January 16, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Android Apps Alert has finally arrived for the new year! After a hectic post-holiday, post-CES cool down period, we’re finally able to get back into the business of checking out what’s new and updated in the Android Market. Each week, Androinica.com reviews new apps and apps that you may have previously overlooked. Feel free to recommend apps via the #androidapps tag on Twitter.
This week’s edition is called Simple solutions, riveting results. Each app featured below provides an incredibly simple solution to a difficult or complex problem that gets in the way of your daily movements. Keeping with the old adage that the simple solutions are often the best solutions, here’s a list of useful apps.
Call Logs Backup & Restore
There are sad times when I’m looking for a number that I recently dialed, only to realize that it’s gone because I flashed a new ROM and wiped everything. Call Logs Backup & Restore addresses that problem by doing what the name of the app says. Similar to my much-loved SMS Backup & Restore app, CLB&R will backup your call history and enable you to restore to a phone after a data wipe; though the data is stored on an SD card rather than a cloud.
Call Logs Backup & Restore app also comes in-handy because it can Archive backups to add-on to existing logs, can view logs if you just want to check something, and schedules backups at automatic intervals. If you’re someone who wants to keep a reliable copy of your phone data, grab this app right now.
Recommended by: @hardkikker Call Logs Backup & Restore v2.1 out now in the market. http://android.riteshsahu.com/apps/call-logs-backup-restore #androidapps
As much as I love Android, the crappy battery life of its devices has been a major gripe since 2008. Juice Defender helps extend the battery by placing restrictions on certain features that use power. The only problem was that it was previously a little tough to understand for the lay folk. A recent redesign of the app now makes it dead simple to increase the amount of time your phone operates by creating and customizing profiles that disable features based on battery level or needs.
Users can even white-list certain apps to permit them to access the Internet, so this can be a great way to block all web activity except those that are critical to maintaining a connection. Download this app to extend your battery.
Tasker is an incredible app, but it has also become incredibly complicated. Some people don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up profiles; they just want an easy way to toggle settings. Profile Valet is the simple solution those people need. While far less advanced than Tasker, this app can automate Bluetooth, Display, Sound, and Wifi settings. Users can create profiles based on Date and Time, Location, or Manually-invoked.
Profile Valet can switch your ringer to vibrate anytime you enter your office building, change your ringtone when you’re at your parent’s house, change screen brightness and timeout settings in the morning, or automatically turn on Bluetooth at 5 PM as you head from work to your car for your daily commute. It’s simple and it’s free.
There are times when following a particular person on Twitter can prove to be annoying. You may enjoy hearing that person’s tweets on tech, but hate when he or she goes on a rant about Gossip Girl or the NBA. Why not tell that person to zip it? Tweetcaster just updated with a new feature that allows users to temporarily “zip” people they follow on Twitter. This allows them to not see tweets from the offending tweeter until the zip is removed. It’s like putting someone on mute without un-following the person. Quick and convenient.
App Reviews and News of the Week
- Gun Bros kicks biofreak butt [Video Game Reviews]
- VEVO releases Android app for watching music videos [App Reviews]
- Gingerbread keyboard pops-up in Android Market
- Free version of popular game Jet Car Stunts released, features 8 new tracks
- Mini Squadron sequel released and on-sale
- NVIDIA bringing high-end games into the TegraZone
App Updates of the Week
- TeleNav brings big updates to Android navigation app
- Android NFC apps finally putting feature to use
- NASA releases official Android app for its Spinoff publication
- Match made in heaven, Shazam and Spotify to help you identify and stream new music
- Hola! Hello! Google Translate adds audio conversation mode
- SlideIT Keyboard 3.0 hits the Market
- Google Goggles scans barcodes almost instantly, solves Sudoku