Thursday, August 11, 2011

Books and media sharing - android

  2Player DLNA

 Digital Living Network Alliance is a clunky acronym that's worth looking out for when choosing consumer electronics to share media across your home Wi-Fi setup. DNLA promises interoperability between devices, so you can mix and match, say, Sony, Philips and Toshiba laptops, flat-screen TVs and media hubs. DNLA apps such as this one allow you to push media from device to device. Some Android phones have a version preloaded; otherwise this edition rates highly.


The DLNA app allows you to control how you share the kind of content you might want to enjoy on such devices. You can share photos, music and video (singly or all three) both to and from your Android handset, allowing you to stream albums to a set of wireless speakers, for example.

A helpful warning when you fire up the DLNA software checks whether you want to leave the Wi-Fi radio function switched on or turn it off for the moment.

The simplicity of setup is one of the strengths of the DLNA app. Four tiles allow you to copy media to and from the server and the phone and to toggle the sharing function on and off. Clicking on an option brings up a screen offering
a choice of available media servers. If you've bought music on your Android device, you can stream this to a suitably connected speaker. Clicking on the Play button lets you either access media server content or play items stored on the Android device, using the DLNA app like a regular media player. However, our biggest gripe was that we found the software slow at accessing content, even when it was stored locally.

Even the best wordsmiths have their off days when the 'mot juste' just won't come to mind. pairs a 375,000-word database with the phrase finder in a free app that installs almost instantly from the Android Market.

Definitions, synonyms and antonyms are all provided, along with a pronunciation
guide, and there's even a Word of the Day.

Though the principle of this app is sound, we came across a few issues that betray its US provenance. It does claim to be localised for the UK - indeed asks your permission to log your geographical location - but its entry for 'aluminium' gave us a phonetic pronunciation while listing the word as an alternative to 'aluminum'.

Amazon Kindle

Reading an eBook is considerably more practical on a 7in or lOin tablet than a 3.Sin smartphone, but whatever the size of your device it's worth downloading this app. After setting up a free account, you even get enough credit to buy your first book at no cost.

If you already have an Amazon account, you can log in using this and will be able to download any books you've bought previously. An on-screen status message tells you how recently content was synced from Amazon, so you don't need to bother logging on just in case.

Amazon claims more than 620,000 titles are available for viewing through Kindle, though
the full complement is not available outside the US. The first chapter of each book can be downloaded before you decide to buy it.

If you can read websites and spend hours Facebook-messaging on your mobile device, you shouldn't find reading a gripping novel too much of a stretch.


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