Editor’s Pick of the Week: Skifta

Welcome to the third edition of Editor’s Pick of the Week. This week, our editor, Simon, tells us about a very nifty DLNA/UPnP app for Android – Skifta. 

With the recent trend of shipping devices with less and less local storage, in a very transparent attempt and pushing users towards the cloud, users are left with either giving up “owning” their media, or picking and choosing what to store directly on their devices. If you’re inclined enough to have set up a DLNA or UPnP media store in your home network, then you might want to take a look at Skifta for Android.

Skifta is much more than a DLNA/UPnP app. It is developed by Qualcomm Atheros, and if you’re unfamiliar with them, they make the chips that are likely powering the mobile device you’re reading this on. Skifta is DLNA certified (it was actually the first Android application to be DLNA certified), fully supports the UPnP standard, and if QCT has their way, will be pre-packaged in a wide range of devices.

Most DLNA/UPnP applications support client and server mode. That is, you can either host media and push it to a device in server mode, or you can use client mode, and pull media to your device. Skifta does both, but also has the addition of local storage support for when you’re offline or not within range of your home network.

Skifta is very straight forward to use, as you basically have 3 options before you start listening to music or watching movies. Firstly, where do you want to get this content from? Local or remote. Second, where are you playing it to? Local or remote. Third, what do you want to play? If you’re smart enough to answer those 3 simple questions, you’ll be enjoying your media wherever you want, in no time flat.

 

Upon selecting a file to play, Skifta will immediately attempt to buffer the entire song over whichever connection you have available to the media server. If you’re using an 802.11n network, this happens very quickly. Almost instantly. It would be nice if the application would load the next few songs in the album in order to reduce “seek” time when moving to, or skipping, a track. The lower blue indicator line indicates buffer status.

While Skifta does display embedded album art, this is only shown on the “now playing” screen. Instead of thumbnails when selecting tracks, a small placeholder icon is used to denote a folder, audio track, video file, or picture. While it doesn’t detract at all from usage, it would be a nice bit of polish to have.

Skifta also doesn’t seem to do any caching of any sort, even if the network was remembered. This means your entire library is polled every time you reconnect. This isn’t a large issue with the proliferation of fast wireless networks, but if you’re offloading media storage to a dedicated machine because your device doesn’t have enough local space, you’re going to be adding up the seconds that it takes to load a large library.

Like most 3rd party audio players, Skifta sticks itself into the notification drawer, but 2 icons are present. One indicates the network you are connected to, the other shows your media information about the media being played. Unfortunately there are no media controls, but tapping will bring you to the according screen.

All in all, Skifta might not be jam-packed with features and fluff, but it does a perfect job at pulling or pushing media around from a DLNA/UPnP server. If you’re looking for a fast and stable media player, Skifta by Qualcomm Atheros is a great app.

RealPlayer For Android Review

I’m sure most of you might have already heard or even installed the popular RealPlayer app on your Android smartphones. This app was in beta for a very long time. However, RealNetworks recently released the final version of this amazing app. I’ve been using the beta version of this app for more than a year, but it was never the default music player on my Android smartphone. I personally liked the user interface of this app from the moment I installed it on my Android device.

Earlier this month, RealNetworks removed the beta tag from this amazing media player app. The final version comes with a refreshed UI along with a graphic equalizer, metadata editing and much more. RealPlayer is currently available for free in the Google Play Store. However, you will need to shell out $4.99 for purchasing the premium package. The size of the app is 12 MB and and the current version is numbered 0.0.1.1. Most of the media player app does support devices running on Android 2.1 (Eclair) OS. Thankfully, you can install the RealPlayer app on devices with Android 2.1 or higher version of OS.

RealPlayer for Android is an “All-In-One” media player app, which not only plays your favorite music, but also plays videos and displays the photos stored on your smartphone. As soon as you open the app, you will be greeted with an amazing homescreen as shown above. It will take a couple of minutes for the app to search your Android device for media contents. You can find the option to select Playlists, Albums, Genres, Songs, Artists along with Videos and Photos on the app’s homescreen.

RealPlayer plays the music and videos smoothly, however it does not scan the internal memory by default for videos. On the other hand, there is no option in the settings to enable this feature. I found this a bit problematic, since all of the music videos and movies were stored in the internal memory of my smartphone.

