There are some [jailbreak]http://www.imore.com/jailbreak utilities that come along and quickly receive must install status. JellyLock7 is quickly becoming one of them. It gives you quick access to your favorite apps without ever having to leave the Lock screen. It’s simple but it’s one of those tweaks that you never knew you needed until you had it.
Once you’ve got JellyLock7 installed, hop into your Settings app and configure up to five apps to appear on your Lock screen. You can also choose whether or not you want to grant access to those apps without your passcode. After you respring you’ll now have access to your chosen apps right on your Lock screen.
JellyLock7 is compatible with both iPhone and iPad and is available now for free in Cydia. If you happen to check it out, let me know what you think of it in the comments! iOS currently gives us access to the Camera app stock on the Lock screen. If your’e not jailbroken, would you like to see more apps show up on the Lock screen in the future?
|[JellyLock7 for jailbreak lets you access your most-used apps right from your lock screen]
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Not a fan of Flipboard? With their acquisition of Zite, another big reader app was taken out of the mix. If you don’t really like the magazine page-flipping style of Flipboard, there are other alternatives. Depending on how you find and consume content, one (or more!) of these might do the trick.
When Google rolled Currents into their new Newsstand app, it showed the app’s aim. We liked currents, but it was a bit clumsy. Rolling it into Newsstand livened it up in regard to functionality. The utility of Currents stayed, though.
Newsstand has both Magazines (subscription, obviously) and My News (Currents, more or less). The latter is your Flipboard competitor, and asks that you curate your own feeds — just like Flipboard. The difference is interface, which we find to be snappier and easier to navigate. It all happens via the slide-out menu from the left, and familiar “back” key up top. We really like the interface, too — simple, clean, and lets us scroll rather than flip.
Feedly replaced Google Reader for many of us, and it remains one of the better ways to consume information quickly. Though we think of RSS feeds as pretty boring, like a dull hammer, Feedly is a nice alternative. The interface is neat, and it works across platforms. A little bonus here is that it will use your Google+ as a sign-in, so you won’t have to remember yet another password.
More than any other on this list, Feedly allows for a lot of customization. You can choose to see headlines or more robust text/pictures in the main stream, and even toy with how you navigate the app and articles. Feedly also keeps with the new Android styling and slide-out menu, so it looks as good as it functions. We’re a big fan of double-tap to close an article, so give that a shot when you’re knee-deep in settings.
There is also a function to share to your favorite reading service (like the next on our list) or favorite social site with one tap. Feedly can be conjured to work just how you want it to, and lets you consume more info in a shorter time than anything else. There is a Feedly Pro, which is a bit expensive for the average reader among us, but a good option for information junkies. If you’re an avid consumer or info, Feedly might be your go-to, here.
Though Pocket has no “feed” to speak of, we like it for a few reasons. The app works by saving items shared to it for offline use and viewing later. It’s great for those times you come across an interesting article or video, but just don’t have time to check it out. It’s also great for being avaiable across platforms, and there’s even a Chrome extension and OS X app for it, which saves items to Pocket quickly and easily. Two views keep it simple, and the reading interface is a pure joy. Again, a Google+ log-in keeps it simple.
One thing we find really neat about Pocket is the option to switch to web view rather than the stripped-down reading mode. Say a picture didn’t load properly, and it needs to be seen to make sense of the article. Just pop into web view, and you’ll see it as the Internet intended, all without leaving the app. Pretty sublime.
You can also choose which topics you want to read by tagging them. There are no folders to tuck topics away to, but you can tag them. We will admit the tagging feature is a bit cumbersome (you have to enter list view before tagging, and it’s much easier via the Chrome extension), but it works once you get it down. Sharing from Chrome mobile is nice, and Pocket seems to work with jsut about any app we’ve run across. For picking up where you left off, Pocket is fantastic.
