Some of the dumbest apps, you never uninstall, for no reason whatsoever

dumbappNo, I am not going to rant about iBoobs. What I want to point out is that nobody, I mean nobody, unless you are working in the London Stock Exchange, or on Wall Street, needs to have a ticker installed, or even a stock app. Are you a day trader? Then you are probably sitting in front of your computer or laptop, trying to not go broke and failing miserably. But why would you need a stock application? HTC, Apple, Samsung, whoever, please stop installing these useless applications into our phones – or at least allow us to uninstall them.

Additionally, did you install several games and have actually never played them? I have on my phone all Angry Birds that ever came out and have not finished a single one of them. I also have a ridiculous Kung Fu Panda Staring Contest – yes, this is exactly what it says it is – and I have never even intended to uninstall it.

What else is useless? Well, you have Facebook, then you have the Facebook messenger, then you have Twitter and then you have Flipboard, then you have also Social Network Pro installed and who knows what else, it may be the time to tone it all down a bit. Maybe tone it down a lot would be more appropriate.

While I am ranting, allow me just to vent my frustration to YouTube, which finally found a way to become less popular. Integrating YouTube into Google Plus is just like shooting your foot off, because your feet were great and worked flawlessly. Nobody, really, nobody wants to use Google+, it is useless, boring, nobody is there, nobody is using it and nobody will ever use it. All you accomplished is that people are annoyed and that nobody will bother to post any comments ever again.

In any case, if you did not know it, there is also a Google+ app available. Not that anyone will ever use it. Do I have to tell you that recently it is one of the apps that come pre-installed with your handheld device and which you cannot uninstall?

How to take your TV with you, if you travel abroad?

tvappsEverybody in the UK is addicted to the telly, every single person. Sometimes, alas, people need to travel out of the UK, for whatever reason, and the idea of missing out on their favourite TV shows is unbearable. Okay, I am exaggerating, but if you are not in the UK and would like to watch TV programs, moreover, if you are not from the US and would like to stream something from Netflix or Hulu, you are not going to get it. Even some YouTube videos are for some unfathomable reason location locked, which poses really one question: Why do you make a promotional video, if you are not going to show it to people? Anyway, to overcome such inconveniences there is a solution – use a VPN. If you do not know what VPN is standing in for, it is a Virtual Private Network.

What such an app does, a VPN providing app, by funnelling your internet traffic through a (secure) server in a country of your choice, you can actually access any such sites that are location locked through a server that is located in the very same country. To make this story short, the app of choice is VPN One Click (http://www.vpnoneclick.com/download/index.html) and allows you on any platform – Windows, Android, Ubuntu and even Apple OSX/iOS – any Apple device, but the Apple app is not free – to connect to a sever in a country of your choice by a single click. There are currently servers in 19 countries, but you can connect to them from everywhere, even from China. I just tested the Android and iOS versions, both work commendably.

First of all, if you were looking for a way to circumvent the Piratebay blockage, this most certainly works. Second of all, you can connect directly to any site where live broadcast is streamed, such as the BBC iPlayer or the itv-player, but you can also connect directly to Hulu, Netflix and any other site, by choosing the appropriate server, and enjoy otherwise location locked content. If you do not want the hassle of looking for sites broadcasting UK channels, simply use the app TVCatchup (http://tvcatchup.com/) and stream away. Make sure your VPN sever is in the UK.

When speaking about best TV applications, then there is nothing that can parallel the extensive streaming amount of TV series and movies that are available per TV Portal app, sorry folks, only on Android! (http://tvportalapp.com/) Actually, most of the borderline legal apps are only available on Android, come to think of it. In any case, with this fun app, downloadable only through the SlideMe Android Market (www.slideme.org)I have already mentioned in a previous post (http://goo.gl/Y5Rgk).

What is so great about it? Every single episode of almost any TV show is being streamed! You want all 11 seasons of “Married with Children”? It is right there! You can watch it anytime! Or you would like to catch up on older episodes of “How I Met Your Mother”? No problem! You are looking for older shows like “ALF” or “Miami Vice”? All there. Even cult favorites like “Firefly” and plenty of cartoons, like “The Flintstones” or “Tom and Jerry” are there.

As if such a ton of fun at your fingertips were not enough, there is also a movie section, featuring thousands of movies, starting with the first “Captain America: The First Avenger” movie, down to classics such as “Some Like it Hot”. You will not be able to find a better TV series and movie streaming app, aside from Netflix – for which you have to pay a nice dollar or quid and still not find the one or another obscure title you can find within the TV Portal. Just give it a try and see for yourself.

