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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, Erez Zukerman

Erez Zukerman

/ Joined 23 April, 2011

324 Articles
687 Comments
Sony Xperia Z Review and Giveaway

Product Reviews

Sony Xperia Z Review and Giveaway

This post is about a surprise; it’s about a comeback, and about how a determined company can listen, learn, and make something beautiful once again. It’s about the Sony Xperia Z, a premium, powerful, and waterproof Android smartphone that made me rethink what’s important to me about a phone. And if I sound enamored, well, you can read on to see what made a longtime Samsung user ditch the South Korean powerhouse for a Japanese giant.

30-08-2013
Sony Xperia Z Review and Giveaway
Timely For Android: A Beautiful, Powerful, and Slick Alarm Clock

Android

Timely For Android: A Beautiful, Powerful, and Slick Alarm Clock

Whatever alarm clock you’re using, it’s uglier than Timely. That’s a bold assertion to make, I know. But I’ve been using Gentle Alarm, one of the most powerful and versatile alarm clocks for Android, for over a year now — and we’ve also looked at other alarm clocks like DoubleTwist and Alarm Clock Xtreme. That’s why I feel confident in saying Timely, a relative newcomer, is probably the most elegant alarm clock available on Android right now.

27-08-2013
Timely For Android: A Beautiful, Powerful, and Slick Alarm Clock
Puzzle Alarm Clock for Android Makes Sure You Never Oversleep Again

Android

Puzzle Alarm Clock for Android Makes Sure You Never Oversleep Again

Alarm clocks are fundamentally very simple things: They wait until the designated time, and then wreak havoc. Or so the basic concept goes, at least. But these simple alarm clocks all face an age-old problem: What if you switch them off an go back to sleep for “five more minutes” only to wake up hours later? Supposedly, you could use self control to solve this problem. But why use self control when you can use technology instead? Puzzle Alarm Clock pulls out all the stops in the snooze department: It’s absolutely determined to get you out of bed.

21-08-2013
Puzzle Alarm Clock for Android Makes Sure You Never Oversleep Again
3 Free Android Apps That Can Help Improve Your English

Android

3 Free Android Apps That Can Help Improve Your English

Whether it’s your first or second language, English can be tricky. Many of us use our smartphones mainly for reading and writing — not to mention our tablets, of course. So what do you do when you come across an unfamiliar word, or when you need to write an important message on the go without making embarrassing mistakes? Today I’d like to share three free and useful apps that can help with both reading and writing English: Two dictionaries, and a keyboard.

17-08-2013
3 Free Android Apps That Can Help Improve Your English
Who Needs Kindle? Fabrik is a Stylish eReader App for Android That Supports Cloud Sync

Android

Who Needs Kindle? Fabrik is a Stylish eReader App for Android That Supports Cloud Sync

Let’s face it: When it comes to eBooks, there is pretty much just one big name that matters. One ecosystem; one line of apps; one source of books; one maker of devices. If this makes you feel a little uneasy, I can certainly understand why (after all, I too think you should own the books you buy). And if you are one of the tiny, nonconformist minority still resisting assimilation into this oh-so-convenient eBook ecosystem, you may be interested in Fabrik. This beautiful Android app boasts a form of cloud sync, just like you-know-who.

15-08-2013
Who Needs Kindle? Fabrik is a Stylish eReader App for Android That Supports Cloud Sync
Participate In Exciting Software Challenges To Win Recognition (And Money) With ChallengePost

Internet

Participate In Exciting Software Challenges To Win Recognition (And Money) With ChallengePost

This is an exciting time to be a software developer; the open-source community has never been stronger, with a wealth of open source projects you can participate in. What if there was a way to discover software challenges you could contribute to, solve real-world problems, and make people’s lives better in various tangible ways? And possibly even win prizes and recognition for your work? ChallengePost offers one such way.

09-08-2013
Participate In Exciting Software Challenges To Win Recognition (And Money) With ChallengePost
Feedly, Reviewed: What Makes It Such A Popular Google Reader Replacement?

Internet

Feedly, Reviewed: What Makes It Such A Popular Google Reader Replacement?

Now that Google Reader is but a distant memory, the fight for the future of RSS is truly on. One of the most notable products fighting the good fight is Feedly. Google Reader wasn’t an app or an add-on: It lived purely on the Web, so today I’ll be looking at Feedly Cloud, a browser-based RSS reader that requires no external tools to use. We first reported about it as it went live on June 19, but now’s the time to take a good, long look at it.

