Dictionary, Slow Motion Videos and more on apps this week

Instadict

Browsing through a page, find a word you don’t understand? Instadict to the rescue. Just highlight the word and shake your device. Currently has language packs for English, French and Italian.

Android –

Instadict
Instadict
Developer: Shashank.Mishra
Price: Free

645 Pro

Interested in iPhone photography? Do you like manual controls and dials? 645 Pro is the app for you. Let the video below explain it all:

645 PRO Mk III from Jag.gr on Vimeo.

‎645 PRO Mk III
‎645 PRO Mk III
Developer: Michael Hardaker
Price: 4,49 €

 

Groove Music

Microsoft has really stepped up it’s game when it comes to services. One of the newer additions to their suite of multi-platform apps is Groove Music (formerly XBox Music). What does it do? Well, you could get a Groove Music pass for $9.99 per month and stream from their collection of songs. What makes it much better though, especially for users of OneDrive or Office365, is that Groove Music allows you to stream from your music collectons stored on OneDrive, at no additional cost.

Android – 

Microsoft Groove
Microsoft Groove
Price: Free

iOS –
Microsoft Groove
Microsoft Groove
Price: Free

Windows/Windows Phone – Download from Windows Store

 

Le Kiosk

This section is more focussed on the service than the app itself and it’s availability would be limited to certain countries, but if you’re a magazine subscriber, I’d recommend Le Kiosk. There are different plans – 3 magazines a month for around €3.99, 10 for €9.99 and 25 for €19.99, with a 30 day free trial. It also offers a magazine discovery service and has most of the bigger publications along with a collection of the smaller magazines, the list varies by country. Currently, UK, France and Italy only.

Android – 


iOS – 
Windows/Windows Phone – Download from Windows Store

 

TruSloMo

TruSloMo is a must have app if you shoot slow motion videos on your iPhone and want an easy way to export and edit the videos. It’s much easier than using iMovie on your phone and even has an option to easily publish to Whatsapp or Instagram.

iOS – 

TruSloMo
TruSloMo
Developer: William Wu
Price: Free+

 

Morecast

For detailed, hyperlocal weather forecasts, you have the apps that use Forecast.io. However, the accuracy will depend on the weather stations available. If you’re in Europe, there’s another option – Morecast. With weather data from UBIMET which is a large weather data provider, the app is detailed and even looks good. The one downside though, is the lack of a 5 row wide widget (if you have a phablet).

Android – 

iOS – 

‎MORECAST Wetter App
‎MORECAST Wetter App
Developer: UBIMET
Price: Free+

Photography, image search and more on apps this week

ProShot

ProShot by Rise Up Games started out a while back as a fully featured camera app for Windows Phone back in 2012. It launched on iOS in 2014 and is now available on Android as well (for devices running 5.1 and up). On compatible phones, it gives you access to full manual control, editable presets, and on Android, RAW support (assuming your phone fully supports the camera2 API. Check the link above for the full feature listing for each platform.

Windows Phone:
Download from Windows Store

iOS:

Android:

ProShot
ProShot
Developer: Rise Up Games
Price: $4.99

 

Image Searcher

Looking for that Gif to send to a chat app? Or an image? Why bother searching and then downloading it when you can do it directly from the media share feature in the chat app? Your preferred chat app doesn’t have such a feature? Try Image Searcher. Just remember, don’t set a default while trying to share an image and it’s all good.

Android:

 

Google Drive on Windows Phone

Sure, Google doesn’t really bother supporting Windows Phone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use certain apps. If you are a Google Drive user, check out the unofficial drive client.. Check out the full review on All About Windows Phone.

Windows Phone:
Download from Windows Store

Polarr

What started out as a browser based photography app has now evolved into a free iOS app (with in app purchases, of course). It’s pretty feature rich and allows you to create and save your own presets as well.

iOS:

 

Next Lock Screen for Android by Microsoft

Late last month, Microsoft revealed a number of new products from the Microsoft Garage project one of which is the Next Lock Screen for Android .

