Selasa, 06 Oktober 2015

TechSource: 5 Best Tools You Need To Create Your Next Big Android App

TechSource: 5 Best Tools You Need To Create Your Next Big Android App

5 Best Tools You Need To Create Your Next Big Android App

Posted: 06 Oct 2015 02:24 AM PDT

Creating a simple Android app that calculates the amount of tip you have to pay at a restaurant is easy. Creating a fully functional messaging app with third-party integration, not so. Android app development is such a big area that the possibilities for you are practically endless. You can create very basic apps that make you enough money to pay your rent and then you can create those big apps like Snapchat, which make you a billionaire. Android marketplace isn't just an app store anymore; it's a playground for showcasing your best abilities and creating something valuable for millions of mobile users.

That said, good apps do need some extra effort, some manpower, and more importantly some solid tools that help speed up the process. That's why today we've listed some of the best tools out there for helping you create your next big Android app. These will help you get through some of the most common hurdles that show up when you create, deploy, and test your app. 

Android Studio

This is the most basic stuff you'll find in an Android developer's repertoire. Android Studio replaces Eclipse as the official IDE for Android and comes with all the libraries and developer tools that will help you create your app right from scratch. The whole bundle works across all major operating system platforms. The huge download also gives you access to a version of Android system image for the emulator. This means that you can write your app then test it right on your desktop. You won't even need an Android device at any stage of the development process.

Titanium SDK

If you have strong aversion to Java and prefer coding in languages like HTML, PHP, JavaScript, Ruby and Python, this SDK is for you. Instead of sticking to a native SDK like Android SDK, you can develop apps for multiple platforms at the same time. In other words, you can create apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows from the same codebase. If you are a small business or a budding startup that needs to get apps up and running across multiple platforms, Titanium is a great choice. It has been used by many developers from around the world and many apps are created using it. 


The default Android emulator, despite being distributed by Google, itself happens to be quite slow and buggy. Genymotion remedies that problem by providing a blazing fast Android emulator that does much more than what the default Android emulator does. Moreover, apart from providing an Android emulator, Genymotion also provides more than 10 virtual devices so that you can test your app across all the major platforms out there. If your app or game has special features that make use of the motion sensors or requires connecting to a big display, Genymotion handles that too by providing specialized features to test your app. If you are developing a small app, the default emulator is good enough. But for big apps that need to be deployed to millions of users (in case of startups, etc.), there's nothing better than Genymotion out there.


Much like Titanium, Rhomobile lets you build apps for multiple platforms without requiring you to become a Java ninja. What makes it so special is that Rhomobile focuses more on enterprise clients. We've already written a lot about Enterprise apps on Android and if your next app is one then Rhomobile might come in handy. You can code in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and Ruby yet be able to deploy a single app across multiple platforms. The basic suite is free but if you're a company then go for the Silver or Gold plan depending on your needs.


If you are building a big app that needs to be tested aggressively, Ubertester is a service that will definitely come in handy. It lets you organize and monitor your app's beta testing process much more efficiently. It doesn't matter if you have 4 or 400 testers Ubertester gives you a lot of flexibility, which the usual testing process doesn't allow. You can send OTA updates (much like Google does) to your testers and get quick feedback. Among other features, Ubertesters also allows you to do in-app bug editing which comes in very handy if you are reiterating on the go. Overall, it is a great service for testing and improving your Android app.

Jumat, 11 September 2015

TechSource: 5 Best Calendar Apps for Google Chrome

TechSource: 5 Best Calendar Apps for Google Chrome

5 Best Calendar Apps for Google Chrome

Posted: 11 Sep 2015 01:15 AM PDT

Managing time has become so important these days. You have a meeting at 10 am, then lunch at 2 pm, and a lot of things in between. It is hard to manage so many things in one day. Thankfully, these days we have so many time management apps that it is barely a hassle anymore. As humans, we should be grateful to the wonderful technology we have at our disposal.

Technology, in many ways, has saved us from the hassle of being late to meetings, forgetting important birthdays, and missing out on some great parties. Be it an app, a web-based service, or a nifty command-line trick, never before has time management become so easy. One of the biggest proofs of this advancement is the way our calendars have been reinvented. From simple sheets of papers that we used to hang on the walls to the omnipresent "apps" we carry with us anywhere we go, Calendar has come a long way. If you're a person who lives in their browser, however, nothing comes more handy than these calendar apps. 

