How-to: Install Facebook Home on Any Android Device

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Screenshot 2013 04 14 22 08 09

In case you missed the news, Facebook recently announced Facebook Home, a home screen replacement for android. In a nutshell, when you hit your Android device’s home button, it will bring you to a home screen where you can scroll through and interact with your friends’ posts.

Facebook announced that it would be available on the Google Play Store for a select few devices including the Galaxy SIII and HTC One X. But what about the rest of us?

Don’t fear! Where there’s a will there’s a way, and thankfully the guy with the will made the way easy enough for even the most basic of simpletons to accomplish.

Here’s how to get Facebook Home on any Android device.

First, open Settings on your android device and go to Security. Check the box that reads “Install applications from unknown sources.”

Second, go into Settings > Applications and find and uninstall any Facebook and Messenger app that you’ve already installed.

Now, go to this blog post on your Android device. To make it a little bit easier, just type in this short link: http://a.swsr.info/YouxEG

GMG TO ANDROID, DO YOU READ ME?! Good.

Now, still on your Android device, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

In your status bar, you should notice a little download icon. Install all three of the files that you just downloaded simply by clicking them and hitting install.

Next, look in your app drawer and you’ll find Facebook home. Open it and log in, and you’re done!

 

The success of this process has varied depending on your device, however I have it working wonderfully on my Nexus 7.

Enjoy!

Credits to Modaco founder Paul O’Brien for this patch.

Apple Says Things at WWDC

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So Apple had some fun at the WWDC Keynote this year.

Siri did stand-up comedy to open.

No really, I’m excited about the new Samsung. Not the phone, the refrigerator.

I must admit, that was pretty funny.

First of all, Apple updated its notebooks. The MacBook Air finally got a speed boost, the MacBook Pro got a speed boost, and the 17″ MacBook Pro bid farewell.

Apple also announced their next generation MagBook Pro, which is almost as thin as an Air, has a retina display, and a new Magsafe Port. Great.

All of these computers have gotten upgrades to USB 3, which is nice for those people who actually have devices that can take advantage of that.

Then, our friend iOS got an update.

Finally, iOS has turn by turn navigation. Siri is available on the new iPad, and has supposedly gotten a bit better. Facebook is now integrated as much as twitter. FaceTime is available on cellular networks. Photo streams can be shared. A new app called Passbook allows you to store tickets for planes, movies, and stores. There’s also a few other things that aren’t worth mentioning.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion didn’t get anything new from what we knew already, except thatdictation will be available in any text field. For many people, this will definitely come in handy.

Some people were unhappy with the absence of an iPhone 5. But I think we should be content with iOS 6, and expect the new iPhone this fall – along with the public release of iOS 6.

I’ve been playing around with iOS 6, and so far it works well. Siri works just as expected, and the Facebook and twitter integration is also very handy.

The MacBooks that were updated are available now, but iOS will be available in fall. Mountain Lion will be available this July.

MacBook Pro

Macbook Air

iOS 6

Mountain Lion

How to Wirelessly Transfer Files to a Galaxy Nexus

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As you may know, the Galaxy Nexus does not have an option for USB Mass Storage. To transfer any files directly from a computer to the phone, it is necessary to plug it in with a USB Cable and open Google’s proprietary Android File Transfer application.

But what if you don’t have a cable? What then?

There’s a couple things you could do. Email works for smaller files, however for larger files things may go slowly and fall apart.

If you have a server or CloudApp or Puush account, you could upload it and then email  the link to yourself. This would work usually, however the Galaxy Nexus’s download manager often will download most of it, then suddenly fail at the end.

There’s also Bluetooth, which is often unreliable. I can’t transfer any files between my Mac and my Nexus over bluetooth, as it gives me a random warning which is just not worth trying to figure out.

There’s really only one good way: DROPBOX.

In case you don’t know, Dropbox is a service that allows you to have a folder on all of your computers that constantly stay in sync. When one file is added on one computer, it magically appears in the Dropbox folder of all of the other computers too. You have 2GB of space, and the real important part is that they have an Android app as well.

Simply open your Dropbox folder, transfer the file in, and wait a few moments for it to upload to the cloud. Then, open the free app on your Nexus. Tap the file that you just uploaded from your computer, and it should download and open. Voila, that’s how to wirelessly transfer a file from your computer to your Nexus without using bluetooth, servers, or anything else that’s ridiculously unreliable and confusing.

Download Dropbox for your Computer

Download Dropbox for Android

Instagram Bought by Facebook for $1 BILLION

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Remember Instagram, the fun little quirky photo sharing service that just released an Android application?

As you may know, they’ve been growing in size since their launch and Instagram has become an extremely large and popular service.

Because of this, it was inevitable that they would eventually be purchased by an extremely large company… and who better than facebook?

First of all, $1,000,000,000 is a lot of money. A LOT. I didn’t really think that Instagram could be worth that much.

