07 June 2014

Create an Email Newsletter with your Facebook Photos

Most of your friends and family members are active on Facebook and thus they can always see the pictures and other stuff that you regularly post on these social networks. However, if there some people in your family who do not have an account on Facebook yet, or they prefer to stay away from the site, you can still keep them in the loop with Kidpost.

facebook photos

Also see: Sell your Facebook & Instagram Photos

Send Facebook Photos by Email

Kidpost will monitor your Facebook and Instagram feeds and it will prepare a daily email digest with all the photos and videos that you have uploaded to your accounts in the previous day. It will only gather media that have the tag #kidpost attached (see example) so you can choose what gets included in the outgoing email.

You then need to specify a list of email addresses who you want to send these updates to. Once the recipients confirm their addresses, they will start getting a daily email newsletter will all your photos.

It is much like building an automated email newsletter with your Facebook content except that it is private – you have to decide who is included in your list.

Kidpost currently supports Facebook and Instagram though support for other services like Twitter and Flickr will be included soon. Also, the service is free though that may not be the case once the service sheds the beta tag.

Thank you Gina Trapani for the tip.

This story, Create an Email Newsletter with your Facebook Photos, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 06/06/2014 under Facebook, Internet

06 June 2014

How to Record Screencast Videos on Android

I uploaded my first Android screencast on YouTube today. The video walks you through the steps necessary to install an Android app from the Google Play store on your mobile phone.

The Android screen was recorded at 720p (1280×720) resolution, there are no visible frame-drops in the video and the screencast output is in MPEG-4 (.mp4) format that can be directly uploaded to YouTube or can be edited in any video editing app, both on your phone and the desktop.

Screencasting on Android – Step by Step

If you would like to record screencast videos of your own Android phone, the good news is that you don’t need to install any app nor do you have to root your device. The not-so-good news is that you can only capture screencasts on phones (or tablets) that are running Android 4.4+ and it will not record the audio.

According to Google, about 14% of Android devices are currently running KitKat. If you happen to be one among them, here’s how you can screencast your phone.

Step 1: Prepare your Android Device for Screencasting

Open your Android phone settings and go to About Phone, the last option in the list. Next tap Build Number seven times in quick succession and you’ll see a message saying that Developer Options have been enabled in your device.

USB Debugging - Android

Now use the “back” button to return to the Settings page, tap Developer Options and toggle the on-off switch. Here turn on USB Debugging and also enable Show Input Touches – the on-screen interactions like taps and swipes will be recorded as circles in the screencast.

Step 2: Prepare your computer (Windows or Mac)

We need to install the Android SDK on our desktop. This is simple. All you have to do is download the SDK in a zip file from the android.com website and unzip the file anywhere on your computer.

The Android SDK is available for both Mac and Windows.

Step 3: Connect your Android phone to the desktop

First connect your Android phone to your computer though the regular micro USB cable. The phone will display a prompt asking you to “Allow USB debugging.” Tap OK to continue.

ADB - Record Screencast

Now open the command prompt in Windows, or the Terminal shell on your Mac, and switch (use the “cd” command) to the sdk/platform-tools directory inside the Android SDK folder.

Here run the command adb devices and if it shows a device under the “List of devices attached”, you are all set to record the first movie of your Android screen.

Step 4: Record the Screencast Video

Run the follow command to enter recording mode. Advanced users may refer to the help manual to learn about the various options supported by screenrecord.

adb shell screenrecord --verbose ./sdcard/screencast-video.mp4

Now switch to your phone and whatever you do here will get recorded in the video. When you are done, go to command window and press Ctrl + C to stop the video recording. The screencast is now saved in your Android phone.

You can use a File manager app, I prefer File Wrangler, to search for the screencast-video.mp4 file on the phone and transfer it to your desktop for editing.

Also see: Screencasting on iPad & iPhone

This story, How to Record Screencast Videos on Android, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 06/06/2014 under Android, Screencasting, Software

04 June 2014

Chrome Web Store Links to Android Apps

Chrome Web Store now shows links to Google Play for apps and extensions that are also available for Android. For example, Pocket's page includes this message next to the number of users: "Available for Android. Get it".

You can also find Chrome apps and extensions that are available for Android:

Google Play doesn't show links to Chrome Web Store apps, at least not yet. It will be interesting to see if Google plans to keep a separate store for Chrome or merge it with Google Play. When Google rebranded Android Market, I speculated that Google Play will become Google's unified store for digital content.

{ via Chrome Story }

A Google Translate Experiment Shows Definitions

Google Translate experiments with displaying definitions for the words you're translating. Jérémy Heleine noticed the new feature, which shows a list of definitions, synonyms, examples and related words and snippets. Google also suggests a related translation ("see also").

