Friday, August 20, 2010

Dropbox for Android

This week I've highlighted useful Android apps. Today I'm closing out with Dropbox for Android. If your not familiar with Dropbox already it's a secure website that allows you to sync all of your data between devices. This is achieved by placing the Dropbox folder on your computer that sync's to your online account. You can place the D.B. folder on each computer you own. Every time you save a file to the D.B. folder it will sync it between your online account and all computers that you are using with Dropbox. The ability to sync your files between all devices saves time, eliminates email documents to yourself or carry a thumb drive.

A few months ago Dropbox introduced their Android application bringing the same functionality to your mobile device. So now regardless if your at home, work or on the road your never have to be without your important files again. Having Dropbox on your Android also expands your music library because you can play your music files directly from your Dropbox app. Dropbox gives you 2GB free and has pricing plans for more space if needed. I hope you enjoyed this week. Please sign up for email updates or follow this blog with Google Friend Connect.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Advanced Task Killer

It's Android app week. Multi-tasking is one thing that makes Android great versus the Iphone, but it also leaves programs running in the back ground which can kill your battery life. This is where Advance Task Killer comes in. A.T.K automatically kills programs you are not currently using. It gives you the ability to ignore programs you never want to kill, and it allows you to set up the frequency of how often to free up memory.

From my own experience and setting A.T.K up for family and friends I would say you may see up to three hours of improved battery life by using this app. Just make sure after putting it on your phone that the first program you add to the ignore list is A.T.K itself. That way when you restart your phone A.T.K will already be running.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Where's My Droid

It's Android App week. Today's app is a must for any Android user. Where's my Droid will help you find your phone if it's missing in a few ways. Let's say you're at home and forgot to turn your ringer back up, and now you can't find your phone. No worries, Where's my Droid can be activated when called from a specific number. I would recommend getting a Google Voice number (past post)  if you don't already have one (now open to the public). This way it's a number that will only activate the program when you want it to. When the call is received from your special number W.M.D turns the ringer to full volume. Your phone can also turn up the ringer via text message. Another good reason to have a Google Voice account.

The second feature (hopefully this never happens) is when your phone is totally lost. W.M.D allows you to activate your phone's GPS with an attention word. It will then send you a text message with the GPS location of your phone (may take a few minutes). The text message will be the actual latitude and longitude coordinates, but if you tap on it. It will open via Google Maps. Where's my Droid is a donation application so show the developer some support, and checkout his video below for more information.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Version Bible app for Andriod

This week is Android apps week. Back in December I told you about You Version. You Version makes it easy to locate bible text quickly. It gives you plenty of options like online and mobile access, bookmarking, sharing text via Facebook, Twitter, and it has over 41 different version of the bible in 22 languages. You will have access to corresponding contributions, read plans and the You Version community. It's also available for other platforms. So never forget your bible again with You Version.

Previous Post on You Version

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vlingo-voice recognition for Android

This week I'm going to highlight useful Android applications. To get things start were going to start off with Vlingo. Vlingo provides pretty good voice recognition for your Android device (Video Below via Howcast). Its currently free on Android, but is normally $2.99. It seems they made the app free on Android in response to Google's announcement of there new Voice Actions .

Friday, August 13, 2010

How to minimize the effects of a computer virus

It has happen to most of us, and if it hasn't "just keep living" as my mother would say. The dreaded virus on your PC. It was getting a virus on my laptop a few years ago they lead me down a path of becoming a little more tech savvy. I covered how to enter safe boot mode in an earlier post if you find yourself in this position, but today I'm focusing on something simple.

Most of the viruses I've seen in 2010 try to get you to buy their software to remove the program or attack any accounts you have not logged out of. Logging out your account when you finish with them is extremely important, or even when just surfing the web. These virus programs will spam your email address book, or post things to your Facebook wall or whatever social network you may be using. In either case your friends are not going to like receiving spam or links that open to porn on their Facebook wall.

To stay protected against these viruses I recommend Microsoft Security Essentials. Its free, and has received high reviews since its release. Warning though, if your using a unlicensed copy of windows it want work because it has to validate your machine before installing the software. So remember, logging out of your accounts when your done will stop some of the damage a virus can cause.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beam it up Scotty!

