Thursday, December 29, 2011

Membuat Web Apps Sederhana untuk Google Chrome

Bagi pengguna google chrome tentu sudah tidak asing lagi dengan yang namanya web apps. Web apps adalah sebuah aplikasi yang berjalan didalam browser dan memiliki user interface yang interaktif, misalnya games, photo editor, pemutar video, dan lainnya. Selain apps ada juga yang namanya extension (atau pada Firefox dikenal dengan Add-Ons). (Web) apps berbeda dengan extension, extension mirip dengan apps tapi tidak memiliki user interface dan lebih fokus ke fiturnya.

Web Apps Google Chrome


Pada kesempatan kali ini saya akan sharing tentang cara mudah membuat Web Apps untuk Google Chrome. Yang anda butuhkan adalah:
1. Browser Google Chrome (Wajib).
2. Text Editor seperti notepad, notepad++ dan lainnya. Disini saya menggunakan notepad++, text editor ini nantinya akan kita gunakan untuk menulis kode program json.
3. Sebuah icon berukuran 128 x 128 pixel, icon ini nantinya akan dijadikan ikon web apps kita.

Membuat Manifest

Sebelumnya buatlah sebuah folder kosong, letakkan di mana saja dan berinama WebApps. Kemudian buka text editor, dan buat atau kopi paste kode dibawah ini:

{

"name": "Idi Suwardi",

"description": "Learning and Sharing Center - Official Blog Of Idi Suwardi",

"version": "1.0",

"icons": {

"128": "128.png"

},

"app": {

"urls": [

"http://idisuwardi.blogspot.com/"

],

"launch": {

"web_url": "http://idisuwardi.blogspot.com/"

}

},

"permissions": [

"unlimitedStorage"

]

}

Ubah name, description, urls, dan web_url sesuai dengan kebutuhan. Simpan kode manifest diatas dengan nama manifest.json kedalam folder WebApps yang telah kita buat sebelumnya.

Nah, langkah selanjutnya adalah meletakkan icon yang telah kita buat sebelummnya ke dalam folder WebApps. Ingat ukuran ikon harus 128 x 128 pixel dan diberinama 128.png (sesuai dengan yang tertulis dalam manifest.json).



Setelah itu, lakukan packing untuk Web Apps yang telah kita buat dengan cara jalankan Google Chrome, buka Options dan masuk ke menu Extensions. Beri centang pada Developer mode dan klik tombol Load unpacked extension…, lalu telusuri dan pilih folder WebApps sebagai root directory dari apps Anda. Kalau berhasil, maka ikon apps akan langsung muncul pada daftar extensions seperti ini:


Oiy, Web apps yang kita buat itu belum terinstall ke browser, karena hanya di load dari folder WebApps tadi. Kalau Anda menghapus folder WebApps maka apps yang ada di browser juga akan menghilang. Untuk menginstalnya lansung Anda bisa mengklik tombol Pack extension… lalu pada bagian root directory klik tombol browse dan pilih lagi folder WebApps. Kalau berhasil, akan terbentuk sebuah file .crx. Drag file .crx ini ke Google Chrome atau Chromium untuk menginstalnya.

Bagi anda yang ingin mencoba web apps buatan saya, bisa download disini.
Oke, sekian dulu cara membuat Web Apps Sederhana untuk Google Chrome...Selamat Mencoba.

Create a folder or a file without name..!!

Just follow the below steps:

1
. Select any file or folder.

2
. Rignt click on it, press rename or simple press F2.

3
. Press and hold the alt key. while holding the alt key, type numbers 0160 from the numpad.

Note : type the numbers 0160 from the numpad. That is on the right side of the keyboard.D
on't type the numbers which are present on the top of the character keys.

4
. Press Enter and nameless file or folder will be created.

Reason : The file or folder that seems nameless is actually named with a single space.

the below figure shows the basic idea about the nameless folder.

you can also change the the properties of the folder by goto the folder properties and select the blank icon to completely hide your folder.


just as seen below your folder will be hide from user but still it will there.


 
use same method for the other files also....!!!
i am using this method on torrent file.it worked perfectly



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Recommended Post Slider Widget for Blogger with Twitter / Facebook share button

In this post I have an awesome new gadget that can be seen Wordpress blogs is now available for Blogger.Recommended post slider in each post is interesting widget.Those of you who follow some Wordpress blogs have seen the recommended or related posts slider.You may have seen this type of widget in many popular websites like The New York Times, Mashable, Times of India, etc.The widget is originally developed by bloggerplugins, i just changed something in the widget.It keeps readers to read more pages of your blog.





