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:

 

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

The Giant List of Text Messaging Replacement Apps – OTT Messaging

Depending on where you are and who your mobile service provider is, text messaging is either so cheap that you don’t worry about it or so expensive that you barely use it. Texting is still one of the most popular methods of communication though , which means someone somewhere is always on it. Of course, sending texts across continents and countries is still expensive.

There are ways around that though, if you’re willing to use your data connection of course. The benefits? Lower cost (especially if it’s an international message) and added features like pictures, videos and more. Of course, that requires an Internet service, and a mobile device that has the app available on it. Oh, and you need to have other people that use that app.

So here’s a list of quite a few of the so called OTT (over the top) text messaging replacement services, with the pros and cons of each.It isn’t a review of the app or service though, and it isn’t a complete list by any stretch. Let us know what we missed and we’ll get around to adding them to this list.

Whatsapp

Whatsapp is one of the oldest ones out there, and as such it’s got a wide base that it works on.

Pros – multi platform (available on everything except Bada. Oh, and Symbian UIQ). Yes, it supports S40 too (and they aren’t smartphones). Media transfer (photos, videos, contact info, Location Data). Group Messaging (upto 20 users per group). Simple setup and use (linked to your phone number, no other login needed).

Cons – Photos are down scaled. Videos have to be under 12MB. There is no confirmation of Message Read status (One green tick-mark is for sent, two is for delivered). Group messaging needs more features/controls (Quiet time for the really talkative groups, Better management of users in that group).

[button style=”5″ caption=”Whatsapp” link=”http://www.whatsapp.com/”][/button]

Kik

Kik was the app whose service supposedly pulled blocked by RIM and then got back onto the Blackberry Platform. It’s simple to use, it’s fast, it’s almost like BBM. And now it’s available on most major smartphone platforms.

Pros – Fast. Really Fast. Login with user created account, so the same account can be used simultaneously on multiple devices. Sent, Delivered and Read status (for those who want to track that). Available on iOS, Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Phone. Has plugins (like sketchee) for more functionality.

Cons – User Created account (now that’s another thing you have to remember). Group Messaging controls. The Symbian app is quite limited at the moment, and there is no S40 app.

[button style=”5″ caption=”Kik” link=”http://kik.com/”][/button]

Ebuddy XMS

Ebuddy has been around for a while as a web and mobile based IM client. XMS is their take on the OTT messaging service.

Pros – Multi Platform (Windows Phone, Symbian, iOS, Android, Blackberry & J2ME). Group Messaging. Media Sharing. Facebook Login to setup the account and pull in contacts. Web version available.

Cons – Broadcast option is missing.

[button style=”5″ caption=”Ebuddy XMS” link=”http://www.ebuddy.com/”][/button]

PingMe

 PingMe is another messaging service that seems to focus more on interaction (Media Content) and on meeting new people.

Pros – Neat interface that brings Media content up front and centre. Group Messaging. Registration with just your phone number.

Cons – iOS and Android only (they dropped Blackberry and Windows Phone support a little while ago).

[button style=”5″ caption=”PingMe” link=”http://pingme.net/”][/button]

Hookt

Hookt has been around for a couple of years now, has a few common features present in the other platforms (Group Chat, Stickers, Emojis), but it has two “features” that kind of set it apart. A) It syncs across platforms (send a message on one device, platform, it’ll be there on all the others that have your account). B) Desktop and Mobile Web Support (handy for platforms that aren’t supported)

Pros – Unique ID. Syncs across Platforms (Supports iOS, Android and Blackberry (Not BB10), desktop and mobile web.

Cons – No Windows Phone Support.

[button style=”5″ caption=”Hookt” link=”http://www.hookt.com/”][/button]

ChatON

ChatON is Samsung’s own cross platform messaging service, that has a lot of the features that other services have, including cross platform sync. It also has the ability to create an animated message or picture. It seems to have a little bit more detailed profile management, kind of like a Social Network (no it isn’t one)

Pros – Unique ID. Syncs across Platforms (Supports iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Certain Samsung Non-Smartphones, and desktop. Animated Messages.

Cons – No ability to actually manage notification tones (I could not find a way to turn off the tone!). Clunky interface (there are a lot of features, you just have to find them).

