Kamis, 18 September 2014

TechSource: How to Give your Smartphone the Android L Look

TechSource: How to Give your Smartphone the Android L Look


How to Give your Smartphone the Android L Look

Posted: 18 Sep 2014 05:25 AM PDT

Android L is Google's latest mobile operating system. Apart from a complete UI overhaul, this version brings along a myriad of performance improvements. Compared to its competitor iOS 8, Android L outperforms the Apple mobile operating system in design and performance. Though there is no clear announcement as to when Android L will be reaching our devices, its Material Design has slowly started catching up among app developers. Furthermore, many apps have come up that let you completely change the Android smartphone's user interface to match that of Android L.

Although many of those apps are annoyingly hard to use, some of them make the job really simple. Below, we'll show you how to make the most out of such apps and then transform your phone's UI to completely match the Android L look.


Step 1: Install Nova Launcher first. It's one of the best launchers out there, so even if you remove the L theme later on, you won't regret installing Nova Launcher. 



Step 2: Enable the animations in the Nova Launcher Settings: Click on the Nova Settings icon. Then go to "Look and Feel" -> App Animation -> Slide Up (L Developer Preview)


Step 3: Install the Android L theme for Nova Launcher. Then, go to "Look and Feel" -> Icon Theme -> and select Android L from the list. The theme pack also comes with Android L wallpapers so do make sure you switch your wallpapers to match the new look.



Step 4: Install Android L Keyboard so that you'll have a keyboard that matches the new look. If you are using SwiftKey or any other modern keyboards, it's best to stick with the one you already use since switching to a new keyboard might not be something everyone would be comfortable doing.


Step 5: Install Ex Dialer, then install this theme so that even the dialer would match the new L preview. 



That's it. That should give you an almost complete Android L look without hogging your resources. If you are using Cyanogenmod, there are better options available for you, so read on. Following are some alternative applications that you can use if you are not satisfied with the aforementioned method.


Alternative 1:

For CyanogenMod users there are two themes available. Though both are not free, they manage to give a complete Android L look to your phone with quality icons, keyboards, and even wallpapers. Following are the links to install those apps:

1. CM11 Theme for Android L: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nikhilb.lcm11

2. Nucleoid theme for CM11: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nucleoid.android.l


Alternative 2:

If you are using Solo Launcher, there are some fantastic Android L themes  out there. Following are two apps you need to install to transform your smartphone into an Android L lookalike.

1. Android L theme for Solo Launcher: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.caesar.perfectui

2. Android L UI Icon pack: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ru.tirexdev.androidltheme


Sabtu, 13 September 2014

TechSource: Top Offline Games for Google Chrome

TechSource: Top Offline Games for Google Chrome


Top Offline Games for Google Chrome

Posted: 13 Sep 2014 09:44 AM PDT

Google Chromebook users sometimes have a hard time convincing Windows, Mac and Linux users why their laptop is a worthy purchase. This is because many people think that Chrome OS can't do much of the stuff the usual desktop OS can do. After all, it's just a browser in a laptop, right?

Well, not quite. Chrome has quietly evolved from a simple web-browser to a complete desktop powerhouse that has a plethora of applications to boast of. Also, many of these applications run offline. Well, but what about games then? Can Chromebooks handle gaming? Well, they are not as good as Windows if you want to run the latest Call of Duty title. However, they can offer some great fun with Chrome's little collection of classic games that even run offline.

That's why, for all the Chromies who are jealous of the Windows gamers, we are listing some of the best offline games out there.


Angry Birds

When it comes to mobile games, Angry Birds still remains a classic. While its huge popularity has waned over the years, the game still holds a top spot amongst gamers young and old. A part of its appeal lies in its easy-to-use control. Just pull back the slingshot, that's all you have to do. The rest seems easy, well, at first. Angry Birds is a game that progressively gets harder as you keep playing it. What's more, it gets even more addictive bringing out the perfectionist in you who wants to get the best score. If you are planning on having a productive week, good luck.



