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Posts tagged Android

Lewis’ picks from the Interwebs #2

fluxWelcome back to week 2 of my picks from the Interwebs, and I would like to start off with an application which has really helped me recently and was suggested by @linkyboy321. It’s called F.lux and it changes the colour of your laptop screen based on the time of day, while this may seem useful it makes using a computer at night much easier and has allowed me to stop being so  affected by the bright screen keeping me awake. The only slight hiccup is that the auto location doesn’t seem to work too well so your will need to set this manually other than this it’s a fantastic little app and will do wonders if you suffer from eye strain at night. (


Alpha GovNext comes much needed experimental revamp of the government website in the UK,  has completely changed the workings of the government website and certainly for the better. It is much easier to navigate around and has a much simpler and nicer layout and look to it. For anyone who as used the some of the websites the UK government has issued( anyone?) this is a very welcome change and I hope it is fully implemented soon.


NYANicornAnyone that knows me will know that I love NYAN cat and if you haven’t visited it do so now(My best is 12624 seconds with no breaks see how long you can last). Now I thought NYAN cat could not get any better, but it did. NYANicorn take NYAN cat and throws in some Robot Unicorn Attack to make one incredibly addicted game(I tried to start this post at 6 I got distracted by various NYAN games). If you have 5 minutes to spare don’t play this game because before you know it half an hour is gone and your late for something however if you have more than 5 minutes enjoy.


textyNotificationFinally if you have an Android phone running 2.2+ and you use Google Chrome as your main browser then Texty app is a great new app and extension which allows you to be notified, read and reply to any texts your phone receives all in the Chrome browser and this works on both a Wi-Fi and 3G+ connection. The way it works is seamless and I haven’t had any problems yet unless my phone has no signal, textyreplythe notification system works well and isn’t intrusive allowing you to choose to reply to the text or just close the notification. It’s also great for discretely replying to texts while in a meeting/lesson etc. The app hasn’t had a noticeable effect on the battery life or data use of my phone either. While this is still in beta it’s free to sign up for and will make your life so much easier. My phone isn’t even on the same floor as me and I received and replied to that text(and yes that is Dan from Geek Tech Blog)

That’s it again for this week, if you have anything you feel should be mentioned next week then also leave a comment, tweet @ me or Email me. See you again next week.

Coolest new apps


Image courtesy of Expansys

With the release of tablet computers for Android, along with the Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablet operating system, the market for apps made with tablet PCs in mind is growing rapidly. Though a tablet PC will run standard apps built for mobiles, most of these are designed with phone interfaces and screens in mind so do not use the screen space effectively, often running in a low resolution covering only part of the screen. The greater screen size of a tablet computer means many dedicated tablet PC apps can shine; offering new and better user experiences. These are some of the latest tablet PC apps:

Pulse News is an RSS reader which arranges news stories for mailing list companies and social network updates in a novel manner by stacking them with relevant images to cover the screen in a grid and lets you scroll through them with a flick of a finger. This is a great use of the screen space on a tablet PC and makes the news easy to browse. It runs beautifully using some of Honeycomb’s new tricks for supporting animations which allow the smooth scrolling of text and images. Selecting any of the images by tapping on it instantly opens the news story, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds and even email creating a single, integrated experience. What’s more Pulse News is free. Surprisingly given the age of the desktop PC compared to tablet PCs interfaces like Pulse News are taking them far ahead of what came before for the desktop PC. It will be interesting to see how new ideas like this continue to develop.

CNN are one of the first major news organisations to create their own tablet computer app for news from their sites. It allows you to view news stories in a similar manner to Pulse with rows of images and headlines arranged in a grid and updated in real time. An interesting addition to the app is that it makes news a two way process by adding the iReport feature which lets users upload their own news stories to the iReport user submissions area. As this app is power-hungry it is only available for Honeycomb tablet PCs, older versions of Android will not be able to download it from the Android Market. CNN News is also a free app.

Fuze Meeting is aimed at businesses and anyone who needs to coordinate projects online, offering support for up to three people to video conference in high definition with a host of features to support the meeting. Files can be uploaded and shared easily via the Cloud while desktop contents can be streamed and highlighted with iPoint, the online equivalent of a laser pointer. It also supports chat through all of the major online chat clients. The basic version of the app is free and can be upgraded by registering and paying to allow meetings with more participants, beating even a desktop PC for meetings online.

One of Google’s own apps that benefits the most from tablets is Google Body, the 3D viewer that lets you examine every external and internal part of the human body from any angle. You can zoom in on individual features which are all fully labelled as well as select layers such as bones, muscles, organs or the skin to display. This app will be of educational and general interest to children all the way up to adults and those studying medical subjects. It is also free, making it ideal for teachers to use as an educational tool.

The advance of tablet PCs to the point where they are competing for market share with laptops and even desktop PC is very exciting for the future of apps as the tablet computer gains more processing and graphics power. Recently the investment bank Morgan Stanley estimated that tablet computer sales would increase at least six-fold in the near term, making tablets the place where new ideas will be tried out from many up and coming software companies.

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