I never did like Facebook. In fact, I only joined the benighted data-grabber two years after I started tweeting. Perhaps this reluctance was an indication of my desire to communicate, rather than staying up to date with my friends’ latest FarmVille scores. Maybe I didn’t want to be the plaything of an advertising network. Or, I suppose that Zuckerberg might have been right, and I really was so darned anti-social that I detested my friends and never wanted to see their annoying faces again [note: sarcasm].
All the same, I joined. And now, I’ve had enough.
Except, there’s a problem with the Facebook-leaving sentiment, however appealing, fashionable and written about it might be. When you delete your account (…he says, as if such a thing were possible…), you’ll still want to keep in touch with your close friends when you can’t see them, and with your relatives on the other side of the world, who still want to see your latest pictures. You’re going to have to find an alternative.
Okay, so let’s have a think. Ah, yes, of course: Google+.
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…)
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.
A few months ago I reviewed #nwplyng, a social network designed to share your favorite music and discover new music. Overall, I found the app to be well suited for its intended use, even if it’s not all that great at helping you find new users to follow. Some time before that I reviewed a predecessor in the social music discovery app space, Soundtracking, which shares a number of similarities to #nwplyng, but has a very different philosophy.
While both apps are work as described, the social network aspect may not be very appealing for everyone. Soundwave Music Discovery (referred to simply as “Soundwave” going forward) offers a different approach by providing a socially aggregated music discovery service without many common social network features. Does this twist create the ultimate social music discovery experience? Find out after the jump. (more…)
When I was in my third year of university, I became a professional procrastinator. By that, I mean that I had no work and no reason to find work because I was too “busy” with school and prepping for exams. And what that really meant was that I was too “busy” playing Flash-based games on an old MacBook. This was back when Facebook gaming was still a popular thing.
In that day, I was completely hooked on a game called Solitaire Blitz, which now has a universal iPhone/iPad app and is available for free in the App Store. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to pick up the game and try it out again, and see how I felt about it a couple years later on a different platform. And how well can a free game filled with in-app purchases designed for a mouse translate to a touchscreen? Read on to find out more. (more…)
I love movies. In fact, I used to write about movies all the time on my personal website before that writing started landing me freelance work. As a single male and an aspiring screenwriter, I love movies so much that I’m practically dating my film collection. (Note to self: That could explain why I’m single. I should look into that.)
My problem is that my film watching has always been inherently isolating. I tend to watch movies alone because most people I know don’t share my taste: I enjoy hidden gems like Brian de Palma’s Blow Out more every single viewing, but I could skip movies like Pain & Gain altogether (and do). It’s hard for me to find people with similar taste, but Limelight has a solution: it’s making my movie watching social. (more…)
For the past few years, Google has made it a mission to build their own ecosystem in iOS. All of their core services, including Google Search, Google Now, Gmail and Google Maps, are readily available to iOS users. Better yet, each app is able to communicate with one another (e.g. tapping a link in Gmail will open the web page in Chrome), which is a great workaround for Apple’s staunchness for disallowing third-party apps to be used as a default app (a change I’m hoping to see in iOS 7).
During the keynote address at Google I/O a few weeks prior, Google introduced their new unified communications service, dubbed Hangouts. Before the announcement, Google offered multiple communications services, including Google Talk, Google Voice and Google+ Messenger, but their hope is that Hangouts will bring them into the fold of popular messaging services such as WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger. Hit the jump to find out if Hangouts is indeed up to such a momentous task. (more…)
I’ve written my fair share of articles about App.net and the clients I test out, but there’s always new ones out there that I want to try. I have yet to find the ADN client that fits every one of my needs.
I’m aware, of course, that most people are using Netbot these days; It’s free and admittedly awesome. But it’s wearing Tweetbot‘s clothes, and I want my ADN experience to feel visually unique from Twitter without losing the power of Tapbot’s app. In the past, I’ve tried Rivr (for iPhone), which was full of features and pleasant to look at, but after several weeks of use, it didn’t capture my attention anymore and I was back to Netbot (which also has an iPad app).
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is sampling the local cuisine. There are times when dining at a familiar chain is comforting, but more often than not I prefer to find an establishment native to the city that I’m visiting. When it comes to finding these local favorites, there are a few apps one can employ such as Yelp or Urbanspoon. For me, though, I stick to one app in particular: Ness.
In November 2011 I reviewed Ness, which I called a “sure fire winner.” Recently, Ness received a major revamp, including a new method for finding recommendations, list creation and more. Find out after the jump if the revamp is an improvement or hindrance to an already fantastic app. (more…)
The more that I use my iPhone, the more that I believe that I can do just about anything I need to on it if I really force myself. Developers are creating apps that are making it easier for us to use our device to not only play games, take photos, or listen to music, but it is also becoming more of a productivity tool. The one thing that I have said about having an iPhone is its convenience to do something right then and there. I don’t have to go and find a paper and pen or I don’t have to have a computer with me; I always have my device with me which gives me the opportunity to use it to capture all kinds of things.
One tool that I’ve been very excited about checking out is CheckThis, which lets you easily create simple websites that you can share and interact with others. It’s like a canvas on your iPhone that lets you do a variety of things and then share it with friends who can comment on your activity. I was able to use CheckThis on the web and I really liked what they did there, so I was even more excited to hear that they were coming to the iPhone. (more…)