An icon will be displayed in the notification bar, while you are playing a track. You can also find the album art and track info on the notification area. However, there is no option to play, pause or change the track from notifications. RealPlayer displays the song you are playing along with the album artwork and basic controls even when your phone is locked. This is one of the feature that I like the most. It allows you to play, pause or jump to the next/previous track even with out unlocking the phone. The photo browser is quite ordinary. It does not allow you to pinch and zoom or sort photos according to the album.

This app is currently available in nine languages and it comes with an optimized graphics for high-res devices. It allows you to set your favorite song as a ringtone and control the media from the homescreen widget. Sadly, you cannot play .RAM and .RM files in the free version. The homescreen widget is pretty decent. It shows the song you are currently playing along with its album art and basic controls.

The premium feature pack is available for $4.99 through an in-app purchase and it brings graphic equalizer with ability to save custom settings, metadata discovery using the Gracenote database, manual metadata editing, cross fading, RealAudio and RealVideo (rmvb) support and no advertisements. The basic version offers almost all of the necessary features. However, if you want to get rid of the advertisements or play Real audio and video files on your Android smartphone, then you can go ahead and purchase the premium package.

Price: Free (Basic, Ad-supported) / $4.99 for premium features
Rating: 4/5

[ Download RealPlayer from Google Play ]

Review: Scramble With Friends

Recently, I was introduced to a really fun game called Scramble With Friends. I needed another time waster like I needed a hole in the head, but I digress. Scramble With Friends is a lot of fun I have to admit and, as a word of warning, can be very addictive!

Scramble With Friends

The game was developed by Zynga, which is probably the most well-known maker of games for social networks. Scramble with Friends allows you to search your social networks and play against your friends. The idea behind the game is that you get a board, like the one pictured below. The board contains 4 columns by 5 rows of letters.  You try to pick out as many words as you can in the allotted amount of time. There are 3 rounds per game. This gives you a chance to redeem yourself if you royally blow it the first time.

Scramble Board

Notice the red circled area in the picture below. Every day you are given a certain amount of tokens to play with. On the left side of the tokens is a timer that lets you know when you will be given your next free token. To the right of the tokens is a button that says “Get Tokens”. This will allow you to purchase additional tokens if you just can’t stand to wait another 15 minutes to play again.

tokens

The game also features “Power-Ups” which give you certain advantages. For instance, there is a “Freeze Time” power-up, which is the blue icon pictured below, that will stop the clock and allow you to get words while the clock is frozen. You only have a certain allotted amount of power-ups, but never fear, Zynga is happy to sell you more.

power-ups

Below, is a YouTube video that will give you a better idea how the game works.

[Video Link]

The Good – Scramble With Friends is a lot of fun. If you like word games then this is a great game to play. It isn’t hard to play and it is one of the best social games I have seen. It even has a little message window where you can trash talk your friends. Unfortunately, I am so bad they usually trash talk me.

The Bad – It’s a resource hog. On my little Android Optimus T, it nearly took my phone down to a crawl. However, it runs like a charm on my iPad 2. There are a lot of ads and I am not real fond of having to wait for tokens to play. The voice that they use to cheer you on in the game could not be more creepy sounding either.

I give Scramble With Friends 4 stars because it is a great game. I would recommend it for people of all ages. It is just good clean fun. If you would like to download it, follow the links below:

Apple Download

Android Download

Editor’s Pick of the Week: Llama

Welcome to the second edition of Editor’s Pick Of The Week. This week Sathya talks about a location based automation tool for Android devices, Llama.

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve walked into your office, begun a discussion with your colleague, only to be disturbed by your loud notification tone? Or have a bunch of app updates/RSS feeds/ Other apps scheduled for auto-update when WiFi connection is available, only to forget enabling WiFi once you’re at home because you were preoccupied with some other work.

This happens to me often, and it often frustrated me that I’d remember to switch on WiFi late in morning, instead of previous night — or have a notification alarm sound off when I’m in the middle of a heated discussion. I sought our techie-buzz’s resident Android guru, Rajesh, for an app suggestion and I took Llama for a spin. Needless to say, it’s been one of the best apps that I’ve ever installed.

What is Llama?

