We all know the various problems are smartphones can solve nowadays anywhere from “shazaming” your favorite song to find out what it’s called to typing in your caloric intake to shed more pounds with a diet oriented app. Our phones have evolved into multifunctional devices we rely on MUCH more than we did in the past.
Taking the application concept to a completely higher level is the Android OS for Android phones. Basically the Android platform has really succeeded in creating a developer friendly marketplace for literally anyone wanting to try their hand at developing phone applications using a computer. As a result of such an open ended marketplace with minor fees to Google for selling your app in the Android marketplace, many different and interesting apps have hit “virtual” Droid shelves. Here we are going to break down what InformationWeek feels are the top 10 apps every Droid user should never be without!
Top 10 Android Apps!!!
Documents To Go. This neat little app makes it possible for you to revise, check AND edit Microsoft Office documents while eating lunch or out of the office. The free version allows the reading of the document but for just $14.95 you could open any .doc file up and actually make edits to it!
Dolphin Browser HD. Ever tried surfing the internet on a Droid phone? I will admit it was VERY frustrating when I had one. That is also why this second application is sort of bittersweet for me (wish I knew about it sooner!). It is essentially a very well put together browser alternative for all those internet surfers out there (get a tan!). The interface is great and it does really well in succinctly describing the various feeds you want covered.
Color Flashlight. This application is very cool. Let’s say you are completely stuck in the dark with a power outage or in a drastic situation where you have no access to anything but your Android phone. Well, this app is literally a flashlight. Yes! a flashlight. It illuminates pretty nicely around you and even has different effects and colors to change it to in case you want to be found somewhere and are surrounded by a specific color. With this phone you could change the illuminating light to a contrasting color and voila! Light!
Gasbuddy. I have actually personally used this app and it is AWESOME! It really does work. basically you either make a profile to let it record where you have been before so it can quickly show you gas prices near your typical haunts OR you can type the zip code your currently in and it pulls up gas stations around you that have gas prices marked by other patrons that checked into that gas station. It’s genius!
GateGuru. So this is a really interesting app. In case you ever have an international flight or cross county flight you should really get this app. Essentially it takes the confusion out of boarding the right terminals and figuring out which gate you need to go to. It lists gates, terminals and flight times to make sure you know exactly where you’re going.
Google Translate. I really want to try this app out of all these other apps the most. So does your group of friends make people think you’re all coming from a UN conference? Well in case you feel a schism between you and these intercultural buddies of yours you can actually use this app to converse with them in their own languages in real time. It is an actual translator and it actually works. Also works with text messages.
History Eraser. This is one app I could most definitely use! If you ever have issues with privacy and worry when giving away your old phones for others to use (or for money) people will accidentally stumble upon a naughty text message history log or confidential codes for America’s Nuclear Silos. Then this app might do you some good. It erases everything I mean EVERYTHING from your data history on your phone. From history logs to the frequently called list nothing will stick around in the bowels of your smartphone to become subject to nosy peepers sticking their noses where they don’t belong.
Kindle & Nook. By now most people must know what these two little cool gadgets are. For those who don’t the Kindle and Nook are tablets used specifically for reading books on the go. You purchase the book electronically and can load it up on the Nook/Kindle and save it with virtual bookmarks. It’s also lit so you can read anywhere without any problems. Well this app is like a Kindle/Nook adapter for your smartphone. Download the app and don’t worry about purchasing the e-reader!
Lookout Mobile Security. I never thought smartphones could be attacked by malware but I guess that only makes sense considering you can connect to the internet on these phones and the OS is made up of a bunch of code. So it also makes sense these phones should be protected by antivirus apps. Well Lookout Mobile Security seems to be one of the better apps out there and it not only scans for spyware/malware but also backs up your information and manages privacy settings all on one dashboard. Exceptional.
Touchdown! No this is not a football app. Although I’m sure there must be one very similar in name to this one that is. This is actually an app for better management of Microsoft Exchange. It allows you to access your email accounts while logging into Microsoft Exchange without having to use any Android emails. It seems to be the most literal translation one can come across on the Android of the Microsoft Exchange program.
Well that sums up the most beneficial, coolest apps on the market to date! Hopefully all of you find use for at least a few or one of these handy applications! If you want more information or would like to read the original article please click here.
Sounds like a really cool video game project actually. So I think by now people “glued” to my blogs probably know I am somewhat fascinated by Apple and the stories tied to them. Well this article is most definitely no different! Apparently Apple has depended on coal powered, o-zone depleting power plants to sustain the massive maintenance of cloud servers and large scale production of iPods they’ve so ingeniously mass produced. I wonder why no one ever mentioned these all important facts in the media…ever! Hmmmm well I still really like Apple and I think, after all the success they’ve had, it might finally be time to upgrade the electric/coal system they (and many other corporations) use. Of course Apple never goes in (or out) without a bang! so the most logical alternative to coal powered electricity would be a SOLAR FARM.
