Skype for Android Goes ‘Metro’ Style After 100 Million Downloads Mark

Skype now has a 100 million downloads mark now. To celebrate this fantastic record, the Skype team has brought a completely new, redesigned Skype app for Android. Bearing the version tag 4.0, Skype for Android is now based on the Metro theme borrowed from the Windows 8 phones.

This is a full revamp of Skype for Android. It is said that the developers rebuilt the entire app from scratch. This new design aims at putting the conversations first. This update brings the conversations to your fingertips. Upon launching the updated app, you’ll notice three new sections : Recents, Favorites and People.

new-skype-android (4) new-skype-android (3)
You can easily head to your profile by tapping the round icon at the top right of the app. To start a IM chat, you can tap on the icon at the bottom right. To start a new video call, you tap the icon at the bottom left.

new-skype-android (1) new-skype-android (2)
Along with this brand new UI, Skype has also made sure that the new app is a lot more faster than ever. Also, this update takes care of the battery issues. You can now make video calls without much drain in your battery.

The Skype team says that there are many more interesting features coming to Skype for Android in the near future. It was just a few days back when Skype rolled out ‘Video Messaging‘ for all platforms. Talking about Skype for iOS, there is no news on that yet.

Twitter releases Vine for Kindle Fire HD

Twitter’s Vine is definitely a hit. With Vine you can shoot 6 second short videos that loop continuously. It was available only on iOS earlier. But the Android version made it’s way last month. And now, here is Vine for Kindle Fire HD from Twitter. It comes with the version tag 1.2.0.

Vine for Kindle Fire HD is available as a free download on the Amazon Appstore for Android. If you are a Kindle Fire HD user or Kindle Fire HD lover you would have noticed that there is no back camera in the tablet. Kindle Fire HD has only a front camera.


Vine for Kindle Fire HD makes use of your front camera to shoot 6 second videos. You can shoot 6 second videos of you now. That’s called #selfies by the Vine community.

This new app lands on the Amazon Appstore for Android shortly after Facebook launched videos on Instagram. Vine and Instagram are having a tough competition now. With Vine on Amazon Appstore now, Instagram should try to place catch up with Vine soon. It should bring it’s app to Amazon Appstore soon to fight back.

The new Vine for Kindle Fire HD also comes with a new upload manager to manage your unsubmitted posts and also  perfoms better and faster. These updates are found in Vine for Android too.

Link: Vine for Kindle Fire HD

Download Google Photosphere Camera App APK

Google Photosphere helps you shoot 360 degrees photos, wide angle shots and even that’s above or below you. Google Photosphere is limited to the Nexus devices. Recently Google launched the stock Galaxy S4 and stock HTC One. Both these devices were found to sport a redesigned stock camera app. This camera app APK has been ripped out by WinDroidGuy from XDA developers.

This camera ap APK file brings Photosphere to non Nexus devices. It works flawless on your Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4 with TouchWiz, Galaxy S3 and HTC One with Sense. It is assumed that this new camera app will run flawless in all the latest devices running Jelly Bean.


Image Credit : Android Central

This new camera app shows a minor change in the radical menu. It’s in the form of a semi circle now like in Android 4.3. The settings shown in the camera app are now more visible. This is sure to give the user more control. Also, with this new camera app, you can take photos by pressing the Volume Up or Down key.

Few Things to Note

If you are running CyanogenMod 10.1 or above, you’ll have to uninstall the existing Gallery.apk first and then install this camera app APK. And also note that the image quality in this camera app is found to be bad compared to those shot with the default OEM camera app.

Download Google Photosphere Camera App APK | Via Android Central

Robird – Holo Styled Twitter Client for Android

Google Play has a huge collection of third party Twitter clients. There are both free and paid apps. Robird is a new, emerging Twitter client that is based on Holo sytled theme. The app looks beautiful and is amazingly fast. The app loads your tweets within seconds and scrolling between the tabs is smooth.

