New App

GOOGLE MAPS UPDATE TAKES YOU EVERYWHERE AND MORE
September 20, 2016 9:51 am

Google is everywhere. Google is the titan of the internet that can basically do anything, between Gmail, Drive, Chrome and Chromebooks, most of the world depends on it for day to day life. As this king of the interwebs, updates happen all the time, often with fun, great additions.

Google Maps is my favorite map app and I use it all the time. As soon as Google Maps came out years ago, I started using it leaving Mapquest in the dust. I use it all the time, going to various places everyday and I don’t know how I would get around without this app. But my issues were having to figure out the fastest route to all the places at home on my computer and I could never do it on the fly while out and about. So get ready everyone, Google Maps has brought multiple locations to shift around and plan out on the road.

The app itself and the update is as simple and as wonderful as always, but the new addition of multiple locations is practically perfect. Adding in the second and third places is just as easy as entering the first locations. For now you can add at least nine extra locations while organizing them any way that you need, having a grand total of ten locations not including your point of origin. That’s pretty impressive especially because of the perfectly smooth and fluid running of the app with all these other things it has to worry about. Moving around the addresses and switching and searching different places around is very easy and even searching for restaurants or gas stations nearby and adding them into your complex trip is also just as easy.

It is a great update and I’m very happy this finally made it too the app. I’ve been waiting a long time and now it makes my life way easier. Check it out and start planning some road trips!

iPHONE 7 AND iPHONE 7 PLUS SWOOP IN WITH A LOAD OF NEW SPECS
September 7, 2016 6:35 pm

 

It’s that time of the year again, time for Apple to find a new way to take millions of dollars from the world. The iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus were announced and everyone is ready to throw these new products in the toilet. No, not because they are terrible, but with a list of new specs and upgrades, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus can brave even the roughest of storms.

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The newest and most important updates for both of them are as follows:

1) Water Resistant! If you leave it in a fish tank for a few days, I don’t think it will work but it can withstand a drop in the wiz-palace, the pool or a very rainy day.

2) The new Home Button will no longer be a click or touch base, but a hard touch to better distinguish between brushing over it and actually pressing it.

3) No Headphone Jack! This is a double edged sword. It promotes bluetooth use which is nice…sometimes. New AirPods wirless head phones will be coming in late October, but for now you’ll be using standard Bluetooth or an adapter for the lighting charge port that will allow you to plug in normal headphones.

4) A 12 Mega-Pixel Camera is pretty big to fit on a cell phone, but they do it somehow. Easily beats all other cameras on previous iPhones.

5) The new Black design will be the new fancy color only available for the 128G and 256G models while the other colors upon release will be Rose-Gold, Gold, Silver and Matte Black.

6) The New A10 processor will make your iPhone 5 look like it was from the 90’s.

7) Not an exclusive to the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus, iOS 10 will be arriving the 13th, so be prepared for a big update for all your other devices.

 

There are a vast amount of other upgrades in it that you can check out here. The iPhone 7 Plus will have a long lasting battery, larger screen and include a second out facing camera that will allow 2x analog zoom (which actually seems pretty awesome).

The iPhone 7 will be priced at $649 with 32G, $749 with 128G, and $849 with 256G of storage. The iPhone 7 Plus is obviously at a higher price because of the extra things: $769 with 32G, $869 with 128G, and $969 with 256G.

Pre-Orders will be available on the 9th and it will be released on the 16th of this month. Are you willing to shell out close to a thousand dollars for the newest, biggest and baddest iPhone? Will you turn in your old one and upgrade it that you’ll still have some money for food and rent this month? Let us know what you’ll be doing at @ATYPICALSOUNDS on Twitter.

KEEP YOUR INTAGRAM PHOTOS WITH CHATBOOKS
September 2, 2016 10:50 am

A taste of nostalgia seems to be something that everyone loves. It is why we spend so much money on instant cameras, typewriters and record players. We all love the feel and the look of the analog, there is just something about the digital that loses the panache of things. This is exactly what Chatbooks is about.

Chatbooks tries to capture the magic of the photo album, in an era where the concept seems archaic. The way they revitalize this idea is in an ingenious manner. Chatbooks uses its app to link up with your Instagram or your Facebook account. After it is linked up, it gives you the option to scroll through your photos and find the ones that you want to add to your photo book.

The service is a simple one but it is one that has real potential. Many of us feel that even though our photos are up on a social media platform, that there is something about them that is just not as special. It might be that they are not physically there, not tangible objects that we can see with our eyes and touch.

