How many times have you lost your phone? No, not really lost it, but lost it in your home. You know you had it last night, but this morning when you get up, you cannot remember where you left it. Is it under the bed or the sofa? In the lounge or the kitchen? Has the dog picked it up, drooled all over it and dropped it in his basket? Android Device Manager can locate it for you.

There are many fitness tracking apps for smartphones that are able to monitor running, walking, cycling and other activities and we are spoilt for choice. Moves is an interesting one because it works automatically and you don’t need to manually start it and stop it. It just works. Link it to HealthVault and it becomes even more useful.

Public Wi-Fi networks are very useful and it is great to be able to get on the network and access the web, email, online video, music and more. The only snag is that establishing a connection isn’t as easy as it could be. Passpoint changes all that.

Suppose you have a file on your tablet that you want to access on your phone. What if you have taken a photo on your phone and want to edit it on your tablet. How would you send a web link from a phone to a tablet or tablet to a phone? All these activities and more are possible with a free app for Android and iOS called Pushbullet.

The lock screen on Android phones and tablets can be very irritating because it often shows very little that is of interest and at best there is just a clock. It also gets in the way and you have to swipe the lock screen away to get to the phone’s features. Lock screen apps are one way to make it more useful and Chronus can be used to show the weather, calendar events, email, news reports and more.

The Google Play App Store for Android users is packed with great apps and it is fun to browse the titles and install them. However, it isn't ideal browsing the store on a small screen, such as with a mobile phone. You don't have to because you can browse the store on your computer instead.

The amount of data their mobile phone uses is a constant worry for some people. The problem is that most contracts have a data limit, sometimes as little as 500MB. There are penalties for using too much data, so Onavo Count will tell you exactly how much you have used and the amount remaining.

Another question is, does it need to locate you as accurately as it does? The answer is, probably not. Your phone could be working hard to determine where in the world you are down to the nearest few meters, but is this just a waste of processing power and battery life? Most of the time, yes.

Some people say that the brain is like a muscle and like any other muscle, if you exercise it, it will improve. It won’t get physically larger like other muscles do, but it will become more efficient and you can increase your brain power. Lumosity and Fit Brains are two competing brain training apps for Android that are designed to make you smarter.

There are lots of battery managers in the Google Play Store and it is a popular category. Is this because it is easy to write battery-saving apps or because lots of people need them? It is probably a bit of both. Battery Doctor is one example of a battery extender that is very popular, with millions of installs.

Battery life is a constant problem for Android phone users and it just isn’t as good as our iPhone-owning friends. Apple’s battery technology is clearly the best, but a lot of the time, the poor battery life on our Android phone is partly our own fault and it is down to the apps we install. Here’s what you can do.

Colonies vs Empire

Who remembers Age of Empires on the PC? It was released in 1997 and there were several follow-up titles over the years. Colonies vs Empire is similar and it is a real-time strategy game that involves building a city and an army. The army can be purely for defence or you can attack and plunder neighbouring cities. The way you play is up to you.

Detective

I lost my phone at the weekend. I knew it was in the house somewhere, but it wasn't on the table where I usually keep it. Finding it was pretty straightforward...

Android 4.4.4

You wait ages for an update and then two come along at once. Well, almost at once and Android 4.4.4 has quickly followed 4.4.3. The two updates mostly fix bugs that were afflicting phone and tablet users with Android 4.4.2 and there aren't that many obvious changes, just a tweak here and there.

Battery

Poor battery life on your mobile phone is a constant problem and it affects a lot of people. Some owners cannot get through a whole day without connecting their phone to a charger. What is wrong and what is the solution to high battery drain and short battery life? It could actually be caused by almost anything, so let's take a look at a couple of typical cases.

Do you read ebooks? If you do, you are one of an increasing number of people that have switched to electronic books and are helping to save the rain forests. Not everyone reads ebooks because they are saving trees and there are probably carbon emissions associated with internet servers and ebook readers too. It's simply convenient to carry a library of books on a small electronic device that can be held in one hand and carried in a pocket or bag.

Problems with apps can be solved by uninstalling and reinstalling. Built in apps you can't uninstall can still be fixed. Here's how to do it

If you have a problem with your Android phone, such as a Samsung Galaxy S8, S7, S6 or earlier, how do you go about solving it? Hardware problems require a trip to a service centre, but software problems can often be solved.

Hill Climb Free

A search for 'hill climb' at the Google Play Store reveals a long list of apps to choose from for your Android phone or tablet and they are all very similar. There is a whole genre of hill climbing apps and they involve climbing hills (as you probably guessed) and speeding over rough terrain in various vehicles. They are addictive, challenging and fun.

Clock

At the end of the day or the end of the week, do you sometimes wonder where all your time has gone? You meant to do this task or that project, but either never finished them or perhaps never even got round to starting them. Why are you always busy and why do you have no time for anything? What you need is a time tracker, an app that records how you spend your time, such as Jiffy for Android.

Facebook

There have been many reports that Facebook could be the cause of excessive battery drain on both iPhones and Android phones. Yes it could be, but it doesn’t have to be and it may be using too much battery power simply because the settings aren’t the optimum for battery life. Similarly, it may use excessive amounts of data, pushing you over your contract limit. Once again, it could be just that the settings aren’t the best.