Yes it’s true. Apple has begun building a massive solar farm on a 171 acre lot it owns in Catawba County, North Carolina. So what is a solar farm? Well great question! Let me tell you. Solar farms are power plants that essentially focus on producing energy through solar power. Basically a bunch of solar panels are put up in the solar farm to collect as much energy as possible from the sun which is then stored in these “farms” which (in Apple’s case) can then power the facility or facilities that require power consumption!
This really cool innovation not only helps reduce Apple’s carbon footprint on the world but also will allow Apple to save money (alot of money) on a more “green” solution freeing up their funds to focus on producing better iPods!
Want to read up a little more on solar farms? Click here! How about skimming through the article for the Apple Solar Farm? Try here.
We are at the middle of the week people. You can do iiiiit.
Tony Fadell. Most definitely one of the most single important names you have probably never heard of in your life. How you ask? Oh well you know that insanely revolutionary electronic product that literally changed the way you listened to music on the go? You know….the iPod? Or the follow up success the iPhone? Well you should thank Mr. Fadell for both of those Apple products. That is correct, Mr. Fadell was the mind behind most of the newer innovations and reasons for Apple being as powerful of a force as it has been in recent years. He was the guy that actually convinced Mr. Jobs. He convinced the guy responsible for convincing the majority of a nation (enough to make a company a very strong competitor to Google and Microsoft) to invest their time and money into a radically new invention nobody had seen before.
SameInnovative Inventions, Just a Different Day:
Now that Tony Fardell has departed from Apple he decided his genius could contribute to our world in a more meaningful, productive way rather than creating neat little gadgets that become e-waste after a year or two from being used. His response to this much too common issue was the invention of a thinking thermostat! Mr. Fardell’s company, Nest Labs, has patented and started taking orders for Nest the learning thermostat. Essentially this neat little thermostat assists you in tackling many of your common thermostat problems you’re probably having right now: continuous programming while you leave/walk around the house, dedicated power source for your thermostat, easy installation. So how does this little monster of a thermostat tackle these issues?: Nest learns and remembers behaviors of household members and will prolong/shorten the duration of time its on for without you touching it AND manages heat/air conditioning for itself if left alone for awhile saving you energy without even trying, Nest also comes equipped with its own rechargeable battery and lastly is completely installed within 20 minutes! There are many more benefits to this little wonder and I highly condone at least checking it out at the Nest Lab website here. It might just be exactly what you’re looking for!
By Tree Hugging I mean environmentally friendly. ComputerWorld has taken it upon itself to review top IT companies to see which ones fit the bill the best when it comes down to taking care of your environment. It turns out out of the 70 applicants there were 12 top energy efficient companies that actually really care about their surroundings in which they live and strive to improve the quality of life outside of their own by incorporating “green” efficient practices into the workplace….and making a nice salary while they do it. Here are examples of some initiatives these companies have been taking:
Kaiser Permanente– Employees for Kaiser developed their own methods for measuring cooling systems. Plus they have actual “Keep IT Green” teams focused on brainstorming and implementing new practices that positively affect the environment each month.
All State Insurance– This company views green initiatives with a more practical approach. They focus on ideas that help them save money AND prove to be good for the environment.
KPMG– This Big 4 accounting firm is focusing on mutliple ways to decrease its carbon footprint: migrating to blade servers, raising data center temperatures, utilizing video chat to avoid transportation for company meetings and implementing solar panels where applicable on their company buildings.
State Street– This corporation cut its energy usage by 50% using compression technology! Specifically they used compression and deduplication technologies in order to drive down storage capacity by 40-50% That is a monumental difference when saving energy costs. According to Computerworld however StateStreet has been driven to better the environment for 10 years and keeps going.
NBC Universal– The giant network company NBC decided to contribute its “2 cents” to the improvement of the environment with just a small contribution of 47 TONS of hardware (a.k.a. e-waste) that they ultimately did not need. Specifically, NBC “virtualized” enough servers to shut down 2,000 physical servers which was about 60% of the total amount of servers they had.
These are just a few of the 12 companies covered by Computerworld. If you’re interested in reading more about these mean “green” machines or want to know about the rest of the list please click here!
If not then have a great Monday! Only 1 week left until Halloween!
Facebook has invented another modern innovation that might greatly assist people that need to fill in a void but this time it might be a void that people actually could need help filling. Of course I’m talking about energy consumption. Energy consumption is one of the most cost effective reductions one could make to their utilities bill yet most people still can’t afford doing it because of all of the flat screen t.v.s and computer monitors we have plugged into our house.
Well Facebook has come to the rescue yet again with a new innovative app called the “social energy” app. This app is designed to alleviate the concerns of everyday people that are worried they are spending way too much money on utility consumption for their household. So how does it work? Basically the app will have two functions. The first will be to serve as an informative tool that the homeowner could use to compare himself/herself to the national average in regards to energy consumption. The other function (which to me is pretty cool) is to serve as another app type game people can play with their friends online. Each individual racks up points when they lower their energy consumption compared to other individuals. The app can be played in groups competing with other groups and every time you beat your other group of friends you get points to “level up” a rank on the application. The NRDC, Facebook and Opower are responsible for the app and hope it proves an effective way to increase awareness for the environment amongst all users using the application. I hope it does too!