How to Install Recommended Post Slider Widget for Blogger with Facebook,Twitter share button



I have to write two set of instructions for each steps, as some of you are using the default layout, and some of you are using the new layout. So, let's see how to install this cool widget in your blog..

Step 1:

If you're using the old Blogger interface: Go to Dashboard - Design - Page Elements - Add a Gadget.

Add a Gadget of HTML/JavaScript type.

If you're using the new Blogger interface: Go to Dashboard - Layout - Add a Gadget



2.Click on 'Add a Gadget' on the sidebar.

3.Select 'HTML/Javascript' and add the one of code given below

4. Now Click On Save 'JavaScript' You are done.



<a href="http://24work.blogspot.com" target="_blank" title="Blogger Widgets"><img src="http://safir85.ucoz.com/24work-blogspot/cursor-24work-10.png" border="0" alt="Blogger Widgets" style="position:absolute; top: 0px; right: 0px;" /></a><style type="text/css">#recslide{z-index:5;width:400px;height:100px;padding:10px;background-color:#fff;border-top:3px solid #000;position:fixed;right:-430px;bottom:0;-moz-box-shadow:-2px 0 5px #aaa;-webkit-box-shadow:-2px 0 5px #aaa;box-shadow:-6px -5px 5px #aaa; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;}#recslide p{font-size:11px;text-transform:uppercase;font-family:Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;letter-spacing:1px;color:#000; font-weight: bold;}#recslide_title{color:#555;font-weight:700;font-size:16px;margin:10px 20px 10px 0;}#recslide a,#recslide a:hover,#recslide_title{text-decoration:none;color:#FE3F10; padding: 5px 5px 5px 2px;}#recslide .close,#recslide .expand,#recslide .help{border:2px solid #EEE;cursor:pointer;color:#9A9AA1;width:13px;height:15px;padding:2px 0 0 5px;position:absolute;right:10px;font-size:17px;font-weight:700;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;}#recslide .help{right:35px;}#recslide_image{float:left;width:80px;}#recslide_title{width:287px;height:30px;overflow:hidden;}</style><div id="recslide" style="display:none;"> <div class="help">?</div><div class="expand">+</div> <div class="close">X</div> <p>Recommended for you</p><div id="recslide_image"></div><div id="recslide_title">Loading..</div><center><div id="share_box">loading</div></center></div><script> if(document.location.href.split("/").length==6&&document.location.href.indexOf(".html")!=-1){if(typeof bts_onload_queue=='undefined')var bts_onload_queue=[];if(typeof bts_dom_loaded=='boolean')bts_dom_loaded=false;else var bts_dom_loaded=false;if(typeof bts_async_loader!='function'){function bts_async_loader(src,callback,id){var script=document.createElement('script');script.type="text/javascript";script.async=true;script.src=src;script.id=id;var previous_script=document.getElementById(id);if(previous_script)if(previous_script.readyState=="loaded"||previous_script.readyState=="complete"){callback();return}else{script=previous_script}if(script.onload!=null)previous_callback=script.onload;script.onload=script.onreadystatechange=function(){var newcallback;if(previous_script&&previous_callback)newcallback=function(){previous_callback();callback()};else newcallback=callback;if(bts_dom_loaded){newcallback()}else bts_onload_queue.push(newcallback);script.onload=null;script.onreadystatechange=null};var head=document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0];if(!previous_script)head.appendChild(script)}}if(typeof bts_domLoaded!='function')function bts_domLoaded(callback){bts_dom_loaded=true;var len=bts_onload_queue.length;for(var i=0;i<len;i++){bts_onload_queue[i]()}}bts_domLoaded();bts_async_loader("http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.min.js",function(){bts_async_loader("http://safir85.ucoz.com/bdlab-blogspot/24work/recommended/recommended-Slide-v1.0.js",function(){},"bts-out-slide")},"jQueryjs")}</script>

And now click Save



Optionally use this Widget installer to add this link to your blogger blog.


Click the following image to add the widget to your blogger:












And now click Save


if you want slide come out whenever you reach the end of post, then follow this instruction:



Adding Recommended post slider widget below posts



I have seen few who are showing the Recommended post slider of posts below their posts. It’s also a good script placement which can increase your pageviews.

