Selasa, 05 Mei 2015

TechSource: 5 of the Best Raspberry Pi Projects Out There

TechSource: 5 of the Best Raspberry Pi Projects Out There


5 of the Best Raspberry Pi Projects Out There

Posted: 04 May 2015 08:50 PM PDT

Raspberry Pi, when first launched about two years ago, became an instant phenomenon. After all, who could have thought of a $35 computer that lets you browse the web and does most of your office work? What is even more surprising is the reception it got from average users. Usually, one would expect a bare-minimum $35 board computer that runs Linux to be popular only among developers or geeks. However, as many as 100,000 Raspberry Pi units were sold on the day of its launch eventually selling more than 2.5 million units till date.

Completely open-source, Raspberry Pi lets you do most of the basic tasks you'd normally do on a full-fledged desktop. You can browse the web, you can create documents, and you can even play music and watch videos. When it comes to desktop computers, Raspberry Pi is a veritable "Starter's Edition."  Since its inception, the project has made common computing available to parts of the world where owning a desktop was once considered a luxury. Moreover, it has also spurred a flurry of interesting projects that take this tiny superboard to a whole new level. If you are ready to show your creative, geeky side, then read on as we cover some of the best Raspberry Pi projects out there.


1. Turn Raspberry Pi into a Low-cost Coding Tutor for Kids

We've already covered a list of the best programming courses out there. However, as good as these courses are, learning programming can be a tough ordeal for kids who need a more hands-on approach to code. Instead of letting them mess up your production computer, you can buy them a little Raspberry Pi box, hook it up to a monitor, and let them code their heart away. A good programming language that's up to this task is Scratch that turns programming into an activity that's geared towards kids, making the whole process fun and enjoyable to them. In fact, this combination of Pi and Scratch can make programming accessible to places where kids who don't have the privilege of owning a computer, thus making it easy to spread knowledge everywhere.


2. Turn Raspberry Pi into a Media Center

Did you just say media center? Yep, there's a lot this little board can do that you won't usually expect it to do. What's great about Pi is that it supports 1080p out of the box with a tiny-but-powerful GPU running behind the scenes. Combine that with the Xbian project, you got a full-fledged media center on your hands. XBian is a small, fast and lightweight media center distribution that is designed for Raspberry Pi that brings the latest of XBMC to your mini-computer. It's a great, cheap investment if you're someone who likes watching a lot of movies.


3. Turn Raspberry Pi into a Car Computer


A very interesting blog post by developer Andrei Istodorescu shows you exactly how you can turn Pi into a PC that sits in your car. This means that you'll be able to watch your favorite movies or TV shows in your car. While that's a perfect idea for a romantic date, just make sure that you're not doing Game of Thrones marathons while driving. The blog post explains pretty much everything you need to do in order to install, configure, and get it up and running. The approximate cost of the parts requires comes down to about $200. However, as costly as that sounds, compared to the $25 board, it's a worthy investment for every geek who also loves her car.


4. Make a Wearable Raspberry Pi Computer

Envious of your Google Glass-sporting friends? Or maybe you're too privacy conscious to try the search giant's latest wearable. Whatever the case maybe, geeks and privacy enthusiasts can make use of Pi to create a DIY wearable that they can brag about to their friends who are busy drooling over Android Wear, Google Glass, and other wearables. While no way near perfect, this project can provide a full-powered desktop computer that you can use wherever you are. Even while walking. Although the cost of this project is about $400, it's a justified investment for every geek out there who wants to have a great learning experience.


5. Turn Raspberry Pi into a Universal Remote

Instructables has another cool guide on turning your Pi computer into a universal remote. Though you'll need some parts to get that working for you, those little investments are worth it if you're a lazy geek who loves to control everything from the couch. Also, it's a great learning experience for anyone who's interested in knowing more about the LIRC or tinkering with electronics. A bit tough to get working overnight, this project can be treated as a huge learning experience more than just a way to create a universal remote. You can also pair this off with XBMC and then create an ultimate media center with remote and everything at a very low cost.

Kamis, 16 April 2015

TechSource: Battle of the Phablets: Nexus 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4

TechSource: Battle of the Phablets: Nexus 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4


Battle of the Phablets: Nexus 6 vs. iPhone 6 Plus vs. Galaxy Note 4

Posted: 15 Apr 2015 11:56 PM PDT

When it comes to smartphones, the recent trends seem to veer towards the notion that "bigger is better." It all started with Samsung's Galaxy Note series. At that time, phones looked like boxes of tic-tacs compared to this giant beast they dubbed as phablet (phone/tablet).

