There are plenty of GPS Navigation apps available to Android users, from big names to odd names and no names. The next thing to take note of is that this is coming from the new Nokia that is no longer beholden to Redmond whip masters. I finally had the opportunity to really put HERE through the paces on a recent road trip to the USA – which means no data while roaming!!! Unfortunately the Android HERE app is only available in the Samsung App Store at the moment. In fact, HERE seems to adhere to Google’s latest UI guidelines for Android and the multitude of taps, swipes, swishes and slaps (okay, not that last one) quickly give you access to all the features of HERE. HERE integrates with Glympse to allow you to share your location with specific people for a specified limited time (you specify the people and the amount of time). How does a company like Microsoft step out of the shadow they created of an Office suite so ubiquitous that every other productivity tool on the market saves to their proprietary format?
Well one way would be for Microsoft to make the Office Suite free to anyone with a mobile device… And guess what they did this week? In fact if you compare the desktop and mobile versions of Office, you’ll find their is not much that can not be done while on the go.
So what does this mean for Google, Apple and LibreOffice (formerly OpenOffice love them forks). I’ve recently read about a few people trying to replace many of the apps on their phone with a web app or web site.
This is the reason why I’m already using three web apps rather than the native versions. Three of the aforementioned apps also offer purchases (movie tickets or parking) so I need to enter my credit card information into them.
These apps won’t add anything else to your system a part from the home screen short-cut you yourself added.
I do all my sharing through WordPress so I have no need for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social network in my sharing menu. The most annoying thing I found when going through my apps and seeing which ones were available as web apps was that some had horrible or even no icons.
I purposely avoided Google Drive and it’s suite of apps because I know how foolish it is try and write documents, spreadsheets, or presentations on a phone! I know I said writing on a phone wasn’t realistic but I tried WordPress on the web anyways since I use it a lot for quick status, link, and image posts.
I had to include something of the normal Google Apps so I wasn’t just picking on Google+.
So as I read this it gives implied consent to send un-solicited messages to the e-mail address. As much as I write for myself it’s kind of nice if other people read what I write too. You would expect Blogger to be the best of the bunch since it was the king of blogs, but they removed Twitter and Facebook integration and replaced it with Google+ integration. So not only doesn’t Blogger have the basic integration of other platforms but the integration with their own social network doesn’t work properly either!
So the 2 Fat Dad’s Big Fat verdict on the best blogging platform to use is WordPress. We’d like to thank our DadCast and site sponsors SplitReason once again for their continued support. The new interface is much more slick and you have some ability to manage your photo stream now. Automatic uploading is something a lot of other apps already do, and a number of third parties exist for Flickr.
The new interface is split into four parts: searching for photos, photos from your friends, your photo stream, and notifications. In the end the new features of the Flickr app are welcome improvements to the previous version but ultimately don’t go far enough to bring Flickr up to expectations. Obviously there were issues with the camera app that came with my Samsung Galaxy S3 that made me start looking for an alternative.
Two elements I’ve included in the review are whether you can specify the storage location for your pictures (and videos).
This camera from Moblynx is built on Google’s camera source code, but fine tunes and adds a few features. Following the lag issues I was experiencing with Camera KK I decided to give this camera app a try.
This app is a whole new design effort that re-imagines the camera interface on a touch screen.
The interface of this camera comes back to the one found in Google’s Nexus camera app, but the camera itself works differently and has a lot of other features. The author of this app has a prolific collection of photography apps that are brought together into this one app.
Another interesting observation is that half the cameras listed here use the same interface design (not the same options though) coming from the Google Nexus camera interface. Browser hosting, since these days every modern browser (so not Internet Explorer) can host some kind of web app. The focus is Dedicated app hosts since there’s not much to say about the Un-intentional hosts (actually it turns out there is) and far too much to say about the others.
Note that both Google and Dropbox offer data storage services that are entirely separate from the methods of hosting your web app. Either a shared host, your own VPS or IaaS, or a PaaS will allow you build the back-end and host your front-end files.
Not exactly web apps, but an interesting possibility. Browser apps are built with the same technology and they can leverage both local and remote back-ends (sometimes simultaneously).
The biggest issue for web apps is having to access data from the same domain as you load your original containing page. Data storage for your structured data (typically JSON objects) but sometimes file storage too. A lot (maybe even all) these services use Node.js as their backend, which makes sense considering everything is now Javascript. The most interesting thing about this service is it implements the remoteStorage protocol so that means your users Own Their Data. Templates: There are no templates or server-side scripting so the assets served are all static. Data storage: 5apps data storage is a separate service based on the remoteStorage protocol.
An interesting side effect of using the remoteStorage protocol is that once users start using the app they have to find their own storage. This is one of the big names, and targets primarily mobile environments but provides hosting for web apps too.
Data storage: storage is based on MongoDB and synchronization between the client and the server.
Although the Firebase service for real-time data storage and synchronization is in full production, their service for hosting is still in beta.
