Android L – The Material Design


When Google announced its Ice Cream Sandwich update for Android, it came with a plethora of design changes. Everything got a unified dark ‘Holo’ look to it and became a lot more flat. More or less the same designs aesthetics were seen later in Jelly Bean and the recent KitKat update brought no major changes either. But now, after the world has had its share of the Holo aesthetic, Google has something very different in store for us.

It is not known whether this update will be named after a sweet treat like Google’s previous versions of Android, or even if it is going to be a ’4.5′ or a ’5′ update, but as of now Google’s new iteration on Android is known simply as Android L. And other than a number of tweaks and new features to make the most out of a smartphone, Google has decided to give an overhaul to the design as well.

The Material Design

Google has named its new design as the Material Design, which basically takes the idea of Google Now’s cards and slaps it over the whole phone, with added depth and shadows to them so that the different aspects of an application visually slide over each other. The status bars have gotten a lot more colorful as well, making the whole layout much brighter and a lot less professional for some users, than ever before.

The navigation buttons are also receiving their share of change, with the conventional Back, Home and Multitasking keys being replaced by a Triangle, a Circle, and a Square.

Revamped Animations

The Material Design will be much more visually interactive then the previous versions of Android. It adds shadows and depth in a way that lets users know how the different elements of an app work. Ripple effects are seen when the screen is touched or a button pressed. Real-time shadows have also been introduced in the screens or the panes as the user slides them around.

Additions to the Lock Screen and the Notification System

The grey list of notifications up till Android 4.4 will now be given a complete visual and, in some aspects, a functional makeover. The new notification center will be a card-based system based on white tiles out of which new notifications will animate and expand, taking full advantage of the 3D layers and shadows. This notification system will also be available from the lock screen for quick access.

Another nifty and quite a needed feature is also being added which Google calls the ‘heads up’ notifications. These will be small overlays on top of running apps so that you can decide whether to respond to the notification or dismiss it without having to exit your current activity.

Whether the new version of Android will turn out to be better or worse, one thing is clear: it will be very different from the Android we use today. From the visual treatment to all the goodies that are being added under the hood like Project Volta for enhanced battery life and the ART as the default runtime for smoother and more battery efficient performance, Android L will definitely be instantly recognizable on smartphones unlike the almost similar previous versions, and as per Google’s claims, it is going to be much more efficient as well.

A Software “Must”

One more thing: after efficiency comes security. After buying Android L, do not forget to acquire a very useful mobile application mSpy that can track and monitor every action on the target phone to protect and secure your most precious assets – family members’ safety and confidential business information.

Mamabear – A New Sort of Parenting Application

Things like cyber-bullying and cybercrimes related to children are a common phenomenon today that may keep parents up at night. Children are so into using internet and social media for their day to day activities that they become prime targets for online predators lurking over the internet. Where they may be using the internet in a positive way, they still may get in touch with strangers that want to take advantage of their innocence in some manner.

Other than the internet, there are various other dangers that parents worry about. Children start getting more and more independent as they grow up and things like walking alone to school or going out with friends are a big deal for their parents. Thankfully, parents now have the chance to make use of mobile technology through an application that can put both sorts of their worries, internet based and otherwise, to rest.

The app goes by the name of Mamabear, and its basic functions rest heavily on the use of mobile GPS systems. The app has to be installed on both the parent’s and the child’s device to work and it gives parents a continuous stream of information as to the child’s location. Parents have the ability to get notified of when their children reach school and when they leave it and reach home. Other than these location alerts, parents can keep an eye on their child’s social media usage by being notified when someone adds their child as a friend or a wall post or tagged photo is put up. And if that wasn’t enough, it even gives parents the chance to keep an eye on their teenage child’s driving speed limits.

This is not one of those apps that don’t allow the children to do anything other than being constantly monitored. Children have a whole different sort of interface on their end with cheerful colors and symbols. They can check into places to let their parents know where they are, or tell their parents to come pick them up with the touch of a single button as well as use emoticons to let parents know how they feel at a given moment. This application is quite different from other monitoring applications in the way that it generates a healthy relationship among the parent and child.

The app is fairly easy to set up and use. Parents can even use different color schemes for individual children in case they are monitoring more than one child. It is available for both Android and iOS so it should appeal to a number of users out there.

While there are some criticisms as to the level of information that this app provides to parents being a little too much to let a child grow freely, what Mamabear does is that it lets parents and children to develop a cohesive relationship that aims to minimize the dangers children can face while growing up, while giving the children some freedom as well. Children don’t have to be dropped at school constantly or their parents don’t have to accompany to a party because they can be sure at home when their child reaches somewhere and what he does. In this way the children can also have a sense of independence and still stay in certain limits that are not to be crossed, both in the real world and in the online one.

