Apps

Lover.ly app helps you get inspiration and plan for weddings

loverlyMy app pick this week is Loverly.

Lately, Loverly is the app I’ve lost my fiancé to.

Loverly is like Pinterest, but just for weddings.

With big, gorgeous images, this app offers a way to find and save wedding ideas.

Unlike Pinterest which is a free-for-all of all things pretty, the boards on Lover.ly are editor-curated.

Browse categories, from bridesmaids dresses to centrepieces. Then ‘love’ items you’d like to see later.

Users can also add items to bundles – or take pictures of things you see in real life and save them to your collection.

There’s even a guys section for things us fellas might like.

Watch Episode 3 Season 4 of App Central

Tiles app splits up photos into multiple frames on iPhone

TilesWhen you want to share a plethora of photos to your followers on social networks, don’t upload a barrage of images to Instagram. Use Tiles Photo Framer to squeeze a whole bunch of images into one multi-frame photo.

Split the canvas into different boxes just by flicking your fingers apart from each other on the screen. Then tap each frame to add a photo.

At the bottom, you can adjust the border, apply colours to the border and even add text titles and captions.

Once you’re all done, save the photo to your collection or upload it straight to Instagram to share with your friends.

Will users ‘Like’ Facebook’s new Home?

facebook_homeFacebook announced a new, major product called Home this week – and a partnership with HTC to sell phones with deep Facebook integration.

Those who spend every moment on their phone stalking friends on Facebook and Instagram will have reason to rejoice. But if your life doesn’t revolve around Poking and Liking, you might feel like you’re stuck in a fish tank.

The new Home ‘app’ essentially replaces the Android home screen with Facebook, bringing photo-centric status updates to your home screen.

You can also write status updates, upload photos and share links from Home.

When it comes to apps, Facebook has hidden them behind another menu. It’s all part of a move to get people spending more time in Facebook, or as the company says, more time connecting with people rather than apps.

On the topic of connecting with people, Facebook Home will also include a feature called Chat Heads. This is a way of receiving text message and Facebook message notifications from your friends, with little profile icons popping up in the top-right corner of your screen, no matter which app you’re in.

In all honesty, Home looks like it’ll be a great home for social media addicts who thrive off photos of their friends’ meals and duck faces.

But for anyone who uses their phone to get stuff done, burying apps beyond the Home interface is going to create a layer of disconnect with the apps that have made smartphones so successful.

It’s almost as if Facebook is giving everyone the chance to drink nothing but black coffee, unless they push through the crowd and ask for milk and sugar.

For some, there’s nothing wrong with that. But not everyone takes their coffee the same way.

What do you think of Facebook home?

Pokki App for Windows 8 brings back the start button

Looking for the coveted Start button in Windows 8? You won’t find it, unless you get this app.

Pokki adds start button-like functionality to Windows 8 when in Desktop mode, adding all the usual menus you’re accustomed to in Windows 7 and previous versions.

You can access your apps, other documents and search for files from within the Pokki start menu.

Pokki also lets you download and install apps from their parent company, such as an app that lets you check your Instagram feed and another for Facebook.

 

App Baby Doze helps put babies to sleep

The App BabyDoze is available on the iPhone

The App BabyDoze is available on the iPhone

If you want your baby to get some extra sleep (and let yourself get some extra rest in the process), then check out the app BabyDoze.

I cant actually speak about this app from experience. But it was recommended with very high praise from someone who has a kid or two.

The app works by playing the sound of a womb for a set amount of time (adjustable by you). The idea is that the baby, used to the sound of the womb, will fall asleep.

It’s available for either iPhone or Android devices.

Workout Trainer – an app to push you harder in the gym

workout_trainer_appThere’s personal trainers who can coach you along and teach you new workouts to do in real life. And then there’s the digital trainer, the Workout Trainer app.

This app I reviewed during Season 3 Episode 31 of App Central seeks to replace a living and breathing trainer. How does it compare?

