooted, or don’t want to, or can’t do so without wiping your device first? There’s a ton of data on your device, and although a lot is automatically synced to your Google account, some isn’t.

Let’s look at what you need to back up, and how you can do so.

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Google are now selling ebooks through the Android Market. Check it out via this link. (If it goes to the Market homepage, then ebooks aren’t available in your country yet.)

On paper, this is not a big deal; Google have been selling ebooks through the Google eBookstore for months, and a free Android app to let you read them has been on the Market for just as long. But let’s look at the bigger picture…

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If you’ve had an Android device for a while, you’ll have heard of rooting: breaking certain safeguards placed on your device so that you have complete control over the underlying software and operating system. Some Android users swear by it, and tell you that you’re not getting the full Android experience if you don’t root; others are perfectly happy with their phones in the state they bought them, and see no reason to change.

There are advantages and disadvantages to rooting, so in this article I’d like to help you answer the question: should you root?
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Update (27 May 2015): Since this article was originally written, it’s become much easier to free up space on your Android device. These days it’s possible to take advantage of services such as Google Drive or Dropbox to relieve the strain on your SD card. If you want a more advanced cloud storage solution, check out Hightail, which allows you to access and share important files on your Android devices or anywhere else.

“Low on space: Phone storage space is getting low.” Uh-oh. This issue is easy to fix if you’ve rooted your phone, but what if you haven’t? Let’s take a look at the possibilities…

What’s the Big Deal?

Does it really matter if you run out of internal phone storage? After all, you’ve got an SD card that can fit gigabytes of data and applications.

Actually, yes; being low on internal storage causes problems. If you’ve got less than 25MB free, you won’t be able to install over-the-air updates to your system (including new versions of Android). Less than about 15MB, and you can’t sync emails, Facebook statuses, calendar appointments, and so on. Also, some applications can only be installed to the internal storage: Flash Player 10.1 and the AIR for Android runtime are two big examples of this, each weighing in at a hefty 10MB.

Rooting your phone allows you to move these applications — as well as various system files — to the SD card, freeing up plenty of space. In this article, we’ll look at what you can do if you don’t want to root it.

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