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.

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/

INRFOOD – a mobile app for your food ingredients!

INRFOOD – The California based startup company comes with innovative mobile application that keeps track of the food ingredients in a greedy way. It is true that there is a lot of hype about the calories mentioned on top of various packaged food items. Even though there are a plethora of food apps, for people who watch for the ingredients present in the foodstuff; very few will give importance to them and will focus that indicate the number of calories, percentage of fat, etc.

This new mobile application can be installed on both iPhone and Android based phones and lets you know what ingredients are present in the food stuff that you do consume usually and what stuff is to be kept away from you based on potential health risk.

Let us go more into the new application –

Ingredient conscious application

INRFOOD’s ambitious mobile application focuses on ingredients. It has large depository of ingredients. The database is very large consisting of more than 250,000 food products. The database is being updated on a consistent basis with more than 100 items being added every day. You can sign up for the application by entering all the required information on the website. When you register for the first time, you are required to fill some funny information as well that pertains to your food intake or life style. These are required to help you in a proactive way. For example, if you are suffering from sickness, you will be alerted when you consume food items that you are not supposed to take. This is an opportunity to convey information about the food items that you are allergic to.

Similarly, it will also let you know the ingredients that you had consumed all through the past set of dates. The application will help you be better conscious of what food items you are eating and thus, you can analyze the impact on your health. If you tap on top of any of those ingredients, you will be surprised to find plenty of information that includes the origin of the ingredient, its application and various health benefits.

Benefits

  • The application will list out the food items into three categories. The items that you can consume without any botheration will appear in green color and these are safe. The ingredients that appear in yellow color should be consumed in moderate levels. Red colored items are dangerous for your health and you should avoid them at all costs.
  • You can also explore the vast resources on the ingredient of your choice by clicking on the links. The information will be in the form of text, images and videos.
  • Certain features like My Plate analytics, ingredients display in color and food alerts will be deactivated after 30 days if you do not opt for premium membership.
  • INRFOOD is ambitious to launch other relevant products in the coming days.
  • INRBODY is supposed to throw light on the ingredients used in the preparation of skin care products.

Conclusion

It is great to apply the technology for the welfare of mankind. Mobile applications are versatile. They are adding education, entertainment and value to the lives of millions of people all across the world. If you’re one who watches what they eat, try out this app.

Download Links

iPhone Users download from iTunes | Android Users Download from Google Play 

Video

Smart Mobile Apps for City Transit

Smartphone apps that serve a variety of needs are being developed by application developers and thence, being adapted by users from various walks of life. There are applications that let you know what to eat, what not to eat and how much should you eat. There are applications that enhance your gaming experience. You have literally every kind of application that cover every facet of your life from the moment you rise up from the bed to the time you retire to take rest at night.

One such type of apps are, Transit Applications, which will save you money, effort and fuel. There is a wide range of transit applications that can update you with real-time information. Information provided by typical applications includes the availability of public transport system, mode of transport (road, rail and air), the frequency of operation, etc. As you get access to such kind of information, you will save time of the journey and you can invest your time and effort in productive ways.

Here’s a couple of transit apps which cover a wide geography

Nokia Transit – Nokia Transport is an on-the-go companion for public transport information — the equivalent of thousands of maps and schedules and timetables, all in your pocket.  You can get details on  departure times for buses, trains, trams and more, and figure out which stop or station is closest to you.

Key features of Nokia Transit:

  • Get scheduled directions door-to-door, combining different modes of public transport
  • Find a list of the closest stations and stops, along with schedules for each
  • Know where to get off: with the line detail view, you can see upcoming stations and the times you arrive at them
  • Use Nokia Maps to help you find your way in the walking sections of your journey
  • Pin your most-used destinations to the start screen

This app is available free for users of Nokia Lumia phones which runs of Windows Phone. The large list of cities covered by Nokia Transit is available at this link.

Google Maps Transit – One of the best transit city app having a distinctly wide coverage is Google Transit. Google Transit is part of the feature of the Google Maps app available for Android phones and tablets. An entire trip can be planned using this app, as it covers most transportation modes, including driving and walking. So you can get walking directions to the nearest public transport stop and also direction from the final stop to your destination.

Be it step by step directions, transit stops in your location, or station information along-with schedules, Google Transit proudly boasts of having it all, including bus routes here in India.Click here for information of areas of coverage for Google’s Transit information.

Both the above apps would always be helpful to you.

