Stream Video, Music and Photos from Samsung Galaxy S3 to Your Computer

Yes, you read that right. Your Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone just got smarter with the help of a free app called AirDroid. You can now very easily download large number of high resolution images stored on the phone, stream MP3 and HD videos to your Windows PC browser. I’ll spare you the introduction to the App itself and jump right into the app’s screenshots — nothing more convincing than a visual tease.

“The AirDroid Android app should be compatible with most Android devices running Android 2.1 or later. The Web Desktop should be compatible with most modern web browsers, including IE 8 or later, Chrome 12 or later, Firefox 3.6 or later, Safari 5.0 or later. Support for mobile browsers, like Safari on iPad, is experimental.” — AirDroid

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Along with some nice configurable settings, I particularly like how you can predefine a password instead of having to enter a randomly generated especially if you’re going to use this app several times a day.

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You can use AirDroid to send/receive SMS (text messages, if supported by the device), install/uninstall apps, transfer files between Android device and computer/tablet, and manage contacts, photos, music, videos, and ringtones, etc., all in a web browser.

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Here’s a actual screenshot of my desktop with user friendly interface to manage my phone’s picture Gallery – choose a single image or batch download many (multiple images are automatically zipped)

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Just for kicks, I streamed a HD Gangnam Style Live Concert video from the phone to my Dell 27-inch LCD and the QuickTime playback was buttery smooth. While the video was playing I attempted to multi-task by playing an MP3 track and viewing the photo gallery simultaneously – all possible.

FingerPrint App Makes Printing from iPad Unbelievably Straightforward

If you work on the iPad a lot chances are you will need to print your documents at some point. Anyone who has tried setting up AirPrint™ service to work with their existing printer will have discovered one of a few things: 1) their printer isn’t AirPrint™ compatible; 2) curse and swear at Apple for making life difficult; 3) it’s easier to give up — the path of least resistance. I soon came across an installer for Windows that enables the AirPrint service to work with any shared printer. Everything seemed OK for a while until one fine day after upgrading to iOS 5 printing immediately stopped working. All this time, I had only been printing black and white documents to my legacy HP LaserJet 1200 printer and I discovered this problem when I installed Canon Easy-PhotoPrint (Canon iEPP) app on the iPad to enable photo printing. Excitement and pride quickly turned to disappointment when the attached photo printer couldn’t be found.

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The blurb: “Canon Easy-PhotoPrint (Canon iEPP) is a free application that allows you to easily print photos and scan from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad on a compatible PIXMA multifunction printer via a local wireless network (Wi-Fi).” except I couldn’t get it to work so I needed Plan B.

So back to Google I probed for more enlightening solutions perhaps a miracle even after an unproductive and exhausting night stubbornly trying to print to the Canon PIXMA iP 6700D. Evidently, miracles do exist and one such miracle is FingerPrint by Collobos Software that runs on Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

All your printers are displayed in an easy to read list in FingerPrint’s main window. You can then select which printers you want to AirPrint™ enable. Bonjour technology is used to advertise your printers, and in seconds those printers will show up in your iDevice. — Collobos Software

FingerPrint quickly identifies two shared printers over my home WiFi network and a couple of test prints confirmed its effectiveness. FingerPrint also makes it easy to move files from your iDevice to your computer, and save files to Dropbox.

[ Read my review: SnapSeed — My Favourite Photo Editing App on the iPad 2 ]

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SnapSeed is my favourite mobile photo editor. There are more than enough features to turn a good picture great and takes just a bit more to make it wow. FingerPrint now makes it possible to print without forcing you to spend on an AirPrint compatible photo printer.

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While FingerPrint makes printing to the PIXMA iP6700D possible, it doesn’t mean Canon Easy-PhotoPrint works as much as I would like it to. It simply means I am able to print from my favourite photo app, SnapSeed, with print size limited to 14.5 x 9.5cm. Even without a print control panel, I am happy with the the accurate colour rendition.

Besides unprecedented ease of printing, FingerPrint also makes it easy to move files from your iDevice to your computer. Open up documents and photos, import photos into iPhoto (Mac only), and save files to Dropbox. Find out more about at www.collobos.com. In case the booklet on the left of the sunflower print caught your eye, pictures from the Islamic Tourism Brunei Darussalam assignment are one of my 2011 highlights.

NOKIA E51. FINALLY IT MAKES SENSE.

