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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…)

Representing text and visual information together on the iPhone isn’t always an easy proposition, but Grid is trying to make it a lot easy. Combine text, images and more, all in a surprising interface.

I’ll try putting together some grids and sharing them to see how well Grid works as a collaborative tool. Can Grid be a miniature presentation app or should I just stick to creating grids for myself? (more…)

With the end of Google Reader, the playing field for RSS feeds and apps has really levelled out. I’ve been in the open market ever since. I’ve got a Feedly account and a Feed Wrangler account. I’m not extremely impressed with either at this point, and I’m considering moving over to Feedbin. But I want to use apps that integrate with my preferred solution.

On the iPhone, that’s left me with the official Feed Wrangler app, the Feedly app, Reeder and Slow Feeds. I’ve been using Reeder for well over a year now, but Silvio Rizzi has been slower and slower to update it as time has gone on. I decided to try out a new experience and I’ve been test driving Slow Feeds. If you’re curious about what a different take on RSS feed reading on the iPhone can be like, hit up my review after the break. (more…)

With iOS 7’s release date just a few (supposed) weeks away, we’ve officially entered my favorite time of year: mass update season. When a new version of iOS is set to be unleashed, most developers release updated versions of their apps to support it. While iOS 7 has plenty of goodness under the hood, the most visible shift is, of course, the brand spanking new interface design, and many apps are sure to be updated to gel with the new look.

While the more minimal look and feel of iOS 7 is new to the OS, it’s been a staple of Google’s apps for quite some time. With the release of version 2.0, YouTube now falls in line with Google’s minimal design standards, and includes an interesting new method of interacting with videos. Hit the jump to learn more about the recently updated YouTube app. (more…)

There’s a whole realm of possibilities in the digital area that we haven’t tackled yet, and a lot of interesting science is suggesting that we’re not even imagining a little bit of what technology is capable of. For many of us, technology is a way of living or a way of simplifying our lives, but what happens when it really helps us live?

That’s why I was so excited when I first heard about Moodtune. This is an app that’s designed to help conquer depression, and I don’t use the word design loosely. My conversations with the folks behind the app at BrainTracer lead me to believe that they really know what they’re talking about, and some of what’s going on behind the scenes is fascinating. But the real question is: How is an app like Moodtune going to help you? And can it help you? Will you want to use the app enough to turn it into a healthy habit? Read on to find out. (more…)

Video on smartphones seems to be all the rage right now. While Vine wasn’t the first app to make video sharing popular, it certainly streamlined the process so that anyone was capable of capturing and sharing short videos. Instagram eventually joined in on the fun, bringing video sharing to its 130 million monthly active users. But what about the original video service that made video sharing over the Internet what it is today? I’m, of course, referring to YouTube.

In terms of streaming video, YouTube continues to reign supreme with over 6 billion hours of video being watched every month. YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen succeeded in their mission to make it easy for individuals to share videos. With their new app and service, MixBit, they’ve set their sights on helping people make videos that are great. (more…)

There are many great apps available for the iPhone, although arguably none quite as invaluable as bSafe, a small network of friends and family who can help keep you safe when traveling alone.

bSafe is the brainchild of Silje Vallestads, a mom concerned about the safety of her daughter who developed the app to keep track of her should she get lost, as well as provide her with an alarm to trigger in an emergency. Let’s find out how bSafe could help you and your family, and give you peace of mind. (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…)

I am a longtime Pinterest user and can easily spend an entire afternoon browsing, pinning and pinning some more, so you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon We Heart It by chance in the New & Noteworthy section of the App Store.

We Heart It was founded in 2008 and is slowly catching up with Pinterest in terms of monthly users and the amount of content available. But, the question is, do you and I really need another photo-sharing service, let alone one that is hailed to be as addictive as Pinterest? Click “more” to find out.

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I have nearly 200 apps on my iPhone, but a mere few are what I consider staples. For instance, Pocket Casts has been my preferred podcast management app since I can remember, and no other app has come close to unseating it from my phone. But no app is sacred, and can be removed in favor of another; as much as I loved Tweetbot, Twitter ultimately became my go-to Twitter app for a number of reasons.

After such a dramatic introduction, you may be wondering where I’m going with this thing. A few months ago, I reviewed TVShow Time, an app designed to track your favorite TV shows. I was so smitten with the app that I called it the best in its category. Since then, a new challenger — iShows — has tossed its hat in the ring in hopes of becoming the top TV show tracking app on iOS. Let’s find out if iShows has what it takes to achieve such a lofty goal. (more…)

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