Snapseed Photo Editor available now for Android – Free!

Snapseed, an excellent award winning photo editor app from the  iOS platform lands on Google Play Store for free. You’ll need a device running Android 4.0 or higher to run this app. The good news is that iPhone and iPad users can also now download this app free from the iTunes App Store.

Incidentally, the publishers of the app, Nik Software, was acquired by Google recently. Now did Facebook buying out imaging app company Instagram have anything to do with this move from Google. Google’s also realised that the secret to being a popular Social Network is the ability for users to upload pictures to their network. Facebook upped the ante when they acquired Instagram to improve their photo sharing ability, giving users the ability to slap a filter and a frame to the photos on the mobile before uploading their photos to their Facebook albums. Snapseed from Google now goes a step further giving users better image editing facilities on the phone.

Snapseed’s image editing features is way more advanced that what Instagram provides. Getting a hang of the features takes a little time to get used to. The on screen help which pops up the first time you access a new feature helps since most of the features are gesture driven. You can also get a quick tutorial on how to use the basic features of the app from the Snapseed site. Need more? Check out this video to get a quick overview.

Snapseed
Snapseed
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

 

Snapseed on iTunes App Store

via Google Blog

App #Switch from Android or iOS to Windows Phone

I’ve had this problem when I first switched over to a Windows Phone early this year. I didn’t know the app ecosystem on the Windows Phone platform and admittedly that App search experience in the Windows Marketplace still has scope for improvement. Finding alternates to apps I used  on the Android platform was a hit and miss experience.

Now Nokia and Xyologic have come up with an online site App #Switch to help users like us who are switching to Nokia Lumia phones or any other Windows Phone platform to search for alternates to apps which we are familiar with on the iOS and Android platforms. According to the site they state that the Windows Phone platform already has 46 of the 50 popular apps from the iOS and Android platforms. So you don’t have to go missing stuff you did on your older phones on your  New Lumia phone.

Select  Android or iPhone as your previous phone and search for your favorite app and the site provides suggestions for alternate apps available on the Windows Marketplace. They also provide the QR code which you can scan using the Bing visual search from the phone for an easy install.

You can check out their site at xyo.net/lumia and search for your favorite apps right away.

 via TNW

Backup your Android Device to the Cloud using G Cloud Backup

When we talk about backing up our Android devices, the Android power users go in for tools like Nandroid, Titanium Backup and the likes. They are pretty good as backup tools as well, but regular users usually get intimidated by these tools. If you are looking for an easy way to backup your device here’s an app just for you.

G Cloud backup is effortless and an automatic way to backup all your Android’s data to the cloud. No rooting or special requirements are needed for this app to do it’s magic.  G Cloud  backups  your

  • Call logs
  • Contacts
  • Messages
  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Documents
  • Apps settings
  • Browser bookmarks and history

All you need to do is to install G Cloud on your phone and let it do the rest in the background. To use G Cloud you’ll need to create an account to get started. The free account gives you 1 GB of cloud backup storage for you to use. You can also opt for  10GB of storage for  $0.99/month.

Since I usually backup my pictures to Dropbox, I went ahead and set G Cloud Backup to backup everything except docs, videos and pictures on my free account. 1GB is more than enough for all these settings. Once setup, the app keeps backing up your data to the cloud on a regular basis. You can change the backup time and other app options from the settings menu. to conserve your mobile data usage, you can also setup the app to backup data only when you connected to WiFi, make sure this setting is on if you plan to backup your images and videos as well.

The best part of the app is when you have to  switch your phones (if you loose it or get a new one). All you need to do is to install G Cloud on your new phone and login,the app takes care of downloading all your data on the new phone and the new phone is setup and ready for use. Since call logs and SMS messages also are restored, the new phone continues where you left off on the older one. No sweat and missing messages or contacts this way.

G Cloud Backup is free to download on Google Play.

