new apps

iOS 10: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE USELESS
October 4, 2016 5:52 pm

The craze of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus a few weeks ago and the flood of memes about it having no headphone jack is basically all everyone was talking about in September. Surprisingly though, iOS 10 seems to be where the actual rich changes are in Apple’s products. iOS 10 is good, a nice upgrade for those who are obsessed with more flash and less function. There is a huge amount updated, and I won’t go through all  of it, but here are my impressions of having it so far.

THE GOOD:

It is fun. It is entertaining. Siri is smarter and opens programs for you or just does what you ask with certain apps, like finding you directions to the closest gas station. The iMessanger has been greatly overhauled, almost too much for my blood. Maybe it is my age, but I don’t need ALL these features. You can draw with cool effects, send messages that slam into the conversation and search all sorts of gifs to send friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these things, but it getting to be too much. Like how often am I going to honestly send a neon drawn picture with kissy lips appearing all over it? The change in shape and design of alert banners seemed odd and unnecessary at first, but I’ve gotten used to them, they just hover for too long in my opinion. One of the best, and my favorite, things is that I can finally delete a lot of iPhone permanent apps that weren’t previously aloud to be deleted, so I am very happy about that. Also the quick menu that you get from the bottom is a little weird, but not terrible, the fact that you can swipe to media that is being played and change it there is pretty cool, but still slightly cumbersome.

 

THE BAD:

It is getting messy. I had to download ANOTHER app called Home which I automatically put into my group of dumb apps that I don’t need and just take up space. The messenger keyboard will sometimes get stuck sideways making me have to restart the app just to fix it so I can type. When I double click the home button, the app will shift sideways and I can’t select, scroll or close them, and so I have to lock my phone and unlock it to  get it to function correctly again.

 

THE USELESS:

Like I was saying in the “Good” section, the messenger is getting too cluttered, and has too much different functions that I am never going to use on a daily basis. The forced install app Home, which connects itself to you home system of light, TV or other electronics), seems cool, but if you don’t have everything already set up and have Apps or remotes for those things, you won’t ever need it. I guess it can be helpful because who really wants to get up to turn off lights with a light switch anymore? That was so last millennium (heavy sarcasm).  The new left swipe list of new and alerts looks unorganized and pointless to have, just like before, but now it is slightly different and I have no desire to learn how to use it effectively.

 

All in all getting the update isn’t that bad, it just has so much hullabaloo and so many bugs that it is kind of annoying. It is fun for sure, it really is, but it feels like a stupid app you download for fun because your friends did, but unfortunately it is permanently here and essential to the future function of you Apple device. I hope for some good updates and cleaning of iOS 10, because it does have the potential to be something great.

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?

MESSAGE SAFELY WITH SESAME
August 3, 2016 9:48 am

In a post by Edward Snowden, privacy can mean the world to some people. I don’t know about you, but between the regular run of the mill paranoia and the media hyped overplayed Orwellian way in which the government seems to have control over our information, I am honestly a bit scared.

A bit. Not too much. That’s probably because things are so bad that I might’ve just gotten used to it.

Regardless, privacy is a big concern to a lot of people nowadays. It is something that companies try their hardest to maintain. The Apple vs. FBI case earlier this year goes to show the extent to which a company will stand their ground in order to keep some sense of reliability with their customers. If privacy is your worry, check out Sesame.

Sesame is an encrypted messaging app. While Messenger from apple is very good as is, it is not enough sometimes. The paranoid tin hat wearing version of me never thinks general encryption is enough. I have to stop watching Mr. Robot.

Sesame works just as you would think, they promote your right to “own all of your data and messages.” The app is great, you can customize little things, you can change who can and cannot save your messages, it has end to end security encryption so that both users are protected, a feature that Facebook JUST added that we talked about earlier this week.

It also has one of the best features that I have ever seen on any app, ever. The “unsend” button. No matter how far back you send a message, you can unsend it. Fantastic isn’t it? It’s everyone’s dream button. How many times have you sent something and you wish you hadn’t. Let Sesame make that dream a reality, and in doing so, save you from getting in a lot of trouble.

The app is only available for from the App Store for now, but if you are lucky enough to have an iPhone, make sure to keep your information protected from the government fat cats and the oligarchs trying to destroy our society. As of the time of this post, it has been taken down an you can sign up to be put on a wait list for it here.

