Tag Archives: iPhone Apps

Review: TV Guide Mobile App

As long as I can remember having a TV, I can remember the TV Guide. Growing up in a small town, I didn’t have a lot to do. The TV guide was kind of my connection to another world. Of course, back then we didn’t have 3 billion channels, nor did we have the internet. Nowadays I can only imagine that the TV Guide has to be quite creative to keep its revenue streams flowing. One way it is doing that is by offering a mobile app that can be downloaded on both Apple and Android formats. Today, I would like to give you my thoughts on the app.

TV Guide very recently updated their mobile app with some new features. Pictured below, you can see some of the channel partners that are available through the app. Some of these services, like HuluPlus and HBO GO, are subscription based. You can link your accounts through the TV Guide app.

TV Guide Partners

When you first install the app, it asks for your zip code so it can customize programming based on your location. It also has 3 options that allow you to choose whether you are a satellite, cable, or antenna user. Pictured below, you get the idea of how the app window looks. The current view is the “Listings” view which shows you the scheduled programs available for your area. If you click on a show, as pictured below, you will get a little pop out description of the with 3 options at the top. You can see where I have highlighted these options in red. If you click “I’ll Watch”, then it brings up a social media window where you can share what you’re watching with your friends.

TV Guide Window

You can also set alerts on shows. Pictured below, you can see the alert window. You can set a one time alert or you can set it to recur. This is pretty cool if you’re prone to forget what time you favorite show comes on. You can even set a lead time so it will warn you an hour in advance.

Alerts

You also can setup a “Watchlist” which basically allows you to pick a show or actor and it will go out and find all the relevant stuff available to you around that theme.

Watchlist

There are also other categories available like News, Photos, and Videos. The News and Photos sections are kind of like the articles you were accustomed to in the print version of the TV Guide. The videos section lets you browse through a selection of videos from the various channel partners. It also has subcategories that run along the top of the screen to help you narrow down your choice. For instance, if you’re looking for children’s videos, there is a category just for kids. There is also a search feature built in which seems to work pretty well.

Pros: The TV Guide mobile app has a slick interface and is pretty intuitive. If you’re a TV junkie, this is a great way to keep up with all the Hollywood news and keep up with programming.

Cons: Unless you’re already a HuluPLUS or HBOGO subscriber, there really isn’t a lot of free content available to you. The app does integrate with Crackle, which is free, but in my opinion, Crackle is pretty limited in its selection too. It would be nice if you could sort the videos by free or paid. It’s not easy to see that as it is designed now.

I give this app 3 stars because it really is just middle of the road in my opinion. If I had a “meh” rating, that is probably what I would give it. I think the app has potential, but right now it just seems like a shortcut to ABC programming and its affiliate companies. However, if you like reading articles about the stars and shows, then you might want to give this app a try.

If you want to download the Android App, click here.

If you want to download the Apple App, click here.

Twitter For Android And iPhone Updated; Brings Expanded View, Custom Push Notifications

Twitter has just started rolling out a much needed update for the official Twitter app for Android and iPhone. The latest update comes with expanded tweets, push notification for tweets, improvements to search auto-complete, performance improvements, tappable avatars and much more. This update bumps the Twitter for Android to v3.3 and Twitter for iPhone to v4.3.

Earlier, receiving tweets from your favorite users was possible only via SMS. However, the new push notification feature allows you to get notifications from people whom you follow whenever they send a new tweet or re-tweet. You can easily turn on push notifications for tweets for any user via the action button on their profile. This update also brings the expanded tweets feature which allows you to view the image preview or play videos without leaving the app.

The latest version of Twitter app also brings major improvements in search autocomplete which lets you see more suggestions when you are searching for people. Apart from that, you can now visit any user profile just by tapping the avatar. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

Twitter for Android v3.3

  • Expanded Tweets: when you view Tweet details containing links to partner sites, you can now see content previews, view images, play videos and more
  • Push notifications for Tweets: choose to receive notifications from people you follow anytime they tweet or retweet
  • Improvements to search autocomplete for users
  • Tappable avatars that take you directly to user profiles
  • Many other tweaks, polish, and bug and crasher fixes