19-07-2013
Feedly, Reviewed: What Makes It Such A Popular Google Reader Replacement?
Never Forget Where You Parked Again With These 5 Android Apps

Android

Never Forget Where You Parked Again With These 5 Android Apps

Now, where did I leave that car? If you’ve ever found yourself confounded by this annoying problem, you know what a drag it can be to start hunting around a vast parking lot, laden with bags (or a child!) trying to figure out where the heck that car was. The good news is that with a smartphone, it really doesn’t have to be that way. There are quite a few Android apps promising to save your parking spot for you, but when I tested out some of the leading ones, I arrived at a surprising conclusion.

16-07-2013
Never Forget Where You Parked Again With These 5 Android Apps
Atom Launcher, Reviewed: Your Next Android Launcher?

Android

Atom Launcher, Reviewed: Your Next Android Launcher?

I am not the kind of user who jumps to a different Android launcher every week. I’ve been using Nova Launcher for nearly a year now, I think – and before, I was using Go Launcher (and featured themes for it) even longer. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally become curious when an interesting contender shows up – and Atom Launcher is just such an alternative. What makes it interesting, to me, is that it’s not another clone.

12-07-2013
Atom Launcher, Reviewed: Your Next Android Launcher?
3 Interesting Shopping Websites Offering Free International Shipping

Internet

3 Interesting Shopping Websites Offering Free International Shipping

For international shoppers, shipping is often a major pain: Items can be much cheaper on the Web than in your country, but once you factor in the shipping, so-called “killer” deals start looking much less attractive. That’s the key attraction behind websites that offer free international delivery.

09-07-2013
3 Interesting Shopping Websites Offering Free International Shipping
Draft: A High-Quality, No-Nonsense Way To Keep Notes On Android, With Full Dropbox Sync

Android

Draft: A High-Quality, No-Nonsense Way To Keep Notes On Android, With Full Dropbox Sync

I consider myself a discerning note-taker. If a note-taking application isn’t just so, it can drive me crazy. This is where I’m supposed to tell you I’m on a never-ending quest to find a great note-taking app. But really, I’m not: for months now, I’ve had a duo of note-taking apps on my homescreen. One of these is the wonderful Draft, which is worth every cent of the $2.57 it costs. If you’re looking for a great way to write on your phone, read on.

05-07-2013
Draft: A High-Quality, No-Nonsense Way To Keep Notes On Android, With Full Dropbox Sync
Samsung Galaxy S4 Review and Giveaway

Product Reviews

Samsung Galaxy S4 Review and Giveaway

Samsung’s current flagship device, the Galaxy S4 marries no-compromises hardware with Google’s mobile operating system, slathered with a thick layer of Samsung’s own software overlays and customizations. That doesn’t mean the outcome is perfect. How does the Samsung Galaxy S4 stand up to the vagaries of day-to-day life? Is it worth the money? Read on to discover, and for a chance to win this extraordinary smartphone for free!

04-07-2013
Samsung Galaxy S4 Review and Giveaway
The Best ROM For Sony Xperia Z? PAC, Reviewed

Android

The Best ROM For Sony Xperia Z? PAC, Reviewed

I had recently started using the Sony Xperia Z, my first non-Samsung Android device in a while. Unlike the international Galaxy S4 (i9500), the Xperia Z has a wealth of available ROMs. Today I’d like to show you a ROM called PAC, which pulls out all the stops when it comes to customization. If you’re particular about how you like to customize your device, chances are PAC would help you get the result you want.

02-07-2013
The Best ROM For Sony Xperia Z? PAC, Reviewed
Not Happy With Your Phone’s Contacts App? Try These 2 Alternative Contacts Apps For Android

Android

Not Happy With Your Phone’s Contacts App? Try These 2 Alternative Contacts Apps For Android

Android’s default Contacts app is one of the things phone makers seem to relish customizing. Maybe because it’s a straightforward app, or maybe because you’ll be using it every day and they want their style constantly on your mind. The good news is that this being Android, there are numerous alternative contact apps to choose from. Today I’m here to show you two apps vying to replace or augment the Contacts app you’re currently using: One is utterly unique, while the other is time-tested and more conventional.

25-06-2013
Not Happy With Your Phone’s Contacts App? Try These 2 Alternative Contacts Apps For Android
How A Dream Job Comes True: Interviewing World-Class 3D Artist Rafael Grassetti

Gaming Web Culture

How A Dream Job Comes True: Interviewing World-Class 3D Artist Rafael Grassetti

It’s not every day that I get to pick the brain of a world-leading 3D artist — but that’s exactly what I got to do with Rafael Grassetti. You may not recognize Rafael’s name, but you have no doubt seen his work on massively popular games like Assassins Creed 3, Mass Effect 3, and others, and may have even held one of the toys he designed for toy giant Hasbro. Rafael is one 3D artist who made it big, and I wanted to find out what it takes and how he got there.

