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Essential Apps for Android
Several useful and free apps are available to make your mobile a personalised device
 
So you have bought yourself a brand new Android mobile handset and are set to explore its features. Although all mobile handsets do have pre-installed apps for most of the features, they are inadequate. For example, there is an in-built video player in every smartphone, but it does not give options to control playback, resume or zoom. Therefore, you need to get a free app, like MX Player or VLC Player, from the apps store or buy its paid version. Assuming that you are using a new Android handset, here are some of the essential, and feature-rich apps, for everyday usage:
 
1. Anti-virus: The two free apps mentioned below are listed as top grossing in Google Play. Since both do their job as the name suggests, there is no need to buy an anti-virus app by paying a few hundred rupees.
a. Avast Antivirus & Security: This is probably one of the best anti-virus apps that also offers anti-theft solution. 
b. Kaspersky Internet Security: This app offers anti-virus protection as well as anti-theft protection.
 
2. Backup & Restore: This is used for taking a backup of your installed apps, contacts, call logs and SMSs (short messages). Data in WhatsApp can be archived or emailed so there is no need to use external apps for it. 
a. Apps Backup: When it comes to backup of your installed apps, nothing works like ‘App Backup & Restore’. More than 10 million users have downloaded this small (3.62MB) utility—one of the more easy and simple utilities on which you can back up your installed apps and restore (reinstall), if required. 
b. Contacts/Call Logs/SMS Backup: 
i. Avast Mobile Backup & Restore is one of the good free utility apps that allows you to back up your contacts, call logs, SMSs and photos for free, at predetermined time interval or as per your choice. You can add a PIN (personal identification number) for protection as well. Except photos, all other data is backed up with Avast user account and can be restored.
ii. SMS Backup & Restore, developed by Ritesh Sahu, does what it says. It creates a backup locally or even on email, Google Drive or Dropbox. This can be used to restore your handset after reset or to load SMS data on a new device.
 
3. Music & Videos: For listening to songs or music, you can either use online services, like Saavn or Gaana, or use apps, like JetAudio Music player+ EQ Basic (more famous for its PC version). I would have liked to add Poweramp also, but its free version is actually a 15-day trial version. With free versions of Saavn and Gaana, you can listen to songs online or create a playlist, but cannot download for which you require a paid version. JetAudio’s free version offers 10-band graphic equaliser and various sound effects, like X-wide, reverb and X-bass. For videos, you can choose VLC media player or MX Player. While VLC is completely free, you can buy a paid (ads-free) version of MX Player. Over 100 million users have downloaded MX Player, while, for VLC, the number is over 50 million. 
 
4. Personalisation: The biggest advantage of using an Android device is the option to customise its look & feel. It can be achieved by using launcher apps, like Go Launcher, Lucid Launcher and CM Launcher. But most launchers offer few options to do any customisation in their free avataar. All these launcher apps are small in size (less than 6.21MB) but themes that you may want to add for personalisation may make the apps heavy in size. Google Now Launcher and Yahoo Aviate Launcher are two other worthy personalisation apps to note.
 
TIP: How to activate local language?
You need to disable ‘system language’ as the default option using the keyboard and then add local language (input), like Hindi, Marathi or Kannada. Go to Settings>Language. Check your current keyboard and input method and add any other language, as per your choice. 

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COMMENTS

Pravesh Pandya

1 year ago

Yogesh, One shouldn't need an antivirus as long as one is on a app-install binge or browses unknown websites. If someone uses a list of well known apps and visits very few websites, anti-virus is not worth the overhead.

Also trusting any backup provider may not be the best option. What if they backup in their own servers?

While different from your suggestions, I generally refer to this list http://lifehacker.com/lifehacker-pack-fo... & http://lifehacker.com/lifehacker-pack-fo...

REPLY

Yogesh Sapkale

In Reply to Pravesh Pandya 1 year ago

Thanks for your comment, Praveshji.
AV turns out to be more useful since most of us, do share photos, videos, songs etc all the time. SO it is better to be safe than sorry.
Secondly, both Apps Backup & Restore and SMS Backup & Restore, save the backup files locally, even on the external microSD card. Avast offer to save it on their server. It up to individual choice whether to store backup locally or on cloud.
Hope this clears your doubt.
Thanks again,
Yogesh

Humility, the Best Medicine

A patient can survive without doctors but a doctor cannot survive without patients

 
Vidya dadhaathi vinayaha” is an old saying in the ancient Sankhya School of Indian philosophy. It means true education bestows humility on the educated. I congratulate Fiona Godlee, the editor of the leading medical weekly, the British Medical Journal (BMJ), for her editorial on humility (17 July 2015). The so-called ‘modern medicine’ had been arrogant in claiming that it alone is scientific and the rest of the healing systems in the world are all unscientific. The American Homeopathy Association was started in the early part of the 19th century by disgruntled doctors of medicine (MDs) who were shocked by the cruel treatment methods in their own system. When homeopaths started making money, others in the older system started the American Medical Association (AMA), half a century later. When asked why they started AMA, the answer was: “The homeopaths came to our area and made money so we want to get back our turf to make money.” Science was not in the picture.
 
