Tag Archive: Android


       

Sharing has become part of the virtue when technology comes into the topic. Media sharing that works seamlessly between PC and mobile devices is the dream that software and apps developers have been working very hard to achieve. Not only because the King of post PC devices (iPad) doesn’t have a USB port, but also because nobody likes to be cluttered by annoying cables. How about the idea of showing off your vacation photos in your iPad to your friends by mirroring it on your laptop or WiDi enabled HDTV? Some of you might call me an outdated moron (Hey dude, we have an amazing stuff called AirPlay!!!), yes, I’m definitely aware of that stuff, but to be honest, how many of you have an Apple TV?

This is a totally cost free method, as long as you have a intel powered PC with Windows 7 (if your PC is running on AMD processor, you are out of luck), a mobile device running on either iOS & Android, and a stable home WiFi connection. Besides PC, those who own TV sets with built-in WiDi (Wireless Display) can also try this method.

Alright, here comes the method. First, download the Intel Pair & Share Software for PC from Intel Download Center, then install it on your Windows 7 PC. Next, search the Intel Pair & Share app from App Store or Android Market (depends on your mobile device). Download and install the app on your device (as for me, I installed it on my iPad2). When you are done, launch both the PC version and the app version on both your devices. You can now put your full concentration on the screen of your mobile Pair & Share app. On the screen, check if the app manage to detect your PC, if it does, your PC name should be listed on the app display. To connect your mobile device to your PC, just tap on your PC’s name on the screen and it will start connecting and eventually prompting you to key in a set of code, which is now displayed on your PC desktop version of Intel Pair & Share. Just key in the code and both devices will be connected instantly. Now, all you need to do is just browse through your device’s photo collection (Intel will automatically locate your photo albums for you) and tap on the photos that you want to display on your laptop widescreen or HDTV. You can select multiple photos and as you tap on each of the photo, it will simultaneously appear on your widescreen. Don’t worry, only a single photo that you tap on it will be displayed to the public, so you are totally under control.
This app works on all iOS devices (iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone) and Android devices. Only photo can be shared through this method. The screenshots below are captured from my iPad and PC.Once you are done with the show, you can either choose to disconnect both devices from the app, or just simply close both the desktop software and the mobile app to cut off the connection.

CES 2012: 5 Trends To Watch

The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas next Tuesday, and gadget makers are getting ready to show off their latest tech products for the coming year.

Every year, a few big product trends emerge. In 2011, it was all aboutAndroid tablets; in 2010, 3D televisions and e-readers dominated the show; and in 2009, netbooks were a big topic. So what does 2012 promise? Here’s a look at five CES trends that people are already talking about.

OLED

Organic Light Emitting Diode displays promise more vivid colors, faster response times, and smaller device footprints compared to LCD/LED TVs, but the technology has yet to break into the television market. That may be about to change at CES 2012, as LG announced Monday it plans to show what it calls the world’s largest OLED HDTV.

LG’s new TV has a 55-inch display, 0.16-inch depth, weighs 16.5 pounds, and promises a response time that is less than 0.0001 milliseconds (the average LCD has a response time between 5 and 2 milliseconds). OLEDs were also a hot topic for CES 2009.

Ultrabooks

Intel introduced the concept of Ultrabooks — laptops with slim designs, solid state drives, and longer battery life — in May. Since then we’ve seen a number of Ultrabooks come out, including the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s, Acer Aspire S3, and Toshiba Portege Z835.

But the real onslaught of these MacBook Air competitors is expected at CES, with as many as 30 to 50 Ultrabooks making their debut in Las Vegas. Intel’s President and CEO Paul Otellini is delivering a keynote address at CES next Tuesday when he may discuss the forthcoming Ivy Bridge Core processors, the miniaturized successor to 2011’s Sandy Bridge chips that are at the heart of current Ultrabooks.

Quad-Core Phones

Get ready for blazing fast smartphones loaded with quad-core processors, such as Nvidia’s Tegra 3 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4.

The first round of quad-core smartphones are expected within the first three months of 2012, and many tech watchers expect to see these devices at CES.

 

4K

No we’re not talking about kilobytes, but a type of display resolution that has four times the pixel density of 1080p HDTVs, the current gold standard for mass market high-definition displays.