For over a decade now, mobile phones have come in all shapes and sizes and are available in so many different form factors. So much so that trying to find one that fits your hands like a good pair of gloves is enough to make your head spin. And I should know. December 27, 2007 was my 11th anniversary as DST Prima subscriber and in the time the mobile phone market exploded, my head has been in a constant state of Russian roulette each time I looked and gave up. This means I have not, in the past decade, owned many phones. The phones I have and do own have always been a Nokia—Walk on the Blue Side 8250, 6020 and very recently, the E51—the one that makes the most sense, to me!

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Nokia E51 © Jan Shim Photography

I know for a fact that I am not alone when I say I am perhaps also a decade behind most people when it comes to mobile phone ownership. Would you believe until I got the E51, I’ve never had a phone that had capabilities in MP3 audio, Wifi, high definition LCD, Emails—sad but true. The time between the 8250 and the E51 had left me in the stone age of mobile communications. Quite the irony for an IT exec whose career spanned just as long.

Why the E51? For starters, the form factor (called the Candy Bar) is just right and the phone oozes appeal in every sense of the world—slim, black, stainless steel casing, improved keypad ergonomics and most of all not obvious to non-Nokia users are the interface improvements and extremely intuitive/common sense menus. Plenty of E51 specs and reviews on the web so I shan’t repeat them here.

Calender and Appointments. While this isn’t any ground-breaking news, I can finally sync my Outlook calendar between my PC and laptop (a big big thumbs-up). Anyone who’s tried to keep two instances of their Outlook calendar in sync between two or more computers know how inconvenient it is and there are no tools that let you accomplish this without going Ggrrrr! The E51 once connected with either computer automatically performs the updates. For years, I’ve had to wait to power up my laptop or PC to check my calendar then get back to clients if I was available for a job. That’s no longer the case as long as they’re sync’d.

The Screen. The LCD is the one single component that we spend 100% of the time using and looking at. While just 2-inch, the 240 x 320 pixel LCD supports 16 million colours and amazingly high resolution that make the graphics pop! Also, the transreflective LCD ensures visual legibility even in bright sunlight!

Migration. Moving from one Nokia to another is a cinch. Nokia has a tool called SWITCH which can very easily transfer/synchronize all your Contacts and Notes from your other Nokia phones using infrared (a transfer protocol that’s available on even the most basic of models) so if you have several hundred contacts, there’s no fuss.

FM Radio. Every country has a popular radio station but when we’re abroad, we don’t bother tuning in for obvious reasons. We’re hardly in the hotel room and nobody carries a radio in their pockets. I can think of more than one reason where a handy FM Radio is useful.

Multimedia capabilities: includes RealPlayer for MPEG-4, MP4, 3GP, RV, RA, AMR and MIDI playback while Music Player plays back sound files in MP3 and AAC extensions. Though not a music head, I’m impressed with the high fidelity this phone is capable of. For those of you who use a Recorder this phone is also a high quality voice recorder and lets you record up to 60 minutes of voice memo. I’m guessing one hour of voice recording is quite good though I am unable to find info of whether recording time can be extended if saving to external MicroSD card (recorder function activated via a factory programmed but user configurable shortcut key—essentially by pressing the Email Icon for one second)

Mobility and Connectivity. With WiFi technology, I can now sign on to the many free internet services available today when I am on the road and check my emails when I prefer not to have the burden of my 15.4″ laptop with me (in the absence of WiFi connectivity, there’s also the provider’s GPRS packet service though whether that’s roamed or not remains to be discovered). For instance, I posted my first blog comment on the E51 while I was taking a break in between my badminton game where the venue has free public WiFi access. Also, I should mention the use of standard miniUSB slot is a big bonus compared to proprietary connectors still used in many newer Nokia phones. You can very easily find miniUSB cables used in items such as Flash card readers, same USB cables supplied with most digital cameras I know so forgetting to bring one or misplacing the original is not life threatening!

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© Jan Shim Photography

There are many more features on the E51 that makes the phone worthy. In short, it has made mobile communication interesting again for me. I was on the verge of switching to EASI Pre Paid end last year when I thought all I needed was text messaging and the occasional phone call. With my work now taking me on the road more than before, a laptop isn’t always a practical solution!

Update: May 23 2008 Since this post I have connected the phone to my laptop as a HSDPA modem and have successful gone online using Nokia PC Suite software. The E51 though a full HSDPA-compliant device is not capable of connecting at 7.2mbps due to (I suspect) Windows hardware driver limitation. It appears to always connect at 480kbps and actual throughput is decent to get work done on the go!


E51 with standard Mini-USB connector © Jan Shim Photography