[button style=”5″ caption=”ChatON” link=”https://web.samsungchaton.com/”][/button]

Wechat

WeChat is one of the newer entrants. It’s developed by Tencent. The service has grown massively of late, mostly in China and South East Asia.. It has apps on most platforms (No BB10 yet) and a couple of things that it has over the others are Video Chat and what it calls “Drift Bottle” – you literally throw your message out there and wait for someone to pick it up. It’s also one of the fastest growing services, in Asia at least.

Pros – Sign in using phone number of Facebook Connect. Find Friends from FB. Symbian, Android, Blackberry (no BB10 yet), iOS, Windows Phone and Web clients.

Cons – No timestamps, delivery notifications & read reports.

[button style=”5″ caption=”Wechat” link=”http://www.wechat.com/en/”][/button]

Line

Line is a service by Japanese company Naver and it’s got everything but the kitchen sink! It’s available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry (No BB10 yet), for the Mac, Windows and Windows 8. Apart from the usual messaging, it has other services available (some as in-app purchases), like audio calling, video and audio messages, social gaming, stickers and more. In Japan, it has more active users than facebook!

Pros – Sign in using phone number or email. Android, Blackberry (no BB10 yet), iOS, Windows Phone, Mac, Windows/Windows 8 clients, Sync’chats across clients. Free calling, Audio and Video messages, Stickers, games

Cons – Only one smartphone can be used for a registered user (you can use it on one device and on a Mac/Windows computer).

[button style=”5″ caption=”Line” link=”http://line.naver.jp/en/”][/button]

Kakaotalk

Kakotalk is like a Korean version of Line, and it’s been around for a long time now. Just like Line, in Korea, it has more active users than Facebook. It has clients for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry (No BB10 Yet) and Bada. It also has other add on services like Kakaopoll, Kakaolink, etc, adding even more modes of interaction. It does not have a desktop client however.

Pros – Sign in using email. Android, Blackberry (no BB10 yet), iOS, Windows Phone, Bada clients. Free calling, Audio and Video messages, Stickers. Pin lock for chats.

Cons – No Desktop Client. Only one mobile number per account.

TU Me

TU Me is an example of a service created by an operator (Telefonica) to catch up with the rest of the OTT service (which operators supposedly hate because of the loss of revenue from text messaging). And on first glance, they’ve done a good job of it. It looks good, has quite a few features and most importantly, you do not have to be a Telefonica customer to use it. It’s iOS and Android only for now, but hopefully it’ll soon get on other platforms. They let you store your chats for a year, after which you have to pay to keep your chat history.

Pros – Sign in using phone number. Audio Calls, Voice and Video messages.

Cons – Android and iOS only. Pay for storage and usage after a limtied period.

Viber

Viber isn’t specifically a messaging service; it started off as a VOIP service which you use to call other Viber users over WiFi or your devices’ data network (kinda like skype). It has had messaging for a while now though, and it doesn’t have much (Group chat for instance), but it does work well with what it’s got. It has clients for iOS, Android, Bada, Windows Phone, Blackberry (no BB10), Symbian and even s40 (like whatsapp).

Pros – Sign in with phone number. Free calling to viber users, messaging & stickers.  iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Bada, Symbian and s40 clients.

Cons – No Group Messaging

Moped

Moped is a startup from Berlin thats aims to rethink instant messaging from the ground up. Moped lets you send IM’s over phone as well as your computer. Available on both Android and iOS platforms, Moped allows you to share messages and pictures privately or in a group in a very twitter-y fashion. You’ll need a twitter account to sign up and and can incorporate #tags, and @’s in your messages. Users can receive messages on their mobile devices, desktops or by e-mail. Moped also comes built in with a very instagram type  functionality –  a series of photo filters for for enhancing photo sharing. With dropbox integration and a chrome extension, Moped is trying very hard to cover all bases between mobile and the desktop.

Pros – Access IM’s over mobile, desktop & email, hashtag and @(mention) integration, Chrome extension to share content with Moped contacts.

Cons – only twitter login, no WP client

Jongla

Jongla is different from the others for one main reason: the target audience. It’s targeted at kids. Well, 15-20 year olds. It’s got most of the “fun” features from the other apps; stickers, etc.

Pros – Stickers, Web Login.