Twitter for iPhone v4.3

  • Expanded Tweets: when you view Tweet details containing links to partner websites, you can now see content previews, view images, play videos and more
  • Enhanced experience around selected events with the best Tweets and photos from those involved
  • Push notifications for Tweets: choose to receive notifications from people you follow anytime they tweet or retweet
  • Ambient notifications: enables you to see brief non-interruptive notifications in the status bar while you are using the app
  • Improvements to search autocomplete for users
  • Discover: now indicates when new stories are available for you to view
  • Tappable avatars that take you directly to user profiles
  • Performance improvements
  • Support for password entry in app when experiencing authentication issues
  • Hungarian language support
  • Updated with new Twitter bird
  • Many other tweaks, polish, and bug and crasher fixes

[ Download Twitter for Android ]

[ Download Twitter for iPhone ]

Draw Something To Say Something, The New Addiction For Smartphones

draw-something-omgpop-thumbnailA picture is worth a thousand words. With Draw Something app, it is just one. A new app for the iOS and Android that combines sketching to words is sure to stay here with a certain kind of madness of its own.

Find the right word for the picture you are challenged with and vice versa. Yes, the game is dead simple. All you are required to do is paint or guess. You can challenge anyone from your Facebook or email contacts. You can also create a game with any random user who is also playing the game. Once you are connected you will be asked to guess the word that best describes your partner’s sketch. Or you can just draw something that best illustrates the word you have chosen.

draw-somethin-ios-android-omgpop

The app has already recorded 20 million downloads in just 5 weeks as told by the developer, OMGPOP’s CEO Dan Porter, to Business Insider. If that number does not make any sense, consider the fact that the popular Instagram has an entire user base of 27 million.

The app certainly has a level of addiction that keeps you glued to it. The fact that simple freehand sketches for simple words can be drawn by any average user is perhaps the key reason the app is already trending high among smartphone users. Also noteworthy is that despite being a two-player game the app is seeing high download score proves that the viral quotient of the game where the user itself is generating the buzz while seeking out for partners to play with. The app has an ad-supported and a premium version. Give it a try and find out how DRAWSOME are you.

Download Draw Something by OMGPOP:

1. Premium Version for iOS and Android.

2. Free Versions for iOS and Android.

Must Have Super Bowl XLVI Apps

Super Bowl
You’ve worked so hard to get ready for the big game! You have the chicken wings, cheese dip, and your favorite beverage. Throw in some decorations and good friends and you have all the makings of a great Super Bowl party! But wait! This is the 21st century. Everyone knows you need great apps to kick things up a notch, and I have just the thing to make you look like the smartest fan in the room! Here is my compilation of must have Super Bowl apps.

Official App

It seems only logical to start with the NFL’s official “Super Bowl XLVI Guide” to start off our list. This is a free app and is available for both Android and iPhone. The app connects you to the sites and sounds of the Super Bowl. You can get 3D interactive maps of the stadium and keep up with all the buzz. You can also use it to navigate your way around Indy if you’re there for the big game. [Download Android | Download iPhone]

Official App

If you want to take it to the next level, you might want to consider using the NFL’s Super Bowl XLVI Commemorative App Presented by NFL Magazine. This app is very inexpensive, currently priced at $2.99. It includes a lot of video and follows each team’s road the Super Bowl. You get Super Bowl history, NFL.com videos, and there will be bonus features after the game. Above, you can see some screenshots from the app. [Download Android | Download iPhone]

Patriots

For the New England Patriots fan, the official New England Patriots app is a must have. This is a free app available in both Android and iPhone formats. Here is a list of features as quoted from the developer description:

– Latest Patriots.com news
– Live video press conferences
– Tons of audio and video
– Live in-game blog
– Game day information, including real time stats
– Game schedule
– Exclusive photo galleries, including cheerleaders

[Download Android | Download iPhone]

Giants App

For the New York Giants fan, the official New York Giants app is also a must have. This too is a free app available for both Android and iPhone. Here are just a few of the items listed on their developer description:

– News: Real-time breaking news from the Giants, previews of upcoming matchups, post-game blogs
– Video: Video-on-demand clips of Giants’ press conferences, coach and player interviews
– Photos: Gallery of game-time action
– Audio: Podcasts
– Stats: Real-time statistics and scores from the official NFL stats engine, head-to-head stats of the Giants and their opponents, player stats, drive-by-drive stats, box score and out-of-town scores from around the league
– Standings: Division and conference standings
– Fantasy: Keep track of your favorite fantasy players
– Depth chart: Shown by offense, defense and special teams
– Social media: Aggregated Twitter of all of your favorite Giants tweeps, check in to the stadium on game-day, one-click tweet of all media items, one-click Facebook posting of all media items

