I don’t have a cable subscription. I keep up with my television exclusively with Netflix, and since Netflix doesn’t offer as much TV in Canada as it could (or maybe should), I also use my Apple TV to watch shows I love as new episodes arrive (here’s looking at you, Mad Men). I don’t have time to watch a lot of Youtube. I know, I’m missing out on a lot of memes and I must lead a very boring life. But I love TED.
For those of you who haven’t heard of it, TED is an incredible free service that filled to the brim with informative videos from special TED conferences — sometimes motivational, sometimes de-motivational, and often about science or psychology. The TED conferences are all over the place, and if you aren’t able to attend, TED makes them available for free on the Web and in a great free universal app for iPhone and iPad. When I have fifteen minutes and I want to watch something, I often watch TED videos, and very usually fill my rare days off with them. The app is a great way to experience these videos, but is it perfect? Read on to find out how TED’s service could get even better after its recent update to iOS 7.
In July 2008, when Marco Arment submitted Instapaper to the fledgling App Store, there was no preconceived blueprint of how a “read it later” service should look and behave. In fact, outside of Apple’s guidelines, there was no notion of how any app ought to do so — iPhone OS was truly open season for developers. Where others found instant competition, Marco had the enviable opportunity to define an entire genre of app himself. 5 years later, his trailblazing app is now helmed by Betaworks, and yet, time seems to be repeating itself.
Betaworks’ acquisition of Instapaper came with just a hint of serendipity, occurring just over a month before the announcement of iOS 7 at WWDC. With that, the single most drastic architectural overhaul of iOS was thrust upon developers, and just like 2008, Instapaper was handed a clean slate to work with. However, with competitors abound and a dedicated user base to consider, any missteps could prove costly. With an array of new abilities available for use, is Instapaper version 5 a chapter of consolidation or a bold invention?
We’re all obsessed with numbers, especially when it comes to the internet and social networking. Regular Twitter users and companies using the social network regularly check their follower count to see if it’s changed or if we’ve hit a milestone in the number of tweets we’ve made, in the same way that we get excited when the odometer rolls over to 12,345 miles (don’t deny it, we all do).
Static is an app that centralises this information and does just one thing – bring all of your social networking statistics together in one app so you don’t need to switch between apps and perform multiple actions just to get the information you need.
Timelines are core components of many social networking experiences. Facebook rolled out its timeline feature nearly two years ago, displaying major life events and activities in a beautiful chronological layout. Unfortunately, social network timelines are often more about the reader than the creator. Users are forced to broadcast their checkins and life events, because most networks aren’t designed to handle private posts well.
Ohai, created by Mustacheware, is a checkin journaling app, built upon the App.net infrastructure. The app can post user checkins to Twitter and/or App.net, or tuck them away into a private journal. Can an app built on a social network yield a satisfying private journaling experience? Read on to find out. (more…)
Pinboard is a simple social bookmarking service with a strong focus on speed, discovery and organisation (using tags). With a powerful API, a vast number of ways in which you can add bookmarks to it and blazing fast search, Pinboard is well worth the price of admission and has quickly become the home for the bookmarks of thousands of users.
Pinner is a universal app that leverages Pinboards API to bring its benefits and power to the comfort of your device. After having used it my main Pinboard client for a couple of weeks now, I have found it to be of great value and can honestly say that the more popular and mainstream apps are in for some competition. (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…)
App.net developers have produced a wide variety of applications, ranging from simple ports of Twitter apps to innovative apps that support App.net’s file storage API. Apps that support the service’s basic user timeline are plentiful, but the spotlight has shifted to the apps that ditch conventional design and support App.net’s new and innovative features. Chimp is one of the newest App.net clients that does just this, and today we’ll put it under the microscope to see just how well it stands up to the competition.
Pinboard is a simple bookmarking service that allows users to bookmark webpages and funnel in bookmarks from many other services and browsers. Pinboard is similar to Delicious, except significantly faster and less social. Bookmarks are stored in the cloud, so users can access them anywhere. The service features tag support and a read later queue, and bookmarks can be labelled as public or private. The service is available for a one-time fee, which currently sits around $10. The fee grows with each purchase, which serves as a way to prevent unsustainable growth.
Although Pinboard is an excellent service, there’s a lack of solid Pinboard applications in the App Store. The service has a mobile version, but it’s missing many of the perks that native apps take advantage of. Collin Donnell’s Pinbook is a universal Pinboard client that attempts to bring the best aspects of Pinboard to the iPhone and iPad.