Extra Apps for Samsung Galaxy S III

Extra Apps for Samsung Galaxy S III

With all the amazing apps on the Samsung Galaxy S III, it may be hard to believe, but Samsung has even more apps available that will work on this device. In order to be able to install these apps, first you need to go to http://www.samsungapps.com. If you don't already have a Samsung user account, then sign up, otherwise, sign in. Next, if you click the Support link, then there will be a sidebar on the left that will allow you to install the Samsung Apps app

Here's the wrinkle, the Galaxy S III is not listed, but if you download the app for the phone (not the tablet), it works! Once this application is installed on the device, you can use it to install the other apps. To see the ones specifically designed by Samsung, click the More Services tile in the lower right corner. Here's the list of the apps that you will find:
  • Photo editor - crop, resize, decorate, or add special effects
  • Kies Air - manage your device from your broswer
  • Application monitor - a widget to display the number of open apps and start Task Manager
  • MiniDiary - make notes, add photos and locations on the go
  • KiesCast - podcast manager for audio and video
  • S Health - tracks your activities, blood glucose, blood pressure, food, and weight 
  • My Story - provides templates to create media rich correspondence
  • Readers Hub - ebook reader that won't work if you have rooted your device
  • Family Story - enables sharing with just family of photos, messages, and events
  • Flipboard - innovative browser for social sites like Facebook and Twitter
Update: I'm sure there is many more other good apps to be found at SamsungApps.com. One other good one that I also found is Video maker, which allows you to decorate a video with a frame and add voiceovers.

Gone Google Again: Apps To Play

Gone Google Again: 

Apps To Play

Most of my apps are Google integrated. Of course, GPS Map has totally Gone Google. Over the last few days, I've created another Android app that has gone Google again! My newest Gone Google app is Apps To Play, and it integrates only with the Google Play Store app, or a browser at this point.

This app is intended to make searching the Google Play Store for Android apps easier. Starting with some of the URIs found at https://developer.android.com/distribute/googleplay/promote/linking.html, it creates an intent to let you start either a browser or the Google Play Store app. Unlike the Google Play Store app, it permits searching directly by developer. For some reason, trying to search the Google Play Store app for the Best Selling in Games collection fails, but it succeeds in the browser.

One of the features that makes using the app convenient is that it stores in a database any unique searches that are typed in the AutoCompleteTextView for app classpath, developer, and keyword searches. I've made it even easier to search for "Google, Inc." as the developer, as well as "WrightRocket", by populating the database used for the AutoCompleteTextView developer names.

I considered populating the database used for the AutoCompleteTextView app classpaths with all the Google applications, but there are too many to be practical. Some also may not be available in certain markets, or even available from the Play Store. Anyway, here are the ones that I have installed with google in their classpath that I suspect are from Google:


To find the apps by Google, to get going Gone Google yourself, use the Developer search for Google Inc. Not missing an opportunity to promote my own applications, however, I did populate the database with the app classpaths for my own applications:


So, go get Apps To Play on Google Play! 
Then, use it to easily find the Android apps you want, and Go Google! 

Disclaimer: I am only paid by Google in the form of sales from my Android apps, the advertising revenue generated from them, and by this and other websites that feature Google AdMob or AdSense ads.


WrightRocket's Raspberry Pi Links

WrightRocket's Raspberry Pi Links

While I mostly reference the links to sites I find relevant to the Raspberry Pi by looking at my Delicious bookmarks, I thought I'd make a post sharing some my links about the Raspberry Pi. Please comment below to suggest other ones to add!

Raspberry Pi Foundation

This is the main place to visit. This is where the Raspberry Pi originated. They publish relevant information on a regular basis. You can find images to download to install onto your SD card to be able to start up your RPi at this site.


They manufacture the SoC that powers the Raspberry Pi. This page features details about the Broadcom 2835.



Raspbian is now the official OS for the Raspberry Pi. Raspbian was built based upon Debian, but optimized for the Raspberry Pi.


R-Pi Hub at Elinux

There is a great deal of information to be found about the Raspberry Pi at Elinux's R-Pi Hub. The have all kinds of beginner's guides, but my favorite is the information that the have about the hardware.



PuppyArch is the Raspberry Pi version of the Puppy Linux distribution which derives from Arch Linux.    There is an image to download and instructions, but I've not tried it yet.



QtonPi allows for Qt application development on the Raspberry Pi.



Accessories and hardware to go with the Raspberry Pi including cases, breakout boards, displays, and more.


A distributor of the Raspberry Pi and accessories.


Another distributor of the Raspberry Pi and accessories.


Electronics parts, breakout boards and kits are featured at Sparkfun.


Building Omxplayer for Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi

Building Omxplayer for Raspbian on the Raspberry Pi

This version of the omxplayer, is nearly identical to the one I published for Debian on the Raspberry Pi, except that it can be built for Raspbian. The same github repository serves to build omxplayer for both Raspbian and Debian. To configure the build for one or the other, the RASPBIAN variable must be set as described below in the Makefile.include.

