Alternative App Stores for Linux

"It's clean, sleek, and does what it says on the tin; however, as a FOSS enthusiast you might be looking for something different. If that's the case, then we have for you a list of alternative app stores for Linux that will help you get the software you need instantly."

Android 4.4 vs. iOS 7

"The reason both iOS and Android are the top is solely because of their amazing operating systems. That's why no Apple vs. Android fight is complete without a comparison between their operating systems. So, here we are with a sweet comparison between Android 4.4 KitKat and iOS 7."

How to Install Netflix on Linux

"As omnipresent as Netflix is, it is not officially available on Linux yet. Thankfully, though, developers have come up with unofficial versions of the app. In this article, we'll show you ways to get Netflix working -- using these unofficial versions -- on your Ubuntu or Fedora desktop."

Ubuntu Phone OS vs. Mozilla Firefox OS

"Other minor players are also emerging; however, the ones most people are watching out for are Ubuntu Phone OS and Mozilla Firefox OS. These two operating systems, which offer completely different approaches to mobile computing, are almost ready to cause a disruption in the mobile market. But which one is the better of the two? Well, let's find out."

Get the Flat UI Look on Your Ubuntu Desktop

"If you're a Linux user, you might have noticed that your Ubuntu setup doesn't really live up to the flat trends. While some elements of Nautilus have moved in that direction, it isn't really the "look" you're looking for. Thankfully, in the Linux world, there's an answer to your every prayer."

When it comes to Android, there is never a dearth of messaging apps. From WhatsApp to Line, you can switch to pretty much any messaging service, whenever you want. However, if you are running a company, there are many factors involved before you add a messaging app in the mix. The same solutions that teenagers use to keep up with their buddies won't work amongst your employees. Can be quite frustrating, don't you think?

Don't worry, the following article will help you pick from some of the best instant messaging solutions that you can incorporate in your company. That too, without having to ditch the Android platform.


Hall for Android

If you are a company that works with a lot of cloud-based files, then Hall is a perfect solution for you. Not only does Hall let you message your co-workers, it can also help you connect to your clients, vendors, and distributors. What makes Hall different from other apps is that it integrates with variety of other services, most notably Dropbox and Box. This means that you can take any file from your Dropbox account and share it with someone who needs to see it. Among other integrations, Hall also works with Asana, Trello, Github, Heroku, Jenkins, New Relic, Pivotal Tracker, UserVoice and Zendesk, thus making it a perfect choice for small startups. Hall also works on desktop so that keeping up with your messages from multiple computers becomes quite easy. 


Cotap is another great business messaging solution that gets rid of the main problem many of these apps face and that is of "friending" the other person first. Instead of going through the process of adding people you already know as a "friend," Cotap lets you connect with people in your company by simply typing in their name. This is accomplished by sharing a common address book among the employees of the company. This means that you can contact "Bob" or "Jane" without needing their permission to do so.  



Yammer

Yammer is a social enterprise network that is aimed at making company communications more productive. Yammer gives you your own inbox wherein you can see the latest happenings in your groups and keep up with your coworkers. Moreover, Yammer also lets you share photos with your colleagues and groups making it easier for you to work on detailed projects. Push notifications, on the other hand, make sure you are always abreast of what's happening in your group.



HipChat

HipChat is a hosted messaging solution for teams, groups, and companies. While not solely aimed at enterprises, HipChat can be a wonderful solution if you are working with multiple teams in the same company. What this app does is that it allows you to create persistent chat rooms along with 1-on-1 chats. You can stay in touch with your schoolteacher or your boss, all within the same window. What's great about HipChat is that it lets you preview PDFs and photos in the messaging window itself. HipChat works across Windows, Mac, iOS, and even Linux. The most attractive part is its pricing. That is, the app is free for unlimited amount of users. Of course, if you want to add more features like 1-on-1 video calling you will have to pay for it. 



Intelli IM - Lync, OCS, GTalk

This app aims to be a one-stop solution to all your messaging needs be it personal or enterprise. The apps syncs across multiple devices and provides push notifications so that you are always aware of what's happening no matter where you are and no matter what device you are using. What's fascinating about Intelli Im is that it does a lot compared to other apps. It does GTalk, Lync, and even Google Talk business without you having to switch to another application. If you are looking for an app that does a little more than you expected it to do, this is a perfect solution for you.

Read More...
The battle for the best modern desktop still rages on. Two of Linux world’s favorite distributions are often difficult to choose from, especially if you are new to the penguinland. Whether you are a dabbler, a budding programmer, or an ever-curious tinkerer; choosing your first Linux desktop is a tough choice. Asking on the Internet for random people to make that choice for you, adds even more to the confusion. They will give you various answers, from Slackware and Fedora to Ubuntu and Plan 9. However, if you filter their responses to only pick the most popular ones, the distribution deathmatch can boast of only two contenders in the ring: Ubuntu and Linux Mint.

