Before I entered the social part of the Internet, I was reluctant to share any kind of information. I can’t really remember how it all changed, it’s funny, because it wasn’t even that long ago — four or five years. Now I’ve got an account basically on every website I visit on a daily basis, including social sites. This means Facebook, Google+ and let’s not forget about twitter. At first, I was attracted to the idea of micro-blogging: sharing things you do as they happen, without the need of logging them or remembering them at the end of the day was different, and quite intriguing. Even though news sites and blogs use Twitter to spread the word about their published articles, it is still that micro-blogging service that we all know and love.
As with all services out there, Twitter has an API (Application Programming Interface) that enables application developers to create countless applications for viewing feeds and analyzing data. Devs have done just that and there are numerous clients on the Play Store that cater to different types of users. The one that caught my attention was Twitter’s own application and today I’ll try and share with you why I use it and not any other third party application.
From the release of the Nexus 7 in the summer to a whole line of Nexus products in the fall, Android has come a long way in the past year. Sadly, hurricane Sandy struck the USA’s East Cost right when Google wanted to proudly unveil their newest line-up, so their announcement was restricted to mass e-mails and an online launch.
Alongside the Nexus 7, Google launched the Nexus 10, a 10-inch NVIDIA Tegra 3 powered tablet, and the Nexus 4, a 4-inch smartphone with a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. To support these devices, the company “refreshed” Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, giving it a version bump to 4.2, while retaining the Jelly Bean codename. Want to find out the improvements done? Read on.
There are many Twitter applications on the Play Store, from the official Twitter application, to Plume, Tweetdeck or Seesmic. All of these have their own style and functionality. In Tweetdeck, you can customize the font and the number of columns in the application as well as connect to other services like Facebook and Foursquare. Seesmic has a similar feature set but uses a different UI style. Plume follows a Holo-like look and offers an impressive — and slightly daunting — amount of features.
The only major downside in most of these applications is that they lack UI color customization. Tweedle is a Twitter application that tries to close this gap with full UI theming freedom. However, it’s still in development and major updates are slightly sparse as the developer considers this his side-project.
As a student I’m always taking notes on the go thanks to a small notepad and pen that I keep with me almost all the time. The problem is that you can always forget your notepad or your pen could run out of ink. However, one thing that you never forget is your smartphone.
A great number of applications on the Play Store can act as your notepad, but there’s one that caught my eye. Catch Notes is a great way to create, manage and share notes. Not only that, but Catch is designed for collaborative note talking – perfect for any small project you might be cooking up with your friends and colleagues.
Music apps these days either play music or recognise music that’s already playing. One app in particular does both, and more.
musicXmatch finds the lyrics of whatever song you are currently listening to on your Android. It’s great if you are a death metal listener but can’t really understand the screams.
These apps are not just ones that I found within the last week. These are apps that I’ve been using every day for months. Some are for the average user, some require a special demographic, but all in all they’re apps that I can’t do without.
Once upon a time music sharing wasn’t even possible. Can you believe it? If you wanted to listen to an album a friend recommended you, you had to go to the music store and buy a vinyl disc . Of course, you could’ve went to his place and listen to it there, but if you wanted to listen to it yourself you had to buy it. Later, magnetic cassettes made everything easier. They were also quite fun, jamming and all that. And who doesn’t remember the good old pen rewind method?
Nowadays if you hear a track on your friends media player (smartphone or not) you can give a quick YouTube search for the band for more of its tracks and if you really like them, hop into iTunes, Amazon or any other online music store and download it. But this is not about that. This is about how we share what we listen to to our friends. Sure you can send a YouTube link via e-mail, IM, or posting it on your Facebook Timeline or Twitter Feed, but that would be time consuming. What if there where a site where every track you listen to gets saved for all the people to see? Well, there is.
Bloggers used to be a rare breed of people. Blogging required a little bit of creativity. Not anybody could just sign up for a blog and start writing. Blogging on the go started to become more popular when laptops became available, but until wireless connectivity became ubiquitous, bloggers only converged at Internet Cafés and major events. But add netbooks and widespread Wi-Fi, and you have instantly more bloggers.
But this article is not about bloggers. No, this is an article about what came after the netbooks and Wi-Fi. If you have a WordPress blog, a smartphone, and a mobile data plan, it’s easier than ever to blog. Just download the WordPress application from the Android Market and you’re ready to go.
A while back I wrote a guide about making time lapse videos with your Android. There, I showed you the basics of time lapse, and gave a small review of two apps: Tina Time Lapse and TimeLapse, both very capable applications. Lapse It would have been on my list, but at that time it was built for the Adobe AIR Platform, which my phone doesn’t support.
Lapse It has since been redesigned from the ground up as a fully native app. This means it’s faster and more robust than any previous version. Naturally I had to give it a try, and in this article I’ll give you my thoughts.
I’ve been a fan of Android phones ever since my first contact with one a couple of years ago – and yet, at the time I didn’t even realise Android was an operating system. These days I’ve got a much deeper understanding, and am up to date on almost all of the latest news as it comes out – in fact, if something happens and I’m not aware of it almost instantly, I feel rather embarrassed.
But I was a happy smartphone user even before I was an Android geek, so I have to wonder: are smartphones only for tech geeks, or are they targeted to everyone?