Scanner Radio is an Android app I have been using for a while. The base model, a free app, lets you stream police and emergency responder radio feeds to your phone. There is a pro app and plugins which can enhance the experience, even going so far as to add chat. You can use a “near me” function to allow the app to use the GPS in your phone to provide you with the closest feeds relevant to your area.
I was reminded ofthe app last weekend when I was sitting at home hearing lots of sirens in my neighborhood. By the time I thought to turn on the app, there was no chatter about what was going on. But I left the app running for a few minutes and suddenly a full blown police chase had broken out in Rochester, New York! This spontaneous, random event turned my day from a groggy Saturday morning in to the edge of my seat drama! I was listening, live, as it all went down.
The police initiated a chase. The vehicle was identified as a stolen vehicle. The suspect wanted, allegedly for multiple robberies and home invasions that same morning. Once the police involved in the chase were over 80 MPH and the suspect was reportedly over 100, they called off the chase. Minutes later the car is spotted in a nearby township and the chase resumes. The suspect drives erratically, trying to escape, “westbound in an eastbound lane” and “running stoplights” are reported in. The chase is put on hold once more – when moments later another officer trying to respond to the scene sees the car. The suspect hops out of the car and takes off on foot. After a tense minute: “suspect apprehended” chatters out of the my cell phone. The good guys won! And through all of it, I was part of the adventure. A real life action sequence, that unfolded before me by happenstance, all thanks to Scanner Radio.
If you missed the link above, yes, it really happened.
Windows Phone 7 first introduced the Xbox Companion App. It’s also seen in the recent Consumer Preview of Windows 8. Even though it has been out since December on Windows Phone 7, people are still wondering what it is. Unfortunately for many, the grand rumors you may have heard are false: it does not allow you to play Xbox 360 games on your PC. It is what it’s name describes: a Companion App to be used along side the Xbox 360. It’s a series of shortcuts. Your phone has already been connected to Xbox Live via your Windows Live ID. As long as your Xbox 360 is turned on, your Gamertag is signed in, and you have the option for the Xbox Companion App enabled in your dashboard settings, when you launch the app, it will seek out your gamertag on the Xbox Live network and connect your phone to your Xbox 360. This allows you to see a description of what’s on your Xbox 360, and navigate the dashboard, from your phone. Not visually, however. You still need your TV for that.
Here is a look at the main screens in the Windows Phone 7 app (captured blurrycam style from an Android phone I had laying around):
Up first we have the Home Screen. Continue reading “What the Xbox Companion App for Windows 8 is and isn't!”
If you’ve ever seen the original Tron then you remember Bit, a funny little side-character who could only answer yes or no questions. Well, now you can take Bit with you anywhere you go on your Android.
It’s just a total time waster kind of app. Like having a Magic 8 Ball app you can shake and ask questions of. But the animation is fluid, the sound is spot-on, and it even has an option where you can “fix the result” depending on which side of the screen you tap, so you can trick your friends.
Bit is an an absoultely silly app, but it’s free, tiny, and fun – and every geek should have it on their phone.
I wanted to share this because I stumbled on to it over the weekend and think that the feedback scores are giving it a bum rap. 8-Bit Camera is a free app for Android which lets you import pictures or take them with the camera on your phone, then pixelate them. Essentially, it just lowers the resolution into various levels of “blockyness.” It’s not perfect, but it’s fun, and I think the unfair number of 1-star reviews for the app need correcting!
I did run in to some minor stability issues (had it force close on me twice over a twenty minute period), but it’s fun to play with, and it’s completely free. Enjoy it. Go download 8-Bit Camera from the Android Market.