As a tech writer, I read a lot of RSS feeds. Hundreds, maybe more. All day, every day. It's one of the first things I check every morning, and the last before bed. And dozens of times throughout the day. When I first started as a writer, Google Reader was my go-to RSS reader, both on my PCs and mobile. It didn't take long to realize GR's shortcomings on both platforms, however. So, after a little convincing from Artem, I switched to FeedDemon on my computers. It's a fantastic application and has increased my ability to find good, relevant content by at least 10 fold.
I have some news for you, guys: Pinterest isn't just for women. Contrary to what some people may believe, it's actually a service for, well, everyone. In fact, I've been using it to research desk and home office ideas for the last few weeks, and it has been a fantastic aid in my quest to find the perfect setup.
Here's how it all started: I routinely check some of my favorite office design sites - like Minimal Desks and Simple Desks (the latter of which isn't updated as often) - for new ideas on how to rearrange my home office in a more simplistic and minimal, yet practical way.
Android's selection of good incoming Caller ID apps is a bit meager. While a search of the Play Store yields many options, most of them are deficient in one important way or another (or, not free), or flat-out sketchy. One of the more popular ones was actually WhitePages Caller ID - which Current Caller ID replaces, as it's made by the same company.
What makes WhitePage's app special (and better than others), in part, is that it utilizes the company's rather extensive curated directory of phone numbers - over 300 million currently.
Current Caller ID also brings in a social element, pulling data from your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts to provide even more information about the people calling you.
We've been talking about Chameleon Launcher for a few months now, and despite getting off to a bit of a rocky start, the beta is now officially available for some testers and Kickstarter backers. I've spent the last several days playing with the launcher on a couple different tablets, and, despite the fact that it's still in beta, have been generally impressed.
For the unaware, Chameleon is a new type of launcher designed specifically for Android 3.0+ tablets. It takes a different approach than "traditional" launchers by turning the homescreens into size-adjustable, seamless hubs of information. For the time being, it only offers a handful of different "widgets," including GMail, weather, Twitter, Instagram, and news (RSS).
Over a year ago, I reviewed an interesting life journal app called Friday. The app aimed to record every single interaction a user had with their smartphone, including calls, texts, mails, photos, social activities, and songs played. My conclusion was that while Friday was a polished app, it was doubtful whether it would actually be useful. The developer Dexetra then spent a year running alpha and beta tests, and their latest version of Friday is a lot more polished, with an improved focus.
Updates to Friday
In terms of overall function, Friday has not changed very much. It collects a variety of information about what you are doing and then displays it, with answers and analytics.
One of the things that we didn't have chance to cover at Samsung's Galaxy S III event last week was the presence of Flipboard on all of the demonstration units on show. Naturally, this has led to speculation that the release of Flipboard for the rest of the Android community may be coming soon - Flipboard's website says that it "will be available on select Android mobile phones" in the coming months - but you won't have to wait and find out, as the .apk file has already been taken from the Galaxy S III and shared for other Android users to install.
There has been a trend lately of apps being released that act more like traditional floating windows. LilyPad HD, OverSkeen, and AirTerm have all garnered a lot of interest, but they are single use apps. Floating Widget does just what its name suggests: it makes widgets float on top of your apps. The implementation is a little odd at first, but once you learn the rules, Floating Widget is useful in a number of situations.
The actual Floating Widget app isn't the most intuitive, and the instructions it offers at start-up are hard to follow until you actually dive in.
Search has always been a big part of Android, and for many things, Google's built-in solution works fine. If you're looking for a better way to search through your data in the cloud, look no further than CloudMagic. The app does take a bit of setup, but once you're in, CloudMagic assists you in digging through your data in a very compelling way.
Setting Up CloudMagic
CloudMagic does not just exist on your phone. This is a service that you are granting access to your data, and it requires you to create an account to manage all those connections. After you get logged into CloudMagic itself, you have to add your services.
Are you looking for a new way to send images to friends with a twist? Or maybe you've just been reading a few too many John le Carré novels lately? Either way, you may be interested in this neat little application that's available in both paid and free versions for Android called Camopic.
Camopic, like many apps that are available for Android, allows you to share images with your friends, but when both parties are using Camopic on their phones, the true image that is being sent can be hidden behind another one.
Finding Your Way Around
The user interface of Camopic is as about as simple as one can be.
If you've ever dreamed of syncing your Android apps and games up with your PC and using them on a larger screen you'll be excited to hear that your dreams are becoming a very well-designed reality. Actually, if you've been following along with the development of BlueStacks then you know that this dream-to-reality transition has been in the works for several months now.
For those of you that don't know exactly what BlueStacks App Player is, it's exactly what the title implies - an app player that allows you to run Android applications on Windows (a Mac version is also in the works).