Must-have apps for your phone

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Whilst we are all aware of the amazing possibilities offered by our smartphones, most people don't take full advantage of the great range of apps that are currently out there.

But with over 700 apps being developed each day, it can present an overwhelming choice to the modern gadget fan. So here's a quick run-down of some of the must-have apps that you might have missed out on.


Whilst we may all be aware of headline-dominating social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter, there are many other communication apps that can offer some eye-opening possibilities.

If you're looking to share some personal thoughts amongst friends anonymously, then the Whisper app is great fun. Rather than traditional social media sites that invariably result in people aiming to fit in with their peers, this app can provide some surprising yet entertaining discussions between you and your friends.


The digital revolution has completely transformed the way in which we keep ourselves entertained. Now you can watch entire films on your phone thanks to streaming sites such as Netflix, or even listen to radio stations from across the globe in real-time thanks to apps like Simple Radio.

Gaming has also been completely transformed through smartphone technology. There's even been a boom in online casino sites such as LadyLucks who offer some lucrative slots games via their user-friendly app which can be downloaded for free from the App Store.


There has also be a revolution in online shopping experiences with major retailers such as Amazon providing their own apps which allow for a much easier way in which to browse and purchase products. And new apps such as Wanelo allow its eleven million users to share and rate their shopping experiences in a social way that adds a much greater sense of fun and discovery in browsing the huge range of products available in the new online domain.


Whilst we can all enjoy the powers offered by our smartphones' apps, most of these apps are reliant upon a decent Wi-Fi signal to work properly. Thankfully the We-Fi app provides the world's most comprehensive list of internet hotspots, so that even if you're out and about, you can still take full advantage of the amazing possibilities presented from the power of your mobile device. And once you've found a hotspot, the Hotspotio app even allows you to simply share the Wi-Fi connection amongst your friends.

Your iPhone is Your New Backpack

Believe it or not iPhones have a way of simplifying almost anything. Take school for example, a lot of money, time and planning goes into preparing you for a new semester. You have to purchase supplies, new books, reading requirements and much, much more. There’s an app for that. In this list of compiled back-to-school apps you will find almost everything that you are looking for. 

Textbooks aren’t cheap and of course you can buy them used and save money - or you can download CourseSmart and view the full text of more than 7,000 textbooks all on your iPhone for free. Bought for your iPhone the books cost half as much as their print equivalents and without all the weight and bulk on your back. 

For those reading assignments, download Stanza. If you are required to read some of the classics this app has more than 30,000 to choose from, all free. It’s a great app for required reading or just catching up on a good book. 

Your professors talk quickly and you don’t write quite that fast so it’s hard to keep up. Evernote is an app that lets you type and synchronise notes, voice memos, photos from your iPhone directly to the web. You don’t have to worry about missing something, forgetting your notebook or losing your notes, it can all be accessed from the app or the Evernote website. 

If you can get away with having your iPhone out in class, download the Graphing Calculator. This might not get you through advanced calculus but it can help you through most maths courses. With this app you can graph multiple equations and it will email the results to you. 

MyHomework will help you stay on top of your assignments by organising them for you. Keep track of your class schedule and any upcoming assignments. It will colour-code them and keep you aware of their due date. Also, it will automatically sync with your desktop, always keeping you updated. 

Everyone has use for a dictionary every now and then, so download the app. Whether you are writing a term paper, studying vocabulary or just trying to expand your knowledge of the English language, this app will do just that. 

Documents To Go gives you the ability to sync and view Office files and PDFs to your phone while allowing you to create documents as well. 

Flashcards are the perfect studying strategy and Brainscape is the perfect app. You waste the majority of your time writing out flashcards when you should be studying. With this app you can create free flashcards or download already-made cards to study with. Share them between groups and with syncing, you can always pick up where you left off no matter which device you use. 

One of the worst parts about writing term papers and essays is the bibliography. You’ve spent a lot of time on gruelling research and the worst part is writing out your references. With EasyBib you simply scan the barcode of the book you’ve used and watch as the app creates bibliography magic. 

Going back to school doesn’t have to be expensive or stressful. The iPhone has a way of simplifying lives and tasks and even assignments. These school apps are guaranteed to take some of the load off while keeping you up to date and on top of upcoming assignments.

iOS or Android: which offers more?

When the first iPad was released back in 2010 many commentators questioned whether they would succeed; given that they didn’t seem to fulfill an obvious gap in the market. Too large for a pocket, unable to take calls - buy an iPad the joke went and pay hundreds of dollars for a bigger, more useless version of the phone you already have.

Time has clearly shown those early naysayers wrong; as 229 million tablets were sold worldwide last year. Approximately 68 million, or 30%, of the total were Apple devices and while collated Android sales figures are not yet available for 2015 it is likely in the 140m - 150m range; confirming that these two operating systems maintain a virtual duopoly on the tablet market.

Which to plump for?

Assuming your choice is between an iOS and Android device, what are the main advantages of each system? The primary advantages of iOS are twofold - it is incredibly intuitive and, because the system is built for a very small range of devices, the 500,000 iPad specific apps will run extremely well; with few glitches or crashes. However for the trademark Apple style, you will have to pay somewhat over the odds.

