Using technology to help with weight loss

Noom Weight loss

There is nothing like technology to get me into the swing of things. Whatever that might be! I have been using an application called Noom Coach which I found out about because I have been using the application called Noom which is a pedometer, step counter. This application Noom Coach/ Noom Weight Loss is basically a sort of weight loss program and it has you doing things like recording what you eat and the exercise that you take. It also gives you a number of articles with information designed to help you and encourage you to lose some weight. There Are Android and also iOS applications available. I certainly do need to lose a little bit of weight and I found this out by stepping on some weighing scale while visiting my son in Ireland. This is where the other bit of technology comes in, in the form of analysing weighing scales. These fancy, wonderful and weird weighing scales measure not only your weight, but also your body mass index BMI, your body water percentage and your body fat percentage. Fantastic or what?

Once a week on the scales

Without having any scales and not knowing how much I weigh, it was going to be difficult to get some control over my weight. Now the plan is to use the scales I have bought, once a week and to record the results. I have already set up a Google docs spreadsheet and hopefully after a month or two I will start seeing some evidence of results. As it stands at the moment I am overweight, although not by a huge amount and fortunately I don’t get anywhere near to the category of obese. It must be all of the dog walking that I do every day of the week.

Beating the steep hill

Not only do I expect to be taking more exercise with going out on my electric bike. The electric bike is there for encouragement so that I will use it on a daily basis. It is better than having a bike that sits in the garage not getting used at all, because I can’t face the very steep hill which is the last part of the journey to get back home. I have cycled up this steep hill with the electric bike a couple of times and even with the assistance of the electric bicycle it is still steep enough to require me pedalling a fair bit to get to the top.

Getting some exercise with an electric bike

The other thing about having electric bike is the fact that during the summertime I expect to use this bicycle on a daily basis to get to and from work. I have worked out that it takes me half an hour to use this bicycle to get to work instead of the 15/20 minutes that it takes by car. With the assistance of electric power I will be able to get there and not be all sweaty and still be there on time. After a day working at the campsite being on my feet for most of the time it is not going to be too bad cycling the 15 km back home again. In fact during the summertime when it is the busiest period in the holiday town where I work by the beach, it will be a definite advantage to be on a bicycle. I could even be able to get home quicker if I have to travel back home on a Sunday evening during the peak period.

Dealing with the intake of food

Noom Coach

I have already cut by half the number of biscuits that I eat. I could cut them out altogether but you do have to have some fun in your life. Wherever possible I try and cut down the amount I have on my plate with my other meals also. By using the application Noom Coach and recording what I eat, it also works out the calorie intake approximately; this is quite helpful. The application gives me a recommended intake of calories per day and it also gives me some indication of the qualities of the foods I am eatting. So fried foods would be on the calorie indicator in red, some foods will be showing up with an orange marker and the better foods show as green.

Going pro costs money

There is a pro version of this application Noom Coach, but I don’t expect I will be paying the $9.99 as a monthly fee to get it. The free part of the application is more than enough for me at the present time and I have to say that I quite like the application. I might have a look and see if there are other applications which do a similar thing to see if I can make a comparison with regards the features that they offer. Do you have a favourite application that you use for checking up on your health?

Posted in Android.

Using CyanogenMod on Android Phones

Messing about with the Samsung Galaxy S3

It can be quite difficult to get hold of the latest operating system for Android and I have found this to be the case with my Samsung Galaxy S3. There has been no sign from the mobile operator of any updates from the operating system that first came when I got the phone over seven months ago. So I have been loading other ROMs onto the phone and one I am using at the moment is from CyanogenMod and it is version 11.2. I went with this version because I had reports that it was a stable version of the Android operating system. I had to go to the CyanogenMod.org website to find a download. I did find an install application that works on the Mac, but it didn’t seem to work. For some reason it very kept saying that there was an update to the installer, but never let me go to where I could get the update.