To add the code , just follow the above instructions.



I have to write two set of instructions for each steps, as some of you are using the default layout, and some of you are using the new layout.Backup your template before attempting this tutorial.

Step 1:

In old layout: Go to Dashboard - Design - Edit HTML - Expand Widget Templates.




In new layout: Go to Dashboard - Template - Edit Template HTML - Expand Widget Templates.





Now find (CTRL+F) this code in the template:

<data:post.body/>
or
<div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'>
or
<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'>

Immediately below any of these, add the following code and save Template:

<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>

<div style='display:none' id='recslide_place_holder'></div>

</b:if>


Now you can see a beautiful Recommended post slider appearing below the posts in your Blog.
































How to Install Recommended Post Slider Widget for Blogger




So, let's see how to install this cool widget in your blog..

1. Sign into Blogger dashboard

old Blogger interface: Go to Dashboard - Design - Page Elements - Add a Gadget.If you're using the new Blogger interface: Go to Dashboard - Layout - Add a Gadget.Select 'HTML/Javascript' and add the one of code given below.Just copy and paste this code..


<a href="http://24work.blogspot.com" target="_blank" title="Blogger Widgets"><img src="http://safir85.ucoz.com/24work-blogspot/cursor-24work-10.png" border="0" alt="Blogger Widgets" style="position:absolute; top: 0px; right: 0px;" /></a><div id="bpslidein" style="display:none;"> <div class="help">?</div><div class="expand">+</div> <div class="close">X</div> <p>Recommended for you</p> <div id="bpslidein_image"></div> <div id="bpslidein_title">Loading..</div> </div> <script> if(document.location.href.split("/").length==6&&document.location.href.indexOf(".html")!=-1){if(typeof bp_onload_queue=='undefined')var bp_onload_queue=[];if(typeof bp_dom_loaded=='boolean')bp_dom_loaded=false;else var bp_dom_loaded=false;if(typeof bp_async_loader!='function'){function bp_async_loader(src,callback,id){var script=document.createElement('script');script.type="text/javascript";script.async=true;script.src=src;script.id=id;var previous_script=document.getElementById(id);if(previous_script)if(previous_script.readyState=="loaded"||previous_script.readyState=="complete"){callback();return}else{script=previous_script}if(script.onload!=null)previous_callback=script.onload;script.onload=script.onreadystatechange=function(){var newcallback;if(previous_script&&previous_callback)newcallback=function(){previous_callback();callback()};else newcallback=callback;if(bp_dom_loaded){newcallback()}else bp_onload_queue.push(newcallback);script.onload=null;script.onreadystatechange=null};var head=document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0];if(!previous_script)head.appendChild(script)}}if(typeof bp_domLoaded!='function')function bp_domLoaded(callback){bp_dom_loaded=true;var len=bp_onload_queue.length;for(var i=0;i<len;i++){bp_onload_queue[i]()}}bp_domLoaded();bp_async_loader("http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.min.js",function(){bp_async_loader("http://safir85.ucoz.com/bdlab-blogspot/24work/recommended/bp-out-slide.min.js",function(){},"bp-out-slide")},"jQueryjs")} </script>





And now click Save



Optionally use this Widget installer to add this link to your blogger blog.


Click the following image to add the widget to your blogger:












And now click Save


if you want slide come out whenever you reach the end of post, then follow this instruction:



Adding Recommended post slider widget below posts

In old layout: Go to Dashboard - Design - Edit HTML - Expand Widget Templates.

In new layout: Go to Dashboard - Template - Edit Template HTML - Expand Widget Templates.



Now find (CTRL+F) this code in the template:

<data:post.body/>
or
<div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'>
or
<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'>

Immediately below any of these, add the following code and save Template:


<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<div style='display:none' id='bpslidein_place_holder'></div>
</b:if>

Now you can see a beautiful Recommended post slider appearing below the posts in your Blog.











Many thanks to breakthesecurity or bloggerplugins for making this code and I just tested and modified to work on blogger




Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Webmatrix, Apakah itu?

Anda suka ngeblog?, hari ini saya akan sharing tool gratis buatan microsoft. Tool gratis ini menjadi andalan saya untuk mendevelop website, apa nama tool gratis tersebut?... Webmatrix, itulah namanya. WebMatrix adalah web development tool gratis buatan microsoft. Webmatrix menyatukan server, database, dan programming frameworks menjadi satu. WebMatrix memungkinkan Anda untuk coding html, php, asp, javascript dll dan melakukan uji terhadap aplikasi yang dibuat.

