Infographic: Apps Programmed for Consumption

Another great infographic from my friend Sarah Wenger on smartphones, mobile apps and just how integrated they have and will become in our lives. Sometimes numbers can be frightening, but Sarah makes them quite visually appealing. How many apps do you have on YOUR smartphone?

Apps: Programmed for Consumption
Created by: www.OnlineBachelorDegreePrograms.com

Slices: A Great Twitter Management Tool

 

Yes, Twitter needs management, unless you follow fifty or fewer people. Yes, there are tons of Twitter management tools out there. But, like there are many different learning and processing styles, there are many different ways to consume information and one may work better for you personally than another.

 

Slices is another option for this purpose. Right now, it is a live app on iOS and Android, and a Web version is promised but is still in invite-only beta. I tried it out on iOS and it works beautifully. While the layout is pretty standard, it offers a Twitter directory for finding the best follows on Twitter, a “Live Events” filter which shows the live stream for the top news stories of the day, and Trending filters for your city, country or worldwide. What really is interesting is the “slices” themselves – you can group your timeline into slices to view segments at a time. To show you how, the app will set up some slices for you. It created for me a Tech and Science slice with 34 people, a Business & Money slice with 31 people and a News slice with 9 people. You can filter, right off the bat, people who are not in a slice, so you can “slot” them into a category. Once you organize it, you will be able to easily “slice” through your full feed and see exactly what you want to see when you want to see it. Reminds me a bit of the old Twitter lists concept. Within the slices you can see all types of tweets or just photos and videos, with thumbnail and player right in the tweet. Drill down into follows and add them to a slice from their profile. You can share slices by email, SMS, Tweet and Facebook. Set up your various favorite sharing services within the app for images, video, URL shortening, read later and text expanding. Your saved searches are in there as well and you can start a new search. And, of course, you can tweet yourself from the app.

 

 

 

 


  

 

When the web version drops, it will sync with the mobile version, so you need not miss a beat. You also can upgrade to Pro and lose the ads for $4.99, but I am not sure it is worth that cost to do so.

 

OneLouder is the developer and they aren’t new to the mobile app game – they are the able team behind such great social apps as Friendcaster – my favorite Android Facebook app and Tweetcaster, as well as several other specialized applications.

 

I like Slices a lot – with nearly 1,000 follows, I can use a tool that helps me break out information into categories so I can find what is right now, right now. Nice app – OneLouder!

Sharepoint on the iPad? Yes, with Harmon.ie

 

We use Sharepoint at my company. And, we’re not alone. Better than 78% of corporate America uses Sharepoint, the web application platform developed by Microsoft that handles web content management, document management, collaboration, document management and report creation. It feels a bit like an internal enterprise social network, with not so much of the social elements, but heavy on the information sharing.

 

When more  than three-quarters of corporate America uses Sharepoint and about 94 percent of the Fortune 500 are either testing or deploying the iPad in business, it makes some sense to marry the two. Harmon.ie has done just that – the app makes Sharepoint accessible on the iPad via HTML5, making it possible for users to enjoy the same SharePoint experience on the  iPad as on a desktop.

 

View the Sharepoint site on your iPad, get real-time updates, access and share information with colleagues while on the go, and access Microsoft Office Online.

 

There are three pricing tiers: Free, Premium and Enterprise. The biggest difference between Free and Premium is the ability to upload and edit documents and manage email. Check out the comparison chart here. Premium costs $19.99; Harmon.ie Enterprise edition for the iPad is coming soon.

 

It is a great, business and iPad-friendly addition to your mobile Microsoft experience. Check out the screenshots below for more details on what you can expect from Harmon.ie mobile.

 

 

 

Barrister App. For Mobile Phones & Not Just for U.K. Lawyers

I stumbled on a post today from the Dallas Association of Law Librarians about a new service that will create and maintain an iPhone app for your law firm. The company is called Digome, LLC out of Nashville and the app is called Barrister App. Unlike some of the do it yourself options I have talked about here in the Studio, this app is essentially a content management system with a slick, iPhone, Android or Blackberry friendly face. The components include: Who We Are – the list of firm attorneys, contact information and practice areas; Where We Are – firm office or offices on Google Maps; What We Do – list of firm practice areas; Notifications – the key to communicating with clients regarding anything from appointment reminders to firm news; My Notes – user-generated notes, presumably pertaining to their legal representations; and, My Profile – where the client enters information.

 

 

You can use your own logo, but there are limitations on color scheme. Additionally, the app requires a log-in, which seems a bit counterintuitive and makes it more useful for existing clients than new ones.

But the company will do the heavy lifting for you, maintaining the CMS system and making sure everything runs smoothly. Pricing for the app is displayed on the chart below, with additional maintenance charges of 20% of the initial cost per year on top:

 

 

If you are a smaller player, you might want to skip to cost and make your site mobile friendly or use a Web app. However, if you are interested in keeping tight contact with your clients and facilitating the flow of information in both directions, Barrister App might be an attractive option.

