The android reviews begin

Posted by Kevin Wednesday, December 9, 2009 0 comments

So, just recently I purchased an HTC Dream phone (T-mobile G1) which is the original Android phone that started the recent wave of Android based mobile devices as of late. Although the G1 has been on the market for about a year now, and is ancient by cell phone standards...I am still very impressed by it's capabilities, even compared to the newest line of Android based phones...but enough about the G1, I will have more on that later, you came to see the apps.

for the next few posts I will be reviewing some of my favorite Android apps that I have found so far. Some of these Applications have been out since the inception of the market, and some are fairly new. I will try to encompasses games, navigation, tools, UI enhancements, people finders, and place finders...mostly free, but a few paid apps.

Let's get to it! :

Beautiful Widgets (.99e ~ 1.34us)

Beautiful Widgets is exactly what it says it is, a collection of handy, handsome, widgets to embellish your home screens with added functionality and eye-candy.

Here are the included widgets:

on/off toggles for,

  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Plane mode
  • GPS
  • Silent mode
  • Vibrate mode
UI enhancements,
• Flip clock (non animated) with current weather conditions
and tap-able areas to set an unlimited amount of customizable
alarms, and 3-day forecast shortcut.
- Also includes a smaller version of this clock for those of you that
like to have a lot of app shortcuts on your main screen.

Most of the widgets included in this collection can be found for free either on their own, or in other widgets packages. What makes this collection stand out is the "Beautiful home" widget. This home widget is your shortcut to weather, and alarm functions...and is just darn pretty to boot. The widget was made to resemble the included home app on the HTC Hero (another excellent Android phone). Some weather apps take up quite a bit of memory, and data usage...but for the complexity of this widget it seems to be pretty slim on the memory use. As far as the data use, you can opt to have it only update manually, or at several hour intervals.

Overall I would give this app 4 out of 5 stars.

I rate it down because sometimes it seems to create some lag while coming back to the home screen.

Google Analytics Reviewed

Posted by Kevin Sunday, September 27, 2009 0 comments

I continue my Google product reviews with the amazing Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free tool for webmasters and site admins to keep track of site traffic and trending. I have personally used this tool with this blog for about 2 years and continue to be amazed. This service is free to use and is as easy to install as copying and pasting a few lines of code into your blog template, or website code. After installation, it begins working its magic almost immediately. You can monitor as many websites as you like. The user interface for the results dashboard is great.

This is the main dashboard page when first entering:There are several categories for viewing your traffic:

As you can see, there are tons of options to keep track of on your site. There is even a map overlay which shows who in the world has been viewing your site. If your new to site tracking tools, this one is easy to set up, and will let you get your feet wet for free.

QuakeCon 2009!

Posted by Kevin Sunday, August 16, 2009 0 comments

Wow...this was my first Quakecon...and I live in Dallas, I should truly be ashamed. I went on Saturday by myself, which really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The con consisted of one main exhibit hall, a bring your own computer (BYOC) section, and one main stage ballroom which had revolving shows. The main exhibit hall had another small stage section, which held various shows from software and hardware sponsors. The shows usually showed off the sponsors goods, and usually had a t-shirt throwing session. I'd like to know how many shirts they gave away at this con because somewhere in the show there was at least one booth or show throwing t-shirts at people. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite in the right place to catch any during my 5 hour stay.

Here are a few pics taken around the show:
BYOC setup:

AMD up-showed Intel with this overclocking exhibit:

I also got to see the first public Demo of id's new game "Rage". This game looks Excellent! The gameplay is quite varied for id, which is what they where going for. There is even a driving element which i believe is a first for id.
Overall the show was great! I would recommend bringing a few friends, and joining the BYOC crowd.....I can see staying for the full 3 days if that were the case.

Google family of products

Posted by Kevin Wednesday, January 21, 2009 1 comments

I know, its another Google related blog entry....but I have submitted to the glory that is the all powerful Google....This will be the first of 5 google product reviews/opinions.

I am not one to stick to one company and or website to depend on for multiple programs or tools of different functionality, but as of late Google has become my swiss army knife of internet tools. I have used, and continue to use, almost all Google tools in every day in managing this and other blogs and websites.


I started off my Google experience with Gmail, which I have been using since it was in the invite only stage. Gmail seems to be growing in popularity and is definitely "in" with the college crowd. The things I like most about gmail are the clean look and feel the site. There are no picture based ads at all that will distract you from "just checking your email" which can invariably become a 5 minute romp through various news, fashion, video, and other links on other popular email services such as Hotmail, or Yahoo. Unless you are one that is not easily distracted I found myself going a.d.d on my previous main hotmail account. There are still text based ads in gmail, but they are much less distracting and obnauctious than the random dancing mortgage ads that haunt the hotmail inbox. Google is now starting to add more features to their email service. I guess they had complaints about gmail being TOO clean and boring, so they livened it up a bit with skinned themes. The themes range anywhere from space, ninjas, or just solid colors. Aside from the aesthetics, gmail has other powerful features such as displaying your emails in conversations.



Next week I will review my use of analytics, googles free traffic analysis tool.