Most to-do and reminder apps are all about making lists of tasks that you need to complete, and reminding you to tackle them at specified times. Unfortunately, real life doesn’t always follow a schedule, and we often find ourselves skipping or putting off tasks because we couldn’t find the time to do them when we planned to — leaving with a longer to-do list for the next day. Will we ever be able to conquer these all-powerful lists?
The developers at New Delhi, India-based Signals, believe they may be onto some sort of a solution: Instead of adapting your day to the way your time management app is set up, why not have the app adapt to your life? Their new app Shifu does this by reminding you of tasks when you have the time to complete them and are at the right location. From chores to returning calls to wishing friends on their birthday, Shifu can actually help you get stuff done regardless of your ever-changing schedule. I spoke with Prashant Singh, co-founder of Signals, to understand how Shifu works and to see if I could actually get more done with their novel take on to-dos.
Although I’d definitely take a paperback over my tablet as my medium of choice to read a novel, one can’t argue the convenience of a single device that can carry all the books you’d ever want to read. That’s why I’ve been steadily growing my ebook collection — being able to carry every tome I intend to digest this year in a jacket pocket, just makes sense. The ebook game is now in a hot innings, with new heavy hitters like Google Play and even India’s Flipkart taking to the field. So I thought it’d be interesting to see what Kobo had up its sleeve.
Known for manufacturing affordable dedicated ebook readers, and for going up against the likes of Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes’ and Nobles’ Nook devices, Kobo has now made its debut in the Play Store with a bookstore-and-reader combo app that promises to deliver a comprehensive reading experience on your smartphone or tablet. With a wide range of titles, cross-device content and bookmark sync, and a clean flat interface, Kobo sure looks like it’s up to bat — but can it score a home run? I spent a couple of weeks with the app to find out.
I know that many folks scoff at the idea of using a voice recorder because it seems about as sexy as a pocket protector — and our dwindling camp of personal recording fans aren’t helped any by Louis Litt’s shenanigans on TV’s Suits. Still, there’s a very strong case to be made for recording on the go: it helps you be more productive, ideate and act on your thoughts, and remember everything from to-dos to an acquaintance’s name when you don’t have time to write anything down.
Plus, you can carry a recorder around with you wherever you go: your smartphone! Digipom‘s excellent app Easy Voice Recorder Pro makes it dead-simple to record and play back your notes, ideas and ramblings on the go, features high-quality audio capture and is flexible enough to adapt into your workflow easily. Let’s take a look at how you can get into the habit of voice note-taking and get more done everyday.
Most Redditors who’ve been around the site for a while probably recall wondering, “why haven’t I been here since it launched?” Having been hooked on Reddit for a while now, I barely remember how I used to spend my spare time four months ago, before I became a regular at this something-for-everyone repository of links and discussions. Naturally, it quickly became important for me to find an Android app to browse this beautiful universe, on the couch, in the kitchen and eventually, at my desk while I write reviews. Yeah, I have something of a problem.
I tried a bunch of Reddit clients, but eventually settled on OneLouder’s BaconReader, because I prefer a more visual Reddit experience: the app’s slideshow mode allows users to swipe through posts with their accompanying content without having to manually launch links — making it perfect for bedtime reading. But just when I thought that my Reddit fix couldn’t get any sweeter, a friend introduced me to a new client doing the rounds that promised speed, a slick UI and no ads. I decided to take it for a spin, and boy, was I pleasantly surprised by Flow for Reddit.
Since its launch, the Play Store has received a lot of flak for being clunky and painful to use. There are scores of Android users out there who want to get the most out of their devices, and a big part of that is being able to find, track and buy the latest and greatest apps available. Thankfully, there are solutions out there for all our app-hunting and tracking needs, and today we’re looking at 10 of them that help us get our fix.
If there’s one thing I love as much as listening to music, it’s discovering new music — I’m always on the lookout for new scenes, sub-genres, and artists to feed my craving for novel sounds. Unfortunately, that habit isn’t very easy to keep up where I live — Spotify, Pandora, Rdio and Google Play Music aren’t yet available in India, which means that I can’t check out recommendations, playlists and new tracks from popular content providers.
That’s why I was glad to have stumbled upon Earbits Radio, a new internet radio app that brings you tons of indie and mainstream artists no matter where you’re located. The app has scores of channels with something for everyone, and even learns your taste in music from locally stored tracks on your device. But is it enough to help you get your melody fix? Let’s tune in and find out.
It’s amazing how quickly the variety and quality of games have increased and improved in the Play Store over the past couple of years. There are now tons of titles available for Android devices in every genre, with graphics and gameplay that rival those seen on games for best-selling portable consoles. Don’t believe me? What if I told you the new kid on the block is a 2D side-scrolling pixel art endless running arcade fighter?
Besides being a mouthful, that’s really the best way to describe Punch Quest, the latest release from Noodlecake Studios, publishers of such casual entertainers as Ready Steady Bang, Zombie Road Trip and Huebrix (which we loved to bits and reviewed here). You play a dashing hero clearing his way out of a dungeon filled with ghouls and creepies, and you’re not afraid to let your fists do the talking. Let’s see if all these genres come together to create a knockout title, shall we?
There’s nothing I hate more than watching my expensive smartphone struggle just to display a simple SMS — you’d think manufacturers would have figured out how to get this to work smoothly by now but unfortunately, even on an HTC One X, the story remains the same. Thankfully, one of the great things about Android is that you can replace just about every app for specific functions with another of your choosing. If you’re in the same boat and want to get to your texts faster, check out Textra.
Designed to be as quick as possible, Textra combines simple design with a short-and-sweet list of features that allows the app to make light work of displaying and composing messages, even on older phones. It does what it says on the box, and not a whole lot more. Best of all, though, is that it’s free. Let’s take a look at how fast Textra is, and how soon you can ditch your stock messaging app.
If I’m not playing games or browsing through Reddit on my tablet, I’m probably watching videos on it — can you blame me? Google’s Nexus 7 is perfectly sized to allow you to easily catch up with the latest and greatest videos that YouTube has to offer, whether I’m on the couch, lying in bed or in the kitchen. I subscribe to scores on channels to get my fix, and I’m always on the lookout for new content to enjoy. I recently found a great app for this that I can’t believe I didn’t stumble upon sooner: ShowYou.
Designed to bring together all the videos your friends and family share with you, along with lots more content to discover, ShowYou is sure to keep you entertained wherever you can get an internet connection. The well designed app also makes it easy to share what you’re watching and find new content to pique your interest, and is available for free in the Play Store. Grab some popcorn as we take a look at how ShowYou works.
I started listening to podcasts back in high school, when I used to use iTunes to sync music with my iPod Classic — I discovered that the iTunes Store had a boatload of great episodic content that I could grab for free, so that I could listen to more than just music when I was commuting or relaxing outdoors. Does anyone else remember Ask a Ninja? Either way, podcasts are a wonderful way to catch up with the news, dig deeper into your interests, discover new music and keep up with your favorite sites, aurally.
I’ve been getting back to podcasts over the past few months to stay abreast of what’s going on in the world of technology, gaming and digital culture, and I recently stumbled upon a new app to help me do just that — Player FM. Originally launched as a web app by ex-Googler Michael Mahemoff, the service includes a live directory of great podcasts from the around the web for you to discover and listen to. Player FM recently came up with a companion Android app to help you find, curate and enjoy your personalized content on the go. Let’s see how it works.