Cons – iOS, Android and Web only. Beyond stickers, there’s no other “fun” content sharing options.

Hike

Hike is another example of a service created by an Operator (India’s Bharti Telecom and Japan’s Softbank telecom provider) to try and catch up with the rest of the crowd. A standard IM client with one extra feature, 100 Free SMS/user/month for those times when you have flaky internet connectivity.

Pros – All platform IM client(BB coming soon), 100 free SMS/month and other rewards and incentives for stuff like connecting with you Facebook and twitter accounts

Cons – very low user base

Relay

Relay is all about the GIFs. It lets you share animated content from your own gallery, or you can search the web and send animated content to your buddies. Unfortunately, it’s an iOS only app.

Pros – GIFs! Animated!

Cons – iOS only.

GroupMe

GroupMe has been around for a while now. It started off as a messaging app with the focus being on creating groups and staying in touch with them (set up a group when you’re out at an event or conference, with people you have as contacts and others). It recently got updated with some really neat features, including what they call “Split”. You can track the expenses in each group, or add expenses and have others chip in. It also lets you message people who do not have the app, say, someone without a smartphone. It just sends them a standard text message that they can reply to. GroupMe is meant to be a bit more serious, at least when you compare it to some of the other clients out there. It is owned by Skype after all. Which in turn, is owned by Microsoft.

Pros – Sign in online. Manage and edit groups from any device or from the web. iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry (no bb10) and Web clients. Texts sent to phones that do not have the client. Split – expense tracking and management per group.

Cons – Focus on Group messaging (can’t really be counted as a con though).

Yoke

Yoke is similar to most other messaging apps, with stickers, scribbles (drawings), etc. It also allows you to edit your message if it hasn’t been read yet, and you can edit it upto 5 minutes after it has been read.

Pros – Sign in with phone number. Edit your chat. Avatars, Scribbles.

Cons – iOS and Android only.

Cubie

Cubie is a new entrant to the social messaging field. It tries to focus on the “fun” aspects of messaging, with a lot of features seen in Line, such as stickers, animations, etc. It does have a few unique features though, enabling you to create your own content, of sorts. You can sketch, edit photos, etc.

Pros – Sign in with phone number. Stickers, Create your own sketches, animations, customize the look of your chat.

Cons – iOS and Android only. Account can be used only on one device. Tied to one phone number, you’ll need to create a new account for a new phone number.

Image credit: rido / 123RF Stock Photo

Top 5 Android Apps For Entrepreneurs

smartphone app
Using an Android device and searching for business apps can ease your tight schedule to make your work easy and reduce strain. The Android market is filled with many business apps. So, we are giving you some useful business apps that support you.

File manager: This application allows you to customize or arrange your folder, files and desktop. This app has three sets of images and solves multiple issues. Users who find this app should have prior knowledge and then should go for this app.

Quick Office Pro: This helps people who constantly use Excel, Word, and power point. By using this app, users can edit and open documents, spread sheets and presentations. We can use PDF file as well. We can resize, delete and move using this app. You can also store your files on cloud storage.

Divide: Bring your own gadgets to the organizations in a secure way by splitting work into personal and office sections. Dividing the work into encrypted form on gadget devices allows business people to access their contact, emails and so on.
IT professional maintains data control and security; Data can be erased in the absence of the employee. Other employees can’t access your personal data; it can be accessed by the mobile owner .This application is available for free.

Divide Android App

Google Drive: Using this app, we can store documents, photos and videos. We can access and share from one place. You can upload files directly on Google drive from your gadget and you can share it with your friends.

Business people can use this app especially for presentations, office documents and PDF files. This app allows users to store upto 5GB.When we are sharing our documents, other people can also edit the file on real time. This app is completely free to download.

Bump: To use this app we need two smart phone owners because it’s easy and quick to transfer data. Before transferring the data, users need to confirm that they want to share the data. This app can be used on networking events because it easy to share mails. They can become friends on Facebook and it is completely free to download.

Adobe Reader: To share PDF files on an android device, user’s use this app. Users can access and manage PDF files. We can fill application forms online and sign electronically. You can store all your PDF files on cloud. You can edit files using this app like strike through, underline, highlight, add text, and comment.

About the Guest Author:
My name is Claudia. I am a tech writer from UK. I am into Finance. At present I am focusing on ppi claims . Catch me @financeport

Photo Credit: iStockPhoto

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?

