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[8 Mar 2012 | | ]
Showtime: TV channel list on your N900

Do you watch TV often? Chances are you have your favorite shows and don’t want to miss them. Then you need a TV program, but why waste money to buy one when you can use Showtime?

Showtime is available in the Extras, so fetch it with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install showtime
Showtime will show you a complete list of everything your favorite channels will air, complete with information and reminders! Just pick your region (there are many available), pick a channel and hit “Go”. Simple, isn’t it? And it’s free.
If you live in the UK, you can even perform remote recordings of your favorite channels!

Unfortunately, I did find some downsides. Mainly: I couldn’t get data for channels in regions other than my own and there’s no Unicode support (as you can see from the screenshot above).
Well, unless your country uses a language that needs Unicode for displaying, it shouldn’t be a problem for you and Showtime will serve as a nice TV app.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[6 Mar 2012 | | ]
Track your running/walking with Pedometer Home Widget

Doing some running/jogging and wish to monitor all your stats without having an actual pedometer? Or maybe you’re worried about the efficiency of your paths? Well, then you can use your trusty N900 as a pedometer easily, with a Pedometer Home Widget.

Install a package with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install pedometerhomewidget
And now you have a pretty effective pedometer as a widget, that can be configured to your weight-height and will give you detailed information about your speed, steps, burned calories, distance and time. A nice chart for all your weekly efforts is included as well. And you can use it for both walking and running.
The results are pretty good, although you will have to tweak the sensitivity settings and other things for best results. Especially when running. You will also want to keep your N900 close to yourself, to ensure it won’t receive any data from random bumps.
So get the package and enjoy your new functionality!

Applications, Featured, Headline, Reviews, Software »

[5 Mar 2012 | | ]
PhoneME: J2ME Apps much faster

Ever since J2ME have spawned, it has been widely used by pretty much any mobile platform. However, J2ME support on the N900 is rather lacking, which has become a problem, but not an unsolvable one. Some of you may have heard of MicroEmu, but as it is written on Java (SE version) itself, it is very RAM consuming, making apps slower. PhoneME is an alternative written in C, and while it is still in testing, a rather good one.

Since the emulator is still in testing, the most progressive version can be fetched through this link. Get the file and open it with your App Manager. Alternatively, do it faster via the command line:
sudo gainroot
dpkg -i cvm*.deb

After installation you will have several new items in the menu:
Run Midlet will run a specified .jar file. You can also use it through a command line:
/opt/phoneme/bin/runmidlet <path_to_jar_file>
Midlet Settings will, obviously, open up a settings menu, where you can customize a few things, like fullscreen launching or portrait mode.
Finally, there’s a preinstalled Opera Mini and Microemu-demo for testing using/testing purposes.
Well, I should definitely say that the performance of the apps is very, very good. Opera Mini starts up in seconds, unlike it did in MicroEmu and works very well, you can as well use it as an alternative browser.
Some other apps I’ve tried work just as well: sounds, network etc. are all functional.

A few downsides include the inability to handle .jad files well and some sound glitches, but that can be forgiven, given that the emulator is still in development.
So go and get it, it’ll be worth it.
 

Thanks to Salut Ct for yet another good suggestion. Have your own suggestions? Please leave them in the comments, we’ll definitely look into them and give you credit!

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[2 Mar 2012 | | ]
Sleeper: sleep with your headphones on

Prone to falling asleep while listening to music? But of course trying to do that with your N900 will simply waste battery life while you are sleeping. Well, then you want to stop the player, but you can’t really do that when you’re asleep, can’t you? Ah, but you can, thanks to Sleeper.

After installing Sleeper, you will now have a widget that, upon pressing, will start a timer. After the time desired will pass, Sleeper will pause your N900 or shut it down, depending on your settings. You can customize the look of the widget and the times you wish to use in minutes.
Sleeper is available in Extras, so fetch it with:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install sleeper
And enjoy Sleeper.
A simple, but maybe a life-saving widget, because, hey, sometimes it’s just nice to fall asleep while listening to some beautiful music, right? Especially if you have some sleep problems.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[29 Feb 2012 | | ]
Clipman: a clipboard manager on the N900

Having to deal with textwork on your N900? Well, perhaps you’ll have to use copy-pasting from time to time, and then you’ll find it nice to have all your copied text to be saved for future use. Clipman is a clipboard manager that can help you with that.

Fetch Clipboard from Extras with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install clipman
and launch it, now all the text you’ll copy to your clipboard will be saved to a small database, so when you decide to copy something else, you can always go back and return the text you’ve copied in the first place by pressing the button in Clipman’s window. Simple.
One problem with Clipman is that you’ll have to leave it running in order for it to work,  no daemon-like functionality, but that is bearable, as you’ll probably wouldn’t want it running when not doing heavy textwork.
So, Clipman is fairly good clipboard manager and certainly worth having it in your application base.