 Dengan WebMatrik membuat website lebih mudah karena didalamnya sudah terintegrasi dengan lightweight development tool, IIS Developer Express, SQL Server Compact, dan ASP.Net extensions.



Dengan Webmatrix anda tidak perlu lagi menginstall server, karena webmatrix sudah menyediakannya. Tidak hanya itu, jika anda suka mendevelop blog dengan cms seperti wordpress, drupal dan jombla, semuanya ada di galeri webmatrix. Apa kelebihan lainnya?, silahkan download dan coba sendiri webmatrix. Download webmatrix disini.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Membaca Email Mugi.or.id di Micosoft Outlook 2010

Setelah beberapa waktu lalu membuat email gratis @mugi.or.id, saya ingin membaca email mugi.or.id tersebut di microsoft outlook 2010 namun tidak bisa. Berkat bantuan Bang Li yang merupakan Ketua Mugi Medan barulah saya bisa membaca email mugi.or.id tersebut di microsoft outlook 2010.
Berikut cara yang saya lakukan untuk membaca email mugi.or.id di microsoft outlook 2010, cara ini berlaku juga di microsoft outlook 2007. Saya asumsikan anda sudah mempunyai email @mugi.or.id, jika belum punya silahkan buat di sini : http://mugi.or.id.

1. Download dan Install OutlookConnector. OutlookConnector adalah konektornya email hotmail agar bisa dibaca di microsoft outlook.
2. Masuk ke Microsoft Outlook 2010, klik Menu File > Info, pilih Add Account.


3. Kemudian Pilih Manual Configure Server Setting.....



4. Pilih Other > Microsoft Outlook Hotmail Connector


5. Selanjutnya masukkan Nama, Email, dan Password email Mugi.Or.Id anda. Klik OK untuk melanjutkan, Biarkan sampai proses konfigurasi selesai. Setelah itu anda dapat membaca email mugi.or.id di microsoft outlook 2010.





6. Selesai

Bagi anda yang belum tahu, sekilas tentang apa itu MUGI. MUGI (Microsoft User Group Indonesia) adalah komunitas nirlaba, bersifat mandiri, mengutamakan azas kekeluargaan, dan persaudaraan yang saling menolong. Seperti layaknya sebuah organisasi, MUGI pun mempunyai visi dan misi. Visi MUGI adalah "Mencerdaskan masyarakat Indonesia yang madani melalui pengenalan dan penerapan teknologi informasi". Sedangkan Misi "Berbagi pengalaman dan pengetahuan tentang penggunaan teknologi informasi khusus produk Microsoft di Indonesia". Mugi dapat anda kunjungi di http://mugi.or.id.

Monday, December 26, 2011

5 Menit Membuat Kuis atau Soal Ujian Dengan Google Docs

Kali ini saya akan sharing cara membuat kuis atau soal ujian dengan Form di google docs. Pembuatan kuis ini sangat mudah, anda tidak perlu mengerti tentang bahasa pemrograman. Yang anda lakukan hanyalah input soal-soal yang sebelumnya sudah anda persiapkan.

Tanpa basa basi, mari langsung praktek saja.

Pertama, buka https://docs.google.com. Sign in (masuk) dengan google account anda. Jika anda belum memiliki akun di google silahkan daftar dulu.

Setelah terbuka, akan tampil halaman depan google docs, kemudian klik tombol Create>Form. Lihat tampilan dibawah ini:


Selanjutnya, akan keluar halaman Form untuk pembuatan kuis atau soal ujian seperti gambar dibawah ini:

Keterangan:
Untitled form = Isikan dengan Judul Soal, misalkan Kuis Bahasa Indonesia.
Question Title = Pertanyaan atau soal ujian yang mau dibuat.
Question Type = Jenis Soal ujian (Pilihan ganda atau esai). Pilih Multiple Choice untuk soal pilihan, dan Paragraph Text untuk soal esai.
Click to add option = Letakkan pilihan jawaban disini.
Jika sudah selesai, klik Done. Untuk membuat pertanyaan selanjutnya, dapat anda lakukan dengan klik Add Item>Multiple Choice atau lihat gambar dibawah ini:

Selesai, oiya jangan lupa untuk menyimpan ya. Tombol simpan (save) ada di pojok kanan atas. Setelah disimpan, untuk melihat hasilnya klik link dibawah, atau lihat gambar dibawah ini:


Berikut ini hasil Kuis atau Soal Ujian yang saya buat dalam 5 menit.