The Blackberry Playbook a year later with a Blackberry fan

Playbook, at it’s debut, opened to widespread negative reviews. The overwhelming perception was that Research in Motion (RIM) was a sinking ship, with a battered stock and the wizards from Canada had taken a first shot at scaling up a brand new Operating System (OS). It didn’t conform to the crowd and leading lights of tech web sites who have dubious standards when it concerns “conflict of interests”.

Despite the hoopla, RIM has probably managed to garner about 3% of worldwide tablet market share. It could be better or worse, if someone decides to contest this claim, but there is a huge difference between what is “shipped” and actual sales. Something that Apple and Samsung are adept in “make believe” and cost accounting practises to charm the press about “millions” of sold inventory.

The electronics industry strongly believes in refreshing their brands; most of the users are probably unaware that the present day hardware is good enough to run the “latest” software. Most of them are also unaware that high prices being paid for the product are way beyond the actual costs of production and moving in to market after taxes. Invariably, early adopters are only paying for the advertising costs. That’s why the “price cuts” once the brand recall becomes easier.

With this humbling back ground, I got a brand new 64 GB Playbook, once it’s prices were slashed. I have owned a Blackberry for over two years now; a curve 3G followed by Bold 9790 which is arguably the best phone I have ever used. I was naturally tempted to look at the offering from RIM with it’s promise of Blackberry Bridge (more on that later) and looked forward to see how best it could be integrated in my daily work flow.

The new Blackberry (BB) operating system (OS) is based on QNX, which is highly resilient and secure embeddable system with it’s own custom user interface (UI). It is here that it wins the contest hands down. Traditional marketing of Playbook has not focused on the cores of processor, the build quality or it’s display. To me, it doesn’t matter. Because the present day quad cores would not caress your hands (or ears) while using the instrument; it’s more of a marketing gimmick and it’s bound to be resource hungry when at the most you’d be using your phone to either make calls, text or play occassional Angry Birds. Quad core for Angry Birds? Seriously?

It’s the 7 inch screen and the form factor that’s the icing on the cake. It’s big enough to be held in hands, a bright screen display that can be easily read in direct sunlight and slides in my jeans back pocket. For those coming from Android or Apple world, it would be a little confusing to see a physical volume and power button. Rest of the tablet is entirely gesture based. It’s here where RIM holds it’s trump card. It’s deceptively simple without making it overtly complex.

The OS boots up in about a minute and a half during the time it displays wonderful fractals. If you have password locked the device (which is a good security practise), once you boot in the main screen, you are good to go. I have the basic Wifi model (the 4G LTE isn’t launched in India as yet) which has been discussed here.

The fun starts with Blackberry Bridge which is connection to your existing Blackberry Mobile through encrypted Bluetooth. With a huge OS update recently, it’s easy to access the text messages (in addition to emails, contacts, memo pad, Blackberry Messenger and Calendar). At times, when I need to access the Internet, I don’t have to tether it but rather use the “Bridge Browser” (the browser on the phone) through Playboook with the added advantage of bigger screen. This avoids the extra charges of Internet tethering. Further, bridge allows me to access files on Blackberry and Blackberry Messenger. The predictive text input is so far the best I have seen on the touch screens (though personally I prefer the physical keyboard on my Bold 9790).

The front and rear camera shoots in high definition beauty; stills as well as video. However, the human eye is sufficiently adept in distinguishing the “fine lines” of high definition. If you are serious about photography, buy a camera instead! The sound output comes from its reasonably good speakers; the standard mic output (3.5 mm jack) when routed through my headphones (I recommend Denon), sounds fabalous. The inbuilt player plays most of the video and music formats with a loud sound output that can be enjoyed with a group of people huddled around it. Needless to say, Flash is in-built for web (how fast we move towards HTML 5 and flash agnostic world is anyone’s guess) and there is a dedicated You Tube app that plays HD videos flawlessly (depends on your connection speed). Oh yes, you can copy and paste too!

Despite the intense multi tasking (I open up multiple apps/screens/browser instances), I haven’t seen my tablet lag or go belly up. The only time I had to forcibly reboot is when I had sideloaded Android applications in developmental mode, when it “mis-behaved”.