When the inevitable zombie/ecorp/mayan/skynet apocalypse happens and the machines attack, you’ll be happy to know that you can still look at those memories of you, your friends and family. The product is one that will attract people of all ages, it provides you with a great idea for a gift, for anyone and at $8 per album, why wouldn’t you?

ON THE EVIE OF TECHNOLOGY
August 10, 2016 9:56 am

As organizers go, there are many ineffective ones out in the market. Some do too much, some not enough. Evie does something magnificent. Evie is able to find the middle ground of an app that helps you manage your phone, without overwhelming you.

Evie acts as an organizer of sorts, that completely does away with your home’s set up. It gives you option to find things in an easier and more orchestrated fashion.

While we are all used to the template of having all of your apps in your home screen, Evie allows you to remove all that clutter, while making the search for your top apps easy.

 

Evie’s initial function clears out the home screen while teaching you that by swiping down, a screen showing a search bar will open up. The search bar can be used in the same way that a computer’s search function works.

If that is too easy, by swiping right on your phone, a tab will open from the left side of the screen, that has all of your apps and widgets in alphabetical order. A more convenient way to look for apps, at least for me.

Now you are thinking, why would I download an app that completely will redo everything that I have already taught myself? An app that will reteach me to use my phone? Get it because it is something new, it is something that I am sure your friends don’t have. Just because we all have the same phone, it doesn’t mean that we can’t use them differently, does it? Give it a try and it could become your new best friend.

CAUTION: POKÉMON GO’ERS AT PLAY
July 11, 2016 1:30 pm

Never have I seen a game do what Pokémon GO is doing right now in our world. Let me paint a picture for you…

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Last Saturday, my wife and I were in Rockville Square, Maryland, a hub for people and shops, and we decided to go on a walk to hunt some new Pokémon. We found a huge amount of items and Pokémon to catch on every street corner. As we meandered around looking at our phones, we slowly saw other people and groups all walking to the exact same places, on their phones, and we realized they were playing the same game, hunting for Pokémon, interacting with this augmented reality. I was surprised at how many people were there to find virtual creatures and ended up bonding in a half-real life, half-online way. It was a truly surreal moment to see everyone gather in this part of the city like that.

To break it down, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game in which the game tracks your location and has placed various things to interact with throughout every inch of the real world. You will be brought to real places of significance. Without even trying, this app with have you walking around for an hour and visiting places in your city that you’ve never been before. Pokémon Go is broken down into three key elements, catching and training Pokémon, finding Pokéstops and battling at Poké Gyms.

File_001Catching and Training Pokémon

To catch Pokémon, you have to go looking for them. It’s fairly random, but more populated places will help you find more Pokémon. When you find a Pokémon, your camera will come on and the Pokémon will appear to be in the real world, and it’s pretty awesome. There are items like Incense and Lure to attract Pokémon to you. Also catch as many as you can of all Pokémon, you’ll need them to strengthen your Pokémon. For more tips to actually train your Pokémon and evolve them, click here.

Poké Stops

You’ll find these at various places of interest: memorials, gazebos, or gas stations. Get close enough to the Stop to snag the items there. You’ll need all the items you can get, and there are often Pokémon lurking by, so hunting for Poké Stops is an easy way to progress quickly.

Poké Gyms

After your beginning hours in the game, you choose one of three teams, Mystic (Blue), Yellow (Instinct), or Valor (Red). The gyms are fighting grounds for the different teams and here, you battle to gain control of the Poké Gym and territory for your specific team. There seems to be no overall goal for now or major purpose for controlling the Gyms except bragging rights (if you have nerdy friends who, they probably have already posted some memes about the teams).

Overall the game is pretty fun, it isn’t perfect, and the server issues and long load times can be really rough sometimes. Down the road other features could be added, says CEO John Hanke. It might be a while before new features come, but that’s reasonable because the game is less than a week old. If you want to casually run around and catch some Pokémon or become crazy with powerful Pokémon, this game will satisfy your needs while enjoying some fresh air and good exercise. But please, be aware of your surroundings, be safe and don’t get in trouble. Get ready to walk more than you ever have while awkwardly bumping into other people playing the game, download the app and GO. “Gotta catch em’ all,” right?

OVERSHARING IS CARING
April 13, 2016 12:23 pm

This generation seems to be completely obsessed with themselves. By default, our apps are ready to shamelessly show off the Screenshot_2016-04-13-12-07-19most intimate parts of ourselves, including our bodies. One app in particular though seems to bring a little of the shame and a touch of honesty into our over-shared little world.

