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Author

Justin Stravarius

I am an Internet Junkie who loves technology and computers more than anything. In whatever little time I can squeeze between my movie and TV show marathons, I write. You can follow me at @stravarius for nerdy outbursts and rants.

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Not so long ago,  I ranted about the dilution of the concept of social networks. They are everywhere, and there are just way too many of them. Finding a niche to create a social network around is fast becoming an art form.

We have all seen social networks built on top of photos. Instagram made a billion dollars and now we have developers trying to emulate that success. Some try by adding a little twist to the original idea. Sphere is a social network built around panoramic images. Yes, panoramic images.

Is Sphere just a spit and polish act of a once novel idea or is it genuinely interesting? Let’s check it out. (more…)

I always wonder which one of the modern day technological tools that people hate the most. There are two items that should be at the top of almost everybody’s list: email and spreadsheets. Email is dead cheap, it works well until people decide to get lazy and there is always a lot of innovation happening in that domain all the time.

Spreadsheets on the other hand are a symbol of monotony and boredom. They stand right next to PowerPoint presentation slides when it comes to creativity killing potential. Sadly, there isn’t a better way to consolidate numbers.

Viz audaciously tries to take on spreadsheets when in comes to interpreting numbers to your audience. How far can this app go given the limited screen real estate and resources of a smartphone? (more…)

Forums were the first version of social networks. They have been around for decades and were immensely successful in connecting people. Lacking a long-term vision, a lot message board script developers clearly missed the bus by not thinking ahead how best to put an already available userbase to better use.

Even in the era of real-time tweets and status updates, forums are still going strong. The primary reason is that communicating via forums is less annoying and often strictly on topic. While using a web browser to access a forum from the desktop is awesome, using a mobile web browser is far from being ideal. That’s where Tapatalk comes into the picture. (more…)

With hundreds of thousands apps, the app business is incredibly tough. Every app has atleast a dozen competitors with more showing up at a breakneck speed. This situation becomes even more muddled when an app’s functionality falls in line with the stock app or a market leader who is kind enough to distribute apps free of charge.

There aren’t a short supply of voice recorder apps in the App Store. All iOS devices ship with one and then there is the built-in voice recorder that Evernote offers. So, why would someone want to pay for an app that does the same? It doesn’t make sense, right? But, you’ll change that statement, just like I did, after trying out Recordium. (more…)

The concept of social network has become so fluid. Gone are the days when you needed millions of registered users and a sizeable number of active participants to call yourself a social network. These days, even fledgling mobile applications refer themsleves rather audaciously as social networks.

I’m not getting into the argument if that’s the right thing to do. I’m merely pointing out a fact that social networks now have a long tail of their own with apps targeting crazy niches with a handful of target audience.

Eloquently named YourExtraLife is a social network for doers. Ignoring the oversight of not catchingly naming their social network, let us try it hands on! (more…)

Time is a great healer. With enough perseverance, it isn’t very hard to weather testing times knowing that it will all end one day. Alright, that was downright cheesy. But, it is so very true, isn’t it? Counting down to something spectacular is a great way to channel excitement or to secretly vent your anger.

Being able to see the countdown ticking whenever you want is a great way to stay motivated. And, now we have an app for that! The makers of Working Days Countdown didn’t actually put much effort into naming the app. With a verbose and self explanatory name, I hope they put some effort into making this app a fun one atleast. Let’s go check it out! (more…)

Innovation has stagnated for productivity apps on the web. On the mobile front however, multitouch interfaces have opened up the floodgates of creativity. Productivity apps like Clear, Soonr, Any.DO, Wunderlist and many others push the limits of the platform to make staying productive fun and efficient.

The latest to join the list is Task Player, which is doubly unique. It targets the niche of pomodoro users and lets you play your tasks like music! I’m equally curious to see what that’s all about. Join me after the jump! (more…)

Information overload is a major headache. With a huge surge in the amount of user generated and professionally created content, it’s getting tougher to find the right type of content that aligns with our interests. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter try to bring some sanity by providing content from the people you know (or want to know).

Relying on a circle of friends and peers isn’t going to solve the problem of content discovery altogether, though. There got to be a better way to curtail the inflow of news from sources that are irrelevant, but at the same time helping us identify new and hidden gems in the rough. App.news tries valiantly to solve the content discovery problem over at the Twitter competitor App.net. (more…)

I try my best to stay away from cliches when writing reviews. But, with the app that I am gonna review today, it is imperative that I use the old adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s so very true, and in this age of chronic attention deficit syndrome, pictures are the easiest way to convey the message to your audience.

But what if a picture isn’t by itself enough to get the message across and there is something more you’ve got to say? Not everyone is good at understanding the subtext behind a visual, and this requires you to explicitly spell out what’s on your mind. ThingLink is an app that helps you bring life to your images by associating relevant multimedia content to them. Let’s go check it out! (more…)

Collaboration is a tough nut to crack. Even on the web and the desktop, frictionless collaboration with a team hasn’t come to fruition yet. It isn’t because of lack of trying though. There are many different collaboration and team communication solutions that have tried to help people communicate, share and stay productive together.

Still, there is no silver bullet for effective collaboration, but a combination of tools can help you get things done. When it’s an uphill task to ensure easy collaboration over desktop and the web, one can understand the difficulties of achieving the same on a smartphone. Kibits promises to help you interact and work with your team on the go. Let’s take it for a spin! (more…)

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