Easily Hack Your Google Chromecast With FlashCast

Chromecast is a great little gadget that brings support for streaming content from Google's services to your TV. Just like Google TV, Chromcast runs Android-based firmware, which was rooted soon after the release of the device. However, the method wasn't really too straightforward, and wasn't really meant for casual users. Google later issued a software update that patched the exploit used to root the device. If you still haven't applied that update, there is now an easier method to hack your Chromecast, thanks to FlashCast by XDA-Developers Member tchebb. The tool uses a flash drive and an OTG Micro-USB cable for the purpose, which acts as something like a custom recovery for the device. Read on for the detailed instructions on getting everything prepared for using FlashCast with your Chromecast.  Read More

Kingo Android ROOT Offers One-Click Rooting For Several Devices

Universal one-click rooting solutions such as Z4Root, Universal Androot and SuperOneClick were quite popular for rooting all sorts of Android devices in the old days of Éclair, Froyo and Gingerbread. The late Gingerbread era saw a change in this pattern due to increased security by Google as well as device manufacturers, and the situation only got worse for such tools, as pretty much all of them used exploits that were patched in these versions of Android, and newer universal exploits were becoming increasingly harder to find. Recently, Framaroot changed this by offering an on-device one-click universal rooting method for several devices, just the way Z4Root used to offer in the old days. We now have another universal one-click rooting tool in Kingo Android ROOT that follows in the footsteps of SuperOneClick by working on Windows, and can be used to easily root several devices by manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Motorola and Google. Furthermore, the tool can also unroot already rooted devices.Read More

Easily Edit Windows HOSTS File & Selectively Disable Entries

BlueLife Hosts Editor is a useful Windows application that allows you to edit the HOSTS file located in you operating system. For the uninitiated, this file allows users to create mappings between domain names and IP addresses, so that all those domain names are then resolved to those IP addresses within the operating system rather than on the DNS server of your LAN or ISP. In layman's terms, if you want that whenever you (or anyone else using your computer) enters, let's say, facebook.com in the browser, they get taken to Google instead of Facebook, you can do so by mapping the facebook.com domain to the IP address of google.com. This way, you can redirect any domain or website to any other website on the internet, any local website hosted on your LAN, or even just your local IP address. Read on for more details.Read More

Add Password-Protected Vault To Your USB Drive With Granite Portable

USB drives have become indispensable to us for storing all kinds of data and carrying it along wherever we go. Most people use USB drives to store media files or information that isn't sensitive in nature, but if the data you want to store is confidential, such as your financial documents or other personal info, you wouldn't want this info to be exposed to anyone in case your USB drive gets lost or stolen. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools available for creating an encrypted volume on a USB thumb drive, and one such Windows-based app I recently came across and really liked is Granite Portable. The app provides 2-layer protection for your data by letting you store items in an encrypted vault. Details after the jump.Read More

SolCalendar Is A Gorgeous & Comprehensive Calendar App For Android

Calendar apps are a dime  dozen for all mobile platforms, though most users don't bother going for third-party alternatives, as every smartphone OS ships with a calendar app of its own, and usually this stock offering suffices for the average user. Android has two native stock calendar apps on offer one for generic calendars and the other specifically for Google Calendar, just the way it has separate Email and Gmail apps. Both these work just fine, though at times, one comes across a third-party Calendar that stands out due to its interface or feature set. SolCalendar is one such exception that excels in both these departments, and its support for Google Calendar, Yahoo! Calendar and pretty much any calendar service supporting the CalDAV standard, beautiful UI, handy gestures, great widgets, integrated weather reports and event stickers makes it one of the best calendar apps we've seen so far. Read on for our detailed review and screenshot tour.Read More

Best Apps, Tips And Tweaks Of The Week [09.29.2013]

It’s that time of the week again when we round up the most popular as well as the less-popular but equally useful apps, tips and tweaks that you may have missed during your hectic workweek. This time around, we discuss how to bring Chrome's original new tab page back, a new music-streaming app and Feedly client for Windows Phone, and a new screen recorder app for Android, among other excellent apps and tips. Read More

Easily Capture Screencasts On Android With SCR Screen Recorder

Android has had a bunch of screencasting tools available for it on Play Store, including ScreenCast & Recorder that we covered a while back. Though having more options never hurts, especially if they are feature-rich and add something to the mix not offered by the ones already available. Brought to us by XDA-Developers Member iwobanas, SCR Screen Recorder is full-featured screencast recording app for Android that works on all devices running 4.0 ICS or later, including 4.3 Jelly Bean. Support for Tegra devices, high-speed recording on devices that have adequately fast hardware, and an extremely minimal UI that just works without getting in your way while recording make it a great option for anyone looking to record their on-screen activity on Android. Like all other screencast tools, the app requires root access to work. Read on for further details.Read More

