Archive for March, 2011

Show Foursquare Checkins with WordPress plugin

March 29th, 2011

Foursquare is undoubtedly one of the most popular social location services available today. With a simple app installed on location aware devices such as smartphones and tablet computers, you are able to share the places you have visited or are currently visiting.
This type of sharing is a personal, yet very social activity. Being defined as social, the more you share, the more social you are.

WordPress is a publishing platform that enjoys unprecedented popularity. Among WordPress’s chief uses is the creation and distribution of blog style websites.
Blogs by definition are very social things. They are a place where a person can document and share all of the information and ideas that may interest them.

Foursquare and WordPress

Adding a plugin to WordPress that will allow you to display your Foursquare Checkins is very easy. Simply navigate to the plugin section of your WordPress dashboard and ‘add new plugin’. In the search for plugins field, type this ‘Foursquare Latest Checkins’.
Install this plugin and configure it to get information from your Foursquare account and then place it into the widget section of your WordPress blog. This whole process can be done in under 5 minutes.

As you can see, the widget is clean and simple.

Here you can choose the number of checkins to display.

If you would like to learn more. Here are links to the developers plugin page.
http://blog.no-panic.at/projects/foursquare-latest-checkins-wordpress-widget-plugin/
and a link to the actual WordPress plugin page for this widget.
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/foursquare-latest-checkins/

Titanium Media Sync fixes Dropbox for Android

March 25th, 2011

Easily select folders on your SD card to automatically sync to Dropbox.

Think about it this way…every time that you take a photo with your Android device, those photos could be automatically backed up to your Dropbox account. This is like an insurance policy for $2.99 that could save you time and effort and possibly a headache or two due to device failure.

You can also transfer folders from your Dropbox account to your SD card, but it’s only a one-time thing, Titanium doesn’t auto sync your remote folders, only the ones on your SD card.

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The UI is very easy to use. The left column displays all the directories on your SD card and the right column displays your Dropbox directories. You can just drag and drop directories from one column to the other to sync them. Dragging a directory from the the right column will download that directory to your SD card. Dragging from left to right allows you to set an auto sync feature. Since it only syncs one way, Titanium isn’t constantly on the internet, monitoring for changes and slowing down your phone.

Features:

Innovative “setup & forget” sync engine with these features:
• Battery friendly.
• Works on ALL Android devices.
• Will NOT slow down your device when no data changes.
• Will backup your new/modified files (eg: photos, videos) in the background, as soon as possible.
• Adapts to ever-changing connectivity and power conditions.
Supports 2 different sync modes (both are one-way):
• Continuous sync from Local to Remote.
• One-shot sync from Remote to Local.
Limitations:
• Dropbox restricts uploads to 300MB per file: http://www.dropbox.com/help/5

Get Titanium Media Sync

Android Market

Battery Extending apps for Android

March 20th, 2011

I am currently trying out some battery extending apps for the Android platform. Juice Defender and Green Power Free.

A battery extending app, as far as I can tell, shuts off certain functionalities of your device when they aren’t needed. Chief among them would be the data connection.
When you aren’t using your data connection (wifi and 3G/4G)…it still uses power to maintain connectivity.

You may wonder how you will get notified of new mail or messages when the data connection is disabled. The app I am currently testing (GreenPower Free) keeps the data connection off for 10 minutes. Then it will turn it on for a minute so your device can sync with any push type data you may have received.

If you are needing to be updated more often than that, maybe a battery extending app isn’t for you. I haven’t had any problem with notifications or email showing up when I needed them.

JuiceDefender
I tried this app out first and I immediately noticed an increase in battery life. This was great! However, I had a couple of incidents where I had to manually restart the data connection by turning on and turning off ‘Airplane mode’. Since I only have one Android device, I can’t rule out that it may be device related instead of app related.

For even more control than is offered in the Free version of JuiceDefender, there’s UltimateJuice! for $4.92 This basically unlocks more features in JuiceDefender and would be needed to get the most out of this app.

Features*:
– 5 Preset Profiles (from default mode to full customization)
– Easy and Intuitive User Interface (no annoying ads!)
– Home screen Battery Widgets
– Mobile Data toggle automation
– 2G/3G toggle automation**
– WiFi toggle automation + Auto-Disabling option
– Location-aware WiFi Control (e.g. enable WiFi only at home/work, disable it otherwise)
– Battery Consumption Optimization (e.g. when screen off, battery under threshold, etc.)
– Comprehensive Connectivity Scheduling (regular schedule, night time/peak time, week days/weekends)
– Connectivity Control for Specific Apps
– CPU scaling when phone is idle**
– Full Activity Log
– It’s FREE!
* Some features require UltimateJuice.
** Might be unavailable if not supported by your ROM
— Gingerbread not fully supported YET —

Green Power free
This is the app that I am currently using and based upon my experience so far, it will be the app that I would choose to keep.

I took my phone (HTC Hero) off the charger this morning at 7 am. It is now 4:30 pm and after moderate use all day, I have only dropped 1 bar on my battery meter. This is fantastic!
I normally could expect to be at half battery by this time of day and getting re-charge warnings around 8 pm this evening. I don’t foresee this happening today.

Features:
* Supports most phone types (including CDMA) and most carriers
* Keep wireless (wifi and/or mobile data) OFF most of the time to save power
* Fully configurable time intervals and settings
* Toggle wireless ON regularly to update push data (e.g mails, weather…)
* Toggle wireless ON when Screen turned ON, or unlocked
* Toggle wireless ON when Power connected
* Checking traffic before turning OFF to prevent disturbing other apps
* Very lightweight and fast app
* Easy and clean interface

There is a ‘Premium version of Green Power that eliminates ads and allows you access to a ‘night mode’. This Premium Green Power is $1.61.

More Battery saving apps

There are other apps that perform some type of energy use optimization for Android including turning off apps that are running in the background.

Android Booster FREE from NetQin Mobile Inc.

Battery Doctor from ipop

Power Save Mode Toggle from BH_Lin

Battery Booster DownloadAndroid.Info

Power Scheduler from Stephen McMeel

Google Science Fair extended… calling all Junior Scientists

March 15th, 2011

Sponsored Post: Google has extended the Google Science Fair and is putting out a call for more Junior Scientists. There are three different age categories. 13-14, 15-16, 17-18

This is your chance to get out there and shine. Share your ideas and possibly change the world.

 

Google is looking for the brightest, best young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today.

There is a list of very enticing rewards. Including the Grand Prize… an amazing 10 day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions.

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