LG plans to show off an 84-inch 4K 3D HDTV with Internet connectivity during CES. Toshiba is also working on a 4K 3D display, so perhaps we may see more than one 4K set next Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Tablets have been a big topic at CES since 2010, when device makers scrambled to get out in front of the looming release of Apple’s iPad. CES 2012 is expected to have more of the same, thanks to the release of Google’s latest Android flavor, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Unlike 2011, where the Motorola Xoom was the only device running Google’s tablet-specific version of Android (Honeycomb),ICS is already available to any manufacturer who wants it.

Electronics maker Coby plans to debut four ICS tablets at CES, and it’s a good bet other tablet makers will follow suit.

By Ian Paul

 

Here is how to make your Android phone open nearly any file type be it audio, video, images, and documents.

 

219949-android_apps_180_originalAndroid may be a versatile OS, but the little green robot can run into trouble when it comes to certain file formats. RAW photo formats such as .NEF won’t show up in the default Android’s image and video Gallery app. Even common video file formats such as .AVI and .MKV will stop most Android phones in their tracks.

Luckily, there are apps and workarounds so your Android phone can open most audio, video, image, and Office file formats you throw at it. Being able to playback a myriad of file formats is good because not all file formats are created equal.RAW images, for example, tend to be of higher quality than standard .JPEGs. And .MKV files can play videos with subtitles–helpful if you are hard of hearing, watching a foreign film, or stuck on an airplane with crummy headphones.

Also, by making your phone accept a more diverse number of file formats, you can save yourself the hassle in converting your media files into (more often than not) inferior and more common file types that aren’t as good at reproducing hi-fidelity music, saving storage space, and displaying crystal clear images.

 

Audio

PowerampThe default Android media player is very picky about what it accepts if you try to load it with anything other than .MP3s. For a better audio experience, look no further than the PowerAmp Music Player. The list of formats that PowerAmp can play includes .MP3 (of course), .MP4, .M4A, .ALAC, .OGG, .WMA, .FLAC, .WAV, .APE, .WV, and .TTA. Besides accepting a wide variety of audio formats, PowerAmp is customizable with several themes and comes with a handful of widgets to choose from. PowerAmp costs $5 for the full version, though there is a free 15-day trial as well so you can try it out before you buy.

mortplayer-5195312            poweramp-5195316

Mortplayer MusicIf you don’t feel like spending $5 on an app, you can also try out Mortplayer Music. Mortplayer (free) can handle all the same formats that PowerAmp can, though the interface is not as clean as the one in PowerAmp and it cannot play .FLAC files on all devices.

 

Office Documents

While Windows Phone 7 phones may be the kings in handling Office documents, Android also can juggle work documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Adobe) with ease. All Android devices by default can view Office documents, but you will need a separate app in order to edit and create new ones. There are quite a few mobile office apps to choose from; it really boils down to what features you want.

Google DocsI personally prefer to use QuickOffice($15) because it can sync my files with my DropBox or Google Docs accounts. Chances are your phone came pre-loaded with the trial version of a mobile office app. Much like with PowerAmp, I would recommend playing around with a trial version before committing $15 for an app that doesn’t have the features you want.

One workaround is Google Docs, Google’s online service for creating and viewing office documents. The official Docs app does a sufficient job at displaying your documents. However the app has issues with keeping document formatting, so I would not recommend using it to create or edit your work. Results may vary on your Android phone or device. For all other text formats, the best and easiest workaround would be to e-mail the document to your Gmail account, then view the document using the "Preview" option inside your Gmail message. You may not be able to work on it, but at least you can read what the file says.

 

Photos

RawDroidBy default, the Android Gallery can handle most standard image formats (.JPEG, .GIF, .PNG, and .BMP). Unfortunately after searching the Android Market, I only found one app that allows you to view images in the RAW format. The app is called RawDroid (free) and is currently only available as a demo, though it allows you to view images in formats such as .NEF and .CR2.

For Adobe Photoshop users who live and breathe by .PSD files, as of now, there is no apps solution for viewing that file format. Even Adobe’s own Photoshop Express application wouldn’t recognize the ones I loaded onto my phone’s SD card. Hopefully Adobe’s Photoshop app is updated and .PSD formats are supported in the future.

Videos

DoubleTwistTrying to format videos so that they work on your Android phone can be a nightmare. Until the VLC player comes to Android, you’ll have to look elsewhere to find an app to play your HD files. The desktop clientDoubleTwist can convert your videos into a format that natively works on your phone. Run the program, and plug in your phone. DoubleTwistshould recognize it. From there you just drag and drop the media you want put in. While helpful, DoubleTwist can be extremely buggy at times and is known to crash randomly. Still, it is the easiest and best way to put playable video files onto your Android phone.