Robird Features

  1. Robird gives us auto refresh option with a time period.
  2. Live streaming for the timeline and the mentions tab so that you will never have to refresh. The new tweets and mentions will automatically display from time to time.
  3. Support for TweetLonger and TweetMarker sync.
  4. TweetLonger links automatically expand right inside your timeline. You can read the full 140+ characters tweet right in your timeline.

robirdImage Credit : Robird on Google Play

Is Robird Available for Free?

No, this is a paid app and is priced at $2, the equivalent Indian price is 120 INR. Well, I’d say that the app is really worth this price in my opinion. The app is currently in it’s development stages and there are numerous other features that will be coming to Robird soon. And as per the reports on Google Play, the next update will feature multi-account support and a tablet UI.

Before you Purchase the App

If you haven’t known, there is an issue when it comes to using third party Twitter clients. Twitter provides only 100,100 tokens to the third party Twitter clients. This means that only 100,000 users can be using the app at a particular time. This is one of the most common issues faced with Falcon Pro which has around 1 million users.

Considering Robird, this is a new Twitter client. It won’t have a huge number of users right now and hence seems to work pretty flawlessly.

Link: Robird on Google Play

AltaVista the oldest search engine is no more!

When I first started using the internet it was mainly to look up email from cousins and relatives abroad. This was back in 1999 and Google was not as famous, Gmail was not even around and it was still 5 years before anything like Facebook happened.

Alta Vista was the first search engine I had probably used and it felt awesome that you could type in just about anything into a text box and get relevant results. So it was a little sad to see Yahoo declare the end of Alta Vista search engine for good. Alta Vista was probably not the oldest search engine but was the oldest as far as popularity was concerned. The search engine shuts down on 8th July.

Alta Vista Search engine back in 1999

Wrong decisions in the past

While Google started catching attention, Alta Vista was still at the height of it’s popularity. Alta Vista had a simple design with focus on search results. The company was bought by Compaq and a series of changes happened. One of them was to make the website more a portal and less a search engine.

This lead to the steady decline of Alta Vista as a search engine and Google became king over time. Alta Vista was then sold to CMGI who was going to float a IPO for Alta Vista. This was in 2000 and the internet bubble burst, finishing off Alta Vista’s chances of becoming a publicly listed company.

Then Alta Vista was bought by Overtures which in turn was acquired by Yahoo. This made Alta Vista a Yahoo product and like many products owned by Yahoo, Alta Vista kept on the decline.

Today along with several other older services, Yahoo announced it would be shut down. An important part of internet’s living history is now a closed chapter.

(via Yahoo Blog)

Download Hike for BlackBerry

Hike for BlackBerry is now officially released. Hike has been available on the BlackBerry platform since the past few days with the ‘Beta’ tag. Now, it’s officially available for the BlackBerry devices with full functionality.

Hike for BlackBerry is available for all the devices running BlackBerry OS 5.0 and above. With Hike for BlackBerry, you can make one-on-one, group chats and even send photos, videos and a lot more! Hike says that many more features will be added in the near future.


Image Credit : Hike’s Blog

Hike is one of those coolest IMs that one can ever come across. Some of the latest updates on Hike include Stickers, Walkie-Talkie and Hike Offline. Hike bridges the gap between data messaging and text messaging aka SMS.

Hike’s free SMS is probably the best thing about Hike’s heavy competition against WhatsApp. With Walkie-Talkie, you can now send voice messages to your friends instead of typing out the words. Hike Offline is the best addition till date. If you are texting a Hike user and he/she happens to go offline, the texts will be sent as free Hike SMS to that user. The recipient can now reply to that text and it’ll delivered straight to your Hike inbox.

Link: Hike for BlackBerry

Digg Reader – One Click Migration from Google Reader

Click to see large image

A few days after Google decided to vacate the RSS feeds reader space announced it was building a new feed reader. There were already some alternatives out there for Google Reader and the biggest beneficiary seems to be Feedly for the moment. AOL too launched feed reader but nothing much was heard about Digg Reader. Today, finally I got my invite and managed to check it out.

