By James Green ~ April 8th, 2013 8:14 PM MST
In this tutorial we will discuss all the great features that are available in addition to the antivirus protection provided by Armor for Android. First, locate and open your Armor for Android application and navigate to the home screen.
There are three ways to access the additional features of Armor for Android from the application home screen First there is the green ‘Menu’ button in the top left corner of the home screen. There is a second green button along the bottom left corner of the screen labeled ‘More Features’. Finally there is the ‘More’ button that can be found on the right side of the blue menu bar. All of these buttons when selected this button will navigate to the additional features menu. The ‘More Features’ and ‘More’ buttons towards the bottom of the screen are available from all screens of the application.
Once you have navigated to the additional features screen you can see that there are many additional features available with Armor for Android. Each feature that is included is designed to make it easy for users to improve device performance and maintain a high level of security for their devices. To gain a better understanding of each of these features we will discuss them individually in detail in the order they are listed in the additional features menu.
The first feature listed is the Antivirus function; this is the main function of Armor for Android. If this feature is clicked you will be navigated back to the home screen where you may select Quick Scan, Deep Scan, SD Scan, and access the Security tab or Privacy tab of the application. All of these features are designed to defend the device against malware in the android environment. The three scan features will detect any potential malware on the device, provide the user further information about the threat, and assist in removing the threat from the device if the user deems it necessary. The privacy and security tabs help users manage the sensitive information stored on their devices to minimize the possibility of the information being misused or stolen. Each antivirus and security feature has been discussed in detail in individual tutorials; further information about any of the antivirus or security features can be found on the tutorials page.
The second item listed in the additional features menu is Signal Booster. If you are having trouble with dropped calls or a slow network connection Signal Booster can improve signal strength and network connection on the device. The Signal Booster interface resembles a radar screen that displays the location and proximity of all of the cell towers in your area. The cell tower that you are connected to is represented by the green icon; the grey icons are other cell towers in your area. If there is a cell tower that is closer to your location than the tower that you are connected to it may be able to provide you will better signal.
To improve signal select the ‘Boost Signal’ button, this will reset the radio on the device which connects to the cell towers. The device radio will reconnect to the tower with the strongest signal, potentially increasing the signal strength and network connection of the device. If you are already connected to the cell tower that is providing the strongest signal but still having problems with slow network connection or dropped calls move toward the tower; the closer you are to the cell tower the stronger the signal will become. Signal Booster’s radar interface displays the location of the tower and can lead you to the location of the cell tower to improve your connection.
The next feature listed is Phone Finder; this feature is designed to help users locate their device in the event that it is lost or stolen. Select phone finder to be taken the phone finder interface, you will be asked to either login or create and Armor for Android account. If you have already created an account simply enter you email address and password and your specific device will be registered to the Phone Finder feature. If you have not previously created your Armor for Android account select the “Create an account” link that is located above the Login button. To create an account an active email address will be required and you will be asked to create a password. A confirmation email will be sent to the email you provide to verify the account. Once the new account has been verified the device will be registered to the Phone Finder feature.
If the registered device is ever lost or stolen you can use Phone Finder to locate it. Using a computer go to ArmorforAndroid.com; there is a blue login button located in the top right corner of all pages of the website. Click on the login button and enter the same login credentials that were used to register the device to the Phone Finder feature. Once you have logged into your Armor for Android account you will be present with the Phone Finder web interface which will look like the screen shot below.
Phone Finder provides four different ways to locate the lost or stolen device. The First option listed is ‘Location’; this will display the GPS location of the device on a map in the web interface. GPS location is accurate within roughly ten meters so it will be able to tell you almost exactly where the device is…almost. GPS location will not be able to tell you that the lost device is behind the nightstand or under or in the loveseat cushions on the right side. Phone Finder provides three additional ways to locate a lost device in these situations. The ‘Siren’ option will make the device play a loud siren, this siren is loud and could be considered borderline obnoxious so you should be able to find your device under five feet of laundry. ‘Ring’ will command the device to play the preset ringtone; this will simulate a phone call and hopefully provide enough noise so that the device can be found. And finally, ‘Vibrate’ will initiate the vibrate feature of the device, this is a great option when a device is lost late at night and the rest of the household may be sleeping. All of these commands can be sent to the device by clicking the ‘Send’ button to the right of each option on the web interface. Commands will be canceled once the device is found and has been unlocked.