Llama terms itself as a “Location Profiles” app which, honestly is quite an uninspiring name. Llama uses GSM cell phone tower locations to mark designated areas. And once you enter/leave the designated areas and upon on other conditions, Llama lets you trigger actions. Llama supports a whole lot of conditions and triggers — some of the parts of your Android phone Llama can act upon include:

  • 2G/3G/4G network modes
  • Bluetooth
  • GPS
  • Play, pause and other media buttons
  • Mobile Data (before Android 2.3 only)
  • Run apps
  • Screen brightness
  • Wifi

allowing you to create events based on

  • Current location
  • Battery level
  • Calendar events
  • Charging
  • Phone start up and shut down
  • Time of day
  • Wifi networks

and so on. So how do I actually use this app? First, you’ll have to train Llama to ensure it knows what the areas are. I’ve defined some set of rules to automate few things that I would otherwise have to do manually.

llama rules

The rules include:

  • Switch off WiFi once I leave home – WiFi hotspots are rather rare here, and I’d enable it if required. This allows me to save on some battery life
  • Switch on WiFi when I reach home – Enables dropbox, Google Currents, Google Play to auto update.
  • Quiet at Work between 08:30 and 18:45, change to quiet every 15 minutes — Llama also allows for actions to be triggered at repeated intervals and at specific times. This rule automatically puts the phone on silent mode between the times mentioned, and the repeated interval check ensures that even if I accidentally enable sounds, it gets disabled.
  • Switch to Normal once I leave Work — My phone doesn’t have to be silent mode anymore, once I leave work.
  • No mobile data when connected to Wifi – Once I’m on Wifi, my phone doesn’t need mobile data enabled, neither do I need 3G enabled. Having these results in better battery backup.
  • Disable 3G at work: The 3G coverage at my workplace is very spotty, with transition between 2G to 3G and vice versa happening very often, killing my battery. Having 3G disabled means that my battery lasts longer.

These are just some of the rules that I use, and Llama’s UI, though not pretty, is quite intuitive. Llama’s available for free on the Play store, though I went ahead and purchased the Donation version simply because the time I have saved using the app has been enormous.

Nexus 7 Review: Best Android Tablet so Far

I have been using the Nexus 7 for over a week now, and it definitely lives up to all the hype that has been created about it. Nexus 7 is Google’s flagship Android tablet device built in partnership with ASUS. It comes with a great hardware configuration and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS.

Nexus 7 Box

I am very impressed with the Nexus 7 and would recommend it to anyone. However, don’t just take my word for it, and read the Nexus 7 review below to learn how the Nexus 7 performs and why it is so good.

Hardware

Nexus 7 comes with a Quad-core Tegra 3 processor and a whopping 1GB of RAM. This makes the device run very fast even when you are playing games which use heavy graphics and game play. It also has a 7″ display with a whopping 1280×800 HD resolution which would put several existing laptops and desktop PCs to shame. The high resolution also makes watching movies a treat.

Nexus 7 watch YouTube Videos

Nexus 7 is pretty lightweight at just 340g and does not have a plastic feel. Additionally it comes with NFC and a Micro USB slot. Nexus 7 also comes with a 4325 mAh battery which provides up to 8 hours of active use. However, the battery can live up to 2 days with moderate use. I managed to run the Nexus 7 without charge for almost 2 and half days while just reading a book.

The Nexus 7 also provides you with video chatting capability with a 1.2 MP front facing camera. I tested out the front camera and it does the job well when it comes to video conferencing on apps like Skype and WebEx. However, there is no back camera on the device. For me this isn’t a problem, because I usually find it funny looking at people taking pictures with their tablets.

Review: NABI 2 Tablet for Kids (Parents Too)

Let’s face it, tablets are in! Everybody seems interested in getting one. I can’t tell you how many times a week that I get pinged about what is the best tablet to buy. Lately, I have received a lot of questions about what parents should get their kids. Tablets can be a great educational tool, but as a parent myself, I know that unfettered access can be a huge nightmare. One accidental tap and your kids are watching something that would make a sailor blush. It’s also hard for me to recommend a $500 10 inch tablet for use by a kid, especially when my own 18 year old has broken the screen on his iPhone twice. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Recently, my wife and I acquired the NABI 2 Tablet. This ruggedized tablet is designed with kids in mind. The dirty little secret? It’s great for parents too and best of all, it won’t break the bank! Today, I will lay out my review of this tablet and give you all the info you need to make an informed decision.

Kid Friendly Tablet

Below, you can see a video that gives you about a 3 minute tour of the NABI 2. You can see that they put a lot of work into making the outer shell rugged and with a good grip.

[Video Link]

The makers of NABI have 3 main concepts that they built the tablet features around:

  1. Learn – NABI is designed to work with Fooz Kids University. The University offers state standard curriculum designed by grade level. Kids can take classes on the NABI and you as a parent can monitor their progress with reporting tools. This is a pay service, however and there are different levels you can get.
  2. Play – The NABI has NVIDIA TEGRA HD games available that the kids will love playing. Adults would probably like this feature too. It also has features for kids music and streaming videos.
  3. Grow – Parents can assign chore lists to the kids and assign “NABI coins” that the kids can redeem in an app called “Treasure Chest”. The kids can exchange their earned coins for new games and apps that the parent approves.
The really cool part about all of this is that you the parent get to decide what apps are available to your children and when they are available. You can also create multiple IDs for your kids so they can have their own personalized experience.