G Cloud Backup
G Cloud Backup
Developer: Genie9 LTD
Price: Free+

 

gMaps for Windows Phone 7 and higher

gMaps for Windows Phone 7 and higher‘Hell no, gMaps‘ is the answer to a question i put to almost every WP7 user I meet – ‘Do you use Bing maps as your primary navigation client?”. (Lets not talk about Nokia Maps and Drive, i’ll cover that in a future post) As I understand it, Bing Maps work great in the US and few other parts of the world but for the rest, gMaps is King!

gMaps is one of the best Windows Phone 7 clients for Google Maps. Published by author Alexey Strakh, this nifty Navigation tool comes in a free, ad supported and a pro/paid, ad free version. The free version is good for all WP7 or higher devices while the pro version is for all devices running WP7.5 or higher.

gMaps is a complete replacement for your Bing maps and comes with a whole bunch of other useful features.  This app delivers the full Google Maps experience, with its pinch-to-zoom, local business search and navigation.

Here’s what you’ll find when you open up gMaps:

  • track me on the bottom left – Tracks and zooms into your current location
  • layers on the top right (A lot of these layers aren’t available in India but work completely fine in other countries)
    • Compass
    • Traffic Layer
    • Transport layer
    • Bicycle layer
    • Weather layer
    • Latitude layer
  • + and – at the bottom right to zoom.
  • a menu bar at the bottom with the following options
    • Search
    • Discover
    • Street View
    • My Places

When you search for a location, you get to see the address of what you searched for as well as directly call them if a number is available. You can choose to get directions for driving, walking, cycling or public transport to your destination. You can add the location you searched for to your favourites for next time or pin it as a live tile for quick access.

Tap the Discover icon on the bottom menu bar to quickly discover local places like cafes, film theatres, supermarkets and more. You can even add a custom view to discover locations of your choice.

With gMaps, you can now share a route to a location with your friends. gMaps takes a screen shot of the route and lets you Email it!

One of the best features of gMaps is the driver mode. In this mode, the current position is centered on the map and rotated to the forward direction which points to the top. This mode prevents you from searching or using any gestures so the driver can stay focused on driving!

Hands down the best navigation app for me by far. The only thing missing is turn-by- turn navigation, which has received quite a number of votes as a must have feature and is a strong contender for a future roll out.

Download gMaps now!

 

 

Driver Mode with Directions
Driver Mode with Directions
Call a Location directly
Call a Location directly
Traffic Layer enabled
Traffic Layer enabled

 

Want a ‘Perfect Wedding’? Check out these iPhone Apps!

A wedding is one of the most special events in everyone’s life. The mere feel that the big day’s gonna arrive leads to a lot of excitement! At the same time, we can’t deny the fact that it is not just excitement. There is a reasonable amount of pressure that builds up when one thinks about all the preparatory stuff to be taken care of before the event. There’s always the dress, the band, the dinner, the decoration and other countless things to properly attend to in order to make the event remarkable.

Usage of notepads, calculators, excel sheets and similar stuff to handle this preparation, is what mostly people do. Let’s admit it – the whole process of maintaining the bits and pieces in order is indeed tedious. Thanks to the technological advancement and the era of smartphones – everything is under control nowadays and right in our palms. Not just the devices themselves, but the cool apps that make our lives a lot easier and a lot posh couldn’t be thanked enough.

Screenshots from the Wedding Row App

Here are some of the coolest iPhone apps (free and paid) that help the couple (and their friends and family) to stay sane while preparing for wedding –

Destination Weddings and Honeymoon Guides – This free app is for iPad only and comes as a complement to the Bonnier publication. Want to know about the most beautiful locations from which you can choose to have your wedding? This app is right at your service. Not just for the wedding – this app goes far beyond and helps you prepare for your honeymoon. The app has a great collection of spots for honeymoon – you can browse through the images of the locality of the spots and also the information about resorts.

