The chances are that if you’re reading this site then you are comfortable with using Android. If you’re the technically minded member of your family, it’s highly likely that you get called upon to help out with all manner of computer and mobile problems — I know this has long been the case with me!
Helping someone fix a problem can be a nightmarish task. When distance is an issue, you may decide to try resolving the problems with a phone call, but this can turn out to be an extremely frustrating experience for everyone involved: trying to explain how to navigate to different settings in an operating system can be almost impossible if the person on the other end of the phone is not familiar with what you’re telling them to do.
Wouldn’t it be easier to just take hold of their phone and do it for them? Well, of course it would… but sadly it’s no always possible. If you get a call from your mother looking for help, and she’s on the other side of the country, another solution is needed. For desktop operating systems there are numerous remote assistance tools available that make it possible to take control of the computer of the person you are trying to assist so you can make the necessary changes without having to explain it to them step by step. This is exactly what Zikk brings to Android: it is remote assistance for your phone and tablet.
Diary writing is an art of self-documentation that is virtually as old as writing itself. It is also a dying art. A respectable population of journal-keepers there may still be, but aside from these committed wordsmiths, society at large is simply not finding the time to keep a log. That’s a shame.
It also seems like an unnecessary chore. The huge quantity of digital data we produce on a daily basis, if collated, could provide a fairly accurate picture of our by-the-minute activities. Such an idea may seem somewhat futuristic, but this is the ambition which drove development company Dexetra to create the life-logging app, Friday. But this six-man team wanted to go beyond a simplistic journal; Binil Anthony, co-founder and CMO of Dexetra, outlined the vision to me — “to find info of an externality, we have Google and a lot of other search engines. But how do we search for things in our personal lives?”
A good question. With Friday, Dexetra intended to capture much of the data generated in daily phone use and combine it with the natural language processing engine found in their first app, Iris, in order to create a voice-searchable personal database. An incredible concept, for sure, but has it worked?
If you were a Mac user in the late 90s, the must-have game was an open-world 2D space trading simulation called Escape Velocity. You piloted a ship in a vast universe, warping from one star system to another taking on missions, trading, upgrading your ship, duking it out with other ships, and causing mischief. You could play however you wanted to play — be who you wanted to be. It was the greatest realization of the open-world spacefaring concept since David Braben’s much-renowned 80s classic Elite.
This is the context for Space RPG, a game that looks and plays remarkably like Escape Velocity — only less fleshed-out. It feels right at home on Android, and stands strong as one of the better space games on the platform, although EV fans might think it something of a prototype — or a lite version — for a revival of their beloved franchise. Space RPG is good, but it could be way better.
Radio based apps are very synoptic nowadays. Every app basically provides the same structure, with the only difference being the way your stations are presented. Some apps like to break this trend and make the process more unorthodox — the exact aim of PRX Remix. With this app you have a range of different stories played to you, each with an interesting meaning.
Read on to find out how exciting this little app is!
I like to think of myself as a hard worker with a time-wasting problem. I don’t procrastinate. I just accidentally get caught up in tech articles, Instapaper and Twitter. I need all the help I can get to stay on track.
That’s one of the reasons I was interested when I heard about Mobile Worker, a time management app that was supposed to be perfect for freelancers and independent contractors. The app helps you stay organized and ensures efficiency. For me, I just needed a little extra kick in the pants to keep going. I downloaded the free version of the app to see if it would give me what I needed. Read on for my thoughts.
One of the most important functions of a smartphone, for me, is note-taking. I don’t want anything clunky or heavy-handed to do it with either. The app has to sync and it has to work across multiple devices. So while I like Evernote and it fulfills most of those goals for me, particularly if I want to extensively organize my notes, it’s also too cumbersome just for simple little things like lists or brainstorming.
On my iOS devices and my Mac, I’ve been using Simplenote for years. One of the worst things about my Android toys, for me, is that Simplenote wasn’t an option. There is one app called Glance Note, but it’s slow and unwieldy and therefore defeats the purpose. That’s why I was extremely excited to see Simplenote show up for Android devices this month.
Blueprint 3D is one of those things that makes you stop and go, “Huh? How’s that work?” It plays with optical illusions and geometry in the most wonderful, magical ways, time and again wowing you with its clever, delightful puzzles.
There’s lots to like about it, with inventive mechanics, cool presentation, three difficulty levels, and loads of puzzles, and little to dislike. Its one noteworthy fault almost undoes it at times, though, frustrating and testing your patience whenever it pops up.
Mobile phone plans can be quite complicated to manage, depending on your carrier and subscription. Take my own example: I’ve used unlimited data plans in the US and France for a couple of years now and never monitored anything but my data consumption, which was usually capped at 3GB.
But I recently moved to Singapore and found that local plans were a little more traditional, with an actual limit on the minutes, text messages and data you could use each month. Tracking these figures manually was a pain, as there’s no easy way to check how many minutes and text messages I have left on my plan — data consumption on the other hand is fairly easy to keep an eye on. Thankfully, Dodol Phone makes it incredibly easy to track all of this information in a remarkably effective way. (more…)
I might be an oddball, but at this point in the Android game, I really don’t spend a lot of time customizing my Nexus devices. I’ve got a Nexus 4, and Android has been really usable and very friendly since 4.1 — I haven’t felt like it’s really required me to make any changes. And in all honesty, I prefer it when my phone just works like it should. Android is pretty much there.
But sometimes, I still get the temptation to just fiddle with it and see what I can do and it’s a bit of pain mostly. At this point, there are so many ways to customize your Android device that you’ll have to start Googling just to figure out a good place to start. Kitty Play solves some parts of that problem by aggregating a ton of customization resources within one app. The last time I got the itch to customize, I gave it a whirl. Read on for my thoughts.
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.