DUMP TRUMP, FIND LOVE
May 23, 2016 11:30 am

When Donald Trump announced his intent to run for president last summer, it was the best joke of the season. Like every time Jimmy McMillan, the “rent is too damn high” guy, runs for office in New York. It was a good bit and I just could not wait to see it crumble. As time and time passed though, you couldn’t escape the cold sore that was Trump. As a journalism student and an avid media intaker, there is not one day, or hour, in which Trump doesn’t come up. I thought I was safe at work, but even then the Trump disease seemed to have spread and infiltrated my offices. Said best by The Smiths, that joke wasn’t funny anymore.

Trump’s notoriety and constant inconstancy have apparently made him so popular among some Americans, that his shot at an American presidency are not altogether impossible. While media outlets like the New York Times have written articles condemning him and warning off against trump and even the Republican party themselves have been against his views, some people have simply given up on the fight. For all of you giver uppers, there’s a way to get yourself out of this political hellfire that will surely ensue. Maple Match.

maplematch

Maple Match iScreenshot_2016-05-15-12-13-49s a dating app that promises to find you a partner in Canada that will help you in your political escape out of the United States. You know how everyone jokes about moving to Canada if Trump becomes president? Maple Match is making that joke a reality. While the site is not up and running just yet, there is an official wait-list that’s ripe and ready to be filled with the inevitable hundreds of thousands of names. While there is no other information for the site other than the email wait-list, the hope that this isn’t just a social experiment is more than enough to get a Trump-enduced anxiety ridden voter to sign up.

While you may be thinking, Canada? Isn’t that country synonymous for being lame? You, my dear reader, are absolutely wrong. Canada is a country that offers so much. It’s got a great music scene, it is a prime film shooting location and it is the home of greats like Ryan Reynolds, Mike Meyers, Ellen Page, Drake, Justin Bieber and Tom Green. Canada also has prime minister Justin Trudeau to be proud of, and not to mention, easy on the eyes.

Now during this coming election, when you’re stressing out over the future of America, don’t build a wall around your heart, and don’t let “the Mexicans” pay for it. Instead, try out Maple Match, and get yourself your own Ryan Reynolds to help you in your time of politically-fueled-asylum-seeking.

THE ROCK CLOCK IS EVERYTHING YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU WANTED AND MORE
May 5, 2016 2:47 pm

ARE YOU A LAZY PIECE OF SHIT?!

IS YOUR SNOOZE BUTTON YOUR BEST FRIEND?!

IS THIS TOO MUCH? There, is that better? Good. Like I was saying, are you in need of a better way to wake up in the morning? Well look no fucking further my friend, cause The Rock Clock is here.

I often feel like a lazy piece of shit in the morning, I’ve got a total of four alarms. One at 6 that tells me that I have two hours of sleep left. One at 7 that tells me that I have one hour left. One at 7:30 for 30 minutes and the final one that just tells me to wake my lazy ass up for school/work/trips to Six Flags Great Adventure. (Six Flags, I’m shouting you out! Give me free stuff!)

Like an unexpected gift from your grandmother, The Rock came out with this amazing product and it is the best. This alarm clock is revolutionizing motivation to a whole new level that fucking Rocks. You just set up whatever your goal is for, then go on to choose the type of alarm you want to set for it. It can be relaxing like the “Beach Jams” alarm, to which you hear a soft rock guitar rift that is accompanied by the sweet sounds of Dwayne Johnson going “oh yeah!” Or choose the “Classic Alarm” which is Johnson going “BEEP BEEP BEEP, I can do this all morning, BEEP BEEP.”

Honestly, I could spend my whole night writing descriptions for each one of these alarms, but I honestly think you should just download the app and listen for yourself. It’s a fucking treat. You’re still here? It’s over, go download the app!

A SIDELINE FOR YOUR SIDELIFE
April 29, 2016 11:00 am

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 11.07.33 AMFor a long time, keeping a double life has been a hard thing to do. Whether that is keeping your affair under wraps or hiding your crime-fighting alter ego away from your friends, it has never been an easy thing to do. Sideline makes all of that a lot easier.

