MacroDroid is our favourite Android automation tool. It’s kind of like Tasker, only without the crushingly steep learning curve. You can use it to perform common tasks, like switching off wi-fi when you move out of range of your network, or adding a level of intelligence to your phone, like launching your music player when you plug in your headphones, or automatically switching to hands-free mode when driving.
Many of the features of MacroDroid don’t require root access, but some common ones do, especially if you’re creating more complex or ambitious macros.
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Android’s lack of a proper backup feature is probably its most annoying thing. When you upgrade to a new phone, or factory reset your existing one, you’re faced with a long-winded combination of solutions that are more trouble than they are worth. And if you want to transfer save game data in the process,or even just share it between your phone and tablet, you’re out of luck.
Helium takes much of the pain out of this. It will create a full backup of all your app data and allow you to restore it to a different device, and will even create scheduled backups and upload the data to your cloud service of choice. Helium works on a non-rooted device via a desktop application; if you’ve got root it all happens on device, with just a couple of screen taps.
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A real power user’s app, GMD GestureControl enables you to configure gestures that can be used to control so many of the common features of your phone or tablet. Many are inspired by the multi-touch gestures that are part of iOS for the iPad: pinching four fingers together takes you to the home screen, swiping three fingers up shows your recent apps, and so on.
Best used on tablets, it’s surprising how quickly certain gestures become a part of your everyday usage, to the point where you couldn’t imagine using an Android device without them.
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Root Call Blocker
Get a lot of junk calls and texts? We know the feeling! Fortunately there’s a very powerful app that can kill the problem instantly. Root Call Blocker doesn’t just hang up on cold callers and delete spam texts—it blocks them from ever getting through in the first place. With the app you can blacklist specific people or any Unknown Callers, or get them diverted automatically to your voicemail, or for extreme privacy you can create a whitelist containing only the select numbers that will be allowed through.
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If you’re a WhatsApp addict then WhatsRemote will take your usage to a whole new level. The premise is simple—read and send WhatsApp messages in your desktop browser. It’s a subscription service, with a three-day trial to begin.
In our test we found it a tad buggy at times, but a great concept. We’re also keeping an eye on the simliar WhatsCloud, although haven’t yet had to chance to test it.
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