• 6 Most Popular and Most Downloaded Free Android Apps to Improve User-Experience of Android Devices

    Posted on March 20th, 2013 David Brooks | 79 comments

    With the fast development of the handheld device market, there are more and more smartphones and tablets for people to choose from. Android has become one of the most popular mobile operating system in the world. More and more smartphone and tablet manufacturers are making use of Android OS to bring out wonderful devices. Alongside with the fast emerged Android smartphones and tablets, more and more Android devices have been developed to better user experience. A smart phone won’t get you too far without at least a few great apps, and Android’s no exception. So, today, I would like to share some choices of Android apps to make you guys get more from Android devices.

    All of the apps listed below are free, but several have premium versions if you’re willing to pay. You can get them directly through your phone or download them remotely over the Web from the Google Play Store.

    Hotspot Shield VPN for Android

    Hotspot-Shield-VPN-for-Android

    Hotspot Shield for Android provides the same great features as our popular desktop software. Provides internet security and privacy: protect yourself in Wi-Fi hotspots (VPN encrypts all traffic), protect your identity and your IP address to stop unwanted tracking. Gives you access to your favorite sites. Unblock any blocked content and services–get Facebook, Skype, YouTube, Flickr and other sites wherever you are. Blocks and notifies you of spam, phishing and rogue websites. Hotspot Shield Bandwidth Compression speeds up browsing and shows you how much you saved on your data plan.

    Opera Mini

    opera-mini

    Opera’s fastest mobile browser that can save you money on data. Totally free. Try the world’s fastest Android browser: FAST: Opera’s speed and efficient controls put it ahead of all other browsers. EASY: Surf the Web on your mobile as easily as on a desktop computer. SAVE MONEY: Reduce data costs by up to 90% with our unique compression technology. And it’s completely free to install and use. Other great features: Speed Dial shows you all of your favorite websites at a glance. Pull them up with one tap! Tabs let you keep multiple pages open and switch between them. Reading online is better with page sizes, address bars and toolbars that adjust automatically.

    iBrowser

    ibrowser

    Discover the smartest way to browse the Internet on your Android device. Choice of over 10,000,000 Indian mobile users. iBrowser is an amazingly fast, light weight mobile browser. It saves data costs and makes downloading and browsing on mobile easy and smooth. FREE download iBrowser now and Discover friends, music, videos, chat, fun anywhere anytime.

    Features: Facebook and YouTube load faster due to cloud support. Auto-complete URL enabled, so that you surf more and type less. Advanced data compression technology saves data costs. Popular hot Indian sites pre-embedded, to help you discover more. Consumes less phone memory. Multiple search engines enabled – Google, Bing and Yahoo. Multiple tabs. Multi-thread downloads – download multiple songs & files simultaneously. Supports copy-paste feature. Eye protection night mode.

    Sinhala Tamil English Dictionary

    Sinhala Tamil English Dictionary

    This free Android app not only offers an excellent English-to-Sinhala/Sinhala-to English Dictionary and Thesaurus, but it also now supports English-to-Tamil and Tamil-to-English translations. Sinhala (sometimes spelled Sinhalese or Singhalese) is one of Sri Lanka’s official languages; Tamil is another. For travelers, business contacts, scholarship, and language learning, it’s a great tool to have (literally) in hand.

    This app opened with the English-Sinhala Dictionary displayed as well a keypad, search field, and a toolbar accessing a Help file as well as some significant settings. A button labeled Abbreviations brought a useful page of common English abbreviations; we could also view and clear our search history. The dictionary is easy to use. We typed in a common word and received five definitions — all nouns, including one geographical term, and all rendered in lovely Sinhala script. If you can’t read Sinhala or Tamil words, not to worry; the app’s settings include an Enable Transliterations option that displays Sinhala or Tamil words transliterated into English. After we enabled transliteration, our Search results displayed both English and Sinhala (or Tamil) script. The Settings also includes a (default) Word Suggestions option. Under Dictionary Mode, we could select English, Sinhala, or Tamil as our dictionary’s base language. We could also customize our dictionary’s look by changing the background color or the Sinhala or Tamil fonts.