While Ubuntu and Mint both synergistically grown over the years, their progress hasn’t been able to resolve the desktop newbie’s longstanding dilemma. That is, which of these two is the best for me? Both Canonical and the Mint team have worked quite hard to set high usability standards when it comes to designing their desktops. While Ubuntu boasts of a more modern, platform-agnostic approach toward the PC, Mint leans heavily on familiarity and simplicity. Both approaches have their pros and cons; however, for the confused neophyte, these case points rarely matter. All the user wants to know is, among the latest iterations, which one is the best for her? That’s why, we at TechSource have decided to hold a little deathmatch between the newest versions of two of the most popular Linux ditros out there: Mint 17.1 and Ubuntu 14.10.


Features

It is important to understand that Linux Mint, unlike Ubuntu, comes in two distinct flavors. One is Cinnamon, which is a modern and elegant desktop based on GNOME 3. It has all the latest features and the graphical improvements built-in and is relatively heavy on the system resources. In other words, if you wanted features, performance, and eye-candy all packed into one, Cinnamon does that for you. The other flavor is MATE (pronounced as mahtay), which is designed for older, low-performing desktops. It is based on GNOME 2 and while it looks almost as elegant as Cinnamon, it does make some compromises on the graphics front. Furthermore, MATE is based on code that is no longer maintained as regularly as GNOME 3 and this might cause stability issues later on as you upgrade. So, unless you have a really old machine or an unsupported graphics card, Cinnamon would be the way to go. 


Ubuntu, on the other hand, sticks to a modern desktop with a “Dash” launcher. This approach is similar to mobile where a dashboard pops up every time you hit the Home button (which is, in the desktop’s case the Win/Super key). Unlike Mint, you won’t get choices if your graphics card is unsupported or your system is slow. That said it’s not that big a deal even if you are using a 5-year old computer. One can safely assume your desktop will be able to run Ubuntu perfectly well. 


Mint also offers a lot of extra features like domain blocker, privacy settings, full theming and much more.  The most powerful feature of Mint, however, is that it allows its users to customize their desktops in whichever way they want. And Mint 17.1 takes that to the next level. This latest version lets you change your folder colors, file manager color scheme, screensaver, and even your login screen. You can even change the basic theme to whatever color you want. Most of the customization features are missing in 14.10 and it makes the user accept and use the desktop as-is without any built-in tools for customization. The winner is quite obvious here. Note: For an in-depth look on the new features of Mint 17.1, check out the official blog post HERE

Winner: Linux Mint 17.1


Wallpapers, Goodies, and Extras

While the Canonical team was busy focusing on the mobile version of their operating system, the Linux Mint team was busy taking their desktop to the next level. They focused on keeping the changes simple yet relevant. The latest version brings along a completely redesigned backgrounds application that lets you pick beautiful images from not just this release but from earlier releases as well. Moreover, you can even set the wallpapers to change every few minutes thus keeping your desktop looking fresh all the time.
Nemo, the file manager, now lets you set emblems to your folders. Ubuntu 14.10 on the other hand just brings a new set of wallpapers. The default one though remains the same. Well, it at least appears to do so. Overall, there is no noticeable change in Ubuntu 14.10, apart from the list of updated applications. We hope Canonical at least decides to update their icons for the next iteration of the desktop.

Winner: Linux Mint 17.1


Looks

While Ubuntu 14.10 sticks with the same old Unity desktop, Mint 17.1 races ahead with some important changes to their UI part. The desktop now begins with a zoom animation, giving it a more modern feel. Also, the wallpaper-picker is now completely redesigned, thus allowing you to add wallpapers from previous versions of Linux Mint. Most importantly, though, you can now change the color of your desktop anyway you want. Mint 17.1 gives you complete freedom to fine-tune your computer to make sure it suits your preference. From the mouse pointer to the title bars, everything is customizable; and yet, the default theme looks so gorgeous, you wouldn't want to change it. If it continues on the same path, Mint is destined to become the best-looking desktop around. The winner, hands down is, Linux Mint 17.1.

Winner: Linux Mint 17.1


Performance

In my usage, I found Linux Mint quite stable, and in fact, it was more stable than Ubuntu or any other desktop I've used before. It starts up quick, the elements are snappy, and it rarely hangs or crashes. Whereas on the same computer, Ubuntu performed with a slight amount of glitches here and there. Though those were not severe, it won't take time for anyone to realize that Mint is Ubuntu's snappy, stable cousin.

Winner: Linux Mint 17.1


Conclusion

It is not hard to see why Linux Mint is an object of adoration amongst Linux desktop users. While Canonical is focusing on convergence, the Mint desktop is growing to a point where it doesn’t look like an Ubuntu-based distribution anymore; it now has its own identity. If the Mint team keeps up this pace while not doing anything drastic, they will surely surpass Ubuntu both in quality as well as popularity. They are already the 4th most popular desktop operating system in the world right now and if Ubuntu doesn't step up on the desktop front, that might change very soon.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Read More...