Selamat Datang di Blog Idi Suwardi

Selamat datang di blog saya, terimakasih telah berkunjung di blog ini.....blog sederhana ini nanti akan menjadi tempat berbagi informasi dan belajar untuk saya. Oke cukup sampai disini dulu, karena saya masih pemula :^_^:, masih banyak yang harus saya pelajari. Sampai jumpa.

Salam sukses,
Idi Suwardi

Sunday, December 25, 2011

HACK FIREFOX TO INCREASE SPEED-ABOUT:CONFIG TRICKS

Firefox is a well known open source browser and is widely used around the world for it being secure, stable and fast.With this tutorial you will be able to explore the hidden speed of Firefox which will boost the speed of Firefox and make your Firefox much more faster.Download the latest version of Firefox from here. Now install the Firefox. To speed up Firefox follow below steps.

1) Type about:config in the address bar and then press Enter.

steps in speeding up firefox


And you will see a confirmation message like this:

steps in speeding up firefox


Now click I'll be careful, I promise!


2)
You will see a label there Filter, just next to it type network.http.pipelining. Now be sure the value field is set true, if not double-click to set true.

steps in speeding up firefox


3)
Go back to the Filter search bar and type network.http.pipelining.maxrequests Double-click this option and set its value to 8.

4)
In the Filter search bar and type network.http.proxy.pipelining Once opened double-click on it and set it to true.

5)
Type network.dns.disableIPv6 in the filter search bar and set this option to true by double clicking.

6) Right-click
(Apple users ctrl+click) anywhere in the about:config window, select New and then Boolean from the pop-up menu. Then:

steps in speeding up firefox


A. Enter
content.interrupt.parsing in the New boolean value pop-up window and click OK.

steps in speeding up firefox


B. When prompted to choose the value for the new boolean, select true and click OK.
steps in speeding up firefox


7)
Right-click (Apple users ctrl+click) anywhere in the about:config window, select New and then Integer from the pop-up menu.
A. Enter content.max.tokenizing.time in the New integer value pop-up window and click OK.
B. You will be prompted to enter a value. Enter
2250000 and click OK.

8)
This option sets the minimum amount of time to wait between reflows. Right-click (Apple users ctrl+click) anywhere in the about:config window, select New and then Integer from the pop-up menu.
A. Type content.notify.interval in the New integer value pop-up window and click OK.
B. You will be prompted to enter a value. Enter
750000 and click OK.

9)
A. This option sets if to reflow pages at an interval any higher than that specified by content.notify.interval. Right-click (Apple users ctrl+click) anywhere in the about:config window and select New and then Boolean from the pop-up menu.
B. Type
content.notify.ontimer in the New boolean value pop-up window and click OK.
C. You will be prompted to choose the value for the new boolean. Select
true and click OK.

10)
Right-click (Apple users ctrl+click) anywhere in the about:config window and select New and then Integer from the pop-up menu.
A. Enter content.notify.backoffcount in the New integer value pop-up window and click OK.
B. You will be prompted to enter a value. Enter
5 and click OK.

11)
Right-click (Apple users ctrl+click) anywhere in the about:config window and select New and then Integer from the pop-up menu.
A. Enter content.switch.threshold in the New integer value pop-up window and click OK.
B. You will be prompted to enter a value. Enter
750000 and click OK.

12)
Right-click (Apple users ctrl+click) anywhere in the about:config window and select New and then Integer from the pop-up menu.
A. Enter nglayout.initialpaint.delay in the New integer value pop-up window and click OK.
B. You will be prompted to enter a value. Enter
0 and click OK.


That's it! Now restart Firefox and your browsing as well as downloading speed will be much more faster. Good luck.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Top 30 Android Apps And Games Of 2011

androidmarketshot
Android apps come in all shapes and sizes – literally. Unlike iOS applications, which are basically created for two form factors, Android apps need to be developed with dozens of device-types in mind. This is on top of the inconsistent operating system releases still mucking things up. While all of this fragmentation is a headache for developers, ignoring a platform with 50 percent market share would ultimately lead to their peril.
The best Android apps are thus the ones that can both push the technological envelope while also remaining accessible to the vast majority of users. This is no easy feat. 