Speed Booster is a one-click performance enhancer for your Android device. If the device is operating slowly, applications are crashing, or your battery is being drained Speed Booster will optimize the device to improve the performance and increase battery life. Poor device performance can be caused by too many applications running the background, applications storing unnecessary data and clogging memory, the device browser storing unnecessary data taking up needed memory, or even the clipboard not being cleared and, again, taking up valuable memory space. Specifically, if the RAM memory is being bogged down with unnecessary data and operations it will cause the device performance to decline. By clearing unnecessary data stored on the RAM memory of the device the processor and the RAM will be able to communicate more freely which will improve the overall performance of the device substantially.
With one click the Speed Booster will clear all unnecessary data that is clogging up the device and close any unnecessary background operations. Some of the data that is stored, such as account login credentials or internet browsing history, represents a privacy threat. By clearing the unnecessary data stored on the device you not only improve device performance but also ensure the privacy of your sensitive information. The Speed Booster feature provided by Armor for Android makes it that easy for you to improve device performance, protect private information, and restore your Android device to its previous glory.
Task Killer is a handy central location to manage what applications are running in the background of your device. When you exit an application it does not close, it does not cease to run, instead it is moved to the background of the device and stays in the RAM memory. Applications that remain in the RAM memory can be loaded quickly and will open to the screen that they were previously operating on; this is a great feature that makes loading applications quick and easy. But applications that remain on the RAM memory take up space that could be used for other device processes, and if too many applications are taking up RAM memory it can cause the device to operate more slowly.
Task Killer displays a list of all of the applications operating in the background of the device. To stop any application from operating in the back ground (“kill” an application) select the application from the list and then press the large red “Kill Task” button in the top center of the screen. The more tasks that are stopped from operating in the background the more RAM memory will be freed up. More available RAM memory can be used for new processes and can increase device performance. Stopping applications from running in the background can also be done manually through the device settings. However this process would take significantly more time as each application would have to be “killed” individually. The Task Killer provided in the additional features provides a central location to quickly and easily stop multiple applications from running in the background of the device.
For those times when your away from your charger and your battery is about to kick the bucket there is Battery Booster. Battery Booster is designed to optimize your device so that the remaining battery can power the device for a longer period of time. The Battery Booster interface also provides information about the device and the battery, such as battery type, temperature, and voltage. Power Tracker is an informative tool that breaks down the remaining battery life and displays this information as the amount of time remaining for different device functions. Some device functions use more battery power than others, phone calls uses less battery power than watching a video on the device; both of those functions use less battery power than surfing the internet. The Power Tracker feature of the Battery Booster allows users to view how long (HH:MM:SS) they will be able to perform any device function with the amount of battery that they have remaining.
To optimize the battery life of the device select the ‘Boost Now’ button. Battery Booster will make changes to the device settings such as dim the screen, turning off Wi-Fi or 3G, and turning off location services like GPS. Adjustments made will depend on the amount of battery remaining, if most of the battery still remains then Battery Booster will make few to no changes to the device. If there is only a sliver of battery remaining Battery Booster will make more substantial changes to get the most life out of the remaining battery.
The Easy Uninstaller is another central location where you can save time performing multiple tasks at once rather than completing each task individually. Applications can be uninstalled individually through the device settings, but if you are looking to free up large amounts of space on your device quickly it would be a hassle to go through and uninstall each application one at a time. The Easy Uninstaller allows you to select multiple applications to be uninstalled at once.
