Android Phones, Info and Apps

TAG | lost

I came across this app a few days ago and thought it was pretty cool, basically it allows you place widgets and custom sliders on your lock screen.

 

WidgetLocker Lockscreen sliders

 

Whats the big deal I hear you ask…? Well think about it, if your are in a rush to get the camera app on your phone, normally you have to get your phone out, press the power button, unlock the screen, open the launcher or slide to the screen where you have the camera shortcut and then wait for the camera to start up… by that time that kodak moment is well and truely over!

With WidgetLocker, add a Camera slider button to your lockscreen, when you need to take that photo, take out your phone, press the power button and instead of unlocking the phone simply slide the camera slider and hey presto the camera app will boot straight up.

You can do this for any application on your phone. Add left sliders, right sliders or center buttons, giving you several ways to open different apps.

WidgetLocker does come at a price €2.25 at the time of writing on Google Play, but for what it does it is excellent value for money. The app is well built and for the most part bug free.

Setting up your custom lockscreen is simple and not much different from adding a widget or app to your homescreen. There are a whole heap of options in the settings menu to mess around with.

Another super addition to WidgetLocker is the ability to add contact information to your lockscreen. For example, if you have an unlock pattern or code to unlock your phone like most people would have, what happens when you lose your phone… if somebody finds your phone they cant unlock it to get any contact information from it if they did want to return it to you.

WidgetLocker Information lockscreen

WidgetLocker allows you to add a telephone number or email address to your lockscreen. So anybody who finds the phone at least has contact information if they choose to return the phone… fingers crossed!

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These days there are some good news about Google services’ users, including the FroYo ones. Google has released an update for Google Maps, version 4.6. It features a new design of the Place page reviews and many more options to filter your search results, Latitude is also updated, including a real-time update.

The updated design of Place’s page is done in such a way, that it combines “Around the web” reviews and Google users’ reviews share one and the same design, so you don’t have to get used to 2 different UIs. As for the filter changes – previously it was possible to filter the search results only by distance and/or ratings but now you can filter them by “Open now”, “Neighborhood” and “Related searches” as well.

The updated version of Latitude offers much faster and more often update, so Google hopes that more people will start using this social feature of Android. In this way you will be able to see where your friends are right now and join them in the party. A great feature, but you and your friends should be running Android 2.2 on your mobile devices. I wonder what would be the impact on the battery life if using the GPS all the time.

The other news from Google are about Android 2.2 and Google Docs. Now it is possible to remotely control a device via Google Docs and an ordinary web browser. Being an admin, via the web browser you can remotely:

  • Remotely do a data wipe of lost or stolen devices
  • Lock idle devices after some inactivity
  • Require a password on each device
  • Set minimum length for passwords
  • Require passwords to include letters and/or numbers
  • Withdraw access to company information when an employee leaves it, without the need to entirely wipe the whole phone.

In order to be able to use all these features, the devices should have Google Apps Device Policy installed. It will be available on the market in a few days and it will be free for users within Google Apps Premier and Education Edition products.

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