A “FastKey” Launcher For Android

January 3, 2017

Thought I would throw this out there for you Android users.  It is called “FastKey” and it is a launcher for your phone or tablet. I installed this and was super impressed on how fast it was; however, I wish it had an option where I could solely use it as an app (and not so much as a default launcher).  Anyhow, this launcher keeps a keyboard on your screen and when you need to find something, such as an app, contact, etc…, this launcher is right on top of it.

Source: Google Play Store (FastKey Launcher)


Haystack TV For Your Chromecast

December 17, 2016

On Black Friday I took advantage of the $25 Chromecast and installed it on my TV in my garage. My wife hasn’t seen me since. You can still take advantage of the $25 Chromecast at the official Google site (click here), until December 24th. After getting the Chromecast I was like a kid with a new toy and it wasn’t long before I was looking for Chromecast ready apps (that you install on your Android phone or tablet then cast or display on the TV).  

One of my favorites so far, is Haystack TV… In a nutshell it is like a high-def visual feed reader that specializes mostly in news; however, I found that you can customize (search for and save sources & topics) that can be quite entertaining (like late night TV segments).  Even if you do not have a Chromecast, Haystack TV is worth downloading on your smartphone or tablet.

   Haystack TV: Daily News- screenshot

 

Haystack TV is a free and Google Cast™ Ready app, a great alternative to cable news. Haystack has featured repeatedly for Chromecast and Android TV the latest politics, local, national and world news from top news organizations such as CNN, AP, MSNBC, NYTimes and the BBC.

 


Microsoft’s Solitaire Collection for Android and iOS

November 23, 2016

Microsoft introduced the computer version of Solitaire back in 1990, with the intention “to soothe people intimidated by the operating system,” and at a time where many users were still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces, it proved useful in familiarizing them with the use of a mouse, such as the drag-and-drop technique required for moving cards” [Source: Wikipedia]…

I encourage you to click the link below to learn about Microsoft’s NEW Solitaire (collection) app for the Android and iOS platforms…

Source: Microsoft brings Solitaire Collection to Android and iOS – TechSpot


Get The Android Auto Experience On Your Smartphone

November 8, 2016

Two years ago Android Auto was launched and was available only in certain model cars. Soon, through the Google Play Store, you will be able to get Android Auto for your Smartphone (Android 5.0 and later) as an app. Android Auto provides a “driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road ― directions, music, communications ― without the distraction of things that aren’t essential while driving”.  You can read more about this HERE and when it will become available.

Android Auto


Backup Your Text Messages To Gmail With This Android App

September 24, 2016

How-To Geek caught my attention with the Android App called, SMS Backup +, that will automatically backup SMS, MMS and call log entries using a separate label in Gmail / Google Calendar. It is also possible to restore SMS and call log entries back to the phone with this app.

To learn more about how to (step-by-step) configure this app to work with your Gmail, be sure to visit How-To Geek

SMS Backup +

SMS Backup +


Use An Old Smartphone For Home Security With These Two Android Apps

September 19, 2016

You will see numerous articles out there on how to go about using an old smartphone as a home security monitoring device. Two Android Apps to take a look at for this purpose is SalientEye Home Security Alarm and Alfred.  Both are FREE…

SalientEye Home Security Alarm – Salient Eye turns any android device into a full home camera security system. The Salient Eye application uses your phone’s camera to sense motion and makes alarm sounds when a break-in occurs. Salient Eye home security app catches intruders red-handed and immediately sends you pictures via email and SMS.

SalientEye

Alfred – Alfred is a video monitor that allows you to check on your home from your smartphone or tablet, wherever you are, thanks to a Wi-Fi or 3G/4G connection. It’s very simple to use Alfred, you just need to install the app on your devices and select one of them to be the Camera and another to be the Viewer.

Alfred


Malware Called “DressCode” Found In Android Apps

September 11, 2016

If you think you are immune from malware in Android Apps; “Think Again”…

“Researchers from Check Point discovered malware they’re calling DressCode in 40 Google Play store apps and more than 400 apps listed in third-party app stores”…

“Once installed on the device, DressCode initiates communication with its command and control server,”

READ MORE @ BGR

The following video also explains how DressCode works:


Make Your Android Device An Extension Of Your Computer

September 9, 2016

Here is a pretty cool Android App, called DeskDock, that allows you to share your computer’s mouse (and keyboard) with your Android device via a USB cable. 

 

See DeskDock In Action

Features:

• Use your computer’s mouse with your Android devices

• Share clipboard between computer and Android devices

• Supports Windows, Linux and macOS

• Works on all Android versions starting from 4.1

• NO rooted device required

• Shortcut for simulating multitouch

• Connect multiple Android devices to one computer

• Flexible arrangement of devices

• Customizable mouse button actions

• Customizable mouse pointer speed

• Ready for Android Nougat


Having problems accessing your shares on your Windows 10 PC using SMB (or ES File Explorer)?

September 2, 2016

ES File Explorer is my favorite Android based file manager. Months ago I ended up uninstalling it from all of my Android devices due to one of the features I used to access the file shares on my local area network (in my home), using a networking protocol called Samba (or SMB),  stopped working. I ended up installing numerous other Android based file managers and experienced the same issue and came to the conclusion that a Windows 10 update broke the network connection. My Android devices could see my computer on the network, but would not allow me to connect. The only Android based file manager that worked was Xplore. After months of using Xplore I decided to revisit ES File Explorer to see if there was a fix and discovered the problem still existed. This time around my gut was telling me it was a Windows 10 network connectivity issue. I was bound and determined to find a solution…

I ended up landing at a site called WindowsTenFORUMS; and, low and behold, after some extensive digging I found a solution to my problem. I know there are numerous other people out there with this same issue and as a result, I decided to post the solution here, as well.

