Download APK directly from Google Play Store.

Some or other time, we do face a situation when the app we need is Not Available in Your Country or Is Incompatible With Your Device. And then, we look for the app from some other site, having a previous version of it.

There’s one tool which simplifies our task to great extent: Evozi APK Downloader.

Just enter the URL of the app you need from the Play Store and it will provide you with latest *.apk . This service helps save lot of time that would have been wasted in searching for APKs and also gets us the latest version.

APK Downloader

Moreover, it isn’t Modified in any sense. Thus, no security threats from the uploader side. The Chrome extension further simplifies the job for people on desktop.

Personal note: Though I decided not to post anything till June 2014, I wrote this because this service shall be beneficial to a lot out there.

Web Apps on Android.

Yes, they’re are finally here!

I decided to pause my blog for a span of 6 months, as I needed to prepare myself for IIT JEE: A major entrance exam in India. But then this release made me break my vow.
I’ve had waiting for this time and finally they’re here.

Just like my earlier post on web apps, you simply require a browser: Chrome Beta or Firefox.

In case of Firefox, you have a dedicated web App Store, which contains all apps that are supported in Firefox OS, while Chrome allows you to save the link as a web app, like we’ve been doing on desktop.

Using web apps on smartphone is indeed a great idea. Such apps are beneficially for those devices with low internal storage (example: HTC Explorer which has only 90 MB) or with those facing RAM Management issues. For instance, I hardly use the Facebook for Android App, but the app consumes at least 43 MB of RAM, while running in background , which surely is a disappointment.

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Making web apps on Chrome Mobile (Credit for Screenshot: CNET)

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Firefox OS App Store.

Now, if you are die hard fans of web apps, I would recommend you to update to the latest Chrome in Beta channel, as it permits you create any web app, while Firefox currently has limited apps in the store, but it should grow more as their usage increases.

Here it is, the best underrated feature for mobile browsers.
Download:
Firefox
Chrome

To install web apps on Linux, Windows or Mac, refer this.

Online Terminal.

Access the power of the Linux on your browser with Terminal.

Linux is all coding and that’s the reason why programmers install that awesome OS on their systems. But for those, who love their Windows or Mac and do not want to migrate from the formers can use this service: Koding. Alternatively this service is for all those programmers and students who want to compile and run their code without having anything installed.

Koding

The biggest +1 goes for it’s ability to compile any code; be it Java, C, C++ or PHP . It runs it all.

Moreover, their fans can install Terminal. Terminal is a web-based chrome application that allows you to interact directly with a VM provided by Koding.com. If you have used UNIX before, you’ll feel right at home. Koding VMs comes with hundreds of powerful UNIX applications already included. Koding VMs provide you with a real Ubuntu OS, with real shell access, and allow you to work on real code. Python, PHP, C++, C, it doesn’t matter. Even better, they are online. Accessible from anywhere in the world. Even sharable with teams.

Users can sign up using email or Sign In through GitHub. Once you are done, you get 16GB of space to upload or type your code, and being a geeky social site, you can share work, follow people or topics. 

You shall be guided by tutorial on how to use Koding. After having followed it, one can observe various sections with pinch of social sharing. You can ask Qs, learn from the Topic Forums. 

Screen Delights.

Personalization is indeed the most powerful feature of Android. Custom ROMs, Custom made devices (Moto X), Custom Skins and so on are the evidences of variety Android can offer. Above all, it’s one of the simplest stuff, which can be done by both – newbies and pros.

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As the title suggests, this post is all about screens – my setup and how-to.

Getting your screenshots in the device

Presenting your preparation or screenshots with device frame makes them look awesome. One can do that through 3 ways.

Get yourself an app: There are quite a few apps which provide you with Device frames and generate the required results directly. User needs to just select the image. Two of my favorites are Screen Maker and Device Frame Generator. Since both of these are paid, I would recommend Screen Maker as it provides frames of more devices.

Via PSD: Certain people aren’t comfortable with choosing the easy path and hence, should go with PSDs of their devices.

Web Services: PlaceIt, AAS, DAG and MockUPhone are certain web services which just ask you for screenshots and return the desired

Xperia P Custom

Customizing your Screen, My way

Launcher: Action Launcher Pro

Widgets: Power TogglesTimelyVapor Ice

Wallpaper: Fuzz

Icon Pack: Click UI

After having done this, refer to this post on how to theme your phone like a boss without any Custom ROM.

Xperia P Custom

Run Android Apps on Ubuntu.

Run Android Apps on any Linux Distro without any Virtual Workaround

The popular technique of creating Virtual Device and using Android SDK doesn’t appeal to many. So here’s a workaround which might not be as geeky as the former.

