Here on Free App Maven, I try to find the best free apps, so you don’t need to shell out cash (or plastic) to find the tools you need. However, sometimes there comes a paid app that you might be dying to have. For me, I often add those to my wish list in the app store and wait until I have the money. On Android my process has changed with Google Rewards.
Google Rewards is an app that asks you to fill out surveys and rewards you for them. The surveys only take about thirty seconds (at most) to complete, so no time is really lost. You don’t even have to check the app for updates, because you can opt-in to receive a notification whenever there is a new survey available. The surveys and rewards range in topic, but usually they are worth 25-50 cents each. I’ve had the app for about three weeks and have probably received a total of $6-8. It is certainly worth the few seconds of my time. I absolutely recommend downloading Google Rewards if you are looking for a way to get paid apps for free.
“Let your inner artist run free, create beautiful photos and share your vision with the world. Now with the all new Fotor 4.0, you can enjoy an enhanced, faster user interface that’s amazingly easy to use while still providing new and exciting options to make your images even more incredible.”
Fotor Photo Editor is a cross-platform app that will help you edit and share your photos. This review covers the iPhone app, which has been redesigned for iOS 7.
Fotor feels right at home on iOS and follows all of the design standards of iOS 7. The app opens to its home screen, which gives access to edit mode, camera, photo box, and collage and settings. Each mode is easy to navigate between and it feels very cohesive and accessing the options in them feels very intuitive and cohesive. There are in-app purchases available, but these are made very clear, in a good way. They don’t appear as spammy like some apps, nor are they very distracting.
Fotor is loaded with features. You can take photos, edit, and share all from the app without needing to look elsewhere.
Fotor’s camera mode looks very similar to the built-in iOS camera. It features on screen zoom adjustment and several other settings by clicking the gear icon. This will let you take pictures using square, burst, timer and stabilizer modes. The only thing missing from the native camera was the panorama mode.
In case you would like to edit photos you have taken outside of Fotor, you can use the Photobox feature. This allows you to select photos to appear in Fotor’s gallery.
Edit mode is where Fotor’s features really shine. You are given a multitude of options to edit your photos, which range from subtle to drastic. By clicking Enhance, Fotor will automatically enhance your image. This can be tweaked by selecting low, medium or high. I preferred this to over only having a one-click auto-adjust.
The next button at the bottom lets you choose a scene for your photo, but these require an in-app purchase. You can select the options to see how they look without paying though.
If you are a heavy Instagram user, FX Effects will feel right at home to you. While similar to Instagram’s filters, I preferred these because many of the appear more natural rather than looking over-edited. Fotor gives you the option of several filters, with the ability to pay for more. They are divided into categories so you can easily find what you are looking for.
Adjust lets you make edits based on brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpen, vignette, temperature and tint. You should be able to find any tool you need here to enhance your image. Crop allows you to crop manually or select a predefined ratio.
Tilt-Shift allows you to adjust the depth of field based on the f-stop, so you can choose to make the background appear out of focus and draw attention to the foreground.
Other editing features include adding text, rotate, and borders.
After editing photos, you can return to the home screen to create a collage. This allows you to choose up to nine pictures with several options of layouts. Once you have chosen your images, you can adjust how they are cropped, change the border size, roundness and color.
Fotor is very smooth and taking photos is just as fast as the native camera app. My only annoyance while using the app was the request to purchase scenes each time I saved a photo. I didn’t mind the in-app purchase present in the edit mode because they were easily visible but not distracting; however, the pop-up quickly became frustrating.
There are several settings that let you tweak the app to your liking. I particular enjoy that you can choose to start Fotor at either the home screen or the camera. This is great because some users may use Fotor more for the camera, while others may want to just skip ahead to editing.
You can also adjust share and processing quality. These are separate options that allow you to choose whether you would like to save and share larger or smaller versions of the files. Users without much space on their phone will likely be very grateful for this option.