A Truly Legit Tablet

One of the great features about this tablet is that it is a real tablet. I don’t mean just for kids either. This is a fully functional Android tablet. It features a “Mommy” mode, which requires a password so the kids can’t get the full features. In “Mommy” mode you’ve got all the power of an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. You can read your Kindle books, watch Netflix, browse and purchase apps. So while they market this as a kids tablet, it really is every bit as good as other Android tablets out there on the market today. Plus, it only costs $199. So for the price of a Kindle Fire, you not only get a regular tablet, but you also get all the safety features for your kids.

Let’s Talk About Specs Baby

Pictured below, you can see NABI pictured in “kid mode”. The tablet has a nice weight and feels good in your hands. Video on the screen looks great. The front facing camera is decent enough for the kids to use to play games and video conference. Take a moment to check out the quick specs I have listed below the first picture.

NABI Specs
NABI 2 Tablet
  • Display – 7-inch, Capacitive, Multi-Touch Display, 1024 x 600 Resolution
  • Processor – NVIDIA® Tegra® 3, Super 4-PLUS-1™ Quad Core
  • Storage – 8 GB, Expandable via MicroSD (Up to 32 GB); It also comes with 2GB of Cloud storage for your apps and pictures.
  • Memory – 1GB RAM
  • Camera – 2MP front facing camera; 720p video
  • OS – Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Network – Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth 3.0
  • Battery – 3,850 mAh Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
  • Physical Parameters
    • Width: 8.69 Inches (220.8 mm)
    • Height: 6.05 Inches (153.7 mm)
    • Depth: 1.14 Inches (29.08 mm)
    • Weight: 1.31 Pounds (596 g)

As you can see, this tablet has some hefty specs. It also has some pretty impressive inputs and outputs. This is something I find very encouraging. A lot of tablet manufacturers try to force you to their cloud by not offering storage options. This isn’t the case with the NABI. You can use MicroSD cards to store your stuff if you so choose. If you look at the image below, you can see that it also offers a lot of connectivity options such as MicroUSB and Mini HDMI.

Inputs and Outputs
NABI 2 Tablet Inputs and Outputs

The Good: There are a lot of positives with this tablet. It’s a fast Android tablet with all the features you love, but with the added safety for your kids. NABI has a great community and very responsive support. It is also very inexpensive.

The Bad: There’s not a lot of bad to this tablet. It doesn’t feature a rear facing camera, but seriously, why use a tablet for taking pictures? It’s just awkward. The only negative we have found with ours is that the screen kind of froze up on the kids when we first got it. We believe that these issues have been resolved with the latest update.

There’s just too many positives with the NABI for me to not give it 5 stars. So 5 stars it is! For more information about the NABI, and to find out where you can buy one, visit http://www.nabitablet.com/where-to-buy/.

Review: TweetLine — Not Just Another Holo Themed Twitter Client For Android

With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google effectively killed the argument that Android, as an OS does not look as beautiful as iOS. The big G has also taken steps to ensure and help developers in properly implementing the Holo UI in their apps. Over the last few months, the quality of Android apps has gone up drastically. Some absolutely stunning and beautiful apps have hit the Play Store including Hike, Tasks, and Solid File Explorer among others.

Even then, there is a lack of a beautiful and fully functional Twitter client for Android with a Holo theme. The official Twitter app for Android is nothing but a piece of garbage, and does not follow the Holo theme or feature a black theme. Some new Twitter clients have popped up recently on the Play Store that show quite a potential including Boid, Carbon, Tweet Lanes, and Twidere but they are very much a work in progress. Carbon will probably trump all the other twitter clients with its beautiful UI, but the app has been in development since ages and the developer just keeps pushing the release date back.

Today, we look at another new Twitter app for Android that has a Holo theme and shows quite a lot of potential — TweetLine. The app has a name that sounds very similar to Tweet Lanes but that’s about it.

Even though TweetLine uses the Holo theme, the developer has done a remarkable job of keeping the app’s UI distinct from its competitors. While UI is a subjective, I personally prefer the look of TweetLine over all other Holo themed Twitter apps. The White theme with Black action bar looks absolutely stunning, while the ‘True Dark’ theme will be appreciated by all AMOLED packing Android handset owners.

