Google Play has a huge collection of third party Twitter clients. There are both free and paid apps. Robird is a new, emerging Twitter client that is based on Holo sytled theme. The app looks beautiful and is amazingly fast. The app loads your tweets within seconds and scrolling between the tabs is smooth.
Is Robird Available for Free?
No, this is a paid app and is priced at $2, the equivalent Indian price is 120 INR. Well, I'd say that the app is really worth this price in my opinion. The app is currently in it's development stages and there are numerous other features that will be coming to Robird soon. And as per the reports on Google Play, the next update will feature multi-account support and a tablet UI.
Before you Purchase the App
If you haven't known, there is an issue when it comes to using third party Twitter clients. Twitter provides only 100,100 tokens to the third party Twitter clients. This means that only 100,000 users can be using the app at a particular time. This is one of the most common issues faced with Falcon Pro which has around 1 million users.
Considering Robird, this is a new Twitter client. It won't have a huge number of users right now and hence seems to work pretty flawlessly.
Link: Robird on Google Play
Saturday, 29 June 2013
When I first started using the internet it was mainly to look up email from cousins and relatives abroad. This was back in 1999 and Google was not as famous, Gmail was not even around and it was still 5 years before anything like Facebook happened.
Alta Vista was the first search engine I had probably used and it felt awesome that you could type in just about anything into a text box and get relevant results. So it was a little sad to see Yahoo declare the end of Alta Vista search engine for good. Alta Vista was probably not the oldest search engine but was the oldest as far as popularity was concerned. The search engine shuts down on 8th July.
Wrong decisions in the past
While Google started catching attention, Alta Vista was still at the height of it's popularity. Alta Vista had a simple design with focus on search results. The company was bought by Compaq and a series of changes happened. One of them was to make the website more a portal and less a search engine.
This lead to the steady decline of Alta Vista as a search engine and Google became king over time. Alta Vista was then sold to CMGI who was going to float a IPO for Alta Vista. This was in 2000 and the internet bubble burst, finishing off Alta Vista's chances of becoming a publicly listed company.
Then Alta Vista was bought by Overtures which in turn was acquired by Yahoo. This made Alta Vista a Yahoo product and like many products owned by Yahoo, Alta Vista kept on the decline.
Today along with several other older services, Yahoo announced it would be shut down. An important part of internet's living history is now a closed chapter.
(via Yahoo Blog)
Hike for BlackBerry is now officially released. Hike has been available on the BlackBerry platform since the past few days with the 'Beta' tag. Now, it's officially available for the BlackBerry devices with full functionality.
Hike for BlackBerry is available for all the devices running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and above. With Hike for BlackBerry, you can make one-on-one, group chats and even send photos, videos and a lot more! Hike says that many more features will be added in the near future.
Image Credit : Hike's Blog
Hike is one of those coolest IMs that one can ever come across. Some of the latest updates on Hike include Stickers, Walkie-Talkie and Hike Offline. Hike bridges the gap between data messaging and text messaging aka SMS.
Hike's free SMS is probably the best thing about Hike's heavy competition against WhatsApp. With Walkie-Talkie, you can now send voice messages to your friends instead of typing out the words. Hike Offline is the best addition till date. If you are texting a Hike user and he/she happens to go offline, the texts will be sent as free Hike SMS to that user. The recipient can now reply to that text and it'll delivered straight to your Hike inbox.
Link: Hike for BlackBerry
Friday, 28 June 2013
A few days after Google decided to vacate the RSS feeds reader space Digg.com announced it was building a new feed reader. There were already some alternatives out there for Google Reader and the biggest beneficiary seems to be Feedly for the moment. AOL too launched feed reader but nothing much was heard about Digg Reader. Today, finally I got my invite and managed to check it out.
Digg Reader Features
What's lacking on Digg Reader!
I found that Digg Reader has no option to show only unread posts or even an unread post counter. While moving from Google Reader was easy, it was not possible to upload a OPML file with all my feeds saved on them. Also the launch of Digg Reader is so close to 1st July, the day Google Reader goes offline, that it simply might just be too late for most people to take an interest in it.
Did you try out Digg Reader? Do drop in your comments.
Link: Digg Reader
-- This Post Digg Reader – One Click Migration from Google Reader is Published on Devils Workshop .
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Microsoft has released the next version of Windows 8 yesterday, at the Build conference. It has everything you'd expect from an incremental update, including a start button, redesigned Store, Search, better customization and more.
For me, the best part of it is that, you can give Windows 8.1 Preview a try right now – without being a developer (unlike OS X Mavericks, for example).
To get started, you first need to be running Windows 8. That's because Windows 8.1 installation will be done via the Windows Store seamlessly. You can do it manually too, ISO files will be available pretty soon, keeping checking the download page on the site. The update is free, of course.
The size of update is 2.44 GB which is probably not so huge, if you have a good internet connection. Otherwise, you're going to wait. There's also no guarantee that the OS is going to be stable, as it is clearly named as a 'Preview'. So make sure you backup your important files and all before proceeding.
Here's a nice promo video made by Microsoft for previewing the OS.
Do these updates actually make Windows 8 better? Will you be trying out the Preview? Do comment below.
-- This Post Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Preview and you can try it right now is Published on Devils Workshop .
This is first time I am writing a post this year (2013) on Devils' Workshop. And I have some bad news!
It looks like our domain devilsworkshop.org is banned by Google AdSense. We did not get any email or any confirmation from Google AdSense as yet. But AdSense dashboard is showing zero earning for me and few guest bloggers since yesterday (June 25).
I thought it is better that I tell you about this myself, no matter how bad it may sound.
Banned (or not banned)
I talked with few blogger friends, and they are all very sure that Google AdSense team sends email when they ban domains/accounts.
Since we did not hear from Google AdSense about this we are clueless. We did not get any email or any warnings in our AdSense account about this. But I used Amit Agarwal's AdSense Sanbox tool and also another tool bannedcheck.com. Both tools say AdSense ban is there!
So for now, we are assuming DW is banned!
What we don't know is – if this ban is temporary or permanent.
How it might have happened?
It looks like a guest blogger on DW abused AdSense terms. May be he/she clicked on own ads on own article displayed on devilsworkshop.org.
It might be possible that Google AdSense contacted him/her about incident but the person did not reply hence AdSense team might have banned entire domain.
Google AdSense Fault
I believe before banning a domain, Google AdSense should contact domain owner. A single domain can have ads from multiple accounts. Its wrong thing to punish everybody for mistake of one miscreant.
I already wrote to Google AdSense but its highly unlikely that they will reply to a relatively small site like DW!
While working at rtCamp, I have encountered many cases, where blog owners changed their domain name because old one was blocked by AdSense. So a certain workaround is to change domain name for this site.
But this solution is not acceptable to us. Changing domain is a kind of decision which must come from inside and backed by some sane reasoning. This domain is part of our identity. We cannot change it for few bucks!
Also, what if Google AdSense bans new domain as well? We refuse to let Google detect how we run our affairs.
So we have decided to live with the ban rather than changing our domain just for the sake of Google AdSense.
How will this affect us?
This is the first question Aditya asked me. Well answer is bit long so let me divide it in sections.
About financial loss
As you may be aware, DW is run by rtCamp. In terms of revenue, DW's contribution to rtCamp's revenue is around 1%. So financially, rtCamp can afford to run DW without AdSense or even without ads.
In fact, sometime back we even thought about going ad-free. That is why we removed BuySellAds, Technorati, Kontera, etc. But AdSense stuck here as it was used by many guest bloggers under revenue-sharing program.
So financially it will not affect DW or its team – editors and pay-per-post authors. It might affect guest bloggers though.
About Revenue-Sharing Program
Back in 2008, when guest authors started contributing to DW regularly, we started "Your Posts. Your AdSense Ads." program. In that program, guest bloggers were given opportunity to run their Google AdSense ads on their blog posts published on DW.
Before starting it, I discussed about risk-involved with Amit Agarwal through his forum, other users at AdSense forum and bloggers friends about possible risk. Getting banned was the number one risk we were considering back then.
As Google AdSense is no more here, "Your Posts. Your AdSense Ads." program closes automatically. Of course, if Google AdSense rectifies their mistake, then our revenue-sharing program will be back.
To Old Guest Bloggers
First, I want to thank you for all contributions you have made to DW in last 6-years. Its a long time fellas!
Next, I personally apologise to everyone whose AdSense ads were running on DW. It is beyond my control to reach AdSense team and get this issue rectified.
As your AdSense ads were showing directly on DW, I have no idea about how much monetary loss this will result on your side.
But, in case you have a feeling that DW let you down, we have thought about few ways to compensate your loss as listed below. Feel free to suggest your ideas using comment form below. I did not get enough time to think about this aspect in details.
Moving your posts to your blog
If you wish to move your articles to your own blog or any other blog of your choice, please let us know.
If you are tracking AdSense revenue from DW Channel, then you already have idea how much you are earning from DW. If you do not have your own blog or do not want to go with above option, then we can compensate you in the form of rtCamp store coupons.
We are planning to offer $10 credit for every published post.
rtCamp Store is small as of now but within 6 months you will see nice premium WordPress themes & plugins. Good thing about coupons we will provide is:
I don't know about copyright laws much, but whatever you have contributed should be owned by you. So your posts on DW will be yours.
There is no rush to make a choice. You can decide any-time.
Those who like to stick to DW, without AdSense, are more than welcome to do so.
Its a bitter feeling to be honest. The part where you did not care to inform domain owner.
But I thank you for allowing us to run AdSense revenue-sharing program for almost 6 years. Had we got banned back in 2008, my life could have been made a lot more difficult.
So dear AdSense, I will always remember your critical role in shaping my life. Thank you for that! No hard feelings here.
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Since Google has announced the closure of Google Reader, there has been a countdown to the the 1st July date. With 5 days to go, you can look up some of the alternatives to Google Reader we have reviewed here.