Wedding Row – Planning for a wedding can be really overwhelming. You will come across various choices on anything – say the menu, wedding dress, choice of flowers, or even the bar service. This app helps you collect all the potential choices in one place so that you make a decision. You can create different vision boards for different choices and you can save pictures, notes etc. of the items you come across. This helps you to narrow down to your choice easily instead of picking up stuff from your scattered memory. The app costs $1.99.

Brides Wedding Genius 2.0 – This free app is a great inspiration for the brides (sorry grooms!) to help them choose their wedding dress, rings, honeymoon destinations etc. The app has a wide collection of the pictures of these items so that the bride narrow down on her choices, save them and even find the local retailers who have her favorite items.

Wedding Budget – As the name suggests this app will help you keep track of cost, expenditure, payments and other details about the wedding budget in general. The app has a handy list of most popular wedding expenditure categories such as photography, music, flowers etc. The app can help you input your budget for each of these categories and it can keep track of how much you have spent, how much money is still available to spend on that category and if you have any pending payments. This app is free.

iWedding Deluxe – Evident from the name, this is a pricey app (costs $9.99) but is quite comprehensive and acts as your complete (yup, literally) wedding planner. This app, infact, erases the need to have many apps to plan your wedding. This app covers almost all of the major wedding planner categories (mentioned above on other apps); it also has loads of additional cool stuff like details of the guests, links to wedding favors, contact details of local vendors, and also a nifty function that lets you record the preferences of individual guests. Above all, you have a countdown timer that can advise and remind you on stuff that needs to be get done as part of the preparatory process.

So, which one of the above is your favorite?

Android App for Reporting Spam SMS and Calls to your Operator

I’m sure a lot of us have registered for the National Do Not Disturb registry to get rid of all the unsolicited calls and messages we get everyday. But like the rest of you, I still get a ton of calls asking if I need a Credit Card or Home loans everyday. Text messages ranging  from Insurance plans to Lottery Winnings still pour in everyday. In fact, a day when I don’t receive such messages, I know either my phone’s run out of battery, or I’m out of cellular range. Don’t take the hammer to your phone yet, stick on find out how you can complain about these

How do you Complain?

The TRAI does have a method for us mortals to complain about these calls and messages. Unfortunately, it’s in such a cryptic format that I really find it hard to craft out on a touch screen keyboard. If you didn’t know, you can send a complaint in the following format to the number 1909 :

COMP TEL NO XXXXXXXXXX;dd/mm/yy;Time in hh:mm; short description of Unsolicited Commercial Communication

where xxxxxxxx is the telephone number which sent you that unsolicited message, followed by the date and time you received the message . Could you keep crafting such messages everytime you want to complain? No wonder these folks who spam us stay in business.

An Android App to the rescue

Hunting around the Google Play store, I found this app which makes sending in your complaints a matter of a few clicks. Download the app called India Against Spam from Google Play, and start sending in your complains. Once you install and startup the app, you’ll get a list of the messages you received in the past three days. Just click on the message you want to report. This opens up a screen showing you the message which the app is going to send out.

As you can see in the screenshot, the app has created an SMS in the prescribed format required and waits for your confirmation to send it out. Clicking in the Send button submits it to your operator. You should get a confirmation from your operator within minutes after your report.

The app also allows you to report unsolicited calls as well. If you haven’t yet entered your number into the DND list, you may not be able to report these calls and messages. Fortunately, the app allows you to register for the DND service as well. So now there’s no excuse for not reporting those pesky telemarketing calls and messages.

Link:

India Against Spam-AwardWinner
India Against Spam-AwardWinner
Developer: Deepak J
Price: Free+

Astrid Task Manager Chrome Webapp Review

Who says task managers cannot be fun? Astrid is an excellent chrome webstore app which is fun to use and is fully functional. The Astrid app is also available for android and iOS. And all the tasks you create and edit are automatically synced across your desktop, laptop and mobile once you log in to your Astrid Account.