While there were other big phones around, the Galaxy Note was the first smartphone that showed the world that using a big phone can actually make you more productive. Then, in just a few years, big phones became the norm. Slowly, but steadily, the size of the average smartphone kept getting bigger. Phones, nowadays, resemble a tablet more than anything else. A screen size of 5 inches of more is actually quite common, the kind of phone that covers the whole side of your face while you talk. The iPhone 6 Plus and the Nexus 6 are two new entrants in this phone-tablet, that is phablet race, aiming to take down the giant Galaxy Note 4.

 
For any casual user, choosing between these 3 expensive smartphones could be quite an ordeal. That's why, we decided to do a quick comparison between the devices and help you pick the one that's best for you.


Design

The Note 4 comes with a metallic frame with an S-pen tucked neatly at the bottom right corner of the phone. There are curves at the corner, but they're not as angular as the ones found on Nexus 6. This gives the Note a more rectangular shape, making it look professional. Compare that to Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the Note is the first phone that a business user would most likely pick up.

Coming to the Nexus 6, it does look similar to the Note 4 in some aspects, however, the curved edges give it a much more modern feel. At the back, the phone is curved thus making it easier to hold in your hand and also easier to use given its big size. Overall, it looks like a bulked up Moto X. Not that there's anything wrong with that, we'd have loved it if Google had tried something different with this one.

The design of the iPhone 6 Plus is a similar story. It does look like a bulked-up iPhone, and it too doesn't look that bad. In fact, when compared to the Nexus 6 and Note 4, it's the most nice-looking phone of the lot. Its aluminum body with a smooth finish and a ring-styled Home button make it an attractive phone. So, as far as design goes, the iPhone 6 Plus leaves behind Samsung and Google.

Winner: iPhone 6 Plus
 


Software and Usage

The iPhone 6 Plus comes with the latest version of iOS. The operating system doesn't look out of place on the phone and it does work quite well with the 6-inch screen. The same goes for Nexus 6, which is the first phone to come with Lollipop out of the box. It looks quite good on the phone and makes use of the 6-inch screen very nicely. However, when you compared them to the Galaxy Note 4, they both pale out in comparison. Despite having a clunky version of Android known as TouchWiz, the Note 4 surprisingly delivers in the software department. It comes with software that makes perfect use of the S-pen hardware and the large screen. From note-taking apps to "Smart Select" that lets you select important text from an article, Note 4 is loaded with tools that help you get the most out of the big phone. If you're a businessperson, the Note 4 is the best of the lot because of the amazing features geared towards office goers. Even for casual users, Note series of phones have a lot to offer, thus making it an all-round treat to use.

Winner: Note 4

  

Hardware and Performance

Both the Galaxy Note 4 and the Nexus 6 come with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor that clocks at 2.7 GHz. They are also loaded with an Adreno GPU and 3 GB of RAM making both smartphones absolute powerhouses when it comes to hardware. On the other hand, the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a Dual-core 1.4 GHz Cyclone ARM-based processor and 1 GB of RAM. While iPhone's specs don't quite match up to what the Nexus and the Note have to offer, Apple's software optimizations make the smartphone a treat to use. However, if we did compare these phones purely on specs basis, the Note 4 and Nexus 6 would come out on top. Between those two, well, that's a tough choice but we'll have to pick Nexus 6 here since it uses pure Android thus giving it an ability to get the maximum from the chips.

Winner: Nexus 6



Display and Screen

The iPhone 6 Plus screen comes with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 and 401 ppi pixel density. It's about 5.5 inches in size, which is still smaller than the Nexus 6. The Galaxy Note 4 comes with 2560 x 1440 pixels display that has a 515 ppi pixel density. It's a Super AMOLED display that makes the colors stand out and look vibrant. The Nexus 6 is slightly larger in size with a 5.96in AMOLED display that has a resolution of 1440 x 2560. Among the three devices, the phone with the "best-looking" display would be the Note 4. It's saturated display looks vibrant and bright even at odd viewing angles. As for the iPhone 6 Plus, it looks slightly brighter than the Nexus 6 but its display quality is pretty much at-par with these devices. However, if we did have to pick one, we'd go with the Note 4.