There is a standard micro-HDMI slot, a charging port (that uses micro-USB plug) interchangeable through the Blackberry handsets and a connector dock for the keyboard. I haven’t been able to get this accessory, so I wouldn’t be able to comment on it.

Why do the platforms crow about “thousands”/million apps? Some of the apps are mere “launchers” for the browser to interact while some are clones of each other. How many Twitter apps would you need to do the same thing on your tablet? That’s why I am amused at the sheer number. While Apple restricts you on it’s ecosystem (and so does Bllackberry, in a way), RIM has decided to run encrypted apps in future update. I would be happy for the developer who ought to get suitably rewarded for the efforts made. More so, with newer developments in the way apps can be coded for RIM, it has become easier to translate your idea into a product (as testified by numerous “jam sessions” held by RIM across the world). Android has a lot of piracy, the market is full of malware and is inherently insecure. Although the updates promise to rectify this, it is a huge fragmented market. Apple (and to that effect RIM) ensures uniformity for updates and product lines but app for app, it’s far more profitable to develop for Blackberry.

I primarily use my tablet as a reading device (I use Instafetch) since there is no native application like Instapaper for Playbook. It gets my work done with fairly simple settings. I have an epub reader (which also reads chm files) which does the good job of reading e-books.

Native pdf support comes from Adobe Acrobat which is insipid. I prefer to use Quopa’s PDF Reader with some degree of pdf manipulation like highlighting across text which is preserved across platforms. I paid after using it for trial and it’s worth it. I read a lot of journal articles in pdf which translates in true value for money.

Apart from these two, I haven’t found anything else to increase the utility of my tablet. Lack of Skype support is a problem but I find my laptop reliable to be used for it. There is Video Chat built in, but you would need another Playbook to interact with it. I am told that the next Blackberry Messenger update would come with Video Chat support as well. It’s not that I am carrying an elephant or iPad magically makes me look good on the cam in any manner whatsoever. I have sideloaded Flipboard (which sets up a pretty interface for RSS feeds) but it’s just an interface. That adds nothing to my daily workflow and I have found it’s support pathetic. (The queries sent to their developers for native Playbook app remains unanswered even after 1 week). I access my feeds through browser on Newsblur which is what a RSS reader ought to be.

Apps or hardware specifications is a pissing contest; more like a rat race where the principal protagonists are just rats. Death of personal computing is highly exaggarated by journalists looking to stir a hornet’s nest, garner more eyeballs on their pithy web sites while acquiring a cult status promoting the new tablet as the next best thing to sliced bread. A tablet cannot be a replacement for a PC, as yet. It is as best, a supplement.

That’s where Playbook cuts through the flotsam and the fluff. It is what it takes a real tablet with adequate form factor and hardware specifications to shine through. Highly recommended.

 


Author Bio:

Dr. Berry, the pseudonym of a real life doc by profession, but a technophile in heart. He spends his free time dwelving in the world of technology. Loves BBM, but hates that some of his friends have to be reached through Whatsapp instead.

Posts – an exciting new app for bloggers on iPad

Posts“, is an iPad application delivered by the award winning company, Pico. The new iPad application that can be used by bloggers to manage blog posted looks promising. It is easy to organize and easy to use.

There are many blogging applications for iPad. What makes Posts different from others is that you no longer need to give the path to xmlrpc file. The application takes few minutes to synchronize the data between iPad with the corresponding data from the website. You will be able to access the up-to-date posts, comments, pages and tags through the application.

Features

As you install the ‘Posts’ app, it will be readily available for your manipulations. Let us know more about the features of ‘Posts’ –

  • The application offers great user interface. You can find the thumbnails of posts on the right hand side of the screen. All the areas that you need to work will be displayed on the left hand side of the screen.
  • The application lets you access more than one website that you are managing.
  • Offline Mode allows you to do most of your work offline without and internet connection, and the changes are submitted to the site as soon as an internet connection is available.
  • You can also access the site in the portrait direction as well.
  • You will love to work with the quality rich text editor provided by the application.
  • You can add new text, append text and images, edit content and add links in an effortless manner.
  • You can also apply the ‘read more’ link facility through the application.
  • The application lets you manipulate images as well. With a couple of taps, you can adjust the size of images, location of the images, ALT text, etc.

