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."

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Best YouTube Players for Ubuntu

Posted by jun auza On 10/17/2014
YouTube is one of the best things that happened to the Internet. From the latest music videos to the full-length movies, this Google-owned website is used by millions of people around the world. What's more appealing about this site is that it has also given rise to thousands of "YouTube Stars" who have developed a full-time career out of making videos. In other words, YouTube has grown from being a mere video-sharing site to a content platform.

Having said that, one of the biggest gripes about the site is that it can only be accessed via a web browser. You have to start the browser, open the site, and wait for the video to buffer. Not so cool. Thankfully though, developers have come up with some nice apps to overcome that limitation. These apps allow the users to circumvent the web-only restriction of YouTube and watch their favorite videos on the desktop. Such apps are widely available on Windows and Mac and some of them even allow users to download the videos.

As for Ubuntu users, there are still plenty of reasons not to be disappointed. There are about half a dozen YouTube apps already available for Linux and in this article, we're bringing you a list of the best of them.


Minitube

If you hate Flash, Minitube is your best bet when it comes to watching YouTube. This fabulously designed application looks as if was meant for the desktop and desktop only. What Minitube does is that it focuses on making sure that you do everything that you'd normally do on the YouTube website on your desktop. And yes, it does live up to its expectations. One of the best features of this application is that it allows you to subscribe to channels you like without having a YouTube account.

Other features include spelling suggestions, filtering videos by date, and a full-screen mode with cursor support. One nifty addition to the software is the ability to find parts of a video that are in a series. This means that you'll be able to enjoy long movies or concerts that are uploaded in parts, without having to search around for them after every video.

To install Minitube, type in or paste the following commands in your terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install minitube



Atraci

Atraci is an amazingly simple app that focuses more on music rather than the video themselves. If you are someone who visits YouTube just to listen to your favorite songs, this app is for you. Simply search for your favorite artist and then the song will start playing instantly. You can also watch the video if you want which is shown at the bottom left corner of the screen.

To install Atraci, simply type in or paste the following commands in your terminal (Ctrl + Alt +T):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/atraci
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install atraci



VLC

VLC, though a general media player, can also function as a great YouTube player. All you have to do is copy the URL of the video you are watching on YouTube. Then, press Ctrl + N in the VLC main video. There, paste the video URL and wait for it as the video starts playing. Although this is not a convenient method for watching videos on YouTube, it is still a great trick for enjoying the familiar comforts of a desktop. 

  

(For the Geeks) Command line YouTube player - MPS-YouTube

If you're a geek, nerd, or a programming prodigy, a command line YouTube player will give you plenty of bragging rights. MPS-Youtube is a fabulous player that lets you search and play videos from YouTube, download them, and even view comments all using just your command line. Written in Python, the text interface is used for sifting through the videos. Then, once you've chosen the video you want to play, the software then hooks into mplayer or mpv to show you the video. Though this won't work on a full sans-X11 terminal, it will surely give you the thrills of doing the latest things in a cool old school sort of way.

To install MPS, simply paste this command in your terminal:

[sudo] pip install mps-youtube

For more information on how to use and configure the tool, check out the application's github page.



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

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When Kindle Unlimited was launched in June 2014, it was branded as a Netflix for books. It looked promising. After all, nothing has shaken up the publishing industry more than Amazon. Despite a shaky start, Unlimited is slowly catching up with many users. And though, it is too early to reach conclusions, whether it becomes the next Netflix or heads into obscurity, will affect both readers as well as publishers. Let's take a look at what Amazon Unlimited is all about and how it promises to shake up the way you read your books.


The Promise

The service allows you to read as many books as you can without having to buy them. It is like having your own library. Think Netflix meets your local library (minus the pesky librarian). By paying about $10 a month, you can read as many books as you want without paying a single penny from then on. Sounds great, right?


The Vision

Kindle Unlimited is the missing piece in Amazon's plan of completely dominating the publishing industry. It's Jeff Bezos screaming at you, telling you to ditch your library forever and embrace the magical world of cloud and cross-device syncing. With Unlimited, customers won't have to worry about paying huge sums of money to read the latest bestsellers. They can do so by paying a small subscription fee every month and get any book they want in an instant.


Where it Excels

Having used Kindle Unlimited for a while now, I can say that I'm pretty impressed by the service. The whole idea of ditching your local library and joining the Kindle bandwagon is appealing if you are an avid reader. However, if you're a purist, this is not something you may not skip your library trip for. One of the things this service does well is that it gets you what you want whenever you want.