    Like most free Android apps, Sinhala Tamil English Dictionary displays ads on its interface, but they’re unobtrusive. Voice search makes this free language tool even more versatile since you can simply speak into it to translate words, though it’s not a translation engine; it’s a dictionary/thesaurus. It won’t translate speech or sentences or speak results out loud. But for a versatile, easy-to-use, handheld reference for travelers, scholars, and others, Sinhala Tamil English Dictionary is the tool of choice.

    Vpn One Click (Android)

    Vpn One Click (Android)

    Vpn One Click protects your privacy online, unlocks all blocked services like Twitter, Facebook, Skype by connecting to a Virtual Private Network Server. Your public IP address will be different from the real one and the connection will appear as coming from a different country to full protect your privacy. Furthermore, your internet connection will be full encrypted. The servers are available in many different countries to allow to change your public IP address and also to watch your national TV from abroad. The available countries are: USA, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Singapore and India. Use the service with NO traffic limit. Real free of charge VPN service. They are available specific versions for: – Windows, – Mac, -iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod).

    Vpn One Click service is free for all Android devices from this update. Furthermore, an “Elite” subscription is still available to use reserved and faster servers. All paying customers have assigned the “ELITE” subscription automatically. They are available specific version for:- Windows,- Mac,- Ios (iPhone/iPad/iPod).

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  • Top 5 best free and worthy Google Reader alternatives for Android and iOS devices

    Posted on March 13th, 2013 David Brooks | 56 comments

    You must have heard of this: Google has announced to shut down Google Reader in July 1, 2013. “We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites,” the company said. “While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.” Google Reader lets users subscribe to and read feeds from all manner of publishers, in a format that resembles an e-mail in-box. Once the service is shut down, people who have been used to Google Reader have to turn to other alternatives. Today, I would like to share 5 free and worthy Google Reader alternatives with all Android and iOS users that are in need of Google Reader service. These 5 alternatives are all free for both Android and iOS devices.


    Feedly

    feedly

    Feedly is a new way to browse the content of your favorite sites, RSS feeds, tumblr blogs and YouTube channels ON VARIOUS Web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android. Instead of having to hunt down for information, Feedly uses RSS to aggregate the contents of the news sites you like and deliver them as a fast mobile-optimized experience.

    The Feedly mobile application is available for iOS (iPhone, iPad), and Android devices. All versions of the app run on Streets (DevHD’s other project), which allows for the application to run on the same code for all devices. Running the same code across multiple platforms lets the developers release updates faster because they are only working with one version. Like its web counterpart, the mobile application employs a minimalistic interface that imitates a magazine spread. However, unlike the browser extension, the Feedly app cannot load an entire article. Instead, it will present a summary, and a link to the actual article. The mobile application acts as a browser on its own, so any redirects happen inside the app itself, as opposed to opening a separate internet browser. Additionally, the application adapts to the user, and will recommend posts based on what the user has read or shared in the past.


    Pulse

    Pulse

    Pulse News brings all your favorite blogs, magazines, social networks and newspapers in one place for FREE. Exciting to use, quick to read, ready to share. Tap on an article to see a clean and elegant view of the news story. Save stories for reading later across all platforms or sync them with Instapaper, Read it Later and Evernote. Sharing a story via Facebook, Twitter, Google + and email is as easy as one tap.

    Features:

    * NEW – Pulse Highlights: Highlights showcases the stories you care about, and it’s powered by the people you care about. Check out your Highlights feed by tapping ‘Highlights’ at the top of the left navigation bar. You’ll see stories shared by your friends, and you can add your own by tapping the blue Highlights icon at the bottom of any article.

    * Tablet support: Pulse is beautifully formatted and optimized for hundreds of Android devices – it is perfect for your resolution and size of the tablet.

    * Dual view: For each article on Pulse, you can switch between a clean summary of the article or go to the website directly. When you tap on an article, both are ready to view, almost instantly!

    * Offline sync: No internet? No problem. Pulse loads the news stories you read, and makes them available wherever you are.