Second, a little note to Zuck and the whole facebook crew: Please, please, please, please don’t screw this up. Please don’t force it to be built in to the facebook interface. Don’t try to stick instagram into facebook, you’d be doing everybody a disservice. Also, don’t just get rid of the entire thing to eliminate competition.

We will have to see what Facebook is hoping to do with this photo-sharing giant, and I honestly hope that they don’t screw it up.

Instagram for Android

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Finally. At long, long, long, long, long, long, long last. Instagram has released their official Android Application.

In case you don’t know, Instagram is a photo-sharing platform which incorporates different fun-style effects and third party sharing into the mix. It’s been available for the iPhone since late 2010 and has collected over 30 million users. Yeah. Whow.

There were many speculations of an Android App over the past while, but no confirmed release date.

Now that Instagram has released their Android version, they are well on their way to a giant user base. After all, Android does have more of a market share than the iPhone.

As far as the application goes, it’s the exact same as the iPhone with one important exception: The android application does not have the tilt-shift function, a popular option among Instagrammers. (Tilt-shift is where a selected part of the photo is in focus and the rest is not.)

If you are an android user longing for some instagrammal love, click here to download the free app for android. Enjoy!

Bananapress: a super-simple CMS

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WordPress is wonderful. People love to use it, and some extremely beautiful and large sites implement it as their backend.

But then there’s those who get tired of wordpress. It works, well, yes. But it is a bit heavy, it can be a bit slow, and it’s not the lightest thing in the world.

So you try our Drupal, but that’s just disgusting – the interface is impossible to use, it has high requirements, and the error messages are nearly indecipherable.

There’s plenty of other CMSes, but they’re all a bit blech. So I decided hey, why don’t I just make my own?

That’s why I made bananapress. It started as just for personal use, then I realized that I could easily create an installation script and make it open source for all of you to use.

Bananapress is a bare-bones simple CMS. It only requires PHP v5.2 and a MySQL Database. Unzip the file, put it in the root of your domain, then go to http://yourdomain.com/install. It will give you instructions on editing the config.php file (I’m hoping to make that webpage be able to edit the configuration file, but I’m not familiar with write and reading text files in PHP). Put in your database information in the config file, then click next on the install page. It should configure a database for use with your site.

Now, you can go to http://yourdomain.com/login.php, enter the password that you entered in the config file, and write and save your first post. Voila, it should show up on your homepage.

And that’s it! I’m working on getting an editing page and some more documentation for it, but it’s a work in progress. So far the feedback has been good.

Feel free to check it out for yourself by going to http://bananapress.co.cc !

Why Google+ Is Failing

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When I was at the Teens In Tech conference, a speaker told me this:

For your product to succeed, it either must be a new idea or be better than a previous one.

It makes sense – why would anyone switch to your product if there’s already one that does the same thing? Your product needs to have more to offer so people would actually have a reason to “convert.”

Unfortunately, there are few tech companies that succeed with new ideas – so a lot take old ideas and refresh them to make ‘em better. For example, every Apple product ever created; The iPhone wasn’t the first phone in the world – it was just better than the rest; The iPod wasn’t the first small music player ever created – it was just better because it could hold so many more songs and didn’t need CDs or Cassettes.

Okay, so lets take a look at Google+. It’s a great social network that has tons of new features that are definitely in demand. Who would wan’t multi-person video chat, along with a slew of easier to manage privacy features?

“Okay, so Google+ “better” than facebook – but why isn’t it succeeding?”. This is a question I’ve been asked many times.

Lets think about it in terms of a lamp (yes, the one on your desk). First, we have our facebook: A standard lamp with a normal switch that emits very bright light. Then, lets look at our Google+: A large, fancy lamp with pretty designs on it, a bendable neck, and voice activated controls – but we forgot to add in a socket for a lightbulb.

In this analogy, our Google+ Lamp is “better” than our facebook lamp – but it doesn’t do what people want to use it for (illumination).

Lets take that analogy back to Facebook and Google+. What is the real reason people ever go on facebook?

The real reason is their user base. There are very very few people who aren’t on facebook, and there are very very few people on Google+. Google+ has all the new doohickeys and thingamajigs, but it’s forgetting the light bulb (user base).

And because nobody is on Google+, nobody wants to join – they’re satisfied with Facebook and their 1500+ “friends.” What’s the use of having a ten person video chat if there’s not even ten people on Google+?

Google+ is a good idea, with a perfect execution – but the social networking field has been completely dominated by Facebook and Twitter. It’s unfortunately like this for many social internet startups: many of them rely on a user-base to be the least bit useful, and without a user base you won’t be able to expand your user base. You can get a user base by having a user base, because if you have a small user base people want to join to be part of that user base, which makes more people want to join etc.

Hence the reason most social startups fail. Gaining a user-base is a domino effect, with the first domino being a giant brick wall. You need to hope that something will come and knock it over, as getting the domino train started is definitely the hardest aspect of the whole process.