Now, let us know more about a few apps which are very geographic centric, particularly for people in United States. Here they are –

Go Metro Los Angeles – Go Metro is the application that was launched by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation. Visitors as well as local citizens will be able to plan their day-to-day journeys and occasional visits with the help of this useful application. The application being powered by GPS will let you know the transit station that is nearest to you. The advantage with this application is that you can deploy on Apple as well as Android based smartphones. As you deploy the application in your mobile phone, you will get direct alerts from the Metropolitan Transport Authority as well.

SBS Next Bus – Singapore is the most advanced country in East Asia. The small country is quick to adapt to the latest technologies that affect all walks of life. SBS Next Bus is the application that eases your life with its easy to use features. You will know the nearest bus stop by GPS powered application. SB Buses is for Apple users. There is another application for Android users called SBS Next Bus app which gives you journey calendar as well as a bus arrival timing chart.

Muni+ – Muni+ application can be deployed on both iPhones and Androids. It was designed by Sky Highways on the call given by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority. You can find the frequency of buses, locate the nearest bus stops and you can also check your Clipper card balance.

TransitTimes Portland – The transit authority in the Portland area, TriMet will supply the data which can be used by third party application developers. The frequency of operations, the timings and the traffic alerts delivered by the city information system will help application developers to better present the required information for the users. The application called as Transit Times Portland will give you extensive information through various modes including rail, road and air. It is an application that runs on Apple gadgets. For Android users, another application called Portland Transit will serve the purpose. The advantage of this application is that it is the voice enabled hence users can use their application by voice commands.

The above applications are some applications that serve the needs of users who depend on the public transport system. If you are depending on your own transport system, you can download and install relevant (which are plenty) mobile applications to serve your specific geographic & utility needs.

Impact of Mobile Apps on PC Software

Smartphones and mobile applications are creating lots of buzz now-a-days. With the tremendous growth in development and utilization of mobile applications, the corresponding impact is also felt on development of new software for personal computers. The four year old Apple’s App Store is a great success. This success has led to the Mac Application Store (meant for desktops) in the year 2011 and Windows Store in 2012.

Let us check how mobile applications and app stores have influenced the development of desktop software.

Mobile application vs. Desktop applications

  • Mobile applications give you flexibility and convenience. As the Smartphone is always switched on in addition to the usage of the gadget for various communications, you can easily access information and services through various applications.
  • Mobiles can also provide context sensitive information which the desktop counterpart may not be able to provide. Location based apps is a good example of this case. Location based apps range from maps, exercise tracking, traffic reports and more.
  • However, mobile applications have their own limitations. These applications should be designed by taking into consideration of the availability of the processing power, memory capacity and battery backup.
  • Some of the widely used mobile applications are games and aids to information such as city traffic, climate and various live updates. You can install the application of your choice directly from the app store. About 50% of the total applications that are available for download inthe app store are free.
  • Even though there was craze for the promotion of web applications, developers are again switching gears to develop applications that can be installed by users on their desktops and laptops to improve performance. As a matter of fact, web applications eliminate the process of installation of the software on the client side.
  • Web applications were promoted by convincing users that it was a clever way to avoid viruses and malware that may enter your system while downloading the software. By registering for a service through online, you will gain access to the web service.
  • Desktop applications are again getting their prominence. This segment has enough scope for growth. Unlike mobile application users, desktop application users will not hesitate to purchase premium applications. All they want is the availability of powerful features.
  • There are no restrictions for developers as well in terms of processing capabilities, memory utilization and power consumption available with desktops and laptops. This will let users experience technology at its peak levels. Developers will be able to release challenging applications and users will be thrilled to utilize these cutting edge technologies.

There is a clear distinction between mobile and desktop applications. Desktop applications will serve the needs of serious technical brains, who would like to explore the technical capabilities of new applications which will improve the productivity. Even though there will be games and other applications of entertainment value, utilities and productivity applications are the most sought after desktop applications.

The Future

User engagement through applications is steadily growing. The world of applications is growing and it is affecting desktops and laptops as well. This was recognized by Apple and Mac Store, which were launched in 2011. It was a great success which has already attracted more than 100 million downloads. As mobile applications are made available for download on the App Store, similarly desktop applications will be made available on application store. Users can go for updates as and when the new version is released. It can be summed up that mobile applications have influenced the lifestyles of millions of people across the globe and in the same way desktop applications are going to change the desktop scenario as well.