Digg Reader Features

  • You can use your Google account to log in and it easily moves feeds from Google Reader to Digg Reader in a single click.
  • The design is clean and does not have ads or promotions on it at the moment. The most striking part of Digg Reader is that their default view in “listed view” where posts title appear in a list format, while most other readers have a more expanded or snippet like view as default.
  • It allows the social sharing on Facebook and Twitter but curiously lacks Google+ as an option. That hopefully might come along in the future.
  • We can save the posts on Pocket and Instapaper and Readability.
  • Finally Digg Reader does have an iPhone and iPad version but still nothing on Android for the moment.

What’s lacking on Digg Reader!

I found that Digg Reader has no option to show only unread posts or even an unread post counter. While moving from Google Reader was easy, it was not possible to upload a OPML file with all my feeds saved on them. Also the launch of Digg Reader is so close to 1st July, the day Google Reader goes offline, that it simply might just be too late for most people to take an interest in it.

Did you try out Digg Reader? Do drop in your comments.

Link: Digg Reader

Microsoft releases Windows 8.1 Preview and you can try it right now

Microsoft has released the next version of Windows 8 yesterday, at the Build conference. It has everything you’d expect from an incremental update, including a start button, redesigned Store, Search, better customization and more.

For me, the best part of it is that, you can give Windows 8.1 Preview a try right now – without being a developer (unlike OS X Mavericks, for example).

Windows 8.1 Preview

To get started, you first need to be running Windows 8. That’s because Windows 8.1 installation will be done via the Windows Store seamlessly. You can do it manually too, ISO files will be available pretty soon, keeping checking the download page on the site. The update is free, of course.

The size of update is 2.44 GB which is probably not so huge, if you have a good internet connection. Otherwise, you’re going to wait. There’s also no guarantee that the OS is going to be stable, as it is clearly named as a ‘Preview’. So make sure you backup your important files and all before proceeding.

Here’s a nice promo video made by Microsoft for previewing the OS.

Do these updates actually make Windows 8 better? Will you be trying out the Preview? Do comment below.

Our Journey with AdSense Ends!

Update: July 3, 2013

Our reader Rajat informed that the ban was lifted. AdSense team also confirmed the same with following reply:

Adserving has been enabled for your site. Please allow up to 48 hours for ads to start showing again. The site was taken down because the Policy team was undertaking an exercise to try & prevent old blacklisted sites from re-entering the network via new pubs who take over the sites.

Not sure, how to decrypt their message? Can you decrypt it?

This is first time I am writing a post this year (2013) on Devils’ Workshop. And I have some bad news!

It looks like our domain is banned by Google AdSense. We did not get any email or any confirmation from Google AdSense as yet. But AdSense dashboard is showing zero earning for me and few guest bloggers since yesterday (June 25).

I thought it is better that I tell you about this myself, no matter how bad it may sound.

Banned (or not banned)

I talked with few blogger friends, and they are all very sure that Google AdSense team sends email when they ban domains/accounts.

Since we did not hear from Google AdSense about this we are clueless. We did not get any email or any warnings in our AdSense account about this. But I used Amit Agarwal’s AdSense Sanbox tool and also another tool Both tools say AdSense ban is there!

So for now, we are assuming DW is banned!

What we don’t know is – if this ban is temporary or permanent.

How it might have happened?

It looks like a guest blogger on DW abused AdSense terms. May be he/she clicked on own ads on own article displayed on

It might be possible that Google AdSense contacted him/her about incident but the person did not reply hence AdSense team might have banned entire domain.

Google AdSense Fault

I believe before banning a domain, Google AdSense should contact domain owner. A single domain can have ads from multiple accounts. Its wrong thing to punish everybody for mistake of one miscreant.

I already wrote to Google AdSense but its highly unlikely that they will reply to a relatively small site like DW!

Possible Workaround

While working at rtCamp, I have encountered many cases, where blog owners changed their domain name because old one was blocked by AdSense. So a certain workaround is to change domain name for this site.

But this solution is not acceptable to us. Changing domain is a kind of decision which must come from inside and backed by some sane reasoning. This domain is part of our identity. We cannot change it for few bucks!

Also, what if Google AdSense bans new domain as well? We refuse to let Google detect how we run our affairs.