Run, Don't Walk, To 50GB Free Cloud Storage Via Box

Ever watching out for the free goods, I clapped with delight when I saw this great deal. If you are the lucky owner of an Android device, and you find the idea of free cloud storage and collaboration pretty nifty, then download Box’s mobile storage application for Android, log into your account and, Voila!, you will be gifted with 50GB of free storage. That ain’t no chump change – you can hold a lot of stuff with 50GB.

Box offered a similar incentive for iPhone / iPad users back in the fall. Now Android fans can partake of the free-ness.

Box distinguishes itself from services like DropBox by focusing more on easy collaboration. It most closely resembles Google Docs with file / folder sharing, version tracking and collaboration tools. It bears noting that the per file size limit is 25 MB for free users, which may not be enough for certain of your file types. You can upgrade to 1GB file sizes for $10 / month. Another important limitation: there is no desktop application for the free version like DropBox – you have to download your docs, edit, and then upload and can’t get auto-updates in all places – not quite as handy as Google Doc’s ability to permit edits in the cloud. Nonetheless, free is free and 50GB is 50GB. And, on the plus side, Box integrates with a lot of other services like Gmail, Google Docs, and Microsoft Office, so there are work arounds to be had.

So, grab that storage while its hot. There must be something you can put in the Box.

Mobile Blogging Battle: Android or iOS

Little did you know it but my last two posts, Slapping Microsoft Word Into Shape and Evernote Clearly Improves Reading Experience across Platforms, Devices, were part of a grand experiment – a test of mobile blogging experience on my two smartphone, one iOS and one Android. I used the free WordPress app for this self-hosted WordPress blog for both posts. Slapping was written on my iPhone and Evernote was written on my Android powered LG. I started from scratch – finding my topics through my mobile reader program on the respective device, capturing images, and then writing and publishing the posts to see if there was a clear winner in the user experience area. And what did this mad scientist discover?

 

While I preferred the WordPress UI on the Android phone, the experience overall on the iPhone was smoother. This was mostly due to some glitchy performance on the Android phone, which I am generally accustomed to, but it did make the process longer and a bit more difficult. I find it easier to navigate in mobile Safari than I do on mobile Google. Image capture is simpler on the iPhone. But the WordPress Android app is a superior product: the post text and layout is easier to read and you can even access your WordPress Dashboard within the app – you can’t do that in the iOS app, and can only get there via the browser.

 

I have gotten use to typing on these tiny touch screens, so that aspect of the process isn’t a bother. However I have to add that the keyboard on the Android is not nearly as elegant as the iPhone’s keyboard – the Android feels pretty much like you are bludgeoning the language, relying heavily on a sketchy spell checker to fix the ham-handed errors.

 

But, when it is all said and done, the latest versions of these mobile apps are a huge improvement over my early mobile blogging experiences from two or more years ago. I am happy to report that mobile blogging is not the agonizing experience it used to be and is more than doable now, making posting one more time killing option while waiting for an oil change or Motion call. That is, if you can tear yourself away from Angry Birds. And WordPress isn’t your only option. Tumblr, Posterous, and Blogger all have their own mobile applications.

 

And, because I can, this blog post is being drafted on my iPad using the very robust cross platform app, Blogsy. Now. Go forth and write!

 

Remarks: An iOS PDF Mark-up App With Something Different

I usually save the mobile apps for my Mobile App of The Day blog, but this one seems particularly useful for attorneys and worth a mention here in the Studio. Remarks is a new PDF app designed for the iPad from the fine folks at Readdle who know a thing or two about annotation and PDFs on the mobile screen. It is a fully featured PDF annotating application, with a variety of tools to fine-tune your marks. You can highlight, underline, strikeout text, draw upon the documents – that means pretty much anything you can do with the document on paper. But what sets Remarks apart from other apps, like another fav of mine iAnnotate and the like, is the extremely simple view / interface. It drops the complex layers and just gives you the WYSIWYG experience. Combine that with an able note-taking interface and it seems Remarks might be a replacement for more than few apps on your iPad. Notes become PDFs, which can then be easily viewed, printed and edited on your computer. Share notes with others for their perusal and comments. From the iTunes description, here are a list of features:

★ Make notes

Write everything you think is important on a meeting, lecture or presentation.
★ Sketch new ideas
Draw the plan to take over the world. Maybe even two, just in case.

★ Type in text notes
Prefer typing text to handwriting? We have a tool for that.

★ Annotate PDFs
Mark important things in books, journals or documents that you need to review.

★ Draw with your finger
Use it to make remarks in scanned books or simply draw something beautiful.

★ Co-edit notes with friends
You can edit notes made by any other Remarks user and vice versa.

What else Remarks lets you do:

✓ Add Notes Quickly
Only one tap is needed to start new a note, no matter where in the application are you located at the moment.

✓ Exchange documents with your computer
Use a USB cable and iTunes File Sharing to transfer notes and PDFs between your iPad and your computer.