So, if you are looking to ramp up your productivity this week, read on as we list some of the best calendar apps for Google Chrome:

Google Calendar

Undoubtedly the most popular web-based calendar service out there, Google Calendar's omnipresence is hard to deny. Be it a corporate meeting or a family gathering, this nifty service makes sure that punctuality will be the last thing you need to worry about. What's great about Google's calendar service is that it allows you to share your calendar with your coworkers and friends. This means that they won't have to call you up every time they want to schedule a meeting with you. They can simply add an event to a calendar and you can choose whether to accept or to deny the invite (much like Facebook events). 

Another good thing about Google Calendar is that it syncs with most of your desktop applications thus helping you access it no matter where you go. This app for Chrome, though almost identical to the web app, lets you have a quick access to the service. 

Boomerang Calendar for Gmail

While this might not be necessarily an app, it does give you some great functionality if you are someone who gets lost in a myriad of appointments and commitments to keep. Once installed, you'll be able to schedule your meetings with just one click. Whenever you get an invite, the extension goes through your schedule and checks for any available spots. If it finds any, it will let you book that spot in just one click. The add-on is pretty simple and straightforward and works quite well with Gmail. 

Zoho Calendar

Zoho Calendar is part of the Zoho suite, a well-known competitor to Google Docs. While neither as popular or as feature rich as Google Calendar, Zoho seems like a perfect choice for those who want to unshackle themselves from Google's huge ecosystem. As far as the UI goes, the app looks pretty similar to Google Calendar, almost as if it is a clone. However, the fonts and many other UI elements do a good job at reminding you that this is a different application you are using. Also, Zoho allows you to embed your calendar on any website or blog. This can be very useful for bloggers who like putting out schedules and future post announcements on their site. 

Apart from being a solid, Google Calendar alternative, Zoho makes itself stand apart from the web giant by allowing you to integrate the calendar with various CRM applications.

Memo Calendar

This app stands apart from others on this list by focusing on simplicity rather than features. Memo Calendar acts and feels much like the memo calendars we used to (or still do) hang on our walls. On each date, you can stick a small note so that it could help you remember something important that you have to do that day. Be it a birthday, a meeting, or an award show, just write it down on the memo calendar and you'll be fine. If you are looking for a simple, clean alternative to Google Calendar, this is your pick.

Sunrise Calendar

Compatible with the aforementioned Google Calendar as well as iCloud, Sunrise calendar is what Wunderlist is to a plain-old to-do list. Gorgeous design coupled with all the essential features you'd want from Google Calendar or any other calendar app, Sunrise is probably the best calendar app out there (Yes, it's even better than Google Calendar). What makes it so special is the fact that it integrates with many of the important services that have similar features built in. In other words, you don't have to open Facebook to check your distant cousin's birthday, Sunrise brings your Facebook Events and GCal events together thus removing the necessity for you to keep checking multiple sites at the same time. Much like Google Calendar, Sunrise works offline and allows you to add maps to a particular event. If you are already using Google Calendar, try this. 

Jumat, 21 Agustus 2015

TechSource: Using Android Apps for Keeping the Family Safe

TechSource: Using Android Apps for Keeping the Family Safe

Using Android Apps for Keeping the Family Safe

Posted: 20 Aug 2015 08:38 PM PDT

If you have kids, you know how hard or fact impossible it is to wean them off their smartphones. Constant texting, calling, and selfie-snapping are essential elements of the modern youth lifestyle. And to challenge that, is a herculean task. But with every dark cloud there's a silver lining. Similarly, every smartphone brings with it a valuable tool that can assist a great deal in protecting your family.

Thanks to the GPS technology many smartphones come built with, you can easily locate your family members on a map and reach them whenever they are in need of your help. This is also a great way to keep track of teenagers when they go out to a party late at night thus keeping you up worrying about them. Furthermore, even when you are in a supermarket or a mall, you can prevent your kids from getting lost by tracking them on a map. The aforementioned safety measures don't come built-in with a new smartphone, however, there are some really good apps that provide those features at a very low cost or for free. Following is a list of few such apps:

Life360 - Family Locator 

Life360 is a well-designed and useful family safety app that is great for small or even big families. Once installed, you can view your family members' locations on a private map along with their display pictures. What's good about Life360 is that it has a "Check-in" button like Foursquare that lets your kids or you punch in their current location. Also, if there is any trouble, you can push the "Alert" button and notify your parents. Among other features, this free app is great for chatting up with your family members while you are away. 