There are some other alternatives like AOL Reader (review) but at the moment they are still heavily in beta and web only versions are available. You can still use our RSS Feed link to subscribe on any Feed Reader of your choice.
You can also subscribe to our email newsletter.
Sitemaps are considered as the simplest and easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages or content on their sites. Making sitemaps can be complex but most times bloggers usually need only a basic sitemap generator. Basic Sitemap web app can be used to generate sitemap of blogs that are created on WordPress, Tumblr and Blogspot.
These sitemaps can then be submitted to Google and Bing webmaster tools for indexing.
Basic Sitemap Features
That's it, your blog's sitemap is now submitted on Google. For more advanced web tools you can look up the official Google's recommended list of 3rd party tools for creating sitemaps here.
Link: Basic Sitemap
-- This Post Basic Sitemap – Generate sitemap of WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr Blogs is Published on Devils Workshop .
Monday, 24 June 2013
Since Google announced they were shutting down Google Reader, there has been a scramble by smaller feed readers products to try and get as many people to migrate to their service. While Feedly, seems to be the biggest beneficiary, while there are still some other alternatives around. AOL has just announced a feed reader, that allows users to migrate their RSS feeds from Google Reader to AOL. Visit reader.aol.com to sign-up for the beta service.
AOL Reader is in beta, but in the hour or so I spent on it, it looks pretty stable. It has some very basic features built-in like sharing posts to some of the popular social networks.
I also saw some advertisements from AOL on a right sidebar. Personally, I am not a fan of adverts on any service I use, but the ads on AOL Reader are not much of an distraction for me to think of not using the service.
AOL Reader lacks on some fronts like there is no native Android or iOS app for the reader. This is a web only service at the moment. It also lacks integration with any 3rd party services like Flipboard which is very popular with tablet users. But I think that will change as AOL Reader already has released an API for developers.
AOL Reader is very basic and very beta at the moment. So I won't exactly be moving away from Feedly, which is now my default Google Reader alternative for a couple of months. But it is good to see more services getting into RSS feeds. I guess RSS feeds are not going to die anytime soon.
Link: AOL Reader
-- This Post AOL Reader Launched: Just in time to export your Google Reader feeds is Published on Devils Workshop .
Saturday, 22 June 2013
Facebook has rolled our a new feature that allows users to upload images in the comments section. I saw this new feature on accessing Facebook from my browser a couple of days ago but it had disappeared yesterday. Then late at night I saw this option again available on my profile.
You will see a new camera icon at the comments field. We can upload images from our computer within the comments. Though this is a nice step by Facebook, I was a little disappointed that it does not allow you to first choose from your own photos you already have on Facebook but expects an upload.
Also these photos comments are not available on Facebook pages but are available on Facebook groups. I think this is rolled out to personal profiles mainly because it is easier to control who comments on your Facebook posts.
Facebook's iPhone and Android apps do not have this new feature but comments with images can be seen on it. I guess a new app update will hopefully bring the option of adding images in comments from the phone itself.
-- This Post Facebook allows Photos within comments: Only for Profiles not Pages is Published on Devils Workshop .
Friday, 21 June 2013
The recent floods at Uttrakhand has devastated many districts in the state of Uttrakhand. While thousands are being evacuated, like most natural disasters there are many people who are missing. Google has a person finder page put up dedicated to finding information on missing people because of the Uttarakhand floods.
Google person finder is not compiling official records of missing persons but it allows anyone to put up information of people who are missing. There is an option to update this information on a person you might have information about too. Currently at the time of writing this post, there seems to be over 1300 records being tracked.
The data is open and not verified by Google but crowd-sourcing probably helps out getting a lot more information out there. Also as the administration fights the floods and updates their official lists but not in a centralized manner, Google's person finder could be a boon.
-- This Post Google Person Finder to trace missing people at Uttarakhand floods is Published on Devils Workshop .
Thursday, 20 June 2013
Facebook has today released a Instagram Video, a new feature that allows users to create fifteen second videos. There are 13 filters that can be applied to the video before publishing it. This move is targeted at Vine which last year was acquired by Twitter.
Vine allows users something similar and has become very popular for Twitter users. Instagram for video has some very good features in-built like video steady-cam that allows videos to look better even when taken from a mobile phone.
When Instagram was bought by Facebook, they first hit back with removing Twitter cards on Instagram. This stopped users from seeing a preview of Instagram images shared on Twitter. Twitter hit back by having their own image filters built into their mobile apps. The a popular service called Vine which allowed 6 second video uploads was acquired by Twitter and its growth has been exponential even though it was initially only on the iOS platform.
Overall, I still find these videos are too much style over substance. But considering its popularity, it would be interesting to see if Google has similar plans with YouTube.
Try out Instagram Video by updating the app on your phone. Or you can download them from the links below. Do drop in your comment.
-- This Post Facebook brings Video on Instagram to counter Vine is Published on Devils Workshop .