Focal, My App for the Week (Nearly)!

I’ve been using the camera app Focal for a few weeks now and I much prefer it to the stock one, Its a me thing, I just cann’t bring myself to use most stock apps, I just have download a different one. This app comes from a French developer who originally did it for Cyanogenmod but due to differences in opinion when it came to licensing with drew it and made it available separately. Apparently its still only in Beta but it works so well on my phone that it doesn’t appear to have any problems. Well, there is, and that is why it wasn’t nearly app of the week (or so). The problem lies in the location of where the pictures are stored. Which is on the internal memory of the phone with no means to change that setting to allow the user to change the photos being stored on the SDcard which is a pain!

To access the pictures just by plugging the phone into the computer and being able to get to the file easily is not possible (this is the only change I would like to see made). The reason for this is due to the laptop only seeing the SDcard which acts like external storage enabling the computer to see it. The internal memory of the phone doesn’t (a similar reason why Nexus 7 memory isn’t picked up).
The way round this problem is to use an app that I have written about before, AirDroid. I used this to solve access problems with the Nexus 7 and I have found that it allows me to have full access to the memoery on my phone including the internal bit. So I am able to access the folder with the photographs taken with Focal, select the ones that I want and press download (not upload). Because the whole thing is done through the Airdroid website you get a zip folder download just as you do from a website but it appears that the process involves uploading the files to the website where the zip file is made and then downloaded to your computer where you unzip it and sort the pictures from there. Now that is why its a pain. Why cann’t the pictures go straight to the SDcard so that I can download straight from there via a cable connection between laptop and phone?



Whats in, Whats out

Carrying on from my previous post in which I complained about power consumption on my phone and have been removing or not running certain apps. The battery has been lasting a little bit longer the past week or so because I have again stopped and deactivated some google junk but others have bitten the dust as well. simply stopping the lock screen app (toucher pro) as cut down on power used, good move but sad because I found it useful. It means that I have to reorganise my on screen apps to get to the camera easier for quick shots before they are gone! Gone also the New360 app from the phone. I really didn’t think this one is suited to phones, the tablet version is very good and very useful but on my phone it wasn’t.

The in apps are either ones I’m still trying or had updates. Aviate had an update on Thursday which had a music screen, I have found this useful as it allows easy access to music apps although Spotify wasn’t added immediately and I cann’t had it manually to the commonly used apps. The recommended ones were quickly rejected because they are of no use to me. It does have a bit which has ‘resume spotify because that was the last one to be used. which I like very much.
The new app which I am trying out is Carhome ultra. It takes some setting up to be how each individual wants it but I can see this being very useful as I do alot of driving, just keep it connected to the power supply if using it for sometime as the GPS app uses alot of power due to the use of GPS! Otherwise its power use isn’t that bad. This app may end up being an ‘app of the week’.


How to listen to US Radio shows in the UK

There are occasions when I hear of a radio show in the US that covers the sort of music that I want to listen to and often I find it unavailable in the UK. Now, lets face it, UK radio and in particular analogue sucks so any excuse to listen to something better and I’m there.
Just this week I wanted to listen to Sixx Sense, I tried before but this time I was even more determined! A duckduckgo search proved somewhat fruitless but I found a clue! Check the affiliates that broadcast the show. Quite alot of shows do this and if you check the affiliate page that tells which stations have what you want you may get lucky. In my case I found a Canadian station which does have the show I wanted and tried to download their app. Now the page I was taken to also said, ‘app not available in your country’. I checked the app store and low and behold it was there. So, it got installed and I can listen to a station with the show I want and has better music. This will hopefully work in other cases.


Skype do a Quiet Release for Linux…AGAIN!

A couple of days ago while I was checking the tech news via the News360 app, I noticed an article concerning Skype for linux in which they said about a quiet update for Linux. This release was apparently released as a bug fix which I can confirm. The main problem with the previous release was that the audio was not working right when you made a call or even just tried sending a message. This release fixes it but in my opinion isn’t as good as the release before the one with the messed up audio (sorry, I don’t remember the version number).
There were still problems though, the settings were altered during the updating process with (so far all that has been noticed) the microphone being muted. There is one thing missing in Skype, being able to up check for updates within the application itself. They could do something that alerts the user to an update being available saving time having to check the web site every few days. But lets face it, since Skype was bought by the evil empire it has improved when compared to the progress rate in the days of old.


App Of The Week- Aviate

Has I hinted last time, I am going to occasionally (maybe app of the week title maybe a bit stretching it) write about the app that I have found and like. Those that annoy be won’t get the write up.

I’ve been using Aviate since before Christmas and is the first home screen in a long time that actually gives me what I want. One of the announcements that came out of CES was the purchase (or backing) of the project by Yahoo. I wasn’t truly surprised to see the project picked up by a big company but Yahoo? I’m really not sure that this is wise move because big companies seem to be doing this alot recently and then killing the project a few months or so down the line.

With Aviate you have four screen options, home, work, nighttime and going somewhere. Each option has a different set of apps for the situation so you don’t have to search for them. A simple swipe to the left will then give you the other apps on the phone in tidy categories and a second swipe all the others in alphabetical order. The main screen is set out nicely and the way its done, the use of the phone as become easier and faster, plus much nicer to look at.

You do need to have location setting on though which kind of annoys me because of the current privacy concerns but the app needs this to give the information that it does. For more information and a demonstration on what it can do visit the web site-Website-

I give this app 9/10, it lost points on the location thing.