To elaborate this further, let's say you are looking for a book. Maybe you saw a trailer of a movie which is based on a book and now you want to read the book before the movie comes out. If you weren't subscribing for the service, you'd either have to go to your local library or have to buy the book on Amazon. But for avid readers who read books 3 times a week or on a whim, this seems rather uneconomical. If you subscribe to the service, all you have to do is look up that book and if it's there on Kindle Unlimited, hit the "Read for Free" button, and voila, the book is yours.


Many of the books I found on Unlimited were some popular titles like "Life of Pi," "Flash Boys," and the self-help classic "7-Habits of Highly Effective People." If you were to buy these books individually, they'd cost you about $30. But with Unlimited, you get to read all three for $10.

Another great thing about Kindle Unlimited is that you get to read your book on whichever device you want. Be it your 5-inch Android phone or your huge iPad, or even your desktop, Kindle books can be read on pretty much any device. And, then of course, there are the Kindles, which are dedicated reading devices that focus solely on reading experience. They too are priced very low, starting as low as $79.


Where it falls short

If you start using the service, you'll find that it doesn't quite live up to its name "Unlimited." In other words, many of your favorite books aren't probably on Unlimited yet. So, instead, you'll have to buy them the old-fashioned way. A book that is on Unlimited will have a logo besides it indicating that you can borrow the book for free. Most of these books are either self-published novels or biographies. You'd have trouble finding a bestseller or a classic and then you'll have to pay for them.


Should you use it?

The answer depends on what kind of books you read. Amazon's Unlimited catalogue is pretty limited, but for some it could be quite useful. The best way of knowing this is to do a search on 10 of the books you want to read right now and see if they have the "Kindle Unlimited" logo below them. If at least 5 of them do, it's a worthy investment for you. If not, give it a skip.


For someone who reads lot of business, self-development and personal productivity books, Unlimited offers a lot of self-published titles. They could serve as nice, quick reads.

Also, if you are looking for something like Unlimited, but better, Scribd is a great option. It has a huge collection of books that you can read and even download (PDF format) by paying a small monthly fee.


Is it a game changer?

Not yet. But yes, it does have potential. If Amazon manages to convince more publishers to add their books to the Unlimited catalogue, we might have a winner here. Maybe a year from now on, Unlimited might end up becoming a Netflix.

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If you are someone who uses Microsoft Exchange a lot, then switching to Android might not have been as smooth as you imagined. Despite having great compatibility with MS Exchange out of the box, Android users still are looking for some better apps that can help them get the most out of their business emails.

That's why we have compiled a list of some of the best Android-based Email clients out there for Microsoft Exchange users. While not at the level of the original applications, these Android apps also help business users be more productive.


Nine - Exchange ActiveSync

Nine is a fabulous app that uses the Direct Push technology to sync with MS Exchange server with the help of Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync. Upon first glance, what stands out most about this app is its clean UI. Following most of Android's UI standards, Nine is probably one of the most beautiful business apps out there. Once installed, Nine gives you a full suite applications: email, calendar, contacts, and even notes. All of the data is synced to the server, including notes and sms. Moreover, there are also all the essential widgets you need to get a quick glance at your important stuff. Overall, a good clean application for all your business communication needs. 



MailWise Email Client for Exchange +

MailWise is an application that helps to address the problem many users face with long conversation threads. Once installed, you will find clean, card-like conversation threads that are easy to navigate and reply to. Among other features, MailWise also acts as a full-fledged Exchange application bringing most of the good stuff from the desktop to your phone. Much like the aforementioned Nine, MailWise too comes with a really good-looking UI. The best part though, about this app is that it is completely free without any ads whatsoever. 



CloudMagic

If you are looking for a good consolidated solution for all your email needs and not just Exchange, CloudMagic is a great app to try. Clean, simple, and easy to use, CloudMagic brings all your mailboxes together, including your MS Exchange inbox. This is very useful for people who have a couple of personal accounts and another business account. Once installed, CloudMagic will let you access all of them (or more) without having to switch apps. Definitely worth a try even if you are not an MS Exchange user. 