✓ Edit your notes on the Mac or PC
You can make changes into your notes using any PDF editing application like Preview on the Mac or Adobe Reader on the PC

✓ Annotate Email Attachments
Open PDF attachments directly from the Mail app to annotate them.

✓ Share Notes With Your Friends
Email your notes to any other person with Remarks and they will be able to edit it like their own.

✓ Import PDFs from Dropbox, Box.Net, Safari and other applications.
Use “Open In” to transfer documents for note-taking or annotation from any popular cloud storage or iPad app.

 

You can get Remarks for $4.99 in the app store – a small price to pay if it becomes your favorite note-taking, PDF annotating, document collaboration app on the go.

 

 

Trello Tracks Your Projects & Manages Them With Ease

Do you have use for a free project management application that helps you organize your efforts and the efforts of others in an easy to understand format? Check out Trello – a great app billed as a super-simple team workflow and list manager.

Based on the Web so its easily accessible by members of your working team, tasks can be assigned and tracked via a “board.” On the board, users can create “to do” lists, which serve as the point for creating and assigning tasks, updated upon completion.

Cards are tasks. The card is intended to track something that needs to get done. Cards can hold attachments, be embedded with video, be assigned users, include due dates, hold checklists. And because “drag and drop” is so much fun, you can drag and drop board members onto a card and drag cards into the “to do” list. Invite users to the board via email. Receive notifications about board activity so you can keep on top of what is happening. Or ping a user using the Twitter convention of @ in front of their name.

I like the fact that the board updates in realtime so that you can see progress as it happens – when others update the board, lists or cards, you will “see” it happen. With an eye towards organizational use, Trello will also support permissions for users. Or make your board public and show your business’ goals and efforts. It comes in Web app and iOS app flavors, but can be easily manipulated on any devices browser via trello.com. For now is free to use. It uses SSL security.  Add outside content via embed.

I can see dozens of uses for Trello. Use it to plan an event, prepare for a presentation, get a work project done, write a novel, or deal with customers. What a cool tool – thanks Trello!

Revolutionizing Mobile Search with DoAT's Everything

DoAT, a mobile search startup that launched last spring at Techcrunch Disrupt, has taken the adage “out with the old, in with the new” in the New Year to heart. With a brand new mobile-optimized web app, DoAT promises that its new iteration, found at the site everything.me, will offer you everything on every topic imaginable in a very easy to use format. I have been playing around with the app and like it enough to offer it a spot on my home screen.

You can try it out on your computer or your mobile device, but it really shines on the latter. When you navigate to it, you are greeted with an attractive splash page showing a search box and trending searches. DoAT clearly recognizes that we lead with our eyes – the layout is really gorgeous. Click on shortcuts and see a list of popular categories. Drill down further and you will get to the real jewel of the service – mini web apps within everything.me for the most popular sources and search engines related to your search topic. When you click on this sub-apps, you will get information tied to your original search within the selected sources. The sources appear to change based on the search you run. And, when you click on an app like Twitter, for example, you will not only get tweets related to your search, but also Twitter accounts that tweet about your topic so that you can follow for future on point updates.

I can’t overstate the attractivenes of the app – DoAT has really done a nice job laying out the functionality. I was a fan of the original DoAT which promised a search experience on the mobile phone that gave homage to the apps that make such phones so useful and attractive. They are really making it happen with everything.me.

If you are a mobile search devotee, please check out DoAT and check back in here with your comments. This is a really cool interface and I believe it heralds the future of pocket computing.

Syncing with Simplenote

One of the benefits of online research is the ability to organize results in ways that vastly improve upon the old fashioned version of collecting scraps of paper, writing notes in the margins of books and using sticky pads. Most people have at least heard of Evernote, the universal notetaking application, and many have heard of the equally cool Springpad. These apps are undoubtedly very useful, but sometimes I don’t need all the bells and whistles they offer. Sometimes, I prefer using an app called Simplenote for my basic notetaking and information-bit-saving — it offers a simple text editor for notes accessible on the web at Simplenote or via mobile app. You can tag notes and search them by keyword. It is my go-to application for basic, text-based notetaking.

You can turn Simplenote into a web clipping and saving service with the use of a couple of Chrome extensions.  Syncpad for Simplenote allows you to create notes while browsing the web, and append URLs to the note. Syncpad Webnotes (Beta) allows you to create a visual “sticky note” on a desired web page that persistently appears when you revisit the page. Using both extensions, you can write a standard note related to a certain web page and attach a sticky note on the page at the place where your target information is located, with a bit more explanation about why you saved the site in the first place while on your desktop. And then you can access the note on your Android or iOS mobile device when you are out and about.

Kind of brilliant and simple – a set of tools for saving content without the complexity that comes with Evernote’s notebook system. I am not the only one who loves Simplenote – check out the other great add ons, downloads and tools created by developers who also love the bare-bones service. Start clipping and saving virtually with Simplenote!