Trying to update this way and that

CyanogenMod 2

In the end after trying various possibilities to update the phone from a downloaded version of it from the website in conjunction with the ROM Manager application I eventually got an indication that showed it was downloading. I left it overnight because there was no change to it after a number of hours and in the morning it still said it was downloading. I was sure that it must have finished by that time, my Internet is not that slow, and I disconnected it anyway and rebooted. It rebooted into the new version of CyanogenMod, but then I found that I had no applications that had come from Google Play Store.

A whole morning of research and updating

I spent a lot of time trying to work out how to get the CyanogenMod operating system to see the Google play school store to recognise the applications which I suspected were still actually on the phone, but hidden. I should really make notes about the various things that I try as I do them because I’m not quite sure how I managed to get ROM Manager back onto the phone so that I could do a reinstall of the gapps ROM. In any case once I had got the Google play store back in action I was able to re-download all of my applications that I had purchased previously.

Of course I also had to reset up all of the identities that are connected to various services and applications, such as with Google, CyanogenMod, Facebook and Twitter etc. After spending so much time to actually get these things to run again I was just delighted that my phone was back in operation once again. With all of the problems that I created for myself by updating to a later version of CyanogenMod, you would have to wonder why on earth I did it. I had been having the occasional crash of my phone when using the 10.2 version of the operating system and so it was because of that I decided to do the upgrade.

My first attempt at the upgrade kind of worked, inasmuch as the phone got upgraded, but I found I was having even more system reboots that than before. It was this that prompted me to to a new and more thorough operating system upgrade and it was this one that created such a lot of work and the loss of a morning. It seems to me that it is because there are so many different Android phones and even more various ways of doing things like rooting and applying weird and wonderful ROMs that it is all seems very confusing. Aside from having to learn the different terminologies that are used within the Android world, when you get started with whatever process you can’t help but wonder if it is going to work with the specific changes that you want to make.

Android versus iOS

I saw on the Internet today that there are a number of people complaining about random crashes of their iOS devices due to the latest version of IOS 7. So despite the difficulties that I have had today with my Android phone, I can’t see any compelling reasons to change back to the Apple mobile computer ecosphere. I still much prefer having the larger screen to work with and generally everything is working well for me with the Samsung Galaxy S3. The one big thing with the difference between the two that is most likely to keep me with Android is that I can change to use a better keyboard than the standard Android keyboard. Swiftkey has been my favourite and I still like it because it allows me to have arrow keys on the keyboard which help me move around in the text. Just lately though I have been using the application called Swype which is from the company called Nuance because I like the way that I can easily slide the finger around on the keyboard to write the words. I can also do that with SwiftKey, but with Swype I also get a better voice input that takes into account of my UK based language input.

Posted in iPad.

Real cameras versus phone and tablet cameras

Photography – Real cameras vs tablet and phone cameras

It has often been said that the best camera is the camera that you have with you. It is because of this that the iPhone and the Android mobile phone cameras have been so popular for taking photos. So you could justifiably call them the best cameras. Apart from the fact that you have the ease of sharing the photographs that you can send off straightaway to photo sharing sites such as Flickr and 500PX, there is the simple fact that you just about always have your mobile device with you. It is so quick and easy just to whip it out and immediately snap that shot. The quality of the images that you get from these mobile devices is actually a very good, considering. You do have to take into consideration that the sensor on these mobile phone cameras is really very small indeed. Having said that, there are point-and-shoot cameras available now that have larger sensors but the images that you get are not much better than what you would get from an iPhone for example. This could partly be due to the fact that the research and development for photography is all going into the small mobile devices on one hand and then on the other hand the camera companies are pushing the changes into DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras. I have been using a DSLR camera for quite some years now and the latest one that I have is the Canon 600D. It is a marvellous camera and even though not as good as something like the professional full frame cameras that cost an arm and a leg to buy, you do get great results from it. Just bought a mirrorless camera to replace it, A Sony NEX-6 and I just love it. It is so light and small and in many ways better than the Canon.