    * Save Stories: Collect your favorite stories using your Pulse.me account. Send to Instapaper, Read it Later, Evernote and Google Reader, all in one tap.

    * Easy share: Found an interesting news article? Sharing a news story on Pulse via Email, Facebook, and Twitter is as easy as two taps.

    * Source Syncing: With your Pulse account, sync your favorite sources across your all your devices and platforms.

    * Integration with Google Reader: Pulse allows you to directly import all your RSS feeds from Google Reader. Your stories are synced with your Google account.


    Taptu

    Taptu

    Taptu is a social news feed reader that lets you Add, Remix, Search and Share streams from your favorite web sites, blogs and social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can add your favorite sources and topics directly from our StreamStore (including importing from Google Reader), DJ them on StreamStudio and finally share the ones you like the most.

    Features:

    * Discover thousands of streams on your favorite topics from a wide variety of web sites, blogs, newspapers and magazines in the StreamStore;

    * Search for RSS Feeds using Bing or Import them from Google Reader;

    * DJ Your News: Do you have 5 different sports streams you follow? Merge them all together to create you own Sports stream and color code it to your liking. And why not share your new stream with your friends?

    * Search Streams: Are you a Lady Gaga fan? Search for Lady Gaga on the StreamStore and you can create a stream dedicated to all the news of Lady Gaga from Music streams or Fashion streams or a combination of both.

    * Search in Streams: Have you added the Games streams and you want to find reviews for Call of Duty? You can now search in any stream. Whats more you can save your search as a new Search Stream allowing you to follow all the news for Call of Duty as it comes out.

    * Discover Stories related to the one you are reading as well as Streams specific to the Topic/Genre the article you are reading about.

    * All types of Widgets: Lists, Cards and Stack widgets, even scrollable on Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb. Customize the size, the color, the frequency they update.

    * Add as many Facebook or Twitter accounts as you want, add your LinkedIn account as well.

    * Update your status, Like and Comment from your Facebook stream: See something a friend has sent that you want to Like or Comment on? Do it right inside the app.

    * Tweet, RT, Quote a Tweet from your Twitter stream: Someone you follow on Twitter has tweeted an interesting tweet, Quote it and add your comments or RT directly from Taptu.

    * Post a Status Update, Like and Comment from your Linkedin stream: A colleague or a friend of yours has posted something you think your own friends should know about, you can Like it or Comment on it from Taptu.

    * Share with friends: Share stories and streams with your friends on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin.

    * See full articles that friends share via Twitter and Facebook: Taptu will convert links your friends share into a full article view.

    * No time to read now? Bookmark articles to read later, or save to Instapaper and Read It Later. Press Reviews: VentureBeat: A deeper news reading experience than most competitors, in particular because I was able to easily combine news sourcesthe app also does a great job of recommending stories. The Register: A good news aggregator should be able to pull information from a broad range of sources, present it in a clear and easily navigable format, and make it as easy as pie to find, add, remove and edit feeds.


    Flipboard

    Flipboard

    If you’re not familiar with Flipboard, it’s a magazine-style news reader that has been wildly popular on iOS for quite some time. What gives it extra cool points is its ability to handle social media. See, Flipboard can integrate your social accounts into its feed, and present tweets or other status updates just as it would news stories or blog posts (complete with images and video thumbnails). Couple this with Flipboard’s gorgeous tiled interface, and it’s easy to see why the app is such a fan favorite.

    With its clean design, vibrant display of photographic tiles, and smooth page-flipping animation, Flipboard for Android is just as stunning as its iOS sibling. This visual appeal has always been the hallmark of the app.

    But Flipboard for Android isn’t just a pretty face. Functionally, it packs a punch, too, as it lets you add feeds from a number of different social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube. You can compose status updates from within Flipboard, as well as share, retweet, +1, and Like others’ posts.

    As with other news reader apps, you can also add feeds from pretty much any news source or site with an RSS feed, or you can subscribe to a Flipboard-curated topic feed. Also, if you use a bookmarking service like Instapaper, Pocket, or Readability, you can integrate those as well.