BlueMail

Similar to the aforementioned CloudMagic, BlueMail too helps you consolidate all your inboxes in one place. What's great about this app is its intuitive UI. With just one swipe across the screen you can either delete or archive a message. Another good feature is the thread view that allows you to view your emails as conversations, thus making it easy for you to communicate with your friends and colleagues. Again, this is not a dedicated MS Exchange app, but useful if you have a lot of email accounts. 



K-9 Mail

K-9 Mail has been around for quite a while and there is a good reason for that: this app is completely free and open-source. Once installed, you'll be able to add IMAP, POP3 and Exchange 2003/2007 accounts with ease. With support for IMAP push email you can even completely ditch official Gmail app for an open source alternative. Furthermore, with multi-folder sync, flagging, signatures and filing, K-9 proves itself to be a good alternative to a full-fledged desktop Exchange client. Also interesting is the feature to store mail on SD card making it easier for users to avoid running out of storage space. If you are new to the app, a great place to start is to browse the app's wiki which has detailed information on how to configure and make the most out of K-9.



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

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How to Install Celtx on Ubuntu

Posted by jun auza On 9/29/2014
If you are a screenwriter trying to unshackle yourself from Final Draft, we have already shown you how to do that. There are some fabulous alternatives to the "industry standard" as we know it. Be it FadeIn, WriterDuet, or Trelby, Linux users have plenty of options when they want to write their screenplay. That said, many of those users are also concerned whether the applications they use on a day-to-day basis are open-source or not. Adhering to that philosophy, screenwriting becomes a tad difficult since many screenplay apps have proprietary codebase.

Solving this problem, however, is much easier than you think. Thanks to Celtx, a fabulous screenwriting software that we've already covered in our earlier article, you can write a screenplay -- or even a teleplay or A/V movie -- from start to finish on an open source tool. Celtx handles everything, from writing the script to storyboarding, you can make a complete movie with this tool if you want. Despite the many advantages though, Celtx too has its share of flaws. One being that the formatting may not be as good as Final Draft and second is that the desktop tools aren't updated as frequently. If you overlook these minor flaws, what you have is a solid tool at your hand.

If you are considering making Celtx your tool for your next screenplay, then read on as we'll show you how to install it on your Ubuntu desktop, a process that can be rather tricky sometimes. 


Step 1: Download Celtx

Go HERE and download the Celtx tarball. Once you download the file, it will look something like this: Celtx-2.9.8.tar.bz2


Step 2: Extract the file

Once you have downloaded the zipped file, make sure you navigate to the directory it's located in. Let's say it is stored in the Downloads folder. Go there and right click on the file. Then, click Extract here to extract the file. This will create a new folder titled "celtx" (without the quotes) in the same directory.


Step 3: Move the file

This assumes that the new "celtx" folder was created in your Downloads directory. What you have to do now is open the terminal and navigate to that folder and move it  to /usr/local so that it is available to all. So, press Ctrl + Alt + T on your desktop or look for ‘Terminal’ in the dash and type in or paste the following commands: This assumes that your celtx folder is located in the 'Downloads' directory.

cd ~/Downloads
sudo mv celtx/ /usr/local/


Step 4: Run the program

Running the program isn't as straightforward but you'll get a hang of it in a while. Every time you want to launch the program, all you have to do is type in or paste the following command in the terminal.

sudo /usr/local/celtx/celtx

That's it. The program should run flawlessly. If you run into any trouble, though simply type in or paste the following command:

chmod +x /usr/local/celtx/celtx

Also, let's hope Celtx comes up with a deb file soon rather than having its users go through so many hoops.

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While the default dialer and contacts apps are good, they miss out on many important features like social media integration, T9 search, and gesture-based dialing. Thanks to the freedom that Android offers, you won't have to put up with the default apps for long.

That's why today, we have listed some of the best dialer and address book replacement applications out there for your Android smartphone.


Contacts +

If you want Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp integrated all in one place, this is the app you must download. Once installed, Contacts+ lets you send regular text messages along with automatic syncing of profile pictures of your contacts. Apart from syncing profile pictures (from Facebook), the app also gives you birthday reminders of your Facebook buddies. The design is pretty sleek and comes with an integrated dialer, an address book, and a message list as well. The grid-based or list-based contact view is prioritized by the frequency of communications you have with the people in your address book.

Apart from being a complete address book and dialer app, it also comes with widgets which help you pull up your most frequent contacts. One of the most interesting features in this dialer is its ability to use fast T9 and gesture-based search for names, emails, and even companies. With seamless integration with social media and an easy-to-use UI, Contacts + is perhaps the best replacement app for your address book and dialer. 