The most exciting thing about Firebase is that they’ve developed some comprehensive guides for working with popular client-side frameworks, including Angular and Ember. Backlift has two pretty cool features: it uses Dropbox for deployment and the data API is designed to work with Backbone. Templates: Backlift offers a very powerful template language for developing dynamic web pages. Backendless is another mobile-focused service that provides web app hosting as a secondary service. Pricing: a basic free plan is available, but then all aspects can be fine tuned so the price is extremely variable.
Backendless provides a complete range of back-ends for building applications, but they seem a bit light on web apps.
When you initially decide to write a web app you take on the task of designing, developing, testing and documenting (hopefully) your work. If you’re building the next big thing then you probably want to use one of the established dedicated hosts like Parse or Firebase.
I was always a big fan of Nokia (most of my mobile phones were from them) so I really hope they do well and work hard to get out of the Microsoft shadow and regain their former glory. Hopefully it will come to Google’s Play Store soon so that more people can benefit from it (and so Samsung users can continue to keep the Samsung App Store disabled on their phones and avoid the surreptitious installation of more bloatware). You can download routes and sections, but functionality is limited; and rather then update they expire so you have to remember to refresh all your sections before you need them. These can be cached locally too so feel free to change them daily to what ever suits your mood. In fact most people think that Office comes standard with Windows or any new PC you might buy.
How is it that they’re own Office Apps are not the dominant products on those mobile platforms. There will always be some limitations, but most of us could get by quite nicely with a mobile only solution. I slug Access into pro, because most folks still keep non-relational data in Excel and if you know what non-relational data means then you are on the pro path: kudos. Even though Android has the dominant market share of devices sold, Apple’s Safari mobile browser that only runs on iPhone and iPad has the lion share of mobile browsing: 45% versus 19%. Some little things that annoyed me were the lack of decent icons, and browsing away from the app then having to find my way back (assuming a link opened in the same window).
The STM app, Cinema Guzzo app, and [P$ Mobile app][psm] (for Montreal’s parking meters) for some reason want access to my photos and media!?
So you won’t find a dozen new widgets or have to scroll through all kinds of sharing choices to find the one you always want. And Michael Geist has a great blog article with the answers to the 10 most common questions. Although the law requires opt-in to give express consent there’s an exception the allows implied consent unless you opt-out!!!


I like Twitter for it’s brevity and photos for capturing the moment but I really like blogging.
Although in terms of a blog Tumblr focuses more on social sharing than individual blogging.
You can always use Feed Burner to get yourself onto Twitter but Feed Burner is not Blogger.
Check out this page or their site by clicking above for more awesome Tees, hats, caps and mugs. The biggest enhancement is automatic uploading of photos and videos (so apps like Flync are now somewhat redundant, but not entirely). I would classify this as a social-sharing camera since the focus is on socializing your photos rather than photography.
I already use Flync for this and apart from uploading like the Flickr app can now do Flync also allows you to re-size before uploading, review and edit the upload queue, and provides more control over the upload the process. In your photo stream you can see all your photos, your public photos, your albums, and the groups you belong to. I’ve been through more than my share of camera apps, and probably purchased more than I needed to. The most egregious problem was that the camera app kept losing its settings, especially my selection of short-cuts, if I was storing photos on the phone (as opposed to the SD card). This is a great little feature allows you to capture the whole event as well as the little moments along the way.
I know apps like Evernote and Handy Scanner both have these features, but I would find it convenient to have them in a generic camera app rather than a component of another app.
I started with the predecessor, Camera JB+ which included a gallery app, and used this camera exclusively until I ran into some lag issues when taking pictures – especially when using the flash. It has a unique interface that could be quite powerful, but there are some features that just don’t work yet (it is in beta). It definitely has the most unique interface, but I have to admit I wasn’t too crazy about it as it involved a lot of cycling through choices and waiting for the choice to take effect rather than being able to directly choose the option I wanted. Both have officially documented methods for hosting publicly accessible HTML, CSS, and JS files. But the Datastore service is interesting since it also provides an Own Your Data solution for your users. But a lot of work will be up to you and can require a lot more effort to get your actual web app going.
But they need to be installed locally before you can use them so they aren’t instantly available everywhere.
They aren’t equal though, and some might be better suited for your needs than others. There are ways around that, most recently CORS, but it’s probably the biggest hurdle developers face when building web apps. It also focuses on helping you deploy your app in a variety of environments, including mobile and browsers. That could be by creating their own account at 5apps or another provider (including hosting their own remoteStorage back-end).
It’s also more efficient since you just keep the regions you travel to most often as opposed to carrying (and updating) an entire continent or two. The reality is that the next generation of computing users think that Office only exists on the PC and some might have seen it running on a Mac or a tablet computer. Why is Google Docs still so attractive despite it’s constant re-branding and obvious lack of advanced features and fonts?
It simply means more choice for the user and more options for all of those that want to bring their tablet to work and actually get some work done on it. This would suggest that users of Apple devices are not only buying more apps than Android owners but actually engaging more with web site on these same devices. And you won’t find left-over directories littering your filesystem three months after you un-install the app!!!