Definitions and synonyms are also displayed in Google Search, but they're useful in Google Translate too. In addition to using Google Translate as a dictionary, you could improve your translation by picking a better synonym, a context or a more appropriate expression. For example, instead of using "Hello", you could translate "Hi" or "Howdy" and you'll get different translations.

Google Search even lets you translate words when searching for definitions. Search for [define hello], expand the dictionary card and you'll see a section called "translation hello to". Another option is to search for [translate hello into french].

{ Thanks, Frédéric Pereira. }

03 June 2014

What is Gmail’s Daily Limit on Sending Email?

Gmail has certain limits in place. For instance, the maximum size of file attachments that you can include in an email message is 25 MB while the total storage limit for a free Gmail account is 15 GB.

Similarly, Google also limits the number of email messages that you can send through your Gmail account in a day. If you exceed the daily quota, Google may temporarily disable your Gmail account without any warnings and you may have to wait for up to 24 hours before you can regain access to your Gmail mailbox.

Gmail Sending Limits

Gmail Limits for Sending Email

Gmail isn’t designed for sending bulk email. If you are planning to send an email message to a large group of friends using Gmail, do read the following rules to avoid temporary lockdown of your Gmail:

Rule 1: You can send emails to a maximum of 500 recipients per day through the Gmail website. Try exceeding the limit and your Gmail account may get temporarily disabled with the error – “Gmail Lockdown in Section 4.”

It is important to note that this limit is around recipients and not messages. Thus you can send 10 emails to 50 people each or 1 email can be addressed to a maximum of 500 people.

Rule 2: If you access Gmail via POP or IMAP clients, like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail, you can send an email message to a maximum of 100 people at a time. If you exceed the limit, your account may be disabled for a day with the error – “550 5.4.5 Daily sending quota exceeded.”

Rule 3: Always double check email addresses of recipients before hitting the Send button in Gmail. That’s because your account may get disabled if the email message contains a large number of non-existent or broken addresses (<25 ?) that bounce back on failed delivery.

Rule 4: You can associate multiple email addresses with your Gmail account and send emails on behalf of any other address. However, when sending mail from a different address, the original account’s message limits are applied.

Also see: 10 Most Important Google Pages

Rule 5: If you are send emails through Google Script, like in the case of Gmail Mail Merge, the daily sending limit is 100 recipients per day for free Gmail accounts. You can use the MailApp.GetRemainingDailyQuota method to know your existing quota. If your script doesn’t perform the check, it will fail with the error – “Service invoked too many times.”

If you wish to send more email message through Google Scripts, you’ll have to upgrade to Google Apps. Even then, your sending limits will be only be increased after a few billing cycles or if you have opted for 5 or more users.

This is slightly unrelated but still important. Google, as per their program policies, may disable your Gmail account permanently if you don’t check your Gmail email for a period of nine months.

Further reading:

This story, What is Gmail’s Daily Limit on Sending Email?, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 03/06/2014 under GMail, Google Apps, Email, Internet

02 June 2014

Google Home IQ

Christopher Bettig, Art Director at Google, posted some images from a Google mobile app called Google Home IQ.

"These are some illustrations and some screens of exploratory UI for a mobile app for Android and iOS, which is now a deprecated project. The app was to control a smart thermostat and had a very visual UI which needed to account and meet accessibility standards while also illustrating four main states and varying weather conditions outside the home. Each state was given a unique shape and a corresponding unique shaped UI icon for use in the app. Each of the four states (awake, away, home, and sleep) is illustrated with all the variable weather conditions."

Google now owns Nest, so that's probably one of the reasons why this app wasn't released. EnergySense was rumored to be the name of a Google service that lets you monitor and adjust energy use.

{ Thanks, Francisco Marujo. }

Google Web History, Back to Search History

Back in 2007, Google upgraded the Search History service and renamed it Web History. If you installed Google Toolbar and enabled Web History, Google recorded your entire browsing history and made it available at google.com/history. Your browsing history was searchable and it was used to personalize your search results.

Even though the service is still called Web History, the Google Toolbar feature was removed a few months ago. "With Google Web History in Toolbar you once could store the URLs of the pages you've visited, to view and manage from any computer by signing into your Google Account. However, Web History in Toolbar is no longer supported and no new Web History information is being recorded from Toolbar," informs Google.

It's surprising that Google didn't integrate Web History with Chrome. The service shows the bookmarks from Google Toolbar instead of the bookmarks saved in Chrome and it doesn't show the browsing history synced by Chrome.