    If you use Google Reader, you can load that up, too. However, Flipboard doesn’t let you swipe through individual sources within your Google Reader account, which is disappointing. Meanwhile, another app in the category, Feedly, handles Google Reader beautifully, as it can two-way sync, and even mark items as read with a quick swipe.

    One thing worth noting is that Flipboard for Android is not yet optimized for tablets. The image quality is less than stellar, and there’s no use of the functional side panels that might otherwise grace a tablet-specific app.

    Overall, I’m impressed with Flipboard for Android. Even with its few shortcomings, it’s still a gorgeous reader with the flexibility to handle all of your social media. And if that’s not enough, it comes with two different widgets, so you can access your Cover stories right from your home screen.


    Google Currents

    Google Currents

    Google Currents delivers beautiful magazine-like editions to your tablet and smartphone for high speed and offline reading.

    Features include:

    * Publisher editions – Publishers such as Forbes, The Guardian, TechCrunch, PBS, Saveur, and more have produced hundreds of editions including full length, in-depth articles, videos, fine photography, and slideshows. Editions are free – covering news, business, lifestyle, fashion, sports, science, technology, design, food, entertainment and more.

    * Fast scan – A new navigation mode lets you quickly swipe vertically to discover unread stories within an edition, swipe horizontally to move to the next edition within a category. Or, use the “sidebar” to jump ahead to a specific edition.

    * Breaking stories – Google Currents uses Google search technology to deliver the hottest breaking stories in categories such as world, entertainment, sports, science, and more. As you travel to different countries, additional breaking stories are added to match your location.

    * Saved stories – Run across an in-depth article that you want to read later, or a special recipe you want to keep? Star any story to be saved for later, in your personal Saved stories edition.

    * Your favorite blogs and feeds – Instantly, turn your Google Reader subscriptions, or any of your favorite blogs/feeds into a beautiful edition with a magazine feel.

    * Translate – Currents uses Google translate technology to translate editions into a preferred language of your choice. 44 languages are supported.

    * Widget – Immediately see fresh news on your android home screen with the Google Currents widget.

    Each edition is available for high speed offline reading, and provides quick-touch sharing. Google Currents self-adapts to differently sized phones and tablets, with subscriptions synchronized across devices. Google Currents – a reading experience not to be missed.

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  • Top 10 Free and Most Essential Apps for Apple iPad mini

    Posted on November 15th, 2012 David Brooks | 347 comments

    The more compact, portable and lighter 7.9-inch Apple iPad mini is here. Apple has itself released some of the best apps for iPad mini in the App Stores and they work perfectly well. That is why you should definitely check out the iLife suite of applications including iMovie, iPhoto and GarageBand. And if you want to use the 7.9 incher for productivity, the iWork suite with Keynote, Pages and Numbers should be your thing. Of course, we could never be restrained to the apps released by Apple on this $329 tablet. To make this 7.9 incher more productivity, more apps should be included and made use of. But what apps do the most for iPad mini? And, what free apps could people get to make iPad mini more enjoyable?

    iPad mini

    Today, I have collected some 10 free apps that are most essential to your iPad mini. You can take use of these free apps to empower your iPad mini. Check the below and there is at least one app that meets your needs.

    Skype: As the most popular VoIP client, Skype needs no introduction. With both a front and rear cameras, you can enjoy video calling at its fullest with this app.

    Kindle: The 7.9-inch iPad mini is not better than the standard iPad in terms of specs, while its smaller size is more comfortable for reading. The Kindle app gives you access to Amazon’s huge catalog of books.

    Pocket: Previously known as Read It Later, Pocket is a tool to save things for offline reading. They sync across all your devices.

    Flipboard: Flipboard is probably close to visual perfection when it comes to fun and modern pictoral representation of news. With a magazine-like design you just flip the screen as it turns in a page-like fashion.

    Jasmine: Jasmine is an alternative of Google YouTube application in iOS 6. It is a brilliant YouTube client which works perfectly well on the iPad mini.

    Netflix: Watching Netflix movies in bed with your tablet at hand is close to the perfect cozy experience and the iPad mini makes it possible. The Netflix app is free, simple and a direct gateway to movies.

