See Your Android App Updates with AppFeed.net

Most of us who have Android devices set automatic updates for our apps, which means we don’t have to worry about going to the trouble of installing each update manually.  That’s a great thing, but it has it’s drawbacks.  For instance, if you play a game that frequently updates by adding new levels, as the popular Angry Birds does, then you can miss those cool new levels.  After all, you don’t play those new levels unless you know they are there.  How can you tell what has updated?  Enter AppFeed.net.

You can sign into the service using your Google, Twitter or Facebook accounts.  Once logged in, you can click “My Feeds” and get an RSS feed that you can add to your reader of choice.  This will give you up-to-date information on what apps have received updates, so you can go play that new set of Angry Birds levels as soon as they are released.

Below you will find a gallery of screenshots of the setup process.  It’s a simple service written by someone who had a need and couldn’t find a suitable solution in the Google Play Store.

 

 

The Simple Functionality that DirecTV Still Lacks

directv logoA few days ago I had a DirecTV HR23 box go belly-up.  I awoke one morning to the smell of melted plastic.  I didn’t open the box, so I don’t know what went wrong, but it was obviously something bad.  Despite having no LED lights on the front panel there was still power – although it wouldn’t even try to boot up.  But, as long as the power cord was plugged in, the smell and a chirping sound (which probably was from the hard drive) continued.

DirecTV has always had excellent customer service, at least in my experiences.  This was no exception – they were ready to send me a new HR23 via priority shipping.  The box arrived in two days, along with a paid label to send back the old DVR.

Setup is simple – just plug in the old connections that are already in place.  Of course, you need to call DirecTV to activale the box, but that isn’t a big deal either.  It’s after that step that you see where DirecTV, and every other DVR (as far as I know), are lacking.

What do these cable and satellite companies need to add?  Backing up all of your recorded shows would be nice, but we have seen how difficult a netwrked DVR has been for Cablevision.  What I noticed when re-setting-up my HR23 was a glaring lack for backup of personal settings.  I had to, once again, add all of my season passes, set my video preferences, re-enable my network settings, etc.

Is it too much to ask that all of these personal settings be backed up by the provider?  Or at east that they provide a path for backing them up locally to a networked PC?  After all, the HR23 has ethernet and shows up on our home network.  It seems like a simple update to add backup of personal settings.  More importnantly to the providers, it doesn’t seem like anything that would cause them to end up in court.

This seems like a minor addition to the software package of any TV provider.  Still, it doestn’t seem to be mentioned by anyone as an update that is on the roadmap.  I know that I would seriously consider moving to one that decides to add it.

 

Forget IE6 – Update Your Windows XP

So I was given another friends’ computer to fix. They were having overheating issues, which was easily deduced to a blocked fan. Nonetheless, when I turned it on I was greeted with the same issues that so many have not taken care of.

It was still on XP Service Pack 1.

What this meant was I was stuck doing the upgrades. I really don’t mind, but it made me think a bit about how people look at and use their computers; How they say they’re “Computer Stupid” and don’t know all the technical jargon I spew.

I hate that term – “Computer Stupid”.

To begin with, it’s not grammatically correct. With that aside, it’s not about if you know how to put together a computer. It’s about whether you read the signs – after all, if you didn’t read the road signs while driving, you might get lost. Then again, I know people that DO read the signs and still get lost…

So you turn on the computer and the first thing that pops up is an error message. What do you do? Do you 1. try to deduce the problem. 2. Consult a fellow IT friend or 3. Ignore the message altogether and select through it?

It’s amazing how many people do #3. Just like looking at that little “Change Oil” light in the car. After all, it looks so pretty when it’s on for the next 12 thousand miles…

Funny thing about these computers is the Windows Update feature is turned on. It says on the bottom there are updates to be run. Probably has said that on this computer for a long time. After all, I had to install Service Pack 2.

Recently, an initiative has come out trying to make people aware to the fact that they need to upgrade from IE 6. The initial push to IE 7 was slow simply because the added features caused online programs to not function and security holes to be created. The job at the time definitely did not want to make the upgrade because the banking software (for one) didn’t work with IE7.

Awareness has shown the masses that IE might not be the browser to run: The “Million Download” Firefox attempt brought more awareness to what we use for a browser. Still – 8 million downloads (now the Guinness record) is a far cry from as many computers that are out there. Since then Firefox has boasted 1 billion downloads – but how many computers really have the software on and how many people just didn’t go back to IE6?

It’s all about awareness. If the dirty dish is in the sink and you need to use it – you wash it. If the bag is in the hallway and you are coming through, you move it. Therefore, if the computer is telling you to update… You get the picture.

That’s not being “Computer Stupid”. It’s about being aware.

It’s even understandable if you select off it a couple times simply because you are working on something. But eventually, you should really just “Do it”. After all, it’s not going to go away. You might just end up paying for waiting in malware issues. In fact I am surprised this computer is not riddled with malware – especially since there is no Anti-Virus on it.

But that’s a whole other subject.

For now, don’t ignore the issue. Update the computer.