Android tablets are sold by a variety of manufacturers, and utilise a wide variety of hardware. Samsung, Kobo, Asus and, of course, Google have all released successful tablet ranges running Android - but on a wide variety of screen sizes, processor types and other hardware options. Although this gives the consumer a relatively larger choice it comes with usability drawbacks - you may download an app for your Android tablet and find it requires hardware your model doesn’t have. You’ll also run into more bugs and crashes - but be compensated by a larger range of titles and the greater freedom given to developers in the Android framework.

As an example, Android users rave about Tasker which allows you to program your phone to perform actions when triggered; like turning on WiFi as you approach home, for example. No equivalent app exists for iOS because Apple are incredibly reluctant to give any developers the “under the hood” access these apps require.

Of course both systems share their basic functionality and have a large overlap in the range of compatible apps. Whichever system you buy you’ll be able to watch TV on Netflix, read emails or play video games on the move. Given the recent surge in popularity of “interactive gaming”; betting to you or I, most casinos and bookmakers ensure their full suite of games is available on all platforms.

Before making your choice try to think what you want to use your new tablet for. If you’re just looking to watch videos and music; Android will likely fulfill your needs at a lower price. If however you’re looking to do a bit more, organising emails, contacts and calendars for example, you’ll likely find iOS far more simple and intuitive.

Author - Dan Brook

iOS 7 Beta Suggests iWork, iLife iOS Apps May Soon Be Free

A welcome screen discovered in the iOS 7 beta suggests that Apple's iWork and iLife iOS applications may be available for free when the OS launches this fall, according to German site ifun.

The download screen is similar to this one that was discovered in the iOS 6 beta last year. It encourages customers to download free Apple apps to "get the most out of your iPhone."

iPhoto and iMovie are available on the App Store for $4.99 each, while Pages, Numbers and Keynote are $9.99. GarageBand is missing from the screen, but there is no reason to think it would not go free as well.

The launch of iWork for iCloud at WWDC in June suggested that iWork could become free, as no pricing was mentioned at the show. Offering Apple's polished iWork and iLife applications for free -- much like iLife apps have always been free with the purchase of a new Mac -- would be a strong differentiator for the iPhone and iPad.

Source: Mac Rumours

Best gadgets and apps for camping with your Android

It’s been a long winter, but, with trees and flowers in full bloom, spring is finally here. With any luck we have a long, hot summer in prospect, and that means camping season. You can head off into the wild at the drop of a hat, if the weather looks right. More people go camping every year than jet off to foreign climes. It’s an affordable way to escape your daily grind and find a little adventure. For the tech-obsessed, the idea of being without your Android could be enough to put you off, but fear not, you can take it with you and enhance your trip with the right camping gadgets and apps...

Read the full story here. Source: Android Authority


5 of the Best Online Games

With the online gambling market continuing to offer a variety of great deals (largely due to the substantial amount of competitor sites), there’s never been a better time to enjoy a few games yourself.  But how should you go about deciding which of the many games available are worthy of your attention?  Well, hopefully this list of the best five should help,

Poker.   It might be seen as a bit of a cliche in the betting world, but poker is a classic for good reason: it’s great fun!  Unlike some card games, poker’s learning curve is reasonably easy for a beginner to negotiate the web’s world of usernames means that you can play with complete anonymity, so you don’t have to worry about pressure.    There are a huge amount of different websites that offer poker from low levels to get you started up to the big stakes for whenyou’ve got used to playing.  888 Poker, Full Tilt Poker and Party Poker are all good websites to start with.

Bingo.  In the last few years, online bingo has absolutely taken off, with new websites springing up almost every week to offer their own versions of this popular game.  Because competition is so high, it’s actually a good time to get involved, with sites outbidding each other to attract custom.  Different companies are offering some great deals such as more than doubling your first initial stake, so if you put £10 into your site account, they will double it to £20 (and on some occasions more than that).  There are usually a range of different games that can be played for both low and high stakes.

Blackjack.  An absolute Vegas classic, blackjack been a part of the gaming industry for years.  Gloriously simple to pick up and play, it’ll take you less than five minutes to learn how the game works (if you don’t already) and get going.  If you’ve got a good memory for remembering which cards have already been dealt, you might find yourself playing at quite an advanced level quite quickly.  Incredibly addictive, Blackjack makes for a really good introduction to casino gaming.

Roulette.  Another classic that’s synonymous with Vegas, roulette has its own sense of theatre, and offers a lot of potential for strategic play.   If you want to get started on roulette, it’s important to remember that the European version will actually give you better odds due to it having one less 0 square.  It also has one fewer green square, which also drops the house odds. Like blackjack, Roulette is quite simple to start off with but has its own learning curve for those looking to play for bigger stakes.

