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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Wi-Fi on the Tube

As the Olympic's approach London's infrastructure will be tested. One area which will be particularly busy will be the London Underground. But at least you'll be able to spend that time emailing photos of the Olympics to friends and family using the stations free Wi-Fi from Virgin Media. The Wi-Fi is only going to be available during the Olympics so catch it quick.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Google IO Accessory Developer Kit

The Google IO Accessory Developer Kit was given to selected developers at Google's recent developer conference, Google IO. It looks like a pretty cool device and the Engadget team got their hands on one and made this video to show what it is and how it will help the development of cool hardware that can interact with Android devices in the future.


Video from Engadget.com

Google Now on Android

With Jelly Bean (the latest version of Android) users can access Google Now. Google Now gathers all of the information from your device, such as appointments, current location etc. and displays exactly what you need to know.

At the start of your day it'll show the weather forecast at your current location. Say you were away travelling  it'll give you a currency converter from the local currency back to your home currency, very useful. So you have an appointment in an hours time, Google Now will tell you to leave in a minute, the usually 45 minute journey is going to take longer due to the current traffic conditions.

You arrive at your business meeting and decide to get a spot of lunch, Google Now can suggest local places to eat and direct you there with Google Maps.

For more details see Google Now or the video below.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

BBC Olympic Coverage

The BBC will be broadcasting the London 2012 Olympic games in a way that has never been achieved before. For a starters the coverage will all be filmed in high definition. And the Olympics will be broadcast live on 24 dedicated digital channels - this is too cope with the maximum number of simultaneous live events during the games. ALL 24 channels are coming to your Sky HD Planner very soon!

Here's your options for watching the BBC Coverage:
  • On TV Olympics coverage will be available on the BBC channels BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC One HD and BBC HD as well as through the Red Button digital streams for digital Freeview viewers.
  • Sky will be launching 48 new channels dedicated to the BBC's Olympic coverage. 24 will be standard definition and 24 high definition. The channels are free-to-air and available to any Sky home, including Freesat from Sky homes. The HD channels are available on any Sky+HD box and do not require a subscription, but do require an HD ready TV. Customers will require a Sky subscription in order to use Sky+. These channels will be availble from the 24th July 2012. More Info from Sky
  • Online at the BBC Sport Website through the BBC's new interactive video player which will provide standard definition and high definition video streams, separated into chapters. You can watch a live event or previous events throughout the day, and overlay detailed information about the athletes and events to help guide you through each sport.
  • On the new BBC Sport App which provides the 24 live streams too, where ever you are. If you want to catch highlights from events which have already happened, or check the statistics such as the medal table, it's all on the app.
  • BBC coverage of the 2012 Olympics can also be enjoyed on mobile phones via the mobile browser version of the BBC Sport website.
  • A 24-hour digital radio station, Radio 5 live Olympic Extra, will complement BBC Radio 5 live and BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra for the duration of the Games.
So between the coverage online, on TV, and on mobile devices everyone should be able to get access to watch their favourite sports during the Olympics. The Opening Ceremony will be live on BBC One and BBC One HD on Friday 27th July at 7pm (Ceremony starts at 9pm).

Get yourself ready for the games with the UK version of the BBC Olympic app for smartphones and tablets that can be downloaded now for these platforms:
And for those outside the UK, the global version of the app (does not contain live video streams) can be downloaded now from:

Monday, 9 July 2012


Microsoft has created an Android app (yeah, an Android app, not Windows Phone 7). This app and the companion website can be used for automation and programming of your Android device. Once you have the app installed and you log into the website, which is achieved using Facebook authentication, you can start to create Rules for your device.

To get you started their are some Recipes for basic Rules which you can apply to your phone. These are logical processes based on input data from the state of your phone/tablet. For example:
  • Text my wife: "I'm on my way" when I leave work.
  • Launch the Calendar when I arrive at work.
  • Text my wife "my phone's battery is dying" when my phone's battery goes below 15%
As you can see the input can be a location (using geo-fencing by monitoring the phones 3G cell, WiFi hotspots and GPS location). Or the input can be a time, or device state, such as low battery. The on{X} team have created an API which can assign a state to the phone based on the accelerometer movements and the GPS location. It's called Mode of Transport and is used to determine whether you are still, walking, running or driving. You can use this data to automatically open the music app when you start walking, or remember where you parked when you go from driving to walking.

To fully use this app to your own design you need to use some code. But if you aren't a coder and don't feel the need to learn there are loads of prebuilt recipes from the community for you to try.

For more details and to start creating your own Rules head to www.onx.ms. If you have any suggestions of rules feel free to leave a comment below or on the Facebook Page.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Send Scribble's in Gmail

In the Gmail iOS app there is an option in the new email compose page to draw a free hand 'scribble' and attach it to your new email as a picture. This is also available using the Gmail web access on an iPhone or iPad. The options include various colours, a variety of pen thicknesses and either s pen or a spray can. This could be a useful way of quickly adding an idea to your email.

As an example here is something I created earlier...