Mobile phones – Fancy photos

You might say that to a certain extent much of the development in photography lately has been in the area of software particularly for mobile phone cameras. The software that you can use on your computers to work with the photographs that you have taken by whatever means. Then you have the software that is on the mobile devices which is doing amazing things on a tiny computer. Even the standard applications that come with the mobile phones for taking the photos give you a fair amount of options to give you the possibility of some interesting photographs. My personal favourite is on my Android phone which lets me take photographs that are like being inside a sphere. Then there are the applications which let you take Panoramic photos and these photos are just as easy to take as taking a simple straightforward snapshot.

Then you have the cloud applications which let you adjust the photographs that you have taken and sometimes it happens automatically. The Auto Awesome feature that is available within Google can on one hand take an ordinary photograph and turn it into something a whole lot better and on the other hand can add an effect that so many people are using that it becomes boring. The one that comes to mind at the moment is the auto awesome addition of falling snow to your photograph. It might look festive and it might also look silly when it looks like snow is falling inside a vehicle for instance. There are only so many of these photographs that you would like to see. Google bought a company that was well-known for photo manipulation software called SnapSeed and this has been utilised in enhancing photos that are automatically uploaded to the Google cloud.

NEX 6

Sharing the photo love

With Apple and iCloud you do have the advantage of the service called Photo Stream. I made a lot of use of this application when I was taking photos with an iPhone primarily, but now that I have Android devices the Photo Stream is not getting used quite so much. Instead my photos are going off to 2 places, first of all when I take photos with either my Nexus 7 or the Samsung Galaxy S3 the photos are going off automatically to Google+. Then I also have Dropbox running on the mobile devices and with this I have it set so that photographs are also uploaded into my Dropbox account at the same time. It is always good to have backups of your photos.

Cameras and mobile devices collaborating

There are cameras that now have Wi-Fi and indeed I have now got a camera that does do Wi-Fi. It is the Sony NEX 6 and you can use that Wi-Fi to connect directly to an access point and send photographs directly from the camera to various photo sharing sites. A more interesting collaboration of photography and mobile devices like phones and tablets is where you can connect a camera to a mobile device directly. There is the Sony camera lens, the QT10 which is wireless enabled in order to connect to your mobile device. It was made with connecting to the Sony mobile phones and tablets in particular, but it also does work with iPhones, and other Android devices. The images can be stored on this QT10 or QT 100, but they can also go to the mobile device. The mobile devices is also acting as the screen for viewing for taking the photograph, as well as being the recipient of the photo file so that you can work with it using the photography applications.

With the Sony NEX 6 there is the option where I can use my mobile device with free applications that I have installed on my iPhone, the iPad, the Nexus 7 and also the Galaxy S3. Now what I can do is to use this application to set up the photograph and also to press the button to take the photograph. I have a full-sized top-quality photograph saved on the camera and then a copy of the photograph is also sent to the mobile device. The smaller copy of the photograph that is on your phone or tablet can then be shared to the various photo sharing sites such as Flickr or 500PX. This way you are getting the best of both worlds and you can take the photographs from the camera to put onto your computer and deal with as you would normally in an application like Aperture for the Mac or iPhoto.

Posted in iPad.

I couldn’t wait for the OTA update to Kit Kat 4.4 Android

Updating to KitKat 4.4

It has been a couple of weeks since the new version of Android known as KitKat 4.4 was announced as being available. It was announced at the same time as they told us about the latest Nexus 4 phone and to be honest I would have thought that the over the air update would have been shoved out fairly quickly following that. After changing from iOS to Android I kind of had expectations that with my Nexus 7 being a Google device that it would get updated pretty quickly. I had been hearing of some of the details available in the new version of the software on some of the Android podcasts and of course I wanted to have the latest and greatest, the newest and shiniest. It seems though that Google are not that organised when it comes to putting out updates to their operating system.

Going a different route to Kit Kat

In the end on Google+ I asked a question of the people on the community for the Nexus 7 and it was suggested there that instead of waiting for the pushed out, over the air update that I should load it onto the device manually. The file that was required to be able to do this had been made available over the last couple of days and there was a link in the community answers to the website, I think it was the website for Android Police. I wouldn’t want to download a file from any old place, but I had been listening to the podcast associated with this website and so I trusted it. Well, in fact the file was made available from Google, but there was a link to it from Android Police.

