With so many social networks and cloud storage services out there, it can become ridiculously hard to manage them all. Many of us are trying to be everywhere at once, while others just wish everyone else would make up their minds where the best virtual hangout is. Some are torn between their Facebook and Twitter friends, or can’t decide whether to post that photo on Instagram or Photobucket. It can all become overwhelming very fast.
Fortunately, a number of developers have had these same thoughts and aimed to help consolidate your life in the cloud. There are apps that help you post to multiple networks at the same time, apps that let you see all your friends social activity in one place, apps that help you collaborate with colleagues regardless of what tools they choose, and even apps to help you keep your own content in order. This post will highlight a few of these to help you make the most of your life in the cloud.
It’s well known that visual media is extremely popular online and this is especially true when it comes to social media. While it’s cool to read about what someone is doing, it’s even cooler to see a picture of it. This is why photo sharing has been such a huge hit recently. Instagram was already the hot topic in social before it was even acquired by Facebook. So where can you go next?
Many believe the next logical step after pictures is moving pictures and there are a few Android apps vying to make that market pop such as Telly and Viddy. There are a number of other contenders, but these two are almost blatantly trying to give their users that Instagram appeal. From the layout of the interface to the availability of fancy video filters, Telly and Viddy are definitely going head-to-head, and we’ll be following them with a thorough comparison.
Slices is yet another Twitter app for Android but, before your eyes glaze over and roll into the back of your head, it’s one that deserves a second look. Developed by OneLouder, Slices builds on their expertise in UI design while bringing several new features to the table.
Besides giving you the basics that you’d expect to find in any other Twitter app, it dices up your Twitter stream and helps you cut through the noise to get at what you really want. It also provides an easy way to discover live events and new topics on Twitter.
Voice command is definitely a hot topic when it comes to mobile devices like your Android phones and Tablets. Even before Siri started strutting her stuff on prime time television, mobile users have longed for a way to make their devices take action without having to diddle with the screens and keypads.
Of course, many apps have sprung up to fill this gap, and as far as the Android landscape is concerned, Vlingo is at the top of the food chain. You can’t really discuss voice command on Android without mentioning it. This is likely why manufacturers like Samsung have partnered with Vlingo to create their own customized virtual assistant apps. Siri-competitor S-Voice, only officially available on the Samsung Galaxy S III at the time of this writing, is obviously based on Vlingo.
Vlingo Labs (Beta) is where users with an Ice Cream Sandwich device can test out the hottest new features that could end up in the official Vlingo Virtual Assistant app. In this case, we are dealing with a true beta app. It is strictly a “test kitchen” for shiny new ideas and test features that may end up elsewhere.
With all the bells and whistles tucked away in your Android device, you would expect it to be just a bit more useful in your life. These are not just your every day cellphones of decades past. They have mics, speakers, WiFi, GPS, temperature sensors, gyroscopes, accelerometers, and probably a bunch of other stuff that I’d have to ask Google search to help me list.
Forget just being reminded about simple stuff like emails, tasks, and phone calls. Let’s take a look at a few apps that go beyond your standard reminders and help turn your Android into a backup memory store for your own brain.
1Weather is a gorgeous weather app created by OneLouder, the minds behind apps like BaconReader and Tweetcaster. Like the other apps in the OneLouder catalog, 1Weather is full of useful features, all presented in a pretty package that adds a bit of class to any Android home screen. Not only does 1Weather show you the weather, it also provides real-time updates and social integration that helps you stay on top of the ever-changing atmosphere.
There are plenty of weather apps on the market, so what makes 1Weather any different? According to the folks at OneLouder, their weather app brings a “unique animation and graphics to create a more stylish experience.” The app is not just pretty (did I say that already?), it’s also packed with useful features and a gaggle of informative content, topped off with an intuitive user interface that just about anyone can manage. As a matter of fact, 1Weather is only available for higher-end devices due to resolution, resource, and animation requirements.
Enough talking about how nice 1Weather looks – let’s take a look at some screenshots.
Viber is a fresh, new, and easy-to-use take on VoIP calling from your Android device. It allows you to call and text anyone free and clear anywhere on the globe as long as you both have the Viber app and a data or Wi-Fi connection. With more than 40 million users on both Android and iPhone, Viber remains completely free and without advertising. While VoIP from a mobile device is not a new concept and is a crowded field to be in, Viber is still able to stand out. This is because of its design, implementation, and the fact that you just can’t beat free.
Any.DO is a simple app that helps you easily capture and organize everything you need to. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you may find in other similar apps for managing tasks, lists, and to-dos – but this simplicity is definitely one of its strengths.
Not only is the Any.DO interface clean and pleasing to look at, but it has a few features tucked away that make it a breeze to use.
It has a been a good year for cloud storage, and music is no exception.
First, we saw the launch of Amazon Cloud Player, which gives you 5GB of cloud storage and lets you stream your music via a web browser or just about any smartphone. You can also purchase songs and have them stored for free in the cloud.
Earlier this year, we wondered whether Google was planning their own music store for Android. Details soon emerged that Google was at least looking at creating a music storage locker similar to Amazon Cloud Player. As expected, record labels seemed to be the anchor on the boat. Even as Google Music launched in beta and completely without the backing of the major labels, it was unclear how far things would go.
Now, Google Music is out of beta and open to the public. You can upload up to 20,000 songs to the cloud and stream them to your Android device or anything that has a web browser, including your home computer or laptop. Like most Google services, this all comes absolutely free. All you have to do is sign up and start uploading your tracks using Google’s Music Manager.
Besides opening the doors to the masses, there is one more thing: you can now actually buy music from Google. Music is available for purchase via the Android Music Store, now part of the Android Market on your mobile device or web browser. (more…)
Skitch is the well-known image annotation and editing app that has long since been a staple on the Mac platform. What makes Skitch so awesome to me is its simplicity: when it comes down to it, all Skitch really does is let you write or draw (optionally on top of an existing image) and then share it. No big deal, right?
Presented in a simple and intuitive interface, Skitch lets you do everything from drawing a stupid mustache on a friend’s photo to quickly doing a mockup of a website. I always wondered when Skitch would be available on platforms besides Mac, but I never dreamed it would show up on Android. (more…)