Android: Earlier this week Google announced that thanks to a partnership with WhatsApp, backups from the app will no longer count against your Google Drive storage limits. That means it’s an even better idea than ever to use Google Drive as a backup for your messages.
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iOS: One of the best parts of any science-fiction game or movie are those ominous tones that suggest a conversation or discovery is about to head south — a quintessential part of the soundtrack that adds a lot of atmosphere (and tension) to an experience. And now, thanks to an open-source iOS app, you can make your own imposing synthesiser sounds and teach yourself the basics of music production.
Battery issues are one of the more headache-inducing problems you’ll deal with as an iPhone owner. Whether it’s Apple’s alleged planned obsolescence or just the simple physics of your iPhone’s battery — it won’t last forever — there will come a time when you can’t make it through the day on a single charge. But consider this: It might be an app’s fault instead.
Windows, Mac: You probably have a few websites that you use all the time — perhaps a special CMS you need for work, a time-tracking site you use to track and bill hours for clients, or a web game you just can’t get enough of. If you’re tired of pulling up your browser each time you need to access it, you have an alternative: Transform it into an app.
This week Instagram started rolling out a feature that shows your friends when you're currently using the app via a green indicator light.
Windows: The phrase “package manager” sounds a bit ominous, but if you’re smart, you’ve already used one to outfit your Windows PC with all the basics: Ninite. The site couldn’t be any simpler. You pick the programs you want, it creates one installation file for everything, and double-clicking on it installs everything you selected at once.
If you want to have a Mac that's as free from garbage and stray files as you can get, I recommend giving CleanApp a try. The app runs a background process that keeps track of everything an app dumps on your system when you're installing it. When it's time to remove said app, this ensures that CleanApp takes everything off your system that shouldn't be there.
iOS: Throughout the day, I always know I should be doing things to better my health and overall disposition: Standing at regular intervals, drinking a lot of water, telling my friends they are great and we should hang out, and so on. And while these thoughts hit me on occasion, they're never enough to create a regular lifestyle pattern. Thankfully, the free iOS app Aloe Bud is happy to help out.
I got my nails done a few weeks ago, and it felt great, but I highly recommend trying Wanna Nails (iOS, Android) before you head into the salon so you aren't fumbling around with colour choices. And if you're more a DIY person for nail maintenance, you can avoid purchasing a colour you end up hating. Let the powers of augmented reality help you preview different colours on your nails with the tap of a finger.
Windows: Most computer geeks know about WinDirStat, an incredibly useful utility that shows which folders and files are taking up so much room on your drive. It's a must-have app, because you'll be surprised - heck, I've been surprised - how many times you might find some random, triple-buried folder on your desktop that's using an unseemly amount of space.
Nobody likes a boring home screen. And while you get a number of default options within Android to pretty up your device, you can get a lot more creative if you build your own live wallpaper. KLWP Live Wallpaper Maker is the perfect "the sky is the limit" app, for its usefulness is directly correlated to how much time you're willing to spend in it, making the live wallpaper of your dreams.
Android: If you're not a fan of using Google Play Music to manage and listen to podcasts - and we don't blame you there - you can still get your podcasts in Android without having to install a third-party app. Just do a quick Google search for what you want to listen to, drop a shortcut to the show onto your home screen, and tap it whenever you feel like enriching your life with hours and hours of commentary.
Microsoft just updated its Translator app for iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire devices to support new optimised language packs that are (allegedly) up to 23 per cent better at helping you figure out how to say "where is the bathroom" on your next vacation. They also eat up around half as much space on your phone when you download them -- a wise move, since you don't want to be stuck without the ability to ask for directions if you're lost on your travels.