Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Busy times call for short posts

Hey everyone, I'm going to be really busy this week, but I'm planning a longish piece on space and astronomy (with the last space station mission having just docked with the ISS) hopefully before the weekend! Anyhow, I did still want to share some of my favorite things with you, as a bonus today I have a great app to share with everyone, for those smartphone owners among us.

Jailbreak Tweak: Running List
This tweak lets you use otherwise wasted space in your spotlight search area to show all the apps you have running, and allows you to quit them by tapping on the icon on the left and then pressing quit, or with a simple swipe across the name followed by quit. This app saves time in quitting apps and lets you easily access apps which are running if you don't like the multitasking dock.

Google+ Feature: Hangouts

While this video is low on details, it gets the basic point across quite nicely. Basically you can start a chat conversation or "Hangout" and then invite people to join you. People you have allowed who log in will see that you are hanging out and will be able to join the hangout, up to a maximum of 10 people. The main video automatically focuses on the person who is talking, just like in a conversation, although you can also choose to focus on one person by clicking on their video. You can also selectively mute people in the conversation, as well as the awesome feature of playing a YouTube clip as a "member" of the group chat. Conversation volume is lowered, and a walkie-talkie-esque push to talk button appears so that the video clip has focus. It is a great way to show friends you can't be with clips and gauge their reactions in real time since everyone is watching the same part of the clip at any given moment. From experience it also makes for really fun dance parties when you can't actually be at a club, for example mid-afternoon.

Smartphone app: Viber (iOS)/Viber (Android Beta)

This app is an extremely basic yet extremely useful one. It lets you send SMS messages and make voice calls for free using data/WiFi. This can be extremely useful as the calls are of very high quality and long distance is still free and doesn't use any more data. From what I have seen the data usage is also minimal. The best part about this app is that signing up is as simple as installing the app and inputting your phone number. The app then finds your friends who also have the app installed and shows you those people. You can also make calls to people who don't have the app installed through the app, but it will use your minutes. There is no account to worry about, your phone number is your account and it is how people will find you. The more people who use this, the better, so get crackalackin! I have also heard that there is an Android version conducting beta testing, so please do try this out and see how it works, I would love to see everybody get this to try!

I hope to have a real post for you soon!

-Robert