Winner: Note 4


Camera

The Nexus 6 comes with a 13 MP rear camera with HDR+, panorama, photo sphere, and many other useful features. The Note 4, however, comes with a 16 MP camera with a boatload of features in the camera application (which is typical of Samsung). Samsung's camera captures details quite well when compared to the Nexus. Quality wise, they are pretty much at par, however, the Note 4 camera is a little better than the one on Nexus. The iPhone camera, though has an 8MP shooter, takes surprisingly good photos. Compared to ones taken by the Note 4, the iPhone pictures are a bit warmer in tone. Not that it is a bad thing, but the warm tone gives the photos a much "realistic" feeling. If you disregard the differences in color tones, all three cameras pretty much take pictures of similar quality that won't disappoint you.

Winner: Tie


Pricing

Depending on where you live, all of the three phablets are few of the most expensive gadgets in the market. You'll find these phones around the $700 range. Also, these phones though expensive, offer some of the best specs around, so they do serve as a good investment in the long run.

Winner: Tie


Conclusion: Which one to buy?

If you are planning to use your phone in the office and for business, the Galaxy Note 4 is the best phablet you can buy hands-down. It has the best specs and the best apps suite that is geared towards office owners and business users. The Note line of products is the best thing Samsung created and it is not a phone that you can overlook. It is loaded with the best specs and features out there.

If you are not a business owner, still the Note 4 is worth considering. But as far as casual work+play devices go, both the Nexus 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are great choices. The big discriminating factor  between them as far as value for money goes is the presence of different operating systems. If you are someone who's already in the Android ecosystem, go with the Nexus 6 as that will guarantee you updates for quite a long time. The iPhone 6 Plus is a great addition to the family for anyone who already owns a lot of Apple products. That said, the Note 4 still remains a solid product that both Apple and Google will have to work hard to take down.

Overall Winner: Samsung Galaxy Note 4



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

Rabu, 25 Maret 2015

TechSource: Best Combat Strategy Games for Android

TechSource: Best Combat Strategy Games for Android


Best Combat Strategy Games for Android

Posted: 25 Mar 2015 07:14 AM PDT

Combat strategy games are an excellent amalgamation of two popular genres. This combination provides a well-paced yet addictive gaming experience that can keep you awake all night swiping and poking at your smartphone or tablet's screen.

If you don't mind being a little addicted, then following is a list of some of the best combat strategy games out there for Android.



Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is one of the most popular combat strategy games out there for your Android device. Completely free to play, this title involves building your village and then turning it into an undefeatable fortress. As you progress towards your goal, you can join hands with other players (or clans) and fight an epic clan war. There are 15 unique units that make up the game, all of them with multiple levels of upgrades. Your goal is to defend your clan at all cost using mortars, towers, bombers, traps, and walls. If you are lucky, you also get to fight the huge Goblin King from time to time. Overall, this is a fun and entertaining combat strategy game which you can either play alone or even with millions of other players from around the world. 



Castle Clash

In this game you hire legions of powerful heroes and lead an army of mythical creatures in your goal to becoming the world's greatest Warlord. With a perfect blend of combat and strategy, Castle Clash has over 30 million users worldwide. The journey toward becoming the world's greatest warlord involves building your own impenetrable fortress, creating an army of wild troops, and then casting powerful spells in epic battles. Overall, it is a fun combat strategy game that takes this genre to the next level by adding the fantasy element to it.



Boom Beach

In this game you fight against the evil BlackGuard by taking your strong forces to a paradise island. This island is invaded by the BlackGuard and it is your job to free the enslaved islanders and then leave the uncharted island. What's more, this hidden island has lot of ancient undiscovered powers that come in handy later on in the game. What stand out in this game are probably the boss battles that help you uncover important clues about the story. Overall it is a fun, entertaining, and addictive combat strategy game.



Stars Conquer

If you are tired of the usual combat strategy games set on ground, then Stars Conquer will give you a somewhat unique experience. Set in space, Stars Conquer lets you build your own base and then turn it into an undefeatable fortress. Of course it is not that easy because you'll have to battle other players from time to time. Thankfully, there are weapons like cannons, MLRS, and missile that make it quite fun to shoot down intruders. Overall, if you are into games based in space, then expect this game to keep you hooked for hours to come.



Defense Command


This game has probably one of the most interesting premises in this list. At the start of the game, the planet is invaded by aliens. Then, the world's military gets enslaved by an Alien Mind Control Device. Yes, the whole world's military! Luckily, however, only one battle squad remains. You are responsible of controlling this battle squad and leading it to an insurmountable task of defeating the alien force and restoring peace and harmony on earth. With unique battle tactics and lots of weapons for combat, Defense Command can be a game that will keep you hooked for hours.