Pic Credit – Quole Tech via Flickr

What to look forward to in the new Apple Maps in iOS 6

A number of upgrades and new developments were announced at the recently concluded Apple’s Developers Conference. These are well received by Apple fans and developers spread across the world. One of the very interesting and much ambitious projects is the new Maps Application. Over the years, Apple depended on Google to deliver Maps service through Apple devices. With the launch of Apple’s Maps App, Apple customers will be able to get the Apple flavor through the new Maps application.

Advantages of Apple’s Maps

  • The new maps application not only reduces the dependence on Google but also helps Apple to deliver maps with a fresh outlook.
  • On the other hand, Apple is much addicted to the usage of maps service and it has identified the potential of maps application as it is going to make a big difference in the lives of millions of people in the coming years.
  • It is also another opportunity to attract new customers by being able to present innovative services through Maps application.
  • The application developed by Apple will deliver traffic information and three dimensional broad views of the city skyline.
  • The application will also guide you street by street while you are on the road. Street services are offered by Android applications and it is far ahead of Apple in this arena.
  • As a matter of fact, navigational services are basic and most useful services offered by any mobile mapping application.

Features

Similar to Android application, Maps app from Apple will guide the driver of a vehicle by each turn. The new application developed by Apple will give iPhone users a matching experience similar to that of Android. You can enter the commands either in text or audio format. The application will give directions through voice which gives a feeling that a personal assistant is helping you. As the application is in the development stage, as of now, you will get the transit directions and you will not be able to get turn by turn navigation as is offered through Google Maps.

While using the Maps app, you can select options in such a way that traffic and accident occurrence will be reported in a separate layer. Even though this service is not new to iPhone users, it is predicted that new service will improve the quality. The biggest advantage is that you will be able to explore ways to come out quickly when you are entangled in great traffic jams.

iPhone users will be presented with quality information thanks to the Apple’s tie-up with Yelp to provide extensive search information. As you tap on a location, you will be offered vast information which includes prominence of place, available products and services, contact details, images, reviews, etc. This feature is prone to attract many non-iPhone users as well and it is a great setback for Google and Zagat. Even though Apple’s 3D view cannot compete with Google’s Street View, it is able to offer most compelling features that will definitely entertain native iPhone users.

The easy to use navigation features along-with stunning 3D visuals which can be zoomed, tilted, etc. will take Apple to new heights in promotion of its gadgets and services. As usual the Siri application will further enhance the success of Apple Maps. The application looks promising for the current as well as future generation.

Here’s a video from T3 showing you what to expect in the new Apple Maps app:

Spread of Healthcare through Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have revolutionized the way people communicate with each other. It has drastically reduced distance barriers. Instant communication channels offer access to quick information. The spread of information through mobile phones is also utilized by businesses to promote their products and services. Information reach through mobile phones enable government organizations to inform the public in a more effective manner. Information through mobile phones is also being utilized to provide better healthcare services.

Let us find how mobile technologies will augment health care services.

 

There are mobile applications which help you monitor your blood pressure, sugar, BMI, etc. There are also mobile applications that can monitor your alcohol and caffeine consumption and to raise alert to prevent excess intake. It is speculated that mobile driven health care services are going to take big chunk of the overall healthcare industry. Health information pertaining to various segments can be served through mobile phones. It is possible to provide information on prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sickness. Versatile tools can be deployed to monitor the health condition of individuals.

Mobile health, also termed as mHealth has prospects to the tune of $23 billion by the year 2017. mHealth has huge potential to utilize mobile telecommunication along-with multimedia applications to deliver healthcare services. Even though mHealth originated in developed nations its relevance is more in the developing countries. Information can be accessed through a variety of handheld devices including Smartphones, iPads, iPhones, Blackberries and PDAs based on Windows. Even doctors and healthcare professionals can better share information through mobile phones and thus contribute to the health of the society.

The awareness created through mobile applications and information pumped through mobile phones will raise the general standard of living and will boost life expectancy. The information passed through mobile phones will be handy to pass on. Mobile users can take advice and follow the same in day-to-day busy life. In addition to the technological advancements that facilitate remote diagnosis and remote operations, mobile technology will boost healthcare services by giving a personal touch. Not only urban population but also people living in rural areas where specialized medical facilities are not available will be benefited through mobile healthcare. Mobile phones will also cut down the difference between the rich and poor in terms of access to services.

Information can be passed quickly about possible treatments available to prevent and cure diseases. The very fact that the availability of timely information will save lives is an encouraging factor to promote healthcare through mobile phones. The coming generation will witness a new level of healthcare with  advancements in medical and mobile technologies. As of now, the applications are able to educate people on a large-scale and equip them with enough information to take preventive and corrective actions.

