A friend and I wanted to play a LAN game at work using our Kindle Fires. The problem is that Kindle Fire is wifi-only, and we didn’t have a wireless network available. First we tried using our Android phones. (In retrospect, this would’ve worked, but we unknowingly had different versions of the game.) The next thing I tried was to find software that would allow me to use my laptop as a mobile hotspot. And that’s when I found a great little application called Connectify.
With Connectify, you create a virtual hotspot that you can connect your devices to. You can choose to share your internet connection–an AMAZING feature for Kindle Fire owners–or simply act as a local network. For my LAN gaming needs, we chose to create a non-internet-sharing hotspot, and it worked fantastically. You can use the application for free or upgrade to the Pro version for $30 to get some additional functionality.
I definitely recommend checking it out!
Ever since the 2010 PDC when I got my first Windows Phone 7, I’d been in love with it. I was coming from a Blackberry and was thrilled with everything I was getting–Zune, local scout, a decent camera, the UI.
Buuuut there were some things that I wasn’t so happy with, too. The biggest thing for me was the availability and quality of apps. Sure, there are some great apps. But there’s a lot of essential apps that aren’t available, like Pandora and Google+. The “standard” apps that were available–like Facebook and Twitter–were glorified bookmarks and didn’t have nearly the functionality that my wife had with her Android. The thing that finally pushed me over the edge was seeing a co-worker use Android’s mobile hotspot while on the road at a customer site. That justified a new phone platform right then and there.
So I’ve switched from my Samsung Focus to Samsung Epic 4g Touch, and I must say, I’m thrilled! What do I love about it? All the apps are great. I have two GPS solutions (Google Navigation & TeleNav) that are WAY better than what I had with WP7. I have unlimited data, which is incredible. (I know this isn’t a WP7 flaw, but it’s something that I didn’t have with AT&T that I now enjoy with Sprint.) I love having access to Pandora again. Oh, and MOBILE HOTSPOT!!
Is there anything I miss about my Windows Phone? Not a lot, but there are some things. The integration with SkyDrive and Office was nice. I love OneNote, so I liked having it as an app that would sync automatically to the web. The battery life was great. Battery life is what I was worried most about before switching. My wife’s EVO 4g has pretty sad battery life, but my E4GT seems decent.
So, WP7, we had a good run together, but my heart now belongs to Android. The E4GT is the everything I’ve ever wanted in a phone, and I plan on sticking with Android for the foreseeable future.
I’m so excited that AT&T U-verse has come out with wireless TV receivers. I have not had cable in my upstairs bedroom for the 6 years that I’ve lived in my current home due to the fact that the wiring was not in-place. I’d been told by multiple companies that I couldn’t get cable installed up there without tearing through the walls or running a cable up the side of the building, and I haven’t been ambitious enough to do such things. I’d dream to myself–why can’t they just come up with a wireless receiver? I can stream wirelessly from my computer, so why not do the same with TV?
Well, my prayers have been answered, and I am so happy! I ordered my wireless receiver from AT&T the day after I found out that they offered it. They charged me a one-time fee of $49.99 plus $7 per month, which is the same as a second non-wireless, non-DVR HD receiver. It arrived in the mail two days later, installed in minutes, and has worked flawlessly since.
There are two pieces to the setup. A small access point that plugs directly into the U-verse home portal (or whatever they call it–the router), and the wireless receiver. When you turn them on, you pair them much like a bluetooth device. And that’s all there was to installation & setup.
Hats off to AT&T for this. I love it 🙂
I have a Focus v1.3 on AT&T, and it was announced that the Mango update was available for me. I got home from work super excited, but when I went to my computer, Zune told me that there was no update.
After a few minutes of googling, I found this link that tells you how to trick/force Zune into letting you have the update, though! It worked for me, so give it a try if you’re in the same boat 🙂
Interested in making your own theme for Google Chrome? Here’s a great website that let’s you create, package, and/or install themes!
If anybody asks me for recommendations on an anti-virus solution, I always point them to AVG. I’ve used it for years and love it. It has a great UI, does a good job detecting and cleaning viruses, and they have a free edition to-boot! The only drawback to the free edition is that it’s so hard to find the download!
If you try to find it by browsing through http://www.avg.com, it’s near impossible to find. So, the easiest way to find it is to remember this URL: free.avg.com.
If you do happen to download and/or install the not-free version, it will prompt you to convert to the free version when you go to uninstall. So that’s another way to get it.
Microsoft has come out with a list of new features that will be coming with the Mango update later this year. I gotta say, I’m really excited. I’m happy with the phone exactly how it is now, but it’s getting so much better. You can find feature/update lists all over the internet, or you can browse the What’s next | Windows Phone 7 page at Microsoft.
These are the features that I’m most excited about:
- Voice turn-by-turn navigation
- Bing Vision
- Local Scout
- Better integration with Twitter & support for Facebook chat
- Improved multitasking (alt+tab-like behavior)
The only feature that I was really missing from the BlackBerry Curve that I had with Sprint is the Sprint Navigation app. It was nice to always have a GPS in my pocket. WP7 has Bing maps with directions, but it’s not the best for figuring out where to go while driving since you need to scroll through and read the steps. So I’m definitely happy to see that voice-guided turn-by-turn directions are coming. I’m also looking forward to trying out Bing Vision.
Also, the check out PC Magazine’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards for mobile phones here. The Samsung Focus on AT&T (my phone) had a sparking 9.1 rating. I agree with it–I love this phone!
I love[d] RedGate’s .net Reflector and used it all the time. It made me sad to see that they decided to eliminate the free version. The price isn’t terrible at $35, but it’s enough to make me explore other options before putting in a purchase request at work. I talked to some colleagues, did some quick Google research, and was pleasantly surprised to find a wonderful substitute called ILSpy.
ILSpy does exactly what .net Reflector did for me. I can explore objects, methods, and properties in assemblies, and it’ll decompile to show implementation details. ILSpy (or something similar, like .net Reflector) is a must-have tool for debugging and troubleshooting. I definitely recommend you check it out!
More info here.
The schedule has been announced for Microsoft’s ‘Must Have Games’ promotion that will bring popular games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies to Windows Phone 7.
Here’s the schedule:
* May 25: Hydro Thunder GO! – $4.99
* June 1: Doodle Jump – $2.99
* June 8: geoDefense – $2.99
* June 15: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 – $6.99
* June 22: Plants vs. Zombies – $4.99
* June 29: Angry Birds – $2.99
Really looking forward to getting Sonic & Plants vs. Zombies! Hooray!!
More info here.
It’s HBO. Anywhere.
I just heard about HBO GO, and it sounds like a lot of fun! It’s a downloadable app for your iPad, iPhone, or Android device that let’s you watch HBO shows (movies, series, and originals). I’m a big fan of HBO, so I’m really excited to try it out on my wife’s EVO.
I sure hope they come out with an app for Windows Phone!
More info here: http://www.hbogo.com