Next Lock Screen combines an agenda view sourced from your phone’s calendar with a quick launcher system, accessible via a slide-up drawer from the bottom of the screen.  You can change these to fit different “locations” (each of which have different wallpapers), so they adapt to your current situation – At Work, At Home & On The Go

 

microsoft_next_lock_screen_app

Next puts important info—like your upcoming meetings, missed calls, and text messages on your lock screen for instant access. You can swipe notifications away to dismiss them, and swipe down to unlock the screen. Check out the video from Microsoft –

Next is still in its early stages, so it has its limitations—SMS notifications don’t work if you use Hangouts, and  email notifications do not appear on the lock screen. It’s currently not available in India, but a quick Google search should give you the apk! Something to keep your eye on perhaps?

Next Lock Screen
Next Lock Screen
Price: Free

 

Z Launcher by Nokia

Nokia has turned its attention to other projects after their smartphone division was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year, one of which is a new and intuitive Android launcher – the Nokia Z Launcher.

Z launcher is a complete home screen and app drawer replacement with a unique way to quickly access apps and contacts. Z Launcher is currently in pre-beta, but it seems to work quite well, despite the limited features. As is the rage these days, Z Launcher is a predictive app that sees what you’re using and then pushes it to the front.  Z Launcher has a single panel with a clock and upcoming appointment at the top of the screen and a list of contacts and apps below, that changes based on your usage throughout the day. You can draw letters anywhere on the screen to filter your apps and contacts. At the bottom of your screen is a dock with a link to the app drawer and some app icons.

All you custom ROM users, alas, Z launcher is not supported on rooted phones and very kindly tells you so!

Z Launcher rooted phones

You’ll have to actually navigate to the download page on your device to get the APK. If you have an unrooted Nexus 5, Galaxy S5, Galaxy S4 or Galaxy S3, Moto X, HTC One or Sony Xperia Z1, you can give Z Launcher a go!

Mobile Banking with ING Vysya App on Android and iOS

This has to be the first review of a banking app here on this site. We rarely ever cover mobile banking apps where since most of them are pretty limited in nature to check account balances and the last few transactions just a few other minor features thrown in. They’re great to see your account balance (or lack of) on the mobile, but you rarely ever do any transactions using a mobile app usually.

ING Vysya’s Mobile App

When I was initially asked to meet the team behind building the ING Vysya mobile apps a some weeks back, I was skeptical about being introduced to “yet another” mobile banking app. This changed as soon as I got my hands on a test build of the app running on my phone, and of course tied to an account with “test” money to play with. This was great to try out all the features of the app without actually playing around with real money. My initial views of app just from the few screens I saw was that it was quite mature and had a polished UI. The designers behind the app ensured that the app has great visuals and the UI flow which is intuitive. Just this refined look of the app encouraged me to dig in more and explore.

Full Featured

The more I explored, I found that this app manages to provide almost all the features that the online banking site provides right here on the mobile. They succeeded in doing this without having overtly complex menu systems. Here are some of the features that the app provides:

  • Account Balance, Recent transactions, Transaction report between dates and the ability to email or mail details of these transactions to you,
  • Open Recurring or Fixed Deposits
  • Fund Transfers
  • Bill Payments – Phones, Utilities, Charities, Insurance, DTH and even subscriptions to Readers Digest and India Today Magazines
  • Investments, Loans and Demat tracking
  • Shopping deals
  • Even last-minute gifting via e-gift vouchers which you can send your friends
  • ATM and branch Locator
  • Cheque snapshot feature – a little more on this coming up.

If you issue cheques regularly, you might be filling out the details on a slip at the back of the chequebook to keep track of details. This app comes with a feature where you can just click a snap of the filled out cheque and it’s stored on the phone and on the bank’s cloud. You can take a refer to these later when you need to look up details.

There’s not much you can’t do within the app making your mobile banking experience a full featured experience.

Screenshots from the ING Vysya App

It just doesn’t stop there, after I got my actual account activated in the Bank, I headed over to Google Play to download the app. The first thing I noticed was the reviews on the app, and the bank does seem quite proactive with reviews where people were facing issues and guiding them. It’s a great initiative for a bank to be on top of user’s feedback. So if you have an account in ING Vysya, go ahead and install the app for banking on the go.

Download

Download from iTunes

Download from Google Play

Download for Windows Phone

Football Frenzy – Apps for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone

With the UEFA Champions League and Europa Cup Finals just around the corner and with the FIFA World Cup just a month away, here’s a few apps that are must haves to keep track of the news and updates.

 

Forza Football

Forza FootballForza Football recently underwent a transformation, with a new name (it was formerly called Live Score Addicts), new icon and with a news section added in. It’s the app that I use, and it’s a brilliant, must have app.