Here’s my video review of the App (more after the video):

Positives

1. Funny messages, cute pics and icons
2. Email, human like interface
3. Lists level sharing to keep work separate from home/roommates
4. Photo upload for comments
5. URLs can be clickable from the description section
6. Weekly outlook email

What can be better

1. Subtasks feature will be handy
2. Tasks due date default set to never (by default)
3. A true chrome extension which shows tasks without having to go to the website
4. Call me old fashioned, but a mobile site is very useful

Links:

Astrid on Chrome Webstore | Astrid for iOS | Astrid for Android

BlackBerry Users – Your Must Have Apps

Are you a BlackBerry lover who is pondering to get the best out of your Phone? If yes, then this is the right post for you. Though there are a lot of apps available in the market for which the developers charge, I have compiled a list of apps that might be a valuable one for you. Some are available for free while others are charged.

Check them out and give a try.

Dropbox – This is one of the best services ever which will allow you to have a back up and allows you not to email a file again. And, having Dropbox on your BlackBerry for absolutely free is probably a great thing. Moreover, it allows you to connect to what you consider to be more important and is considered to be a more secure and safe way of browsing files. Share your photos, documents and videos easily with this app from anywhere. Give it a try. [Link]

Evernote – Designed especially for taking notes and archiving, Evernote is easy to use and is available for free. Since it has a multi-platform, you can use it to make a note of whatever you think of. In the latest version, you can add an attachment with an existing note and remove the parts that are not necessary. Also, they are fast and have better power management. Check about the latest releases here. [Link]

Tripcase – Do you get stressed during travel? Though there are a lot of travel management apps available, what makes Tripcase unique is its capability of intelligent messaging. You can use the information in your itinerary in a more organized and efficient way. Also you can have a direct import of your itinerary information and the app will automatically update the itinerary if you do any changes to it anywhere and anytime. Also, find free flight alerts and alternate flights for the same day are made available in this app without the need of upgrading to a premium where you will have to pay to get this information. [Link]

Personal Assistant – This app is used by over 2 million people and recommended by a lot of people. Personal Assistant is an app that will help you in monitoring your transactions done with a credit card, reviewing your bill statements in a detailed manner, checking the balance of your account without requiring the need to enter the data. It allows you to have everything you are looking for and has a lot of extra options too. It can automatically synchronize with your online banking, travel accounts and bills in order to get track of your balance and transactions. And when you have lost your phone, all you will have to do is to deactivate your profile from pageonce.com. It is very simple to prevent unauthorized entry to your phone and the information logged on to it. [Link]

InstaPhoto – A picture says a lot more than words. And it feels even good when you share it with your friends in a social network. With a lot of preset effects available, InstaPhoto allows you to capture moments and customize it while sharing it in social media. [Link]

I am sure, the above apps, when installed by you on your BlackBerry, will make your life that tad bit easier.

Apple dumps Chomp App

Apple had acquired the search application tool less than one year ago. As per the latest news, Apple has annihilated the Chomp mobile app, as well as removed the traces of its website.

Chomp app was very versatile. It offered an interface through which you can search for applications of various categories including shopping, musical instruments, fun games, news, to do list, discounts, social networking, photography and texting.

History of Chomp App

Chomp was founded by Ben Keighran and Cathy Edwards in 2009. Chomp was successful in adding more than 300,000 users within a span of 8 weeks after its launch. The San Francisco based ‘application search engine company’ had received 2.5 million towards funding. Chomp’s features were further enhanced by offering a number of functionalities. The services were available in the form of mobile application or as a search box inside a website. The chomp service was discontinued from September 30, 2012.

