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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Pulse: An RSS Reader.

Add any website to Pulse: The Ultimate News App.

Pulse needs no introduction. It’s one of the finest and best news app available for any OS, be it Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and as a web app.  It streams all the content you want, from all sources at a single place. That is why, it’s a favorite of many, including me.

One can add the sources from which data should be retrieved but there’s a limitation. Only popular websites are available as options. What about other blogs or sites? Pulse developers seem to have considered this. Yes, you can use Pulse as an RSS Reader and add any site or blog you desire. You can also add YouTube Channels.

Screenshot from 2013-07-21 02:34:59

A GeekSpecs Article in Pulse.

Just follow the two steps and make Pulse your complete knowledge hub.

Step 1: Go to Add Content tab, which should be with the current pages menu. Proceed to Add New Content to Pulse and type the website’s name in the search bar, that you want to add. Refering to the screenshot below, I have searched for GeekSpecs Meet Vora  or  GeekSpecs WordPress, which successfully shows my blog. And do not worry about the page it shows. Just add any search result you see.

Screenshot from 2013-07-21 02:36:06

Pulse:Web App

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Pulse:Android App

Step 2: Add any YouTube Channel you desire. I’ve demoed the feature with ERB.

Screenshot from 2013-07-21 02:48:35

So, there you are, having Pulse transformed into an all-option service.

For those who haven’t tried out this awesome service, here are the links.

Android

iOS

Windows

Web App

Transfer Data across Android and iOS Devices.

Every single person on the planet knows how good iOS and Android co-ordinate, in terms of data transfer between the two. Pairing your iDevice with Android Device via Bluetooth can be a pain in the neck. So people go with the other obvious solutions: Email the files to themselves, upload it to cloud, Bump! it or some other methods I am unaware of. But these are very inefficient, time consuming and waste your limited data plan.

Fast File Transfer is the probably the best application I’ve ever come across for this purpose. The only thing bad about it is, that it’s available only in the Google Play Store. Thus, one can only send files from Android to iOS.

It works on principle of WiFi Tethering, It creates a WiFi HotSpot and allows you to connect other devices, including other Android devices and iDevices. When the Recipient Device is connected to its WiFi Network, the user can access the files on the Sending Android Device.

Note: It doesn’t require Internet.

Features:
Up to 20x speed of Bluetooth.
No need for a common WiFi connection.
The receiver does not have to have the app installed.
Send single or multiple files.
Displays QR codes for faster receiving.
Use NFC for pairing (in beta stage).

For Android to Android Transfer, there’s another app: SuperBeam, which works flawlessly. I don’t know why, but I prefer to use SuperBeam for A-A Data Transfer, though Fast File Transfer works fine.

App Showdown: Game Booster

Android smartphones are the hottest selling phones in the market. But most of them belong either to low-end or mid range category , i.e. with decent or below par performance. Thus, gaming experience is laggy. Sometimes, the frame-rates also drop significantly.

There’s an awesome solution for that. No, not buying a high end phone, but simply getting an app installed. This is the Game Booster.

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It makes your games run faster by freeing up the memory before launching any game. Actually, you can add any app you want, not only games. It organizes the games together as a launcher does. You can also refer the boosted games to your home screen.

My personal experience with the app has been good till now, though I use a high end device.

If you face RAM Management issues with your phone, do not forget to check my post.

Free Custom Domain.

There are many people out there, just like me, who just love sharing their knowledge, writing or may be create an online presence. The more determined start with simple yet awesome YouTube videos but others go on with their blog and website.
And then some are like me, not wanting to spend any penny and do everything!

This post is for the latter ones. Having something like *.Wordpress.com or *.blogspot.com is too irritating because of the length and second, the feeling of awesomeness diminishes to an extent.

But from now on you can give your sites a custom domain as desire. GeekSpecs has a new domain geekspecs.tk. Do not forget to check that out.
By now, you might have got the point, I’m trying to make out. It’s free but not .com or .org. You’ll have to get some weird .endings.

If you manage a site like www.*.webs.com or even a big google site, head on to FreeDomain. It works like a charm and gets you a custom .co.nr web address.

If you host a blog, specially at WordPress, you might not be able to enjoy the former benefit, simply because WordPress doesn’t allow to do it. So there’s an alternative. It’s Dot.tk. GeekSpecs too, uses that.

There are others too, but only for name sake or give a very big name in sub domain referral part. These are the best available out after the fall of my favourite co.cc, which had to be shutdown because it’s services were extensively used for spamming. So make sure you don’t destroy the other services.

The edge that .tk has over co.nr is you can manage DNS separately which isn’t anywhere in .co.nr.

Tweak Android without Custom ROM.

I had earlier notified the readers that I will be disclosing the 2nd most important Android configuration soon. This post deals with the same.

