Friday, January 6, 2012

Free and Bargain Apps for 1/6

Now that the weekend is here we can kick off our shoes and relax a little. To start off with some pleasure reading, David Pogue has a fantastic article debunking all of those teardown analyses stating the cost of the Kindle Fire or iPad or what-have-you. He's absolutely right to say that so much more goes into these devices than just the bits of hardware. Software, shipping, marketing, hours and months and years worth of work went into them too. So the next time someone says Amazon is taking a loss of a few dollars on the Fire, tell them that's not even close.

A nice new addition to the lineup of parental control apps out there, Smart App Protector lets you password protect certain apps, making it easy to hand off your Fire to kids or anyone else. Big thanks to Billy Crow on Facebook for tipping us off about this!

Name: Smart App Protector
Rating: 4.8 stars over 4 reviews
Price: 1.50
Description: Protect your Android device from prying eyes with Smart App Protector by Sputnik. Smart App Protector allows users to register certain applications to be password protected--keep your photos, messages, call history, and other areas secure. You can also set certain apps to prevent the screen from turning off when they are active, as well as block your device's auto-adjust for landscape and portrait orientation. Turn your settings on and off easily with the included home screen widget and notification bar.

Get your copy of Smart App Protector!

This next one is a texting app that similar to others we've featured on here before, but this one is specially designed from creating and sending little drawings. I'm not sure how that works on the Fire, but check it out!

Name: Doodle Text
Rating: 4.3 stars over 25 reviews
Price: 0.00
Doodle Text! allows you to send free SMS and MMS multimedia text messaging. The e-mail messaging provides picture image quality to the recipient receiving your doodle messages. Use this app to send funny caricatures, drawing on top of your pictures, mustaches, funny talk bubbles, annotate with funny remarks your favorite basketball, baseball, football, or other sports photos. You can also chat in a fun way with all your friends and family. You can even create your very own custom greeting cards for that special someone.

Get your free copy of Doodle Text!

As for this last app, I'm not sure I've ever seen such a highly rated game with so many reviews in my life. There are 410 of them, and only 14 are below 4-stars! How could so many people be wrong? Check this game out now for free!

Name: Castle of Shadows
Rating: 4.9 stars over 410 reviews
Price: 0.00
Description: Castle of Shadows is a challenging fantasy action game for your Android device. The app features powerful weapons, magnificent skills, smooth operation, and high-quality graphics.

After the end of war, devils built a castle to dominate mankind. They want to wage war again! A hero is born to save the world...redemption or doom, it's all in your hands!

Get your free copy of Castle of Shadows!


  1. So here's a challenge for you- see if you can untangle the knot I made on my Kindle Fire. I installed the Smart App Protector (Free version) a few days ago. I installed the additional Helper to keep third party apps (task manager, etc) from uninstalling the Smart App.

    I was playing with the settings and features and removed the app from being able to view it on my home screen (carousel) or in the apps section. This worked and I was still able to access the Smart App from the top left notification because it was always running.

    Well, I foolishly disabled Smart App so that it it no longer actively protecting my apps but now I can't get to it. It's not showing in the notification or viewable under my apps or anything. So I can't find it to open it to enable it or even uninstall it. I know my password (that's not the problem) I just can't get to the app now.

    So how do I find it to open it? Got any ideas how to rekindle this fire that I accidentally extinguished?

    (I already tried to find an answer online, but the developer's website is in another language, I sent him/her an email but don't know if they will be able to read it and respond, and I read through all the comments about the app on the android market but no one has mentioned this problem.)


    1. P.S. I already turned it off and back on again... no success. I'd even be willing to buy the pro version but I don't see how that would help me access the free version.

  2. Hi Rachel, it's possible there are ways to still access it directly from your Fire, but I would think the easiest thing to do would be to go into your account on in Your Apps and Devices. You could either try resending it from there or deleting it and downloading it again. Hope you're able to get everything functioning properly quickly!

  3. Thanks for the quick response! Unfortunately, the easy option didn't work. I tried accessing it from my apps on but the only option was to delete it from my cloud, which I did, and then "bought" it again but when my Fire checked for new updates it didn't show it... since it's still on my Fire.

    Are there any other apps out there that I could use to try and find or even just access this app?

    Thanks a ton!

  4. Oh, that's a really good point. I should've thought of that first. You could use ES File Explorer to find it. As for deleting the app from your account, that would definitely get it off your device. You may have needed to hit sync afterward. Good luck!

  5. I have ES File Explorer on my Fire (which I've used a bit already) so I tried to find Smart App Protector but wasn't able to. (Maybe an article on your blog about how/where apps are stored on the Fire would be a good one to have... if you don't already.) I also tried your suggestion to delete it from my account, synced, and rebooted but that didn't delete it.

    I finally installed AppRemover (free app), found Smart App in the list and was able to remove it and the Helper app- yeah! I don't know if you can use this app to remove it if Smart App Protector is actually enabled (I might check and see after reinstalling).

    One thing I noticed was that AppRemover didn't remove the "smart app protector" folder in my /sdcard/ folder (I rebooted before checking). The folder has my app backups, but if the folder wasn't deleted, what about other folders that aren't deleted when an app is removed and are taking up space. Is there a good app for that? That might be another great article to write about: how to complete remove apps (and all their folders) from your Fire.

    I was able to reinstall Smart App Protector but I might uninstall and install the Pro version for access to the Protection Delay+ feature.

    Thanks, gadget, for your help!

  6. Hi Rachel, ok, that's good to know that App Remover worked. I'll have to keep that in mind if there are any other disappearing app problems. Glad you got it worked and thank for visiting!


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