We divided our list of the best 30 Android apps into four distinct categories. The top ten apps come from third-party developers, and, if not exclusive to Android, were created primarily for the platform.

Additional sections include the best new or significantly updated apps from Google, as well as the best apps and games that appeared first on iOS but later arrived to Android in 2011.

As is the case with our lists of best iOS apps and games of 2011, hundreds of additional titles are worthy of consideration. Our top 30 showcase the growth and maturation of Android apps over the last year. They are also worthy downloads.
Funded by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Any.DO is the best productivity and to-do application tailored specifically for Android devices. The app’s elegant interface is optimized to limit actual typing through voice-driven commands. Users can swipe each task when complete, and shake their phones to clear them from the screen. The app also offers (mostly) seamless integration with Google accounts.

More than just an Instagram for Android, Lightbox offers features like photo journals and the ability to arrange pictures by personal timelines that make it unique and, to some, indispensable. The app’s stunning visual display and compatibility on multiple Android devices set the standard moving forward for photo-sharing apps on the platform.

Along with Google Music (see below), Amazon MP3 is the best way for an Android smartphone and tablet owner to kick an iTunes habit. The app provides access to a library of nearly 20 million songs, 5GB of free storage, and reliable offline listening. Subscriptions to Amazon’s Cloud Drive service start at a reasonable $20/year for 20GB of storage, but you can store as much of your own music as you like with that subscription.

Android devices offer so many customization features that sometimes using a larger screen, mouse and full-sized keyboard will help you get the most out of your smartphone or tablet device. This free app lets users operate their smartphones from a PC with a Wi-Fi connection. Additionally, AirDroid emphasizes privacy protection with password changes for each use.

After launching a beta app last year, SwiftKey X arrived on Android smartphones and tablets in 2011. The app has larger keys as well as superior word and sentence prediction algorithms than what is typically found on Androids. SwiftKey also learns from previously typed emails and messages, and offers three color schemes to simplify the process and brighten things up.

Acquired by Evernote, Skitch lets users annotate photos with sketches, images and words. The app has dead simple editing tools and the ability for users to draw with multi-colored crayons. Skitch is a great app for kids in addition to serving as a functional and unique photo-sharing service.

While still in Alpha, BlueStacks is demonstrating how Android applications can run on Windows-based PCs. The Android app works in concert with the Windows-based BlueStacks App Player to run mobile applications on PCs. The venture-backed company and application, which has attracted more than 500,000 early adopters since launch, expects to debut a Mac OS version in 2012.

Available as separate applications for Android smartphones and tablets, Qello offers a great catalog of high definition concerts (mostly rock, but with other genres sprinkled in). Users can sample the 500+ titles for free, or lease any of them on a weekly ($1.99) or monthly basis ($4.99).

Developed specifically for Honeycomb-based tablet devices, this all-inclusive weather application showcases the beauty and utility of Android on larger form factors. The Lifestyle section, which informs users on things like whether it is a good day for biking or bad day for allergies, is a nice humanized touch.

Android is all about customization, and there is no better and more comprehensive widget app available than this one. Optimized for Android tablets and smartphones, HD Widgets is great for Android experts and first-timers alike. Users will also appreciate the “fanatical” customer service of the developers.

Here are the five best Android apps developed by Google that were released or received significant updates in 2011.
As long as Flipboard remains exclusive to iOS devices, this new release from Google serves as the premier news reader on Android smartphones and tablets. More of a fast and elegant aggregator than social magazine, Google Currents benefits from an organized layout and dead simple third-party publisher platform. There is also — shockingly — nice integration with Google+, including curated content from the likes of Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki.

Google became a relevant player in social networking this year with the successful launch of Google+. While the service is also available as an iPhone app as well as a web app through BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian platforms, Google understandably treats its own platform as first among equals. Check-ins for business, for instance, rolled out first on the Android app.

A November update to this trailblazing application introduced indoor mapping functionality to mobile devices. Google Maps 6.0 helps users more easily navigate within airports, shopping malls and other locations where GPS technology is spotty.

While no mobile application matches the utility of Google Docs on a desktop or laptop, this official version for Android is pretty close. If you’re a hardcore Google Docs user, this app will help you break free from your desk and still read and edit docs and spreadsheets on the fly.