PhoneSheriff Investigator- A different Type of Monitoring


With the rise in smartphone technology came software and applications that were never made use of before. These applications made it easier to perform certain tasks in a way that was straightforward and user-friendly. But smartphones also brought with them dangers or cyber-crime and cyber-bullying for children, so technology paved way for a solution as well.

Cell phone monitoring has become a popular means of keeping an eye on someone’s mobile activities. Parents use such apps to make sure their children stay out of danger and business owners use them so that their employees don’t resort to fraud or data theft without their knowledge. But spy apps have also led to an invasion of privacy for a lot of people because once installed on someone’s phone, they can’t know of its presence.

To tackle that problem, and to keep cell phone monitoring as ethical as possible, new software has been released by the name of PhoneSherrif Investigator. This, unlike the rest of the spy apps, is not a mobile application but rather computer software to monitor iPhone activity.

The Advantages:

One of the best things about this software is that it doesn’t require the iPhone to be Jailbroken like many other apps do. The reason for that is that the software doesn’t install itself on the iPhone but rather on a computer. It does not hack into the phone and pull out information without the user’s consent. The core feature of this product is that it uses Apple’s iCloud service to provide you with the data so it remains ethical because the person being monitored knows that.

The Things you can Monitor:

PhoneSherrif Investigator helps you monitor everything that a normal spy app would. From SMS and call logs, contacts and Safari bookmarks, to photos, videos and even GPS locations, everything can be accessed from this software. The downside comes with the fact that the person being monitored can easily change or delete certain things that they want to keep from you before the data is uploaded to iCloud.

How it Works:

PhoneSherrif Investigator works with pulling data from iCloud which is an online data storage and backup solution for Apple devices. All you need to do is make an account from the iPhone to be monitored on iCloud and make sure that auto-backup is turned on. Then you need the ID and the password of the iCloud account and the software will update in sync with the cloud storage and you will be able to access that data from your computer.

The Downside:

As mentioned earlier, users can edit the information they upload to the cloud so parents or employers cannot always be sure of the data being correct. It cannot match other fully capable monitoring apps that can be installed on the phone without the owner’s knowledge but it still does provide the basic information you might need.

There are a lot of spy apps available these days for multiple platforms. Many big names among those provide you with complete usage data of the user without giving away even the slightest hint of their presence in a phone. But if for some reason you are not comfortable with using those apps, or if you take someone’s privacy seriously, then PhoneSherrif Investigator is a definite alternative to those applications. Also, it is much easier to set up and use, and the iPhone to be monitored doesn’t have to undergo the process of Jailbreaking, as many apps demand.

TeenSafe Review


The numbers for lying and cheating spouses are on the rise, a trend that does not seem to be reversing or even slowing down. One reason for this growth in numbers is the use of the ubiquitous smart device as a spying tool, or more politically put, a monitoring device. Mobile monitoring apps come with many different features, some are used to target wayward teens like TeenSafe and others, like mSpy, used to find out if spouses are cheating or employees selling off sensitive information. Surprisingly, TeenSafe as an app that is targeted at monitoring teenagers can also be used to monitor straying partners. The important question really is whether it works by delivering the needed data or is it just a ploy to grab your money? As the truth is in the pudding, we review the app according to the features available, applicability of the app and the cost or having the app.

In terms of features, this app is rather basic. It allows you to do the usual call monitoring, text messaging monitoring, GPS location monitoring and web browsing history review. These are common features found in many other available apps in the market. The differentiating factor is the way this app monitors the target phone’s social networking accounts. It allows you to review Facebook messages, online activities and comments. This is an area that is not commonly touted by the developers of other monitoring apps. There are cases where apps do not monitor accurately or at all a user’s social network websites. This app, however, delivers on this and ensures that parent’s concerns about their kids are well allayed. As a feature catching straying partners, it ensures that they do not have multiple accounts that allows them to flirt or cheat with someone else by making sure the monitor has view of it all. This app feature also allows you to check for contacts and connections in the target’s contacts list, making this one of the best apps available in tracking people who is constantly connected on social media. Another interesting feature is the ability of the app to monitor activity on Instagram. Specifically mentioning an existing app, like Instagram, is not a very common move with monitoring app developers. This does suggest that Instagram uploads and usage is a very well monitored aspect by the app. This app allows viewing of friends pictures as well as which friends are following the target. This is definitely an app that is able to ensure that teenagers as well as cheating partners do not easily get away with irresponsible actions.

In terms of applicability for operating systems, this app is available for both android and iOS phone models. It ensures that your target’s phone type is definitely able to be monitored for all your data acquisition needs. However, it needs to be stated that Windows and Blackberry phones are not supported by this app and anyone buying this app needs to ensure that their target phone is not of the make or model. Lastly, the price quoted on the website is $14.95 USD per month. This is significantly cheaper than what some other apps are pricing. This is a great app if you’re using to monitor your child or if you suspect your partner is straying. However, when it comes to more sophisticated tracking needs, apps like mSpy would perform better.