You can control the update rate, from an addict friendly 5 seconds to a battery friendly 180 seconds. You can select leagues, teams and tournaments to follow, and it’ll even suggest the league and teams based on your location during initial setup. This includes almost every league and tournament in the world along with international competitions. You can customize what updates you want: Cards, Goals, Game start/half-time/full-time notifications and other events. You have league tables, player stats and much more. But the best part has to be the fact that you can mute notifications for a preset time period or during the nights.

Check them out over at footballaddicts.com

Get the app for iOS and Android (sorry Windows Phone folks):

Download from iTunes

‎Forza Football
‎Forza Football
Developer: FootballAddicts
Price: Free+

Download from Google Play

 

ESPN FCESPN FC

ESPN recently launched an updated app for the World Cup and certain leagues and clubs. It also has video highlights, which unfortunately, is US only.

The Leagues that are supported so far include the top English, German, French, Mexican and American leagues (and a few more), along with the top tournaments. You can get play-by-play updates, match analysis, transfer news bits and more.

Download from iTunes

Download from Google Play

Sorry Windows Phone users. You could try out ESPN Sportscenter:

 

FIFA

When in doubt, get the official app from the governing body itself: the official FIFA app. You get coverage of pretty much all the leagues and cups. I was quite surprised when the app turned out to be actually nice.

Apart from the news, game schedules and scores, the app also has a section outlining FIFA’s various initiatives.

Again, sorry windows phones fans, the app is iOS and Android only. For some weird reason, they don’t have an universal iOS app.

FIFA for iPhone

‎FIFA - Fussball Nachrichten
‎FIFA - Fussball Nachrichten
Developer: FIFA
Price: Free

FIFA for iPad

FIFA für iPad
FIFA für iPad
Developer: FIFA
Price: Free

Download from Windows Phone Store

ScoreMobile FC

ScoreMobile FC, so far at least, has been the only app that I have found that exists on almost every platform. It’s available on iOS, Android, Windows Phone & Blackberry (10 and OS7). It even used to exist on Symbian, until Nokia shut down the Ovi Store (you could probably search for a .sis file, I haven’t linked to one since I am not sure which is the right forum to look at for Symbian nowadays). While the standard features (score updates, game events, match schedules, etc) are present on all platforms, there are limitations on some platforms, primarily when it comes to push notifications.

Get the apps:

Download from iTunes

Download from Google Play

Download from Windows Phone Store

For Pre Blackberry 10 Devices, get the app hereBB10 users, the app has been renamed and is now called theScore. Get it here.

LiveSoccer World Cup Edition

A relatively new app on Android, one that I have not extensively used, is LiveSoccer. Honestly, it’s Football, not Soccer. But the app works pretty well and has the main functionalities that one would expect, with notifications, match details, schedules & news.

Download from Google Play

Are there any apps on your platform of choice that should be here? Let us know in the comments below.

 Image Credit: Wikipedia

Apps for the Week – Inorbit Mall, Dark Sky, Nine for Exchange Mail and Docs and Sheets

Inorbit Mall app for iOS and Android

Inorbit MallIf you regularly visit Inorbit Mall, here’s a nifty app: the official Inorbit Mall app for iOS and Android. Along with listing all the stores at each location, it also lists the current offers available at each store and a really nifty feature called Park Assist, a must have in my opinion, to help you remember where you parked your vehicle.

There is also an option to Shake & Win, which, as Inorbit says:

Shake & Win – Log in, Fill out your profile, tell us a few things about yourself i.e. birthdays, anniversaries & on special occasions at Inorbit you can win loads of prizes. Simply, launch the ‘Shake & Win’ icon and give the app a good shake.

Give it a try, click on the links below for the apps.

 

 Dark Sky for Beautiful Hyper-Local Weather

Dark Sky

Forecast.io is a really good hyperlocal weather service that can be used as a web app on iOS or Android. However, they have an official app for iOS, Dark Sky, and it’s quite a beauty. If you’re a weather forecast addict or just like nice apps in general, this is a must have. At $3.99, it’s pricey, but worth it. They say that they’re working on and Android app as well, although there are a few nice third party apps.