Tragically yesterday the announcement that Steve Jobs had passed away spread throughout the world and reverberated across the internet in forums and through remodeled websites showing appreciation for the genius behind Apple and the direction it took in marketing its innovative products such as the iPhone and the iPod. Today I wanted to make a poll to show just how deeply Mr. Jobs’ message resonated with his consumers because I’m sure many people out there reading this have an Apple product at home whether it be the iPod Nano or a Mac. Please participate in this poll and let us know how Apple affected your life.
Today I wanted to cover two companies that have been responsible for pushing the envelope on how amazing computers can be at outputting more realistic graphics with each newly developed video card. Of course these companies are: NVIDIA and AMD. Both NVIDIA and AMD have essentially created the market for high end Graphic Processing Units (GPUs), technically NVIDIA created the first GPU in 1999. Conversely, AMD was the first company to develop APUs (Accelerated Proessing Units)
TheBattle: These two competitors have been fighting for complete pixelated domination over computer graphics since NVIDIA came out with the GPU in 1999. AMD is mainly a processor manufacturing company but applied its computer knowledge to make some of the strongest video cards on the market today! Currently NVIDIA is looking to come back from defeat with its newer “Fermis” model video card which is a more improved Fermi card (hopefully one that uses less power!) Now lets look at each competitor to see who comes out stronger.
InThis Corner: NVIDIA is my personal favorite when it comes to video card manufacturers and also seems to be the company holding the stronger foothold in some key functionality areas.
Direct X 11-NVIDIA cards are very compatible with Direct X 11 and Direct X compatibility of more recent cards comparable to Direct X compatibility of recent AMD video cards.
Display Support- More new NVIDIA graphics cards sport slightly more robust support for DisplayPort 1.2, which allows ONE NVIDIA card to manage enhanced graphics for up to 6 display monitors.
Stereoscopic 3D Support- NVIDIA 3D Support is pretty amazing (Check out this video! YouTube, you might need 3D glasses.) The main issue with NVIDIA 3D capabilities is the required 120HZ refresh rate for the monitor you’re using. SLI setup however, running two or more identical 3D capable video cards, allows you to power 3 monitors with the required refresh rate for amazing 3d graphics across three screens.
Power Consumption- More recent NVIDIA cards are much less power intensive than previous models but competitively speaking are still not as efficient as AMD video cards.
HD Video Encoding- The newer NVIDIA video card models feature the latest HD encoding support such full H.264 Decode Acceleration.
Strongest, Newest Contender- If you are willing to spend around $540.00 USD then the EVGA GTX 580 SC is one of the strongest NVIDIA cards out there today. This card is very power intensive (requires around 395 W/32 A. at max. power) and does not support DisplayPort 1.2. Click here for more info. Remember the EVGA model is overclocked slightly higher than the original model giving the card a higher output and making the graphics that much better.
&InTheOther Corner: AMD has made a reputation based on efficiency and productivity and so it comes as no surprise ATI graphic card models consist of some of the strongest available in the market. Usually the downside to ATI cards seems to be the lifetime of the cards. The stronger they are the harder they fall! But here are some notes on AMD and its beastly cards.
Direct X 11- AMD sports equal support for Direct X 11 as does NVIDIA. Both cards function equally as well having some games perform better on either type of card.
Display Support- Guaranteed DisplayPort 1.2 support. In other words, these cards are built for multidisplay functionality, allowing the user to connect 3 different monitors with just one ATI Radeon 6000 card! This along with the fact that NVIDIA does not explicitly support DisplayPort 1.2 is a win for AMD.
Stereoscopic 3D Support- Conversely, AMD recently implemented 3D surround vision with its newer models where NVIDIA already had it implemented since 2009 with the announcement of 3D Vision (click here).
Power Consumption- Another positive consistent factor using AMD powered video cards is its reputation in power consumption. ATI Radeon video cards tend to usually consume less power than NVIDIA video cards and although NVIDIA has decreased the wattage required for newer models, on average, the cards are still using slightly more than AMD cards.
HD Video Encoding-Another strong suit for AMD video cards such as the ATI Radeon 6000 series is very robust support for HD video encoders. All the major encoders are supported with these cards such as: VC-1 and H.264.
Strongest, Newest Contender- One of the most newest models out right now for AMD video cards is the XFX Radeon HD 6970. This card is a veritable animal. 2 GB frame buffer, two 1.2 DisplayPort ports for multi display support and DDR5 memory support it almost beat the NVIDIA GTX 580 SC when rated in this article. But fell short due to <%100 of output used and pricing issues.
Winner?: NIVIDIA GTX 580 SC. On top of being my favorite video card manufacturing company, NVIDIA met its competition with its latest models head on in terms of performance and output but really differentiated itself with the price. On average when I checked Amazon the GTX 580 SC was being offered at around $399.00 USD while the XFX Radeon HD 6970 was around $349.99 USD. Just $50.00 more for higher output and better quality.