TheTruthSpy review


Want to catch a lying spouse? Then the solution you are looking for can be delivered by mobile monitoring apps like mSpy or PhoneSheriff. But the famous big boys mobile monitoring apps aside, how do the other smaller apps stack up? Regardless of fame or just plain luck, all mobile monitoring apps have 3 specific functions that every person buying a monitoring app wants. They want lots of features, applicability to the target phone being monitored and they want it cheap. Capability, applicability and affordability, the three magic words that a monitoring app has to deliver on to be a consumer’s desired app. TheTruthSpy is one such app being touted in forums as a great solution to monitoring needs.

Looking in the features arena, the TheTruthSpy app contains many desirable features. The feature list available for the app includes GPS tracking of the target phone, call managing, call recording, internet monitoring, instant messaging reconnaissance, SMS recording, remote access control or website control, alerts and notifications reflecting changes to the mobile phone, multimedia file monitoring and ambient sound listening. These are relatively essential components for all mobile monitoring apps.  The features of interests are usually the GPS tracking, instant messaging monitoring and call recording. These functions the app does comparably well to those already in the market.

The features that stand out are the ambient sounds listening feature and the change of SIM card notification. These two features are not commonly found in the more common and definitely cheaper apps. What the ambient sounds feature allows the user to do is to send a command to the target phone to listen in to the ambient sounds of where the phone is in. A great feature if you want to know if your teenage daughter is out partying in a club or at the overnight study session she said she was in. This function is activated either via the remote website connection or via an SMS to the target phone. The target phone will not know if they are being spied upon as the function is totally undetectable.

The other less common feature available is the alert and notification of the removal of the SIM. This would allow the user to determine if the target is using another line. This is an indispensible feature if you’re trying to catch a cheating spouse. One uncommon feature is the view of the note content feature. This allows the user to reach into the target phone’s notes achieve and read through all the notes that are available. This is an exceptionally useful function in a corporate spying issue but most likely not usually used in more mundane aspects. The app does provide with exceptional features that can be considered as passing the first decision gate well.

As for the applicability of the app, the developers have mentioned that the app’s usable for both Android and iOS phones. However, one needs to note that for iOS phones, the mobile phone needs to be a mobile that has undergone the Jailbreak process. This process is entirely reversible but is not supported by the developers of the app. Android does not seem to have the same issue. As for the cost of the app, the premium feature list costs $20 a month for upkeep. This cost is without a doubt, a small price to pay to determine if your spouse or employee is cheating on you or your company. This is definitely a good app to get, though more reliable apps like mSpy are out there for about the same cost.

DroidMonitor Review


One app that recently surfaced in the mobile monitoring app is the DroidMonitor. To find out if the app has what it takes to deliver the solution that customers want, we’ve decided to review this app according to 3 specific criteria. The first criterion that the app needs to meet is the app capability for mobile monitoring. This criterion determines if the app is able to perform the desired duties of the user who wants to monitor a target. The second criterion is the phone applicability. There’s no point in getting a program for a phone that doesn’t support the app, hence needing this criterion. The last criterion is the affordability context, determining if the price of the app is actually worth the features delivered.

In terms of app capability, this app is able to perform only the basic functions that users would want. The functions are call monitoring, GPS tracking system, remote monitoring with multiple target tracking, rule creation for the devices and mass SMS sending and tracking. The call monitoring feature is like most monitoring apps out in the market, giving active call recording and call history tracking. Special features, like in-call monitoring and ambient sound listening, are not available for this product.  Even the mostly used functions are not very well defined by the developers for this app. Suffice to say, this app does not have any specific issues due to the lack of market penetration and sales at the moment. The app is a definite stealthy app, with the intent of not allowing the target phone’s users to figure out if he/she is being monitored. One aspect of the app intrigues us is the low battery and internet consumption, requiring only a few Mb of data transfer per month. This would significantly improve the information gathering that can range on suspicious employees, rebellious children or cheating spouses. There is another area of interest and it is the remote access capability. This would allow the user to ensure that the app runs when they need it to run, without needing to have a computer to activate the monitoring system.

In terms of applicability, this app is specifically available for mobiles with the Android operating systems. Though this effectively closes off a large portion of users, the Android market is still huge enough to sustain this concept. The closing off the access to the iOS market seems like a foolish thing, with the increasing number of smart phones running an Android operating system it is very likely that the majority of smart phone users will be using Google’s Android system. There is no news from the developers on the inclusion of the Windows or Apple operating system for this app.

Cost wise, the app is free over Google Play. This app is a great value for money app as the features is able to monitor target phones and is free. Though lacking in a large amount of features, this app can still deliver the basic needs for all users and would be a good download if you do not need a heavy duty monitoring app.