Kit Kat Android update 2

There were instructions from the site also on how to do this upgrade and it turned out to be quite simple. I downloaded the file directly onto the device and then I had to switch off my Nexus 7 and restart it while holding down the volume down key. This takes you into a different mode which gives you access into applications you can use to update your device. You can also go to this website yourself and follow the instructions to update your Nexus 7 and you will probably be just as surprised as I was with regards how easy it is to complete the task. There were also instructions on the same site on how to root the device following the update and as yet I haven’t been able to get that done. I do need to have my Nexus 7 rooted so that I can run certain applications and I need to update something called TWRP and flash something else to get it done. I am sure that I will work it out in time!

Learning how to do things with Android

I do have to admit that some of this still baffles me and I’m still learning some of the terminology that the techno boys used to describe how to do some of these things. But I am getting their bit by bit. one of the applications that I need to use with a device that has been rooted is a screen recording application called SCR Pro and it is much better than the facility that Android now has to do screen recordings. The new screen recording tool in KitKat will only let you record for three minutes and you have two get down to terminal type commands in order to make it work. I don’t think I will be bothering with it.

Posted in Android.

The Range Tool in Audio Evolution Mobile

Home, home on the range tool

I have got quite fond of the application called Audio Evolution Mobile to use on my android devices, both the Samsung Galaxy S3 and also the Nexus 7. The application is a multitrack digital audio workstation for mobile and is extremely useful for creating audio files. In the previous video we looked at the basic uses of the application and in this one we are moving on to look at what you can do with the Range Tool.

Selecting with the range tool

You can select parts of audio clips of just one track or across multiple tracks so it is possible for you to choose complete sections in your timeline. Once you have selected the audio that you require then you can copy it and pasted into other sections of your audio. This is particular useful when you have spent time setting up the exact positioning of one audio clip next to another on different tracks. When you use the range tool you can take this audio and pasted so that none of those timings change when you put it in at a different point in the song or podcast or whatever.


 

Posted in Android.

Rooting Nexus 7 and Updating iOS

How to root the Nexus 7 2013

Helium App Sync and Backup

I had been waiting until I had a day free to root the Nexus 7 as I had been thinking it would do better to have plenty of time to do such a job. The thing is, is that things can go wrong and you have to leave time to be able to undo the mess up, but fortunately today everything went perfectly to plan. Well nearly! I had made the backup using the application Helium, backing everything up to Google Drive. Today was the first time that I had to give the application and process a proper test by using the restore from backup feature. Not so much a feature really, but the whole reason for using such an application, if it doesn’t back up from the restore then it is a pretty useless application. For the most part my applications are getting reloaded back onto my Nexus 7. The only thing that is bugging me is that it is taking such a long time dragging the data back in from the cloud even though there is actually a local copy on my hard drive. With having such a slow Internet connection, as you can imagine it is taking rather a long time.

Raybansandfedora YouTube

I looked up on YouTube for information on how to root the Nexus 7 and I found a tutorial by Raybans and Fedora. All I had to do was to follow the recipe step-by-step and hey presto, I had the Nexus 7 properly rooted. Now that I have superuser access to the device it means that I can run some applications which only will run if the user has root access. These would be applications such as Titanium Backup and the one of more interest to me is called BBQ Screen. So now I will be able to send video from the Nexus 7 over the Wi-Fi to my iMac and on there I will be able to use ScreenFlow to record. I already use this application on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and it works fairly well. It wouldn’t be quite as good as the application Reflector which I use to record from iOS and my iPad, but it just about does the job.

