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No one, and I mean absolutely NO ONE should be using Internet Explorer to browse the web. It is so unbelievably outdated, insecure and lacking so many basic features that it’s entirely unusable.
Regarding security I think the table below sums it best up.
An unpatched vulnerability is a fault in the software that allows hackers to gain illegal access to your computer. It is these loopholes viruses exploit to infiltrate your computer, slow it down, steal private data and just simply mess up your computer.
IE6 has a whopping 534 unpatched vulnerabilities, the oldest being 11 years old, and even the newest version of IE has 26, the oldest being 15 months, meaning it was present when IE9 was first released and still hasn’t been fixed.
In comparison both Google Chrome and Firefox have zero known unpatched vulnerabilities. This translates directly to added safety againts viruses and malware.
Below is a list of my favorite extensions for Chrome, if you prefer Firefox I think most of them exist for Firefox as well.
: The most popular Chrome Extension of all. Blocks ads everywhere, including youtube ads, popup ads and facebook ads. A true must have.
Automatically fetches the next page and displays it at the bottom of the present page, creating an endless page without having to wait for each page. Saves a lot of time on numerous sites, including Google, Reddit, Amazon, YouTube, flickr,Twitter and many many more. Another absolute must have.
Here is a list of my favorite apps for Android. Remember that the simplest way to install the apps is to follow the link and install it to your phone directly from the www.play.google.com site by logging into your Google account.
Of course there is my newly updated post on My favorite Android games, remember to check that out.
Dolphin browser HD: No one should be using the browser that comes with Android. Dolphin Browser best feature is its tabs which is enough to trump every stock browser available. Recommend using the setting that allows using the volume buttons to switch between tabs. Free.
Alarm Clock Xtreme: A very versatile alarm clock that can wake you up with a ringtone, music, random song or by launching an application. To ensure you wake up it can ask you to solve math problems before allowing you to snooze or dismiss or have you shake your phone to turn it off. Free.
Mobile gaming has expanded wildly the last few years and Android games are no exception. Below I have listed my absolute favorite games:
This game has a fascinating background story, I recommend reading a post the developer wrote here on how the game became a hit. The game itself is a puzzle game at its best, the gameplay is simple and takes seconds to understand but the puzzles can be really tricky and solving a puzzle is immensely satisfying. Do. Get. It. Now.
Price: $1. Market link.
Anyone looking for a synchronising cross-platform to-do list manager should look no further.
Wunderlist is a to-do list manager that synchronizes across Android, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Windows Phone so it basically covers every phone any person would have. You can also login via a web browser as well as having a dedicated application for Windows, Mac and Linux, which I particularly enjoy since it means I can have it start up every time I turn on my PC and be reminded of my to-do’s.
My favorite feature is how easy it is to share a list. Click the share button, type an email, press send and that’s it. It doesn’t matter what type of phone or PC that person has it’s all automatically synced. The shared list feature is perfect for sharing a shopping list or managing a group task.
A nice little program that I like having on my Windows PCs is NetSpeedMonitor which shows you the current download/upload speed in the taskbar besides the system tray. Recommend it if you want to follow your internet usage or troubleshoot which program is using your bandwidth.
It also monitors your total downloads which you can see when you install it. I do recommend though that you change from kbit/s to kB/s as kbit is too small of a unit in my opinion.
I just discovered an amazing webapp called Pixlr. It is basically Photoshop-in-a-browser and it is unbelievable how much it can do. It has virtually everything you need for basic patch and fix work as well as light to medium photoshopping. It also has the same shortcut keys as Photoshop so the difference between the two is surprisingly small. I forgot sometimes that I was actually on a website instead of a dedicated app.
It is quite typical that as soon as I write about which keyboard people should install on their phones, that’s when one of the best keyboards of all, Swiftkey, decides to support Icelandic, changing my view on the matter entirely.
I cannot stress enough how immensely awesome Swiftkey is. It uses highly sophisticated algorithms to adjust itself to your typing style and makes predictions based on patterns in your writing behaviour. Put short, the keyboard knows what you are thinking. It is just amazing how good it is at predicting. Say for example you were to write:
“Hey how was it, were we going to the movies tonight or was it tomorrow?”
In order to write that sentenced I only needed to type the letters shown in bold, the rest of it came from suggestions. This was with a fresh install, before the keyboard had grown accustomed to my typing style. For example if you use a specific phrase a lot it will learn that the words of the phrase often come together and often you only have to type one letter and it predicts the whole sentence.
To add to its impressive repertoire you can also opt to give it access to your Facebook, Gmail and text messages in order to get a head start on learning your typing style. By doing this it instantly new a lot of the shorthand I use, which normally took me a while to teach the other Android keyboards.
If you want the Icelandic dictionary then you have to install the Beta version which isn’t on the Play store. You have get the .apk file and install it manually. The .apk file is the Android equivalent of an .exe file on Windows and is the file type every Android app is installed from.
When using your phone you will often see this dialog, or one very similar, when executing a task. This is because Android gives you the choice of application for any task. Firstly you have to check “Use by default for this action” because otherwise it will display this every single time you do this particular thing, like in this example where I was calling a number and could choose between calling normally with the phone app, call through Skype or Viber.
If you on the other hand want to change the defaults for a given action you can do that to. Go into Settings, select Applications or Apps. You then have to find the app that is the default for the action you want to reset, remember that if this is an app that came with the phone it will not lie under the “Downloaded” section but rather the “All”. When you have found the app scroll down and find “Clear defaults” and that should do it. Next time you trigger the action you wanted to reset it will ask you what default you want to choose.
In the Android operating system the launcher is an app that drives all your homescreens, app drawers, widgets and shortcuts. One of the very nice things about Android is that it allows you to change the launcher into something new and the possibilities are many. I’ve decided to list a few of them below but I highly recommend you search for “launcher” on the Market/Play Store.
One sidenote for HTC phone owners. HTC has its own launcher called HTC Sense and it is responsible for all the pretty eye candy when swiping through homescreens, it also shows the weather animations and on newer devices it modifies the lockscreen quite a bit. This comes at a price though because this takes up a lot of memory and the Android OS handles memory allocation in a way that causes HTC Sense to be killed alot. When you press the Home button to get to the homescreen and see this:
That is you losing valuable time because HTC Sense is just way too bloated and takes up too much memory. For HTC phone owners a replacement launcher is almost a must so read on if you don’t want to see this very annoying Loading screen all the time.
To start with, you should install the app HomeSmack, it allows much easier switching between launchers and selecting which launcher is the default which can be cumbersome if you don’t have this app.
The best launcher apps for Android: Read more