As the application gives you ample room to edit through iPad, you will love to work with the available while you are travelling or staying away from the laptop or desktop. At the moment, you can use Posts on both Blogger and WordPress. You can work on both self-hosted and WordPress.com sites. It is easy to browse through each and every post through ‘Posts’. The application will arrange all the blog posts in easy to access form and you can jump to a particular day by selecting a date on the calendar. You can switch over to the global view where blog posts from all the blogs will be displayed.

‘Posts’ let you manage comments on blog posts. You can approve or reject new comments without any delay. Busy bloggers will not waste their time as they have the facility to work in offline mode, as well. It is true that we are living in an era where our sophisticated gadgets are connected to the internet on a 24 x 7. However, having the ability to work in offline will help overcome the offline scenarios when the internet connection is disrupted due to various unavoidable reasons. As you work with offline mode, you can straight away push all the updated content as soon as your internet connection is restored.

Implications

This app currently costs $9.99 on the App Store. Some bloggers may not be satisfied with ‘Posts’ as it has its own inherent limitations. You cannot afford to work with more than two blogging platforms. If you are a newbie to blogging, you should not hesitate to take advantage of the iPad application, ‘Posts’. It is extremely easy to navigate through the application. The application gives you absolute control of your blog. As you set up multiple blogs to be accessed through the application, you will be able to progress on various blogs quite easily. Posts will give you the feeling that you are working with a familiar word processing application. Professional bloggers can take advantage of the powerful word processor and offline mode.

Download Link:

Download Post from iTunes

Versatile Handwriting Apps for iPad

A number of iPad applications are available to enhance your entertainment zone and expand your thirst for learning and exploration of new subjects. User friendliness and versatile applications have made iPad an attractive gadget. As you can carry iPad wherever you go, you can use it to perform various personal and business tasks and thus you can be more productive in your personal as well as professional life.

There are a number of handwriting applications. We shall check some of the finest handwriting applications available for iPad.

Penultimate – The notes you prepare with Penultimate can be shared with Dropbox and Evernote. In order to work with the application, you should use your finger or stylus pen. You can use this application to draw various pictures and describe the contents with text and lines of various colors. Your kids will love to use this application. You can purchase the application for just 99 cents.

Ghostwriter Notes – While penultimate gives you handwriting experience, Ghostwriter lets you use the application in an extensive manner. You can use Ghostwriter not only to take notes but also to preserve the notes that you have prepared. This means you can store the content in files. The application gives you access to open PDF files and you can write on top of the PDF files. Students will love to use this application. The application is priced at $4.99.

Smart Writing Tools – If you want to convert the handwritten notes into text form; Smart Writing Tools is the best option. You can easily achieve this conversion process by using the application’s user-friendly interface. You can convert the handwriting as soon as you write or at any later date as selected by you. If you turn on the conversion option, the recognition engine will suggest a word as soon as you complete the writing. You can accept the suggestion if the application recognizes correctly or you can reject and rewrite to give another chance for the recognition engine. The application will also learn your handwriting and as you write more, the accuracy of interpretation will improve.

NoteShelf – The responsiveness of Noteshelf is very high. Hence, it will reproduce your handwriting in an effortless manner. The application offers well designed and user-friendly interface. Noteshelf comes with built-in templates and you can use a template of your choice for each page.

Paper by FiftyThree – This app can be enjoyed on a high resolution Retina display screen. The writing recognition engine is one of the finest in the handwriting applications market. It has also won the prestigious “Apple Design Award” for the year 2012. If you have purchased iPad very recently, you will really love to use this exciting application for sketching, coloring and writing text. The good news is that you can download the application freely from the App Store.

Besides the applications mentioned above, you can also try various quality handwriting applications which include Notability, Remarks, Notes Plus, Good Notes, Neu. Notes+, Note Taker HD and Touchwriter HD.

Do let us know your experience oon using the above apps.

Image Credit - elineart on flickr

With ‘No Wait’ app, you won’t wait for your dinner!

Apple is known for innovation and user-friendly features. Similar to Apple gadgets, Apple application developers are quick to launch innovative and entertaining applications. In fact, the innumerable number of useful applications brings fun and makes life easy and ever interesting. Applications are a great strength of Smartphones. These are useful to perform personal and business tasks.

