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:

News Republic – Your News Fix for iOS, Android & Windows Phone

I love getting my News fix throughout the day, when I’ve got a moment to spare. My usual favorites are Flipboard and Zite, but I’m always looking out  new ways to discover news instead of just sticking to my standard reading list.

News Republic’s latest version has just been added to my list after more than three weeks of using it. I seem to be favoring it more than Flipboard on my iPad. News Republic has quite a few topic you can follow and get updates on your opening screen. Since it’s a news reading app, it serves it function well, and I won’t go into much details there. I’ll just highlight two of my favorite features of the app.

List based viewer
List based viewer

One of the features I really Like about the app are the list based news viewer, which allows reading of the news item, and give a list of other news on the left side. So instead of flipping through stuff I don’t want to read, I can go directly and select the ones I want to. Saves a lot of time on a hype day, with a lot of sites publishing the same news items, and I really don’t want to read the same thing again and again.

Take your News offline
Take your News offline

Another feature I really love is the Offline reading capability. Given that my iPad is just the WiFi model, this is a killer feature which downloads news items from my favorite topics and has it ready for my reading pleasure during my commutes to work. To save bandwidth which downloading items offline, I can also choose to not download images.

Personally, I feel that News Republic on the  iPad really Rocks! Of course, not all versions of the app are equal. Your mileage will vary on the Android and Windows Phone version, so try them out and see if you like it.

Video Walkthrough of News Republic

 

Download

iPad & iPhone

Android

News Republic - Breaking and Trending News
News Republic - Breaking and Trending News

Windows Phone

Image Gallery

Rescube – A Puzzle solving game for iOS and Android

Screenshot_6

Rescube is an addictive puzzle solving game which can keep you occupied during those daily commutes or while waiting for a friend to turn up. Gameshastra, the developers of the app had initially launched this game on the iTunes store  in November last year and have quickly followed up by releasing the Android version of the game.

The main objective of the game is to get  Gisu, the ‘cute little’ alien, to the required parts to repair his ship. You can help Gisu by moving around the blocks so that Gisu has a clear path to be reunited with the ship’s spare parts. You get extra points if you manage to do this in the least number of moves. The least number of moves gets you a 3 star level complete achievement. If you don’t manage to get 3 stars, check the end-of-level screen and the number of moves you took vs the “Best Moves”, which is the minimum which you have to aim for when you replay the level.

The paid version offers over 50 levels of puzzles for you to solve, without the ad nags, which gives you quite a lot of gameplay time. You can also revisit levels to better your score by increasing your star score per game, giving some amount of replay value to the game. The Paid versions of the game on both platfroms also don’t cost much just $0.99 (or around Rs. 50). So take the free (ad-supported)version  for a spin to get a hang of the game and then go Ad-free and get the paid version, it doesn’t cost much!

You can brag about your achievements by posting these to your friends on Twitter and Facebook. iOS users also get their achievements posted to their Game Center. For a quick game trailer, check out the video after the download links:

Download Links:

Android Market:

 

iTunes App Store (for iPhone, iPad and iPod):

Game Trailer: