When I first saw the Meenova on Kickstarter, the project was still generically called “Mini MicroSD Reader” but it had already obliterated its funding goal, and for good reason. This small unit was designed to be plugged into the MicroUSB port of any Android device with USB On-The-Go support, to allow it to read MicroSD cards. It’s an easy and minimal solution for devices with limited storage and no MicroSD slot.
To say that I had been previously reticent about paying cash for products that weren’t manufactured yet, let alone reviewed, is an understatement. But Meenova was the turning point in my crowdfunding journey, simply because it was too awesome not to pledge for, and too cheap at $12. After all, if the project failed, I wasn’t losing a fortune.
But thankfully, the project did not fail and my Meenova made its way onto my hands last week. Does it stand up to the hype and expectations, and should you preorder yours? Read on to find out.
Fall is here and we’re starting the countdown of the year’s last quarter towards 2014. As time flies by, it brings with it more interesting crowd-funded projects from Indiegogo and Kickstarter.
In the following post, I will take a look at the most original projects that you can pledge for, then list others that are also worth looking at. Read on to discover them all, and keep in mind that, as with any crowd-funded project, you have to exercise your better judgement and no outcome is really guaranteed.
The new fall TV season is upon us and, if you’re anything like me, you’re already giddy with excitement to see your favorite shows return or new ones grace your screen. This TV season promises to be quite impressive, with How I Met Your Mother bowing for its final run, The Big Bang Theory’s nerds improving their social skills one awkward step at a time, Scandal continuing to grab everyone’s attention, and Revolution, Elementary and Arrow returning after a lot of success in their first season.
That’s not to mention the many new exciting shows and incredible actors coming back to TV. James Spader is already causing trouble on The Blacklist, Andy Samberg has induced many giggles on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Robin Williams is going bonkers on The Crazy Ones, Tony Shalhoub and Michael J Fox are set for a big comeback in We Are Men and The Michael J Fox Show respectively. And did I even mention the high-concept Sleepy Hollow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?
So how do you keep track of what’s airing and when? There are probably dozens of solutions, but none have worked for me over the past couple of years as well as SeriesGuide. Being a self-confessed TV addict — my Trakt profile tells me I’ve seen over 5000 episodes in more than 80 series — I can vouch for how well SeriesGuide works for any serious TV enthusiast and in the following post I’ll show you the three features that I really love about it.
Until a couple of months ago, I had never cared about backing up any of my SMS messages before resetting my phone or flashing a new custom ROM. However, I recently started receiving important work-related messages on my phone and got worried about losing them. I spent a few hours looking for a background solution that would save my messages, let me search them, and that would be easy to set up after every reset. Another requirement was for the app to look a little bit more modern than if it were designed in the Android Froyo days. Unfortunately, such an app didn’t exist at the time and I gave up on the search, opting instead for using mysms with its Evernote backup option — which was very intrusive and less than ideal.
However, a few days ago, my good friend Ricky Cadden suggested SMS Backup+ and although I had dismissed the app before because it looked like it was stuck in the Eclair days, I decided to take another look and lo-and-behold, it was updated to fit right at home on any post-ICS device, and it supported Whatsapp backups as well! I have been using the app ever since and I’m quite satisfied with its performance and reliability.
In this how-to, I will explain how I set up SMS Backup+ to save all my communication to Gmail. It should help you use the app for the first few times until you are familiar with its different configurations.
It’s a new month, the back-to-school time for many students of all ages, and another exciting time for Android enthusiasts. Over the past few weeks, several interesting crowd-funded projects have popped up on Indiegogo and Kickstarter and it’s time we took a look at the most interesting ones that you can pledge for.
As with last month, we will pick the most exciting ideas first, then a list of other ones that are worth looking at. Read on to discover them all, and keep in mind that, as with any crowd-funded project, you have to exercise your better judgement and no outcome is really guaranteed.
Whether you’re a small business owner or you manage a huge corporation, whether you’re planning a short trip or a move to another country, or even if you just live in a country that imports most of its goods from the EU or the USA, you probably keep a close eye on the currency rates and conversions.
Take me for example, I own and manage a pharmacy in Lebanon, where we import most of our brand name drugs from the EU. Prices are appointed by the Ministry of Health and changed once the currency rates of their originating countries rise or fall by about 3 to 4%. This part of our work is an exercise in frustration, because if we stock on too much of a drug from France for example, and the Euro declines by 3-4%, the Ministry will lower the drug’s price accordingly and we’ll end up losing a part of our profit margin.
That’s why it’s not only important to have a good currency conversion app, it’s also essential to be able to track a currency’s rate across several months. To that end, I recently started looking for a solution on the Play Store, and fell in love with XE Currency. Read on for my full review.
As someone who works with apps daily, researching, reading, testing and writing about them, I sometimes lose sight of what’s important: apps are personal, customizable, and adaptable. Your choice of apps on your device, the different settings you pick to personalize them, and how and when you use them remains a very individually-oriented experience.
Then I remember Todoist, and how I took a seemingly simple task management app and transformed it into the most efficient inventory and order system for my pharmacy. The adaptation to my needs is so complete that I forget, almost all the time, that this was a task app to begin with. Below is my story with Todoist, told as a reminder that when you take a powerful app and use your imagination a little, you can make it work any way you want it to.
School is upon us and as much as we’d hate to admit that summer is almost over, it’s time to start the preparations. Whether you’re headed to school or college, you’re probably looking for the most efficient ways to get ready for your new schedules and courses.
If you have an Android tablet, be it a new Nexus 7, an old Nexus 7, or any tablet from Samsung, Asus, or other companies, you already own one of the best tools for managing your school life. In this roundup, I will look at some of the best free apps for students — and teachers — to help you make the most of your Android tablet.
I think I speak for all of us here when I say that it always feels great when you can pick any product for a lot less than what it normally costs. That’s why people rush to stores on Black Friday, and why many items always run out of stock when they’re discounted.
But what if you wanted that Black Friday experience all year long? Sure, you could install coupon apps, you could hunt around Amazon, Best Buy or eBay for deals, or you could simply install Slickdeals. It’s a community-driven deal site, with a nice Android app to help you stay on top of the best offers, even when you’re away from your computer.
A couple of months ago, an interesting project appeared on Indiegogo promising a new take on touchscreen keyboards: Minuum. While other keyboards were losing screen estate by adding more functions and buttons, or were trying to revolutionize input by changing the QWERTY input method, Minuum took a more simplistic and minimalist approach. It kept the QWERTY arrangement that everyone is used to, but squished it in height and used smart predictions to correctly insert words despite the lack of precision typing.
Given that my biggest gripe with onscreen keyboards is that they block most of the phone’s screen estate, I liked the premise of Minuum and decided to pledge for it. The first beta was made available a few weeks ago and I’ve been using it on and off ever since. In the following article, I’ll look at the most important questions I asked myself about Minuum before I tried it and answer them for you. Now that you can all buy Minuum for $3.99 in the Play Store, it’s crucial to know whether it’s worth the financial — and learning curve — investment or not.