Shorts is an app created in order to bring you even closer to your friends, by sharing even more of yourself. The goal of Shorts, according to its creator Paul Davison, is to get people to not share only the parts of them that they want public, but every part of them. Shorts aims to give your online persona a little more modesty. People can now get a look into your entire camera roll.

Now if you’re a reserved, grumpy piece of shit like me (who is kind of over this whole social media crap) you might be thinking, “oh great, another useless app.” If you are thinking that, you are totally right.

Although Shorts differentiates itself by trying to be more transparent, isn’t there enough of you out there already? Be it the glossed up you or not, do you really want more of you out in the internet? Even though it might be a great idea, it isn’t one that will catch on. Those that are private individuals will find it to be invasive, and the less private ones might find it to be damaging. If you are a person who is really into these apps, you probably take into consideration your online persona. Why would you want people seeing the 75 other pictures you took of yourself while trying to choose the “perfect selfie”?

Sometimes I take a look at all of the apps that I have on my phone, and I admittedly get a little overwhelmed. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are these media machines where you give them your precious and valuable time and they offer public scrutiny in return. Now do you really want another one of these? Worst of all, one that has no intention of allowing yourself to look good? I’ll stick with my Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Twitter and Vine thank you very much.

WTF BOOMERANG
December 13, 2015 10:17 pm

From the makers of everybody’s favorite time waster, Instagram, comes a whole new way to fabricate memories with your friends; Boomerang. Boomerang allows users to create mini videos that loop back and forth, the app shoots a burst of 10 photos and plays them forwards and backwards, which you can then share on Instagram or Facebook right from the app. In the demos for it when you first download the app, it shows a girl who’s taken a picture of herself blowing a bubble of gum and it shows it bursting and un-bursting. The app makes videos/pictures/boomerangs, whatever you call these monstrosities that look like a glitchy video game. Why would anyone make such a thing? I don’t know.

Boomerang is not something that you should read 300-800 words to understand. In short it is a boring dud. If you stop reading here, you’ll have gotten what the app does, but if you want to read a guy rant on about an app that was probably made by a think tank of dumb college kids somewhere in Silicon Valley or wherever the hell Instagram houses its Hefe-filtered headquarters, then keep going.

Is it supposed to be artsy? Is it supposed to be fun? I am not sure. I downloaded the app and immediately un-downloaded it after taking a video, or a gif or a Harry Potter type picture, taking a …boomerang? Whatever the verb of making one of these dull time wasters. Not that I am above a good time waster, or a bad one for that matter. I am usually a person that will give anything a try, I watched 10 minutes of Shia LaBeouf live-streaming himself watching all of his movies, I had more fun in those 10 minutes than I did with this app, and nothing happened in those 10 minutes by the way, he was just sitting there.

Although the app has mixed reviews in the Play Store, it worked well for me. It did record me throwing my beanie up in the air and it did play it forwards and backwards. One of the best things I can say about the app is that it works, another good thing that I can say about the app is that its an app.

What is the reason for boomerang? What is its purpose? Does it stay up late at night asking itself questions like; is God real? No, because Boomerang is one of a thousand fads, you remember Floppy Bird? If you are a person that downloaded Boomerang, I recommend another app for you, it is called Send Me To Heaven. You might not have heard of it, but if you haven’t go ahead and look it up. It is an app made just for you.

In the end Boomerang is just something that your 12 year old niece will download, play with for an hour, and then realize that she has more important things to do with her time than record one second loops of herself making a funny face or whatever it is that people do on this app. Things like, oh I don’t know, literally anything else would be more important that this app.

If you can already record 15 seconds or so on Instagram, why would you limit yourself to a one second loop without a sound? If 15 seconds of content is too much, Vine is a thing. If you want something in between six and 15 seconds, I recommend Snapchat.

Is Instagram out of ideas? Possibly. Is this a bad thing? No. Remember when people didn’t take pictures of their food every time you went out with them? I do, those were good times. Then again I could be wrong and this could be the next big thing and this could be the downfall of civilization.