Like Amazon MP3 cited above, Google Music is a way for Android users to comfortably cut the cord (or cloud) on iTunes (at least on their mobile devices). The app lets users store up to 20,000 songs for free in the cloud, with a portion available for offline access.

These next 10 apps were initially released for iOS devices. They are included here for their utility, entertainment value and impact on the Android ecosystem.
When Amazon unveiled this price-comparison app to Android devices just before Black Friday, the company’s retail Death Star became fully operational. Sure, Price Check was available to iPhone owners a year earlier, and there are similar apps across all major mobile platforms. But having an Android app gives Amazon critical mass in this category, and allows the company to (again) upend physical retail as we know it. This includes offering discounts to consumers on their phones during the point of comparison.

There were a lot of things that Netflix did horribly wrong in 2011. Releasing a killer Android app for smartphones and tablet devices was not one of them. As Android tablets become ready for prime time and more plausibly compete against the iPad, entertainment apps like Netflix will flourish.

The most innovative music detection and discovery app of the year finally arrived to Android in December. SoundTracking not only identifies a song a user is listening to, but shares it with Facebook, Twitter and foursquare friends and followers. The advantage of the Android app, relative to the iOS version which launched earlier this year, is that users with Spotify and Rdio can listen to entire tracks (as opposed to 30-second snippets from iTunes).

Hipmunk differentiates from the run-of-the-mill flight search applications by predicting how painful your traveling might be. The app’s “Agony Index” takes into account factors beyond price including flight duration, Wi-Fi access and other variables. Once users choose the least painful flight, the app accommodates direct booking and provides access to third-party services.

This app translates nutritional information found on food packaging into plain English, and offers a letter grade as to how healthy or harmful an item can be. The app offers comprehensive coverage of both mainstream brands and niche delicacies via the scanning of barcodes. Best of all? The app suggests healthier, similar alternatives to the worst offenders.

Reading classic comics within this app works on virtually any size Android screen — which is no easy feat. Marvel Comics also offers panel-by-panel viewing that features beautiful art and more legible word balloons. While most titles require a subscription, there are an ample amount of classic comics available for free.

For digitally promiscuous users who store and share files on multiple devices and operating systems powered by Android, iOS and Windows, Syncplicity is a useful way to manage libraries found within all of them. Unlike many cloud-based alternatives, Syncplicity uses encryption to secure files.

After launching initially on iOS and BlackBerry smartphones, the official Starbucks app finally arrived on Android earlier this year. Better late than never. The app lets users manage their Starbucks Cards and purchase coffee and the like at nearly 7,000 U.S. locations.

After what seemed like an eternity in beta, LinkedIn finally launched an Android app ready for prime time in the spring. While not perfect, the LinkedIn app is a much better alternative than the company’s more limited mobile site. Finally, this indispensable professional networking service found a full-time gig on Android.

A significant December update to this social blogging app on Android and iOS devices served as an early holiday present to its passionate and vocal adherents. Beyond sharing photos, users can now tell the world about what music they are listening to and other activities they are doing. The app’s new design and “Automatic” feature, which recognizes when users deviate from routine schedules, also separate Path from the pack.

And finally, we present the five best games to arrive to Android devices in 2011. Notably, they all first appeared on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
While not a household name like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope is among the most addictive and popular mobile games of all time. The graphics and music are superb, and Cut the Rope is optimized and plays very well on larger Android tablet devices. This is another multi-platform grand slam for (Angry Birds) publisher Chillingo.

One of the most original and well-crafted physics-based puzzle games around finally made its way to Android devices in late November. Originally an indie hit on PCs, World of Goo is a construction game in which users must connect goo balls together to build structures so that other goo balls can get to the end of each stage. The abstract art and imagery alone make it worth the five bucks to download.

A clever and addictive puzzle game by Disney, Where’s My Water? combines whimsical design with killer gameplay. Players are tasked with keeping a sewer-dwelling alligator named Swampy clean and pristine while guiding him through urban terrain. Easier said than done, particularly with Swampy’s alligator buddies standing in the way.

This classic title from PopCap, which was acquired by Electronic Arts in July, first came to Android earlier this year via the Amazon App Store. It was sold exclusively on Amazon until early December. Fans of the cartoony tower defense game will enjoy tapping into Plants vs. Zombies on Android devices.

The best racing game available for Android devices, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD combines plenty of cars and game modes — including a psychedelic “Adrenaline” boost — with superlative visuals and gameplay. This one deserves the checkered flag. 



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