Category Archives: Android

All android related news, hacks and applications.

Say Cheese to Click Pictures with This Camera App [Android]

Recently we reviewed a one of a kind camera app for iOS devices known as ShutterVox, which clicked photos when you shouted Cheese, Snap etc. If you were sad that you couldn’t do the same with your Android device you would be wrong.

A new camera app is now available for Android phones that does the same things. However, the Android version adds some extra features too, such as a Stealth mode.

The app is called Say Cheese Camera, and is a perfect stock camera app replacement because it has voice recognition, stealth mode and mass photo sharing options. That’s what everyone needs at the moment, don’t they? A cool camera app that does more than just click photos. I haven’t tested the voice commands, but reviews say that not all of them work perfectly, just as the iOS app. There are many camera apps for Android, but this has all those features put together plus some more.

The voice recognition is the most interesting one, which lets you take pictures by saying words like Cheese, Smile etc. Another useful feature is the ability to mass upload photos to Facebook and create slideshows using rainSlides.

The app has many settings and useful options that’ll make it easier to take pictures. If you click on settings, you’ll find options for auto-focus, Auto-Save, Timer, Stealth ModeVoice Response & Voice Pitch, effects and the option to use your Camera button to launch this app.

It also has a Gallery for easy picture viewing so you don’t have to navigate all the way to your Android gallery. You can select multiple photos together and as I mentioned before, upload to Facebook. It’s easy to setup, all can be accessed through the settings option. There’s also a pretty useful Torch option to keep your flash on during the photo shoot, just in case you’re afraid of the dark. That mostly sums it all up. I would suggest that you try this app right away and let us know what you think of it.

You can download Say Cheese Camera app from the Android Market for free and it would require Android 2.2 and above.

Android VS iOS-Pros and Cons

The Smartphone OS scene is seeing a real slugfest at the moment with each OS trying to go one up on the other. With Symbian dying a slow death and WP7 still a relatively new entrant, the battle is clearly between Android from Google and the iOS from Apple. Both platforms have generated their maker’s impressive profits and market share. Here we look at the pros and cons of both ecosystems.

 

Android

Pros: Android is miles ahead of other OSes when it comes to multitasking ability. It’s a true blue multitasker’s delight. The notification system on Android is also the best of the lot. This comprises emails, updates from social networking sites and even various widgets. Applications or Apps, as they are better known, are vital to the success of an OS. The Android market for Apps is growing at a faster rate than even Apple’s, which has been the king so far in Apps section. Also no other OS has better social networking integration than Android, not to mention the freedom it gives the user in choosing suitable hardware.

Cons: The OS certainly isn’t the best optimized one around and it shows in the poor battery performance. So even though the batteries are getting larger, running time is not. Not everybody is comfortable with being asked to stick to Google when using their phone which is exactly what Android does. A user needs a Google account to use. Android is not even a decade old and we already have close to half a dozen versions of it, too much fragmentation one has to say. Desktop syncing is virtually absent here and the less said about carrier skins, the better.

iOS

Pros: iOS is hard to beat when it comes to media playing abilities, it is certainly better than Android. Although Android Apps are catching up at a faster rate, Apple Apps are still way ahead in terms of quality and quantity; at last count iOS users had a choice of more than 200,000 Apps. iOS has one of the best UIs around and it gets updates way faster than other platforms. Gap between development and release is minimal. Apple has incorporated desktop syncing in iOS and this is a big plus over Android.

Cons: The Apps store has been a success for Apple, no doubt. But it seems it will generate the developer’s ire sooner than later with its penchant for rejecting new Apps without giving any valid reasons. Android soundly beats iOS when it comes to the notification system; in fact no other OS can hold a candle to Android in that department at the moment. Another con has to be compulsion of using iTunes to sync any files to the phone. Apple had publicly rebuffed Adobe’s Flash support for iOS and general consensus is that it was not the best idea.

So, there you have it, a broad look at the pros and cons of both Android and iOS. There might be many agreements and disagreements but for someone who is confused between the two, the above might help make a clear decision.

This is a guest post by Dave who works for Invesp. If you would like to write for CallingAllGeeks, Check our guest posting guidelines.

iPhone Lockscreen for Android: MagicLocker App

One thing that I like the most about smartphones is the innovative lock screens, you swipe your finger or input a combo to unlock your phone. But sometimes we tend to get bore of these lockscreens even on our smartphones, so my today’s post is for those Android users who want to give their smartphone Lockscreen a makeover.

MagicLocker

MagicLocker for Android gives your stock lockscreen a spin my giving you option to choose an altogether different lockscreen. This particular Lockscreen alternate application has by default two built-in skins, a perfect looking clone of iPhone’s lockscreen and the other is a scruffy looking 3-point lockscreen codenamed as Robot Lost. The quality of these themes is quite remarkable and if the developers stick to their claims then it means that we will see a lot of other Lockscreens as well.

MagicLocker Features and Specs

iPhonelock screen

MagicLocker iPhone’s lockscreen is a perfect replica of iDevice’s original screen, plug in your phone for charging and the lockscreen will transform into an iPhone’s charging screen with a battery displayed on the screen.

iPhone charging screen

The only noticeable difference you will find is that the unread message count is just below the clock which is not there on an iPhone.

RobotLost screen

Lost Robot skin has a totally different layout and visual appearance, it features 3-side unlock with shortcuts that will lead you directly to Dialer and Messaging applications. In the center of Lockscreen there is an animated version of Android depicting Mad Eye Moody.

Just launch the app, go to settings and check the Enable button, select the screen you want to set and tap Apply. You can download MagicLocker for free from Android marketplace. I will definitely recommend you this app because it will give your Android device a new look. Try it out and Let us know in comments that whether it’s worth it or not.

Enjoy Unlimited Free Texting with Kakaotalks iOS and Android App

Texting is increasingly becoming the new way of communication especially amongst young generation. You will find number of situations where sending a quick text is more appropriate then a phone call. But the problem with texting is charges, most of the carriers charge a considerable amount in the range of almost $15 a month for 500 texts which is quite high. So if you happen to be on a data plan for your phone the Kakaotalk app will very much solve your texting problems.

How Kakaotalk App works?

The normal method employed in text messaging is the use of cellular network, though the coverage is wide but bandwidth is pretty less. So Kakaotalk app uses mobile broadband to sidestep cellular network thing, put it simply, the app works just like an instant messenger of your computer. As long as you have an internet connection on your phone it means that you are having free texting and SMS options.

Kakaotalk And

Kakaotalk user interface is similar to a PC-like messenger’s interface, and texting appears same as you find on a typical smartphone. All the conversations appear in the chat tab of the app’s interface, exactly as you will find in Android’s SMS app. Messages flow is also similar to smartphone’s messaging app with users own image appearing next to all the text bubbles. A notification sound is also triggered each time a new message is received.

Kakaotalk Android

Kakaotalk app also supports the MMS, including pictures and videos, amazingly you will find the quality of multimedia messages way too better than the normal MMS.

kakaotalk iPhone

The only drawback you find on this instant messaging app is that it acts as an online instant messenger, meaning that you can only contact with people who are using it and are having mobile broadband on their devices. But if you tend to convince people around you to install this app than you will find it to be very useful.

Kakaotalk is available as a free download for both iPhone and Android, iPad users can also download it but they will have to tag a number capable of receiving SMS.

Wi-Fi Chat: Make New Friends Over Wi-Fi Networks

There are lot of applications out there that make a lot of crazy things happen, things that you’d never ever think of even trying. Yeah, I’m talking about applications, developed by all those brilliant masterminds who were rejected by the Empire.

Wi-Fi chat coldbeans

Wi-Fi Chat is one such interesting Android app, that lets you chat with your friends or even strangers over a Wi-Fi connection and on a Wi-Fi connection. It means that you can chat with that cute neighbor you never had the guts to talk to using Wi-Fi chat.

Wi-Fi chat, literally works as a friend-finder, looking for nearby people on a Wi-Fi network around you. How cool is that? And yes, you can chat without entering any password/username for a found Wi-fi network. But, the chances of that are quite rare as not everyone will have this app installed on their Android phone. So, it all depends on your luck or maybe you could slip in a note or make an announcement about this app so others will download it.

wi-fi chat wireless networks

After installation, when you open this app on your device, it automatically scans for all the available Wi-Fi access points near to you and then lets you select any one of them. Once selected, you’ll be asked to give in a username/nickname to start the chat. This will take you to the developers website, through the app and you can start discussions/conversations with strangers or friends depending on whether or not they have the app installed.

wi-fi chat join chat

The app worked pretty well on my Android device till the point where I had to begin chatting with someone, because no one had this app installed. Hence, I did not make any new friends.

It may not be the same case with you, so why don’t you try it out and let us know if it worked for you. You can download Wi-Fi Chat from the Android Market for free.

Google Maps for Android adds ‘Download Map Area’ feature through Google Labs

Download Map Area Google Maps is undoubtedly one of the best map applications ever. No matter where you are, Google Maps never lets you lose your way. Ever since it was released, Google has been adding various features to Google Maps like turn-by-turn navigation, street view, etc. Well, Google has now added yet another feature to Google Maps for Android – “Download Map Area”. It is an experimental feature and has been launched through Google Labs.

Download Map Area is a feature that lets you download maps of any particular area and access it offline without any data coverage or Wi-Fi. You can download maps of up to a 10-mile radius of the area you selected. The maps are downloaded within a minute or two and stores only the base map titles and landmarks on the map. To see the Satellite View and 3D buildings, search for Places and get Directions, you will still require a data connection. However, the downloaded maps will have enough details for you to easily figure out the way.

So, how do you enable and use this new feature anyway?

Well, to start using this feature on your Android phone you first need to make sure that you have the updated version of Google Maps. If not, head over to the Android Market and update your Google Maps. Once you have the updated version, open Google Maps and enable “Download Maps Area” by going to Menu->More->Labs.

Google Maps Download Map Area

On the Map, click on any place (for eg. Cathedral St. Andre) and select more or “>” to get the Place page menu. There you will notice that the Download Map Area option has been added. Just select it and your map will be download within no time. You can now access the downloaded maps even without a data connection or Wi-Fi. You can manage all your downloaded map areas from the Google Maps cache settings. However, all downloaded map areas will be removed from your cache after 30 days.

So, do you like this new feature in Google Maps? What other features do you wish to see in Google Maps? Tell us about it via the comments section.

Image Credits : Official Google Mobile Blog

How to take screenshots of your Android device [Tutorial]

Being a blogger, I frequently write reviews about different websites, softwares, mobile applications etc. To make my posts more attractive and interesting, I always make sure that I include the screenshots of the app or website I am reviewing. Taking screenshots on a computer is very easy, as there are hundreds of tools available that enable you to do so. But, how do you take screenshots on an Android phone?

Well, I had to do a lot of Googling before actually finding a solution to this. Basically, there are 2 ways to take screenshots on your Android phone. The first method is a little tricky and involves the use of Android SDK to capture the screen. The second method involves installing apps on your phone to capture your screen. In this post, I will explain both the methods of taking screenshots on your Android phone.

Method 1 : Using the Android SDK

The Android SDK is basically a software development kit which enables developers to create applications for the Android platform. The kit contains a utility called Dalvik Debug Monitor. This is the software we will be using to take the screenshots.

Step 1 : Installing the SDK and other necessary files

Before you install the Android SDK you need to make sure that you have the Java Development Kit installed. If not, you can download it from here. Scroll down to the Java SE Development Kit bundles and download the “JDK x Update xx with Java EE”. Install the SDK and it’s various libraries, including the Android tools.

Once you have installed the Java Development Kit, head over to the Android Developers website and download the Android SDK. The SDK is available on Windows, Mac as well as Linux. If you are using Windows, it is better to download the installer rather than the zip file as it provides an easy way to install the Android SDK. In case you have downloaded the compressed file, just extract it’s contents into a folder.

Now, for the purpose of taking screenshots, these steps should be enough. But, those who want to develop applications for Android, can check out this comprehensive tutorial on how to install the Android SDK.

Step 2 : Getting your device ready

The SDK can communicate with your device, only when USB debugging is enabled on your device. To do this, just head to Settings->Applications->Development on your Android device and tick the “USB Debugging” option. You can also tick the “Stay Awake” option to prevent your device from going offline when plugged in.

Once you have enabled USB Debugging on your device, just connect your device to the computer. Your Android device is now ready to communicate with the SDK.

Step 3 : Launching the Dalvik Debug Monitor

To open the Dalvik Debug Monitor Service, just navigate to the folder where you have stored the SDK and go to tools->ddms. The Dalvik Debug Monitor window opens.

Here, in the left pane you will see the list of all connected devices. Just double-click on your device. Also make sure that your device is “online”.

Step 4 : Taking Screenshots

If you have followed the above steps correctly, your device should now be ready to take screenshots. To capture the screen of your device, just go to Device->Screen Capture or press Ctrl+S. The Device Screen Capture window opens with a screenshot of your device screen. This image is a static image, and hence you will need to hit the “Refresh” button in order to update the captured image.

If you want to change the orientation of the screen, just hit the “Rotate” button. You can save the screenshots as a PNG file or even copy the image to clipboard.

That’s it! You can now take screenshots of your device any time you want. Well, if you find this method a bit tricky you can always opt for the second method which is relatively easier.

Method 2 : Using third-party Android applications

Those who don’t prefer using the SDK for the purpose of taking screenshots, can use third party applications to do so. If you search for the term “sreenshots” in the Android Market, you will find that there are various apps available that let you take screenshots of your device. But the problem is most of them require you to root your Android phone. There are quite a few apps which lets you take screenshots without rooting. Below, you can find simple steps on how to root your Android device as well as a list of Android apps that lets you take screenshots.

Taking screenshots by rooting your device

Rooting is a process of modifying your phone to gain complete control over it. There are various methods to root your Android device. A very simple method is by using an app called Universal Androot to root your device. Using this app is very easy and you can root your Android phone with just one-click.

In case Universal Androot doesn’t work for your device, you can try the methods posted here.

Once you have rooted your phone, you can use any of the apps listed below to take screenshots of your Android device.

1. Screenshot It – Screenshot It is a simple app that lets you take screenshots of your phone’s screen and save it as a jpg or png file. It lets you take screenshots by setting a timer or by even shaking your phone. In addition to this, it also enables you to crop the screenshots and choose a custom directory for your screenshots. However, this is a paid app and will cost you $3.99.

2. ShootMe – ShootMe is a free app to take screenshots of your device. You can shake your device, shout or even use the light sensor to take the screenshot.

3. PicMe – Compared to the above apps, PicMe lets you control as well as take screenshots of your device from a remote browser. All you have to do is fire up the app and go to http://your_phone_ip_address:8082 to control your device and also take screenshots. This app too is available for free in the Android Market.

Taking screenshots without rooting your device

There are various reasons why people do not root their Android device. Well, in that case you can use the app below for taking screenshots.

No Root Screenshot ItNo Root Screenshot It is a paid app that lets you take screenshots of your phone without rooting. It is similar to the app Screenshot It, both in looks as well as features, since it was developed by the same person. You can download this app from the Android Market at $4.99.

Well, these are the different ways I could find to take screenshots on Android. If you are experiencing any problems with the above listed methods or happen to know any other method to take screenshots on Android, tell us about it via the comments section.

Live Locker for Android is a Better Lockscreen

The only thing good about the stock Android lockscreen is the ability to add that cool join-the-dots-to-enter security lock. Other than it’s pretty boring to slide away all the time, just like the iOS lockscreen. If you’re looking for some app to change the way you unlock your phone, then Live Locker should make things more beautiful for your phone. Live Locker is an Android Lockscreen app that adds some beautiful widgets and gives you access to four most important apps on your phone, Messages, Phone, Contacts and unlock.

Live Locker Unlock

A while ago, we wrote about WidgetLocker, another such app that can be customized to add sliders based on your requirements. This is not the same, as Live Locker doesn’t have any options to customize anything because you won’t need to. The application will definitely make your Android lockscreen stand out and also provide you access to some of the basic functions like messages, phone and favorite contacts apart from the unlock option. To unlock or enter into any of these apps, you’ll need to move a bubble around in 4 directional ways.

 

The lockscreen will show you unread messages and missed calls too, making the lockscreen quite useful as well. That’s not it, there are more widgets, just two more to be frank. On both the sides of the clock widget, you’ll see a Camera icon and a Volume icon. The camera shortcut will take you to the camera or to the gallery, whereas the Volume button will let you change the ringer modes to vibrate, loud and silent.

Live Locker Widgets

What I found really attractive was that bubble, which looks like an orb that was probably used to hold some prophecy about how Android is going to reach great heights. Another thing that attracted me was the price as Live Locker will let you make your lockscreen look better for only $0. Yup, it’s free and requires Android 2.0 or above, so expect it to work with entry level Android phones as well.

Download Live Locker from the Android Market.

Do try this out and let us know if you liked it.

[Image from: Addictive Tips]

3 Quality Wallpaper Changing Apps for Your Android Phone

Wallpapers always add a certain amount of personalization to a mobile device that a lot of other people are also using. With the increase in mobile devices under-the-hood hardware and large screen sizes, various Wallpaper techniques have emerged. So today I am rounding up 3 top notch wallpaper changing apps that you must have on your Android phone:

Wallpaper Switch

Wallpaper switch

This app simply picks the wallpapers from Goodfon.com and rotates them automatically on the Homescreen of your Android phone. This means that you can have an ample of variety on your Android phone as far as the wallpapers are considered.

Wallpaper App do give users controls like how frequently you want to change the displayed wallpaper and what categories you want to be displayed. You can download Wallpaper Switch from Android marketplace.

Wallpaper Changer

Wallpaper Changer

Though the idea of switching between wallpapers is based on the core idea that you can pull wallpapers from a folder filled with varying images. This switching of wallpapers don’t allow users the requisite control, Wallpaper Changer app provide users a new scheme.

Wallpapers are by default added to smartphones changer rotation and you can also add them in a list. Switchover frequency can be changed as per your desire. Wallpaper Changer works well with Android 2.1 and all the above versions.

Wallpaper Change At

Wallpaper Change At

Personally I like this wallpaper changing app, mainly because of the fact that it is an event-based wallpaper switching thing. Picture this, think that you have set a reminder about your friends birthday but the moment that reminder pops-up you discard it. So a better way is that you should use the app Wallpaper Change At because it will automatically change the wallpaper on your Android phone in consonance with the event on your reminder or calendar. Wallpaper Change At requires Android 1.5 or any up version of it.

Got an Android phone? If yes, then do check these apps out.

Visidon AppLock: Face Recognition for Android

Security on a mobile phone is pretty much limited to lock codes and weird designs that a human brain can forget. Sometimes the lock code on your mobile phone becomes your greatest enemy when you forget it. This is where Face recognition comes in, a more advanced and secure way of keeping your mobile phone contents to yourself. Visidon Applock is an Android application that, finally, brings the much wanted facial recognition technology to Android devices.

Visidon Applock Logo

A while back, even the iPhone got this treatment with the RecognizeMe App that brought Facial recognition which actually worked. The same thing applies to this Android app as well, but unlike the iOS app, this is not a complete security option. As the name says, Visidon Applock can only be use to protect applications such as your E-mail, Messages, Facebook, Gallery, Notes etc and not the complete device.

I think that is protecting individual applications is actually better than locking the entire phone using facial recognition. Once Visidon Applock is installed on your Android phone, you can add what apps to protect to it’s protection list and adjust settings like security level and change camera orientations. You will want to meddle with those camera orientation settings only if the app doesn’t recognize your face in the initial set-up process.

Visidon Applock

After this you should be ready to lock-n-load to any of your friends place and not be afraid of leaking out confidential information about their girlfriends. But before all this happens, make sure you have a front facing camera on your Android phone, because if you don’t it’ll just leave you with normal password protection. Check out the video below for a demonstration of Visidon Applock;

Visidon Applock is available for free on the Android Market and will work well with phones running Android Gingerbread 2.3 and above with front cameras. There have been reports from users that it doesn’t seem to work with Custom ROM’s, but do try it out and let us know if it actually helps you protect your apps and doesn’t give way to someone else’s face.