Saturday, 22 March 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

Pocket Reveals Prototype App for Android Wear

Posted: 22 Mar 2014 04:32 PM PDT

Pocketpocket logo was one of the first to release an app for the Samsung Galaxy Gear last Fall and this week they kept with the trend earlier this week when they unveiled a new app for the newly announced Android Wear.

There isn’t much to the app just yet, but it does pack in at least one new feature. The app is designed not to just let you go through the titles of articles you saved, but also to respond to articles shared with you. It will give you the option of saving a shared article to your feed.

That doesn’t sound like much of a feature, but then again the app is very much a work in progress. In case you’re interested, Pocket has shared a demo of what it might look like in action on the new Motorola Moto 360:


It doesn’t look like much, does it? I don’t think so, but then again I’ve been thoroughly underwhelmed by the whole smartwatch phenomenon from the beginning.

Whatever happened to getting your news report from telegrams and the news wire?

The post Pocket Reveals Prototype App for Android Wear appeared first on The Digital Reader.

What to do With an Android Tablet With a Broken Screen

Posted: 22 Mar 2014 09:54 AM PDT

If you’ve owned4676754047_53fc1a38e4_m[1] more than one mobile device chances are you still have the old one sitting around (unless you’ve sold it, which is the smart thing to do).

But if you just replaced your Android tablet or smartphone because of a broken touchscreen, I would suggest that you think twice before you throw the old one away.  If the CPU and the rest of the internal components still work then the gadget can still fill a useful purpose.

I dropped my Hisense Sero 7 Pro last night – again. Sadly, this rugged little tablet did not survive the fall this time around, leaving me with an otherwise functional tablet with a rather pretty but distracting fracture pattern between the LCD screen and touchscreen.

The touchscreen still works, sure, so i could keep using this tablet. I could also simply junk it and use another. Or I could sell it on Ebay with an honest description and let someone do with it what they will.

I’m going to replace the tablet, yes, but rather than throw it away I decided to find another use for it.

So far I have come up with three possible uses. I haven’t yet followed through on any of these plans, but I thought I would take a moment today and share what I had so far. While I have found a couple useful ideas, I’m hoping that someone might come up with a better suggestion.

An impressively broken iPad

An impressively broken iPad

The Hisense Sero 7 Pro has a fairly powerful CPU, decent camera, card slot, and an HDMI port. This opens up a number of possibilities, including turning the tablet into a media player by plugging it into a large screen TV, using it as a file server or web server, or adapting it to function as a security camera.

The media player idea is probably the least practical because this tablet has storage limitations. It can only support a 32GB microSD card, and that’s not really enough to store a large collection of video files.

Update: But as a reader reminded me in the comments, a streaming media player might be more practical than a simple media player. Thanks, Dave!

The file server idea faces a similar limitation, but if I am going to be storing smaller files like ebooks and other documents then the problem won’t be as severe. What’s more, I could take this tablet with me to conferences and use it as a mobile file server.  I might even adapt the LibraryBox idea and make the files publicly available for download.

I haven’t followed through on this, but I did find instructions (link).

And last but not least, I could repurpose the 5MP camera on the Sero 7 Pro as a networked security camera. This task would be relatively simple to accomplish and could prove incredibly useful. All I would need to do is install and configure a couple apps.

I found a couple different sets of instructions (link, link), and one would even let me monitor the camera over the internet. I could even set the camera to automatically take a photo when it detects motion, and then upload the image to Dropbox.


I have thought up 3 uses for a broken tablet or smartphone; can you suggest another one? The comment section is open.

images by 3dom, Patrick Hoesly

The post What to do With an Android Tablet With a Broken Screen appeared first on The Digital Reader.

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