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Cydia Android Tweaks Homework

Andrios, the jailbreak tweak that brings some awesome Android-inspired features to iOS, was our top item on this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Jailbreak. It’s rare when a tweak gets the thumbs up from Cody, Sebastien, and I, but Andrios was able to pull off that impressive feat.

Since our initial review aired, I’ve received numerous emails, tweets, and messages about Andrios and its launch. After a slight delay, I’m happy to tell you that the tweak is now available for purchase and download from Cydia’s BigBoss repo.

Just what makes Andrios so special? I think it’s the attention to detail more than anything else. There are over half-a-dozen widgets and features that make iOS work more like Android. These include search widgets, settings widgets, and a revamped Notification Center.

At $3.99, the tweak is definitely not cheap, but it’s one of the most impressive releases that we’ve seen in all of 2015, and it at least deserves your consideration if you’re still jailbroken. If you do decide to download Andrios, I have to tell you that I recommend combining it with Kvasir II—an Android-inspired WinterBoard theme that perfectly compliments the features brought to the table by this tweak. I also recommend that you save an Android Lollipop image as your iPhone’s wallpaper for the finishing touch.

If you’re still not convinced, watch our video above, or check out our full review of Andrios for more details. Even if you’re not a big fan of Android, you’ll no doubt appreciate the obvious effort that developers BrandDev and Logan O’Connell put into this release.

Have you tried Andrios yet? If you have, please drop us a line below with your thoughts on the tweak.

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It’s surprising how much you can customize a non-rooted Android. If you want to unlock the depths of Android and open it up to full-scale modifications, yes you’ll need to root. However, rooting has its dangers6 Key Tips To Avoid Bricking Your Rooted Android Device6 Key Tips To Avoid Bricking Your Rooted Android DeviceWhen you own a rooted Android phone running a custom ROM, you need to take some precautions or risk "bricking" (destroying) your device.Read More so it’s best avoided if you don’t want to risk destroying your device.

That being said, some of the more useful apps on the Play Store are only available for rooted Androids, so it may be worth the effort to properly root your deviceThe Complete Guide to Rooting Your Android Phone or TabletThe Complete Guide to Rooting Your Android Phone or TabletSo, you want to root your Android device? Here's everything you need to know.Read More. For the rest of us, there are plenty of awesome tweaks we can still make without committing to that level of risk.

Note: Are you new to Android? If so, it’s okay to feel a little lost or intimidated. Let us help you get familiarized with the operating system with our frequently asked questions about AndroidJust Got Your First Android Device? Here Are Simple Answers To Your Everyday QuestionsJust Got Your First Android Device? Here Are Simple Answers To Your Everyday QuestionsThe popularity of Android has been on a slow but steady rise. If you aren’t using an iPhone, then your options are pretty limited: Blackberry for the business folk, Android for the everyday iPhone equivalent,...Read More newbie guide.

Tweaking Your Home Screen

The home screen is the most visited screen on any smartphone. If you want to personalize your device, this is where you want to begin. Nothing says “This is my phone!” more than a home screen tailored to your tastes.

Install a brand new launcher. A launcher is an app that handles the layout and launching of apps on your home screen. Different launchers provide different layouts, aesthetics, and functionality. Some are optimized for speedSmart Launcher: Perfect For Those Who Want No NonsenseSmart Launcher: Perfect For Those Who Want No NonsenseTired of big and bloated Android launchers that pack in useless features that you'll never use?Read More, others are packed with featuresNova Launcher - Even Better Than The Default Android 4.0 LauncherNova Launcher - Even Better Than The Default Android 4.0 LauncherUp until Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) came along, Android’s interface felt somewhat less polished than iOS’s. But with Android 4.0, Google made a clean break with the previous visual style for Android, introducing Holo...Read More, while others are minimal and simplistic3 Best Simple Android Launchers for Your Parents or Grandparents3 Best Simple Android Launchers for Your Parents or GrandparentsOne of your parents or grandparents has just gotten a new Android phone -- and it's just so confusing. The best way you can help them is to download an extremely simple launcher.Read More.

The best advice is to experiment with several different launchers until you find one that you like. Take at least a week per launcher to give it enough time to see how you feel about it. Here are a few launcher recommendationsWhich Android Launcher Should You Use? We Compare the Best!Which Android Launcher Should You Use? We Compare the Best!These awesome launchers will have your Android device feeling brand new.Read More to get you started. If those don’t suit you, here are a few more launchers to tryTransform Your Droid: 5 Launchers To Replace The One That Came With Your PhoneTransform Your Droid: 5 Launchers To Replace The One That Came With Your PhoneAndroid launchers are a great way to spice up your home screen with new graphics and new features. For the uninitiated, you should know that your phone already has its own stock launcher, but stock...Read More.

Install an icon pack. One way to solidify the thematic feel of your home screen is to replace all of the app icons with a unified icon pack. It’s a small change that can inject a lot of life into your device. Some icon packs cost money but we’ve collected a list of the best free Android icon packsBeautify Your Android Phone With These 5 Stunning Custom Icon PacksBeautify Your Android Phone With These 5 Stunning Custom Icon PacksLooking to beautify your Android icons, but don't want to pay money? I tested out a large number of free custom icons packs and found five of the best you can find anywhere — without...Read More that you should check out.

Install a live wallpaper. No matter how beautiful they are, static wallpapers lose their appeal over time. On the other hand, live wallpapers feel dynamic and interesting. Try these awesome Android live wallpapers to see if it’s something you enjoy.