Beam me up Scotty is a free service that allows you to upload most file types (jpg, .gif, .mpg, .avi, .flv and more) to there site and converts them into a mobile format. Then you will get a link that you can send your mobile device. Files can't be larger up to 30MB and a limit of 6 uploads per day. Also video and audio files will be cut after 5 minutes of run time.  Beam me up Scotty says in three steps you can upload your file on their site, choose the compression settings, and you get a download link sent via email. This works for any mobile platform, but you must have internet access. Use BIUS to convert a picture for a new screen saver compress a song to create a ringtone without having to hook your phone up to the computer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blockbuster adds Video Games

I went to update my Blockbuster list last night and saw they are now offering video games. This move puts Blockbuster in direct competition with Gamefly and it is already battling Netflix. BB's new game offering want cost customers extra and it allows you to have any combination of movies and video's out at the same time (depending on the plan you have). I have tried Netflix and their movie database is not up to date enough for me. Blockbuster allows you to take movies you received in the mail and exchange them in store for a new movie for free. So if you love video games or have kids Blockbuster's new deal may be for you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Help I can't find my phone!

Now days a lot of people use there cell phones as their home phones for various reasons, but what do you do when you can't find your phone and you have no way to call it. One simple way is FoneFindr. Simple and straight to the point. Put in your number and it will call your phone (provided that it's not on silent).

For you Android users you have two good choices that will work for you. Wavesecure and Where's my Droid will both find your phone for you. Wavesecure takes it a step further by backing up your sms,calls and contacts. Both will also give you a GPS location for your phone. Although with WMD you have to set a parameter for this feature to be activated. Wavesecure also works with Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian OS and Java enable phones. For IPhone users IHound is a great option with similar features. IHound can also be used on your IPad.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Skype files for $100 million dollar IPO

A non-tech tip today, but I told you back in January "How I saved $1200 a year by moving to Skype" now the company wants to sell 100 million in American Depository Shares. According to the (NYTB) Skype has over 560 million users an increase of 164 million users in the past year. The company is looking for ways to get more of its users from free to paid accounts. (Skype by the number from WSJ) Opening price has not been established yet, but this could push Skype to the next level and make it a force to be reckoned with and something you may want to add to your profolio.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Open your favorite websites quickly with an Auto Hot Key shortcut





When you sit down at your computer do you always visit the same websites? If so then save yourself time with a Auto Hot Key shortcut (AHK) for short. If your not familiar with AHK it's a program that allows you to make keyboard short cut's and mouse gesture to save time on repetitive task. What I've done is made an AHK script that will open my default web browser to the same websites every time with just two key strokes.

(In-depth details of AHK scripts are located on their website)


Sleep, 1000


Sleep, 4000


Sleep, 7000


First you will need to download and install Auto Hot Key Installer. Next open notepad and copy and past the AHK script I have written (Above). Change the websites to whatever sites you would like opened. At the beginning of the script you see (#W) # represents the windows key on the bottom left of your keyboard. By pressing #W this will execute the script and open up your favorite websites. You may use whatever letter you choose #W is just the example. Also you see sleep 1000, 4000, 7000. 1000=1 second. Everyone's computer doesn't run at the same speed so depending how long it takes your web browser to open you will want to add a time delay just like the delay between opening web pages. Or it will open different multiple browser instead of browser tabs. So the first web page will begin to open after 3 seconds. Then the next page 2 seconds after that so on and so on until all your pages are open.

Once you have finished. Save the file to your desk top and make sure you end the extension in .ahk (ex: mywebsites.ahk). Next go to your desktop and click on your file. It should appear in your bottom right of your windows task bar. Next to test it out make sure you web browser is closed and hit #W or whatever you choose to use for your short cut key and your web pages should begin to open. If the time is off just tweak the amount of seconds you delay or if it doesn't work make you copied and added your web pages correctly. (Note, your default browser window will still open. Any time you make changes to your .ahk file make sure you reload the script by right clicking on the auto hot key icon in the bottom right of your desktop)

Now to make the process totally seamless go to the desktop and right click on the file you created and click create a shortcut file on your desktop. Then go to the Windows start menu on the bottom left of your screen. Then go to Start-All Programs and find the Startup folder and double click on it to open the Folder or right click and hit open folder. 

Now your AHK will run when you turn on your computer and all you have to do is use your shortcut. Auto Hot Key is not just limited to web pages of course. You can make all kinds of short cut keys for repetitive task. Enjoy!