We were big fans of Zite, but Flipboard? Not so much. It’s a bit clumsy for quick reading, asking for more of a sit-down-and-read type of lifestyle, which doesn’t suit us most times. We don’t hate Flipboard, per se, but we’re not crazy about it. These three apps are meant to be alternatives, but could also serve to round out your Flipboard experience (if you’re a fan).
These three apps also represent different ways of consuming media. Newsstand is more like Flipboard to our mind, it just doesn’t ask that you “flip”. Feedly is great for consuming content quickly, while Pocket is wonderful for getting back to an article or video without having to remember where it was that you found it. If you have a suggestion for a reading app you like, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know which is your favorite.
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You have a smartphone for a reason, or more likely several. Gaming, chatting, navigation — there are a ton of reasons to have a mobile device. One of those reasons is taking notes, and keeping track of life. With plenty of options out there, which are the best? Is there any one app that will do it all for you? We take a look at a few of the more popular note taking apps to find out.
Wait, what? Google Tasks? Yeah, there is still an app for Google Tasks. It’s still really, really good, too. The app is simple, effective, and built by a team recently snapped up by Google. For a long time, many considered this app to be the default Google Tasks app, even though it technically wasn’t.
If you need a plain, easy to use note taking app, Tasks or Tasks Free is one to look at. There isn’t much to it, but it does that one thing well, which is all we can really ask for. It works with Google Now using the little know “note to self” command, too. There’s a Dashclock widget as well, so you can keep track without unlocking your device. Re-ordering tasks is easy, allowing for prioritization in a snap. As a simple note taker, Tasks is an easy recommendation.
When Google decided they needed a more robust note taking app, they went with Keep. Instead of adding functionality to Tasks, Google built Keep, and it’s actually pretty wonderful. Not as full-featured as some others, it’s still got just about everything you may need.
One of the neat functions of Keep is the checklist functionality, where you could create a list and check items off as they are done. That’s something that can be done with Tasks, in that you can create separate lists, but the card layout of Keep makes it a much easier format from the main screen. If anything, the checklist functionality makes us realize how much of a step up Keep is over Tasks.
You can also take a simple note, should you have a single item to remember or longer form stuff. Keep also lets you snap a photo (or add one from Gallery) should you need a visual hint as to what you’re talking about, and it works with voice notes as well. Just click on the mic and speak your note — a surprisingly useful item when you’re out and about.
One of the lesser known features of Now is the note taking functionality. It’s voice centric, of course, but offers a unique twist on note taking and timely reminders. We like Now for simple tasks, but we’re not sure we’d rely on it as our sole app.
You can tell Now to remind you to do something at certain times, or even pick a location where Now will push a notification to you — like not forgetting to pick up more whatever at the store next time you’re there. Scrolling down to the bottom of your cards in Now gives you the finger with string on it where you can manage your notes, too. Great for a simple “hey, do this!”, but not one we’d want to use for anything more than that.
The Evernote suite of apps is one that could (and should) find their way into any productivity discussion. With an array of widgets and apps god for all kinds of fun tasks and boring work stuff, Evernote is always one to look at. For the sake of argument, we’ll take a look at the note taking feature within Evernote — otherwise, we’d be here all day.
Summarizing Evernote’s note taking, it’s like Keep on steroids. You can save web pages to it, make text bold or italicized — even take handwritten notes. Highlight text, create public or private lists, and even make numbered or checked lists. You can even create bullet points for your topics. There is just so much to Evernote!
We like Evernote for a variety of reasons, but it’s pretty cumbersome for day-to-day use. Unless you have a family, and want to spend time creating really detailed lists, Evernote is probably going to be a bit much for the average app user. We really like it for a small business or disorganized professional, but it’s depth and breadth of services is probably just too much for the average use-case.
The nice thing about Any.Do is that it integrates well with their calendar app, which is one of the nicest available on Android. The to-do/note taking app is just as simple and gorgeous, and is a breeze to use. Simply type your task into the top bar, and it adds them to your “today” list, simple as that.
