In the modern digital age, media is king. Whether it’s music blaring out of speakers, photos being styled and shared, movies and TV shows on demand, or the online video craze – we are all consuming entertainment at a mind-boggling rate, on an ever-growing number of devices.
iTunes is one of the most popular platform for organizing and collecting media, and for good reasons – it gets the job done, and it is backed by a goliath of an online store. It does have its limitations, though. If you want to stream media from your iTunes library, you’re going to need an iOS device. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, here, that’s not going to suit you.
An alternative streaming system worth considering is Plex. Once you’ve set up a Plex media server on your Windows, OSX, or Linux computer, you can stream content to nearly any smart mobile device via Plex’s app. Unfortunately, there are times when streaming doesn’t cut it, either because you are restricted by a data cap, or because wi-fi isn’t available. For this kind of problem, Plex offers a syncing service (part of the PlexPass subscription), which, when combined with its beta Plex for PlexPass Android app, allows you to download media to your Android device, with ease.
Or, at least, that is the claim – but can media management really be that simple? Time for a test…
Last week we gave you some advice on how to keep your data, email, contacts and calendar perfectly synced between your Android phone or tablet and an iOS device. Although these are essential elements to synchronize between your devices, replicating media from your iPad or iPhone to your Android device — and vice-versa — can also prove very useful.
Indeed, whether you run out of battery, lose your phone or prefer to use a larger screen, you shouldn’t have to worry about manually transferring your content to every single device you have. To make this chore seamless and transparent for you, we’ve selected a handful of apps and tools that will automate the process.
So much focus is placed on Google’s search and email tools that, despite the massive number of services the company has, it’s still easy to forget about some of the others that are available. Picasa is Google’s photo organization, editing and sharing tool, and Perfect Tool For Picasa is a companion app that’s available for Android.
Perfect Tool focuses on viewing and uploading photos, but also offers the potential for performing basic image editing from your phone or tablet.
With camera lens and sensor specs getting more and more impressive, Android devices have easily become our go-to choice for point-and-shoot cameras. Photos on our phones keep getting better and better but the issue is with transferring and backing up those precious memories seamlessly.
The best place to automatically store photos is in the cloud so we can access them anytime and anywhere. Many apps and services offer this option but with only very little free space — 2GBs is ridiculous given the higher resolution sensors on cameraphones — and expensive additional space. Google+ will backup photos with no storage limit, except it counteracts that by downsizing the image resolution. Wouldn’t it be perfect if we could back those photos up to our Google Drive account, making good use of the free space offered with the reasonably priced additional storage? Well, there’s a simple app called FolderSync to do just that.
Everyone loves sharing and looking at photos. That’s why social networking sites are so hard to stay away from — that’s why Facebook bought Instagram and Google+’s latest app design places such high emphasis on photos.
If you find yourself catching up with friends and families’ photos on a daily basis – or stalking your favorite celebrities through theirs – Pixable will let you get the job done in half the time.
It seems like there’s no end to the buzz around Instagram, the uber-popular photo sharing app initially released to iPhone users back in 2010. First the launch of the Android version two weeks ago, then the surge of new users (10 million in 10 days), and then the acquisition of the company by Facebook. But does the app deserve all the attention it’s getting in the Play Store?
For those of you who came in late, Instagram lets you take photos, apply filters to spice them up and then share them with the world on social networks. The app is free to use and now boasts a community of over 40 million users worldwide. Since it took so long to reach Android users, other developers created photo apps incorporating similar functionality. Let’s shoot a few pictures and see how Instagram holds up on this platform.
Ever taken a photo of something breathtaking, but found later that something snuck in your shot? Or maybe you’ve seen a stunning landscape but there’s some random house in the background. Well now you can remove anything that should not be in a picture with TouchRetouch, an app that’s very simple to use, with a user-friendly interface. It basically brings Photoshop CS5′s context-sensitive fill to your handset.
You’re Android handset comes with a built-in camera application that is fine for taking the odd shot. I’m not sure whether this is specific to my HTC Sense phone, but my stock camera app has options to change photo saturation, brightness, and other variables. There’s also the option to add some very basic filters like sepia and negative. This is a nice set of features that my iPad 2 (and, presumably, an iPhone) doesn’t have and, especially if your phone has a nice five or eight megapixel shooter on it, can be helpful in taking some valuable shots you can look back on.
Cisco’s recent decision to kill off the Flip video camera family also demonstrates that smartphone cameras are becoming the tool of choice for most people’s photo and video capture needs, so these options are becoming increasingly important.
The quote, “the best camera is the one that’s with you”, is tossed around a lot and, although I can’t seem to find its origin, I certainly know it’s true. Everyday moments can be captured with relative ease and with quality to compete with most point-and-shoot cameras. However, these cameras are smart and not like their dumb-phone counterparts. (more…)