7 Interesting Crime-Solving Games for Android

Posted by jun auza On 1/17/2015
To summon your inner Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew, you don't need to join a detective squad anymore. There are many new games that allow you to solve crimes, catch the bad guys, and prove to the world that there is a master detective in you waiting to be recognized. These games let you play as a detective or a cop for hours and make you rack your brain to come up with clues that will help solve the mystery.

If you are someone who travels a lot, thankfully, most of these fabulous crime-solving games are already available for Android devices. This means you can keep working on cases, fighting crime, and saving the city, no matter where you go.

So, if you are ready to untangle the latest murder mystery in your town, here are some of the best crime-solving games for Android.


CSI (Hidden Crimes)


When it comes to solving crimes, CSI is a well-known franchise. The TV show has millions of loyal fans and its intelligent writing has kept viewers engaged for years. Bringing the same crime-busting thrill to your Android smartphone or tablet computer comes CSI Hidden Crimes. Set in Las Vegas, the game is written by Jack Gutowitz, the writer of the original TV show. Your job in this title is to find clues, analyze the evidence, and finally if everything goes well, solve the case. 



Special Enquiry Detail

In this game, you are responsible for investigating a murder of the daughter of two charity fundraisers. As the game progresses, the list of suspects grows. Leading the case are two smart detectives Turino and Lamonte. The game, much like CSI, involves you investigating the clues and helping the cops bring the criminal to justice. 



Mysteryville 2

When award-winning journalist Laura Winner finds that her friend Bill Witowsky has gone missing, she begins an investigation that takes her to places she'd never thought of. Soon, she finds that the disappearance of Bill is intricately linked to a charity auction the town's priest is throwing. How is Bill's disappearance linked to the auction? Well, that's what you are here for. The game involves you helping Laura solve the mystery by searching all the clues that help her solve the mystery. 



Another Case Solved

In this game, you get to play a famous detective who is responsible for solving a candy conspiracy. Ever since the city has outlawed all sweet snacks, you have to find clues and investigate the real reason behind the ban on candy sweets. What's special about this game is that you get to create your own special detective look with outfits, props, et al. Also, if you are into bragging, this game also supports Google Play achievements. 



Crime Story

Crime Story is a very interesting game that allows you to narrate your own gangsta story. The journey to becoming a mafia boss begins by searching for your kidnapped brother. The storyline of the game alone makes it fun and exciting. You will start from the bottom of the mafia world and you can move up from a common nasty job doer to a respected mobster by eliminating rivals and conquering the town. Your tattoos and scars will help you earn respect from your fellow gangsters. Overall, this is a really good game.



Crime Squad India Driving Game

For Indian Android gamers, this title lets you drive classic Indian vehicles down the streets of Mumbai to help keep crimes at bay. Unlike other crime-busting games on the list, this one doesn't have much of the mystery element to it. The game has more of a "shoot-and-chase" kind of experience. 



Mountain Crime: Requital

In this title, you play a doctor who's visiting a mountain resort. Upon arriving you find the first victim of the mystery. Your job is to investigate the other members of the resort and gather enough clues to find out who's behind this crime. As the game progresses, your character gets further entangled into the whole mystery so much so that you'll now have to worry about saving your life too. Though the game is not free, it's a fun and engaging title that will keep you hooked for hours. 



Read More...

5 of the Best Smartwatches of 2014

Posted by jun auza On 1/07/2015
2014 is rightly dubbed as the year of smartwatches. Everyone from Apple to Samsung has tried their hands on coming up with a smartwatch that gives their company a strong foothold in this emerging new market. Be it the enticing watch-based apps or the fitness-tracking features that promise you to keep healthy, this new emerging piece of hardware has taken the tech world by storm.

Given the massive success of both Android and iOS, it has become easy for consumers to trust big brands like Apple and Google. These mobile operating systems have already become a huge part of our daily lives and having an add-on device that works seamlessly with what we have is a big bonus for not just a tech geek but also for an average user. In 2014, many smartwatches were released, some of them were completely new and some were massive updates to devices that already existed in the market. If you are on the hunt for your next new smartwatch, then read on as we list 5 of the best smartwatches of 2014.


5. Samsung Gear 2

Samsung was one of the first entrants to the smartwatch race. Before Apple or even Android, the Korean giant had ambitious plans to scoop up a market which was still in its infancy. Although with the recent announcements of Apple Watch and Moto 360, their plans have dampened a notch, we still consider Samsung Gear 2 a solid smartwatch. What makes it so special is the fact that it works seamlessly with Samsung smartphones. With a large, crisp display, Gear 2 lets you pick up calls from your phone and read important notifications. The design, though acceptable, presents a brushed metal finish with a leather strap. The specs are good too, with 4GB internal storage, 1 GHZ processor, and a battery life that lasts about 2-3 days. The only flaw with this device is that it runs Tizen, which is good, but not future proof considering where Android Wear is right now. Furthermore, the limitation that the watch only works with Samsung phones is a hard one to overlook. However, if you are a part of the evolving Samsung ecosystem, this might be the perfect device for you.