Entanglement

Entanglement is a popular puzzle game that has been around for quite a while now. What makes this game so special is its Zen-like ambiance that engages the player on a really deep level. The aim of Entanglement is to create the longest path possible by rotating and arranging a set of hexagonal tiles. You have to do all this without running into a wall thus adding a lot of challenge. Apart from letting you play on your own, Entanglement also has a multiplayer option wherein you can play against up to 5 people on the same computer in a hot-seat like variation. Even if you are not a big puzzle game fan, Entanglement is a title that definitely deserves a try. 



Coconut Hunter

This game is ridiculously simple yet can get quite addictive as you keep playing it. All you have to do is slash coconuts across the screen simply by using the mouse. That's all, and yet, you would be hooked to this game for hours to come. Go ahead and give it a shot. 



Cut the Rope

Feeding Om Nom on your smartphone? Now feed it on your desktop too. Bringing the same goodness of the mobile version, Cut the Rope for Chrome is a game that will keep you hooked for hours. No matter where you are, once you start this game, you'd probably not want to stop. Winner of BAFTA award, Pocket Gamer Award, and Apple Design Award, Cut the Rope is a must-have for all Chromies. 



Offline Solitaire

If you are a Windows user who's recently moved to Chromebooks, Offline Solitaire will help you deal with the nostalgia that comes with missing out on Solitaire. The hot favorite of every Windows user, Solitaire is a game you can keep playing for hours together. What's even better is that it's available on almost every Windows computer thus serving as a sneaky little distraction in your workplace. With no ads, or connection requirements, Offline Solitaire for Chrome offers pretty much the same features that you'll find on Windows solitaire.



Web Quake

If you grew up in the late 90s, Quake was a phenomenon. The first-person shooter by id Software was a successor to the popular Doom series and since then the popularity of this game has spawned millions of loyal fans. With a dedicated offline version, Quake still lives on Chromebooks and Chrome browser. It is a must-have for all the old-school nerds who loved the 90's.



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

Selasa, 09 September 2014

TechSource: Best Android Apps for Recording and Editing Music on the Go

TechSource: Best Android Apps for Recording and Editing Music on the Go


Best Android Apps for Recording and Editing Music on the Go

Posted: 09 Sep 2014 12:25 AM PDT

Whether you are a celebrated film composer or a perpetual dabbler into the aural arts, creating good music brings joy that can rarely be described in words. Over the years, the process of creating music has undergone a major transformation. Where old singers used to meticulously scribble musical notes on crumpled sheets of paper, we now find musicians with iPads and earphones. In fact, technology has taken over music editing so much that you can even create a complete symphony just by using a computer.

While whether the huge technological takeover is a topic for another article, we'll let you decide what's best for your musical studio by giving you plenty of new options when it comes to editing music on the go. So, without much ado, here are some of the best apps that let you record and edit music on the go.


MP3 Cutter

If you are specifically looking for a solution that helps you cut MP3s on the go, this is the app for you. Once installed, MP3 cutter will conveniently list out all the MP3s you have on your smartphone. What makes this app great is that it lets you accurately cut the music files exactly the way you want. So, once you edit the file, you can set it as a ringtone or an alarm tone. Also, instead, you can save the file on your SD card and later access it on your computer. Either way, this app is great for cutting a bunch of music files on the go when you are traveling or don't have access to your computer.



PocketBand

PocketBand is kind of like GarageBand for Android. It lets you build high quality tracks as a sequence of loops, tweak them up, add some funky effects to them and then export those files to MP3 as ringtones. The UI consists of a touch-friendly 12-channels mixer with effects and a 3-band parametric equalizer. As for the effects, they are plenty with delay, flanger, chorus, reverb, phaser, distortion, and compressor at your disposal for getting the most out of your edited tracks. Though the sheer number of effects and settings might seem overwhelming, the app is, in fact, quite simple to use, even if you are not an audiophile. Also, the collaborative features of PocketBand make it quite easy for you to make music no matter where you are. Note that this app needs a working Internet connection to function. 



