Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Gadget Goodies 16 -- The Face of Your Device, Part 2


My first smartphone was a Cingular 8525, a 2006 Windows Mobile phone.  That was followed by a number of other devices, with varying OSes. Thanks to a device modding site, xda-developers, that I use to this day, there were a lot of not so stock devices in my hands.  When it recently came time to go with a no contract carrier, I got the Note 2 that I'd been craving.  Functional and attractive.  That got paired with a Nexus 7.

Every device has its own UI (launcher), based on the manufacturer's ideas on what users want.  The launcher is usually OK, but more limited than many of the third party launchers available.  We've looked at one of my favorite launchers, Aviate.  Today, we'll look at the other, Action Launcher Pro.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gadget Goodies 15 -- The Face of Your Device, Part 1


The things I do are things that require a certain level of professionalism.  My phone and tablet are tools in my various endeavors.  Because of that, they not only have to cover a decent social life, but the various things I do as part of my church's volunteer staff, as a blogger, as a budding writer, etc.  We have screenshots from my Nexus tablet, clickable to display larger images.  And, yes, My Note 2 is laid out in much the same way so that both function very much the same.  There are two launchers that seem to work most like I do.  We'll look at both.  They're equally compelling.

This week, we're starting with a newcomer, Aviate.  It's not for everyone, but it's definitely a classy piece of software.  If you want something that lets you change your screen to a great work of art, based on your tweaks, you can stop reading now.  If you're looking for a launcher that, while not yet extremely customizable, still looks better than many screens I've seen, and both works with you and for you, keep reading.  Screenshots are from the original alpha version.  Cosmetically, changes are minimal in the beta that dropped yesterday.  [October 17, 2013, 10:32 --The review has now been revised several times, as I discover new features in Aviate.]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Gadget Goodies 14 – The Search for Perfection



I’ve had several friends change devices because of finances.  Sell one, then buy a less expensive replacement.  At the same time, my finances have gotten tighter.  While I’m not ready to change what I’m using for other devices just yet,  there will definitely be replacements in the future.  Maybe sooner than expected, maybe later, depending on the need.  So, that started the hunt for the ideal set of devices, based on combining function with cost cutting.