[Download Android | Download iPhone]

Shazam

Last, and certainly a very exciting entry to our list, is Shazam. Yep, you heard me right! Shazam, mostly known for its music discovery service, has announced a new service called Shazam for TV™, and will be offering a Super Bowl experience. If you use Shazam to listen in on your favorite Super Bowl ads, you could win one of more than a million giveaways. Here are some of the exciting giveaways mentioned on their website:

  • Toyota – the ad will include a sweepstake to win two Camrys – one for you and one for a friend.
  • Best Buy – Best Buy’s spot will feature two of Shazam’s founders. Additionally, Best Buy is running a $50 gift card offer for consumers looking to buy and activate a mobile phone in 2012.
  • Cars.com – when viewers use Shazam to tag the ad, Cars.com will donate $1.00 to one of seven charities, up to a maximum $100,000.
  • Pepsi – the new ad that features the winner of the X FACTOR – Melanie Amaro performing Otis Redding’s song “Respect” – will invite people to unlock a free video.
  • Teleflora – viewers who tag Teleflora’s “Give” ad starring super model Adriana Lima will receive a secret offer.

[Download Android | Download iPhone]

I hope you enjoy these apps and that your favorite teams wins big for the Super Bowl! Now, can you please pass the guacamole?

Track the Iowa 2012 Presidential Caucus with iPhone and Android Apps

Much to the dislike of many Americans, the 2012 Presidential campaign season rolls into full swing tonight with the advent of the Iowa 2012 Presidential caucus. For many of us, we have to endure seemingly endless political coverage and get to hear every bad thing these politicians have done since their childhood. However, for you political junkies out there, you’re in luck! There are now apps for both Android and Apple devices so you can track all the exciting news out of Iowa.

Iowa GOP Countdown Clock

The first app I would like to tell you about comes from the Iowa Republican party. Not that I want to put a political slant on this article, but rather the Republican party is pretty much the only real news that will come out of the Iowa caucuses because the Democratic party only has one candidate, President Obama. The App is called “IowaGOP2012″ and is designed by Victory Enterprises. According to the description at the Apple store the app will “explain the history and the process of the caucus, let you find your caucus location, and provide easy to use ways to contact Iowa GOP staff, Iowa Elected officials, and Caucus Candidates. You can see a screenshot of the app pictured below. It looks very much like the Iowa GOP website. You can download the Android app here and the Apple app here.

Iowa GOP 2012

If you would like a more objective view of the caucus, then you might want to consider Gannett’s “Iowa Caucuses” app. It appears to only be available via iTunes. It is developed by The Des Moines Register. According to their description the app will:

★ Find all of The Des Moines Register caucus coverage or filter by your choice of candidates.
★ Get live results on caucus night on Jan. 3.
★ Add a candidate event to your calendar simply by tapping the date and time listed in the event.
★ Get directions to an event by tapping the map.
★ Share stories, videos and candidate information on Twitter, Facebook and more.
★ Download the content once and read offline.
★ Push notifications.

Below you can see a screenshot of the app on the iPhone. You can download the Apple app from the iTunes app store here.

The Des Moines Register App

Iowa is the first U.S. state to cast votes toward presidential candidates. They take great pride in being “First in the Nation”. The Iowa caucus is a very different process than primaries that are held in many other states. ABC news has an interesting video which explains the process.

Hopefully you political junkies out there will find these apps useful and they will help you get your political “fix”. If you would like to watch the countdown to all the action, go to iowagop.org and enjoy their countdown clock on the front page of their website.

Ring In the New Year with Official Times Square Ball App

Millions of us around the globe will be celebrating the onset of a new year tonight. Now, there is an app for that! You can be a part of all the excitement of Times Square with the “Official Times Square Ball App”. It is available in both iTunes and Android markets.

You can see a screenshot of the main screen pictured below. The app lets you enjoy all of the action of the live show including all of the celebrity cameos and live music.

Main Screen
Courtesy of iTunes App Store

There’s a lot more too. Check out this list courtesy of the Android Market:

* Participate in the celebration by submitting your New Year’s photo for friends, family and other revelers to vote on.