Battle Command

Set in a futuristic world, this title helps you get a taste of military warfare with lots of advanced weapons. With 20 different units to unlock, the game provides a lot of meat if you are into building bases and constructing a solid army that withstands the constant attacks of the enemy. Apart from building a strong base, this game also involves the ability to attack other players' bases thus making the game quite challenging especially in the cases when you get attack by someone new. To avoid that, you can make alliances with fellow players and thus build a stronger base. With both single player and multi-player, this game mixes elements of tower defense, combat, and strategy perfectly to give a great addictive gameplay.


 

Kamis, 12 Maret 2015

TechSource: Tablet Wars Redux: Nexus 9 vs. iPad Air 2

TechSource: Tablet Wars Redux: Nexus 9 vs. iPad Air 2


Tablet Wars Redux: Nexus 9 vs. iPad Air 2

Posted: 12 Mar 2015 04:18 AM PDT

The tablet computer market, despite being dominated by the iPad, is in a constant state of agitation. With Amazon, Samsung, and Google coming out with their own line of tablets, the war for the bigger devices gets more and more intense every year. 2014, though was another one of those Apple vs. Google fights where both parties came out with the best line of products.

Apple released the iPad Air 2 while Google came out with Nexus 9. Both of these tablets are flagship products from two of the most popular tech companies in the world. With Nexus 9, the search giant brings along promises of a polished, Android Lollipop-laden tablet experience that will get the latest and greatest updates. With iPad Air 2, on the other hand, Apple makes sure that the users get the best features from their top-of-the line products into this tablet. A faster processor, lighter weight, and a fingerprint scanner may seem like small additions, but they do make a product that is already ruling the market into a superb all-round device.

When a casual consumer decides to head into the market to buy a new tablet, he's faced with many tough questions. The price aside, the main thing many people worry about is that: does this tablet meet my needs? And for years, Apple's iPad line has answered positively to that question, and noticing that, Google has decided to step up their game and launch their own tablet called the Nexus 9.

Aimed at the general public rather than Android fans, the Nexus 9 is a direct competitor to the iPad 2. It offers pretty much everything the iPad offers with the added bonus of a much freer OS that is Android. This leaves the customers with two top-of-the-line tablet devices to choose from. While we won't accompany you to the store to help you make the choice, we'll surely help you better discriminate between the two products and buy the one that appeals to you the most. 

 

Build Quality:

Both the Nexus 9 and the iPad Air 2 are almost the same weight and you won't feel much difference between them if you were to hold them with both of your hands. The build material, however, differs a lot. Apple's tablet comes with the trademark aluminum unibody finish that not only looks gorgeous but also feels premium and strong. On the Nexus 9's back, there's the matte plastic back; which, though looks good, doesn't quite measure up to what Apple offers to its customers. Even by just holding the iPad for a few seconds one can tell that Apple's tablet offering is way superior in terms of build quality when compared to the Nexus 9.

Winner: iPad Air 2.



Display:

The display on these devices is the top-of-the-line screens you will find in the market. Whether you are choosing a tablet for reading, watching movies, or playing the latest mobile games, both Apple and Google have done a great job at finding some of the best displays. Both have IPS panels with 2048x1536 resolutions on each of them. While Apple's is a 264 ppi display, the Nexus 9 is 288 ppi making the difference between the two tablets marginal. However, despite the high quality of these displays, iPad somehow manages to edge out Nexus 9 by adding some small-but-useful features to the mix. One of the glaring omissions (no pun intended) in Nexus 9 is the anti-reflective coating; something that helps you read books in the sunlight. This feature alone, as Apple claims, reduces reflections by half, thus making it a superb outdoor device. While Nexus 9 is not that bad for reading, but the small feature does indicate why Apple is still dominating the market.

Winner: iPad Air 2


Extra Features:

When it comes to goodies and extra features, the iPad Air 2 manages to edge out the Nexus 9. Its nifty fingerprint scanner does a lot of things other than to provide a one-touch security solution. While the Nexus does pretty much all things okay, it does miss that little X-factor that Apple's fingerprint sensor brings along.

Winner: iPad Air 2


Price:

The Nexus 9 is about $100 cheaper than the iPad Air 2 in most markets thus making it a great budget tablet for the general public.

