Recent App Reviews
I have a good job. I get to review apps and accessories, often before they hit the market. But today that good job is a great job, as I had the opportunity to interview Jon Taffer, host of two of my favorite shows, Spike TV's Bar Rescue and Hungry Investors. Unlike most "reality" TV shows, Taffer's programs are truly real (although condensed for practical purposes) examples of bars and restaurants that need help, and get it, from one of the industry's most renown experts. Jon walked me through how the unscripted shows are produced, without his meeting any of the players in advance. The one thing we don't see is his crew of more than fifty working in parallel to rebuild each bar from the inside out, in less than five days. But this interview wasn't just about his TV shows.
Orbeus, the company behind various image and video indexing tools, has added a new photo gallery alternative to the iTunes store. Using image recognition capabilities, PhotoTime (Free) identifies who or what is in the photo and groups them by keywords.
As new iOS apps flood the App Store every day — recently topping 1,200,000 — we know it’s tough to tell which ones are worth their salt. But thanks to our Weekly Scoop, you can have the best for free! Here you’ll find a weekly roundup of the coolest apps free or at a discount for a limited-time only. Each week features the best and brightest from websites like Free App Report, AppsGoneFree, AppieDay, AppShopper and more.
Hurry! Get 'em while they’re hot!
If you are like me, then I bet you are perpetually wasting a good amount of time overturning everything trying to find the thing that you swore you kept some place which you cannot recall at that moment.
There has never been a better time for fans of smart watches and fitness bands. The Apple Watch validates the market, yet has enough shortcomings that it leaves room for competitors. I've worn a Pebble since they were available and I appreciate many of the features it offers, but it's getting a little long in the tooth. It doesn't offer any of the health sensors that are so popular these days.
Google has changed Gmail again.
This time, I had to wait a few weeks to get invited to the "Inbox" club—Google's new app for Gmail—which has turned my email on its head. Once I got the invite, I was finally able to log into the app with my Google account.
The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are only about a month old, yet you can snag some serious discounts this Black Friday, thanks to Best Buy and Target. If you don't want to join the crowds the day after Thanksgiving, or even Thanksgiving evening, you might be able to get the same deal using their websites.
One of the great features of iOS 8 is the opportunity to use third-party keyboards instead of Apple's onscreen keyboard. Swype (free until 11/14/14) had long been extremely popular in the Android world, and many users rejoiced when it became available on the iPhone and iPad. It greatly speeds text entry. Instead of tapping individual characters, you simply make a continuous swipe around the keyboard. In addition, the more you use it, the more it becomes familiar with the words you use — and anticipates the words you're entering. Whether you swipe or type, your text entry will likely be faster.
Last Wednesday, Google announced a new version of Google Maps (free) that gives it a new design and a more intuitive interface. Google refers to the new style as their "Material Design" with brighter colors, bolder textures, the use of surfaces and shadows to emulate the real world. Their announcement says that "layers and buttons come to life so you know just where to touch to get directions, recommendations, and imagery."
I first witnessed the MyScipt Calculator at the Mobile App Showdown a couple of years ago at CES. Iwas frankly blown away by the fluid math solving prowess of this app, and it was not surprise when it won the top honors that year. MyScript did not stop there. They kept right on creating innovative extensions of this technology, particularly the hand-writing recognition now baked into a number of MyScript apps. I do not exaggerate when I say that MyScript Smart Note (free), is an amazing note-taking application for iPad See it in action in the embedded video following the break.