* Their favorites may be selected to be seen on the Toshiba Vision sign atop One Times Square directly beneath the Waterford Crystal New Year’s Eve Ball on December 31st! The selected photos will also be featured on the LIVE Show.

* Discover everything you need to know about the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration including the history, news, weather, photos, relevant maps and LIVE Show schedule.

* Send New Year’s Eve kisses and share photos with friends and family.

* Watch live streaming of the events in Times Square leading up to New Year’s Eve throughout December as well as the highlight promo and other exclusive video content.

* Customize your Toshiba Countdown Clock with your personal photo and time zone.

* Check-in via Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter to find out how far away you are from Times Square.

Sounds like a lot of fun! Here is a YouTube video if you would like to get a closer look.

I had the pleasure several years ago, to tour the Waterford Crystal plant where the Times Square Ball is made. They actually had a replica of the ball there for us to see up close. It is incredible to see the skill and craftsmanship that goes into it. I wish someday I will get the opportunity to see the ball drop from Times Square. Until then, I will have to enjoy apps like this.

It has been a wild ride for me this year. I wish for you and yours all the best and a Happy New Year!!!!

Halloween Apps, Wallpapers, Screensavers and Themes

Halloween is celebrated in many countries across the world. While many associate this holiday with ghosts, witches and goblins, a lot of us think it’s just a great time to get together and have fun. If you have a computer, tablet or smartphone, you might want to add something to it that helps you get into the fun Halloween mood. Below are some links to a few of our past Halloween articles and some new stuff as well.

Screensavers

If you enjoy using screensavers on your Mac or Windows computer, you’ll find a nice collection of Halloween screensavers at NewFreeScreenSavers. Here are some screenshots of these great free screensavers. You can download them on the Halloween page.

halloween-screensaver01.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver02.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver03.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver04.jpeg (586×157)

halloween-screensaver05.jpeg (586×157)

Phones

Get Ready For Halloween with Halloween Android Apps  – also with wallpapers, themes, and ringtones.

Halloween Theme for Nokia and Symbian Smartphones

Top 5 Halloween Apps For iPhone/iPad

Computer Wallpapers

Download High Quality Halloween Wallpapers – for the PC, Mac and Linux

High Quality Halloween Wallpapers For Your Desktop or Mac

 

25 Places to Get Creepy Halloween Wallpapers

Web Browsers

Halloween Personas for Firefox  (themes)

Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition Opera Browser for Halloween

Apps, Themes and Extensions for Google Chrome Browser

Even More …

We have even more stuff for you to look over. Just follow this link to a Halloween search of Techie-Buzz.

 

 

 

 

Remote Control Your PC from Your iPad with Splashtop Remote!

OK, IT managers out there, listen up! If you want to make a real splash with your boss, then listen to what I am about to tell you. My boss came to me the other day and told me he was going on a trip. He was taking his iPad with him and he wanted to be able to access his files that reside on his work computer. Now, you know there are tons of ways to go about this. The first thing that came to mind was Dropbox. The problem with this was that I would either have to redirect his My Documents folder to his Dropbox folder, or he would have to move into there whatever files he thought he would need to access while he was away. I decided against this option. I did a little homework and came across a great app for the iPad called Splashtop Remote.

Splashtop Remote

Splashtop has developed several nice apps, including one previously covered on Techie Buzz called Splashtop OS. Splashtop Remote can be purchased from the iTunes store for a very small fee. After you purchase the app, there is one more FREE piece of software that you need to make this all work. It is called the Splashtop Streamer. As a side note, this might be a good time to let you know that the PC version of SplashTop Remote, which allows you to remote control a PC from another PC, is a FREE app. It’s a decent way to connect to a remote PC. The Splashtop Streamer runs as a service on the PC that you wish to remotely access. It is what makes it possible for the Splashtop Remote iPad app to connect.

Installing the Splashtop Streamer on your PC is pretty simple. Below, I will outline the basic steps to getting it set up. First, you will see the image pictured below. Click Go and agree to the license agreement.

Streamer Setup

The next major step is entering an access code for your computer. This adds a layer of security so people just can’t hop on and take over your PC at will.

Enter Code

That is pretty much all there is to installing the software. Now, if you plan on being away from your PC, like on a vacation, and you want to access it on the iPad, you will need to set up the “Network” settings on the Streamer. In the picture below, you can see where I have the “Network” tab selected. Notice that it uses a Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, just click the link that says “Create One”. It is free and  quick to do. Without this account, you will have a hard time accessing your PC when you are away from your office.

