Google Currents vs. Flipboard

Google Currents and Flipboard are both wonderful news apps that offer  a customizable magazine-like experience, with a lot of variety, and both are available on iOS and Android devices.

You can see your Facebook and Twitter feeds on Flipboard, while on Google Currents; you can add your RSS feed and be able to read it directly on the app.

The apps look and feel quite different on Android or iOS tablets and phones; I have personally found Flipboard’s user experience smoother than Google Currents on the iPad, but it seems Google Currents is more flexible on any Android tablet, not to mention Currents needs less performance specs.

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So if you have an old tablet or phone; Google Currents is definitely the app for you.

Google has a feature that gives it a competitive edge, and that feature is offline viewing. This gives users the ability to read and browse through selected pages even if they’re not connected to internet.

Flipboard’s flipping effect through pages is pretty sweet, but while it’s mainly superior on iOS devices, the same couldn’t be said for Android devices: especially when using phones, you have to flip through each news article to see a different one, while Google Currents show different topics in just 1 single page, and you just need to scroll down to see more.

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It’s clear that Google Currents and Flipboard have advantages over one another, and while they have a few differences; the competition is fierce, and will undoubtedly get fiercer in the future. Flipboard have taken news readers by storm, but it seems Google Currents is rising up to the challenge, iterating and updating the app both constantly and consistently. Which app is your favorite? On which device are you using it?

If you haven’t checked out any of these news reading apps, they’re both pretty efficient at delivering news that are otherwise paid for like Forbes, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Metro UK, The Telegraph, etc…

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Posted in New Mobile Apps

My 5 favorite apps

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Evernote is a note taking app, it automatically syncs your notes through all of your devices. To explain it simply, let’s say you write a small note on your phone, when you use your pc, laptop, or tablet, you’ll see the note there as you’ve written it. And when you update it, it automatically syncs to all your devices again! And all you need is an internet connection.

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Snapseed is by far the easiest, most user-friendly image editor I have met to date. I snap a photo and I can quickly adjust contrast, brightness, saturation, ambience, and apply countless filters. The app took a bit of getting used to, but now I can make a piece of art out of any taken picture with just a couple of minutes.

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I read and write a lot, and it’s pretty silly to search for a word through a real dictionary these days. Instead I use the Merriam-Webster app so I can quickly enter the word on my phone and see what it means, one cool feature I love is the mic: I click it and say the word out loud; the app will instantly give me the best word matches so I tap on the one I need and get the definition.

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With Any-Do I don’t forget any date, assignment, chore, or anything for that matter. Like Merriam-Webster it has a voice recorder, so I can tap on the mic, say something like “laundry day”, and set it for the day I need to do the laundry. The app gives me a notification to remind me of it. Pretty cool! 

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Virtual Recorder records and saves to your phone or tablet. I play music, so sometimes I’m curious to hear what a melody would sound like backwards… sometimes this gives me an idea about how to give it more flexibility. While most people would probably listen to their voices in reverse a couple of times and uninstall the app, musicians can play, sing, or hum a melody and hear it backwards simply by using their phone.

Posted in New Mobile Apps

Augment App: The future of online shopping

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Let’s face it, online shopping is convenient and accessible through our fingertips, but nothing beats seeing the product you want to buy in front of you. You get a pretty good estimate of how big it is, and it’s a lot easier to picture how it would look like in your living room.

Well you still need to take a few measurements to make sure it fits well before you buy it… The situation applies when you’re thinking of buying a big screen TV, or a couch, or anything relatively big.

Amazon, eBay, Walmart and other e-commerce sites all face this problem on a daily basis, sales on bigger items are always a lot less than sales on the smaller ones. If only there was a way to… try it out first?

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There’s a new app available in the App Store and on Google   Play; Augment is an Android and iOS app that augments reality to help people see how specific items will look in their home or office or any reasonable environment.The object will appear in 3D, and the user will be able to control where to see it on the tablet or smart phone. Heck we can even spin the item around if we want to!

With 3D rendering, Augment kills off most of the risks involved when buying large items, it lets its users be precise about how items they want to buy fit and look in a specific room.

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Founder Jean-François Chianetta mentioned in a DLD conference interview “We also have teachers that are using it to let children show objects or things that they cannot bring to the classroom.” So the idea can transcend shopping and give new possibilities to different types of users.

The founder is an ambitious one, he mentioned the use of Eric Ries’ Lean Startup method and mentioned fast iterations, he also hopes 2013 wil be the year “to have a platform where people can upload as many 3D objects as they want, and to have a million active users that are visualizing and objects in a lot of different areas.”

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Posted in New Mobile Apps

DevApp Hackathon!

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This event as organized by Touch, is joining many mobile app developers, interface designers, marketers and business developers interested in building apps using the Touch Cloud. AltCity will be planning the event, and it promises to motivate and push the attendees to transform their ideas into a working prototype that both investors and potential users can try out.Some teams are already fixed, but that is not a necessity; people can meet up at the event, and if their visions complement one another, then they can create their team right then and there, and start working on their agreed prototype. They’ll also be able to pitch their ideas there to gather both feedback and experience.

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What kind of apps will people build there? Well there isn’t much information on the subject as of yet… But AltCity on ihjoz.com where attendees can order the tickets says “the teams are encouraged to create apps that help, in some way, build a better Lebanon.” What this means practically is that they want to encourage the teams to build an app that Lebanese users will benefit from, to inspire Lebanese people to step forward in the digital era – The logic behind this also implies that if a couple of Lebanese folks can create something that their people needs and uses, then more people will get the passion and faith needed to do the same.

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Touch have also gathered many mentors in the field, that will give advice, and show the enthusiasts how it’s done. There will be fundamental workshops that will help everyone make things happen faster, and have the prototype ready by the end of the weekend

There will also be prizes involved: including money, technical equipment, as well as mentorship, and the winners of the event will have a spot in the coming DevAppLB PitchFest.

I know I have my ticket ready, and I’m hoping the event organizers deliver what they have promised, and truly help lead the way to a more digital Lebanon.   

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Posted in Tech Events In Lebanon