Chomp’s Absence & Implications

If you had installed Comp in the past and now try to use the Chomp app on your iOS based gadget, the app no longer works and searching for the app on the iTunes Store will not get any search results rather you will be routed to the App Store where results will be served. If you would like to access the website, www.chomp.com, then you will be redirected to the Apple website. When Siri was acquired by Apple, it had done the same thing. When users tried to access Siri website, they were routed to the Apple website. However, it happened when the Siri voice assistant was made integral with the iPhone 4S. It is a different story with Chomp as the application is present nowhere but bits and pieces of the app can see in the iTunes App Store on iOS 6.

Chomp’s Indirect Presence

Chomp was launched in the beginning of the year 2010. It was used to search for applications based on their functions rather than on the name. Even though it was made to search for Apple applications in the beginning, the application got access to search for Android applications the following year. Thereafter, the services to search Android applications were stopped in April, 2012 after Chomp was acquired by Apple.

Even though Chomp was chopped off in the virtual world, its presence in Apple’s App Store cannot be ruled out. It is believed that Apple had successfully implemented the technology in the search tools that are employed to search through the App store. This was done as part of the recent iOS6 revamp. The new application store offers improvements in the backend. This is reflected in application discovery. However, the new layout failed to convince the hearts of many users.

As per the new changes, only one application will be displayed on the screen in the form of card or pane. Chomp used to display a list of applications and you can scroll these applications. However, iPad users are benefited with the new layout. Chomp service comes to an end on the same day where Ping’s services are halted and users will also experience less storage space on iCloud.

Apple is well known for the presentation of user-friendly features. In the coming days, users will certainly be able to enjoy more intuitive features in the AppStore search mechanism.

Pic Credit – vincentabry

Rode Dog App – get barked at if you Text while Driving!

An 11 year old student made history by developing an application that prevents texts when you are driving on the road. The student in collaboration with David Grau, a creative designer at an interactive agency located at Santa Ana has achieved this feat.

The application was disclosed at the recent AT&T Hackathon. As the application starts barking, you can find that you are performing a task that you are not supposed to do while driving. By installing the application, you will not be able to send text messages if you are already engaged in driving.

Quite an innovative name for an anti-texting app, this one is called – Rode Dog. Sure, interesting it is!

Let’s know more about it –

Features

• To start off with, An interesting feature of this application is that it will also monitor your friend’s driving activity as well.
• As you include your friends in this search criterion, you will be able to observe whether your friend or family is sending text messages while driving.
• You can add groups of people under this monitoring zone. If one of the group members violates the code of conduct by sending text messages while driving, the other members will be able to bark on the rule-breaking friend. Ultimately, the driver will be made to stop the barking as the barking will continue until the driver notices it and turns into silent mode.

Variance from seat belt compliance

Interestingly, the concept takes deviation from similar kind of activity where you car will annoy you if you do not wear the seat belt. The new bark will not annoy you much but will be polite enough to drag your attention. There is growing concern for road safety all over the world. There is a rise in the number of accidents due to the negligence of drivers. Sending text messages while driving and attending phone calls while driving are suicidal and they are not healthy habits. You will not only take risk your life and those who are travelling with you but also create trouble to other passengers who travel in various vehicles or who go by walk.

Dog barks influence

As to the incorporation of the dog bark idea, the little girl named Victoria Walker was very much annoyed with her dog. When he barks, he demands undivided attention. It is difficult to accomplish any other task until the dog bark interruption is satisfied. The same strategy is applied in the development of anti-texting application which will demand your attention (if you break the rules) so that you will reach home safely. The little girl also noted that as she utilizes the application, it will help her to protect their parents. By adding and monitoring their parents’ driving patterns, she can better vouch for them. She can raise an alarm by barking as and when they attempt to break the code of conduct.

Conclusion

With the increased awareness about the dangers in associated with mobile phones while driving and walking on roads, state and local governments are planning to control the menace by declaring a complete ban on such activities. The technology is being utilized to such an extent to give us freedom to choose what we need and to prevent the access to services that we really don’t need.

This is really an interesting development that works for the well-being of mankind and for better quality of life.

Link: www.rodedog.com/