21-06-2013
How A Dream Job Comes True: Interviewing World-Class 3D Artist Rafael Grassetti
Master a Second Language For Free In Bite-Sized Nuggets With Duolingo For Android

Android

Master a Second Language For Free In Bite-Sized Nuggets With Duolingo For Android

Mastering a foreign language can change your life. It can open the door for a new career, or even a new country, not to mention an entire culture you would now be able to enjoy in its native tongue. But it’s not easy, either, and takes time, persistence, and constant practice. Today, I’d like to show you language-learning service Duolingo’s Android app, which is completely free, just like the rest of the service, and is definitely worth a look.

18-06-2013
Master a Second Language For Free In Bite-Sized Nuggets With Duolingo For Android
Color Me Impressed: 3 Tools For Effortlessly Finding Beautiful Color Schemes For Any Project

Internet

Color Me Impressed: 3 Tools For Effortlessly Finding Beautiful Color Schemes For Any Project

Color is important. It’s one of those primeval things — colors make us feel. They can communicate danger, passion, calmness, and almost any other emotion. They work across language barriers, and they can clash in jarring ways, too. Like it or not, you will use color: Just about any creative project needs a color scheme.

07-06-2013
Color Me Impressed: 3 Tools For Effortlessly Finding Beautiful Color Schemes For Any Project
Log Your Spending Habits and Keep Your Finances Under Control With One Touch Expenser for Android

Android

Log Your Spending Habits and Keep Your Finances Under Control With One Touch Expenser for Android

Logging your daily expenses is a bit like flossing: It’s one of those things we all know we should be doing, but usually don’t, because it’s just too much of a hassle. One Touch Expenser is one Android app that understands this: It’s an expense tracker that does everything it can to make logging your expenses an effortless process.

04-06-2013
Log Your Spending Habits and Keep Your Finances Under Control With One Touch Expenser for Android
2 Addictive Slingshot Games For Android That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Angry Birds

Android Gaming

2 Addictive Slingshot Games For Android That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Angry Birds

If I tell you “this is a great game for your phone, and it’s all about using a slingshot,” one game will instantly come to mind. Right? Well, it turns out there are ways to use slingshot and slinging that result in a unique game that’s nothing like Angry Birds at all: One is a racing game with gorgeous graphics and the simplest controls imaginable, while the other does have you shoot things with a slingshot but isn’t like Angry Birds in any other way.

31-05-2013
2 Addictive Slingshot Games For Android That Have Absolutely Nothing To Do With Angry Birds
Create Fun Doodles and Paint Over Photos With Free Line Brush for Android

Android

Create Fun Doodles and Paint Over Photos With Free Line Brush for Android

Painting is fun. Even if you don’t have artistic talent, there’s something about smearing paint over canvas that just works. The success of games like Draw Something extends to entire galleries dedicated to smartphone doodles, and bears this out: Painting on your phone is definitely a thing. If you agree, you should try Line Brush. This entirely free (and ad free!) app features a simple interface with a wealth of realistic brushes, and even lets you use photos as raw material.

28-05-2013
Create Fun Doodles and Paint Over Photos With Free Line Brush for Android
Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

Android

Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]

What’d you have for breakfast this morning? How about two weeks ago? And hey, remember that time you and your friends went to that really fancy Japanese restaurant? If you’re a bit fuzzy on the last two questions (or even on the first), Evernote Food is a great way to answer them. I covered Evernote Food for Android before, when all it could do was log your meals. Now it’s time to give it another look, thanks to an all-new version that adds fun ways to track down new recipes and restaurants, as well as a fresh new look.

14-05-2013
Evernote Food: A Beautiful Way to Keep Track of Your Favorite Meals, Recipes, and Restaurants [Android]
SpeedFan Tells All: A Free Windows App To Monitor Every Aspect Of Your System Temperature

Windows

SpeedFan Tells All: A Free Windows App To Monitor Every Aspect Of Your System Temperature

Just as shorting a computer out will ruin it, making it run in temperatures it was never meant to take will cause it to malfunction. SpeedFan is a free utility for Windows designed to help you keep a close eye on just how hot your computer is getting, down to the individual component level.

10-05-2013
SpeedFan Tells All: A Free Windows App To Monitor Every Aspect Of Your System Temperature
How To Root The Samsung Galaxy S4 (I9500 International Version)

Android

How To Root The Samsung Galaxy S4 (I9500 International Version)

So, the brand-new Galaxy S4 has just started retailing! And as most early adopters, one of the first things I wanted to do with my new Galaxy S4 was of course to root it. This post shows exactly how I’ve done it. The root exploit I used was released by XDA developer cofface. It is not a foolproof procedure, and it does involve some trial and error. The exploit itself offers two rooting methods, only one of which actually worked for me. So, caveat emptor! The good news is that I did end up with a rooted phone, and so can you.

09-05-2013
How To Root The Samsung Galaxy S4 (I9500 International Version)