Awesome apps that you need to check out

Motorola-Droid-XYou know that there are countless applications available for your smartphone or tablet device, some of which came pre-installed, some you have discovered and some were highly recommended by a trustworthy source. You also know that there are tons of apps you have never heard of, simply because nobody ever pointed them out to you. Here are a couple of apps that are really worth checking out, even if your storage memory is getting low.

Insatiable genius is actually a very pretentious name for a company, but there is some self-depreciation there, or so I chose to believe. Anyway, this company has made a fun program called ToonPaint. It does exactly what it says, namely, you either shoot a photo or take one from any storage you can access and can instantly, or rather with some fiddling, turn it into a really fun cartoonish version of the same. (http://insatiablegenius.com/products/toonpaint)

There are tons of audiobook players available on all platforms, but the best audiobook app is for Android – I have not seen one out for iOS yet –and it is named Smat AudioBook Player, by Alex Kravchenko – I guess it is not the famous poker player. Anyway, the great thing about this player is that it works with any audiobooks you already have in your device and it does not care if your book copy is legit or not. It can do a lot of things, including downloading artwork for your book from the net, even the list of characters, if you have trouble following the plot. Another good thing is, it pauses if you fall asleep, a very useful feature. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ak.alizandro.smartaudiobookplayer)

If you need an application manager, while speaking about Android, I have found that the AppMgr III, former App 2 SD, is a very good manager for applications, even if the latest Android OS contains a pretty good manager as well. Best thing here, you can not only move apps to your external storage, or hide apps that you cannot uninstall, but you can instantly remove cache used up by apps with one simple click. Information about how many apps you have installed and how much space you have left, furthermore, you can finally see all the system apps that are installed. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.a0soft.gphone.app2sd)

If you are a fan of stargazing, I mean real stars, not celebrities, then you must take a look at the Droid Sky View application, a map of the stars which not only accurately portrays the starry sky, but is a point and view application. Yes, you turn your phone towards the point you are looking at and you can exactly find out what you are seeing, which constellation, what stars, planets or even other galaxies are right up there. It includes powerful zoom functions, the full Messier catalog of all objects, clusters and galaxies with pictures, shows even stuff underneath the horizon. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.DroidSkyViewSpace)

The corresponding app for the iPhone/iPad would probably be the Starmap app for iOS, where several versions are available, functioning like “a planetarium in your pocket”. In direct comparison, the Starmap may be more for an amateur astronomer, while the Droid Sky View is fun app for everyone. Check out Starmap on their web site. (http://www.star-map.fr/)

Mobile Apps

In a virtual world, where millions upon millions applications for mobile phones and tablet devices are being made available, some for free, some free with advertising, some for sale, but all of them in some way interesting, picking and using any of them is really an easy decision. What makes me, you, anybody really like an app or game? Everybody has an own sense of taste, idea, expectation that needs to be met, but in that sheer endless sea of available fun, how to really figure out what you would like, before you have even seen it?

In such cases, people come to sites similar to this one and try to learn and find the one application they know they would like to play with. I am Hannah and I will try and provide you here with some insight into the world of fun that apps can be. I will try to focus on apps that are available for Android and iPhone alike, but in cases where such availability is not given, I will enjoy lamenting the short-sightedness of people in charge. In any case, do not expect me to tout stuff that you have already pre-installed or know about extensively, like Facebook and Twitter, or on the other hand stuff for which you need to jailbreak or root your device.

A few apps that I will mention here in my first rant, or rather post are being mentioned just to make a point and not to incite you to install them. These apps are something you either have installed, or you are to be removed from your device and not to be entrusted with a smartphone or tablet ever again. If you prefer Apple’s version of Maps, then no need to read on, because Google Maps will always be the best maps app, ever. The only other solution you may want to consider, if you are travelling a lot and really would like to have a GPS-like device without being online, are apps made by a company called TomTom International (http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/).

Unfortunately, the really good TomTom apps cost a bundle and are really large, like Gigabytes of storage space large. The TomTom Navigation Apps are available in several versions, for instance the Android app TomTom Navigation map Europe is 2.5GB – make sure you use Wi-Fi to download it; version size and availability depend on the location where you live and provide you not only with directions, but also with the ubiquitous hypnotic voice directing you where to turn. If you do not want to use the included, boring voice, you can download and/or purchase additional voices, including cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Homer Simpson, Marge Simpson and Mr. Burns, but also Stephen Fry, Roger Moore, John Cleese, Kim Cattrall and even Snoop Dogg, just to name a few, are available.

If you have already used GPS devices, then this is not really a stretch for you. If you have only used Google Maps to get around, it is quite different. TomTom applications have massive extension possibilities, including plenty of information about the city you are in, or are visiting. This is an app definitely worth checking out, available for all pertinent devices, including Apple’s iOS and Android.