The 2014 New User’s Guide to Power Apps on Android



Around the holidays, a lot of people get new technology.  As the prices come down and availability goes up – it is more and more likely that some folks got their first Android device this very Christmas.  But just because they are new to Android doesn’t mean they are new to technology.

This article isn’t for the new casual user of Android.  We’re not going to list Flipbook here.  You’re not going to find Candy Crush Saga, Instagram, Netflix or HBO to Go on our list.  In fact, there will be no games listed here at all.

Instead, we’re going to take a look at the “power” apps for Android – presented for the first time or new Android user.  If things like FTP and RSS are foreign to you or you don’t know why you need a file manager on a phone – this article isn’t for you.

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About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Smart IR Remote – Android Universal Remote App



Perhaps you just got your first Android device for Christmas; a nice HTC One Smartphone or maybe a gorgeous new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1.  Sure, you’ve been scouring the internet for hot apps, fun games and some Android sites (like our very own Green Robot Gamer site) but what you may not have noticed about your hot new toy is that it comes with an IR (infrared) Blaster built in.

Hmmm … what COULD you do with THAT?

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About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Plex – The (Near) Perfect Solution for Personal Media



I have a lot of media.  I own several thousand DVDs and Blu rays.  I have collected a lot of media from the internet.  I prefer to OWN (and store) the media I have.  I don’t like Netflix and I don’t like Hulu.  These aren’t solutions for me.  I am paying a lot of money a month for a fast internet connection and I have a lot of stuff I’m storing on my own – not the cloud.  I don’t want to have to UPLOAD my stuff to the cloud to get it …. I AM my own cloud.

… and I’m not alone.  Millions of others prefer to buy, store, rip and maintain their own private collections – for a variety of reasons (see my article on Digital Distribution for my thoughts).  Unfortunately, the issue with being your own cloud …?  Companies aren’t interested in writing top quality software to let you access it.  Your options tend to rely on some proprietary media friendly NAS (like a Synology Diskstation) which suffers from fairly immature software on mobile devices or some sort of specialized delivery system for ONE component of your media (like Subsonic; great music gateway – poor video gateway).

Worse yet, if you plan to SHARE your content with family and friends?  A whole new can of worms is opened.

Take all of these issues and then try to solve ubiquitous playback from TV, web, phone and tablet?  This has been a pipe dream for some time.

Enter Plex Media Server Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Ten More Top Nintendo 3DS Games



Last year I released a list of ten great 3DS games – and they are still all solid, recommended games.

With Holidays 2013 coming up fast, there will be a lot of new 3DS (and I suppose 2DS) owners that will need some guidance on the best way to spend their gamer cash. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+