A concrete action plan is required to take forward the revolution of providing health care services through mobile phones.  Greater efforts are required from both government and non-government organizations. Coordinated efforts among device manufacturers, mobile application developers and mobile operators will help to take forward healthcare to the next level. Mobile technology offers great opportunity to improve public health through committed computer engineers, researchers and professionals working in health care services.

 

Image Credit: MobiHealthNews

Braintree – Financial Transactions via Mobile Apps

As more  people adapt to the convenience offered by mobile phones, another traditional “web” feature has seen a big increase in the mobile segment: Financial Transactions. As such, there are quite a few options out there, but it isn’t exactly simple to integrate it into applications; If online payment providers offer sufficient tools to application developers, the entire process will be made simple.

In this context, Braintree has come up with the extension of tools for mobile application developers which will help developers integrate payment gateways into their applications. With these new set of tools, merchants will be able to confirm payments in the mobile application itself without the need of browser authentication.

 

Braintree is one of the fastest growing credit card processing companies in the world. It adds more than 100 new merchant accounts every month. It has more than $4 billion credit card transaction volume. As a matter of fact, Braintree offers services to authenticate payments made online. This service is useful for merchant establishments. The company offers multiple services related to payment processing including payment gateway services, merchant account and credit card data storage. The provided infrastructure helps merchants process national and international payments. The current delivered new set of tools help developers eliminate the complicated PCI compliance matters. Extensive safety measures can be taken by implementing encryption service when users enter sensitive information on mobile phone which has to be processed through mobile applications.

The encrypted data captured from the mobile application will be routed to a payment processor through servers employed by merchants. Decryption of code can happen only at Braintree’s end. Using a private key, Braintree will be able to process the encrypted data. In this process, merchants do not have direct access to sensitive credit card information; their servers act like mere carriers of data in this scenario. These mobile applications will be made available in a variety of mobile platforms including iOS,  Android and Windows Phone 7 based devices.

The key difference between the currently deployed mobile applications and new mobile applications will be this: instead of masking the browser in applications, new mobile applications will be able to process transactions directly from the application without depending on browser. With the availability of new mobile applications, businesses will be able to attract more customers who prefer to pay through mobile phones. Merchants will also benefit  as they will not be exposed to the sensitive information pertaining to credit cards. Transaction authentication will happen in few seconds time adding more convenience to both customers and merchants.

With the availability of applications through various devices including tablets and through various mobile phones loaded with diverse operating systems, overall mobile transactions will grow in future. Many more new mobile applications are expected to be introduced in the coming days. In addition to the technical tools, some mobile payment processors like Square are offering attractive loyalty features and printed receipts for merchants to keep them in their fold. With the increased competition in provision of services, payment processing companies are trying to woo merchants by offering some goodies.

Android overtakes Opera Mini as the most popular mobile web browser

Google’s Android has found its way into the lives of millions of people across the world.  Now, Android has achieved a new milestone by outperforming Opera Mini. As per the figures compiled for the month of February 2012, the Android Browser has overtaken Opera Mini.

Statcounter, the popular web traffic measuring tool takes the count for the iPhone and iPod touch separately. It is observed that Apple users’ web surfing is more than Android users’ web surfing. The internet surfing volume on Android based phones is less than the overall internet surfing volume on Apple’s devices. Google has ambitious plans to bring the micro version of Chrome to attract mobile users. If it has to achieve success in this sphere, a lot will depend on how Google will encourage Android users to surf the net more and more.

                                             Image Via: StatCounter

What is surprising is the amount of traffic that the Nokia browser still manages to generate. Internet Explorer Mobile, Microsoft’s browser on Windows Phone 7 hasn’t really managed to leave it’s mark, while the Dolfin browser on Samsung’s Bada devices actually registers as a unique browser and hasn’t been grouped into the “Others” tab.

Image Via: StatCounter

It is interesting to know that Opera Mini is likely to improve its position with the new version that is going to be launched soon. Even though Opera is not manufacturing handsets, the company is able to manage good number of customers because of its active promotional measures it has managed. For example, the company is able to strike deal with major manufacturers like Samsung and Nokia to offer its browser as part of the features offered by the handset. As in the graph above, which shows the browser data for the same one year period for India, Opera still rules, with Nokia a distant second. Both these browsers have been dropping web share though, and it’ll be interesting to see what this data set will show next year.

Source: The Next Web