Update: A lot of people have been successful at first attempt, some at second and some have been unsuccessful throughout. No reason known. Also, BlueStacks has been dubbed as “trash” by Wine Req.

Prerequisites: Wine.

Just as mentioned earlier, you need to have Wine installed on your Ubuntu. Open the Ubuntu Software Centre and search for Wine and install it.

Step 1: Download BlueStacks for Windows which is an .exe file. Proceed to the properties of the downloaded file and check the Allow executing file as Program .

Step 2: Proceed to Configure Wine from Unity Search. By default, wine will act like Windows XP, but users can change this to all or almost any Windows version. The next tab over is used for configuring DLL files. The “Graphics” tab controls the look of the Windows applications. The “Desktop Integration” tab allows users to change the theme of Windows applications. The controls under this tab also allow users to configure folder locations. This means when Windows applications need to place data in the documents folder, users can choose what folder will be the Windows document folder. Next, the “Drives” tab contains options for the Windows drives. Users can control what directory will behave like drive C.The “Audio” is for audio. Finally, the last tab, “About”, contains the license and version information for wine. At the bottom of the window, users can type the owner and company of wine like they would for a Windows system. Once all of the settings have been configured, press “Apply” and exit the program

Step 3: Return to the .exe file and right click and choose to install using Wine. Proceed to the installation step and keep in mind that now you are installing something on Windows. After the installation is completed you must see BlueStacks in Unity Dash.

Step 4: Download your required APK and open BlueStacks. Set up the app player as per your needs and then install the APK.
Voila, now you can install and run any Android App on Ubuntu. And this technique is universal, i.e. it will work for any other Linux Distribution.

This technique, thus saves you a lot of time and is probably the best for those who just want to install apps like Whatsapp, though users can install games too. Personally, I found games like Jetpack Joyride more enjoyable on this set up.

Google Play Books: Read any PDF.

The Play Books App for Android is one of the finest and best eBooks reader. The fluidity and certain awesome features, such as the dictionary, make it an all time favourite app for many users. However, only a few people know that it could read any PDF you want, not just an eBook. Also, you can use it to read any eBook which isn’t available in the Play Store.

To do so, firstly visit the Play Store and proceed to Books.

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Navigate to the Uploads tab, and proceed to Upload a file.

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Here, you need to upload the PDF file or the required eBook.

This approach seems to be a lengthy one, specially for those who read extensively on mobile devices. Here, you can take advantage of the fact that the required files can be uploaded from Google Drive. You can as well upload the file from your Android Device using the Drive App.

Simply, upload the file to Google Drive and access it from the window. And wait as the file is being processed.

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Now it’s the time to revisit your Play Books App, where you shall find the file. Thou shall now read it as a regular Google Play purchased eBook with the same awesome features.

Downloading the Wikipedia Database.

Have your own copy of Wikipedia

This post is for all the students, educators and knowledge hungry people who extensively rely on Wikipedia for information. Downloading individual pages is a very common practise. For those who do not prefer to spend money on encyclopaedias, especially the online ones, this post should be a helpful hand to them.

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This project provides only the textual data, which accounts to a whopping 9.06 GB compressed file (42 GB uncompressed). The biggest +1 is the offline reading ability.

Users can go with Torrent files and use clients like BitTorrent to download the huge files or use the data dumps provided by Wikipedia.
Besides English, the dumps are available in languages: Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian.

You can refer to the project here to know more about installation procedure.

After downloading the data dumps, you can use following soft wares to read the Wikipedia data.
XOWA: XOWA is an open-source desktop application that can read and edit Wikipedia offline. It is currently in the beta stage of development, but is functional. It is available for download
Offline Wikipedia Reader: for Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD, and other Unices
The offline-wikipedia project provides a very effective way to get an offline version of wikipedia. It uses entirely free software. Packages are available for Ubuntu and soon for other Linux distributions.
WikiTaxi: WikiTaxi is an offline-reader for wikis in MediaWiki format. It enables users to search and browse popular wikis like Wikipedia, Wikiquote, or WikiNews, without being connected to the Internet. WikiTaxi works well with different languages like English, German, Turkish, and others but has a problem with right-to-left language scripts. Doesn’t allow to display images though.
WikiFilter: WikiFilter is a program which allows you to browse over 100 dump files without visiting a Wiki site.
For installation instructions refer this.

Thus, you have a fully functional offline Wikipedia database which you can store in your smartphone or a USB Drive. But be sure to read the instructions and caution notes before commencing the download.