Google Sign In

The app on the iPad will also need to be configured to use the same Google account. This will synchronize the PC and the iPad, which will allow you to access the PC from the iPad via the internet.

Once you connect to your PC from the iPad, you enter your security code and you will be remote controlling your PC from your iPad. Now you can edit Word documents, read Outlook email, or watch YouTube videos that are playing on your PC from your iPad. The remote app on the iPad uses finger gestures to do common Windows tasks. For instance, pressing and holding your finger on the screen will perform a right-click on the PC.

I hope that you enjoy Splashtop Remote as much as I have. My boss was thrilled with how easy it was to use. There is nothing fancy to overwhelm him. It just plain works. He doesn’t have to worry about keeping files in separate places or trying to access them via a VPN connection. Everything looks the way he is used to seeing them on his PC. I also would like to point out that there are Android and iPhone versions of this app as well.

What about you? Would you like to be able to remote control your PC from your iPad? What ways would you use this software?

As always, we love to hear from our readers!

Easy Shopping with eBay India on Mobile

eBay India has been working on extending their reach to mobile internet users in India. After launching a mobile website at m.ebay.in, eBay has been releasing apps for all major mobile platforms in the Indian market.

  • With the recent announcement of eBay.in’s Android app, which is releasing in the next week, it is covering grounds on one of the popular smartphone platforms. (UPDATE: The Android app is live here)
  • An iPhone/iOS app is already available and can be downloaded from iTunes here.
  • There is also an app for Nokia phones, specially customized for C2-02 and C2-03. The app is coming soon and would be made available in Nokia Ovi Suite and will be pre-loaded  in those phones.
  • For non-smartphone users, ebay.in already has a mobile website which works on any mobile browser: m.ebay.in.

The other two smartphone platforms –  BlackBerry and Windows Phone – have been left out as of now. While Windows Phone does not have enough penetration in India to (may be) justify development costs (Although, there is a nice Windows Phone app from eBay US in the Marketplace already), it is surprising that eBay has left BlackBerry users out in the cold.

Interestingly, eBay also serves mobile users who do not have Internet on their mobile devices. The eBay SMS Pricecheck’ feature allows you to find the best deals via SMS. All you need to do is to SMS EBAY’ <keyword> to 9223892238. Note that this facility has been affected by the latest TRAI guidelines, and you would need to enable partial DND to use the service.

Wootish is the StumbleUpon of Apple’s App Stores

As any iOS or Mac OS X user knows, one of the worst things about the App Stores available to us is that it is often hard to discover new and interesting apps. You could search on the Internet, or try to dig through the lists that Apple puts together, but it’s not always the most interesting thing to do. That’s where Wootish comes in.

If you are familiar with the popular web discovery application StumbleUpon, then you will understand the idea behind Wootish. What Wootish is designed to do is to collect information about what apps you are interested in for what platforms, and then it offers suggestions for you to look at.

Using Wootish to Discover Apps

Wootish Starting Screen

Using Wootish is actually very simple. When you first load the website, you will see a screen like the one above. Follow the instructions, and select your devices, desired app categories, and price range from the drop down menus towards the top of the page. Once you do that, you can hit ‘Discover’.

You will be offered one app at a time to look at. You can look at the screenshots, the description, and even see the rating of the app. The one feature that I can say I wish Wootish had was the ability to read reviews from within the web page.

If you decide that you are interested in an app that Wootish shows you, there is a ‘Download’ link on the left side of the page. Clicking that link will send you to the iTunes page for the app, and even open iTunes to download it. If you are browsing on your iOS device, then you will be given the App Store page for the app instead.

Wootish: Where it Falls Short

As I said above, I really wish that Wootish had the comments within its web interface. While they are easy to access via the iTunes/App Store link, it’s inconvenient to leave the page. I also noticed that whenever I selected ‘Free’ in the ‘Price’ menu, I got an error like the one below. I hope they get that fixed soon.

Wootish SQL Error

Another feature that I wish Wootish had is language filtering. While using it, I got multiple hits in  languages  that I do not speak or read. If there was a simple tick box to select a language, it would  improve  the  experience  significantly.

Overall, I think Wootish is a great way to discover new apps. I recommend that you check it out if you are an iOS or Mac OS X user.