Another advantage DoubleTwist and VLC have over the stock video player that comes with Android is that they support video bookmarking. That’s an important feature if you are watching a video longer than 20 minutes. Bookmarking allows you to stop and start the video in the same place. That beats having to scroll through a video to find the spot you think you stopped watching the video.

Having a device that works seamlessly with a variety of file formats allows you to get the most out of your digital life and your Android phone. P.S. It can also save your bacon when your boss wants you to proof a work document.

As said By Armando Rodriguez

Not sure how to get started with your new Android tablet? Fear not: We’ve got you covered.

So you’re the proud possessor of a shiny new Android tablet. Now what?

Google’s tablet operating system is a little different from the versions of Android you may have seen before. Unlike the iPad, which is basically a blown-up version of the iPhone, Android Honeycomb tablets are designed to take full advantage of the extra screen space–and it’s up to you to decide how to use it.

Of course, flexibility and simplicity don’t always go hand in hand, and Honeycomb can be a bit overwhelming at first. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that its power and its potential for personalization can be pretty darn sweet.

Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.

Hello, Honeycomb: Navigating Your Home Screen

01-honeycomb-home-screen-5175464The Android Honeycomb home screen keeps all of the OS’s main controls visible on your tablet’s display. Let’s begin with the home screen. On Honeycomb–unlike on past smartphone-focused editions of Android–the main controls are always visible right on your display.

  • At the top left corner of the screen sits a Google search box. Tapping it lets you simultaneously search the Internet and everything on your device.
  • Next to the search box is a microphone icon that activates Google’s robust Voice Actions system. You can use it to speak commands such as “listen to” followed by the name of an artist, album, or song; “send e-mail to” followed by the name of a contact and a message; or even “note to self” followed by a memo. You can also speak any phrase to launch an instant Web search for the term.
  • At the top right of the screen is a six-square icon with the label ‘Apps’. Touch it for access to the full menu of applications installed on your tablet.
  • Next to the ‘Apps’ icon is a large white plus sign. It opens the tool for customizing your tablet’s home screens; we’ll look at it in more detail in a moment.
  • 02-honeycomb-bottom-right-5175468The system clock, network connection icon, and battery level icon are in the lower-right portion of the home screen. Double-tapping this area brings up other options.At the bottom right of the display is a system clock, along with icons indicating your current network connection status and tablet battery level. Tapping this area once will bring up more-detailed information. Tapping it a second time will bring up additional options, including toggles for airplane mode, Wi-Fi, and other system settings.

From time to time, notifications will appear in the bottom-right area of your display–when you get a new e-mail message, for example, or when a calendar reminder comes due. You can tap any notification to view more information about it or you can dismiss it altogether. Click on thumbnail to zoom.

Getting Around in Honeycomb

Honeycomb navigation options; click for full-size image.The main navigation options in Honeycomb are back, home, and multitasking.The area at the bottom left of the screen focuses on navigation. No matter where you are in the system, you’ll always see three icons:

  • The left arrow jumps you back one step–not terribly useful on the home screen, but handy when you’re in applications.
  • The home icon, predictably, takes you back to the home screen. If your tablet is running Android 3.1, your system will remember which panel you last had open and will automatically return you there.
  • 03-honeycomb-multitasking-5175472Honeycomb’s multitasking menu shows a list of recently apps; clicking an entry lets you jump directly to it.The third icon opens the Honeycomb multitasking menu. This menu shows you a list of your most recently used apps and allows you to jump directly to any of them from anywhere in the system.

Occasionally, you may see a fourth icon in the bottom-left portion of your screen. This icon, which looks like a small grid, appears when you’re using a smartphone app that isn’t optimized for the Honeycomb interface. Tapping the icon brings up a list of options for the app; it’s the equivalent of pressing the Menu key on an Android phone.

When you work with apps that are optimized for Honeycomb, the grid icon is supplanted by what Google likes to call the ‘action bar’. The action bar permits apps to use the top-right area of your screen to provide additional options that change, depending on what you’re doing. If you’re looking at your inbox in Gmail, for example, you’ll see an icon for composing a new message. If you’re viewing an individual e-mail message, icons for archiving or deleting the message will appear in the same space.

