Tweaking Your Android: Part I

Following the influx of Android-based smart phones in the market (both in the ‘luxury class’ as well as the affordable range), the most powerful mobile Operating System in existence till date has become an instant hit. As more and more mobile users opt for Android-powered smart phones, developers have been working on the Android System, making it more user friendly and customisable. Unlike Apple’s iOS, which restricts major system tweaks and modifications to the default stuff, the open source roots of Android let you change almost anything on the system. From widgets to the lock screen, and even your keypad, you are entitled to alter any aspect of the Android. In this article, we introduce you to a few alternate apps and downloads that you can choose from to customise your smart phone and enjoy a richer Android experience. We will publish this article in two parts. Part I and Part II. So lets start Part I

LAUNCHER

The centre piece of any Android, and the most powerful feature of a phone powered by it, is its launcher. The freely customisable Android launcher, which is under an open-source distribution, is what most people love about a Google-powered OS. With a heap of applications installed on your Android device, an appropriate assortment of your top apps and features on the launcher is next to mandatory. While launchers have been regularly updated with newer versions, software from other parties have been known to offer more. The best example is LauncherPro, which provides a more in-depth view of your home screens and allows you to manage widgets and icons in a more systematic manner. Similarly other substitutes for the launcher are ADW, Go Launcher Ex and Launcher7 which are visually optimised for home screen management. 

Note: All launchers mentioned are free on the Android Market. 

DIALER

Let’s face it, no matter how basic a purpose the dialer holds, it is one of the most important features on your phone. A clumsy dialer is the last thing you would want on it. In case of the Android, the stock dialer pad does a job that’s decent enough from an average user perspective. However, it falls shy when it comes to multilingual T9 support and contact identification (based on any part of the contact detail, visual customisation and most importantly backup and restore settings and call). Apart from the basic dialer, users can look forward to additional features on Dialer One, Dialer2, and DialR which are all available on the Android market for free.

PHONEBOOK

The Phonebook is another key aspect of any mobile phone. Having saved tons of contacts with most likely no backup, losing your contacts on loss of phone and or SIM card is still a huge possibility. Moving ahead of the character and number contact editing feature, Android has come a long way to allow online backup and syncing of your data under your Gmail account with a lot of contact details. Although the Contacts Management utility offered by default is capable of handling the online synchronisation of contacts, the app still lacks few of the features. A step forward from the default contact viewer on Android is Go Contacts, a free Contact Management Software that allows for better grouping and faster searches. Also Contacts is a free software that you may want to check out.

Happy Blogging :)

Source: The Kathmandu Post

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