Friday, June 21, 2013

Enable Text Expansion in the Stock Google Keyboard

Enable Text Expansion in the Stock Google KeyboardAndroid: There have already been some pretty great text expansion apps for Android. However, if you're using the stock Android keyboard, you don't need to look any farther than Settings.
Technically, the feature is hidden under "Personal dictionary." Here you can enter your own terms, as well as find the ones you've already added. When you edit/create a new word or phrase, though, you have the option to create a shortcut. Once you set up the shortcut, your expanded words will appear as autocorrect suggestions as you type the shortcut phrase.

Warmly Wakes You Up Gently, Encourages Better Sleep Hygiene

Android: Warmly is an alarm clock app for Android that wakes you up gently and smoothly in the morning. It starts quiet, before you need to get up, and slowly raises the volume of your selected wake-up sound. When you're ready to get up, Warmly shows you the weather and gives you a good start to your day.
watch this video for full walkthrough app's features, it's just a bit long. You can select the wake-up sound you want, whether it's the sound of frying eggs and breakfast being made, brewing coffee, a bustling airport, or a simple morning meditation. Five minutes before you're supposed to be up, the alarm will start playing your sound from really low volume, and slowly ramp it up until you hear it, turn off the alarm, and get up. It'll even get the local weather and temperature for you.
It's worth noting that the app doesn't have multi-day alarms, either: the goal is to promote good sleep hygeine by waking up at the same time every day—a tip we've mentioned before. You can snooze the alarm, if you must. Plus, the alarm features an auto-off after 15 minutes, so if you forget it and aren't around to turn it off, your neighbors or roommates won't hate you when you get back. Warmly is $2 at Google Play.
Warmly ($2) | Google Play

Sunset Lets You Use Your Phone Without Losing Your Night Vision

Sunset Lets You Use Your Phone Without Losing Your Night Vision
Android: If you're stargazing at night, or just somewhere dark and you don't want to be blinded by using your phone, Sunset for Android is a simple screen filter that applies a reddish overtone to your display so you won't lose your night vision.

PureContact Is a Visual, Swipe-Driven Speed Dialer for Android

PureContact Is a Visual, Swipe-Driven Speed Dialer for Android
Android: Most Android phones have some kind of speed dialer, whether it's a "favorites" tab in the dialer app or programmable contact buttons, but PureContact steps in and adds some useful gestures that make calling, texting, emailing, or using another app to stay in touch with friends super easy.

Wallaby Tells You the Best Credit Card to Use Wherever You're Shopping


Android/iOS/Web: Swiping the wrong credit card could mean missing out on valuable rewards, points, or cash back. Wallaby makes sure that doesn't happen to you by telling you which card in your wallet is the best one to use, for any location you're shopping or dining at.Like webapp Reward Boost, the mobile Wallaby apps only require you to choose the cards you own; your credit card numbers aren't needed. You can then see a list of places around you (powered by Foursquare) and tap any of them to get the recommended card to use for that location. It even works with cards that have rotating cash back categories (which can be hard to keep track of). I cycle between four and five credit cards, depending on the location type, and Wallaby correctly identified the ones with the highest rewards across groceries, gas, restaurants, pharmacy, and general shopping.

Earbits Offers Fast, Completely Free Streaming Music

Web/Android: With all the talk of streaming music services vying for your headphone time, it's easy to overlook some of the ones that are simple, fun, and pump out a stream of good, interesting music when you fire them up. Earbits is one of those services, and it's available for Android and the web, completely free.

On your Android device, Earbits will scan your device for music and load up blended channels and radio stations that combine your music with the free songs that Earbits has to offer. On the web, you just click "Listen to Editor's Picks" or "Browse Channels" to start the music, no questions, no sign-ups (unless you want to save your preferences), no hassle. Browsing channels takes you to a tiled selection of genres, each with their own subgenres that you can select to further narrow the songs Earbits plays for you, but at most it's two or three clicks before the music starts flowing.
From there, Earbits works like some of the other great, underrated music services we've mentioned—your play history is in the sidebar, you can favorite songs to make note of them, and you can sign up for an artist's mailing list, like their Facebook page, or otherwise connect with them right from the song you're listening to. When you do, you earn "Groovies," a currency that lets you play specific songs whenever you like, bypassing the radio feature. Best of all, Earbits is completely free.
Hit the link below to try it out, or grab the Android app from Google Play. When I tested it out, I found the Android app was particularly useful at generating blended stations that fit all of my music tastes together in one. It helps that the Android app is really good looking, too.

CPU-Z Tells You Everything About Your Phone's CPU, Battery, and More

CPU-Z Tells You Everything About Your Phone's CPU, Battery, and More
Android: Getting detailed information about your device isn't always easy. Apps like Speccy help on the desktop, and now CPU-Z can do the same for your phone or tablet.
The app requires Android 3.0 and above (sorry Gingerbread users). Once installed it will give you extensive information about your device, including display resolution, SoC architecture, active RAM usage, battery health, temperature, and a ton more. In most cases, this app will probably be overkill, but if you've ever needed to know what kernel architecture your device uses, CPU-Z has your back.

Greenify Auto-Hibernates Apps You're Not Using to Save Battery

Greenify Auto-Hibernates Apps You're Not Using to Save Battery
Android (Rooted): If your battery won't make it through the day, Greenify is a handy utility that will automatically hibernate battery hogging apps that linger in the background after you're finished using them. We tried it out, and it works like a charm