(click to zoom)

Customizing Your Tablet

All right–ready to start making your Android tablet feel like your own? Tap the plus sign in the upper right corner of your home screen to head into Honeycomb’s customization control center.

05-honeycomb-customization-5175480Honeycomb’s customization control center shows thumbnails of all five home-screen panels plus a list of widgets and app shortcuts.In the control center, you’ll see thumbnails of all five home-screen panels and a list of items that you can place anywhere you like. Some of the items are widgets–which are live, functioning versions of programs that run right on your home screen. Others are app shortcuts–normal static icons that launch applications. You can touch any item to drag it to the panel of your choice; you can also adjust things from the home screen later on, by touching and holding any item to move, delete, or (in certain cases) resize it.

So there you have it: the ins and outs of Honeycomb. Now just grab your tablet, dive in, and don’t worry: You won’t get stung.

As said by JR Raphael

The first time you use an Android phone, one thing becomes immediately clear: You’re not in Cupertino anymore.

Android, as recent Verizon commercials remind us, is the antithesis of Apple’s celebrated handset: It’s open source, fully customizable, and free from unexplained app rejections. If the iPhone is Apple’s inalterable masterpiece, the Android platform is Google’s open canvas. The palette is in your hands; it’s up to you to add color.

We’ve assembled 40 tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Android phone. Some are specific to Android 2.0 or later, but most apply to any Android-based device. And not one of these tricks requires you to jailbreak anything.

So grab your phone, and get started–it’s time for you to become a certified Android master.

Optimize Your Home Screen

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To add a widget, hold your finger on any open space, and then select ‘Widgets’ from the pop-up menu.

1. Make the most of your space by using widgets–dynamic programs that operate right on your home screen. Simply hold your finger on any open space, and then select Widgets from the pop-up menu. Widgets come in a huge variety of sizes and functions, so search the Android Market to find what works for you.

2. Prefer not to be bothered by a sound every time an e-mail arrives? Head into Gmail’s Settings menu and set its ringtone to Silent. You’ll still see new-message alerts in the notification panel at the top of your screen, and you can always pull the panel down to get detailed information. You can configure text messaging and other alert-generating apps the same way.

3. Set up one-touch dialing for the people you call the most. Hold your finger on an open space and select Shortcuts. Then, touch Direct dial and pick the person from your contact list. If one-touch texting is what you crave, use the Direct message option instead.

4. To drop your favorite Web pages onto your home screen, long-press on any site in your browser’s bookmarks and then select the Add shortcut to home option.

5. Try using folders to keep your home screen organized. Long-press on a blank space and select Folders to create one. You can then drag and drop frequently used contacts, apps, or other shortcuts into it to cut down on clutter. To rename a folder, press and hold the folder’s title bar while it’s open.

Get Around Android

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Astro allows you to browse through your phone as you would a computer.

6. Make file management a snap with a utility such as Astro, which allows you to browse through your phone just as you would a computer, navigating directories and moving or deleting files at will.

7. Need to cut and paste text? Long-press on any text input area. If you’re on a Web page, tap the Menu key and use the Select text option.

8. Use Android’s hotkeys to do everything from zooming in to a Web page to opening a program. Check out our complete list of Android keyboard shortcuts to learn them all.

9. You can set your own hotkeys to open apps, too. Head into the main Settings menu, select Applications, and then choose Quick Launch to get started.

10. If the on-screen keyboard pops up when you don’t want it, touch it and swipe downward to make it disappear.

11. You can see the current date at any time by touching your finger to the top-left corner of the screen.

Stay Connected

12. To load files onto your Android phone, plug the handset into your PC and pull down the notification panel. Tap the USB connected box, and then tap Mount when the confirmation dialog box appears. Your phone will appear as a hard drive on your PC, and you can then drag and drop files as you wish.

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Manage your music–and even import your iTunes playlists–with DoubleTwist.

13. Manage your music–and even import your iTunes playlists–with DoubleTwist, a free PC-based utility. The program’s intuitive interface makes Motorola’s Media Link offering look like a bloated relic.

14. Sync your Outlook calendar with your phone without the hassle. Install Google Calendar Sync and let it do the work for you.

15. To sync your Outlook contacts without using an Exchange server, try GO Contact Sync, an open-source utility for your PC.

16. Stay up to speed with your feeds with the help of NewsRob, a handy app that syncs your phone with your Google Reader account.

