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Fresh Android Apps for Feb. 1: Shake ‘n Rotate!, Blackbox, Task Identifier

by Ian Black

February arrives with some fresh and useful new apps. Shake ‘n Rotate! braces your phone against unexpected screen rotations, Blackbox lets you record sound on the sly and Task Identifier helps you manage and control apps that are taking liberties with your phone’s data.

Shake 'n Rotate! (Free)

Android’s screen auto-rotate feature is great except when it isn’t. Everyone I know has sometimes had their screen rotate when they didn’t want or expect it and I bet it’s happened to you too. Good News: Shake ‘n Rotate! makes it easy and fast to enable or disable this feature.

Install the app, adjust the sensitivity, and then just shake your phone to toggle auto-rotate on or off. The app has only been out a few days but already has several great reviews.

Blackbox (~$2.08)

Unleash your inner spy. Blackbox is simple but effective. It records sound over your Android’s microphone unobtrusively while the app runs in the background. You set the number of minutes you want, and then the app will continuously record that length of sound. So, you’ll always have the last N minutes recorded and stored on your phone’s memory or SD card. The creators just added an English language UI to the original Swedish. Just promise to use your recording power for good!

Task Identifier (Free)

The Android Market offers many “task killer” apps, but this one is a little different. Remember all those permissions you accept before you download a new app? Sometime the list is long and the permissions seem a little odd – a game asking for access to your personal info, for example. Well, Task Identifier scours the apps on your phone and their permissions, and then presents a rating of Green (Safe), Yellow (Warning) and Red (Danger) for each one.

The app allows you to kill all Yellow and Red apps with one click or it can alert you whenever a risky app launches. Take charge of your phone’s data!

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