This means that the primary differences between this and the default build of omxplayer still are:
  • Default output is HDMI (no need for -o hdmi)
  • Clears the screen and doesn't output anything unless there is an error
  • Makefiles have been customized  to perform a native build on the Raspberry Pi
  • There is the ability to install or uninstall using the Makefiles
  • There is the ability to make sources or make sources-clean to download or remove the firmware and ffmpeg dependencies
  • Everything installs under /usr/local
  • It is possible to install this pre-built omxplayer for Raspbian Wheezy or Debian Squeeze

Preparing to Build Omxplayer

  • First, make sure your firmware is up-to-date, as described in Keeping Your Raspberry Pi Fresh:
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Install software needed to perform the update:
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo apt-get install ca-certificates git-core binutils libboost1...-dev libva1 libpcre3-dev
  • Download the script:
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo wget https://raw.github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update/master/rpi-update
  • Copy the script to /usr/local/bin:
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo cp rpi-update /usr/local/bin/rpi-update
  • Make the script executable:
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/rpi-update
  • To compile this successfully, use a 240/16MB RAM split between system and GPU:
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo rpi-update 240
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo reboot
Next, make sure proper ownerships are in place, go to the local src directory, and clone the git repository for my omxplayer fork:
  • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo chown pi:pi /usr/local/src/
  • pi@raspberrypi:src $ cd /usr/local/src
  • pi@raspberrypi:src $ git clone https://github.com/wrightrocket/omxplayer
At this point, the pre-built omxplayer could also be installed on your system if you are using Raspbian Wheezy, Debian Wheezy or Debian Squeeze. If you wish to skip compiling omxplayer, and use a pre-built version, complete the next step, and then skip to using omxplayer:
  • sudo /usr/local/src/omxplayer/install-raspbian-wheezy
  • sudo /usr/local/src/omxplayer/install-debian-wheezy
The Debian Wheezy build has been tested to work on both Wheezy and Squeeze.

Building the Omxplayer

Before building, be sure to set update the Makefile.include file for the RASPBIAN variable. If building under Debian, then RASPBIAN=0 is appropriate. If building under the Raspbian OS, then update this file where RASPBIAN=1. The RASPBIAN variable determines whether hardfp or softfp is used.
  • If you are building this under Raspbian, and not Debian, then use vi, vim, nano, leafpad or some other editor to modify the RASPBIAN variable at the top of the /usr/local/src/omxplayer/Makefile.include file to set RASPBIAN=1.
Even after getting the configuration right for building, my first few attempts failed because of insufficient RAM. This is the reason a different RAM split is used during the build process than when using the player. The build sequence is:
  • Change to the directory where the source code is located
    • cd /usr/local/src/omxplayer/
  • Next, the firmware and ffmpeg sources will be downloaded. The firmware is about 427 MB and ffmpeg is about 60MB. This step took about 16 minutes on my connection.
    • make sources
  • The longest part of the process is compiling the ffmpeg libraries. Under Raspbian this step took about the same amount of time as under Debian. This step took about 131 minutes.
    • make -f Makefile.ffmpeg 
  • After the libraries are built, then they are stripped and copied to the /usr/local/src/omxplayer/ffmpeg_compiled directory. This step is very quick.
    • make -f Makefile.ffmpeg install
  • Now, omxplayer is ready to be compiled. It should only take about 6 minutes.
    • make
  • The last step of building should create a /usr/local/src/omxplayer/omxplayer-dist.tar.gz that will be used to install omxplayer and the ffmpeg libraries.
    • make dist

Finally, install omxplayer:

  • sudo make install

Using the Omxplayer

  • To use omxplayer, the system must allocate at least 64MB of RAM for the GPU. Run the script and make sure there is a 192/64 Mb of RAM split between the system and GPU. A split of 128/128 can also be used:
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo rpi-update 192
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ sudo reboot
  • To play videos, just execute the omxplayer script
    •   omxplayer --help
    • Options :
      -h / --help print this help
      -a / --alang language audio language : e.g. ger
      -n / --aidx index audio stream index : e.g. 1
      -o / --adev device audio out device : e.g. hdmi/local
      -i / --info dump stream format and exit
      -s / --stats pts and buffer stats
      -p / --passthrough audio passthrough
      -d / --deinterlace deinterlacing
      -w / --hw hw audio decoding
      -3 / --3d switch tv into 3d mode
      -y / --hdmiclocksync adjust display refresh rate to match video
    • pi@raspberrypi:~$ omxplayer LMFAO.mp4

About Me - WrightRocket

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I've worked with computers for over 30 years, programming, administering, using and building them from scratch.

I'm an instructor for technical computer courses, an editor and developer of training manuals, and an Android developer.