Unity Set Up [August]

My Desktop Prep for August

It’s been a month since the previous July Set Up which comprised of a dark holo UI. For August, I decided to treat the viewers with a plain white UI  overhaul.

Geek WallpaperDesktop

Unity DashThe Unity Dash

Ubuntu FilesFiles

Google Chromium WhiteChromium

Download:

Wallpaper

Icons

Theme

Note: The theme that you shall install is a package of many themes. While applying the theme in Tweak Tool, select Mediterranean White. Check out my Set Up for July. If you’re facing some problem while applying the icons or theme, check my out tutorial for the same.

Chrome OS: On your Desktop.

Get the features of Chrome OS.

Google’s Chrome OS uses Web Apps extensively, and most of the features of OS come from them. Many people adore the idea and concept of Chrome OS. Though web apps are just links to specific sites, with some more feature set, we prefer to use them over the standard browser-surfing procedure. They are self updated, accessible to any one, small in size and the users do not need to have special privileges. Making web apps is quite simple, be it any OS. What you actually require is the popular browser from Google: Chrome or Chromium.

Chrome Web store app

Chrome Web Store App on Ubuntu.

Just visit the Chrome Web Store and install any web app you desire. After having it installed, visit the New Tab page of Chrome.

Screenshot from 2013-07-29 12:50:03

Right Click on the App icon and select Create Shortcuts. A pop up window appears asking you to create what type of shortcut you prefer. Check the Applications Menu option to make sure that your formerly-only-chrome-app is now installed into your system.

Screenshot from 2013-07-29 12:50:17

This trick works on any platform. But for those Geeks who use Ubuntu, there’s even a better technique. Simply install Fogger. Fogger lets Ubuntu users quickly create and run websites, services and utilities in a dedicated, WebKit-based window on the desktop. The biggest +1 over standard method is the desktop integration with unity like desktop notifications, unread message count on launcher icon. Note that Fogger is available only on Ubuntu 12.04.

fogger lens 123

Fogger Apps on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Mac users can use Fluid. Fluid lets you create a Real Mac App (or “Fluid App”) out of any website or web application, effectively turning your favorite web apps into OS X desktop apps.Creating a Fluid App out of your favorite website is simple. Enter the website’s URL, provide a name, and optionally choose an icon. Click “Create”, and within seconds your chosen website has a permanent home on your Mac as a real Mac application that appears in your Dock.

Windows users can go with AllMyApps. Just liked above apps, it integrates your web apps into the system, thus, enabling notifications.

The sad part with the above three OS-specific softwares is that you need to install the respective software and make your apps. if you just want any single or simple web app, the first technique is indeed the best.

If you like to keep your desktop clean, make sure you download Chrome OS Wallpapers and add these Web Apps to your Desktop. Ubuntu users can check out my theme posts and install the one that suites their choice. Windows users need to set the Aero color to complete white and set the web apps in the App Tray.

Thus, you can transform your desktop into a well-built app ecosystem, like you have on mobile devices these days. And the ones who loved the concept of ChromeOS can implement it to maintain the former OS and functionality.

Read ahead only if you love Chrome OS and use Windows.

Google has added the Chrome OS styled launcher to the developer version of Chrome for Windows. It organizes apps into a tray and can access the Chrome Apps directly from desktop. This procedure is even simpler than the first method. Try out the Chrome Dev Channel if you want to test the feature.

App Showdown: PushBullet.

Push anything to your Android device.

At the recently held Google Event, where the new Nexus 7 was unveiled, Google announced that the Play Store was now the officially biggest App market. That being said, it’s not a surprise to find innovative and better sharing Apps, like Bump! or SuperBeam. Just like them, PushBullet is one of the most productive and innovative App that I’ve ever come across.

PushBullet

PushBullet: Notifications.

It pushes anything from any device, that supports web browsing, to your Android Device. You can push any file, image, video or even a list to your Android device. The biggest plus one goes to it’s ability to save the user’s time. It’s pretty quick and appears as a notification on your device. I’ve seen people emailing themselves the required link, and open the mail in their phone. But now, PushBullet can take care of that. No need to send useless mails to yourself.

And of course the Chrome extension makes it incredibly easy to push webpages and Google Maps addresses right to your phone. Found a restaurant you want to try out? Push the address to your phone and get to navigation in a snap from the notification. This service pushes YouTube videos, or Notes as desired, and thus it’s a Chromecast-like feature for your Android device.

For accessing the service in a non-Chrome browser, just visit PushBullet.com and register yourself, using your Google account. Thus, you can push anything from iPad, Kindle and even from one Android phone to another. This service is quite useful who use Android Ecosystem only.

Want to transfer data from iDevice to an Android device? Check out my previous post.