The idea of looking after yourself is no longer an activity restricted to a reliance on common sense. Where professional sport led, the rest of us followed, and today, personal well-being is a science. The volume of personal data that we can capture, and the depth in which we can analyze it, have provided new insights into how we should be eating, drinking, sleeping, living and exercising.
The mainstream cultural acceptance of fitness-related data logging can really only be attributed to the sporting world’s superbrands. Nike+ and Adidas’ miCoach, for some time, have dominated the market, and have been pushed by their respective parent companies at every opportunity. As the fitness app market has matured, however, numerous apps from infinitely smaller development teams have become some of the most popular offerings in the genre.
One iOS product which falls into this category is Moves. It’s an app which can best be described as a smart pedometer, and its simplicity and high quality design have won it a significant fan base over on the Apple-flavoured side of mobile computing. But now, Moves is making an entry into the Google Play store, and I got the chance to play with the pre-release version. Here’s how I got on…
Email is essential these days. Virtually anyone who owns a smartphone can be accused of being a Crackberry addict, regardless of the particular phone they own. And although it’s great to be able to get emails no matter where you may be, there’s a downside to this level of connectivity.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll receive a huge volume of email each day. If my phone was to audibly notify me of the arrival of each new message, I would go insane — so I’ve disabled sound notifications. This means that I have to keep looking at my phone to see when I have a new message. Sometimes every hour, sometimes every couple of minutes. It’s infuriating. It drives me mad … almost as mad as constant sounds would do. It’s Catch 22.
What does this have to do with Boomerang? Well, aside from the fact that this is an app that can be used to send and receive emails, not a lot! My point is that email is something we can’t do without. But for too long we have all been constrained by the way email works. Boomerang has been designed to wrestle control out of the hands of email clients and place it back under your command.
When Chromecast launched in July, it was all the Internet could talk about. The small, HDMI-enabled device allowed users to easily stream video content straight to their TVs. Gone were the days of hooking up your laptop or transferring films to a USB stick. Well, that is, if you were lucky enough to get a Chromecast. BestBuy sold out in a day with orders from Amazon severely backlogged. It hasn’t even launched in Europe and already there’s insatiable demand on eBay for second hand devices.
But you don’t have to wait for a Chromecast unit to try out the experience because an indie developer has made CheapCast available. It’s an Android app that turns any Android tablet or phone into a make-do Chromecast. But does it actually work?
Some games just suck when you play them with touch-screen controls. Your fingers and thumbs constantly block your view, and there’s nothing tangible for them to brush up against — so you’re never really sure that you’re pressing in the right place. Not all games suffer from this malady, of course — indeed, many excel with taps and gestures. But console-style experiences in particular never feel right without physical buttons and joysticks.
The folks at MOGA decided to fix this problem, creating a line of game controllers designed specifically for use with your Android device. They sent me a MOGA Pocket, the baby in the family, for testing, and after three weeks use I’m happy to say that it’s an excellent choice for Android gamers…but you might want to look higher up the line.
I love a good racing game. My introduction to the PS2 was Gran Turismo 4, and I was so hooked on Need For Speed that it might as well have been meth. For a while, I purchased every Need For Speed game they released and still have a few. There’s nothing like a good arcade racer.
That’s one of the reasons I was really excited to check out Asphalt 8: Airborne. If Asphalt can be easily described as anything, we’ll call it the mobile Burnout that EA wishes it knew how to make. If you’re like me and believe that great racing games rarely ask you to hit the brakes, keep reading after the break to find out why you need to do yourself a favour and pick Asphalt 8 up.
As an exponent of photography in a professional capacity, I just like taking photographs, no matter what the equipment in my hand may be, and that includes my phone. Unlike many of my iOS-owning counterparts, however, the range of high quality Androidography apps at my disposal is pretty small. This, in essence, can be attributed to the two main general deficiencies Android is trying to overcome — hardware, and third party apps. For many years, the photographic hardware with which Android handsets have been equipped has been inferior to Apple’s technologies, and, as a result, many development companies haven’t felt the need to bring their best products over to our mobile community.
Thankfully, things are changing. Both Samsung and HTC nowadays produce handsets which can photographically mix it with the best, and developers are responding; take the example of VSCO Cam, the self-proclaimed “Standard of Mobile Photography,” which is now currently in beta testing on Android.
Another promising new iOS-derived arrival into the world of Androidography apps is Repix. With a sleek design and a heavy bias towards stylizing, it has the usual ingredients of any self respecting Instagram-inspired photographic offering; but does it have the killer features to elevate it above the competition?
It’s not often that I use an app that makes me feel like I’ve been on a journey to another place or another planet. It’s even rarer that I use an app that subjugates my entire brain, seemingly grasping it within some sort of odd control that I don’t understand. As I write this, I’m having problems focusing. Oddly melodic strings of notes bounce and roll through my brain and flashes of lights and stars keep whirring by when I should be focused on my laptop monitor.
In other words, I just played Biophilia, the most wonderfully bizarre and inventively original app I think I’ve ever used. Set to Björk’s music and based upon her latest album release (also called Biophilia), the sort-of-but-not-quite-a-game actually brings you to a completely different place in your imagination. It’s one I can’t shake. Read on to find out what makes Biophilia the must-purchase, must-try, must-play app of the year.
When I was younger, one of my favourite games on my Gamecube was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. And maybe it’s out of a sense of nostalgia, but I even saw the movie (it was terrible). That being said, I never got a chance to try out the much-heralded original 2D PoP game. It was always on my todo list, but I never found the time.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to take a look at Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame when I saw it on Google Play. In this 2.5D renditioning of the classic sequel, the prince is taking on the evil Jaffar once more. The plot is ludicrous and apparently a forced retreading of the original, but there’s always more to a game than the storyline and I eagerly took this opportunity to explore one of my favourite video game character’s earlier roots. Read on for my thoughts on the remake.
Whether you’re a small business owner or you manage a huge corporation, whether you’re planning a short trip or a move to another country, or even if you just live in a country that imports most of its goods from the EU or the USA, you probably keep a close eye on the currency rates and conversions.
Take me for example, I own and manage a pharmacy in Lebanon, where we import most of our brand name drugs from the EU. Prices are appointed by the Ministry of Health and changed once the currency rates of their originating countries rise or fall by about 3 to 4%. This part of our work is an exercise in frustration, because if we stock on too much of a drug from France for example, and the Euro declines by 3-4%, the Ministry will lower the drug’s price accordingly and we’ll end up losing a part of our profit margin.
That’s why it’s not only important to have a good currency conversion app, it’s also essential to be able to track a currency’s rate across several months. To that end, I recently started looking for a solution on the Play Store, and fell in love with XE Currency. Read on for my full review.
As evidenced by our roundup earlier this year, there are a lot of apps and desktop software out there that allow the pairing of an Android smartphone to a Windows or a Mac computer. Most manufacturers (such as Samsung and HTC) even offer their own software, which ships with many of their devices or is downloadable from their website. But most of these are a bloated attempt at an all-in-one solution to syncing.
Certainly, none offer the finesse and reliability afforded by Chrome 28, Google’s newest version of the browser, along with a neat third-party App. Krome, developed by Damien Piwowarski allows all notifications to appear as a ‘rich notification’ in Chrome. But that’s not all. This beautiful app has a few more tricks up its sleeve.