OS Monitor open sourced!

A very fine program I previously reviewed, OS Monitor, has now become open source.

Additionally, I don’t know if this has always been there and I just never noticed it, since the updated version is said to contain no actual changes, but in the Connections tab you will now find the name of the program that originated a connection.

Cheers to the author for this licensing change!

Posted in Android software updates | Leave a comment

Something Fancy – Instant Heart Rate

Program reviewed: Instant Heart Rate

Your smartphone probably has many sensors, but there is one that has become ubiquitous, being present in most “dumb” phones too, that should be considered the king of sensors: a camera.

It’s one there’s sure to be a lot of unexplored or poorly explored possibilities for: machine vision is only in its infancy, With Google Goggles and Shopper being among the most advanced examples for it that are available for Android, and Barcode Scanner being the one established use.

But there is something that doesn’t really require complicated machine vision, and yet that I’m sure most of us would never have thought of, that your Android phone can achieve using its camera: measure your heart rate. The popular program Instant Heart Rate manages to do that with decent accuracy on my Milestone.

Continue reading

Posted in Something fancy | Leave a comment

Something fancy – Sonar

Program reviewed: Sonar

There are several programs for Android to help you measure distance.
They generally work either based either on GPS, or on some simple trigonometry made workable with the help of the gravity sensors (accelerometers) that your phone typically has.

But you phone has another card that you might not have expected: it has a microphone and a speaker. What do those have to do with distance, you say?

Continue reading

Posted in Something fancy | 1 Comment

Programs to manage programs – part 2

Programs reviewed: OS MonitorPowerTutorWatchdogSystemPanel, AutoKiller, AdFree, DroidWall, aSpotCat, Autorun Killer

Finding and installing lots of new programs using the tools described in the previous article is all well and good, until you realize that some of them stay running in the background as a service. And use up lots of CPU while doing it. And use data without you realizing. And start up by themselves when you boot your phones.

Well, in this article we’ll see what programs can help you monitor what other programs do, and sometimes how you can stop them from doing it. Continue reading

Posted in Android software review | Leave a comment

Programs to manage programs – part 1

Programs reviewed: My MarketAppBrainAppAwareMarket SuggestAndroidPIT

Hello there! Since this blog is mostly going to be about Android software, I thought it made sense to start talking about those pieces of software that let you view, install, remove, rate, comment and generally play with other software.

Does this remind you of the Android Market? Well of course it does! But not everything ends at the Android Market. We all love its inane limitations, which were imposed for our good of course, but why not try bypassing at least some of them just to see how it feels like?

Continue reading

Posted in Android software review | 1 Comment