So we have decided to live with the ban rather than changing our domain just for the sake of Google AdSense.

How will this affect us?

This is the first question Aditya asked me. Well answer is bit long so let me divide it in sections.

About financial loss

As you may be aware, DW is run by rtCamp. In terms of revenue, DW’s contribution to rtCamp’s revenue is around 1%. So financially, rtCamp can afford to run DW without AdSense or even without ads.

In fact, sometime back we even thought about going ad-free. That is why we removed BuySellAds, Technorati, Kontera, etc. But AdSense stuck here as it was used by many guest bloggers under revenue-sharing program.

So financially it will not affect DW or its team – editors and pay-per-post authors. It might affect guest bloggers though.

About Revenue-Sharing Program

Back in 2008, when guest authors started contributing to DW regularly, we started “Your Posts. Your AdSense Ads.” program. In that program, guest bloggers were given opportunity to run their Google AdSense ads on their blog posts published on DW.

Before starting it, I discussed about risk-involved with Amit Agarwal through his forum, other users at AdSense forum and bloggers friends about possible risk. Getting banned was the number one risk we were considering back then.

As Google AdSense is no more here, “Your Posts. Your AdSense Ads.” program closes automatically. Of course, if Google AdSense rectifies their mistake, then our revenue-sharing program will be back.

To Old Guest Bloggers

First, I want to thank you for all contributions you have made to DW in last 6-years. Its a long time fellas! 🙂

Next, I personally apologise to everyone whose AdSense ads were running on DW. It is beyond my control to reach AdSense team and get this issue rectified.

As your AdSense ads were showing directly on DW, I have no idea about how much monetary loss this will result on your side.

But, in case you have a feeling that DW let you down, we have thought about few ways to compensate your loss as listed below. Feel free to suggest your ideas using comment form below. I did not get enough time to think about this aspect in details.

Moving your posts to your blog

If you wish to move your articles to your own blog or any other blog of your choice, please let us know.

  1. We will generate WXR file of your posts & comments which you can import on other blog.
  2. After that, just send us list of old-DW URL’s and URL’s on new site.
  3. We will setup 301 redirection on our server. We will maintain these re-directions till DW exists.

One-time Compensation

If you are tracking AdSense revenue from DW Channel, then you already have idea how much you are earning from DW. If you do not have your own blog or do not want to go with above option, then we can compensate you in the form of rtCamp store coupons.

We are planning to offer $10 credit for every published post.

rtCamp Store is small as of now but within 6 months you will see nice premium WordPress themes & plugins. Good thing about coupons we will provide is:

  1. They will have NO expiry date.
  2. You can share them with anyone. In fact resell them at lower price to convert them for real bucks!
  3. You can use a coupon till its balance/credit lasts across multiple purchases.
  4. If your coupon value is high, you can request multiple coupons of smaller values.

Sticking Around…

I don’t know about copyright laws much, but whatever you have contributed should be owned by you. So your posts on DW will be yours.

There is no rush to make a choice. You can decide any-time.

Those who like to stick to DW, without AdSense, are more than welcome to do so. 🙂

To AdSense

Its a bitter feeling to be honest. The part where you did not care to inform domain owner.

But I thank you for allowing us to run AdSense revenue-sharing program for almost 6 years. Had we got banned back in 2008, my life could have been made a lot more difficult.

So dear AdSense, I will always remember your critical role in shaping my life. Thank you for that! No hard feelings here.

Keeping in touch with Devils’ Workshop

Since Google has announced the closure of Google Reader, there has been a countdown to the the 1st July date. With 5 days to go, you can look up some of the alternatives to Google Reader we have reviewed here.

If you are this post on Google Reader, you can then subscribe to our RSS Feeds on published on Devils’ Workshop. You can directly subscribe using Feedly, Newsblur and The Old Reader.

There are some other alternatives like AOL Reader (review) but at the moment they are still heavily in beta and web only versions are available. You can still use our RSS Feed link to subscribe on any Feed Reader of your choice.

Check our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ updates if you want to stay in touch using social media platforms.

You can also subscribe to our email newsletter.

Link: Devils’ Workshop – Subscribe