4. LG G Watch

Though it doesn't look as good as many of the smartwatches on the market, G Watch is definitely a good buy for those who want to get their hands on first-gen Wear. With a slightly lower resolution display of 280x280 and a 1.65-inch screen, this one is a square little unassuming device. It comes with a nice little charging cradle that's incredibly simple to use. It is water resistant and performs considerably well under sunlight compared to other devices. On the negative side, it has a poor battery life, underwhelming design, and lacks support for a wider range of Android devices. Despite its negative aspects, G Watch is definitely a good entry point for anyone wanting to use an Android Wear device.



3. Samsung Gear Live

Another smartwatch from Samsung is the Gear Live, which was released a couple of months after Gear 2. What's the difference? Well, there are better specs, a new wine-red color, lower weight and Android 4.3+ support. It comes with a 320x320 Super AMOLED display that offers a crisp and bright interface.  Most of the specs are similar to Gear 2; however, one thing is dramatically different and that is Android Wear. Even if the Gear 2 had better specs, Gear Live would definitely topple it for the sheer reason that it has Android Wear. Furthermore, its fitness features make up for its terrible battery life and its lack of compatibility with a wide range of Android phones. If you are not a big fan of Samsung's ecosystem and are looking for a nice, feature-packed smartwatch, this one's for you. 



2. Pebble Steel

Pebble Steel still remains a reliable choice for anyone who is looking for a smartwatch that lives up to its name. It's fashionable and thin with a design that is both durable and sturdy. What's different about Pebble though is that it isn't running Android Wear or Tizen for that matter. It has its own operating system and its own ecosystem of apps that make it a worthy investment of your hard-earned cash. Though expensive than the rest, Pebble Steel wins you over with its sheer simplicity, powerful battery life, and ease of use. After all, Pebble has been in this game for way longer than Android Wear or Tizen, and it shows. Pebble Steel offers a refined, mature, and a stable smartwatch experience that is hard to beat. If you own an Android smartphone and an iPhone, Pebble is your only bet right now as it works well with both ecosystems.



1. Moto 360

Moto 360 is an Android smartphone done right. Bridging the gap between technology and style, this affordable smartwatch works just as great as it looks. With wireless charging, the circular watch comes packed with a lot of great features. Made from pure Android Wear, it comes with a 1.56-inch LCD circular display that has a resolution of 320 x 290. The watch frame is stainless steel and along with it you have a matching leather strap that makes it look like a genuinely stylish watch. Moto 360 works perfectly with many devices running Android 4.4+ and is water resistant. Also, Google Now being a major component of the experience works just as smoothly as you'd expect. If we overlook the poor battery performance, Moto 360 is THE smartwatch you should be buying. It's affordable, it looks good, and it does exactly what a smartwatch does.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Read More...

How to Write Screenplays Using Your Android Device

Posted by jun auza On 12/18/2014
If you are a budding screenwriter who's always on the move, writing a screenplay on your Android smartphone is the last thing you'd think of. In fact, there are barely any apps that fulfill the promise of a full-fledged writing experience on your mobile device. Having said that, hope's not lost. Android users who love to travel and love to write will find some of the screenwriting apps that we are about to share with you quite handy.

Most of the following Android apps work very well on Android smartphones. However, one must generally avoid writing full-fledged scripts using the phone’s small screen. What these apps work great for is editing bits and pieces of your script without you having to wait till you get home from work and open your computer. In short, these apps, though few, work quite well, but cannot be relied upon too much so investing in quality desktop screenwriting tools is still highly recommended.


FadeIn Mobile

FadeIn is a fabulous screenwriting application that works across all major platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac. The mobile version of the software is designed to complement the desktop counterpart. This means that you'll be able to edit .fadein files on your smartphone without any difficulties. What's appealing about this app is that you don't have to worry much about formatting as it's automatically taken care of. Also, if you are someone who worries a lot about losing your files, FadeIn hooks quite nicely with your Dropbox account thus allowing you to safely backup your script. The only and perhaps the biggest drawback of this app is that it doesn't work with .FDX files or any other major file formats in the industry. 



Celtx Script


Celtx is a well-known free application that lets you write screenplays across multiple platforms. Its desktop counterpart retains most of the features that let you write scripts in screenplay, AV, stage play, audio play, and comic formats. To use the app, you'll need to sign up with a free Celtx account. This means that your scripts will be safely backed up and synced to the cloud without needing any external account. Though the app doesn't come with many fancy features, it is still useful for quickly typing out things on the go.