Winner: Nexus9



Software:

While Android Lollipop looks just as gorgeous as it could ever look, it does fall short when it comes to scaling. The Nexus 9, running the latest version of Android, does look like an awesome tablet, but there's a lot of blank space that's wasted making it look as if the phone's software was just stuck on the tablet. While this is not a big issue, but compared to the iPad Air, the Nexus does lose out a couple of points. iPad with iOS8.1 not only looks good on a tablet but also looks as if the software was made for a big screen. Furthermore, you'll find many apps in the Apple App Store that are designed specifically for tablets thus making the iPad an even worthy purchase.

Winner: iPad Air 2


Usage:

Both the iPad and the Nexus could be used for reading, watching movies, checking mail, and playing games. While Google has the Play Store, Apple offers the famous iTunes Store to its users. iTunes, as many of you know, is one of the most popular content stores out there. While many may choose iTunes over Google Play, it may not necessarily affect the decision of a buyer who's just looking for a good tablet. However, if you come from the Apple ecosystem of apps, music, and games, iTunes will definitely lure you into buying the shiny tablet.

Winner: Tie


Camera:

While both have an 8MP camera at the back, the front-facing camera is where the similarity between the two devices ends. Apple's Air 2 comes with a 1.2 MP front camera while Nexus comes with a 1.6 MP one. The aperture for both is the same, which is f/2.4. However, there's one big difference here. The Nexus 9 camera comes with a flash. Yes, while we don't expect to see professional tablet-wielding photographers anytime soon, having a flash at the back is a welcome addition and it does score Google some brownie points.

Winner: Nexus 9


Conclusion:

While the Nexus 9 is a great device on paper, it does lack the maturity and the premium quality of the iPad Air. Since this is Google's first big tablet, we might overlook some flaws, but they do have to pull up their socks if they want to catch up with Apple in the tablet market. If you have an extra $100 to spend, you should consider getting an iPad Air rather than going for Nexus 9. It offers much more value for money for its high price.

Overall Winner: Apple iPad Air 2


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

Selasa, 03 Maret 2015

TechSource: Google Inbox Review: Does Google Finally Reinvent the Age-old Webmail?

TechSource: Google Inbox Review: Does Google Finally Reinvent the Age-old Webmail?


Google Inbox Review: Does Google Finally Reinvent the Age-old Webmail?

Posted: 03 Mar 2015 04:45 AM PST

Despite having a complete dominance over the webmail market, Google has repeatedly tried to reinvent the way email technology works. Whether it's the defunct Google Wave or the more social Google Plus, the search giant has made numerous attempts to revolutionize this technology. However, despite its valiant efforts, email still works pretty much the same way it used to work ten years ago. Many people, despite the surge of alternative messaging platforms, haven't been able to get rid of their beloved inbox. Furthermore, in enterprise settings, email still is the backbone of communications across various departments. In short, email is here to stay and yes, Google knows that.

That's why, instead of reinventing email, Google is trying on a new strategy. They are trying to make your email usage more productive. Google's latest endeavor, titled Google Inbox, is a new app by the Gmail team. Its goal is to help you use your inbox to get things done. Let's take a look at this new app and see whether it is here to stay or turn into another axed project.


Google Inbox: What is it?

If you are a productivity fanatic, you must definitely have heard the buzzword "inbox zero."  It's the bragging right of individuals who aren't that burdened by the barrage of emails that land in their inbox every day. While there are many strategies to manually achieve that coveted inbox zero, Chrome extensions being one of them, many users still find it difficult to handle their inbox effectively. This, in turn, leads to the perpetuating problem: people are being controlled by their email instead of them being in control.

Google Inbox aims to fix this issue by organizing your incoming emails into "bundles" so that you can see only the stuff that's important and sweep away the rest. Today, your email inbox isn't just about mails from co-workers, bosses, and friends; it also includes newsletters, promotions, purchase receipts, unsolicited spam, and much more. Thus, instead of focusing on the emails you need to reply to urgently, you end up checking a hundred different things that are irrelevant to your workflow.

By bundling your email into categories like Purchases, Updates, and more, you can quickly get to emails that matter to you the most. Another great thing about these bundles is that you can sweep away all the emails in that category by a simple click. So, let's say you have about 100 promotional emails that you don't even want to see, you can simply click on the double tick marks and voila, all the messages in that bundle get archived. 



