I have tried almost every VOIP soft phone app on Google Play. Before I found GS Wave, I reckoned Zoiper app was the best soft phone, thus I paid for its premium version to get its premium feature of video call.
However I never got this feature working. I wanted to see the video from my video door phone on my mobile with Zoiper. My video door phone supports H264 video codec but Zoiper supports VP8 unless I pay Zoiper again just for H264 codec . Unlike audio codec while a VOIP server can translate audio codec between clients, video codec is said to be P2P. (There may be a way of video codec translation, but I don’t know how.)
I had video calls working between my video door phone and desktop SIP phones which are “hard phones” with H264 built in. And I had audio calls working on all devices. So I was not desperate for video on Zoiper.
Zoiper has a major defect. It cannot stay online 24/7 on latest Android version (I tested on two Huawei Mate 8 and one P9) or iOS. Many times status bar shows it is online but actually it is not reachable. Zoiper was reliable on Android 4.x.x. I guess Zoiper “forgets” to re-register itself when OS goes into sleep. For above reasons I am reluctant to pay Zoiper any more money.
Recently I visited Fanvil website and discovered Fanvil had developed a soft phone called “Vdroid” for free download. To my surprise, Vdroid integrated G729 audio codec and H264 video codec. They are premium codec as on Zoiper. (Later on I learnt G729 patent expired on 1st Jan, 2017 but Zoiper is still selling G729 for money. I knew nothing about H264.) However Vdroid has too many bugs and is not a mature software.
Then I thought other VOIP device manufacturers might have their own soft phones for public. I checked Grandstream, Yealink and Cisco but only found Grandstream generously offering GS Wave. GS Wave has both Android and iOS version, and both works reliably, and both has G729 and H264 built in for free! I cannot wait any longer to recommend GS Wave to everyone. Google Play is overwhelmed by other apps for search results of “sip” or “voip”, and GS Wave is nowhere in the ranking. But trust me, it is the best one.
正嗟叹中，朋友告诉我，华为应用商店里就有 Google 框架下载，安装好就能像国际版一样用 Google 服务了。有这等好事？我想起之前 Grandstream 也是如此迂回战术，但没想到华为也会。我赶紧上华为应用商店看，还真有一个叫”谷歌框架安装神器”的应用。我拿老妈的一个国行手机试了试，很顺利地装上了 Google 框架。我又拿它来给 Fanvil D900 Android IP Phone 安装 Google 框架，也很顺利安装成功（安装之前要 root D900）。D900 买了两年，一直觉得是鸡肋，就是因为它无法用 Google 服务，当时我频繁联系了 Fanvil 技术支持，他们给我发了好几个 firmware 去更新，都没有成功装上 Google 框架，后来我自行放弃。如今被华为的”谷歌框架安装神器”一举解决，我怎能不兴奋。（不过今天后来我在 Fanvil 官网上下了最新的 D900 firmware，更新后发现此次的 firmware 已带有 Google 框架，只是 Google Play 未安装，但在根目录下存了一个 Google Play 的 apk，安装一下就好了，也无需 root。）
总之，华为能提供 Google 框架，让我对入手国行华为手机再无顾虑。顺便我看了看小米应用商店，没有提供 Google 框架，那就多劝人不要买小米呗。
I took several pictures when I visited University of Brighton a while ago. I did not mean to make them into a panoramic scene at that time. I just stood by the road and took several random pictures. And today, when I am looking through my Google+ photos, I find this picture. Google+ automatically made a panoramic picture for me.
Looking at this picture, I am shocked, because I can not find the seam. I have tried to make panoramic pictures before via different methods: integrated function of a camera, a software, a smartphone with 3-axis geomagnetic sensor. None of them came up such a good result even when I shot photos with a tripod.
So I am wondering if this is a viable approach for a even better result:
Shot photos with a SLR camera on a tripod.
Transfer the photos to an Android phone.
Will Android upload the photos and Google+ make a panoramic picture?
I have an outdated LCD TV and a nearly outdated Android smart TV set top box. I mean, this Android smart TV set top box was bought a year ago, and it works very slow compared to current market products.
I want to combine these two equipment to make a smart TV. Actually, the only functionality I need out of a smart TV is a DLNA/UPnP player. To be more specific, a DLNA/UPnP player for YouTube.
I want to search for videos on YouTube using my mobile phone, stream to TV, and watch on TV. I do not want to search on this nearly outdated set top box because it is slow, and it accepts input via a fly mouse rather than a touch screen.
At first, I tried to install a few apps (iMediaShare Lite, aMPdroid, DLNA Server) on the set top box, but none of them is a DLNA/UPnP player.
Then I installed XBMC on the set top box, set it can be remotely controlled by UPnP. I also installed Beam on my mobile. Now I can stream YouTube video to my TV. However, XBMC is not reliable on this set top box, most likely due to some bug – this player is not always shown on the list of available DLNA/UPnP players. Every time I have to untick and retick “remotely controlled by UPnP” to force it.
So I have not found a perfect solution for streaming YouTube video to an Android device. I may have to buy a new TV with DLNA/UPnP player built-in.
I was looking for an app on Google Play Store to generate transparent background handwriting in PNG format, which can be put on an electronic document as a signature or watermark. It is either
to save paper – no need to print out a hard copy of document, write on it, then scan it back to an electronic copy.
or to use an existing Android touch screen mobile phone, instead of buying a graphic tablet pad and pen.
I tried a few apps.
Samsung Memo. It can only export JPG or PDF. No transparent background available.
Image Editor. It is slow responding to drawing track. Never record a complete handwriting. Useless. Too many bugs and Ads.
ShoDo. No transparent background available.
Adobe Photoshop Express. Too “express”. It can not open/save as PNG at all.
Handwriting. It can export transparent background PNGs. It is good. However, it always exports 720 x 1280 images on my test device, no matter how small writing. This requires another software to crop the images. So it’s not good enough.
Photo Editor. I did not expect it can export transparent background PNGs, as Photo is not transparent. However, I find it can open a transparent background PNG, write on it, then export as transparent background PNG. This requires another software to produce a blank transparent background PNG before first use. That’s not a problem. However, it is an ad-supported programme, which is a bit annoying.
FreeNote. I have known FreeNote for long, but before today I did not realise it can export transparent background PNGs. It does auto crop and it is ad-free. It does not require other software to do pre or post process. So it is a perfect solution.