2014 may have been the year where device makers started seriously pushing wearables, Apple launched new iPhone models with big screens, and Google launched a major overhaul of its Android operating system.
But it turns out visitors to Liliputing are often looking for articles about somewhat more obscure topics.
As 2014 draws to a close, I took a peek at Google Analytics to see which articles we published over the past year received the most page views. This doesn’t tell us which stories were the most important… or even necessarily the most popular (since articles written in December haven’t had as much time to rack up the numbers that articles from January have).
But an imperfect review of some of the year’s most viewed stories show that folks have been looking for information about how to get more out of Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV Stick, ways to keep their HP TouchPad tablets useful, and details about small, low-cost desktop computers.
- These 9 apps stream videos from Android to Chromecast
When the Chromecast first launched in 2013, it was designed specifically for streaming media over the internet. But eventually Google launched an SDK that enabled support for games and other third-party apps including apps that let you beam videos straight from your phone or tablet to a Chromecast over a local network.
- Android-x86 4.4 release candidate: Run KitKat on your PC
Want to run Android on your laptop or desktop computer with an Intel processor? Android-x86 lets you run it the same way you would a GNU/Linux operating system like Ubuntu. This version came out in February, bringing support for Android 4.4 KitKat.
- How to use TouchPad Toolbox to install Android, erase webOS on the HP TouchPad
The HP TouchPad was discontinued in 2011 and the webOS software that runs on it hasn’t been officially supported in ages. But it keeps getting easier and easier to turn this aging device into a fully functional Android tablet.
- $10 adapter turns Chromecast into cheap Sonos competitor
In addition to using a Chromecast to stream video, you can use it to stream music… and this accessory can allow you to connect it to a stereo system instead of a TV.
- EZChrome EZCast is a Google Chromecast knockoff with Miracast support
Don’t wan to use a Chromecast? There are plenty of other cheap media streaming devices.
- Banana Pi: A $57 Rasperry Pi clone with a faster CPU, more memory
The $35 Raspberry Pi has been making a splash in the low-cost computer space for the past few years. Part of what makes it special is a very active developer community. But if you’re looking for a more powerful device and don’t care as much about community support, there are a growing number of competitors, including this Banana Pi.
- HP TouchPad lives on with unofficial Android 4.4.2 KitKat builds
Again with the HP TouchPad. This article from May discusses a way to install Android 4.4 KitKat, but these days you can go a bit further and load Android 5.0 Lollipop.
- How to install XBMC/Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV Stick
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick costs a few dollars more than a Chromecast, but comes with a remote control and supports a range of apps… including XBMC/Kodi if you enable installation of apps from unkown sources and sideload the popular media center app.
- Asus Chromebox review (Chrome desktop with Celeron CPU)
Chrome OS: it’s not just for laptops.
- How to upgrade a Nexus to Android 4.4.3 (or 4.4.4) without losing root
Sadly this tutorial is rather out of date: these steps won’t allow you to upgrade from Android 4.4 to Android 5.0 without losing root. But you can upgrade and then re-root your device using a tool such as CF Auto-Root.