Email as a To-do List

While there are some amazing To-do list software out there, Wunderlist and Todoist -- for example, Google Inbox promises to be strictly an email tool. And yes, it does live up to that promise. What Google does is that it integrates the to-do functionality into your inbox as a simple add-on feature rather than it being the showrunner. This means, by clicking the check mark you archive away all the emails you've worked on and then move on to the most important ones. In a way, this adheres very strongly to the GTD approach that was quite popular a few years ago. So, in a way, the To-do functionality makes it easier for you to focus on the most important things in your inbox and take away the rest.


So, Can it Replace Gmail?

Well, it is a strange question because Inbox isn't meant to replace Gmail. Inbox is designed to take Gmail and make it into a productivity powerhouse. Whether you are buried in a barrage of promotional emails or you spend your Sundays chasing the coveted "inbox zero," this email app will help you sort through the mess a lot quicker. It won't write your mails, nor would it do your dishes, but it will definitely make you spend fewer hours in the "just checking my mail phase" and move you closer to a pristine neat inbox.


Conclusion

Google Inbox is definitely here to stay. It is meant to be a booster pack for your email and yes business customers are already seeing the appeal to it. While it may not replace your webmail just yet, but we won't be surprised if it does so a couple of years down the line. 

Rabu, 18 Februari 2015

TechSource: Best Android-Based Messaging Apps for Enterprises

TechSource: Best Android-Based Messaging Apps for Enterprises


Best Android-Based Messaging Apps for Enterprises

Posted: 17 Feb 2015 09:30 PM PST

When it comes to Android, there is never a dearth of messaging apps. From WhatsApp to Line, you can switch to pretty much any messaging service, whenever you want. However, if you are running a company, there are many factors involved before you add a messaging app in the mix. The same solutions that teenagers use to keep up with their buddies won't work amongst your employees. Can be quite frustrating, don't you think?

Don't worry, the following article will help you pick from some of the best instant messaging solutions that you can incorporate in your company. That too, without having to ditch the Android platform.


Hall for Android

If you are a company that works with a lot of cloud-based files, then Hall is a perfect solution for you. Not only does Hall let you message your co-workers, it can also help you connect to your clients, vendors, and distributors. What makes Hall different from other apps is that it integrates with variety of other services, most notably Dropbox and Box. This means that you can take any file from your Dropbox account and share it with someone who needs to see it. Among other integrations, Hall also works with Asana, Trello, Github, Heroku, Jenkins, New Relic, Pivotal Tracker, UserVoice and Zendesk, thus making it a perfect choice for small startups. Hall also works on desktop so that keeping up with your messages from multiple computers becomes quite easy. 


Cotap is another great business messaging solution that gets rid of the main problem many of these apps face and that is of "friending" the other person first. Instead of going through the process of adding people you already know as a "friend," Cotap lets you connect with people in your company by simply typing in their name. This is accomplished by sharing a common address book among the employees of the company. This means that you can contact "Bob" or "Jane" without needing their permission to do so.  



Yammer

Yammer is a social enterprise network that is aimed at making company communications more productive. Yammer gives you your own inbox wherein you can see the latest happenings in your groups and keep up with your coworkers. Moreover, Yammer also lets you share photos with your colleagues and groups making it easier for you to work on detailed projects. Push notifications, on the other hand, make sure you are always abreast of what's happening in your group.



HipChat

HipChat is a hosted messaging solution for teams, groups, and companies. While not solely aimed at enterprises, HipChat can be a wonderful solution if you are working with multiple teams in the same company. What this app does is that it allows you to create persistent chat rooms along with 1-on-1 chats. You can stay in touch with your schoolteacher or your boss, all within the same window. What's great about HipChat is that it lets you preview PDFs and photos in the messaging window itself. HipChat works across Windows, Mac, iOS, and even Linux. The most attractive part is its pricing. That is, the app is free for unlimited amount of users. Of course, if you want to add more features like 1-on-1 video calling you will have to pay for it. 



Intelli IM - Lync, OCS, GTalk

This app aims to be a one-stop solution to all your messaging needs be it personal or enterprise. The apps syncs across multiple devices and provides push notifications so that you are always aware of what's happening no matter where you are and no matter what device you are using. What's fascinating about Intelli Im is that it does a lot compared to other apps. It does GTalk, Lync, and even Google Talk business without you having to switch to another application. If you are looking for an app that does a little more than you expected it to do, this is a perfect solution for you.