Goodbye, Old Twitter

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Image Credit: Mashable

A little while back, Twitter started to slowly roll out a new version of the Twitter web interface to their users. Reactions were mixed; some loved it, some hated it, and some really just didn’t care.

For the haters out there, there was an option to switch back to the old version. However, Twitter is going to be removing the old version of the twitter web interface over the course of the next week – not that many users will notice the change, as the majority of twitter users have already switched over.

Personally, I am indifferent to the new Twitter web interface; it’s pretty and all, has some cool effects, and nicer fonts and rounder edges. The previous Twitter interface was simply getting old, and I believed it needed a revamp – which is exactly what we got.

Users of “old Twitter” will get a message saying that they are soon going to automatically upgraded to the new version of twitter, and twitter also announced this publicly on their twitter page. It was bound to happen eventually, and I guess the day (or week) has arrived.

Alfred

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A wonderful little app with the worst name they could come up with.

Alfred is a Spotlight Alternative. It is similar to quicksilver, but is quite a bit simpler.

Basically, it is a plain text box that opens on a key command. you can type to search through your hard drive, but if there are no files then you can choose to search through google, wikipedia, or even amazon.

In addition to searching your hard drive alfred can search numerous things.

For example, you can type “lucky doorknob” an it will open the first google result for a search of doorknob.

You can also do things like type in a URL and it will open in your web browser. In the screenshots is a list of some of the functions included with the app. You can also create your own which comes in handy if your favorite search engine doesn’t come with Alfred by default.

Now although those functions are useful, it prevails over spotlight mostly because if it’s speed. Everything happens faster for some reason, but let me just say, I like it.

Alfred is free and highly customizable when it comes to interface. Download it from alfredapp.com.

Screenshots:

[BUGGED] Favorite→RT

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You may not know this, but it is possible to favorite a tweet. It’s supported in all twitter clients and the website.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to see what tweets a user has favorited (I haven’t been able to). But this service from my friend Spencer Schoeben makes it so a [yourtwitternamehere]favs account will retweet every tweet you favorite.

For this example, I will be using the TeenTechie twitter account.

Step 1

The account that will have the favorites is considered the “Primary account”. For this example, that would be TeenTechie. We need to create the favorites account that will retweet the tweets that TeenTechie (the primary account) favorites. That account should be [primaryusername]favs (TeenTechiefavs). Go to twitter and create the account.

Step 2

Go to http://spncr.me/favrt and click Sign in to Twitter at the bottom of the page.

Step 2

Frown in disappointment about the errors that occur.

:(

Don’t worry, the problem should be fixed in a little bit. Once it is fixed, I’ll write a post that shows you how to create the account SUCCESSFULLY!.

In the meanwhile, save that [primaryusername]favs account, and while you wait, you might want to create a picture by taking the Primary account’s photo and putting a star in the bottom right (to denote the favorites account).

Thanks! I’m sure it will be fixed soon, Spencer says he’s ON IT and fixing it ASAP. Now smile in happiness for what is to come. :D

picplz

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We all have twitter accounts.

What is twitter for? It’s for sharing what you are doing right then in less than 140 characters.

picplz is similar, but it uses pictures with tags and captions instead of just text.

Sorry guys, but the app is only available on android. :(

So here’s how it works:

Open up the app and you are instantly greeted with the view of your phone’s camera. Tap the camera button to take a picture. If you have foursquare configured, tap the venue that you are at. You can then tap someone/something to tag them in the photo. Then you can click edit details and enter a caption and decide which services you want to post it to (twitter and foursquare). Then click post and your picture will be posted! This is great because you can see which pictures you’ve taken at different foursquare venues. Your profile will be located at picplz.com/user/username. Check mine out here!

How-to: Get Facebook Chat in iChat

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Many of us use Facebook, and have probably noticed that there is a chat function. Also, man of us use AIM in iChat. Personally, there are always more people on facebook than on AIM, so I can chat with a ot more people. Here’s how to integrate it with iChat so you don’t have to login to facebook every time you want to chat with someone or let someone else chat with you.

Luckily, Facebook recently launched their Jabber thingy, which has done well.

In iChat, click in the menubar iChat>Preferences. Then click accounts, where you should get a tab like this.

The Accounts preferences is shown here.

Now, just click the little + in the bottom left, and you are shown this screen.

For account type, select Jabber.

For the Account Name, you need to find some info.

Login to facebook.com and click on profile in the top right. It should go to your profile page with wall postings and your profile picture. Next, look in the URL bar of the browser. It should say http://facebook.com/user.

What is says where user should be is what you put in front of @chat.facebook.com. So for this example, the Account Name would be user@chat.facebook.com.

Your password is your password that you use to login to facebook all 5 times a day.

Now click done and wait. The new buddy window will appear, but it will say connecting. It may take a while for it to connect, and times may vary. for me it took about 45 seconds, others about 5. Whatever, but it still works!

After is connects, you will see all of your online facebook friends. Double-click a friend that has a green dot next to it and start chattin it up!