By loading “No Wait” application in your iPad, you can relieve the burden of your guests by avoiding endless lines of waiting at the restaurant. The application will message your guests when a table is readily available for them.

Let us find out more about this useful application.

Endless difficulties

It will be really frustrating waiting in endless lines to get your turn to cherish the food of your choice. You will be waiting for a big shout of your name or a buzz on your pager. ‘No Wait’ will transform this scenario by equipping restaurant management with the ability to message their guest as soon the table is ready for them. Restaurant team is not required to keep track of the manual lists on papers and there is no requirement of shouting of names. The application makes the entire job easy, convenient and effortless.

Ease & Comfort offered by No Wait

We are living in an age where the technology is applied to give maximum comfort and convenience for human-beings. Users want quick solutions. Information is essential and it should be disseminated to the concerned parties immediately. By properly conveying the message by restaurant operators, guests can decide about their stay. In other words, the customer will not be kept in the dark. It is No Wait’s ‘What’s My Place’ feature that will notify the guests about the possible wait time. The message will be conveyed through a text message.

As the guests wait for their turn by being informed through the wait list number, the restaurant team will be able to suggest them a little drink choices or a menu through mobiles. The application is meant for guest who will visit restaurants without making reservations. The hosts (restaurant team) will be able to send a ‘thank you’ message as well when guests leave the restaurant after taking the food. As the application will synchronize the data among iPads, iPhones and iPods, all the team members that are dealing with the guests will be updated with the required information. No Wait is available in three different plans for restaurant owners. They can choose one as per their requirement and make substantial gains by improving traffic on their dining tables.

Advantages

• By offering unique and customer-friendly services, restaurants will run in profits.
• By using the application not only for conveying messages to customers about the availability of tables but also conveying various attractive offers, you can draw those guests again and again. This will certainly improve your business.
• On the other hand, customers will be delighted to avail state of the art information facilities.
• It is a great way to be informed and they will be able to spend their time effectively by not wasting for their turn.

Download Link:

No Wait App from iTunes

Scope offers ‘Social Hub’ for all your Social Avataars

The popularity of social networking sites is ever growing. Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus have proven to be faithful social sites in connecting people for personal and business interactions. You might have opened an account in each of these social networking sites and would have faced difficulty to manage these accounts separately. Scope is a useful application which works like a social hub as it will let you manage different social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Tumblr. As you will access every social site from a single interface, your life is made easy. It’s available for Android for Blackberry users.

Let us explore more details about Scope.

New Developments – Scope is a wonderful application and as such there is no equivalent substitute for it at the moment. As per the new update, the interface has undergone drastic improvements compared to the earliest application released for Blackberry. Even though it takes some time to acquaint with the application, once you go through the learning phase you will fall in love with the application and there will not be any need to remove the application from your phone. You will be able to access the pictures in Twitter without clicking on the links separately. You will be able to access all the recent social posts quite easily through Scope.

CapabilitiesScope acts like a social authenticator, which manages the accounts list. As the application has the support from the hardware, you will be able to capture the image through the mobile’s camera. Scope can access your location information. It has the capability to create network sockets. The application has access to all the contact information stored in your mobile phone or tablet device. Hence, you should be extremely cautious in downloading and installing other applications and you should ensure they are free from malware. The application has the capability to track the phone call related information. You can transfer the data to memory modules like USB or SD cards. The application has the capability to modify your system settings as well.

Issues to be Resolved – As the application is in the budding stage, it has to go through the improvement phase as well. Users complain the lack of search options, inability to update the profile and difficulty in responding to messages. There should be a proper way to check the notifications without breakage. You should be able to view the comments posted by yourself. You should be able to view the number of likes, number of retweets, etc. Whether you name these requirements as drawbacks or errors or malfunctions, these should be addressed to offer users a more fulfilling experience.

Improvements – Scope was first launched on Blackberry and later on it was released for Android phones as well. The concept of providing an easy interface to access various social sites is welcomed by users. The team behind the development of the application should cater to the needs and aspirations of the user community. The application should introduce support for groups and fan pages on Facebook. The changes are required to be introduced in a fast paced manner. If the expectations are not implemented at the earliest it is likely to face challenges from other similar applications.

Download Link

For Android Devices on Google Play | Blackberry Devices