Gliffy Diagrams Is A Full-Featured Diagramming App Based On Chrome

Having trouble drawing the perfect flowchart for your software project, or the entity-relationship diagram for its database? Need to illustrate a scenario using a Venn diagram? Wanna make a network map for your LAN or a sitemap for your website? How about a floorplan for your dream apartment? Full-featured apps that support all these and more (such as Microsoft Visio) usually cost significantly, while free single-purpose tools don't cut it for all these diagram types. Gliffy Diagrams is a Google Chrome app that makes the process of creating all such diagrams a lot easier. You can not only create a vast range of diagram types, but also modify them in plenty of ways, save the output as image files, and even export it to Google Docs, presentations, or web pages.Read More

PinTabAlt Restores Pinned Tabs From Multiple Closed Windows In Firefox

The tab pinning feature was initially introduced in Google Chrome, but after seeing its popularity among Chrome users, Mozilla didn't waste any time in bringing the functionality to Firefox as well. However, as useful as it gets, the Pin Tab option of Firefox still has room for improvement. For instance, one major caveat with the feature is that when you have multiple Firefox windows open and you close one of them that has pinned tabs, all your pinned tabs in the close window are lost, and there is no way to bring them back even if you restart Firefox. Fortunately there’s now a quick solution to resolve this issue, thanks to a minuscule extension called PinTabAlt.Read More

Call Popout Shows Floating Popups For Calls Within Select Android Apps

Remember CallHeads – the nifty Android app that basically allows you to get incoming calls in form of Facebook's Chat Heads-style bubbles? The app was pretty handy for deciding what to do with incoming calls without having your entire screen taken over by the default phone interface. If you liked CallHeads, you're gonna love Call Popout by Root Uninstaller. Although it looks and functions similarly to the former, it come with some extra handy features not available in CallHeads, such as the ability to customize the head's border color, and enable the feature for only a selected number of apps in case you want to receive calls the usual way when using other apps.Read More

Get A Responsive, Revamped UI & Separate Panel For Google Play Music In Chrome

Google Play Music is great not just as a music store and discovery tool, but also for uploading up to 20,000 of your songs for free, and listening to them from any of your devices, be it computers, tablets or smartphones. With a subscription, the service also turns into an online radio, complete with playlists generated based on songs, albums or genres. While the mobile apps of the service are great, one caveat about it has been its browser interface. It's not particularly bad in design or functionality, but there's nothing really special about it either; it's just mediocre. So, how about an extension that revamps it into something not only much more beautiful, but also much more functional? Panel View for Play Music does just that, and does it remarkably well. As its name suggests, this Chrome extension puts the Google Play Music into web interface into a separate panel for you and in addition, customizes it with custom CSS to behave like a well-designed music app.Read More

Extract PDF Images While Applying Watermark & Other Batch-Editing Actions

PDF is one of the most popular file format used for a wide variety of documents such as books, brochures, forms and even picture-laden presentations. Speaking of pictures, sometimes you need to extract images from a PDF file for, let’s say, storing them as separate items or reusing them in another project. Unfortunately, image extraction from a PDF can't be done directly from a PDF reader, and requires using a third-party app. We've covered many such tools for our readers, among which Fusion Image PDF Extractor for Windows and PDF Toolkit for OS X are pretty awesome. Free PDF Image Extractor 4dots is another great Windows program that you can use for said purpose. The tool is fairly feature-rich and user-friendly, and is designed to extract images from multiple PDF files in batch. Details just past the jump.Read More

How To Restore Chrome’s Old New Tab Page

Google has recently revamped its New Tab page yet again in the latest stable release of Chrome, and many users are less than thrilled with the change. There has been a flood of negative feedback, and quite honestly, I didn't fancy the change much either. The new New Tab page puts a large Google logo and search box in the center of the screen, with some of your most frequently visited sites below it. While it may be Google’s way of babysitting novice users who don't know they can search by typing directly into the browser's address bar, the change seem frustrating to those of us who relied on the page for accessing our Chrome apps, recently closed tabs and tabs from our other synced devices –all features removed from the updated New Tab page. Fortunately, JR Raphael of Computerworld has shared a handy tip that allows you to restore Chrome’s old New Tab page easily via the browser's experimental flags. Read on for our step by step guide.Read More

ExpandIt For iPhone Lets You Check If A Shortened URL Is Safe To Open

As more and more people turn to their smartphones and tablets for browsing the web, some things just have to change. When Twitter first started, the concept of URL shortening suddenly came into the mainstream. Back in those days, most of the users of Twitter accessed the website from their computers, but now iPhone and Android devices claim a considerable slice of that traffic. As browsing trends evolve, so should security measures that go with them. In the past, we have covered services like URL Uncover, which tests the trustworthiness of a shortened URL without forcing users to actually open it. ExpandIt does the same, but rather than being a web service, you get this as an iPhone app. There aren't too many features on offer in ExpandIt, but it does get the job done and is really convenient for everyday use.Read More