Even though TweetLine has a Holo theme, it supports all Android devices running Eclair (Android 2.1) or higher, which should please owners of Android handsets running Gingerbread or lower.

While TweetLine is still in alpha, it has all the basic must-have features required in a Twitter client covered, which its competition lacks. Below is the full feature list of TweetLine -:

– Pull-to-refresh to refresh each column (timeline, direct messages, mentions)
– Register the last tweet you read in the timeline to always find your tweets as you had left them
– Sharing pictures with TwitPic, Yfrog, Lockerz and pic.twitter
– The colorbar which allows you to assign a color to a user, a colored bar will appear on his tweets in your timeline
– Integration of a url shortener: bit.ly
– Preview images in tweets as thumbnails, and can see the image full screen by clicking on it (with zoom support)
– Configurable action on the support along a tweet
– Android 4.0 themes available : Dark, Light, Light & Dark
– Change the text size and color of tweets
– Autcompletion on friends name
– Display the renewal hour of your API requests
– Edition of your profile
– Search tweets and users

The app also has plenty of customizations options including the ability to change the color of the font in the tweet, links, the ability to split the action bar into two if your device has a large screen and much more. The Tweet Composer window of the app will automatically show the contents of your clipboard while composing a tweet, which is very handy if you want to copy-paste something. However, I really did not like the Tweet Composer’s UI and hope the developer revamps it in a future update.

Even though TweetLine is in early stages of development, the app has a lot of potential. The lack of notifications might be a bummer for many, but with Twitter locking down developers from providing API access, there is not much the developers can do. The developer of TweetLine, HappyDr0id, is also working on adding other new features such as a Tablet UI, Multi-Account support, Widgets, Notifications and much more.

As a long time Plume user and a Carbon alpha tester, I must say TweetLine has won me over. With a couple of major updates, and a tablet UI, TweetLine might just become the best Twitter client for Android.

Download TweetLine For Android for free from the Google Play Store.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Case and Pouch Review

The Samsung Galaxy S3 might come with a Gorilla glass, but given the multitude of shattered Gorilla glass anecdotes doing the rounds on the web, that is hardly assurance enough. If you have butter fingers, or just don’t want to risk your prized possession, it makes sense to invest a bit more and opt for a protective case or a pouch.

Mobilefun sent me a couple of Galaxy S3 accessories to review. The first of them is the official Samsung S3 Slim Case. As the name suggests, the Slim Case is a super-thin case that barely adds to your Galaxy’s dimensions, but protects its hyper-glazed back from getting scratched. Samsung claims that the case is made from “unique plastic injection process” that retains strength and reinforcement. In my tests I definitely found the case to be sturdy and scratch proof. However, the biggest advantage of opting for the official case is its fitting. The phone fits perfectly into the case, which has precise openings for everything from the volume rocker to the tiny microphones dotting the S3’s exterior. The other advantage of the case is that it has a dotted texture (matt finish) that enhances grip and feels more comfortable to hold. At £14.95 (23.5 USD) for a dual-pack, the official case isn’t the cheapest option, but it provides almost no reason to complain.

Genuine-Samsung-S3-Slim-Case-Full-View

Genuine-Samsung-S3-Slim-Case-Close-Up

Genuine-Samsung-S3-Slim-Case-Side-View

The disadvantage of the Slim Case is that it offers absolutely no protection for the screen. If you want a more comprehensive protection, Samsung has the Flip Case, which protects both the rear and the front. The official case is also pretty slim, as it replaces the back cover. However, I wanted to try out one of the cheaper unofficial alternatives to see if they could get the job done. I opted for the Slimline Carbon Fibre Style Flip Case. I am not sure as to what the manufacturer means by “Carbon Fibre” style, but the Slimline case definitely looks reassuring. The front-lid has a comfy, microfiber lining that should be able to absorb shocks to protect your screen from light drops. The back plate on the other hand has a soft rubber coating. Slimline case also fits in quite well, and I like how the case attaches itself without using any extraneous devices like buttons or velcro straps. However, some of the openings are not cut very precisely and tend to reduce the premium feel of a product that otherwise appears to be more expensive than it really is. The Slimline Flip Case for Samsung Galaxy S3 sells for £11.95 (19 USD).