DubScript Screenplay Writer

DubScript undoubtedly has to be one of the most feature-rich applications on the list. The app works with four of the major script formats: Fountain 1.x, Final Draft (.fdx), Trelby, and CeltX (.html). And yes, this is the only app that provides you a suitable environment for creating a screenplay from scratch and then exporting it. What makes DubScript so special is that it uses the Fountain markup. This means that you won't have to waste unnecessary time focusing on the format of your screenplay. Just write and the app will handle the formatting part for you. Once you are done writing the script, it is neatly formatted by the app and can be exported as .fdx or even an .html file. If you want to print it directly, you can use Android's printing functionality to do that. The app can also export files into PDF format. You can then send those files to anyone one else by exporting the file via email, Evernote, or even Twitter if you are a little courageous.



MyScreenplays

MyScreenplays is another great app for writing screenplays on your smartphone or tablet. What makes this app stand apart is that it provides a unique non-linear approach to screenwriting. In other words, you can pick out any part of your script and start editing it whenever you want to. Most of the formatting happens automatically without you having to worry about it. MyScreenplays acts like a non-linear video editor but for screenplays. As for the supported file formats, the app can both import and export files in .fdx format. If you want, you can also export in HTML, Doc, PDF, and Celtx. Apart from extensive support for various popular formats, MyScreenplays also comes with some great editing options.



Read More...
Chrome has transformed itself from a mere browser to a full-fledged operating system. It now has apps, extensions, themes, and a complete ecosystem built around it. Developed by Google, this browser, which is based on an open-source project, has become one of the most popular products made by the search giant. In fact, combined with Android, Chrome has the potential to become a formidable force that might be able to completely unshackle users from the clutches of Microsoft.

Chrome OS on the other hand, isn't lagging behind either. Its popularity is growing in huge numbers and a more tangible proof of that is Evernote, a company that has created an app just for them. This ever-growing presence of Chrome coupled with the domination of Android is like a Google fanboy's dream come true.

Having said that, despite its soaring success, Chrome isn't as great as it used to be when it first started. What used to be a blazing fast alternative to the then-reigning Firefox has now become a bit bloated. Too many features and tracking that may drive privacy conscious people a tad crazy has pushed a few people to go back to the mighty fox. While we don't think a regular Chrome user would be able to move to another browser so easily (given the amount of services it's tied to) we think Firefox still deserves another chance. It's a browser that has stood the test of time and has matured despite the strong competition.


1. Customization: This is a big area where Firefox's new Australis revamp has managed to take the browser a couple of steps ahead of Chrome. With the new design, you can customize pretty much any area of Firefox thus making it look the way you want. Be it a download button on the toolbar or an address bar that sits alone just like you have on Chrome, Firefox lets you shape your browsing experience any way you want.

2. Privacy: Google's main revenue source is advertising. And needless to say, that worries a lot of people who are concerned about their privacy. With Google's tracking built-in, Chrome tracks your searches in the Omnibox along with the suggestions. Also, most people don't like having all their data in one place, and that's why ditching Chrome might be a good idea. Firefox, on the other hand, has a strict focus on maintaining its users' privacy and this might help soothe any frustrations you have about making the switch. 

3. Better Extensions: When it comes to extensions, Firefox still reigns supreme. What makes its extensions so good is that they fit in perfectly with the rest of the browsing experience. Also, they allow you to change or modify pretty much every aspect of your browsing experience, something you'd rarely find in Chrome. Overall, Firefox's add-ons, though many of them require a restart, are much more mature and stable as compared to those on Chrome.

4. More organized:
Compared to Chrome, Firefox's browsing experience is much more organized. Firefox comes with Tab groups out of the box, which allow you to club various types of tabs together and thus reduce clutter. Think of it like virtual desktops for your browser. What's good about the feature is that it's easily accessible. Just press Ctrl+Shift+E and the browser zooms out allowing you to rearrange the tabs in groups. You can even search through your tabs in this zoomed out mode thus relieving some of the tab overload we face on a daily basis.

5. Completely open source: Last, but not the least, Firefox is completely open source. This means that you can trust on it more than any other type of software in the world. Chrome, on the other hand, is based on an open-source project called Chromium. As much as Google emphasizes the fact that it's "based on an open-source project," it's still not open-source, and many FOSS enthusiasts like us agree with the fact.


Conclusion: Firefox is not perfect. It still has some aspects wherein Chrome will beat it hands-on if there ever was a competition between the two. But if there were a war between all the browsers in the world, both Firefox and Chrome would come out on top making them the two best choices any Internet user could make.


Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Read More...

How to Build Awesome Android Apps

Posted by jun auza On 11/17/2014
Over the years, Android has grown from a simple mobile operating system to a highly profitable ecosystem. Among the people to benefit from this growth are Google, gadget manufacturers (Samsung, HTC, Motorola), and millions of app developers from around the world. With multiple ways to monetize applications, Android has been responsible for turning many small-time developers into the "rich geeks" who have made quite a following for themselves in the pop culture.

What makes Android app development so appealing is that it is based on Java, which is a language pretty much every guy or girl with a computer science degree knows. Secondly, Android being open-source and free to develop with, anyone can start making apps right away without spending a single buck. All you need is an Internet connection and some coding skills. This is a far cry from Apple's model wherein you have to pay Apple to become a developer.