There is some functionality from a couple of those that is interesting, particularly automagical photo backup and comprehensive browsing, but I suggest PicsPro and QuickPic as light-weight, efficient alternatives. With web apps at least you won’t have to worry about having to choose between an app or something else. But with their API a lot of other apps have already included the same or similar functionality.
For my purposes that would suit me fine since most people comment on Facebook and Twitter (and Google+) anyways but Tumblr would be a nice central repository of my shares.
Their mobile blogging app works really well, and although the interface may seem a bit complicated it’s necessary to provide so many features. The camera interface is quite simple with only two options: video or photo and the flash mode. The other issues were the interface and functionality was pretty basic, and when launching the camera from the Cover lock screen I couldn’t switch to the video camera. This may be an issue if and when your device is on Android 4.4 Kit Kat since it changes how the external SD Card is accessed and used. Not all the apps were capable of this, in fact some couldn’t even take videos! The Samsung Camera allows you specify the general storage location (phone or SD card) and grab stills while shooting video. However this app sticks closer to the original and doesn’t add any features or do any fine-tuning. This app is still under heavy development though so hopefully this is something that will change.
My biggest issue is with navigating the menus actually, as I explain in the conclusion to this review. Browsers have become full fledged virtual machines capable of running powerful Javascript applications, and HTML and CSS have both evolved to include a lot more than just text and pretty colours.
But running within a Caja sandbox is a whole new world where libraries don’t behave the way they should, standard features are blocked, and you need to use tricks for things that should just work.
But the solutions are kind of kludgy, and if your single-page app (SPA) goes beyond a single page they go from kludgy to bizarre.
So a key element to differentiate a web app service from a mobile or other BaaS (Backend-as-a-Service) is whether they allow you to host your application as well as the data! Their hosting and deployment service is completely separate from their data storage service, but together they are a very interesting app hosting service.
And Their level of documentation and helpful examples is very impressive, and their community is quite large.
Dropbox and remoteStorage neatly solve the data issue since they make it the users problem. You can do this as soon you install the app so even if you have a data connection (and sufficient allotment in your plan) the app will be much more responsive when drawing from local data. Only a very few select have installed the mobile versions of the same apps but most smartphone and tablet users will just use the productivity tools that came with their device and call them Office as if it were some interchangeable term that can been applied at will. Why does every speaker I have seen in the last year have a PDF version of their Powerpoint ready to be displayed on an iPad and secretly wish their company had a corporate Keynote template they could use instead? There’s a lot more to the the law and a whole bit about installing software (that includes cookies, Javascript, and such) but my concern was about sending e-mails.
Tumblr is a close second, and so is Flickr quite frankly (just use Ctrl+Enter to split your paragraphs)! Unfortunately it lacks automatic Google+ integration (with a few extra taps its possible to do manually).
You can also favourite photos, add comments, share them, and edit the title, description and privacy from the detailed view of the photo. Personally I can’t believe that Google would make such a breaking change without any mitigation path so I suspect that as people come to better understand the changes in 4.4 they will re-implement whatever needs to be done and everything will be just perfect! The camera interface also displays some very useful information, like a horizon line, compass direction, and angle.
You can specify the full path to the storage location, and although the camera shutter button is always visible during video capture you can’t capture any stills unless the option is activated! This camera app also comes with a gallery app and video player (neither of which I would choose to use since I have QuickPic). I have even had conversation with folks talking to me about how great Word for iPad is all the while pointing the Pages icon… And that is the Paradigm of Office. This is a much better interface that the previous version which barely let you view the photos in your stream and from your friends. Another cool feature is being able to pin open the configurations you change most often so you can quickly access them; and quickly changing modes using the outside edge of the shutter button.
I used it a lot to take a series of bracketed photos for Google+ to make an HDR photo from – automagically!!! For the storage location you can choose from suggested paths or specify your own, and this is only a still camera – no video!
You can’t specify the storage location at all, and not only does it not take stills while capturing video the video I did capture was mostly green static!This app does NOT integrate with Cover. The developer maintains a web site, Google+ Page, Google+ Community for beta users, and an XDA Developers thread. If Microsoft is going to remain relevant and keep it’s strangle hold on the Office crowd, they need to play dirty by a) giving it away and b) keeping it fresh. Two things that will surely piss off every IT Manager as Microsoft then tries to reach into every business and try to pry out some money for work related use of their free tools.
What this usually means is that companies have to stop think of Office as something they buy every five years with capital budget and now look at look at more of SaaS (software as a service) model where they license their users annually to use productivity tools under an operating budget. This is is a very big pill for most companies to swallow as they already find their IT spend to be quite high. But if look back a few years, office productivity was measured in paper and pen office supply cost which where always consumables. In many ways this capital spend on reams of paper and wells of ink where actually more of an operating cost as this was generally considered as the cost of doing business. What we are seeing more and more of is that you as an employee cost the company $XYZ per year to remain productive and what the bean counters want to do is to see if you can remain productive without have to spend any money on you at all, pretty forcing them to use antiquated tools or move towards a BYOD model.



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Comments

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