Casino games.  The other main group of games that are popular online are the virtual equivalent of the old fruit and slot machines, with almost all modern casino sites offering their own versions.  Some of the games originated in Egypt, such as the popular Cleopatra’s Pyramids, and others are simply based on the classic ‘3 lemons’ style fruities.   Whatever the design, thesegames never go out of fashion, and are beloved by those who love the ‘classic’ pub feel they get from playing them.

More Than 750M Android Devices Have Been Activated, 25B Apps Downloaded

Google CEO Larry Page published a letter earlier today alerting the world that Andy Rubin, the company’s head of Android, is stepping down. There was a bit of golden information in that letter, however.

Page also noted that more than 60 manufacturers currently sell devices powered by Google’s mobile operating system, and that since the OS launched there have been more than 750 million Android devices activated around the globe. That figure includes tablets, smartphones and other connected devices. Page said that consumers have downloaded more than 25 billion apps from Google Play, too.

Just over a year ago Google’s Andy Rubin said that there were more than 300 million Android devices activated and that 850,000 devices were being activated daily. That means the figure has since doubled in just over a year.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Great Offers on MoneyGaming

MoneyGaming was launched by Game Account International in 2011 and has since become host to a suite of over 300 games. Along with casino classics such as Black Jack and Roulette players can also enjoy a huge selection of bingo, slot and instant win games. All games on the MoneyGaming website run on Adobe Flash so customers can begin playing them instantly without the need to download or install any software.

The graphics and animations provided by the WagerWorks and Aristocrat software platforms are bright and impressive. Their exceptional quality of gaming earned MoneyGaming's parent company the EGR Magazine award for the Top Game Developer Company in 2011. In addition to this the website is attractive and the layout is easy to navigate, meaning players will quickly find whatever they are looking for.

Popular slot machines such as Rainbow Riches, Kitty Glitter and Cleopatra slots are all available along with some new famous names including GhostBusters, which boasts four frequent mystery features and two bonus games. MoneyGaming’s slots collection is extensive and growing fast, with the company regularly adding new slots games. Both free to play and real money games are featured on the website with mega jackpots regularly exceeding £2 million.

Along with the games MoneyGaming also offers their customers some great promotional offers. Currently new players who sign up to the website with the simple registration process will benefit from a £300 Welcome Package. First deposits will be matched up to £150 with a 50% match on second deposits up to £75. Another £75 sprint bonus can also be redeemed after playing real cash games. In addition to this MoneyGaming has also introduced a loyalty bonus scheme for cash game players. This extra boost to your player account balance can really help to stretch those winnings.

BlackBerry: 70,000 Launch Apps, Including Skype, Twitter and Facebook

BlackBerry is listing off apps leading the charge on its new platform, with Skype, Whatsapp, Angry Birds, Twitter, and others all on board. The company said there will be 70,000 launch apps—a pretty impressive launch figure, showing that developers are committed to ushering BlackBerry onto the same plane as iOS and Android as far as selection goes.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Microsoft Unleashes New SDK So Older Apps Work With Windows Phone 7.8

Microsoft on Tuesday made a new Windows Phone SDK available to developers so their WP7.1 and 7.5 apps will play nice with Windows Phone 7.8. Basically, the biggest aspect developers will need to tweak is adding support for adjustable Live Tiles, which is a hallmark feature of Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.8.

The upcoming update to 7.8 isn’t as feature packed as WP8, which resides on devices such as the Lumia 920 and HTC 8X, but it’s certainly a nice addition for older handsets. Hopefully this means that Windows Phone 7.8 will be made widely available soon.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Facebook Looks Prepped to Launch Messenger for iPad

Facebook is hosting a special event on Tuesday, Jan. 15 during which the company is expected to make several announcements. One of those announcements may just be Facebook Messenger for tablets.

TechCrunch got a hold of the above image recently, which is clearly a screen shot of Facebook Messenger running on an iPad. The site said we can expect all of the Messenger features that are already available for mobile devices, just in a bigger format, plus a new option that allows users to record messages using their voice. That seems relatively minor, since most pundits are expecting a long event that spans a few hours.

TechCrunch also believe Apple will unveil some sort of product that’s being dubbed a “big deal.” Maybe it’s a Facebook phone? Unless the company has kept the hardware under tight wraps, we’re guessing it’s going to be something entirely different. Maybe we’ll finally seeInstagram for iPad.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

BlackBerry 10 sees 15,000 app submissions in less than two days

RIM will be facing an uphill battle when it does eventually launch BlackBerry 10, but the company is making sure it’ll have a healthy selection of apps from the get-go by incentivizing developers. RIM recently hosted two Port-a-Thon events to encourage developers to submit their games and general apps for BlackBerry 10, offering $100 for any app approved to the store. Naturally, the promise of cash seems to have worked: 15,000 apps were submitted over the course of 37.5 hours.

Money wasn’t the only incentive, though, as BlackBerry hardware was also on offer. The first developers submitting between two and five approved apps were promised a free PlayBook, while those writing more than five approved apps were entered into a random draw to receive a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. It’s doubtful that every app will be approved for the store, but RIM needs as many submissions as possible if the company hopes for a successful launch.

[Source: TheVerge]