Boomerang

CHOO-CHOO! ALL ABOARD THE GRAVY TRAIN
December 9, 2015 12:00 am

Ain’t nuthin’ like punching outta work, amirite? Tipping your cap to bossman and walking out the door. “Sayonara, sucker!” Ooo boy it’s just the greatest, and you can’t help but smile. Maybe you reward yourself for getting through the day, maybe with an ice-cream sandwich and a stroll through the neighborhood. “Look at all these buildings,” you say to yourself, licking chocolate sandwich-residue from your fingers. “I wonder what’s inside? What sorts of activities are people doing in there? Can I play too?!”

Gravy1Well put down your pre-dinner dessert and grab your phone (and maybe a napkin). You need to check out Gravy, the app that lets you know what’s going on inside all those buildings. “Couldn’t I just look through the windows?” No that’s insane–how are you going to search miles and miles of buildings for activities you might be interested in? Far better to let the internet do that for you. It’s good at that sort of thing, plus it has informative descriptions and classifications that learn what you like and tailor recommendations to you. But all you really need are options–fun things to do nearby–and you’re good. Everything else is just gravy.

See what I did there? Nailed it.

Alright that’s enough fun for now. Let’s get down to business. Let’s ask the hard-hitting, life-changing question every app review requires: are you going to use Gravy in your life, or are you going to download it, take a look-see and then forget it forever? I’ll be honest (because to be anything else makes me sick): my phone is full of apps I’ll never use. It’s the product of a vicious cycle; my friend shows me something cool, I download it, decide it’s cool (or not) and then move on with my life as if the whole thing never happened. You might be the same, it’s possible. I don’t know, I don’t know who you are. You could be anybody. It’s a world wide web out there.

Well I got news for you, stranger. The answer is “Yes!” Gravy could be easily integrated into your planning routine. It is intuitive and informative, and works locationally and in real time. During that moment when you don’t know what to do Friday night (or Thursday night, or Wednesday night), click a couple phone buttons and educate yourself. There are fun things going on all around you every day. Gravy aggregates these events, activities, and general goings-on so that you don’t have to. Fifteen different small(ish) concerts within five miles. Karaoke tonight, just around the corner. Fiddler On The Roof next weekend. How else are you gonna find out about these things? Gravy is a must-have if you’re trying to go out and do stuff. Tell your friends! Tell your mother! Write it in a letter and send it to yourself via snail mail so you get it in a week! All aboard the gravy train baby! Choo-Choo!

GOT TALNTS?!
November 12, 2015 8:30 am

Imagine an app that lets you not only show off your talents, but also discover the talents and gifts of others. Need an illustrator for that epic graphic novel you’ve been thinking about? Need a drummer for that band you’re starting? Need a model or photographer for your chic clothing line? TALNTS has been created to help you cut out the middle man and go directly to the source. The app is fresh to the social media scene, dressed in the potential to sit at the cool kids table with all the other in demand social media apps.

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John Goldbranson, 29, CEO of TALNTS, realized a better way that he and people all over the world could display their talents without over exhausting themselves. Thus began the creation of TALNTS, an app where everyone, everywhere, could show the world their gifts and/or collaborate. As a singer and writer, I instantly found this app intriguing. Curious, I gave it a go. Signing up was very simple. I created my profile and added #tags and four mandatory images, keeping in mind what I thought best to describe me and my talents. All of this became my Talnts Card.

There are four main features to this app. The Feed, this works just like Instagram by displaying the posts of the people you choose to connect with. The Highlights Page, which lets you see what the most popular content is on the app. Connect Search, where you can set the benchmark for what exactly you are looking for. This includes filters for distance from location as well as hashtags. I also was given the option of linking the app to my other networks such as SoundCloud, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Within twenty-four hours I had sixteen people who wanted to connect with me.

There is no doubt that there is countless talent about to get discovered and many connections to be made on this app.

ALEXA CHUNG’S FASHION APP, VILLOID
October 18, 2015 6:51 pm

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Alexa Chung’s new app Villoid gives us the best of Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and online shopping all in one. Whether you love to hate her or hate to love her, Miss Chung’s new app delivers us an online store unlike any other.

User’s can follow their favorite brands (Burberry, ACNE, ASOS, Chloe), and others much like Instagram. You can then post images of clothes, products or looks (think of the Tumblr reblog) to “style boards.” Here, you can brainstorm different ideas, get inspired and build up your personal profile. Conveniently enough, the app lets you buy the clothes directly in a hassle-free “buy” feature.

“It” girl Alexa Chung is clearly progressing into the world of business and e-commerce after the release of her book in 2013. She recently signed off on Instagram as “Alexa Zuckerburg-Chung” and we can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us!

Written by Alessandra Licul