Discover the top superphones for 2016, learn what the best custom fork of Android is and explore quadcore bargains
It’s an exciting time to buy a new Android. We’re spoiled for choice with the latest flagships from Samsung, LG, Sony and HTC, but smaller and lesser-known brands have also upped their game. Huawei, Xiaomi and their ilk are all releasing their latest and greatest phones with feature sets that can rival the big boys. Which one will you go for? Our in-depth guide to the latest superphones will help you to make up your mind.
And then there’s the question of which version of Android it runs and which one you’ll put on it. Our expert guides to Android forks and custom ROMs explain what your phone is running and what you can flash onto it to get the exact flavour of Android you want, whether that’s plain-vanilla or something more exotic.
Hoo would suspect that this cute little shelf widget is actually a security camera?
It may look like a cool ornament as it sits on your bookshelf, but there’s more than what meets the eye when it comes to Ulo. For those two large peepers are actually LCD screens and they not only follow your movements as you wander around the room, they also enable non-verbal communication.
With a range of eye expressions, this home-monitoring system almost feels alive. Ulo has a motion detector and a camera within its beak and it blinks when you take a snapshot of what it’s seeing. It also squints when you’re watching live video and its beady eyes will let you know when it’s running out of battery. It can even see in the dark!
Make your phone or tablet do the grunt work with these easy ways to make it perform common tasks by itselfSilence alerts using Android Lollipop’s Priority mode
You’ve left the volume up on your phone so that it can wake you up in the morning with an alarm, but then it spends all night ringing and dinging with every notification that comes in. Use Lollipop’s Priority mode to tell it to shut the hell up for the night. You can define when it has to be silent and when it can make noise – perfect for getting some shuteye or when you’re off to the cinema.Send a text when you reach a specified location
If you’re driving and need to text someone to let them know you’re on your way, you don’t have to waste time pulling over to type out a message. Instead, use the Automated Device app from Daniel Herrero and set up a rule to get your device to automatically text them when you reach a given location. However, you’ll need to set this rule up carefully and consider the location that you specify – you don’t want to automatically text your contacts every time you pass the corner shop!Create custom macros with MacroDroid
ArloSoft’s MacroDroid app lets you set up custom actions that are triggered whenever a particular set of circumstances is met. For example, you can get your phone to automatically upload the last photo you took to Facebook when you shake the handset. The free app is ad-supported and only lets you create five macros, but you can upgrade to the Pro version via an IAP, which will give you unlimited freedom to set up your own macros.
These five music apps feature everything you need to get more out of audio streams and your own collection
These top apps will enhance your listening pleasure whatever kind of music you’re into. Please note that when this list was originally included in issue 60 of Android Magazine, Songza was also included. Songza has now been shut down and many of its features ported to its parent company’s Google Play Music.
Power up your phone with Marshmallow features even if you’re still running Lollipop, only in the latest issue of Android Magazine
Issue 62 of Android Magazine is now on sale and it’s packed with tips and tricks to help you power up your phone. If you’re still waiting for Marshmallow then don’t despair – you can get its best features on your Lollipop device now, no update required!
Also in this issue you’ll learn how to become a Chrome genius and get the most from Google’s brilliant browser, and discover whether Android Pay or Samsung Pay is the best of the digital wallets for your device. Plus we review the fastest phone yet – Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 Pro is the first in the world to pack in the new Snapdragon 650 processor, so we put it through its paces. We also take a look at the toughest phones on the market and at Mattel’s VR version of the classic View-Master, showcase Android’s best fork in a complete masterclass on Cyanogen, and take our first look at the hotly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S7.