Updating iOS 7 On the iPad and on my iPhone 4

It is always very simple to update your idevice to the latest version of the operating system. I saw that with the iPhone 4 I could have done it over the air without connecting it to my computer, but I prefer to connect up via USB to the Mac to do the job. Once again, my dreadfully slow Internet connection is holding me back and it is taking absolutely ages to download the update to the iTunes application. The iPad is now completely up-to-date and at present according to iTunes I have only four hours remaining to wait for the download to finish for the iPhone. Patience is something that I can’t profess to have, but I really don’t have much choice.

It seems that for the most part, the update to iOS 7 is down to correcting a security problem with the logon feature. I daresay that there are one or two other things that will have also been added into the mix considering that the size of the file must be fairly big for it to take so long to download.

IOS 7 on my iPad

Moving to iOS 7

I have been enjoying the update to iOS 7 from iOS 6 as it looks so fresh and it is always nice to have something new to play with. It really does seem like a new operating system. Obviously, it is easy to see that there have been influences from Android which have been put into the Apple mobile operating system. The way to close down an application is very like the way that it works on Android Jellybean and the notification system also takes hints from Android. So I need to spend a little bit more time using the iPad to really see where all the changes are. I have to admit that during the last week I have been using Android more extensively, on account of having the Nexus 7 to play.

Posted in iPad, nexus 7.

On Getting the Nexus 7 to make Android app tutorials

Useless UPS driver and my Nexus 7

I had been expecting the Google Nexus 7 to arrive the day before yesterday, but the courier van driver wasn’t able to get his van to my house , he claimed being too busy and lacking time. Instead I got my new device in the middle of the day yesterday. This was the same day that iOS 7 was due to arrive and so was going to give me a little bit of a conflict as to what to do with my time. Was it going to be possible for me to do some multi tasking and to setup the nexus 7 at the same time as doing the download and setup of the new mobile operating system from apple. Well it was possible but it sure slowed me down a lot. Due to my, at this point thankfully slow Internet speed, I was able to do the setup of the new mobile device while I was waiting for the bits and bytes of the new operating system to download. Ios 7 downloaded on the second try and whereas a lot of people have had loads of problems, I left it running over night and I woke up to a newly updated iPad.


 

Couldn’t wait to play with the Nexus 7

I was at work when the package arrived with ups and of course I wanted to take it out and try it out straight away. I thought at first that there wasn’t enough charge in the battery but then I discovered I just needed to press the button to start it for a little bit longer.

Anyway, because I was at work I wasn’t able to do an awful lot with the new android device I had to wait until I got home before I could really get stuck in.

Galaxy S3 spanner in the works

What really slowed me down is the fact that I had a big problem with my Galaxy S3 telephone. For some strange reason the phone completely locked up and I had to reboot. When I wanted to get back in, it wouldn’t let me get past the sim unlock. I tried numerous ways to get into the phone, but nothing was working. I even called into the shop where I bought the phone, on the way home , but they were unable to help.

A black belt in Google Foo

I had to do some searching on google to find information on how to boot into safe mode. I thought I might have to do a factory reset of the phone. That would have been quite extreme as I would have had to completely setup the phone from scratch again. At least it would have been easy to select and download the applications as I already have them stored on google play, but I would have had to spend quite a lot of time doing it. So after putting it into safe mode I tried once again to get into the normal mode for the Galaxy S3 and I was very pleased to be able to get the phone restarted properly. Today the phone has been working nicely for me without any problems so I am happy again. Yesterday I could have done without having this problem as there were other things that I wanted to be doing. Such as playing with my new nexus 7 and also getting ready to upgrade the ipad to iOS 7. I think that this is what they call first world problems.

Nexus 7 Google

Setting up the Nexus 7

Most of the applications I put onto the nexus 7 we’re the same applications I already have on the galaxy s3. There were one or two which are not suitable for a larger tablet and there were some that I chose not to use as I’m not getting much use of them on the s3 anyway. I thought that with the text applications that I have been using with the extra row of keys that they would work better in landscape mode than on the phone, but there is still the same problem of the extra row of keys disappearing. Not too big a problem really, it is just that i wanted to have a keys showing in landscape mode as it would be better for the Android tutorials.

All of this has been written using the dictation facilities of the Android phone.