 

Nine for Exchange Mail on Android

Nine Mail

If you happen to use an email account that requires exchange activesync, there are a few apps on Android, including the venerable K9 mail, which has been redesigned. But of all the options that are available, Nine is by far the prettiest of them all. There’s a two week trial, post which you need to unlock full functionality with an in-app purchase, which is normally $19.99, but is currently available for $9.99. That makes it cheaper than MailDroid Pro, which is $17.99 (and it is much better looking). It’s customisable and has PIN entry supported, a must have if you have your work account set up.

 

Nine - Email & Calendar
Nine - Email & Calendar
Developer: 9Folders Inc.
Price: Free+

 

Google Docs and Sheets for iOS and Android

Google Drive was the place to go if you wanted to edit and manage your documents or spreadsheets. They also have Quickoffice. Well, now, opening a document or sheet in Google Drive will prompt you to download the standalone applications if you want to edit your files. Having said that, the standalone applications are quite useful. Download them below, they’re a must have for document viewing and editing while on the move.

‎Google Docs
‎Google Docs
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
Google Docs
Google Docs
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
‎Google Tabellen
‎Google Tabellen
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free
Google Sheets
Google Sheets
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

 

Google Camera Updated!!

Google has recently updated its native Camera app with a couple of nifty new features. Also, the Camera app will be available on Google Play to all devices running Android KitKat 4.4 and above.

As we all know the Google Camera app comes with the very creative modes like the very much appreciated Photosphere and Panorama.

Up until now Photosphere used to capture 360 degree Panoramas at 8 megapixels, which was really great. Photosphere product manager Evan Rapoport recently announced on Google+ that through this update users will be able to capture 360 degree Panos at a whopping 50 megapixels!!

The already awesome Photosphere just got better.

The new update also brings a new feature, Lens Blur, which as the name suggests allows users to focus on a particular object while blurring out the background resulting in a nice creamy bokeh effect. One can also change the focus subject after taking the shot, just like Nokia Refocus and it works really well.

Apart from this, the View Finder has been improved to eliminate Dropped Pixels, which means what you see on the screen is what you get in the image. The Panorama mode has also been updated to offer more resolution and detail.

There are a couple of drawbacks though. For instance, the camera shoots only in 4:3 aspect ratio, the timer option is gone and so is the white balance settings. But going by Google’s reputation these options should be back soon.

As mentioned, the new Google Camera will be available on Google Play and is compatible with all phones and tablets running Android KitKat 4.4 or above. So head over to Google Play and start clicking!!

Google Camera
Google Camera
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Apps for the Week – Shifu, Mailbox, Quick Click & Airtel Pocket TV

Mailbox for Android

Mailbox_Android_swipe_archive
The much hyped about Gmail client app from iOS, now lands on Android devices. Mailbox aims to simplify your life by trying to keep your Inbox to Zero. The actions in the app are gesture driven, allowing you to send email to four different destinations – Archive, Delete, Send it to a List or Make it go for now and reappear later. This set of easy swipe gestures is what makes the heart of the app’s experience.

The Good: An easy to use app to try getting you to a Zero Inbox goal. The Swipe gestures really ease the task of filing the emails in the right places.

The Bad: Since Dropbox now owns Mailbox, they thought that it would be cool to make you signup for a Dropbox account before you can add your email account.

Shifu

Most task reminder apps these days allow you to make a list of ToDos and remind you to do these at fixed times of the day. But most of us don’t follow a fixed schedule or are caught up with other work and these tasks end up languishing in the reminder apps for hours and days at end.

Here’a where Shifu wants to make a difference. Instead of setting a fixed time Shifu allows to you remind you of tasks when you have free time. You can add tasks based on the amount of time it would take and Shifu will remind you when you have that free time. Shifu does this by analysing your data and see when you’re commuting and when you use your device to give it hints on when you’re free.

In addition, you can add other triggers to your reminders like location or when you’re connected to a certain Wifi Hotspot. It even enables you to add reminders when someone calls you. So you can set a reminder to ask about your raise when your boss calls in.

Apart from these smart reminders, Shifu also checks your calls to see which ones you’ve missed and asks if you want to call them back when you have sometime.

The Good: A really new look at getting your ToDo lists done properly when you have the time to do it. This could allow you to go through your list more efficiently. I love the reminders triggers for Wifi hotspot, Location and when someone calls, which help in setting contextual reminders very easily

The Bad: You can’t set fixed times for reminders, so if you really want a reminder at 5pm, there’s no option yet in the app.