ZoeMob Family Locator

Much like the aforementioned Life360, ZoeMob too serves as a GPS tracker for your family members. What is great about this app is that it comes with a GeoFence feature that lets you receive alerts whenever your family members arrive at school or at home. This is great for working moms who want to get notified once their kids get home from school. Furthermore, ZoeMob also features a family messenger app for chatting with other family members. 

Family Safe

Family Safe is a GPS tracking system that can be used for tracking family members' locations. The application operates on 2 modes: Guardian profile and Protected profile. Under the Guardian profile (aimed at parents), you will be able to add your kids, elders, or any other relatives to your list and locate them on the map. If they're in trouble, you can quickly drive over to them using Google Navigate. There is also an option to call your relative right from the app. Under the protected profile (aimed at kids/elders), you're able to send a quick alert to a guardian signaling any emergency. 

Family Safety GPS Tracker

If you want to track specific members of your family using their phone's GPS tracker, this app is worth a try. It has a unique functionality that gives you your relatives' GPS position at specific predefined intervals. This means that, you can get alerts about your kids' positions every one or two hours and not every minute (which can be quite annoying for both parties). Another good thing the app comes with is the emergency button. Just press the power key (even when your phone is in your pocket) four times and it will sound an emergency alarm. Also, if you want to know your child's location using SMS only (useful for older phones), you can simply send the SMS : REQUEST LOCATION and you'll get the location. Overall, a clean and simple app that does what it says on the tin. 

Family Locator - GPS Tracker

Family Locator is another good app for locating your family members. What's unique about this app is that you can manually set safe or danger zones in the phone. This means that if your child goes into a particular part of the town (let's say the one that's more prone to violence, robbery etc) it will sound an alarm. Similarly, in a safe zone, when your kid leaves a particular zone, it will inform you. Apart from those features, the app has pretty much all the bells and whistles from other Family safety apps like messenger, maps, and real-time location. 

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

Senin, 03 Agustus 2015

TechSource: 7 Best Chrome Apps and Extensions for Coders

TechSource: 7 Best Chrome Apps and Extensions for Coders

7 Best Chrome Apps and Extensions for Coders

Posted: 03 Aug 2015 02:16 AM PDT

Whether you are a code ninja or a budding programmer, having a good programming environment is a must. However, with the high amount of time we spend in our browsers and on our Chromebooks, finding any coding tools that are not native is a bit of a daunting task. Thankfully, Chrome with its huge repository of apps and extensions, has us covered pretty well. So, if you are looking for some great coding tools that work perfectly in your Google Chrome browser, read on as we cover the best of the lot. 

Zed Code Editor

Zed Code Editor is a nice, clean-looking code editor designed specially for Chrome. Fully capable of running offline, its dark UI makes you focus on coding and nothing else. What's great about Zed is that it allows you to edit files locally as well as the ones that are stored on your Dropbox or Github account. Zed also supports syntax highlighting for most of the popular programming languages and can complete your code thus saving you the usual typing trouble. Another unique thing about Zed is that it has no tabs, it exists in a simple Chrome window that can be navigated using the goto UI. Built using web technologies like HTML5 and CSS, Zed is probably one of the best code editors you can have not just on Chrome but on desktop as well.


Code Cola 

If you are a web developer, you will love Code Cola. It is a simple little extension that allows you to edit an online page's CSS in a visual way. Once installed, you can treat the whole web as your playground as you edit pretty much any page that you find worth experimenting on. 


Modeled on the famed Sublime Text, Caret is an offline-capable text editor with syntax highlighting capabilities. What is special about Caret is that it is a great companion for users who love their Chromebooks thanks to its syncing capabilities. You can edit a file on your home computer and then you can continue working on it whenever you're traveling. Just hook your Google account to Caret and it will let you carry on where you left off. 


What Text lacks in features, it makes up in simplicity. Though definitely not as feature rich as the other editors on the list, this one is capable enough to become your default text editor. It has a clean and simple UI and it handles opening multiple files pretty well. With syntax highlighting for most major programming languages, Text can serve as a great, lightweight companion for a budding coder. 