Making apps on Android can be fun, informative, as well as monetarily rewarding. If you are willing to put in some time and effort into learning the basics of Android app development, you will be making good apps very quickly. If your idea is unique enough and the app is relatively bug free, you can release it in the Google Play Store and watch it become popular. You can also monetize it by enabling in-app payments, ads, and even putting a small price for your app.

So, if you are excited about learning how to develop Android apps, read on as we have links to some of the best tutorials out there for getting started.


Official Android Tutorials

Google offers a lot of official tutorials that can help you learn Android from the guys who made it. These go a lot in depth and are easy and fun to follow along. A great place to start is the Android Training Guide that starts off by helping you create your first Android project. Then, as the course moves forward, you'll learn to deal with various elements of the development process thus helping you create solid, well-designed apps that look exactly the way Google intended them to. If you are starting off, take some time and read through all of the notes. These will help you with everything be it security, notifications, or even monetization. For additional help you can check out the Android Developers YouTube channel which has a lot of hands-on examples on the development process.


Vogella

Vogella is a training and consulting website that has a lot of free tutorials. One of them is Android Development by Lars Vogel. This tutorial takes you from the very basics like "What is Android" to advanced stuff like modifying XML files. Complete in itself, Vogella takes you from the basic steps of downloading the SDK to the more advanced steps of emulating the app, testing it, and finally deploying it. The whole tutorial can be read from the single web page and is full of useful diagrams and images. If you are following it, make sure you keep it bookmarked.


Android Fundamentals/Udacity Free Course (By Google)

Google wants to make sure that more and more people start taking advantage of its huge ecosystem. That's why, partnering with Udacity, the search giant has created a full course that combines both practice and theory. The course starts right away with the UI then moves to more advanced topics like responsive layouts, background services, and third-party integration. This course, unlike others on the list, requires you to have at least 3 years of programming experience in Java or any other programming language.


Android Application Development Tutorials (by thenewboston)

Thenewboston is a popular YouTube channel that has a fantastic set of tutorials on various tech skills. One of them is its playlist on Android application development. The tutorial covers pretty much all basics of Android app development with most of the concepts neatly explained by the narrator. Instead of talking to the screen, the host demonstrates the coding process in action thus helping you learn a lot.


Android Development for Beginners by Derek Banas (YouTube)

This playlist by Derek Banas on YouTube is great for someone who wants to make a simple Android app in a week or so. It focuses mainly on App Inventor, which is a WYSIWYG tool for creating simple Android apps. While this tutorial won't help you build the next WhatsApp or Snapchat, it will definitely give you some head start in creating some simple apps.


Android Training Tutorials by Lynda.com

Lynda.com is a popular subscription-based website that gives you access to hundreds of great online tutorials. Android Training tutorial is one of their courses which is quite useful if you are a complete beginner and are looking for something that's both easy-to-follow and useful. In the course, you'll be creating an Android app from scratch as you build it with Java. Though a paid course, it's not a bad investment for someone who is looking for something comprehensive and beginner-friendly.


Android Design Guidelines

This is not a tutorial but a set of principles and guidelines that will help you make your app look like the way it’s meant to be on Android. Many rookie developers -- and some big ones too -- make the mistake of creating apps that look and feel completely out of place. They go in with the thinking that they'll create two apps, one for Android and one for iOS while keeping the design same for both of them. This not only makes the apps you have look weird and clunky, it also shies many customers away from your app. A great way to remedy this problem is study the guidelines first, make a blueprint for the app, and then start creating it.


Learn by Doing - Android for Beginners

This is a great free course with more than seven hours of content that teaches you Android programming in a more practical way. Learn by Doing teaches exactly the way you want it to -- in practical hands-on videos aided by elaborate videos. Accompanying the instructions are exercises to test and hone your skills. Overall, the course is targeted towards helping you get an app running as quickly and as efficiently as possible. If you are looking for something in-depth, make sure you go through Android's official guide, which is quite exhaustive and covers a lot of important concepts. That being said, you'll definitely end up learning a lot of stuff about Android development thus helping you springboard to more complex development topics.


Creative, Serious and Playful Science of Android Apps by Coursera

If you are excited about creating your first Android app but also want to learn more about the science of what goes behind building it, this next course is just for you. Created by University of Illinois, this is an 8-week course that will take you through creating your Android app, working with various libraries, and yes, along with that you get to learn all the computer science fundamentals. If you are planning to take this course, expect investing around 7 hours a week in it. This is a great starting off point for anyone who wants to get into Android development, as it requires no prior experience in computing. Passing all the tests and completing the course diligently will earn you a verified certificate from the University of Illinois.

Read More...

Best Android Apps Created by Celebrities

Posted by jun auza On 11/06/2014
When Kim Kardashian came up with her own game and it made her millions of dollars, the whole world went a bit crazy. Among the critics of this new phenomenon were many "app purists" who were a bit perturbed by the success of an allegedly second-rate application. However, upon actually using the app, many users have loved it. In fact, there are many people who aren't fans of Kim Kardashian and her reality TV clan; however, they do enjoy the game quite a lot.

In today's interconnected world many apps created by celebrities are usually looked down upon. And yes, many of them are really, really bad. However, some of them do stand out. Some of them are actually worth trying. So, in today's article we're listing some of the best applications created by celebrities:


Shatoetry by William Shatner

Have you ever wanted to write poetry? Okay, well, have you ever written good poetry? And how about somehow you could get William Shatner to read your poetry? Wouldn't that be cool, eh? Well, this next app brings a similar experience to your Android smartphone or tablet. Created by William Shatner himself, the app lets you arrange words so as to create poetry or witty quotations. Then, once you are done, you can have it read in William Shatner's voice. Though not really exciting at first, but it is a very unique idea since you can keep using the app endlessly. 



Snoopify by Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion

Apart from being a famous musician, Snoop Dogg/Snoop Lion is known for his distinct look and his laid-back persona. This app is probably as close as you can get to taking a picture with him. Though this at first looks like yet another "Photobooth with celebs" kind of app, it does prove itself much more useful. All you have to do is take a picture or add a picture from your gallery. Add a funky sticker from a sticker pack (stickers like bling bling, some cool-looking shades, or even pictures of Snoop Lion) and then add them to your own photo. The stickers when added to the photo make it look quite funky and the effects don't look out of place at all. The app can be quite fun to play around with, even more so if you are a big Snoop Dogg fan.  



Kim Kardashian: Hollywood by Kim Kardashian

While many consider this a bad application, we have quite a different opinion. What makes Kim Kardashian Hollywood so special is that it lets ordinary people experience the Hollywood lifestyle without burning giant holes in their pockets. The whole celebrity lifestyle in one game is quite entertaining and can quickly become a guilty pleasure for even those who don't like the posh LA lifestyle. This is definitely an app that looks quite simplistic at first but then quickly gets addictive. 



Taylor Swift Greeting Cards by Taylor Swift

This is a great application that lets you create and send customized greeting cards to your loved ones. Created by Taylor Swift, the app creates cards that are quite attuned with Taylor's style and personality. Once installed, you start out by choosing a template for the card. This could be a picture of a cute dog, a Happy Birthday message, or even an inspiring quote by Taylor Swift. Then, add your message, sign the card, preview it and send it. What makes this app special is its simplicity and ease of use. It is a great greeting card app to use even if you aren't a big fan of Taylor Swift. 



Alicia Keys: Mama Mae & LeeLee by Alicia Keys

Probably the best app on the list, Alicia Keys' foray into the world of apps seems to have struck quite a chord amongst the kids. Specially designed as a unique storytelling experience for children, this app is about an eight-year-old girl facing everyday challenges with the help of her wise grandmother, Mama Mae. The character of Mamma Mae is voiced by the popular actress Della Reese with songs by Alicia Keys herself. If you have a kid at home, this is a great app to have. 



Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Read More...

7 Nifty VLC Tricks You Should Know

Posted by jun auza On 10/27/2014
VLC started as an academic project in 1996 and back then it was called "VideoLAN Client", and hence the name VLC. Soon, however, it grew to become a client as well as server that can be used to stream videos across the network. Its popularity showed steady growth leading up to the development of Version 1.0 that was released in 2009. In other words, the project took 13 years of development to reach its first major release, something that shows us how stable the open-source tool has indeed become.

Be it Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, VLC still remains the undisputed king of media players. From playing YouTube videos and MP3s to helping you enjoy Blu-ray movies, this open-source tool is regarded as one of the indispensable tools every desktop user should have installed. If you are using Linux right now, chances are you are a VLC user too. And if you are, we've got some useful tips for you that will help you get the most out of it.


1. Taking Screenshots of the Currently Playing Video

Whenever you are playing a video, you can grab a quick screencap without even pausing. All you have to do is press the combination Shift + S and your screenshot will automatically show up in the Pictures folder. If, however, you are using Mac OS X, use the shortcut Cmd + Alt + S and the snapshot will be waiting for you in the Pictures folder. 


2. Bookmark a Position in a Video

Imagine you are busy watching your favorite movie and suddenly your smartphone rings. It is a bummer right? Start the video again and then seeking to the last position you were on. Thankfully, VLC saves you the trouble by letting you bookmark a position in the video so that you can come back to it whenever you want.

All you have to do is go to the menubar and then Playback -> Custom Bookmarks -> Manage. A new window will pop up. Here, simply click on the button that says "Create" and you will have the bookmark at your disposal whenever you want.

Note that you can also use this for listening to audiobooks as well where bookmarking plays an important role.


3. Record the Currently Playing Video/Audio

If you listen to streaming audio or watch a lot of online videos natively, this next tip will help you keep the best bits to yourself. By recording a currently playing song or video, you can re-listen to it whenever you want.