QuickClick

Quick Click App Screenshot
Opening apps and performing actions quickly on your phone is the key feature of the QuickClick app. To achieve this, QuickClick leverages the use of the volume buttons on your phone.

You can set your phone to perform actions based on clicks of your Volume buttons. For example, I’ve programmed the app to start and stop the flash light on the phone when I click on the Volume Up thrice, and launch Zite for my news fix when I click on the Volume Down thrice. You can also set a click sequence to make calls to your friend or family member in case of emergency.

A tip to keep in mind is to head to settings and check the option to “Preserve Battery Life”. This option allows you to save your battery by making the app listen to your key click sequence only when the screen is on (even in the locked state).

The Good: Easy to use and setup and very handy to start your favorite apps even without having to unlock your phone.

The Bad: AD Driven app, but then it’s free so I can’t complain much there. Not a major one here, but unless you set the app in the “Preserve Battery Life” mode, you’ll end up draining your phone quite fast. It would have been preferable if this was the default mode.

QuickClick
QuickClick
Developer: Blor
Price: Free+

Airtel Pocket TV

Airtel, a leading Telecom and DTH provider in India, recently launched their Airtel Pocket TV app for the Android platform. The allows you to view more than 150 TV channels on your phone, along with a selection of on demand videos and movies.

To gain access to, you will need to shell out an additional Rs.60 / month on top your existing Airtel DTH subscription. They do have a few channels TV and Video which you can watch for free to try out the service before you go ahead with the subscription plan.

Airtel mentions that they will have iOS and other platform support soon. To get more information on the app, head over to Airtel Pocket TV and download the app using the link below:

Apps for the Week – TimeHop, LinkBubble, Gravity Screen and Vuclip

Timehop – Back to the Past

timehop app screenshotTimehop is one of those interesting apps, which once you try out, you keep going back for more. The app timehops to back to the past and shows what you shared over the years on your various networks on today’s date. For example since I opened the app on 28th March, I will be able to see what I did on 28th March last year and the years before that.

What I found addictive about the app is that it shows almost everyday with my photos and status updates from the various social networks I had connected to the app. Some of the networks supported are – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare and Dropbox. They also have instructions on how to connect your photo sources from your PC or Mac to their service if you wish to do so.

Timehop has been around in the iOS world for sometime now. It’s only now that the Android mortals can install the app on their devices. Take it out for a spin and tell us what you think.

Download from iTunes:


Android download from Google Play:
Timehop
Timehop
Developer: Timehop
Price: Free

Link Bubble – Revolutionises Mobile Browsing

This Android only app will change the way you use your mobile phone browser. Usually when you click on a link within an app, it usually asks if you want to open the link in the browser. The usual problem is that you get kicked into the browser and have to wait a while for the page to load, and then hit back to get back to the app. Sound complicated? Yes, it is and it gets in the way of productivity.

Link Bubble aims to changes this paradox. All you need to do is to install the app and launch it once. After that, anytime you click on a link in any app, you’ll see a Link Bubble open on the side of the screen. You can continue using the app as you let Link Bubble load the page in the background, and once it’s loaded, it’ll show up the page on the screen for you to read.

You no longer have to switch between apps and wait for the page to load, you save time there. The premium version of the app also allows you to open multiple ‘bubbles’ at a time, saving you even more time.

Android download from Google Play:

Gravity Screen – Turn Your Screen on without the power button

There’s tap to wake, swipe to wake, sweep to wake and so on. I found gravity screen via tabdump.com (which is a nice quick read source btw), and I have to say, Gravity Screen is awesome. You can control various aspects of screen off and on in various different scenarios using the gyroscope and accelerometer on your Android phone. Must try.

Android download from Google Play:

Gravity Screen - On/Off
Gravity Screen - On/Off
Developer: Plexnor
Price: Free+

Vuclip – For your video fix

vuclipscreenshot
Vuclip’s Android app Search and view video clips on your phone. This app offers access to videos in more than 20 languages across genres such as News, Sports, fashion, television, celebrities and more. They also cover videos in local languages like Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada among others. If you don’t find a video you are looking for from the suggestions, you can also search within the app for more.

The app also allows you to download videos onto your phone so you can stock up on videos for when you’re out and about. This helps you save on clostly mobile data rates. If you find a video you’d want to share, Vuclip provides share options to send out your message to your friends.

Android download from Google Play: