Monday, 17 October 2016

RWD & Mobile App Dev Weekly - October 17, 2016 at 05:53PM

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Monday, 3 October 2016

Product Review: Lavender Oil - Premium Quality Bulgarian 4 Oz 100% Natural & Pure Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia) - Therapeutic Grade - Perfect Aromatherapy Essential Oil, Helps Relief From Stress and Anxiety, Great Massage Oil - Refreshing and Deep Sweet Aroma - Helps with Aches and Pains - Moisturizes and Promotes Healthy Skin - Natural Insect Repellent - Much More Effective Than Non Pure Lavender Oil ...

Good Value

When I ordered this, it was on sale for £12.79 for 118ml, although I received a discount in return for an honest and unbiased review.

I use lavender essential oil a lot and I usually pay £9.99 for 50ml, so even without my discount, £12.79 for 118ml is a lot cheaper.

There was nothing wrong with this oil. It is just as good as the one I usually buy, but a lot cheaper.

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View full review on Amazon

RWD & Mobile App Dev Weekly - October 03, 2016 at 05:57PM

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

Product Review: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Screen Protector, YVBOX Ultra Thin Anti-Scratch Shatterproof Ballistics Front Tempered Glass Screen Protector Film for Sony Xperia Z5 Compact / Mini - Crystal Clear ...

No instructions, but works

When I bought this screen protector, it was on sale for £4.99, but I got it for 99p in return for an honest and unbiased review.

I had bought a similar screen protector about a week earlier for £5.99, which Amazon refunded because it went on with two large bubbles that did not disappear after a few days.

This one went on smoothly and had no bubbles, but I only knew how to put it on because I had bought a similar one a week earlier and followed those instructions.

Previously, I had only used the thin film screen protectors. This one is thicker, which makes it easier to put on and more protective. If it came with instructions, I would have given it 5 stars.

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Product Review: Egyptian Magic Cream 118ml ...

A bit greasy, but very beneficial

I first bought this on a plane. I was coming back from Tenerife, with a sun burnt face and didn't have any after sun. This was the only thing in the plane's duty free that was in any way close to after sun. It claimed to treat virtually every skin condition, including sun burn. I have to say, it was instantly soothing and my peeling forehead stopped peeling after a couple of days. I continued to use it and found it very moisturising and did seem to reduce fine lines. However, it's texture is similar to Vaseline. Imagine covering your face with Vaseline? I've started using it in the evenings only and tying my hair back, so it doesn't become greasy, after touching my face.

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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Product Review: BQLZR Credit Card ID Anti Theft RFID Blocking Sleeve Shield WaterProof Protector Secure Holder Pack of 10 ...

A Little too big for Wallets

These seem to work well. I have tried using my contactless cards in and out of these and they only work out of them.

The only slight issue I had was it was difficult to get my card in the card slot, in my purse with one of these on. I had to fold the seam over.

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Product Review: Finether Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier Air Mist Aromatherapy Purifier 100ML ...

Humidifies Small Areas

I bought this I suffer from dry eyes and one of the offices that I work in has very dry air, because of the air conditioning, which makes my eyes worse.

I thought having this on my desk might help and it does. My eyes are less sore and I use less eye drops, when this is on, compared to when it isn't.

It is small and the mist doesn't travel very far, so I can't imagine it humidifying a whole room, but it works for my desk area.

The only issue I've found is that the plug does get quite hot, if I forget to unplug it overnight.

Disclaimer: I received a discount on the product in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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View full review on Amazon

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Product Review: Fire Tablet, 7" Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB (Black) - Includes Special Offers ...

Putting the Google Play Store on it Makes it Worthwhile

I bought this through the Prime Now app, when it had a £10 off your first order over £30 offer on. The Kindle Fire was £39.99 at the time, so ended up being £29.99.

Previously, I'd discounted ever buying a Kindle Fire because of all the reports about only being able to get apps from the Amazon App Store and there not being many apps in there, but I decided for £30, it was worth a try. Also, at the time, there wasn't an Amazon video app for Android and I wanted to watch Prime videos while travelling.

I don't carry a tablet around with me all the time. I only use it for entertainment while travelling, so I need it to work offline. I looked on the Amazon App Store, when the tablet first arrived and was pleased to see that the majority of the apps that I use were available, including a couple of games that I play for entertainment when travelling. However, the Google Chrome browser was not available and the Silk browser that is built in is terrible. A lot of websites just don't work in it at all.

As I mostly intended to use it offline (e.g. on a plane), I could live with the terrible browser because I wouldn't use it much anyway, but the first time I travelled with it, I found another fundamental flaw with the Amazon App Store; You can only use your installed apps, if you are actually signed in to the App Store at the time and you can't sign in offline. So this stupid rule renders most apps useless offline, which is a big problem for me because I bought this mostly for travelling. The Amazon Video app did allow me to watch my downloaded videos, but most other apps wouldn't work. The time between checks seems to vary, some would work for an hour or so, or a day, some wouldn't even launch.

As soon as I got back from my first trip with this, I Googled how to install the Google Play Store on a Kindle Fire. It involves changing settings, connecting it to a PC and downloading and installing software to both your PC and Fire. I am not suggesting for a second that any of you do this. It will probably invalidate your warranty. I am just being honest about the fact I did it.

Once I got the Play Store on there, I uninstalled everything, except Amazon's own apps and reinstalled them from the Play Store. I now have a decent browser (Chrome) and a tablet where all offline apps always work and I still have the ability to download Prime videos. I've gone from being very frustrated to thinking it's the best £30 I've ever spent.

So why only 3 stars? Well anything that requires hacking to make it work doesn't deserve 5 stars, it can be a little slow to start up and initialise your SD card, and the Amazon App Store rule that you have to be signed in, to prove ownership, even when the apps are free, is ridiculous! No other app store requires this.

Disclaimer: I am a web and mobile app developer, hacking a tablet is fairly low risk for me. I am not encouraging anyone else to do the same.
View full review on Amazon

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Installing Google Play Store on Kindle Fire, With Windows 10

I'm writing this in the Blogger app on my Kindle Fire because I can :-).

I used the How to Geek guide for this. I'm not going to duplicate their content here, but I am linking to them to help people find their useful guide and telling you how it varies slightly for Windows 10.

Installing the Google Play Store on Kindle Fire HD.

When following the above instructions on Windows 10, I stumbled at the second part, 'Install the ADB Drivers'. I tried a few things, but I could not get them to install. A few people had posted similar issues in the discussion section, but I didn't see any solutions. Perhaps that's because the solution is so simple; just skip that section :-). It worked for me anyway.

So here is what you have to do:
Go to Installing the Google Play Store on Kindle Fire HD.
Follow 'Preparing Your Fire'.
Follow 'Download and Run the Script'.
Enjoy loads of Android apps previously unavailable to you.

Obviously you do this at your own risk and should back up your device first! Just because this worked for me, doesn't mean it will definitely work for you.