Sabtu, 17 Januari 2015

TechSource: 7 Interesting Crime-Solving Games for Android

TechSource: 7 Interesting Crime-Solving Games for Android


7 Interesting Crime-Solving Games for Android

Posted: 17 Jan 2015 01:35 AM PST

To summon your inner Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew, you don't need to join a detective squad anymore. There are many new games that allow you to solve crimes, catch the bad guys, and prove to the world that there is a master detective in you waiting to be recognized. These games let you play as a detective or a cop for hours and make you rack your brain to come up with clues that will help solve the mystery.

If you are someone who travels a lot, thankfully, most of these fabulous crime-solving games are already available for Android devices. This means you can keep working on cases, fighting crime, and saving the city, no matter where you go.

So, if you are ready to untangle the latest murder mystery in your town, here are some of the best crime-solving games for Android.


CSI (Hidden Crimes)


When it comes to solving crimes, CSI is a well-known franchise. The TV show has millions of loyal fans and its intelligent writing has kept viewers engaged for years. Bringing the same crime-busting thrill to your Android smartphone or tablet computer comes CSI Hidden Crimes. Set in Las Vegas, the game is written by Jack Gutowitz, the writer of the original TV show. Your job in this title is to find clues, analyze the evidence, and finally if everything goes well, solve the case. 



Special Enquiry Detail

In this game, you are responsible for investigating a murder of the daughter of two charity fundraisers. As the game progresses, the list of suspects grows. Leading the case are two smart detectives Turino and Lamonte. The game, much like CSI, involves you investigating the clues and helping the cops bring the criminal to justice. 



Mysteryville 2

When award-winning journalist Laura Winner finds that her friend Bill Witowsky has gone missing, she begins an investigation that takes her to places she'd never thought of. Soon, she finds that the disappearance of Bill is intricately linked to a charity auction the town's priest is throwing. How is Bill's disappearance linked to the auction? Well, that's what you are here for. The game involves you helping Laura solve the mystery by searching all the clues that help her solve the mystery. 



Another Case Solved

In this game, you get to play a famous detective who is responsible for solving a candy conspiracy. Ever since the city has outlawed all sweet snacks, you have to find clues and investigate the real reason behind the ban on candy sweets. What's special about this game is that you get to create your own special detective look with outfits, props, et al. Also, if you are into bragging, this game also supports Google Play achievements. 



Crime Story

Crime Story is a very interesting game that allows you to narrate your own gangsta story. The journey to becoming a mafia boss begins by searching for your kidnapped brother. The storyline of the game alone makes it fun and exciting. You will start from the bottom of the mafia world and you can move up from a common nasty job doer to a respected mobster by eliminating rivals and conquering the town. Your tattoos and scars will help you earn respect from your fellow gangsters. Overall, this is a really good game.



Crime Squad India Driving Game

For Indian Android gamers, this title lets you drive classic Indian vehicles down the streets of Mumbai to help keep crimes at bay. Unlike other crime-busting games on the list, this one doesn't have much of the mystery element to it. The game has more of a "shoot-and-chase" kind of experience. 



Mountain Crime: Requital

In this title, you play a doctor who's visiting a mountain resort. Upon arriving you find the first victim of the mystery. Your job is to investigate the other members of the resort and gather enough clues to find out who's behind this crime. As the game progresses, your character gets further entangled into the whole mystery so much so that you'll now have to worry about saving your life too. Though the game is not free, it's a fun and engaging title that will keep you hooked for hours. 



Rabu, 07 Januari 2015

TechSource: 5 of the Best Smartwatches of 2014

TechSource: 5 of the Best Smartwatches of 2014


5 of the Best Smartwatches of 2014

Posted: 06 Jan 2015 11:10 PM PST

2014 is rightly dubbed as the year of smartwatches. Everyone from Apple to Samsung has tried their hands on coming up with a smartwatch that gives their company a strong foothold in this emerging new market. Be it the enticing watch-based apps or the fitness-tracking features that promise you to keep healthy, this new emerging piece of hardware has taken the tech world by storm.

Given the massive success of both Android and iOS, it has become easy for consumers to trust big brands like Apple and Google. These mobile operating systems have already become a huge part of our daily lives and having an add-on device that works seamlessly with what we have is a big bonus for not just a tech geek but also for an average user. In 2014, many smartwatches were released, some of them were completely new and some were massive updates to devices that already existed in the market. If you are on the hunt for your next new smartwatch, then read on as we list 5 of the best smartwatches of 2014.


5. Samsung Gear 2

Samsung was one of the first entrants to the smartwatch race. Before Apple or even Android, the Korean giant had ambitious plans to scoop up a market which was still in its infancy. Although with the recent announcements of Apple Watch and Moto 360, their plans have dampened a notch, we still consider Samsung Gear 2 a solid smartwatch. What makes it so special is the fact that it works seamlessly with Samsung smartphones. With a large, crisp display, Gear 2 lets you pick up calls from your phone and read important notifications. The design, though acceptable, presents a brushed metal finish with a leather strap. The specs are good too, with 4GB internal storage, 1 GHZ processor, and a battery life that lasts about 2-3 days. The only flaw with this device is that it runs Tizen, which is good, but not future proof considering where Android Wear is right now. Furthermore, the limitation that the watch only works with Samsung phones is a hard one to overlook. However, if you are a part of the evolving Samsung ecosystem, this might be the perfect device for you.



