The Growl notification system is something that will be familiar to Mac users, but it is something that is also available for Windows. It is an incredibly versatile tool that can be used to monitor system and program notifications in a variety of ways, including remotely.

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There are lots of tools that can be used to automate various tasks on your computer, and we have looked at how the likes of Wappwolf and IFTTT can help to automate your online life. AutomateIt brings very much the same idea to Android, making it possible to automate your phone or tablet in a variety of ways.

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Android may not have Siri, but it does have Voice Actions. Voice Actions are a powerful way to perform actions – searching, getting directions, making notes, setting alarms, and more – with just your voice.

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The Galaxy S III is the highest-selling Android phone, but much of the geeky buzz is around the Nexus 4 – and the Galaxy Nexus before it. Nexus devices are special because they don’t have some of Android’s biggest problems.

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With browser sync enabled, you can open some tabs on your computer and access them on-the-go from your smartphone. If you have multiple computers, you can easily keep your bookmarks and settings in sync between them.

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Android has a built-in battery stats tool that shows you what is using your battery. Unfortunately, this tool doesn’t provide all the information you need to identify the root causes of poor battery life.

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Sometimes an inspiring background can be the perfect way to kick-start your imagination and get your browsing or work off to a great start. Take your iPad to whole new worlds with the first in our series of Fantasy Wallpaper collections.

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Launchers. They’re not exactly in short supply in Google Play. While there are many to choose from, each with a slightly different approach to things, they all tend to work in the same general way. The same cannot be said of Trigger, which makes it possible to put your device’s touchscreen to the best possible use by using gestures to launch apps, access settings and more.

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Android developers can restrict their apps to certain devices, countries, and minimum versions of Android. However, there are ways around these restrictions, allowing you to install apps marked as “not compatible with your device.”

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Many recent Android phones – and even Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets – have integrated NFC hardware and support Android Beam. Android Beam allows you to send content between devices just by pressing them back-to-back.

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We could all do with some extra screen space from time to time. It can be a battle to manage all of the windows you have open at any one time. Having a second monitor is not something that everyone is able to do, be it in terms of space or finances, but if you are packing a tablet you already have your second screen ready to go.

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Backing up our PCs is something we are all used to. It’s not something many people relish, but once an automated task has been set up, it is something that can be forgotten about until your suffer from hard drive failure or another disaster and need to think about restoring files. But things are not quite so easy when it comes to Android.

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Whenever Google releases a new version of Android for its Nexus devices, it doesn’t roll out to everyone at once. It may take several days before your device receives the update, but you don’t have to wait.

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Wireless internet connections are far more prevalent than they used to be, but there are still times when you may find that you are stuck using a wired connection and want to use it wirelessly — for instance, at a hotel with only wired internet but you want to get your tablet online.

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Using the stock backgrounds for a bit when you purchase a new Nexus 7 is fine, but sooner or later you will definitely want something new to look at. Add a unique look to the screen of your Nexus 7 with the first in our series of Abstract Mix Wallpaper collections.

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Widgets are wonderfully versatile additions to your Android home screen. They can provide access to various features of the apps you have installed, make it easier to access settings, display information about your device, and much more. Using Ultimate Custom Widget, you can turn dev and create your own widget without the need to code a single line.

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So, you want to head to bed… time to power down the PC and call it a night. But wait… that download hasn’t finished yet. You could stay up and wait for it to finish, but then you will miss out on sleep. You could leave it running, but that’s a waste of electricity. Or you could do is turn to Shutter, which gives you a couple of alternative options.

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Android users have not been dealt a great hand when it comes managing their devices from Windows. Different manufacturers provide device management tools ranging from the mediocre to the just plain bad – Kies, I’m looking at you. But I have discovered SnapPea, one of the easiest ways to manage, control and backup Android from Windows.

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Now that the holidays are over and your shiny new iPhone has had time to get settled in, you are likely tired of the default wallpapers and ready for something fresh. Bring the beauty of the outdoors to your iPhone’s screen with the first in our series of Views of Nature Wallpaper collections.

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Compared to a PC, phones and tablets are fairly locked-down devices. Jailbreaking, rooting, and unlocking are all ways of bypassing their limitations, and doing things that manufacturers and carriers don’t want you to do.

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Previously, we have covered what VPNs are and how you can easily connect to them in Windows. Android also supports VPNs – if you have an Android phone or tablet, you can easily connect it to a VPN.

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There are tons of great retro game emulators for the Android platform, put using the touch screen as a game controller is a lackluster solution. This fun electronics hack turns an old Game Boy into a case/controller for your phone.

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We’ve written about rooting your Android smartphones and tablets before, but why don’t they come rooted? Google argues that rooting is a mistake for security reasons, as it subverts Android’s security model.

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In a world where you can have 3D scenes rendered in real time as your smartphone’s background, plain black wallpapers aren’t the most eye-catching option. However, they can offer battery life improvements over colored wallpapers on some displays.

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Have you had any issues with your Nexus 7? We’ve run into quite a few problems and fixed them all – from bad performance and touch-screen responsiveness issues to tablets that won’t power on and separating screens.

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