If you want more, Any.Do can do that, too! You can set alerts, schedule a task for a certain day (again, calendar integration), or add more detailed notes to a task. You can also invite people to the task or reminder, or send it to someone via Android Beam. Of course, both of those require the other party to be using Any.Do.
Simple, easy to use, and effective. We weren’t crazy that the default setting is for the tasks to show up in your notification bar, but if you were really using it heavily, it might be a bonus. Calendar integration is nice, too.
Which is right for you? Like most other things, it depends on your needs. You simply can’t go wrong with Evernote, but it’s pretty bulky — and may put some people off with the learning curve. Google Now is easy as pie to use, but not good for creating task lists or anything more complex than simple reminders.
We like Any.Do’s simplicity, and we already use their gorgeous calendar app. If you schedule your life in a calendar, Any.Do is likely a good option. It’s a step up from Google Tasks, which we are honestly surprised isn’t dead yet. If you’re looking for the silver bullet, though, it’s Keep.
Google Keep is a great note taking app, and integrates really well with the desktop — especially with the Chrome extension. It does just about anything we need it to, and having it across devices and platforms is nice. The card interface is really clean and simple, and has the benefit of being the best looking app on this list. We also think Google will leverage Keep throughout their other services in the future, so it can only get better with time.
While there are other note taking apps out there, we wanted to take a look at a few whose functionality makes sense for the average user. If you have a suggestion for note taking, feel free to leave a comment below. We’re always fans of sharing information openly!
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Thanks to an arduous XDA member, users on other smartphone brands can get a taste of the new Nokia X experience. Some of the apps and even the homescreen launcher have been ported and adjusted to be compatible with almost any other Android smartphone.
Nokia‘s announcement of not one but two Android smartphones was expected but also felt surreal. Rather naturally, Nokia injected its own bit of flair into the devices, particularly the homescreen that tries to officially bring the now iconic Windows Phone look and feel to Android. Of course, there are also a few Nokia-made apps that are now being made available for everyone else.
The credit goes to XDA Senior Member opssemnik who worked on extracting these apps from the Nokia X, porting them, and getting them working on any Android device. The series includes the Nokia File Explorer, which doesn’t really look that different from your run of the mill file manager. The Nokia Email app is also available and looks rather plain, if not basic. The Nokia Music player works, but installing it might be a bit problematic since it could conflict with the AOSP music player on some systems.
Perhaps most users will be more curious about Nokia Launcher. Unfortunately, it is also the one that requires a more involved installation process. The launcher requires not just root access but also a recovery, since it comes as an image that needs to be flashed via the recovery menu.
Those still curious to try these apps out can follow the XDA links below. Being unofficial ports of apps that will most likely never see generic availability, no guarantees can be made about their safety or performance.
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Often on our YouTube channel we get questions concerning the little flashes of apps or aspects of our Android builds that you desire to know more about. Most recently, many feedback asked what keyboard I was using on my Nexus 5. Well, as a way of answering that question, we’re bringing back an old segment simply for you. here is How I Android, with the Keymonk Keyboard. Any way you look at it, there are tons of apps on the Android Market and the iTunes App Store. Granted many of them are distinctive copies of the same app or junk that none of us want anyway.
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What’s the saying? Oh yeah: You can lead a Developer to a smartphone, but you can’t make them use the weird OS you put on it. That goes for any device, and the newest “Android” handset, the Nokia X, has already been rooted and flashed with a custom ROM.
Who’s got these things already, you ask? Developers, of course. The Developer-only (for now) Nokia X devices have already been shipped, and giving Developers a device means they’re going to tinker. Using Framaroot, one Developer has easily made the Nokia X their own. Sounds ho-hum, save for one thing: Google Services.