Tailor is an experimental code editor for Chrome. With support for Git, it lets you work on multiple files with full syntax highlighting enabled. Though it doesn't have as many features, it is still a very simplistic, bare-bones app that works perfectly well offline. Though still in heavy development, it will be interesting to watch out for future additions to this project.


If you are a web developer, you'll love Shift Edit. The online IDE lets you develop in PHP, Ruby, HTML, CSS and JavaScript with full syntax highlighting. You can then publish those files through SFTP, FTP, and Dropbox to any location you want. Despite taking a freemium approach to an IDE, ShiftEdit does live up to the expectations many web developers have from a good coding tool.

If you are a developer who spends most of your coding life on GitHub, this next app is just for you. Once installed, you'll be able to collect the useful code snippets you find on a daily basis and organize them according to a programming language, project, or goal. Another cool function of Gitbox is the ability to quickly search through your text files. Just enter your query with a # or a keyword and the results show up instantly. What stands out in Gistbox is its simple UI and easy-to-use layout that makes it a treat to work with. 

Rabu, 15 Juli 2015

TechSource: How to Doodle and Sketch on Your Android Smartphone

TechSource: How to Doodle and Sketch on Your Android Smartphone

How to Doodle and Sketch on Your Android Smartphone

Posted: 15 Jul 2015 01:53 AM PDT

As smartphone sizes are increasing, there's a lot more you can do with them rather than just sending texts or playing games. With screens of size 5 inches or more, phablets like the Galaxy Note 4 and the Google Nexus 6 make it possible for you to even write or doodle on your device. This is very useful for taking down quick notes and sketching important diagrams in a business meet. While not everyone owns a Note device, there are many apps that let you make the most out of your touchscreen and use it for sketching or doodling. What's more, if you have kids, you can hand them your smartphone and let them create their own masterpiece. Either way, with these apps, you have a fantastic drawing tool at your disposal.

Sketchbook Express

If you are a professional artist, Sketchbook is a must-have app for you. Developed by Autodesk, this free app provides a set of dedicated sketching tools for devices with screen sizes 7" or smaller. Whether you prefer to capture your ideas on a paper napkin or draw beautiful sketches of people that you see everyday, this application lets you take your creativity to a level that you want. Though the app is for professionals, it can be used by pretty much anyone who has a flair for drawing and sketching.

Evernote Skitch

While not strictly a sketching or a doodling app, it is a useful addition to the list, nonetheless. Evernote's Skitch lets you annotate images and even PDF files so that you can be more expressive with the data you already have. It's a great tool to snap a picture of something, mark it up with your own ideas, and then send it to someone who can help transform the idea to reality. It is definitely worth a try for the creative types.

Doodle Magic

Doodle Magic is an app that kids will love. It is simple, without any extra bells and whistles, and just works. You get to draw on a black background with bright glowing colors, which might seem a bit odd at first, but results in some great artwork if you are good at it.

Doodle Text

If you are someone who likes to have more fun with your photos, Doodle Text is an app for you. Once installed, you'll be able to doodle on your photos, add some funky effects, and then send the picture to your friends. This means that you can draw a moustache, make yourself look like a ninja, or even type in messages for your loved ones. As far as sharing features go, this app has plenty with even an ability to post to your Facebook wall. Go ahead; share your masterpieces with your buddies!

Bamboo Paper

Bamboo Paper is an app with a simple goal: Turn your Android smartphone into paper. Among the apps mentioned in this list, this one is probably the most accurate and the most useful one. With precise inking tools, annotation capabilities, and much more, Bamboo Paper really strikes out as a doodling app that you can actually use in your daily life. Once installed, you can create your own notebooks wherein you can sketch, write, or doodle anything you want. Once you are done, you can share those notebooks with colleagues and friends via Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Infinite Painter

Infinite Painter is an app specially designed for Galaxy Note smartphones that come with S-pen or similar styluses. Once installed, there is a lot you can do with this app. Aimed for creative minds, this app is perfect if you are someone who paints a lot or likes sketching. Instead of frantically searching for a canvas every time you head out, you can have a full-fledged virtual canvas at your disposal. Though using the app on smaller (5 inch or less) devices won't do it much justice, it is still a good investment if you are serious about sketching.