Blog – Favourite Android Apps

A list of my favourite Android apps, kicking off with the only two paid apps I have installed.

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BeyondPod (paid app)For reliability and functionality, this podcast manager beats all of the free alternatives (including bare-bones and buggy Google Listen). Subscribe to your favourite audio feeds via Google Reader and this app wakes up at a set time, connects to your wifi and downloads the latest podcasts from the last 24-hours. Click for a list of my favourite podcasts.

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Swiftkey (paid app)Swiftkey is fast, smart and learns your typing habits and colloquialisms. This replacement keyboard for the stock Android one makes inputting text a lot less painstaking. Continue reading

Blog – Favourite Chrome Extensions

Listed here are a selection of my favourite Chrome browser extensions.

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Ad-Block – The most popular Chrome extension, with over 2 million users. Blocks ads all over the web.

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Bookmark Sentry – A bookmark scanner that checks for duplicate and bad links.

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Chrome Gestures – Allows you to navigate pages, back and forth, by holding down your right mouse button and drawing a line. Speeds up web browsing very effectively once you’re in the habit. Continue reading

Blog – Accessing iPlayer from Abroad

How to view BBC iPlayer whilst abroad. Last update: March 2011.

Since last November I’ve been testing a free VPN called ‘Expat Shield’ with some scepticism. It has worked perfectly from the outset for unlimited iPlayer viewing, though occasionally it is necessary to pause the video for buffering (just for a minute or two). Otherwise the speed is superb, it’s free, legal and easy to use.

  1. Download the Expat Shield software. It may insist you run a ‘download manager’ beforehand.
  2. Run the installer, select ‘English’ and click through the next pages until you are offered some additional, bundled software. Untick and reject the ‘community toolbar’, and click next to install.
  3. When installed and running, you will see a shield in the bottom-right hand corner of the screen. When the UK connection is live, it will be green – when it’s red, you just have your regular, direct connection. Right-click on the shield and ensure ‘show on restart’ is unticked – we needn’t have the programme permanently running and slowing down your computer.