Slimline-Carbon-Fibre-Style-Flip-Case-Full-View

Slimline-Carbon-Fibre-Style-Flip-Case-Close-Up

Slimline-Carbon-Fibre-Style-Flip-Case-Front-Cover

If looks are important to you, then the official Samsung Slim Case is undoubtedly the best option. The translucent case is barely visible from a distance, and completely protects the rear as well as the edges of the Galaxy S3. However, if you are concerned about protecting the screen, the Samsung’s Flip Case is a good option. The official case retails for $28 on Mobilefun ($40 on Samsung’s official website). If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, the Slimline Carbon Fibre Style Flip Case is as good a bet as any. It does add to the bulk of the phone, but I could hardly call it ugly. In fact, you can easily pass it off as a premium case.

[ Samsung Galaxy S3 accessories provided by Mobilefun ]

Review: Pictarine For Android

These days, almost everyone uses multiple social networking sites to stay connected with their friends and families by sharing text or photo updates. Facebook and Twitter allow you to share the latest pics with your friends and followers, while Instagram bring the functionality of adding amazing filters before sharing it with the world. Sadly, we have to keep a track on various apps to find out the latest pics shared on these social networks. To solve this problem, you’ll just need to head over to the Google Play and download the Pictarine app.

Pictarine for Android is an amazing app which brings all the pics shared by your friends on various social networking sites under one roof. This app not only allows you to connect popular social networks and services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google (Picasa), Flickr and Photobucket, but you can also connect to less popular photo sharing services like the Shutterfly, Windows Live, Dropbox, 500px and Tumblr. The size of the app is just 1.8 MB and and the current version is numbered 1.0.6. You can easily install the Pictarine app on devices with Android 2.2 or higher version of OS.

To get started with the app, you will need to sign up with your existing Facebook or Google account. The sign up process will not take more than 30 seconds. After signing up, you can connect various social networking services mentioned earlier. As you can see in the above screenshot, I have connected my Twitter, Google, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Currently, this app does not allows you to upload the photos from your device. However, you can easily like or comment on the photos shared by your friends.

On the left side, you will find 4 options – Photo Feed, Surprise Me, My Photos and Playlists. All of the photos shared by your friends on these services will be displayed under the “Photo Feed” section. As the name suggest, “Surprise Me” section will throw 12 random images from the connected services on your screen. You can easily refresh these images just by sliding the screen in the upward or downward directions.

My Photos” section allows you to view the images currently stored on your device as well as on the connected accounts. You can even select individual photos and create your own playlist. This feature helps you to organize your favorite photos and view them at a later date or share it with your friends. The playlist can be a mixture of your own photos as well as the ones shared by your friends. You can find all of your playlists in the dedicated “Playlists” section.

The user interface of the app is quite simple and it works as advertised. Instead of wasting your valuable time on visiting multiple social networks and apps, Pictarine will help you to easily discover, like, comment and share pics across various apps and devices. Sometimes you might feel a bit of lag while the images are loading. However, there is a lot of room for improvement. Overall, I personally liked this app and would definitively recommend it to our readers. You can also access Pictarine web app from their official website.

Price: Free
Rating: 4/5

[ Download Pictarine from Google Play ]

Review: Create instant Infographics Using Infogr.am

I’m sure you might have heard of the saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. It is much easier to express your ideas using pictures/infographic. But the problem with infographic is that it takes a lot of time and effort to create a good looking and information rich infographic.

Well, that’s where the web app called Infogr.am comes into play. Infogr.am tries to make the infographic creation effortless and simple.

Their homepage is really simple and elegant. When you click the huge ‘Start Now’ button, you will be taken to the login page. You will have to login or register before you can start creating your infographic. Like most new web apps, Infogr.am allows you to login using either Twitter or Facebook account. You can also register using the traditional email based sign up process. Once you login, you can instantly start building your infographic.

There are options to create basic charts or infographics. Currently there are only about 5 templates for both infographic and charts. But all of them are pretty neat, elegant and quite different from one another. Hopefully they will add more templates soon. Along with textual data, Infogr.am also allows you to add your own images to your chart or infographic which is pretty cool.

Once you select a template, simply enter the data through an interface that reminds of Excel and within minutes you will have your chart or infographic for download. You have the option to save your work to their online library as well for future retrieval.

What I liked about infogr.am is their design. It is extremely simple and it doesn’t take any effort to create stunning graphics. I just felt that it would be better if they could provide a few more templates for us to use. Their website says that they will be adding a store section soon. So we can expect premium templates in the future.

All in all, Infogr.am is an excellent service that delivers what it promises. If you are a person who wants to create charts or infographic without using any image editors, you should definitely check this one out.