Applications, Featured, Games, Reviews, Software »

[27 Feb 2012 | | ]
FlashLauncher: Flash app organizer for N900

If you are into time-killing Flash games/apps/videos/whatever, then perhaps you’d want a better way for organizing them than simply bookmarking them in MicroB. That’s when something like FlashLauncher comes in handy.

Besides being a pretty good organizer and a database, FlashLauncher helps a bit more when it comes to running Flash stuff. Mainly, anything you add in is very configurable, you can chose between engines to run the app, force the quality (everyone who has been trying Flash on MicroB knows how much pain it is to change the quality sometimes), and you can add your own instructions, picture and other pieces of information in.
Launching Flash in Webkit has quite some advantages, such as having the unwanted screen elements of MicroB removed, and with FlashLauncher you can also launch apps that are not just simple swfs, I was able to launch some stuff from Kongregate, for example.  And, yes, there’s now some proper portrait mode support.
So, why bother with MicroB bookmarks when you can fetch FlashLauncher from Extras-Devel and have better Flash experience on the N900?

Applications, Featured, Maemo 5, Reviews, Software »

[22 Feb 2012 | | ]
Control infrared devices with Pierogi

Have you lost a remote for an infrared device? As long as you have your N900 with Pierogi on it, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Pierogi is a really good (and tasty) infrared remote for your N900, and allows you to control tons of different devices that are already preconfigured into the app. While apps like Raemote and QtIrreco can do the same, Pierogi has a better design in both the UI and the way the app works.
Pieorgi has tons, tons, of keysets preconfigured for just many devices you’d need, even things like air conditioners and there’s no need to download them. All supported and tested devices can be found here, but there might be more. If you have a device not seen on the list, you can request it in this TM thread. The user interface is very nice and understandable, you don’t need to spend hours trying to figure it out. And there’s no need to launch the the LIRC (Linux Infrared Remote Control) daemon, the app speaks directly with the device.
Well, I found every single keyset for devices in my house working well and out of the box, I had much more problems trying to configure them all to work with QtIrecco. So, go on and fetch Pierogi off Extras, or even better, Extras-devel (as that version has more devices and some bugs fixed) and stop worrying about missing remotes!
 

Thanks to our reader, Salut Ct for suggesting the app. Have your own suggestions? Please leave them in the comments or on our forum!

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[17 Feb 2012 | | ]
Learn Japanese kana with Kanatest

Learning Japanese, or wish to start? Maemo port of a libre desktop program Kanatest can help you learn both katakana and hiragana characters.

Kanatest will test your knowledge by showing you kana characters and having you type in their romaji equivalents. At the end, your statistics will be shown, and later you can compare your older results with your new ones.
What makes it a really-really good piece of learning software are tons of helpful functions and features, like translations of the program to other languages, definable lessons together with many predefined ones, a complete character chart, test on either kata, hira or both, the aforementioned statistics, which can be shown in a nice graph or table, minor things, like font customization.

Kanatest can be fetched from Extras, there are no differences with the Devel or Testing versions, find it under Education section in a graphical package manager or simply run:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install kanatest
So, if you’re into learning Japanese, go check the app out. It will be worth it.

Applications, Featured, Maemo 5, Reviews, Software »

[16 Feb 2012 | | ]
Calculate derivatives with Derivative

Doing some math that requires you to calculate derivatives? Rather than calculating them yourself, you might want to let a calculator do it for you. Derivative is rather good one.

Derivatives runs on SymPy, which is a powerful symbolic math library and allows Derivative have a couple of interesting features. Mainly, Derivative can count all types (ordinary, partial and multiple) of derivatives from 1 to 3 variables, calculates gradient, divergent, curl and laplacian, has support for many output formats (from simple and bidimensional to even LaTeX, C and Fortran), simplification methods for non-numerical calculations, support for variable names like alpha, lambda etc. and much more. Of course, it’s completely free software. Just fetch the app from Extras with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install derivative
and check all the features for yourself.

Have questions or suggestions? Maybe a problem? Drop us a comment or leave a post on our forum and we’ll look into it.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[15 Feb 2012 | | ]
PyRadio: a Pandora radio client for N900/N9

Interested in listening to net radio, with recommendations and such, but don’t want to use paid services like Last.fm? Try Pandora Radio, it’s free and easy to use on your N900 or N9 with a good client that is PyRadio.

While available in the Extras, that version seems to have a serious issue with authenticating, so fetch one from Extras-Devel or Extras-Testing, which works like a charm. Just make sure to disable the repo after you fetched it, unless you actually want them enabled.
If you have a username at Pandora, just type it in with your password and you’re set. If not, create one. Now, you’re free to add stations, and listen to them on the go from your N900!
Liking tracks, adding/creating stations and other things are working on the client perfectly, and, unlike Last.fm it’s absolutely free to use, so why not?
 