Easy Uninstaller will list all applications that have been installed on the device. To uninstall one or multiple applications select each application by clicking on the empty box next to each item you wish to uninstall. The empty box will be filled with a green check mark indicating that you wish to uninstall the selected application. Once you begin the uninstall process all items with a green check mark will be uninstalled. After you have selected all of the application that you wish to uninstall simply press the large red ‘Uninstall’ button in the top center of the screen. Easy Uninstaller will prompt you to confirm that you want to continue with the uninstallation, once you select ‘OK’ Easy Uninstaller will being uninstalling all of the application that you have selected.
Applications store information that may never be used again and this information can take up valuable memory on the device. This information can clog up memory but it also represents a privacy threat. Some of the information that is stored may be considered sensitive such as log in credentials or browser history, if this information is stolen from the device it can be used to harm the device owner. Memory Booster provides another central location to save time and space when clearing application data and cache. It is possible to clear this information manually but you would have to go through each application individually and clear the data and then clear the cache.
Memory Booster will clear all application data and cache with only one click. Simply select the large red ‘Clear Cache’ button that is in the top center of the screen and all application data and cache will quickly disappear. Memory Booster will increase the storage available on the device, improve device performance, and help ensure that private information cannot be stolen from the device and used against the owners wishes.
The Safe SD Installer ensures that all .apk’s that are installed on the device are safe prior to installation. Applications that are downloaded from Google Play are installed instantly making the two processes of downloading and installing seems like a single process. This means that Armor for Android can only scan these applications after they have already been installed on the device. However, when downloading an .apk from a third party android market or possibly an Android forum these two processes are clearly separate. Apk packages are downloaded to the SD card of the android device but not installed; using the Safe SD Installer Armor for Android can perform and antivirus scan on all .apk packages before they are installed.
To install an .apk package from the SD card go to the Safe SD Installer and select the desired package(s) from the list. A green check mark will indicate all packages that have been selected and will be installed. Once you have selected all of the packages press the large red ‘Install’ button in the top center of the screen. Armor for Android will then scan all .apk packages looking for malicious signatures. If the .apk package is clean the Safe SD Installer will prompt you to continue to install the package.
If the .apk that you were attempting to install is flagged as a potential threat the Safe SD Installer will alert the user prior to installation. If a potential threat is found the exact name of the threat will be displayed to the user. Armor for Android allows users to continue to install a potential threat if they so choose but we strongly recommend that you cancel the installation. Applications that are potential threats will generally initiate their malicious activity as soon as they are installed on the device. Potential threats can steal sensitive information, money, damage the device and put the device at greater risk of further malware infections. The Safe SD Installer is the first line of defense against installing any potentially malicious applications.
Telemarketer calls are annoying, and car sales man can be relentless; Phone Blacklister provides users with a quick and easy way to manage who can contact them. Phone Blacklister can be used to block phone numbers from calling or sending text messages your device. The Phone Blacklister interface allows you to manage your blacklist, easily blacklist phone numbers that have recently contacted you, and view which blacklisted numbers have attempted to make contact with the device.
To blacklist a phone number and prevent either phone calls or text messages from being received simply click on either the recent calls or recent messages button. A list of all of the recent phone calls or messages will be displayed in each section. Click on the phone number that you wish to blacklist, you will be prompted to confirm the action, and the phone number will be blocked from either sending text messages or making phone calls to the device. To block a phone number from calling and text messaging the device go into each of the categories and select the number that you wish to blacklist. You can also manually add a phone number to be black listed in the black list section of the Phone Blacklister. Enter the phone number that you wish to block in the space provided and select enter and the number will be quickly blocked. You can manage your blacklist by selecting the Blacklist button. To remove any phone number from the blacklist click on the desired phone number and you will be prompted to “Remove from Blacklist?”. Click ‘OK’ and the number will be removed from the blacklist and will be able to send text message or make phone calls to the device again. ♦
James Green is a mobile security researcher who has worked in the Android security field for several years providing privacy and security advice to Android users. Email: James@ArmorforAndroid.com; Twitter: @James_AfA