StealthGenie Review


A good mobile monitoring app is really hard to come by. Consumers desiring a good app are in the constant dilemma, trying to sort through the humongous pile of available apps. The real keys to great apps are the features, the applicability to operating systems and the cost. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that more features and low cost is good and the opposite is a “No No”. To assist you in determining whether a mobile monitoring app is good or not let us review StealthGenie using the above 3 keys.

When it comes to mobile monitoring apps, the key features that must be in the app are the phone call logging system and the text messaging monitoring system. Stealth Genie contains these above 2 features and more. The list of available features for call logging contains call recording, call history viewing and live call intercept. The live call intercept is one feature that is really rare among mobile monitoring apps. Using a text message or through the website, the user can switch on the target phone’s call intercept function to listen in to what the target is talking about. The test app on the website does work; however, the question whether it really works on an actual phone is a risk that one would have to take. SMS monitoring is available with the option to redirect all SMSs to you for you to delete it or even send it out to which ever number you desire. This is a stealthy option in the app and one great feature that can be used to catch cheating spouses.

Other features available is the GPS tracking system which is gaining popularity in the monitoring apps circles, Email reading capabilities, instant messaging monitoring features, multimedia file monitoring, internet usage monitoring and contacts and calendar monitoring features. Two areas of interest are the GPS tracking and the instant messaging monitoring features. The GPS tracking features in this app allows for the user to be able to track the place history the target has been and determine if the target has entered places that are out of bounds. This is a very powerful feature of concerned parents and suspicious employers, determining the target phone’s location is a sure fire way to find out if your child is mixing with the wrong company or your employee is moonlighting or selling sensitive information. The instant messaging monitoring function is a great function that is not readily available in most apps. It is a feature more common with premium apps that can cost up to or even over $1000 a year to operate. This feature allows you to monitor messaging apps like WhatsApp and BBM, giving you the information you need to take the next course of action.

This app is applicable for iOS, Android and Blackberry phones, and opens up a large portion of the market available for this app. However, one needs to note that with all these great functions, the question remains whether the app takes up considerable operating resources. For the moment, this app, when installed on a new phone, doesn’t take up much processing speed and would not be easily detected by the unsuspecting target. This covers the second key required for a good app, operating system compatibility. The last key deals with cost and the app costs at $200 for 12 months. This app is definitely a steal!

HelloSpy Review


What makes a great mobile monitoring app? There are many opinions on this matter; some say stealth mode of operation, and others say the amount of data that can be collected from the target phones. Effectively, there are 3 areas that make a good mobile monitoring app. The first is the monitoring features available in the app. We can effectively say that this is one of the most important, if not the most important, aspect of a great mobile monitoring app. The rational of this is totally unabashedly obvious, there is no point buying or downloading any app that cannot do what you need it to get done. The second is user friendliness. The app must be easy to download, use and compatible to the phone you need to monitor. The last aspect for a great app is cost. No one would pay astronomical amounts of money for an app that monitors people that you trust, or should be trusting, without any effective payback period or deliverable. With this in mind, is the “HelloSpy” app a great app or a mediocre one? Let’s apply these three rules to decide on its review.

In terms of app functionality and features, the “HelloSpy” app boasts of 19 available functions. The many features consist of mobile phone location tracking, remote reading of incoming SMS, reading of phone contacts, viewing of call history, recording of calls, monitoring of WhatsApp chats, Viber chats and Yahoo messages, tracking of Facebook messages, tracking of internet browsing, reviewing photos taken, reading of email accounts synced with the target phone, app usage recording, auto answering by app, remote settings adjustment, remote uninstall, back up of information, free updates and 100% stealth. Though the monitoring of commonly used apps like WhatsApp and Viber chats are counted individually, these functions are not common to other available paying monitoring apps. One feature that stands out is the auto answering of calls, or more accurately defined as ambient sound monitoring. This is not a common feature, even in popular monitoring apps like PhoneSheriff or MobileSpy. This feature allows the monitoring user to monitor the surroundings of the target phone, fantastic feature for catching cheating spouses or determining if your child is where they said they are at.

For the second area, this app is compatible to the Android and iOS operating systems. These are the 2 most common phone types out in the market and would effectively cover 80-90% of all phones. In terms of user friendliness, the app uploads all collected data to an online website where the monitoring user is able to access them. Once installed, all incoming and outgoing SMS and calls, current phone location, pictures and internet usage are uploaded allowing the monitoring user to view at their convenience. However, this would require the target phone to be connected to the internet constantly for real time data. Without a large amount of free internet data or access to free Wi-Fi, the jump in internet usage might alert the target phone user.

Lastly, the cost of the app is reasonable. With 5 plans and costing $119 a year, this is affordable and effective. Review of internet sources show that this is a reliable app and worth the money paid for it. It is definitely a good bargain.