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12 apps to boost your Android smartphone

This software will make your handset smarter

Make your Android device run longer, run smarter, and run almost anywhere with this collection of essential apps

11. Adapt to your environment with Setting Profiles

Your behaviour changes when you move from one location to another - so why shouldn't your phone adapt, too?

Install Setting Profiles, and it can. With Setting Profiles, you tell you phone exactly how to behave based on any number of conditions. Want to have your ringer switch to vibrate-only when you're at the office, then switch itself back to ring-and-vibrate when you're at home? No problem. Want your phone to automatically text your significant other every time you arrive at the Boston airport? Easy enough. Want to have your display stay on when you're listening to music in the car? Setting Profiles can handle it all.

Setting Profiles costs $4 (£2.50).

12. Speak your commands with Voice Actions and Vlingo

Got something to say? Android's listening. Google's mobile operating system offers a wealth of ways to control your phone by simply speaking commands. If you aren't taking advantage of them, you're missing out on a quick and safe way to get things done.

Google's Voice Actions for Android enables a slew of speakable command options that work throughout the entire operating system. While the app's long-form text transcriptions can sometimes be a bit sloppy, the commands themselves work quite reliably.

Voice Actions' commands include phrases to get directions, call contacts, look up and dial businesses, play music, open websites and search the internet. The program is available free for all smartphones running Android 2.2.

An interesting alternative is Vlingo, which requires only Android 2.1 to run. Vlingo offers similar functionality to Voice Actions with a few unique twists, such as the ability to update Facebook Twitter or Foursquare via voice command. It has useful driving-oriented features, too, including an Android-exclusive utility that provides a completely hands-free in-car experience and the SafeReader option that, when activated, automatically reads all incoming texts and emails aloud as they arrive.

Google's Voice Actions and Vlingo are free.

See also: 12 apps to turn your Google Android phone into other gadgets

  1. Software to make your handset smarter
  2. JuiceDefender
  3. Dropbox
  4. WaveSecure
  5. Folder Organizer
  6. Settings Profiles

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