Well, it’s tough to compete with one-on-one coaching from someone who can see your form and how your body reacts to different exercises, but this app comes pretty damn close.

It offers thousands of different workout routines and exercises designed to help you achieve results. Use the voice coaching tool to receive commands from the app’s built in trainers that sound a little robotic, or pay a little extra for a trainer’s voice that actually sounds human.

Not sure how to perform an exercise? Workout Trainer has photos and videos to help guide you through the steps. One feature I particularly like is the timer that helps you push through those sets in just the right amount of time.

Like a workout? Add it to your list of favourites for easy access. You can also create your own if you like.

There’s also a community element to this as well – you can share your workouts with friends via email, Facebook and Twitter.

Looking for a workout that others like? You can also browse user ratings to get a workout going that others enjoy.

Available for your iPhone or Android device.

And for the record, my personal trainer is awesome. But the app will suffice between sessions.

Remember the names of people you meet at meetings with Cardign app for iPhone

The Cardign app is shown in this screenshot.

The Cardign app is shown in this screenshot.

We all know the feeling:

You’re at a party introduced to someone who looks incredibly familiar. You swear you’ve met them before, but you’re not sure what their name is, or how you know them.

Cardign is an app that aims to help you connect the people you meet to the places you met them and the connections you made.

The iPhone app works by building a database of the people you come across – from photos to social networking connections..

On principal, people who get the app add themselves to the database.

If you get the app, all you need to do is take three different pictures of yourself in three main poses. Then, the app figures out a database of users.

Should you see someone you recognize at a networking event, a board meeting a shmoozefest, take their picture using the app.

When the app recognizes them, you’ll get their contact information, like Twitter, Foursquare and LinkedIn, via the app. If they’re not already in the system, you can add them and the relevant details. What’s helpful is that you can also add the details about when and where you me that person.

Regardless of whether you recognize the bigshot or the low-level network, there’s a way to make a link no matter how bad your memory is.

As featured on Season 3 Episode 29 of App Central.

Facebook rolls out free phone call feature in Canada

Facebook_messengerNow you can do more than just poke, creep or instant message a friend on Facebook.

And here’s a plus: us Canadians won’t have to really wait to get access to this feature.

Starting today, Facebook is rolling out a new feature that will let you call friends for free (or as free as your existing phone plan is).

Read more

How to get more apps in Windows 8 by changing the location

While Microsoft is pumping a lot of money into Windows 8 app development, not all are accessible to Canadians.

It seems many app developers, when selecting the region or their apps, pick the United States instead of the rest of the world…or even North America.

So if you’re in Canada, great magazine apps like Zinio are ruled out. But there is a trick to beat the system that Microsoft hasn’t figured out.

All you need to do is change your region from Canada to the United States.

Here’s how:

  1. Swipe in from the right side and select the search button
  2. Select ‘Settings’ right underneath the search box
  3. Type in ‘location’ and then hit enter to search
  4. Select ‘Change location’ from the search results
  5. Select United States from the drop-down menu and then hit OK

And you’re done!

Note: You might need to close and re-start the Store app before the changes are reflected.

 

iPhoto for the iPad – photo editing at your fingertips

iphoto_screenshot_ipadAs an avid yet amateur photographer, I’m always spending hours refining and improving my photos. From lighting up dark shadows to darkening overexposed whites, it’s a tedious task sometimes hunched over the keyboard and mouse, staring at the screen.

I’ll admit I was skeptical about iPhoto on my iPad. Could the iPad really do a good job editing photos. Heck yes.

I use this card reader attachment from Apple to import all my photos into iPhoto, then begin fixing and tweaking photos using the array of editing tools that are as easy to use as it was to use finger paint in kindergarten – without the mess.

The app is also responsive to the strength of your touch, adjusting how hard different effects are applied.

In certain modes, you can drag your finger up/down or left/right to adjust lightness/contrast, etc.

While the app has most mainstream tools you could want for photo editing, it also lets you easily share shots on social networks  – along with the option to send photos to Flickr.

 

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