17. Want to have your PC’s browser bookmarks on your Android phone? Download MyBookmarks from the Market to import them.

Power Up Your Phone

18. Get extra calling power by integrating Google Voice into your phone. Once you’ve signed up for an account, download the official app and watch your options expand. Bonus tip: Add the Google Voice widget to your home screen for one-touch toggling of your outgoing-call preferences.

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You can send text messages for free through Google Voice.

19. You can send text messages for free through Google Voice–everything you need is in the app. Just make sure you change the settings to refresh every 5 minutes so that incoming messages won’t be delayed. If you want faster notifications, log in to the Google Voice Website and configure your account to send you e-mail alerts when a new text arrives.

20. Get unbilled talk time by using Fring, a free mobile chat client for Android. Fring lets you make calls over Google Talk, Skype, and any SIP calling service.

21. Cut down on calling headaches by using the free Dial Zero app to call the companies you do business with. It lets you bypass annoying phone trees and get right to human representatives.

22. Keep annoying callers away by routing them directly to your voicemail. First, open the offending person’s profile in your contacts list. Then, press the Menu button, tap Options, and check the Incoming calls box.

23. The Incoming Calls screen also holds the option for setting custom ringtones for callers. Tap Ringtone and change each person’s tune as you wish.

24. Want to use your own MP3 files as ringtones? No problem: Make a new folder on your memory card and name it ringtones. Copy your MP3s there, and they will automatically show up in your selection list. Folders called alarms or notifications will do the same thing for those respective functions.

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RingDroid lets you easily edit an MP3 to grab a particular segment of a song for your ringtone or system sound.

25. Check out the free app RingDroid. With it, you can easily edit an MP3 file to grab a precise segment of a song for a ringtone or system sound.

26. Android lets you keep multiple browser windows open at the same time. Long-press any Web link to open it in a new window. Tap the Menu key while in the browser to toggle between windows.

27. Prefer seeing Web pages in landscape mode? You can tell Android to always display sites that way. Select the Landscape-only display checkbox in the browser’s Settings menu.

28. Android’s built-in browser isn’t your only option. Try Dolphin Browser for cool features such as tabbed browsing, gesture-driven commands, and multitouch zooming (yes, even on the Droid).

Secure Your Smartphone

29. Android includes an option to use simple patterns to secure your phone; to unlock the handset, you swipe your finger across the screen in a specific pattern. Look for Screen Unlock Pattern under ‘Location and Security’ in the main System Settings menu.

30. Want to back up your phone’s data? Try MyBackup, which saves your apps, contacts, call logs, texts, and even settings to either your SD Card or a secure Internet server. You might also like SMS Backup, which periodically saves all of your texts into your Gmail account.

31. For even more protection, download Mobile Defense. The app allows you to use a PC to track your phone via GPS, remotely lock it, and then back up and wipe all of your data.

Add Essential Apps

32. If you handle a lot of Office files, Documents To Go may be just the thing for you. The free version gives you the ability to view Word and Excel files. The full paid version adds editing capabilities, along with PDF and PowerPoint viewing options.

33. Prefer working in the cloud? Get your hands on GDocs or ThinkFree Mobile Office, both of which make it a cinch to connect with your Google Docs documents.

34. If basic note-taking is all you need, download a PC-synced notepad such as GDocs Notepad With Sync. It saves documents directly into your Google Docs account for easy access.

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For on-the-go photo editing, Adobe’s Photoshop.com Mobile app is tough to beat.

35. For on-the-go photo editing, Adobe’s Photoshop.com Mobile app is tough to beat–and it’s free, too.

36. Jazz up your Android music experience with TuneWiki, which automatically finds and scrolls lyrics next to your songs as they play. Plus, it gives you access to Internet radio streaming and some cool community-sharing features.

Customize Your Phone Completely

37. Adjust how your phone acts by using Locale. The app lets you set custom profiles for practically any circumstance–having your ringer shift to silent when you’re at work, for example, or making your screen glow brighter at night.

38. Take full advantage of your phone’s LED by installing Missed Call, which configures your phone’s light to flash specific colors when calls from certain people slip by.

39. Edit Android’s custom dictionary to include your name and other proper nouns. That way, they’ll pop up in the auto-complete list as you type. Look under Language and keyboard settings in System Settings to get started.

40. If you try an Android app and decide that you don’t like it, return it. The Android Market will give you a full refund for up to 24 hours after any purchase, provided that you haven’t tried to return the same app before.

as said by Eric Mack from PCWorld

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