Add The Photographer To A Group Photo With groopic For iPhone & Android

We all have that one friend who is really into photography, and somehow always ends up being the photographer during group shots. Even if you shuffle things around a little, it is not always possible to get the whole group into a single shot, unless you are willing to ask a passerby for help. iPhone apps like eyeReport and Signature Camera take a rather naïve approach towards solving this problem, which is a far cry from actually squeezing every member of the group into a picture. groopic might be offering the best solution to this issue. This iPhone app (update: now on Android as well) lets you capture two photos, both with different people behind the lens, and then combines the two photos automatically, giving the impression that every one posed for the picture at once. As an added bonus, you get some pretty decent photo effects, and the ability to share your group shots directly from the app.Read More

adidas miCoach For WP8 Guides You Through Workouts & Builds Stamina

Fitness buffs have some pretty decent apps at their disposal in the Windows Phone Store. Even back in the days of WP7, the platform had a word class fitness trainer in Endomondo, while more recent offerings include the likes of Caledos Runner. No matter how good an app is though, there are always people who are only comfortable with offerings from big brands. adidas miCoach certainly is from a big brand, but that’s not the only point that goes in its favor; the app also has a feature set that you might not find in most of its competitors. With miCoach, you get workout plans, training advice, and instructions in the voices of top athletes. Rather than making users choose the type and duration of workouts, adidas miCoach maps these things out automatically, starting with easy tasks and making things tougher as you go.Read More

Create & Share Turn-By-Turn Voice Directions With Mapkin For iPhone

No navigation app is truly complete unless it comes with turn-by-turn directions. You can always try and commit a route to memory, but the chances of taking a wrong turn or ending up in a bad traffic jam can never be eliminated. Services like Waze and Extra Mile provide considerable assistance in this regard, but at the end of the day, nothing beats human logic and common sense. Maybe this is why many people still prefer asking their friends for help whenever they want to find a route, rather than relying solely on maps. While Waze can be a really good way of getting the latest information regarding the current condition of roads, you still have to wait for the public to help you out, and the process is far from on-demand. With Mapkin, on the other hand, you can simply ask your friends for directions to any place, and they can add their own instructions to the ones Mapkin generates via MapQuest and OpenStreetMap.Read More

View Important Or Urgent Bookmarks On Chrome’s New Tab Page With OX

Yesterday, Google Chrome’s New Tab page just got one of its biggest revamps to date. That part of the browser has always been able to garner plenty of attention owing to the fact that you see it each time you open a new tab to launch a website, one of your installed Chrome apps, or one of your recently accessed sites. Developers have come up with many Chrome extensions aimed at the New Tab page, and we have even compiled a list of many such add-ons. Out of all the extensions of this type, a few deal with aesthetics, while others fill the page with information you might find useful. OX belongs to the second of these categories, and although it is nowhere near as shiny and feature-rich as Onefeed, we are sure you will find yourself using it more and more with the passage of time. OX replaces Chrome’s homepage with a minimalistic list of bookmarks saved in the browser. This is useful for anyone looking to ensure that none of their saved bookmarks are ever really forgotten.Read More

Browse iPhone Backups, Manage App Data & Media Files With iBrowse

iTunes might provide the only official way of managing data on your iOS devices, but there are many third-party desktop tools that do the same with a lot less hassle. iPhone Explorer and iDevice Manager are just two of the alternatives iOS users have for iTunes. Thanks to such software, you can drag and drop media, app data, notes, and contacts to your device without having to figure out the complicated syncing hierarchies that can make using iTunes a real pain in the neck. iBrowse is yet another tool that offers iOS file access, but it is unique to some extent, too. With iBrowse, you get to go through the backup data stored on your computer, without having to restore it to a device. When an iPhone is connected to your PC or Mac, iBrowse also shows full app data, along with the usual photo and video files. Read More

Instagram For iPhone Gets The iOS 7 Treatment

Instagram has just been updated to match the revamped UI in iOS 7, but if you were looking forward to some new features, you are bound to be disappointed. The update isn’t anything like the overhaul the Facebook app has undergone, but it’s still more than what the Twitter update has to offer. The changes in Instagram are subtle enough to prevent users from getting lost in a maze of new additions, but are still sufficient to make the app look at home on iOS 7. There are no changes in the camera screen, or in the photo filters, but every other part of the app has received some attention. Probably the most important change is that Instagram now displays photos in the feed from one edge to the other – something that gives the app a really refreshed look.Read More