FL Studio

This is probably one of the most high-featured apps in this genre. Much like its desktop counterpart, this app too lets you do a lot with your music, that too with just your computer. With over 133 high-quality instruments, FL Studio has a whole lot to offer. This means that you can even create a complete song on this app, right from your smartphone. If you use an Android tablet, this app would be a much better investment, as some of the settings might be a little hard to see on smaller screen. That said it is a worthy investment if you are in the music business. 



 n-Track Studio

Though not a complete audio editor per se, n-Track Studio is a great investment for bands that are on tour and looking to set up a full-fledged recording studio at a low cost. With all the required effects for mixing a complete song, n-Track studio lets you record a base track with the smartphone's built in microphone. Then, once you are done, you can add the solo track on top of it and then mix it up using the UI. Once you are done, you can email the recording directly from your phone.



Audio Evolution Mobile DAW

Audio Evolution brings a fully featured MIDI track sequencer to your phone. With lots and lots of features to explore, this is probably an app that the pros wouldn't blink twice before investing their money in. Audio Evolution DAW lets you import files in various formats including WAV, MP3, AIFF, OGG and even FLAC. You can then mix and edit the track and even add the effects you want (distortion, overdrive, wah-wah, etc). Once you are done, you can export those tracks in any format you want.



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

Jumat, 05 September 2014

TechSource: How to Make the Most Out Of Pushbullet For Android and Chrome

TechSource: How to Make the Most Out Of Pushbullet For Android and Chrome


How to Make the Most Out Of Pushbullet For Android and Chrome

Posted: 05 Sep 2014 01:33 AM PDT

Since its release, Pushbullet has quickly become a favorite amongst many Android users. This free application lets you "push" any link or image to your mobile phone right from your desktop or browser. This means that you don't have to get up and type in a link that you see on your desktop on to your smartphone.

However, besides pushing links, Pushbullet can be used to do a lot more. The following article helps you get more out of the service.


Use Pushbullet for Storing Directions to Places


Let's say you are on your desk working on that big project. Suddenly a friend gives you a ring and asks you to join along for a dinner. She simply tells the name of the restaurant and you ensure her that you'll look it up. You quickly open up Google Maps on your desktop and voila there it is, the restaurant is just 2 miles away from your home. But, the problem is, you don't know the directions to this place. Now instead of looking up that place from your phone again, you can use Pushbullet to push the link to the map on to your smartphone. There, the link will then open up in Google Maps and you can then easily navigate to the restaurant.

Furthermore, if you are a bit old school and like to ask people for directions on the street, no problem. Pushbullet lets you forward the complete address onto your phone so that you won't have to remember it.


Store your Own Address in Pushbullet for Convenience


You know those times when someone calls you and asks you to forward your home address via SMS and you go ahhhh! Yep, that feeling that usually comes with typing out your own address a dozen of times. Don't worry you can easily avoid that feeling using Pushbullet. A great tip you can use is that you can type out your own address from the Pushbullet site and push it to your smartphone once. That way it gets stored in the web app's history. Now, whenever someone asks you to forward your address via SMS, simply push that address from the history on your phone, and then from the phone app, share it via SMS.


Snap and Save Important Receipts

If you are gung-ho about going paperless, Pushbullet comes in quite handy. While apps like Evernote do that quite well, Pushbullet isn't exactly that bad. All you have to do is snap a picture of an important receipt or document on your phone and then push it to your desktop. For backup, you can use a service like Dropbox from your desktop.


Make Booking Movie Tickets Easier

If you book movie tickets online, Pushbullet can help you speed things up a bit. Whenever you book the ticket online, simply send a link to the movie ticket or the ticket itself (PDF forms for some theaters) to your smartphone. You can then show the ticket that's on your phone at the booking counter.