To start recording, simply go to the menu bar and navigate to View -> Advanced Controls. Once you do that, a small red button will show up below the video or audio. Click on it and the stream will be saved to your default Videos or Music folder.


4. Record from a Webcam

If you are a wannabe rising YouTube star, this tip might help you a lot. VLC, apart from playing your favorite movies, also lets you do a recording from the webcam. Simply go to Media -> Open Capture Device. There, you'll find a dropdown menu. There, select DirectShow to select your webcam. Once that is done, start recording by hitting the red button. The video will be stored in the default videos folder.


5. Play Video Files in .zip and .rar Archives

The next time someone hands you a bunch of video files packed in a .rar archive, simply open it in VLC and it will play. VLC reads through the archive letting you play the video files contained in it.


6. Watch a YouTube Video Without a Browser

Instead of watching a YouTube video in a distraction-ridden webpage, you can use VLC to watch it on your desktop. Simply click on the menu bar -> Media and click Open Network Stream. There, paste the URL of your favorite video and it will start playing automatically. Alternatively, you can press Ctrl + N anytime and paste the video directly.


7. VLC Does Podcasts Too

VLC can do a lot more than playing videos and music. It also acts as a full-fledged podcast downloader and player. Open VLC and if the playlist view isn't showing up yet, press Ctrl + L or hit the playlist button at the bottom. In the left pane under Internet, you'll find an option that says Podcasts. Hit the grey button besides it and paste your favorite podcast URL.

Read More...
Being a farmer in the bustling cityscape might not be the ideal dream for you. However, if you are still keen on doing that, you can do it anywhere. But wait, before you head out to your lawn and start planting seeds, relax and pull out your Android smartphone or tablet.

Yes, do that now because in this list, we are going to help you build not only your own farms but your own towns as well. Of course, these are just games, but you'll be surprised how hooked you'll be once you start playing them.


Green Farm

Imagine inheriting an old manor from your uncle. However, despite your really good luck, it isn't as good as you'd wanted it to be. Your mission in this game is to secure it, beautify, and grow a complete farm in front of the manor. Once you start building the farm, you'll come across many missions that involve full farming, harvesting, and even crafting. Of course, you'll have help from your friends and neighbors, but most of the time, you'll be on your own. The game works quite well on tablets as well as smartphones.



Farm Story

With over 150 varieties of fruits, flowers and vegetables, Farm Story is a game that lets you build beautiful farms in no time. You can design your own farm by decorating it with trees, fences, and buildings. Once you've designed your ideal farm, plant the crops so that they start growing. You can even invite neighbors to watch your crops grow, making this game even more fun. As with many titles in this genre, Farm Story is free to play but also offers paid in-game upgrades. Worth giving a shot if you love building farms.



Farm Town: Happy Day

This game is one where you get to do pure farming. You can grow variety of crops, hay, vegetables, fruits, and berries. Moreover, you get to help your neighbors build their own farms too. Apart from basic farming, you also get to take care of cute pets as you keep gathering resources in building your dream farm. 



FarmVille 2: Country Escape

Quite possibly the most popular game in this genre, FarmVille is a title that started it all. Not only can you build and grow your own farm, you can also do a variety of activities that traditional farming games don't offer. Making use of the right resources, you get to make various gourmet foods, raise farm animals, go fishing with fellow farmers, and build a whole new family farm by the coast. What makes this game stand out is the sheer size of its universe. Furthermore, there's offline play, multi-player, and even the ability to play co-op with your friends online. No wonder Farmville still remains the king of farming games despite having formidable competitors. 



Adventure Town

With over a million users, Adventure Town still remains one of the best titles in the town-building genre. What sets this game apart is the ability to create your own unique heroes who will defeat villains and save your town from danger. Not only does this title let you build your own town, it also lets you fight against evil monsters at every major level. This combination of light combat and city-building make it a highly engaging game.



Triple Town

Quite unlike the traditional town-building games, Triple Town stands apart by adding the puzzle element to it. The game moves forward only one premise: the larger the city you build, the more points you score. Though a turn-based, "thinking required" game, it is highly addictive even if you are looking for something casual to spend your Sunday afternoon playing. Triple Town has raked more than 5,000,000 downloads since its release and has been rated quite well by Android users worldwide. 



Town Maker

Town Maker, as the name suggests, lets you build any kind of town you want. Be it a village or a whole new city, this one got it covered. With bright funky graphics and lots of engaging elements, Town Maker excels in pushing the limits of what you can build on your Android smartphone or tablet. Be it putting the Eiffel Tower in the middle of a primitive village or the pyramids in the midst of Victorian buildings, this is a game that will let you explore your creativity. 



Written by: Abhishek, a regular TechSource contributor and a long-time FOSS advocate.

Read More...

Archive


"Action is the real measure of intelligence" ~Napoleon Hill

Twitter

Tumblr

Google +