Posted in nexus 7.

Draft for Android – A better text editor

In the previous post I stated that LightPaper was possibly the best text editor for Android and while it is very good we also have to have a look at Draft as a very strong contender for the best text editor for Android. there are a number of really good sharing options within draft and of course it is very good for working with Markdown. One of the really good things about using draft is the fact that it is possible to have a widget on the Android screen  that lets you quickly create either a text document or a markdown document. Another good point is the fact that you can easily create folders so that you can organise your documents, making them easier to find. I do like the fact that the extra row of keys for adding markdown syntax is well-organised for the things that you need to do most. I can easily select a word and then tap on the button to turn it into bold or italics. I can do the same with word that I want to have as a link, it puts the square brackets around that word and it also puts in the round brackets to put in the link. I usually prefer to use the reference to links as I can put the actual hosting the link at the bottom of the text and it makes the text easier to read. The best way to do one of these types of links is to start the same way as you would an in-line link and then to remove the rounded brackets. Then do it again to put in the reference just after that text. Then once more to do the actual link at the bottom of the document. That does seem a little bit more complicated, but it isn’t really when you know what you’re doing. In any case I can choose whether I want to do the in-line links or reference links depending upon the documents that I’m working on.

 

Posted in iPad.

Best markdown editor for Android – LightPaper

Read Part One of this article

When I first started using it, I did manage to lose some work a couple of times by not saving it before I did something else with it. Also occasionally I find that there is some weird behaviour going on that I still have to get to the bottom of. For example at the moment I have added an extra paragraph of some text and when I swipe across from the right to the left on the screen to see the HTML preview version of the text, the text and I’ve just put in is not there?

Going back to other things that I like about this, there are keys that I can use to move through the text either one letter or one word at a time. I am finding this extra functionality to be very useful as sometimes with the Android text I do find it difficult on the small screen to place the cursor exactly where I want it.

There is also what they call a “Distraction Free Mode” and what this does is to only show the paragraph that you are working on. There is an option within the settings which will allow you to go full screen while in this mode. This mode could be useful if you are a person who is easily distracted like dogs can be when you throw a ball.


 

So what is the application like when in use

By tapping on the icon in the top left-hand corner you get to the area where you can get to files you have already worked on. Files can be held locally or they can be synchronised with Dropbox. The Dropbox synchronisation is very useful as it is quite likely that you will be wanting to get at files that you have created while out and about and you will want to do further work on back at the desktop computer.

When you tap on the plus icon he will have an option to create a new document or to create a new folder. Let’s start by creating a new document by typing in the name of the document, tap on the button with a checkmark to say okay and the document is created. We can start working on the document by tapping on the bit of the empty space that we can see over on the right-hand side. Most likely when you begin a document you will create a header and I have started by putting in the two # hash symbols for the header. I can then start typing or dictating the text.

Lightpaper android markdown editor

I am finding that this application works best when used in portrait mode. This is because when I put it into landscape mode and I am typing or dictating, I don’t get to see the actual words appearing on the screen. This could possibly be due to the fact on using the Swiftkey keyboard and it may be different when using a standard Android keyboard. Another possibility is that the application is designed for a larger tablet such as the Nexus 7. In any case, there is no way that I’m going to give up the Swiftkey keyboard, it is far too useful. In Portrait mode you get to see all you need to see.

Let’s put in a link with the button that gives you the link syntax, what this does is to give you the square brackets followed by a set of round brackets and is for a standard type of link in markdown. My preferred way of doing links with markdown is to use reference markdown and there are also keys as I can use to easily let me do this.

If I want to put images into a document using the markdown syntax because perhaps I want to send it directly to a blog then there is a button in the extra row of keys at the top of the screen for this purpose. It is possible to connect up this application to any of your WordPress blogs, Scriptogr.am and Tumbler so this could be very useful if you want to do some blogging on the go.

We have got other useful facilities in there, such as a spellchecker which can be enabled or disabled. There is a style chooser and you can choose between a few different fonts, some different themes and a number of different font sizes. I quite like the solarised light theme that is available.