Go Contacts Pro

Go Contacts Pro is a free contacts application that comes with features like T9 smart dialing and fuzzy number search. Compared to other dialer apps, this one comes with a nice-looking minimal UI that helps you call people, manage contacts, and view records. Unlike the aforementioned Contacts +, there aren't many extra features here. One of the best parts, though, is that it can be used to replace the default contacts and dialer app completely thanks to its ability to sync with Google Contacts. 



CallApp Contacts

Contacts is an app that tries to make your address book more interactive and pretty. With the ability to have high-resolution pictures of your contacts, this one surely makes your phone calls look gorgeous. Where Contacts specializes is that it finds information from various sources like Facebook and other social media sites, and then uses that information to provide accurate details about the person in your phonebook. Information including birthdays, SMS, reservation, street view, and even yelp reviews can be integrated in your contacts book. This app is especially for those people who have a lot of contacts in their address book but have trouble remembering the particular person that's listed there.



Evernote Hello

From the makers of the widely successful service Evernote comes Hello. Sticking with the "remember everything" motto, this app helps you remember the people you meet on a daily basis. Though not a complete address book replacement, it does help those who want to know more details about the people in their contact lists.



ExDialer

ExDialer is an app that is focused on keeping dialing really simple and fast. With an easy-to-use layout and a T9 algorithm, the application helps you sort through your contacts simply by typing their phone numbers. The UI is clean and quickly matches up with the rest of the theme. One of the best things about ExDialer is that it comes with support for various VOIP apps like Viber and Skype. Also, it has useful shortcuts that let you perform frequently used functions. For example, you can place a quick call to someone by simply swiping to the left. The # key on the other hand, can be used to perform fast number searching. If you want a lightweight replacement for your core dialer app, this one is a great choice.



Note: Do not uninstall the stock calling/dialer app on your phone under any circumstances. The app is needed to make 911/emergency calls. Many replacement apps don't provide that facility.


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

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How to Give your Smartphone the Android L Look

Posted by jun auza On 9/18/2014
Android L is Google's latest mobile operating system. Apart from a complete UI overhaul, this version brings along a myriad of performance improvements. Compared to its competitor iOS 8, Android L outperforms the Apple mobile operating system in design and performance. Though there is no clear announcement as to when Android L will be reaching our devices, its Material Design has slowly started catching up among app developers. Furthermore, many apps have come up that let you completely change the Android smartphone’s user interface to match that of Android L.

Although many of those apps are annoyingly hard to use, some of them make the job really simple. Below, we'll show you how to make the most out of such apps and then transform your phone’s UI to completely match the Android L look.


Step 1: Install Nova Launcher first. It's one of the best launchers out there, so even if you remove the L theme later on, you won't regret installing Nova Launcher. 



Step 2: Enable the animations in the Nova Launcher Settings: Click on the Nova Settings icon. Then go to "Look and Feel" -> App Animation -> Slide Up (L Developer Preview)


Step 3: Install the Android L theme for Nova Launcher. Then, go to "Look and Feel" -> Icon Theme -> and select Android L from the list. The theme pack also comes with Android L wallpapers so do make sure you switch your wallpapers to match the new look.



Step 4: Install Android L Keyboard so that you'll have a keyboard that matches the new look. If you are using SwiftKey or any other modern keyboards, it's best to stick with the one you already use since switching to a new keyboard might not be something everyone would be comfortable doing.


Step 5: Install Ex Dialer, then install this theme so that even the dialer would match the new L preview. 



That's it. That should give you an almost complete Android L look without hogging your resources. If you are using Cyanogenmod, there are better options available for you, so read on. Following are some alternative applications that you can use if you are not satisfied with the aforementioned method.


Alternative 1:

For CyanogenMod users there are two themes available. Though both are not free, they manage to give a complete Android L look to your phone with quality icons, keyboards, and even wallpapers. Following are the links to install those apps:

1. CM11 Theme for Android L: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nikhilb.lcm11

2. Nucleoid theme for CM11: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nucleoid.android.l


Alternative 2:

If you are using Solo Launcher, there are some fantastic Android L themes  out there. Following are two apps you need to install to transform your smartphone into an Android L lookalike.

1. Android L theme for Solo Launcher: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.caesar.perfectui

2. Android L UI Icon pack: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ru.tirexdev.androidltheme


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