Installous alternative – vShare

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By now most of you might have heard the news that Installous – which lets you install cracked app on your iDevices has shut down. This is a very bad news at the start of New Year. Hackulous, the most popular cracked app community has shut down, taking down Installous and apptrackr with it. Apptrackr is the web-based partner index for cracked apps, it maintains a track of apps, version numbers etc. Hackulous is one of first piece of software anyone installs on their jailbroken iDevices.

The reason they are quoting for shutting down is also quite stupid.

Now that Installous is no longer functioning what are you going to use to get apps and games? After trying out 3-4 services all day, I have finally decided to go with vShare.

VShare is better and more stable than Installous. It has a featured list, good collection of apps and games, well defined categories, downloads are direct, you don’t have to go to sendspace or other file sharing site first to get the app. Downloads can be paused and resumed even after restarting the device which is seriously cool. The Management tab lets you see which apps and games you have installed and which ones need updating. You can choose various skins to improve the look of the app. There were many apps missing in Installous, vShare has every app that is there in the app store.

The only drawback, there are lots of Chinese elements throughout the app. The app has not been fully translated yet. Considering the awesome features this app has, this is a minor drawback.

Installing vShare is very simple – just go to the website – http://v.appvv.com/en/ and click on the big blue – Download/install vShare button.

iPad feature focus : Newsstand

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Recently I got to test a 4th generation iPad. I’m really impressed with this. I’m so impressed that I’m going to write about the things in it which make it such an awesome product. This is also a thumbs up to iOS platform.

One of my favourite features is newsstand. Lots of people hate newsstand in iPad, there are jailbreak hacks to kill the icon altogether. The hate for newsstand is understandable if you don’t read magazines. But to those who do read magazines – this is an awesome gift to you from Apple. What people don’t realise is that – this is the future of magazines.

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1. Newsstand is cheap – almost all the magazines are cheaper than their print version. If you are a print subscriber you get the newsstand issue for free.

2. Newsstand is convenient – the newsstand automatically downloads all the magazine as they are updated. So the next time you start the app there would be a new issue waiting for you. No need to go to the shop or wait for the post to arrive.

3. It has a store right inside the app

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4. The magazines are interactive – I tested the next web magazine – it has share feature to share the articles to Facebook and twitter. There is a selection of best songs which you can play while reading the magazine. It is neatly integrated with the iTunes store. For example. – for the movie reviews, you can watch the trailer and if you like it you can download the movie from the iTunes store to your iPad.

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In the book review section – just click on download and you get to read a sample of first 50 pages of the book – just buy and read the whole book from the iBookstore. If this was a dead tree product you would have to note down the name of the book, review it online and then buy it.

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In the latest edition of Readers Digest – the cover is beautiful, it has snowfall and everything. There are videos embedded which gives more information about the story that you are reading.

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Embedded images – see that tap that icon at the bottom? Tapping that shoes you beautiful High Definition images.

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Even the ads are animated and fun to watch.

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This makes the reading experience so much better. So are you sold on this idea or do you still prefer a dead tree product?

 

Free and simple ways to protect and backup your data

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Last week I had a bad run in with Windows 8 and had to restore my system back to Windows 7 via the Acer Restore System. Even though Acer Restore system has the option to backup the files, it was not working because of some conflicting program so I had to make the hard decision of not restoring the user files so that I can get my system working again.

[I might have been able to save all my files if I had handled the situation a little better and saved all the files to another drive before I started the Acer Restore system. :/ ]

 

The things that I had lost in this fiasco are -

 

1. Documents – all the blog drafts that I had saved to work on later, my work documents, presentations, and all the eBooks I had… A total of 2 GB of files.

 

2. Music – I had around 8 GB of music in my C drive. Thankfully I use Google Music and almost all my music was uploaded to it. All I had to do was install music manager and click on download my music library and my entire music collection was back in my computer.

 

3. Videos – I had around 80 GB of videos in my C drive, even though most of them were movies, I had a few gigs of family videos. Loosing those hit me the hardest. Among those videos I had a clip of my little cousin playing. She is 1 year old and really fun. She does not live in India and it was the first time I had met her. That moment is lost forever. :(

 

4. Pictures – I backup my pictures to Picasa but I had not come round to backing up the pictures of my latest vacation to Picasa. I lost them.

 

Losing all the personal stuff is terrible. Your personal data is not safe in your computer, system crashes, hard drive crashes, your laptop getting stolen, or someone doing a remote wipe as in @mat’s case can wipeout your important data.

 

Backup is either too costly or a pain in the ass. People don’t willingly do it every week. So here is something I came up with which will make sure all your data is not lost in case of a catastrophe.

 

Online Backup

The thing that we are trying to achieve is frictionless backup. In this method all your data is in your hard drive and in the cloud too. In this method, every slightest change that you make to the document, every photo, video or music you add to your collection is uploaded and safe in the cloud.

There is a minuscule chance that both your hard drive and data in the cloud would be hit simultaneous, in that case data will be least of your worries.

 

1. Picasa for all photos – Picasa resizes the photos to a slightly lower resolution but it gives you unlimited storage and the Picasa desktop software is great. Make it a point that whenever you import pictures into your computer, open Picasa and upload those pictures to your online drive. You also have the option to download any album you want from the cloud to your hard drive in case of a drive wipe.

And Videos – videos under 15 minutes do not take up any storage in Picasa which means you can upload unlimited videos to Picasa as long as they are under 15 minutes.

 

2. Google Music – 20000 songs sync for free…. Is awesome. By default Google Music always runs in the background checking your music library for change and uploading it immediately to the cloud when it finds one.

 

3. SkyDrive – 25 GB of SkyDrive is great and thanks to the new desktop app keeping data in sync is really simple. Use the documents folder inside SkyDrive to store all your documents and they will be in sync and safe in the cloud.

Am I missing anything here? Is there any way I can improve this setup? What system do you use to protect your data?