Sideline utilizes your phone carrier and gives you a second phone number, free of charge, to use for whatever your need may be. Sideline gives you a pick of a US phone number, along with your choice of area code (to confuse your super villains) as well as a voicemail setup. Although it is more of a business oriented app, you can do anything you would do with your regular phone number with this number as well.

If you are me though, you use this number to randomly text friends and fuck with them. Whether you’re using this app to cure a mid-afternoon boredom, or to text your mistress, it is one that can come in handy in a plethora of ways.

Although the app is littered with ads, it is one that is still very useful for what it does. If you mind the apps there is also an option to upgrade to the paid (ew) version of it. Which you probably won’t need to do if you’re using an app in order to get a secondary number. Burners are still a thing, drug dealers use them all the time, or so I’m told.

For all of your duplicitous or business related needs, use Sideline.

VURB: IT’S WHAT YOU DO!
April 22, 2016 2:35 pm

As a 5th year college student (yes, 5th year, shut your mouth I’m graduating) I am living a life that is so overwhelmingly busy. A life Screenshot_2016-04-21-21-48-53which is controlled by two things; my inexplicably small bladder that sends me to the bathroom every 5 minutes, and of course my planner. I would be nothing without my planner, it’s my life and it’s my wife. Why am I bringing this bout of random information up? Because I have found an app that claims to help you organize your life a little more.

Vurb is an app that works like a grocery list, but for your life. It is an interactive collection of every important meeting, appointment, due date, etc. It helps you compile lists of things that you might want to do, whether that may be watching a new movie like Green Room, or trying out a restaurant that you’ve been meaning to go to like Blend on the Water. Vurb allows you to search for it and add it as a “card” to your (appropriately named) “deck” of things to do.

The app sells itself on being a reminder of sorts for things you might want to check out later, it also sells itself on the ability to be able to share this with friends. Ay there’s the rub, for in that ability to share with friends what friends may come? Vurb allows you to sync up your Facebook friends with the app. That did not look good.

Now I’m not saying I am the most popular guy in the world, its just a mathematical fact. Out of the 350 (rounding down) friends on Facebook that I have, only one has this app downloaded. That’s .3 percent. So .3 percent of the people that I have met in my life have this app.

Vurb app has been around for more than a year, the fact that no one that I know has it is not a deciding factor of whether or not the app is a dud, like I said I’m not the most popular guy in the world (I’m the second most.)

Vurb can be useful in many ways, while some of us will stick to a physical planner, or in some cases good ol’ pen and paper, or even..the calendar on your phone, it is good to know that there is a more modern alternative to trying to get your shit together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and plan things out once in a while, you could miss them.

LET THE SPECTACLE ASTOUND YOU, MSQRD
February 16, 2016 8:20 pm

As an avid user of Snapchat and of their extremely dumb (albeit fun) filters, I was extremely excited when I heard about Masquerade, or MSQRD.

MSQRD joins the plethora of apps like Tumblr and Grindr to cut vowels out of their name in order to shorten them, because in our ADD addled world, we don’t have time to spell out a full word.

MSQRD is an app that uses the face swapping software in order to put more accurate filters that are very entertaining. MSQRD has a filter that allows you to look like Leonardo DiCaprio, and who doesn’t want to look like Leo? The app allows for a better snapchat-ey filter experience. At least that’s what the jargon on their page will make you believe. Whether you do or don’t, the app is entertaining as hell, that is if you can acquire it.

MSQRD like many other apps has excluded me for having an android… I know, I know it is easier to put apps on the app store first. I just don’t think it’s a viable business option. Wait until you can do that on all phones or don’t do it at all.

I know I say that as a bitter android user, but c’mon. IPhones? Why? They all look the same. I was on the subway the other day and a phone rang, it was an IPhone, I know because they all have that same fucking ringtone. I shit you not, about 12 people went crazy rummaging through their oversized coats and bags until one found the ringing phone among the dozen.

Anyway. After ranting among myself and whoever was around to hear that (my cat) I was able to get back on task. The MSQRD app manages to pull off the Snapchat’s filter trick and enhance it by offering you a broader variety with a quality that is unarguably better than Snapchat’s. The app is one which you can find comfort in and use in a very entertaining way. Cara Delevingne has posted several videos on her Instagram using the app herself, so if you have any  question as to the quality of the app, go and check her out.