    Hulu Plus: Besides movies, you can also watch TV shows on your iPad mini. That is what Hulu Plus do for you.

    Pandora: In the world of Internet radio, Pandora is one of the biggest names. The personalized Internet radio lets you just type in the name of your favorite artist and listen on as the service builds a playlist around that.

    The Weather Channel: Weather is something we get to know everyday. Having the most up-to-date and detailed information about the capricious weather can mean a lot, and with The Weather Channel for iPad mini you get virtually all the information meteorologists have.

    Google Drive: There are many apps to keep your notes online, craft documents, spreadsheets and so on, but little come even close to Google Drive. Google’s online collaboration productivity suite bests all similar online offerings and is close to being a worthy competitor to the iWork suite. It works only when you are online though.

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  • Top 8 most popular and useful applications for all smartphones

    Posted on May 17th, 2012 David Brooks | 61 comments

    In the fast developing electronic market, more and more wonderful smartphones have emerged to make life even more convenient and relaxed. There’re a lot of smartphones for people to use for better leisure life enjoyment, just like to upcoming Samsung Galaxy S 3 and Apple iPhone 5. Smartphones have played an essential role in our daily life, for either communication or personal entertainment. What makes it even better is that there’re so many applications out there to fulfill our smartphones and make our handsets more useful. However, such many applications may puzzle users and make them unclear which ones to be set up on their smartphones. Personally, I think users should prepare various applications for their smartphones: some are to be set up on smartphones while some others have to be set up on computers. Well, here I have collected some suggestions and finally sum up these suggestions into a top 8 suggestion list. Take a look at these suggestions as you like.

    Top 8 Smartphone apps

    1. Amazon Kindle: This application is suitable for users who would like to read e-books on their large screen smartphones. With this application, you could freely read e-books on the move. It’s free to download and install. This application will save you from forking out as much as 150 for the reading device alone. The Amazon Kindle enables you to shop for, download, browse and read e-books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and other digital media through wireless networking. It could read PDF files just like reading a real book.

    2. Instagram: It’s quite common for us to take pictures with our smartphones. After shooting pictures, we might want to share them with others. That’s why Instagram becomes popular, a free photo sharing application that allows users to take photos, apply a filter and share it on the series or a variety of social networking services like Twitter and Facebook. This application is compatible with iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 3.1.2 or above. It is homage to both the Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras, confines photos into a square shape.

    3. Video Editor: By taking pictures or photos and shooting video clips with smartphones, a video editor would produce even more fun to these photos and videos. A video editor should actually process both pictures and videos. But it has to be set up on a computer for your smartphone.

    4. Drop Box: An excellent free application to store your files, including photos, docs and videos. When you have installed Dropbox on your computer, the files your saved in Dropbox will automatically save to all your iPhone, iPad, and computers and even the Dropbox website. You can take everything that matters to you on the go without worrying missing any important files.  You can read your documents, flip through your albums, or share your saved photos and videos with your friends via Dropbox easily.

    5. Video Converter: About smartphone video entertainment. Sometimes we may want to watch movies or HD videos on our smartphones to kill the long boring train journey or flight night. But different smartphones supports different video formats. We can’t be sure to download every video or movie in the format our handsets support. In this case a Video Converter is a big helper, which could easily convert videos between different formats. Of course, this app should be set up on computers.

    6. Evernote: This application is like a multitask program which helps you manage your arrangement. Evernote is an easy-to-use application that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. This application lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders and make these notes completely searchable whether you are at work, home or anywhere else.

    7. Facebook:A social network tool is a must have tool on your smartphones nowadays, either Facebook or Twitter, or any other ones. More than 65 million people are now actively using Facebook on their mobile phones, while Twitter is a social media site for people who don’t care for social media but want to stay connected with friends and current events.

    8. Angry Birds: In fact, what I mean here is that you could set up the game you like most on your smartphone, just like Angry Birds. Angry Birds has been the most popular smartphone application such as the iPhone which involves a flock of irate wingless birds having dominated the attention of users this year.

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