Friday, April 22, 2011

Pdf-to-Speech 4.0 Release

Finally, version 4.0 has been releases. The major features added were:
  • Bookmarks. They include the option to add a comment as suggested by one of the users.
  • Tabbed GUI: The information was starting to get too crowded for a single minimalist screen. The tabbed GUI hopefully will keep things clear and still be minimalistic.
  • Search: The load screen includes a search option that will help you find files on the phone or on the web. The web search will only look for pdfs on Google. Notice that a similar action can be done from your desktop adding the keyboard filetype:pdf to the end of your search query.
  • Wait screen is gone: while the program was speed up, the real problem for users was not the wait, but being locked out of the app while the text is being extracted. The new implementation does this in the background, leaving the user free to exit the app, or browsing other tabs while the pdf is extracted.
Keep the feedback coming. There is a list of other features that will be added in the future. The major one expected in the next month is adding OCR to read the pdfs that cannot be read by pdf-to-speech at present. The OCR feature will also allow for reading of photographed text.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mouse Surfer

Today we released mouse surfer. The app will turn your phone into a computer mouse. The app fixes a couple of issues present in other android mice. First, it uses physics based movement so you can cover large spaces on high resolution screens. This feature is also really pleasing. It was inspired by way the GUI moves on the Android phones.

Second, the mouse self-configures. One problem with many Android mice is that they require the user to configure the mouse by setting in network information. This can be ok for some Android users; but if the mouse self-configure, all Android users would see the convenience in this. So the mouse will self-configure.

Self-configuration brings the mouse down to a usability level similar to a regular hardware mouse. The user simply downloads the driver, installs it and that it! the mouse will take a few seconds to configure it self.

The main use-case for the mouse it to use it to browse the Internet, watch Netflix, DVD, and flash based videos like and The mouse can be used for any other purpose. However, from experience, the mouse can be hard to use to draw, or to write very long papers, so don't throw out your old mouse just yet.

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