4. LG G Watch

Though it doesn't look as good as many of the smartwatches on the market, G Watch is definitely a good buy for those who want to get their hands on first-gen Wear. With a slightly lower resolution display of 280x280 and a 1.65-inch screen, this one is a square little unassuming device. It comes with a nice little charging cradle that's incredibly simple to use. It is water resistant and performs considerably well under sunlight compared to other devices. On the negative side, it has a poor battery life, underwhelming design, and lacks support for a wider range of Android devices. Despite its negative aspects, G Watch is definitely a good entry point for anyone wanting to use an Android Wear device.



3. Samsung Gear Live

Another smartwatch from Samsung is the Gear Live, which was released a couple of months after Gear 2. What's the difference? Well, there are better specs, a new wine-red color, lower weight and Android 4.3+ support. It comes with a 320x320 Super AMOLED display that offers a crisp and bright interface.  Most of the specs are similar to Gear 2; however, one thing is dramatically different and that is Android Wear. Even if the Gear 2 had better specs, Gear Live would definitely topple it for the sheer reason that it has Android Wear. Furthermore, its fitness features make up for its terrible battery life and its lack of compatibility with a wide range of Android phones. If you are not a big fan of Samsung's ecosystem and are looking for a nice, feature-packed smartwatch, this one's for you. 



2. Pebble Steel

Pebble Steel still remains a reliable choice for anyone who is looking for a smartwatch that lives up to its name. It's fashionable and thin with a design that is both durable and sturdy. What's different about Pebble though is that it isn't running Android Wear or Tizen for that matter. It has its own operating system and its own ecosystem of apps that make it a worthy investment of your hard-earned cash. Though expensive than the rest, Pebble Steel wins you over with its sheer simplicity, powerful battery life, and ease of use. After all, Pebble has been in this game for way longer than Android Wear or Tizen, and it shows. Pebble Steel offers a refined, mature, and a stable smartwatch experience that is hard to beat. If you own an Android smartphone and an iPhone, Pebble is your only bet right now as it works well with both ecosystems.



1. Moto 360

Moto 360 is an Android smartphone done right. Bridging the gap between technology and style, this affordable smartwatch works just as great as it looks. With wireless charging, the circular watch comes packed with a lot of great features. Made from pure Android Wear, it comes with a 1.56-inch LCD circular display that has a resolution of 320 x 290. The watch frame is stainless steel and along with it you have a matching leather strap that makes it look like a genuinely stylish watch. Moto 360 works perfectly with many devices running Android 4.4+ and is water resistant. Also, Google Now being a major component of the experience works just as smoothly as you'd expect. If we overlook the poor battery performance, Moto 360 is THE smartwatch you should be buying. It's affordable, it looks good, and it does exactly what a smartwatch does.


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

Kamis, 18 Desember 2014

TechSource: How to Write Screenplays Using Your Android Device

TechSource: How to Write Screenplays Using Your Android Device


How to Write Screenplays Using Your Android Device

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 12:57 AM PST

If you are a budding screenwriter who's always on the move, writing a screenplay on your Android smartphone is the last thing you'd think of. In fact, there are barely any apps that fulfill the promise of a full-fledged writing experience on your mobile device. Having said that, hope's not lost. Android users who love to travel and love to write will find some of the screenwriting apps that we are about to share with you quite handy.

Most of the following Android apps work very well on Android smartphones. However, one must generally avoid writing full-fledged scripts using the phone's small screen. What these apps work great for is editing bits and pieces of your script without you having to wait till you get home from work and open your computer. In short, these apps, though few, work quite well, but cannot be relied upon too much so investing in quality desktop screenwriting tools is still highly recommended.


FadeIn Mobile

FadeIn is a fabulous screenwriting application that works across all major platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac. The mobile version of the software is designed to complement the desktop counterpart. This means that you'll be able to edit .fadein files on your smartphone without any difficulties. What's appealing about this app is that you don't have to worry much about formatting as it's automatically taken care of. Also, if you are someone who worries a lot about losing your files, FadeIn hooks quite nicely with your Dropbox account thus allowing you to safely backup your script. The only and perhaps the biggest drawback of this app is that it doesn't work with .FDX files or any other major file formats in the industry. 



Celtx Script


Celtx is a well-known free application that lets you write screenplays across multiple platforms. Its desktop counterpart retains most of the features that let you write scripts in screenplay, AV, stage play, audio play, and comic formats. To use the app, you'll need to sign up with a free Celtx account. This means that your scripts will be safely backed up and synced to the cloud without needing any external account. Though the app doesn't come with many fancy features, it is still useful for quickly typing out things on the go.