Use Notification Mirroring

If you've been using this app for a while, you probably already know about this. Pushbullet can help you mirror notifications across multiple devices. The following video demonstrates that feature pretty well:



Website: www.pushbullet.com
Android App: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pushbullet.android


Selasa, 02 September 2014

TechSource: Best Linux and Web-Based Alternatives to Final Draft

TechSource: Best Linux and Web-Based Alternatives to Final Draft


Best Linux and Web-Based Alternatives to Final Draft

Posted: 02 Sep 2014 04:01 AM PDT

As far as writing screenplays is concerned, Hollywood has only one standard: Final Draft. For years, much like Microsoft's monopoly with Windows, the software had no big competitors. From big Hollywood directors like Spielberg to small independent studios, everyone considered Final Draft the gold standard of screenwriting software. In many ways, it still enjoys the same monopoly; however, the stronghold it had over the screenwriting industry isn't the same as before. With its high price, clunky UI, and lots of persistent bugs, Final Draft is slowly being taken over by lesser-known tools in this huge shift that is happening in the screenwriting industry.

Many big writers have slowly started to move to alternative software. One of the biggest proponents of this move is John August, screenwriter of movies like Big Fish and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His efforts in pushing the open Fountain format, as well as creating Highland, a Mac-based screenwriting software are an indication of how badly Final Draft users need a change.

If you've been stuck with Final Draft for years or are a Linux user looking for alternatives, this is a great time to start writing your screenplay. These days, a lot of new tools have come up that let you write your script either on your Linux desktop or in a browser. And yes, most of these tools are as good as -- and many times -- better than Final Draft.


FadeIn

FadeIn is a wonderful cross-platform application that helps you focus on your writing. Eliminating all unnecessary distractions, its page-only full screen-mode makes sure that you're only looking at what matters most: your script. If you've been a Final Draft user for a long time, don't worry, FadeIn can easily import your FDX files without any major changes to the formatting. Much like Final Draft and other big screenwriting tools, it lets you outline the screenplay, organize scenes, and it even features an autocomplete typing mode that saves you a lot of time. Furthermore, FadeIn also has its own Android app so that you can finish your script on the go, if you are someone who travels a lot. FadeIn works across Linux, Mac, and Windows. It costs about $50, which is quite a deal when compared to the high price of Final Draft. 



WriterDuet

WriterDuet is another great tool that does much more than Final Draft. Apart from letting you import FDX files, this web-based tool also lets you collaborate with other writers. This means that even if your screenwriting team is miles away, you can finish that big script together along with a full-featured video chat to help you discuss important ideas. What makes WriterDuet stand apart is that despite being a web-based app, it functions pretty much like a desktop software. You can outline your script, format it by industry standards, export it as PDF, and plan your plot on a nice virtual corkboard. Furthermore, you can also dictate your script if you are having one of those lazy days. The web-based tool is free to use, however, to add features like offline mode, script backups, script error-check and more, you'll need to upgrade it to the Pro version (~$45). Definitely worth a try if you are a new writer who doesn't want to spend a lot of cash on a professional tool. 



Celtx

Celtx is another popular screenwriting application that has been around for a while. With good formatting capabilities, outline mode, and even storyboarding tools, it is hard to believe that this software is free to download. Also, additional features for writers such as distraction-free mode, index cards, and corkboard can be added for a very low price. Celtx can import scripts from various formats and then lets you export them to PDFs once you are finished writing. For many writers who are just starting out, Celtx remains a hot favorite as it is free, open-source, and works across all major platforms. 



Trelby

If you are looking for a simple, no-fuss screenwriting tool, Trelby is something you should consider. This free, open-source, multi-platform application has all the features you need to write a screenplay from start to finish. To begin, you can import your screenplay from various formats including .FDX. The main UI lets you choose between three views: draft view, WSIWYG, and a full-screen distraction-free mode. What makes Trelby so special is that it is very minimalistic which helps you focus just on what you're writing. And yes, it's open source. 



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