Best android markdown editor

The NoStylus verdict on Lightpaper Android markdown text editor

When I first started looking for markdown text editors for Android I was not too impressed with what I found. Now that I have Lightpaper and also the application draft has been improved I am quite happy with what I can do writing with Android on my Galaxy S3. I really would like to try this application on a larger Android device such as the Nexus 7 so that I could see how the keyboard works as in whether I would get all of the extra rows of buttons and keys available. In any case when I’m using this in portrait mode I can do what I need to do whether I am typing in using the Swiftkey keyboard or dictating. I have also looked at an application called Markdrop, which is far simpler in terms of what it can do but it is also quite useful to have available.

Read Part One of this article

Posted in Android.

Playing video with a Twonky Beam

Twonky Beam is quite amazing and connects easily with the Apple TV

Apple tv and twonky beam

This application was suggested to me by a Twitter friend called Ross Craig who goes by the name of Pirate Jim. He suggested it to me because of the fact I was trying an application called BBQ Screen that I wanted to use to send video from the Galaxy S3 to my Mac. I was able to do that successfully with BBQ Screen and this application Twonky Beam does something similar, but going from the Android device to a number of possible devices that you could have connected to your television. Included in the list of devices is the Apple TV and I own one of these. So I sat down on my couch with my Android device, the television turned on and of course also the Apple TV also in operation.

Getting Twonky Beam up and running

As always when you start working with a new application that you have never seen before, it can be a little confusing when you are working out how it does what it does. I didn’t know what to expect, so I didn’t know if I needed to change some settings in the Apple TV or do some special magic which required waving around a rubber chicken in the air.

Twonky beam 1

All you need to do is to start up the application and when you do, you do get some information on how to make it all work. Basically, all you need to do is to go to a website which can be one of your own or any other website on the Internet that has video. There are a list of icons that you can choose directly to go to video websites such as Vimeo or YouTube and various others including Funny or Die. Get searching for videos to look at and you are in business pretty soon. An obvious one to start with would be YouTube and when you get to a video page you will see an icon in the top right corner of the video – Beam. The icon is of a decent size and quite easy to tap, to get the video playing and beaming to your Apple TV. At first I thought I must have been doing something wrong or that it didn’t work, but I found that if I slid the screen from right to left I got to a control page in the application where I was able to choose the device I wanted to send the video to. You also get the controls for play, stop, preview and volume. It is also possible to create a beam queue of videos lined up to be played one after the other. I haven’t tried this one yet, I will let you know how I get on.

Twonky Beam works a treat

Overall I am very impressed with this application and the ability to use it to send video from my Android device to my Apple TV. I can certainly see that I will get a lot of use out of this application in my living room. I also tested this Twonky Beam application with a website of my own as I wondered if it was just going to work with just the video server websites like YouTube and so on. I went to a site of my own, Mac20Q and I found a page where I had a video embedded. Sure enough the beam icon was available in the top right-hand corner of the video, I tapped on it and the video was soon playing on my television.

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You can also create bookmarks so that you can easily get back to a video that you want to watch later or just watch again. It is quite easy to get to the bookmarks page and it all seemed to work just like a webpage in a web browser. It is just that you also have the ability to send any videos off to the big screen.

Not all plain sailing

I did find on a couple of occasions that I had the video playing on my Galaxy S3 and it was also playing on the Apple TV. After a little bit of experimentation I found that it was easy to just take the webpage back by using the back button to stop the video on the Galaxy. So then I just had the video playing on the Apple TV fullscreen with me on the sofa and my feet up, relaxing. I can already do video from websites to a certain extent directly with the Apple TV such as with the YouTube video site and a couple of others, but there is infinitely more videos available this way as I can go to any old website.

free applications

 

All of the things I have tried so far with the Twonky Beam application has been available to me for free. There are some in app purchases that you can make, but as yet I haven’t found the need to do so. Twonky Beam gets a big thumbs up from NoStylus.

Posted in Android.