If you go to this LINK and scroll down the page until you see “waddles” (Junior Member), you will see the solution.

For quick reference, the solution is:

Hi There,

I had this problem (and bro’s posts did not help at all), but I discovered you can login using ES File Explorer without much issue, only that your username is not what you would expect.

Instead of using the full e-mail address of your Microsoft account, just use the first five characters. I’m not sure if that’s how it generates the username, but you can check what it exactly is by typing ‘whoami’ in command prompt, and your username will appear after the slash for the domain.

I almost gave up on ES File Explorer after figuring out that this instantly solved my problem.

What “waddles” is saying here is that if you go to the Windows Command Prompt and type in “whoami” you will see your username after the slash. For example, after typing “whoami” at the command prompt, my computer identified me as “asus-pc\rick”.  Now when I log into my PC, using ES File Explorer, via Samba (SMB), I use “rick” as the username; then, I enter my password as I normally would. This worked perfectly…


This Is A Very Useful Android App – Voice Notify

August 10, 2016

Voice Notify is a excellent Android App, that is useful when driving, that will announce (via Text To Speech) your status bar notification messages. This allows you to keep your eyes on the road and not the screen. You can easily turn the service on and off via an included widget.

Cover art

FEATURES:

  • Optionally read toast notifications (Android 3.0+)
  • Widget to suspend VN
  • Customizable TTS message
  • Ignore specific apps or notifications containing defined text
  • Choice of TTS audio stream
  • Choice of speaking when screen or headset is on or off, or while in silent/vibrate mode
  • Quiet Time
  • Shake-to-silence
  • Custom delay of TTS after notification
  • Repeat notifications at custom interval while screen off
  • Notification log
  • Post a test notification

 


Download Bluestacks @ Major Geeks

July 26, 2016

Looking for a way to run the Android OS on your Windows computer?

Look no further… Download latest version of Bluestacks @ Major Geeks


Small Android Utility To Reduce Harmful Effects of Blue Light (that is emitted from Smartphones and Tablets)

July 5, 2016

I have been playing around with the various Android utilities that are designed to reduce the harmful effects of blue light (that is emitted from Smartphones and Tablets) and settled with the utility called Bluelight Filter.

If you use your smartphone or tablet at night, this utility will help you protect your eyes; and, help you with getting a good nights sleep. Bluelight Filter is very small in size (84kb) FREE app that has no ads and requires no special permissions (to install).  

   Bluelight Filter- screenshot


A List Of Just About Everything You Can Say To “Google Now”

June 11, 2016

Ok Google“, search for “What’s On My PC“…

The “OK Google” command is very powerful feature; especially if you know what to say and how to say it. If you have an Android phone or tablet with Google Now, I strongly encourage you to learn how to use it. You can ask your device just about anything and Google will most likely give you a smart answer. To activate the Google Now voice command, simply pick up your Android device and talk directly to it and say, “OK Google” and a pulsing microphone icon will appear on your screen awaiting for your command. Typically, if you ask Google Now something and it is not in its’ command line structure, you will be taken to a list of google search results. 

So, what commands can you use? Greenbot, a site that specializes in the Android platform, has posted “A list of all the Google Now voice commands” of just about everything you can say to Google Now. I think when you review these commands you will find that Google has done a nice job of keeping the commands simple (with common sense in mind).

If anything, by asking Google Now a question or giving a command is fun and will be sure to impress your friends… “Ok Google“, “Do a barrel roll

 

 A list of all the Google Now voice commands

Greenbot


Opera Develops A NEW Android App Called “News and Search”

June 8, 2016

Have not had a chance to play with this yet; but Opera has released a NEW Android App in the Google Play Store called “News and Search“. I am big into the news aggregator (feed) apps and will be definitely checking this out.

ADDENDUM (6/9/16) – Ok, had some time to install and play around with Opera’s News and Search. At this point, is going to be a keeper on my phone (and tablet). In summary, it is a news aggregator (that you can customize channels to meet your interests) that is built on top of a flavor of the Opera browser designed for the dual purpose of setting up channels (of your interests) and for surfing the internet (as you would with any browser). It took me a bit of time to navigate around; but, once I learned, I really like where all of the controls are located. Very impressive at this point…

Browse hot topics, trending & breaking news per category and even connect your Twitter account to get an overview of all the news stories shared by your friends’ networks. Stories you want to keep or share can easily be added to the built-in reading list.

News and Search

   Opera browser - news & search- screenshot


NEW Web Of Trust (WOT) Safe Browsing Tool For Your Android Devices

May 20, 2016

If you are an Android smartphone or tablet user; and, you use the Google Chrome browser (or the native Android Browser), you may want to take a look at (and install) the mobile version of Web of Trust. I currently use the PC version of Web of Trust on all of my computers to help me determine which sites are reputable and which sites are not.

   WOT Mobile Security- screenshot

Against what types of online threats can WOT protect you?

Malware & Viruses – Avoid visiting websites that host malicious software, such as viruses, spyware, and adware that can steal your information and spread to other devices.

Phishing – Turn back from malicious links in fake emails, websites and text messages that are designed to fool you into giving away personal information.

Scams – Users ratings warn you when you visit a site that may host any type of fraud designed to steal money or personal information.

Spyware – WOT can warn you when a site has been reported to host spyware, which collects your personal information without your knowledge.