Posts Tagged ‘Android’

BBM on Android and iPhone, am I dreaming?

I never thought I’d see this day. The app will be available for both Android and iOS this summer.

“Today at BlackBerry Live, CEO Thorsten Heins announced BBM will soon be available on Android and iOS. The messaging app will launch globally this summer. This is a huge move for BlackBerry as it brings BB10?s strongest feature to literally hundreds of millions of potential users.

“It is a state of confidence,” Heins explained. “The BB10 platform is so strong and the response has been so good that the time is right for BBM to become an independent mobile messaging platform.”

The app will be free on both Android and iOS. Much like other messaging apps, it will be a standalone application. iOS 6 or Ice Cream Sandwich will be required.”

For details check out this TechCrunch Article.

BlueStacks: Android Emulator

The emulator works full screen on a Windows platform where you can test out/use all your own apps that you have on your phone/tablet (paid and unpaid).
You start off with installing the emulator which creates an account with the BlueStacks cloud. Then it provides a PIN. You then download and install the BlueStacks Cloud app on your phone, put in the PIN and then you can export out all your apps and it automatically appear on your emulator.

The emulator can be downloaded from here

The good features are for the developers so they can test thing out on a bigger screen with keyboard support. For me its providing a good platform to do app writeups on various applications with excellent screenshots. Here are a few of them:

Hotmail getting hotter

Looks like Hotmail is getting a redesign. Including a bazillion filtering options and a brand new app Android app with 2-way sync for email, contacts AND calendar.


The filtering also includes an “unsubscribe” feature that lets you cancel subscriptions to newsletters you signed for during weak moments. It would also feature a scheduled cleanup feature which would delete certain types of emails after a designated number of days.

You can also create custom categories right where the emails lie. Think of them as Labels in GMail. Just select an item in your inbox and create a custom selection filter of similar items and you’re all done.

And, last but not least, you’ll now see so-called Instant Actions (e.g., “delete,” “flag”) when you hover over messages. The changes will be rolling out in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for them.

Kindle the Fire?

I’m just loving the end of summer technology announcements. Here comes Amazon with its brand new Android tablet, the Kindle Fire.

“The Kindle Fire will have a 7-inch display and sell for $199, compared with $499 for Apple’s cheapest iPad, Amazon executives said in interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek. The device, a souped-up version of the Kindle electronic-book reader, will run on Google Inc.’s Android software, the Seattle- based company said. Amazon also introduced a touch-screen version of its e-reader, to be called Kindle Touch.”…mily-portrait/

Engadget Picture

Google’s new 2-step verification

Google has just started a 2-step verification process which will enable users to secure their accounts and not give anyone the ability to steal it. I went through the process and although its not for the faint of heart its not the end of the world. Hopefully this article would help you get through the process without losing any hair.

Initial creation and activation of the 2-step verification:

  • Click on the Account Setting link on the top right
  • Once in Personal Settings page click on the “Using 2-step verification” link
  • You will be asked for you password after which it will ask what 2 steps you want and then a button to start setting it up
  • First it will ask what kind of phone you use. I have an Android phone so I specified that. Then it asks for you to install a verification application for Android. They have apps for iPhone and BlackBerry as well
  • Once you have the app installed scan the QR code that comes up on the screen which has your account information. You do get the option to type in the address if you cannot scan the QR code.
  • The app on your phone will give you a 6 digit verification code that you will need to type in to your browser. This code changes every 10-15 seconds so you’d have to be quick. The purpose of this last part was to authenticate your phone. This completes the authentication of your phone (congatulations).
  • It then gives you a list of “Backup Verification Codes” to print, in case your mobile phone is inaccessible to do the authentication. You can use these codes to gain a one time access
  • Then it asks you to add another phone number for voice and/or SMS connection. I chose SMS in that option, and received a code which I typed into the browser to authenticate that option. If you choose a voice number it will call that number and give you a code which can be used to verify.
  • It then informs you that you should create application specific passwords for items like Picasa or Adwords etc. Using application passwords makes it easier to modify each connection to your Google account.

That’s it, after that it gives you a button to turn on the 2-step verification. The options you chose are listed so you can double check that it has the right info. Once you click on that button it gives you a warning that you are going to be signed out of ALL devices from the Google account, including mobile applications.

Login to your secured account:

  • Go back to your browser and sign in to Gmail.
  • Put in the username and password, hit ok and it asks for a verification code
  • Go into your phone app that you had installed and type the code it gives into your browser

Application specific passwords:
Once you are logged into the Google account it asks you to create application specific passwords. You can either do it then or defer it to a later time.

  • It then gives you options to create (very) secure passwords for each of you devices. For my Android phone, to check email though it and to use Google Voice, it gave me a 16 character, alphanumeric code that I had to punch in the phone. Don’t worry, this code has to be only entered it once so don’t get a heart attack (like I almost did).
  • You’d have to do this same routine for each of your computers that access that account. So I had to do one for Laptop-Imap, Desktop-Imap, and so on.
  • For browsers on different computers you can use the Google Verification application on your phone

Reasons for application specific passwords is so that you can give some access to various 3rd party application and then revoke just that one access rather than entering your account password there and then have to change the main password. That would mean change the password on ALL the other areas where you may have saved that password. Pretty nifty.

If you need to get back to the place where you can create more application specific passwords use this link:

Otherwise you can always go there by click on My Account in GMail and click on Account settings and “Authorizing applications & sites”.

The way things have become we use our Google account for a lot of application and connectivity needs. Hope this helps alleviate some of the fears of making your Google account secure and safe from unwanted snachers.

Tasker for Android – Phone Automation

I just came across this app and it was love at first sight. Its a task automation application. For example, you plug in your headphones in your phone and it automatically asks which app you want to listen to. Or you are on your bike and a call comes in, your phone automatically sees the number, informs you of who it is and sends out an SMS to the caller that you are on your bike. etc etc.

Here’s the developer website