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Android love and IT apps

Mark Gibbs | March 24, 2011
Gibbs is crazy about Android and loves the IT apps

Anyway, this week's foray into the wonderful world of wireless telephony was started when reader Tim Oakes (Hartford, Conn.) wrote in suggesting I cover Android Apps for IT. Tim has been using the Motorola Xoom for the last three weeks and just got a Verizon HTC Thunderbolt. This is one spoiled reader (PR people, again, note that I haven't had my sweaty hand on either of these devices yet).

Tim already has his own short list of IT apps which includes two free network tools called Overlook Fing and Overlook Whiz.

Overlook Fing is a neat and straightforward tool for running network IP address and service port scans. It's fast, provides a lot of information, and you can email the scan results directly from the app. One of the other great things about Overlook Fing is it is a cross-platform product with sibling versions (also free) for Windows, OS X and Linux. Overlook Fing gets a rating of 5 out of 5.

Overlook Whiz is an Android widget for testing servers. After installation you simply press and hold on any open spot on the home screen and the "Add to Home screen" menu appears. Click on widgets then scroll down and click on Overlook Whiz. A configuration screen is displayed where you enter your target machine and service and select the refresh rate and other test attributes. The widget can sit on any of your home screens (I have a screen dedicated to monitoring the various services I rely on). Another hit! Overlook Whiz also gets a rating of 5 out of 5.

Another useful free tool I love is WiFi Analyzer. This app grabs the Android phone's Wi-Fi service and looks for access points and displays their details including signal strength, channels in use, AP SSIDs, encryption systems used, and Mac addresses.

Five views are available including Channel Graph (plots channels in use against signal strength), Time Graph (channel signal strength against time), Channel Rating (a simple bar graph of channel use), AP List, and a Signal Meter that shows current signal strength as a conventional needle and dial display. I'd like to see the ability to capture snapshots and email data but for free, there's really nothing to complain about. WiFi Analyzer also gets a rating of 5 out of 5!



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