The App Explosion

The range of mobile applications is far and wide. There are apps for organization and note taking, drawing and photo editing, finance and business analysis. According to 148Apps.biz there are 1,145,591 active apps as of this month. Recorded in the month of February alone there where 11,449 created. That is 1,145 a day. So what does this mean? Where is the app explosion taking us, and how can we use it to our advantage?

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Are Niche News Apps Merely a Fad?

Niche news apps

We found a question on Quora regarding mobile applications, and found it of most interest to us. There are many niche news apps nowadays; it makes sense when there is such an increase in mobile device usage. But are these niche news apps soon to die?

These news apps bring forth something the traditional ways of news consumption cannot, whether it is a summary of the article or a shortened video version of the full story. These news apps offer value to a specific audience: to those who want news in a condensed format that is interesting and personalized. These news apps are meant to be customized to a person’s taste, to take into account what their preferences are and mold the daily news to their interests.

Who doesn’t like personalized applications, made to make life easier for you? In a world in which we are overloaded with our daily priorities and mere distractions, we have little time for issues such as worrying about which news articles to skip and which ones are worth looking into. The value of these news apps is not a problem; the real question is how they could be improved.

What could niche news apps improve on to better your experience?

 

Out With The Old, and In With The New

Out with the old

Out with the old

You’ve read up on how newspapers and news radio stations are becoming less and less popular for news consumption among the younger generations. You’ve seen the statistics on the increasing trend of getting daily news via mobile devices, and the use of several devices to gauge reactions and compare viewpoints and opinions.

Daily Steak is the next generation of news apps. Not only does Daily Steak have a Pandora-like algorithm to find you the most interesting and relevant news personalized to your tastes, but it also provides short headlining summaries of each story. Keeping it short and simple isn’t all it can do, because you can choose to delve deeper into the story by drilling into the full article after hearing the shortened summary of it. Then you can compare multiple perspectives, using it as a vantage point to oversee all opinions and allowing you to gather information to form your own opinions.

With such a huge advantage, Daily Steak is available to replace old technologies of news consumption. But how will Daily Steak improve and keep itself “new” in our society of ever-changing technological advancements? Will it come with voice control? Will it expand to using videos?

Do you agree with Daily Steak possibly being a replacement to older forms of news consumption?

Look Ma, No Hands

handsfree

We are always on the lookout for more efficient and easy ways to accomplish tasks, especially with the increasingly innovative technological advances now made available. Whether it’s signing up for a social media account or creating an iPhone app from scratch, we want the processes of doing these tasks to be as painless as possible.

One development that has greatly contributed to the convenience of doing certain tasks is voice control. The ability to easily command and control remote devices using a voice recognition system can open a world of possibilities in which we could do things more easily and efficiently. With such hands-free control, there is no need for complicated menu buttons, no need for putting off other tasks at hand. Voice control allows us to say very clearly what we want our device to do, often with simple commands. It also provides us the freedom to do other things, to multi-task while controlling our desired devices.

Voice control is being moved to mobile. Continue reading

“In A World”…of Interactive Voice Apps…

inaworld

Fast. Simple. Relevant. And ACCURATE. In a rapidly advancing world of new technology, these adjectives are no longer a luxury for mobile device applications. They are a mandatory prerequisite.

It’s no surprise that voice-activated apps hold a lot of promise as the quickest, easiest way to interactively engage with our mobile devices.

Assuming, of course, the apps can hear you properly, that you’re not resorted to shouting, and they don’t mistaken “together” as “weather.”

Even though the console wars of the 2013 holiday season have only just started, voice apps that are designed to make life as easy as possible (on what are supposed to be the most technologially advanced gaming platforms ever invented) are still far from perfect in accuracy.

So when searching this holiday season’s top mobile devices, how much of a factor does the quality of the voice app feature have in choosing your mobile device for information consumption? Do you have the confidence that it will accurately serve your needs, or will the frustration be too much? Would you prefer if the voice sounded less robotic, or do you barely use the feature?

How important are interactive voice apps for you when you’re browsing your mobile device? 

The Beauty of Technology

beautyoftechnology

Advancements in technology have provided us many opportunities to do things we never thought possible; we can track our own iPhones when we lose them, we can print in 3D, we can even fly to the moon. Technological inventions have not only helped us improve our efficiency but have also made our daily tasks easier, with the ability to use our phones to check the email on the go and the capability of detecting rain before we manually turn on our windshield wipers.

While there are inventions that embody entirely new ideas, there are also inventions that combine existing features in an innovative way. Though these products may not be considered “ground-breaking” or “cutting edge,” they still contribute to solving a problem and providing more efficient results.

Our advancements on the technology timeline can provide us more options Continue reading

Make Room, Robots

robot

GPS can get you from practically any destination A to any destination B. It may do it in a round-about way, making you drive in a giant circle before reaching your destination, but who can complain if it gets the job done? What does GPS lack? It lacks the presence of a real voice.

Without a realistic voice directing us to “turn right ahead” or to “stay left,” we are forced to listen to a robotic voice that not only talks at a calculated tempo, but also pronounces some unique words wrong. Robot voices lack emotion, something that humans can especially identify with, whether or not they are conscious of this fact. We can read emotions from each others’ voices – ones of disapproval, of curiosity, of excitement. Natural voices help us so that we know how to relate to the person speaking, how to approach them, how to talk to them. With such a measured rhythm and monotone sound, robotic voices are easy to tune out to.

Many audio news apps can now translate an article to spoken audio clip, most using text-to-speech utilities which produce robot-like audio clips. But without the natural flow of a realistic human voice, we are more likely to tune out, to miss out on the day’s headlines. This proves especially hard when we are placed in a situation where we need to multitask, such as during our daily commute to work. What we need is an app that brings us real voices reading us the daily news. This could provide us with an easier understanding of the happening news; real voices can stress certain words and phrases, ensuring that us listeners understand what important points are being made (this leaves little room for guesswork). We can all use a little bit more efficiency in soaking up the day’s events, can’t we?

Does today’s apps need a less robotic voice?