DubScript Screenplay Writer

DubScript undoubtedly has to be one of the most feature-rich applications on the list. The app works with four of the major script formats: Fountain 1.x, Final Draft (.fdx), Trelby, and CeltX (.html). And yes, this is the only app that provides you a suitable environment for creating a screenplay from scratch and then exporting it. What makes DubScript so special is that it uses the Fountain markup. This means that you won't have to waste unnecessary time focusing on the format of your screenplay. Just write and the app will handle the formatting part for you. Once you are done writing the script, it is neatly formatted by the app and can be exported as .fdx or even an .html file. If you want to print it directly, you can use Android's printing functionality to do that. The app can also export files into PDF format. You can then send those files to anyone one else by exporting the file via email, Evernote, or even Twitter if you are a little courageous.



MyScreenplays

MyScreenplays is another great app for writing screenplays on your smartphone or tablet. What makes this app stand apart is that it provides a unique non-linear approach to screenwriting. In other words, you can pick out any part of your script and start editing it whenever you want to. Most of the formatting happens automatically without you having to worry about it. MyScreenplays acts like a non-linear video editor but for screenplays. As for the supported file formats, the app can both import and export files in .fdx format. If you want, you can also export in HTML, Doc, PDF, and Celtx. Apart from extensive support for various popular formats, MyScreenplays also comes with some great editing options.



Kamis, 04 Desember 2014

TechSource: 5 Tempting Firefox Features That May Make You Ditch Chrome Forever

TechSource: 5 Tempting Firefox Features That May Make You Ditch Chrome Forever


5 Tempting Firefox Features That May Make You Ditch Chrome Forever

Posted: 03 Dec 2014 07:55 PM PST

Chrome has transformed itself from a mere browser to a full-fledged operating system. It now has apps, extensions, themes, and a complete ecosystem built around it. Developed by Google, this browser, which is based on an open-source project, has become one of the most popular products made by the search giant. In fact, combined with Android, Chrome has the potential to become a formidable force that might be able to completely unshackle users from the clutches of Microsoft.

Chrome OS on the other hand, isn't lagging behind either. Its popularity is growing in huge numbers and a more tangible proof of that is Evernote, a company that has created an app just for them. This ever-growing presence of Chrome coupled with the domination of Android is like a Google fanboy's dream come true.

Having said that, despite its soaring success, Chrome isn't as great as it used to be when it first started. What used to be a blazing fast alternative to the then-reigning Firefox has now become a bit bloated. Too many features and tracking that may drive privacy conscious people a tad crazy has pushed a few people to go back to the mighty fox. While we don't think a regular Chrome user would be able to move to another browser so easily (given the amount of services it's tied to) we think Firefox still deserves another chance. It's a browser that has stood the test of time and has matured despite the strong competition.


1. Customization: This is a big area where Firefox's new Australis revamp has managed to take the browser a couple of steps ahead of Chrome. With the new design, you can customize pretty much any area of Firefox thus making it look the way you want. Be it a download button on the toolbar or an address bar that sits alone just like you have on Chrome, Firefox lets you shape your browsing experience any way you want.

2. Privacy: Google's main revenue source is advertising. And needless to say, that worries a lot of people who are concerned about their privacy. With Google's tracking built-in, Chrome tracks your searches in the Omnibox along with the suggestions. Also, most people don't like having all their data in one place, and that's why ditching Chrome might be a good idea. Firefox, on the other hand, has a strict focus on maintaining its users' privacy and this might help soothe any frustrations you have about making the switch. 

3. Better Extensions: When it comes to extensions, Firefox still reigns supreme. What makes its extensions so good is that they fit in perfectly with the rest of the browsing experience. Also, they allow you to change or modify pretty much every aspect of your browsing experience, something you'd rarely find in Chrome. Overall, Firefox's add-ons, though many of them require a restart, are much more mature and stable as compared to those on Chrome.

4. More organized:
Compared to Chrome, Firefox's browsing experience is much more organized. Firefox comes with Tab groups out of the box, which allow you to club various types of tabs together and thus reduce clutter. Think of it like virtual desktops for your browser. What's good about the feature is that it's easily accessible. Just press Ctrl+Shift+E and the browser zooms out allowing you to rearrange the tabs in groups. You can even search through your tabs in this zoomed out mode thus relieving some of the tab overload we face on a daily basis.

5. Completely open source: Last, but not the least, Firefox is completely open source. This means that you can trust on it more than any other type of software in the world. Chrome, on the other hand, is based on an open-source project called Chromium. As much as Google emphasizes the fact that it's "based on an open-source project," it's still not open-source, and many FOSS enthusiasts like us agree with the fact.


Conclusion: Firefox is not perfect. It still has some aspects wherein Chrome will beat it hands-on if there ever was a competition between the two. But if there were a war between all the browsers in the world, both Firefox and Chrome would come out on top making them the two best choices any Internet user could make.


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

Senin, 17 November 2014

TechSource: How to Build Awesome Android Apps

TechSource: How to Build Awesome Android Apps


How to Build Awesome Android Apps

Posted: 17 Nov 2014 03:59 AM PST

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.