If you’re worried about battery life, you can relax. Except in rare cases, live wallpapers are relatively light on battery drain. Worse comes to worst, you can uninstall it if it proves problematic.

Install a few widgets. Widgets are interactive elements that reside on the home screen. Some make it convenient to toggle system settingsSwitch On, Switch Off: Top Toggle Widgets For AndroidSwitch On, Switch Off: Top Toggle Widgets For AndroidAsk any Android enthusiast about why they love the operating system and they’re likely to reply “Widgets!” These homescreen mini-apps can display all sorts of information. They also allow users quick access to core system...Read More. Others provide quick glance information, such as weather forecastsWeatherBug - Even Better Than The Weather Channel [Android]WeatherBug - Even Better Than The Weather Channel [Android]Up until about a week ago, I only knew of two legitimate weather sources: The Weather Channel and AccuWeather. Both of these services have apps on Android that provide information on the weather. Imagine my...Read More. Most Android music apps5 Free Apps for Managing & Playing Your Music [Android 2.2+]5 Free Apps for Managing & Playing Your Music [Android 2.2+]Whether you’re a tech-geek fanatic or a tech-illiterate layman, there’s at least one thing that resonates between both groups - a love for music. Regardless of genre, whether it's country, metal, classical, or dubstep, most...Read More come with widgets that let you control playback from the home screen.

The possibilities are endless and there are dozens of them to explore. Get started with these must-have widgets8 Unmissable Widgets For All Android Versions (Even If Your Phone Is Old)8 Unmissable Widgets For All Android Versions (Even If Your Phone Is Old)Android 4.0 has been out for some time now yet, according to usage studies, a large number of devices still run version 2.x. This can make buying widget apps frustrating. The latest and greatest may...Read More before moving onto some of the more advanced widgets by Beautiful WidgetsCreate Beautiful Widgets To Customize Your Droid [Android 2.2+]Create Beautiful Widgets To Customize Your Droid [Android 2.2+]If there's one thing almost every smartphone owner likes to do, it is customising their phone to make it just right. This includes themes, wallpaper, and choosing which apps and widgets to display on the...Read More.

Tweaking Your Lock Screen

The next aspect of Android worth customizing is the lock screen — assuming you even use a lock screen to begin with (which you should). Wouldn’t it be great if you could interact with certain areas of your phone without having to unlock it every time?

That’s where lock screen widgets come into play. These widgets are just like home screen widgets except they reside on the lock screen. Simple enough, right? As it turns out, they’re just as useful.

We’ve rounded up some of the best Android lock screen widgets5 Excellent Lock Screen Widgets for Android5 Excellent Lock Screen Widgets for AndroidOne of the perks of having an Android device is that you can natively add widgets to your home screen. Some widgets are highly specific and only useful situationally, but then there are those amazing...Read More for your convenience. Check on your RSS feeds, respond to your text messages, or pull up your contacts without needing to punch in your passcode.

Wait a minute. Don’t widgets defeat the purpose of a lock screen? Not necessarily. Widgets allow you to pick which parts of Android should be exposed while keeping everything else safe behind a lock screen’s passcode. As long as you’re smart about which widgets you install, your privacy should remain secure.

Also, feel free to check out these great lockscreen replacement apps3 Best Free Lockscreen Replacement Apps For Android3 Best Free Lockscreen Replacement Apps For AndroidCalling all Android tinkerers! Are you tired of looking at the same, boring screen every time you wake up your phone from sleep? Why not customize it and breathe new life into your phone?Read More. Think of them as launchers, but instead of replacing your homscreen, they replace your lockscreen.

Tweaking Your Battery Life

Battery life is probably one of your main concerns and rightfully so. For non-rooted devices, there’s some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news: starting with Android 4.4 KitKat, most battery-saving appsFind out Which Apps Are Killing Your Android BatteryFind out Which Apps Are Killing Your Android BatteryIf you're getting poor battery life on your device, you likely have an app abusing your battery in the background. Find out how to identify those apps and solve your battery problems.Read More require root privileges. The good news is that you can still tweak battery life without those apps.

Disable vibrations. While vibrations are less disruptive than loud ringtones, they actually use up more battery life. Depending on how often your device buzzes, you could end up wasting a lot of juice this way — so disable it. That includes haptic feedback when typing, vibrating notifications, etc.

Purge all bloatware. Bloatware describes apps that might be useful if they didn’t take up an exorbitant amount of resources, whether that means RAM, CPU, disk space, etc. Even if you don’t actively use these apps, they can sit in the background and impact performance or waste bandwidth.

At the very least you should disable all bloatware that you can. Ideally you would delete all of that bloatware but that’s not always possible without a rooted device. Want to learn more? Here’s everything you need to know about Android bloatwareWhat You Need to Know About Removing Android BloatwareWhat You Need to Know About Removing Android BloatwareLots of phones come with annoying pre-installed software, but you can remove it. Here's how.Read More.

Use Airplane Mode. Airplane Mode disables all forms of network communication, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and WiFi. While disabled, those network components cease to drain battery life.

If you really need to squeeze extra juice out of your device, consider toggling Airplane Mode whenever there’s going to be an extended period of time where you won’t be using the network.

Tweaking Your Security

Smartphone and tablet security should always be a prime concern, especially if you have sensitive data stored within. In this context, sensitive data is anything that you wouldn’t want a stranger to see.

Always use a lock screen. Passwords are always the first line of defense against somebody who gains access to something that doesn’t belong to them. Would you use a debit card that has no PIN? Would you buy a car that has no key lock? If you want to protect your phone, lock it!

Still, there are right and wrong ways to do it. Take heed and check out these security tips for Android lock screens