Advances in quantum physics have shown how fallacious our modern medical reductionist science is. It is a statistical non-science. One example will suffice: Consciousness is fundamental in physics now. All matter is derived from consciousness. Human mind is not a product of the human brain. Psychiatric drugs, therefore, end up damaging the human brain but do very little to the human mind. Two important studies have shown that dementia is a drug-induced crime on mankind.
 
While we condemn homeopathy as a placebo, we should also look at our own reductionist chemical drugs. All of them also work like placebos because they are rejected by the human system as foreign poison. Cancer research is another area which a double Nobel Laureate, Linus Pauling, called the biggest fraud. Animal studies, which gave lots of hope, did not translate into patient benefit. Now, quantum physics shows that animal consciousness interacts with the researchers’ consciousness in any experiment and cannot be extrapolated to human patients! If our patients survive in spite of us doctors, we take the credit. When they die, we blame their delay in seeking help from us. We still fool ourselves about our omnipotence. 
 
Yes, even a placebo can have side-effects: when the placebo, as in many of our placebo trials, contains a drug. If the placebo is innocuous, it cannot have side-effects. Another imaginary claim against homeopathy is that one cannot detect any chemical molecule in homeopathic drugs. Naturally, because all homeopathic drugs are in nano and piko forms and cannot be detected by conventional science. Additionally, we now know that many drugs in very tiny doses are bio-positive while they could become bio-negative in larger doses, the process called Hormesis. Hormesis works with homeopathic drugs. Let us not forget that homeopathy gave us one of our great drugs—isosorbide dinitrate—which has been used for more than 350 years in modern medicine: it is still useful to keep the small coronary vessels open. 
 
Let us not forget also that a patient can survive without doctors but a doctor cannot survive without patients. Before all patients leave us to go elsewhere, let us set our glass house in order and not throw stones at others! The medical establishment has become the leading cause of patient death and disability (JAMA 2000; 284: 483-485). Fiona’s suggestion about humility is an excellent one. In fact, future sickness care has to depend on modern medical quick-fixes for all times to come, but a judicious mix of other scientifically authenticated complementary systems would be nice. Homeopathy-bashing, a fashion these days, should stop for the good of mankind’s future. There is so much bad in modern medicine and so much good in homeopathy that neither has any right to criticise the other. 
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)

User

COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

1 year ago

Dr. Hegde makes some valid observations. Unfortunately he overstates his case. He abhors the mechanistic practice of medicine, and rightly so as it is a disgrace.
But then he makes some untenable claims. Would he really like us to revert to faith healing, sadhus and swamis to manage our medical ailments because modern medicine has become too materialistic? I doubt it. He needs to come up with specific instances where modern medicine hurts and the age old remedies are superior.

Capitol Case: Robert Freeman’s Enduring Fight Against Government Secrecy
Freeman, the executive director of the New York Committee on Open Government, reflects on seven governors and their records for transparency
 
Robert Freeman has been helping people extract public information from New York state agencies for four decades. He is the executive director of the New York Committee on Open Government, a division of the New York Department of State that advises the public on the Freedom of Information Law — the state statute authorizing access to public records.
 
While Freeman gives Gov. Andrew Cuomo credit for making a substantial amount of state data available online, he says the administration has been slower and more difficult than any previous administration in responding to formal Freedom of Information requests. 
 
Several ProPublica reporters have recently experienced delays and resistance from New York state agencies in responding to such requests. Joaquin Sapien has spent the last several weeks reporting on violent crimes perpetrated by youngsters living in group homes throughout New York City. Last week, he received a response to a request for inspections of the homes and enforcement actions made against their operators from the Office of Child and Family Services. The response came two weeks past the 20-day-deadline and said the agency needed an additional 75 business days to fulfill the request. 
 
Meanwhile, ProPublica reporter Michael Grabell has fought a three-year legal battle with the New York Police Department trying to obtain records on the department’s use of X-ray surveillance machines. 
 
Freeman agreed to participate in a Q&A with Sapien. In it, Freeman, 68, draws on his experience working under seven different governors to speak to such delays in the release of public information and their underlying causes.
 
The transcript of the Q&A has been edited for clarity and space. (Listen to the full interview below or on SoundCloud.)
 
 
 
Courtesy: ProPublica

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