Almost all Android users except the Vanilla Stock Android users hate the looks and few tweaks crafted in their smartphones by the manufactures. And the popular solution: flashing a custom ROM.

But there’s something special which isn’t as popular as the above method. It’s called Xposed Framework, by rovo89. This framework allows you to modify your ROM without changing apks or flashing. ROOT is required.

Advantages: No need to modify any APKs. This means:
1) No need to decompile, change things in smali, compile, sign.
2) It will work for odexed and deodexed ROMs.
3) Your mod is not bound to a specific version of the ROM. Unless there is a major change in the methods called for a certain functionality, your mod will continue to work even when you upgrade your ROM. Hell, it will probably even work with different ROMs.
4) Multiple mods can be installed at the same time, even if they change the same package. So you can use these battery icons and those quick toggles. Even hooking the same method twice is possible. Of course, this only works properly if the mods are not trying to do incompatible things.
5) It does its magic at runtime. That means you can implement options to let the user decide if they prefer the bikeshed to be painted in red or blue. Or you can have some extra logic for certain ROMs without building different mod versions.
6) It can be disabled easily without having to reflash.
7) It’s open source.

Installation:
First step for everything you do:
Create a nandroid backup and make sure you know how to restore it!
There is also the risk to soft-brick your device. In such a case, restoring a backup is the easiest way to get rid of it (other possibilities mentioned below).

For the framework:
1) Download XposedInstaller.apk and install it
2) Launch the Xposed Installer and click on “Install/Update”
3) Reboot
4)Done!

For any modifications/modules you want to install:
1) Download .apk and install it
2) Launch the Xposed Installer and go to the “Modules” tab (you will also get there if you click on the notification warning you that the module is not enabled yet)
3) Enable the module by checking the checkbox
4)Reboot
5)Done!

In case you get into a boot loop:
You can flash the attached Xposed-Disabler-CWM.zip by Tungstwenty. It will be copied to your (external) SD card when you install Xposed as well. The only thing it does is copying /system/bin/app_process.orig back to /system/bin/app_process, which you can also do yourself (e.g. with adb shell in recovery mode).
You could also create a file /data/xposed/disabled, which causes Xposed to be bypassed as well.

Download:
1)Xposed Bridge
2) Xposed Disabler
3) Xposed Installer

I use following modules extensively:
1)Modaco: A set of all tweaks designed by Modaco together.
2) Icon Themer: Let’s you change the icons of apps through out your system.
3) Tweakbox: A collection of awesome tweaks.
4) Multiwindow Manager: Grants and manages Multiwindow on all Samsung Phones.
5) Theme Manager: Theme your phone the way you want!
6) Greenify

I have been using this for a while and my rooted phone just feels awesome. I have all the good parts of default ROM, eliminated the bad parts and added a few good ones on the same ROM.

Final Conclusion: Just go for it.

App Showdown: Greenify

Never should your phone or tablet become slower and battery hungrier after lots of apps installed. With Greenify, your device can run almost as smoothly and lastingly as it did the first day you had it!
Greenify help you identify and put the bad behaving apps into hibernation when you are not using them, to stop them from lagging your device and leeching the battery, in an unique way! They can do nothing without explicit launch by you or other apps, while still preserving full functionality when running in foreground, similar to iOS apps!

ROOT is required.

Greenifying an app implies that you are aware that all the background functionality of this app will become out of service during the hibernation except when you are using this app:
1) Persistent background services
2) Broadcast receivers, which respond to global device events, such as network state change, SMS reception.
3) Alarms, which activate background task at specific time or interval.
4) Widget update. Widget should display but may or may not update because periodic update sometimes involves background task.
5) Push message. Push is also disabled since it would activate background task on Android, unlike iOS which just shows up messages to user.

Compared to other popular tools aimed for the similar purpose, Greenify offers the following advantages:

Unlike the “Freeze” feature in “TitaniumBackup Pro” that totally disable the app, you can still use your app as usual, share content with it. No need to freeze & defrozen it.

Unlike “App Quarantine”, you can launch greenified apps in any way as usual. No more crafted app-launch widgets, no more manual disabling.

Unlike “Autostarts”, you can benefit from almost all of its advantages, without needing to deal with the complexity and risk of obscure app components, and never lose functionality when app is actively running.

Unlike any “XXX Task Killer”, your device will never fall into the cat-mouse-game of stealthy-running and aggressive killing, which unnecessarily consumes much battery juice.

Note: Greenify do need a background persistent “Cleaner” service to put the greenified apps back into hibernation when you are not actively using them. It is designed and implemented in extremely lightweight, with an average RAM footprint at 3M in total, and nearly zero CPU and battery consumption.

Download here