Get faster internet speeds by changing the frequency band your phone uses
Most Android devices can run on the lightning-quick 5GHz frequency band, but many are set to work on the 2.4GHz band by default. The difference between the two is massive and you’re likely to get a much better signal using the 5GHz band. To change your frequency band, head into the Wi-Fi section of the Settings app before selecting Advanced. From here you’ll find the Frequency Band option listed, within which, you need to choose the 5 GHz only option that’s provided. To confirm the changes you’ll need to restart your device.
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!
Take to the skies in this addictive endless flyer
Endless flyer Mad Aces proves amazingly addictive despite the simplicity of its design. As your character – selected from an expanding roster of Aces as you unlock them – heads towards the right of the screen, you move them up or down to any of three vertical positions to avoid the hazards ahead. While you can just smash through stone blocks without harm, hitting spikes results in instant death. To help you out of a tight spot – if you’ve flown into a deadly dead end, say – collected fireballs can be used to blast through hazards. Although extra characters can be bought with real cash, the IAPs are purely optional and the game is littered with collectable coins, as well as awarding you free gifts every so often – plus 20 coins from watching video ads. With its cute Crossy Road-style visuals and that just-one-more-go factor, Mad Aces is well worth a test flight.
Use Snap Swipe Drawer to create your own custom notifications draw and populate it with widgets
The Notifications drawer has been a big part of Android ever since its inception. It’s a quick way to access a variety of settings, notifications and other handy tools. Snap Swipe Drawer takes things one step further, letting you set up another customised drawer that you can populate with the widgets you want to use. It’s really easy to set up and means you can do the things you most often do with your phone or tablet that much quicker.
Once you have added a widget to your drawer, you can resize it if you’re not perfectly happy. Go to the main screen of the app and then tap the widget that you would like to change and adjust the numbers. It may take some trial and error to get it right for you.
Does Moto’s second-edition smartwatch have the wow factor of its original incarnation?
For a long time, the Moto 360 was the one smartwatch that we could really get behind and recommend to readers. In our eyes, it was the first well-built, robust and genuinely stylish piece of Android wrist wear that we had come across, but it still had its issues. While the market for smartwatches has drastically changed since then, we can’t help feeling rather excited to see what Motorola has included in its second-generation 360 device.
Customisation has always been at the heart of the Moto 360 range and that continues here. If you opt for the base model, you’ll find the design is nearly identical to the original. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it still remains chunky at 11.4mm. What is new is the choice of size variants, with the 46mm option being one of the biggest smartwatch screens we’ve seen. It looks big on the wrist, perhaps too big, but the smaller 42mm is there for those who want something daintier. That said, this is a quality design from top to bottom. It isn’t as fancy as its competitors, but it feels good and the stainless-steel chassis offers no flex. We highly recommend you take the time to consider the type of strap you purchase if you buy one of these, as the base Horween-leather strap is a little flimsy. However, Motorola’s expensive bands have always been good so you’ll find something better if you don’t mind splashing the cash.
Shoot and share your videos with private groups using this app
Vidku enables users to create and share 17-second videos. Compared to rivals such as Snapchat and Vine, however, it gives you greater control over who they’re shared with, including the ability to un-share with individual recipients at any point. When shooting your short video, you can pause midway and flip between front and rear cameras, so there’s some scope for creativity. While you get to watch a preview of the video before sharing, there are no editing facilities, so if you’re not happy you’ll just have to shoot it again. You then add a thumbnail picture and title before sharing with selected friends or a private group.
It’s a promising concept, but you’ll need to add Vidku-using friends – via username, contacts or Facebook – to get started. You can also create your own private (friends-only) groups.