iTech Review: Great New Weird Apps!

Technology Security

Can you live without your mobile phone? Chances are, as with most humans, your phone is attached to your hand and being separated from it for more than two hours (the length of the average movie), causes anxiety attacks. So, naturally, the need for more and more phone apps grows every day. There were over 29 billion apps downloaded in 2011 and chances are, that number has almost doubled in 2013 as businesses have seen the power an app can have for their own marketing. Still, this isn’t about creating an app but using the ones available on the market and here’s some of the latest and greatest.

An app can certainly make life easier. Sites have been popping up that offer suggested apps (not theirs) for certain industries, such as sole-proprietorships that need apps for organization, marketing and time management. Here’s a few of the latest released apps that have some sort of application to make your life better. Not all are for business (you figure them out) but a richer life makes for good business?

Ketchup

Oddly enough, Ketchup is a phone app that helps you connect with other live humans in real life, as weird and different as it might sound.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tx_EYhjz3sI

By allowing users to connect the app to their Facebook account, they can easily select the friend or friends they want to catch up with, and then choose the activity from a wide list of activities, such as having coffee, lunch, and even doing a yoga class together. It’s sort of like your mother making a play date for you.

Once you are sent an invite, it gets added to your “table” and can only be wiped off if you check it off as completed, cancel the session, or “flake out” from it.

As Matt Capucilli, the developer of Ketchup explains, “this is a new protocol. It’s a new way of organizing your social behavior. If you don’t want to enter into an agreement to do drinks with someone, then you don’t have to agree with it.”

Maybe it will help lose you friends in the long run?

Img (Imgembed)

Img is a web-based app/service that helps you track AND monetize your images. Sort of like a stock image service, it claims to be good for users and creators.

img

Too new to tell but, as with Creative Commons, it has a good chance of succeeding as it’s a needed tool. Worth checking out!

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Marksta

With over a billion images available on the internet, it’s usually hard to find the proper image owner to attribute copyright information… or if it is even available for use. Attempting to stop copyright theft on social networking sites, photojournalist John D McHugh came up with the iPhone app Marksta. The app lets users copyright their photos by adding watermarks right from their iPhone. Before posting the pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, users can add a text, logo or website, or other copyright information that they’d like others to see when the photo gets posted.

“I developed the Marksta app because I was tired of people stealing my work on the web,” McHugh told British Journal of Photography. “I often work in incredibly dangerous situations to show the world the stark realities of war and revolution. I can’t describe how frustrating it is to find my images online without any credit or byline.”

Marksta is available on the iTunes store, for free for a limited time.

Human-to-Cat Translator

A great business-based app, if you’re a veteranarian, cat-whisperer, or a lunatic with more than three cats (and refer to them as your “babies”).

This app supposedly analyzes your voice and translates it into meows that would get the attention of the feline to whom (probably “which,” but I have a cat and it’s my “baby”) you are trying to “talk.” By collating samples from 25 kittens, this translator offers up to 16 high quality common cat calls. Bird and mouse sounds are also included.

cat.talk

The creators of the app claim that cats and other pets would often respond to the sounds produced by it, but advise that one should stop using the app if it distresses the animal.

You can try it free on iTunes (buy the add-on “Cat Voice Pack” for .99¢).

Glassagram

It was only a matter of time before developers started creating apps for Google Glasses and this app for Instagram through Google Glasses is now available. Just like Instagram, the app lets users add filters to their pics taken with the glasses, saving a step usually done on Instagram. Users just have to sign up for Glassagram and allow it to access your Google Glass timeline.

When users share a photo on the service, via the Google Glass UI, Glassagram will send a card back to your timeline with five filtered options—which users just have to pick the one that they like, to reshare. Currently, sharing is the only basic function available—in the future, who knows… it might even be useful!

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Killing Cool

Being in the creative industry is frustrating, especially when ideas get killed for the dumbest reasons. To help creatives get over the death of their ideas, NYC-base copywriter, Jeff Scardino, created the app, “Killing Cool.”

Basically, it’s a community of creatives that share their frustration when their great ideas get killed, and assist in the grieving process. When a meeting starts, creatives just have to open the mobile site, and tweet about their ideas getting killed to tally the numbers. When a huge number of killed ideas is accumulated, giveaways, such as stickers, stationery and original art from creatives are unlocked to help with the healing, and make sure the ideas didn’t die in vain.

Mailbox

An Intuitive mail app for your phone has been missing from the market. Without bashing the existing mail apps… they pretty much stink, especially when tied to the account you use on your desktop or tablet all of the time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CICMxwgm274

The team at Orchestra, which is the company responsible for developing the app, partnered with Apple to create an email app that really coincides with the way we interact with our email while on the go, but feels like we’re sitting at our desktops. Mailbox is an app that will help you get more organized by allowing you to deal with what you need to worry about and what you don’t need to worry about, at a glance on your phone.

mail

The app utilizes “swiping” actions to sort, read and store emails. A short swipe in the right direction will put things in an archive and a longer right-swipe will send things to the bin. A short swipe leftwards will put things into the right folders and a longer left swipe will “snooze” that particular email. An extra benefit of the app is building up your index finger strength!

Food Share Filter

I hate when people post pictures of their meals on Facebook. Who has time to cook or the money to eat out? There’s just so many shots of dollar menu meals one can post before becoming really depressed.

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Manos Unidas NGO, which promotes the development of some of the world’s poorest countries, has created this food sharing app, which empowers users to raise awareness about world hunger by, “foodstagram-ing,”which is sharing customized food photos on Instagram.

The app, priced at .99¢ (USD) was created to help fight world hunger, lets users apply a filter that comes with a message that reads (in Spanish), ‘this photo helps millions of people to avoid starvation.” It also comes with the hashtag #foodsharefilter. From there, Instagram users can then easily share the picture , and message, with their network.

With each photo shared, Manos Unidas gains nothing monetarily, but hopes that the photos featuring the message will help people become more aware about food poverty. Certainly a noble cause and it will make pictures of other people’s fabulous dinners a bit more palatable to those of use who don’t eat as well… and perhaps, make a difference for those who don’t eat very often.

Oflow

Sometimes, the creative juices just refuse to flow. The Oflow App is designed just for that purpose.

Providing users with access to more than 100 proven methods to usher in ideas, according to creator Tanner Christensen. Sometimes, it’s just a great app for quiet times to encourage and invigorate creative thought. Launching Oflow may be just the app for creatives to discover priceless ideas that might pass them by.

Oflow is available at the iTunes App Store and costs .99¢ (USD). Currently it’s only available for iOS devices, but, as always, it will eventually cover all phone systems.

Drawnimal

Drawnimal is a new app that was created to help the young iGeneration look and live beyond their electronic touch-screens, but, as with Oflow, it looks like a great app for creative renewal.

Drawnimal’s goal is to inspire kids to leave the digital screen for some “simple physical interaction,” as it cleverly shows children how they can draw features of animals while still involving the use of the  digital device. Creators of the app also hope that the adorable and humorous animations will serve to motivate kids to learn the alphabet.

All you need to expand the use of your idevice and get started on Drawnimal is a pen, paper and of course, the app itself.

Top image ©GL Stock Images

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