Please note, that for quite a while Pandora has been off limits for non-US residents. While I seem to connect without a problem (and I don’t live in the US), you may experience problems. If you do (try checking by launching pyRadio from the command line), try using Tor.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[13 Feb 2012 | | ]
Healthcheck: check your N900 for issues

Concerned about the health of your N900? Healthcheck can help you out not only to check your phone for hardware failures, but also to view your system information easily.

Get it off extras with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install healthcheck
Healthcheck will allow you to view various bits of info, as you can see on the screenshot above, from your IMEI to hardware status. As the app name suggests, this will help you determine whether there’s something wrong with your N900.
You can also check your total memory status in a nice table, GSM information, CPU frequencies, other things, but the best part of it all are various tests you can run to check for hardware issues. Such as the pointer test, to check whether there’s anything wrong with your display.

Having all that functionality, healthcheck is a really good app to keep your phone in a good condition.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[10 Feb 2012 | | ]

Find your mobile carrier’s SMS rates a bit too high? Well, there’s a solution: you can send SMS via internet easily using Web2SMS!

Web2SMS is available in the Extras repository, so just run
sudo gainroot
apt-get install web2sms
to install it.
Once launched, you can set yourself up an account. Web2SMS supports many providers, so pick one that suits you from the list. You will need to register on the provider’s website. Of course, the rates for SMS sending vary from provider to provider.
Then, just tap the created account name and send a message to anyone. Selecting a contact from your contact list works too. The time it takes to send a message depends on your provider, some may take longer than others.

So, if you don’t like the rates your mobile carrier sets, or if you just want to save up some money, use Web2SMS. Most of the time it will be cheaper than sending them like you would normally.

Please note: some mobile carriers in certain countries may not like you using such methods of sending. Please read their terms of service to see, whether they allow it or not.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[6 Feb 2012 | | ]

Everybody occasionally needs to make a sketch or write something. But oftentimes, there just might not be a piece of paper or anything to write with lying around. On such occasions, you might want a handy sketching tool around.
The N900 sure comes with a stock “Sketch” app, but you sure might notice it might be pretty slow and unresponsive. But hey, there’s a better one available! Try PenPen.

There’s a variety of reasons, why PenPen is a good sketching app. First of all, it’s fast and responsive, whatever you will be writing will appear on your virtual paper almost instantly. Next, it has some very good support for portrait mode. Finally, there’s multiple page support, which means you can easily separate different drawings.

PenPen is currently available at the Extras repository, so just get it with
sudo gainroot
apt-get install penpen
If your job or hobbies include a lot of sketching, like mine do, then PenPen is a good thing to have on your N900. If you’re in a worry of your screen getting damaged, or just want to get a better experience from your mobile sketching, you might also want to grab a good screen protector from our store.
 
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Have a suggestion? A problem? Post them on our forum or in the comments and we’ll look into it.

Applications, Featured, Headline, Reviews, Software »

[2 Feb 2012 | | ]
QR and Bar Codes with mBarCode

With all the latest hype about QR-codes, you must certainly would want a QR scanner on your phone. Especially if you’re living in Japan, where QR-codes are most popular.
Well, the N900 sure has a QR-scanner, and a pretty good one! mBarCode, together with a QR plugin can read both barcode and QR information.

You can get both mBarCode and the QR-plugin from the Extras repo:
sudo gainroot
apt-get install mbarcode mbarcode-plugin-qrcode
Launch the application and now you have a very good scanner! Target your camera at a QR or a barcode and the information gets read almost instantly. Links and other “can-be-malicious” content is shown to you before getting opened with your tap. You can even check the shortlinks by copying them and visiting this site.
You can also store the scanned code into a file, or read the code from a file you stored. That way you can use the codes later, or scan the codes downloaded from a website.

With all that, mBarCode is a must-have if you’re used to dealing with QR and barcodes.
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In case if you’d want to test how it works and you don’t have any scannable codes around, you can use an online generator, like this one.

Applications, Featured, Reviews, Software »

[30 Jan 2012 | | ]

Check out our new page Funny LOL Pictures (click here) – it brings you daily funny pictures that will make you LOL!
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Need to take a couple of notes? Simple calendar notes and/or text files not enough for you? Then check out Conboy, a clone of Tomboy, which is a very good note management program!

As soon as you get the package (which is available in the Extras repository) and run the app, powerful note managing capabilities will unfold on your screen. Conboy allows text formatting, text alignment, zoom and quite some extra stuff, all of which you can check by looking around the menus and the interface. And it’s all quite readable and manageable!

By pressing that little folder icon, you’ll get a list of all your notes, which can all be searched, sorted, deleted, edited… All management operations are handled quite well, which makes Conboy even better.
So, if you keep forgetting things, or if you’re used to taking a lot of notes, like I am, then Conboy is surely a must have on your Nokia N900.