Wednesday, July 03, 2013

iPhone preview for Apps out of style on websites ?

Have you noticed how people have started using Android (or generic) phone images for showing Apps on their websites ? I don't know if this is a hidden trend but up until last year it was always the iPhone showing off an app. Maybe its just me or maybe the iPhone 5 does not fit the screen as well as a generic 4.0 android does.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

How did I ever live before Evernote

I have now been using Evernote for a little over a month and I am amazed by how this service has simplified my life.. well.. not life... but at managing random pieces of information.

I think I created an account on Evernote back in 2011 when one of my colleagues told me about it but at that time the service just did not make the cut for me and I abandoned it.  Since then I have tried to use Google docs, dropbox, ubernote and a variety of different services to manage my personal notes, how-to's and other random crap but every service had something missing or I was just using them for something that they were not meant for.  Then came my decision to give Evernote a second shot and am I glad I did that.

Here is what I love about the service:

  1. Access my stuff from anywhere... yeah anywhere... PC, Android phone, Android Tablet, Mom's iPad, laptop...anywhere. 
  2. Clean and Crisp user interface.  Its simple and elegant and the think I love the fact that i can add a new note in a giffy. 
  3. Attaching files to notes... oh yeah.. love this.
  4. Organizing stuff into notebooks on top of labels.
I think Evernote is a keeper and I might even end up with a paid account soon.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bye Bye Flash

The blogosphere is abuzz with the news of Adobe stopping to support flash for Android. There are 2 sentiments that I picked up from all the literature published on the web:

1) The fanboi group is talking about payback for 1999 and how Steve Jobs was right all along.
2) Quiet a few people are applauding Adobe for this step. Continuing to support flash was a loosing battle.

Personally, I was never a fan of flash but did not hate it either. It had come to signify annoying intros and adverts on websites for me but I accepted it as part and parcel of web dev technologies.

That being said, who is using flash right now ? I am writing this post on a nexus7 tablet with Jelly Bean and this device never supported flash and quiet frankly this has not made a difference to my web experience. I guess the web development world stared migrating away from flash long ago and this was just the final nail in the coffin.

I am kinda sad it all ended for flash the way it did, it was a powerful tool and HTML 5 is nowhere close to the feature set of Flash right now.

bye bye flash !

Friday, May 18, 2012

Launcher 7 for Android

I have been a android user for the last 2 years or so and I migrated to it after 6 long (and sometimes happy) years on nokia series 60 devices. I cannot think of migrating away from android now, i am hooked but i can appreciate the necessities of other platforms.

I am a fan of the whole metro and tiles thing going on windows phone world. It just makes using a smartphone easier for people. This is the main reason i got my wife a WP7 phone when we upgraded our plan last month and she couldn't be happier with her phone but this post is not about her experience.... it is about the Launcher 7 application on android.

Get the app on Google Play
The app developed by Timo Kujala gives you a taste of the minimalistic metro UI on your kick ass android phone. The app allows you to convert your android phone into a windows phone atleast from the experience perspective.

Thanks to the post on this app by Matt Smith that introduced me to the app. 

I decided to give it a spin on my HTC One S.

The first screen you see after the install is the initial configuration screen that allows you to choose the different styles. Once your home page is created, you can click on menu to change the background color and tile colors to customize the look you desire.

Initial settings screen and home screen

You can customize your launch screen later by tapping on the application from the list menu.

This app really rocks and kudos to the development team. The app has all the key features that would make my phone feel like a windows phone. Love the way the drag and drop of tiles has been implemented too.

It is kinda cool that my phone now looks like a windows phone but its scary too so I am switching back to my familiar HTC sense launcher UI for now.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Barcode Reader add on for Chrome

Simple menu popup from add-on
basic but functional

Just started using the Barcode Reader add-on for Chrome. If you are looking for a solution that reads QR codes posted on web pages then this is the must  have.

The UI and functionality is very basic and I would like to see more in the coming months from this add-on. The add-on only supports QR codes and Code 128 barcodes right now and reads them pretty well.

Screenshot of page, crop to select QR code
The primary function of the add-on is to allow you to decode QR code images shown on web pages. If you find your self on a page filled with barcodes and want to know whats inside them then all you have to do is click the icon and take web page screenshot. This opens up the add on page with the image of the web page, all you have to do is press the decode button. 

There is also the "crop" option which would come in handy if you have several QR codes on the page and cropping will allow you to select the one you are interested in. 

The add-on also allows you to decode QR codes using your webcam. This is pretty cool but not what I had initially downloaded the add-on for, this came as a bonus. 

The thing that kinda sucks about this is that you have to click on the Take photo button for it actually read the barcode.

I am a bit disappointed with the way results are displayed. There is really nothing i can do with the barcode value apart from copying and pasting it somewhere else. The idea behind the add-on was to give me the encoded data and I completely get this but hope that future revs would have more functionality.