Download MSQRD at the app store and for all of you Android users like myself, be on the lookout for a Play Store release. We’ll get one soon, hopefuly, if not then we riot.

 

Gamechanger: Pandora Buys Ticketfly
October 13, 2015 1:35 pm

THE DEETS: Pandora Media, Inc bought Ticketfly for $450 million.

WHAT?: You heard me.

WHY?: Pandora is a big player in the music biz. Ever heard of the “music genome project”? Obviously you have because you don’t live on Uranus. (For all you Uranians out there, it’s kinda like the “human genome project,” except with music). Anyways, apparently they had a spare $450 million dollar bill they were looking to spend.

BUT TICKETFLY ISN’T RADIO: I guess Pandora is trying to grow and evolve over time. Aren’t we all?

WHAT IS TICKETFLY?: So they were basically like “yo Ticketmaster sucks” and decided to sell tickets better. They were right, Ticketmaster does suck, and since competition breeds excellence, everybody’s happy.

EXCEPT TICKETMASTER: They don’t deserve to be happy.

EVERYBODY DESERVES HAPPINESS: I like your attitude.

WHAT NOW?: I don’t know, but a good attitude is a great place to start.

NO I MEANT WITH TICKETFLY: Oh, right. I guess they’re going to sell tickets still? Maybe they’ll integrate ticket sales into the Pandora radio experience, I’m not really sure.

COULDN’T YOU HAVE FIGURED THAT OUT BEFORE WRITING THIS?: Fine, I’ll see what else I can learn about any changes to either company. In the meantime, watch this inspiring video:

THAT WAS GREAT: I know, right? Ducks are awesome.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN: Pandora now claims to be the world’s most powerful music discovery platform. While they continue to connect music fans to artists, now they are able to connect the artists with the fans. Pretty cool, actually. The real treasure for Pandora, however, is data. What events are Pandora’s 3.3 million paying customers going to (not to mention the 78.2 million broke-ass free users like myself)? How much are which people willing to pay for what bands? Knowledge is power.

WHAT ABOUT THE USER EXPERIENCE?!: I’m no mindamatician or whatever, but both companies are legit as fuck and don’t need to change their respective user experiences. It’s really just an internal structure rearrangement.

DO BIRDS DREAM ABOUT HAVING ARMS?: I don’t see how that’s relevant.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR PANDORA: They’re going to change their name to “Pandicketfly.”

REALLY?: No that was a joke.

WHAT ELSE DOES THE PRESS RELEASE SAY?: Why don’t you just read it yourself? I’m just a guy with a deadline, okay? Cut me some slack.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOURSELF: Well color me flattered! You’re such a good listener.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PANDORA STATION?: It’s all about context, obviously. In the car? Starfucker radio. With my parents? Huey Lewis & The News radio. Doing homework? I switch between Mozart radio and Count Basie radio. I need it to be upbeat and instrumental, but not familiar enough to be distracting.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?: Spotify.

NO I MEAN WHAT ARTIST: Kurt Vile.

THIS ARTICLE IS ALMOST OVER, ISN’T IT?: Yeah it’s been done for a while now, but I’m enjoying our time together. Aren’t you?

YES THIS IS QUITE NICE: I’m glad you agree.

OKAY I’M GOING TO GO READ SOMETHING ELSE: Have fun, see you next week! Thanks for the memories!

OH YOU’RE SWEET: I do my best.

pandoraticketfly

Instasound Is A Music Lover’s Dream Come True
October 2, 2015 4:49 pm

Your dreams of creating your own MP3 remixes from the comfort of your cell phone have finally been answered with the new app- Instasound. Apple and Android users can now enjoy sharing music, mixes, sounds and cool personalized effects on the Instasound app. The app has a self proclaimed “classic video game” feel. Ranging from the zany to the slightly more veritable (a yodel, a gun shot), Instasound has hundreds of sound bits you can use to edit into your own MP3s. Instasound is pure fun for the musically inclined looking for a game on the go and has an easy-to-use interface for those common folk just looking to experiment. Great for party games or entertaining yourself on the long commute, get out there and be the DJ you have always wanted to be!