The Nokia X does not ship with Google services, meaning buyers lose out on all sorts of things that make Android great like Maps or Search. The current method of providing apps to the Nokia X is for Developers to submit their Android apps to the Nokia store, which Nokia says can usually be done without any rewriting of code. Third party apps are great, but some just can’t stack up to Google’s offerings.
While the Nokia X doesn’t pack much in the way of specs, we find a different reason to raise an eyebrow here. First, we love a good root story. More importantly, if KitKat is really meant to be optimized for lower-end devices, what better example than the Nokia X? We’re hoping a root/KitKat duo will show us just how low KitKat can really go. At 512MB memory and 4GB Memory with a 1GHz Snapdragon, the bar is set really low.
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I wish to watch something on TV but I can’t. PVR. Boom. I can watch it when I want. I wish to examine something on the web but I can’t. read later. Boom. I can read it when I want. i’ve an idea but am in no position to leverage it at the moment… visit anyone of a dozen note-taking or mind mapping or sketching apps that are generally far too feature-filled and cumbersome to get into, out of, and triage things in just exactly the way you must triage them. that is nevertheless an issue that needs more advantageous solving. Enter Drafts for iPhone by Agile Tortoise, which aims to be a staging ground for singular thoughts, an incubator for moments of insight, a way to seize ephemera. It’s a new riff on old jazz. I used Birdhouse for this sort of thing for a long time, then switched to Simplenote, then a sort of Dropbox-enabled text editors. Now I frequently use Siri to instantly add items to an “Ideas” list in Reminders . But Drafts makes a compelling (use) case. Drafts is no easier to get stuff into than any of my earlier solutions, and is truly slightly more difficult than Reminders thanks to Apple not yet providing a mechanism for Siri to inject content into App Store apps (though you may indeed use Dictation as soon as you manually tap into Drafts and the appropriate or new draft). However, it’s quite a bit more powerful to get stuff out of. Open Drafts and start typing. It shows you the word count and letter count, and at the touch of the page icon, shows you a list of previous drafts. At the touch of an Action-like button, anything else in the present draft may be tweeted using any account already set up on your iPhone, or sent to some of the Twitter apps installed on your iPhone (Twitter and Tweetbot coach up for me, Twitterrific and Twitterlator Neue do not), or it may be emailed or copied to the clipboard.
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According to a new report, a change to Android’s Verify Apps service will be introduced with the next version of Google Play services.
There’s a boogie man out there in the Android world, and his name is Malware. We’re sure you’ve read quite a few reports out there on the net about how malware is waiting in just about every corner, hoping to pounce on your unsuspecting Android tablet or smartphone. The reality isn’t nearly as bleak.
Sure, malware exists for Android, as it’s the world’s most popular OS, but downloading directly from the Play Store and other trusted sources is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay safe. Avoiding strange text messages with links and reading through app permissions also help keep the threat largely at bay.
Still, at the end of the day, malicious code can and sometimes does get through. The good news is that Google is reportedly preparing to make a change to its Verify Apps service that will help reduce the problem.
For those who don’t know, Android already has a feature in place that scans your newly downloaded apps for malware before fully installing them. In the next Play Services update, this scanning feature will no longer run just one time per app, and instead will constantly run in the background.
What’s the purpose if they’ve already been scanned once? The idea is that some apps might have unidentified malware that sneaks by the first time it is installed, or you could even download an malicious app appears innocent at first scan, but could then later be downloading malware in the background. A continuous scanning approach would come in handy both of these scenarios.
Of course there’s also the question of whether such an approach would negatively affect battery life. While it’s possible it could have a small effect, we would imagine the overall impact would be pretty minor, though obviously we won’t know for sure until the new version of Play Services rolls out.
It’s also worth noting that since Verify Apps is already optional, a continuous running feature will also likely be an optional service — though that’s just speculation on our part.
What do you think, glad to see that Google is taking a more active roll to address potential malware concerns, or do you feel that these steps are unnecessary as long as Android users follow basic safety and security practices?
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