A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my first experiences with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. I noted that while its hardware is excellent, there’s a distinct shortage of tablet apps for Android. Most apps will work just fine, but they’ll make poor use of a tablet’s screen real estate.
But things are definitely improving. New apps are coming out daily. I’ve tried quite a few of them, and I thought I’d do a quick rundown of the apps I’m actually using on a daily basis.
More My personal top 10 Android tablet apps
Last year, @BruceJillis and I created Gunfollow. Recently, there seems to be a renewed interest in this Twitter hitman of sorts. So we’ve been thinking of ways to make Gunfollow even more fun. The easiest way to do that seems to be to add more messages. Gunfollow uses a predefined set of “semi-rude” tweets that it sends to its victims. But not all of them are as witty as we’de like them to be. And that’s where you could come in .
More Help us add more messages to Gunfollow.com
It’s been a while since I wrote about HostMonk. In a world of paid-for and affiliate marketing driven hosting review websites, HostMonk was a breath of fresh air. I wrote that “If HostMonk would add a good rating system (…) it might just be the website we’ve been waiting for”. Well they have. So now it is?
What’s really clever is that HostMonk uses other factors, like uptime, to rate hosts as well. Even the number of Twitter followers is factored in to give you the best possible indication of a host’s popularity. Clever stuff. And they’ve added cloud and shared hosting packages too. Now all we need to do is fill HostMonk’s review database. The web needed a good independent service like this, so let’s use it.
The Twitter community has a very positive feel to it. This is in part because unfollowing other users is easy, and unless the people being unfollowed have special tools in place, they’ll never know.
But sometimes, simply unfollowing someone is just not enough. That’s why there’s now Gunfollow.com, the Twitter hitman. You can “hire” Gunfollow to unfollow and block a user. It’ll be quick an painless, and you can choose a message that gets delivered to the “victim”. If you prefer, this message can be delivered anonymously.
More Introducing Gunfollow, the Twitter hitman
As some of you may know, Twitter is fading out support for “basic authentication”. This basically means that app developers (like myself) can’t just send a user’s login information to Twitter’s server when we want to send a tweet or change a setting. Instead the application needs to be “authorized” by the user using a process called oAuth.
For Snapatar, this meant I needed to make a lot of changes. OAuth is far from trivial to implement, and I was lucky to find a library that handles most of the complicated stuff. With it, I was able to get oAuth working on snapatar.com, and beat the August 16 deadline. More Snapatar now uses oAuth (phew!)
Less than two days ago, Blondmonster asked me to review a haiku she’d written for (if I remember correctly) her employer’s Christmas greeting card. We both love haikus and we immediately started brainstorming. “Cow” stanslates as “koe” in Dutch, and we’d joked before about a “haikoe” (which is pronounced just like “haiku” in English). Sometimes you just need to act on impulses like this, so without further ado, I present to you: Haikoe.nl.
The website is extremely beta, and was hacked together from Snapatar leftovers, the Twitter API and some great artwork by Blondmonster. It will break. Possibly even today. But I’ll fix it when it does, and I hope that in the mean time you’ll feed our little bovine friend some haikus. Simply tweet a haiku and tag it #haikoe. You’ll then need to refresh the page to update.
Netfirms just launched a contest to promote a pretty cool new feature they have. If you sign up with them you’ll be able to register domains by sending them a Twitter direct message. Not only does that save you from having to log into your account, it also allows you to snatch that cool domain name you just thought of anywhere you have access to Twitter. Clever. Here’s what you have to do to enter the Netfirms contest. You may just end up winning an iPod Touch or a MacBook.
More Tweet your domain and win a MacBook or an iPod!
I’ve searched high and low for a good native Linux Twitter client, but there’s nothing out there that can really compete with TweetDeck. At least not in terms of functionality. TweetDeck is based on Adobe’s AIR platform and as a result is quite heavy on resources. But the biggest problem I had with it was getting it to open links in my default browser. It disregarded my setting and used Firefox to open all links. Twitter is far less fun if you need to carefully copy paste every link to a new tab in your browser. As it turns out, the issue is with AIR, not just TweetDeck, and it took quite a while and a lot of help for me to find a working solution.
More Getting Adobe AIR to use the default browser under Ubuntu
Twitter by it’s very nature is a very limited service. That’s what’s fun about it. Some people manage to be really clever and witty in 140 characters. But there’s only so much you can express in a tweet. The other main way to express your personality on Twitter is through your avatar image (or ‘profile picture’ as Twitter calls them).
Many of the people I follow have carefully designed avatars that they don’t change very often. But what if you could have your avatar be as current as your tweets. Showing you exactly the way you look today, doing what you’re doing right now? That’s where Snapatar comes in.
More Introducing Snapatar: Update your Twitter avatar from your webcam
Symbian may be the smartphone OS with the most experience, it does suffer from a certain dullness. It’s like the MS-DOS of mobile phone operating systems. Where the iPhone basically runs a trimmed down version of Apple’s OSX, Symbian was built to be light. Also on eye-candy. And it shows.
Fortunately, there are developers out there that create software that goes beyond that typical boring Symbian look and feel. Like mobileways.de, who recently released Gravity, a native Symbian Twitter client that brings both features and eye-candy.
More Gravity adds some sexiness to Symbian