Fotor is a feature filled app for all types of users. It has many options for taking, editing and sharing photos without making you feel like you have to pay for the additional editing modes.
“Translate words and entire sentences into more than 50 languages with Universal Translator, right from the desktop of your Mac.”
When you’re writing or translating a document in another language, or perhaps doing your French homework, it can be a distraction to have to open your browser, navigate to Google Translate, and then get the translation. And that’s if you’re unlike me who would forget that I’m opening my browser to translate something and end up browsing my RSS feeds or Reddit. Universal Translator solves this problem by giving you access to Google Translate in a minimal Mac app with no distractions.
The design is simple and fits in well on a Mac. The blue bar feels slightly out of place, but isn’t too distracting. On the left, there are two icons: translate and dictionary. The font for these features is very readable and I like that in a language like Japanese (above) it separates out the phonetic pronunciation in a clear way.
Universal Translator is not feature packed. It focuses on giving you a simple way to translate sentences or phrases. Because the translation is provided by Google Translate, it is just as accurate and fast. I tested sentences in Japanese, Italian and German and ran into no problems. This makes it a good replacement for the Google Translate website.
Universal Translate also boasts a built-in dictionary. There are several options for looking words up. You can use an English-English dictionary and English to another language. Each language also has its own dictionary and can be translated back into English. You cannot, however, use something like a Japanese-German dictionary. For that you would need to use the translate feature.
This built in dictionary is its downfall. The English-English works, but the rest appear to be nonexistent. I tried typing in several foreign words (Spanish, German, and Japanese) but was given a message stating that it cannot find the word. Thinking I spelled them incorrectly I checked in the translation section, but they translated perfectly. The dictionary feature just does not work, which is unfortunate.
Universal Translator is convenient as a translator app on the Mac, but if you are looking for a dictionary, you will have to check elsewhere.
“Listable is a super-simple way to remember things in your personal life. It’s your ‘want to-do’ list.”
How many post-its and random notebooks do you have with quotes or songs you like written down? If you’re like me, you’ve probably lost track of how many and where they are. What good is it to write all of these down, only to never see them again? Listable solves this problem by giving you a place to store the things you want to remember for later.
As primarily an Android user, I have to admit my jealously for Facebook ‘s latest creation. Paper is a beautiful newsreader with intuitive controls. You can choose to view stories from your Facebook feed as well as choose other topics you may be interested in. It’s easy to see that the Facebook app and site have grown bloated over time, but paper puts content on the forefront. You only see what you want to see.
When you first open the app, a tutorial appears that shows you how to navigate the app. During this, you can choose which topics you would like to see. If you want to add more, you can easily access these options from the settings panel.
The options include the newsfeed, sports, pop life, tech, photography, ideas, cute, headlines, funny and several others. Below is an example of the stories you might see in the photography section.
Apart from the intuitive new way to navigate your Facebook feed, which behaves much like Flipboard, you can find several of the features you would expect in a Facebook app: the ability to write new posts, like, comment and share posts, and look at groups you are a part of. You can use this app to completely replace the standard Facebook app, because Paper gives you the option to receive all notifications in it instead.
Bottom Line: Paper is an app worth checking out if you are tired of Facebook’s slow app and bloated features. It offers a refined alternative that focuses on content, not features.
“Keep track of your favorite sites. Anytime. Anywhere.”
InoReader was designed over the summer when Google Reader was shutting down (R.I.P. Google Reader). It kept the customization, speed and keyboard shortcuts of Google Reader in mind, while adding in many new features of its own.
Signing up is an easy process; you can use your email address, Facebook or Google account. Afterwards, importing feeds is fast and easy. With a little over a hundred feeds of my own, it only took a minute or two to get set up.
Clutter free and the menu is easy to access.
InoReader is certainly not identical to Google Reader, but will feel familiar to frequent RSS users, especially people who are missing Google Reader. The site manages to cram in an exhaustive amount of powerful features, yet doesn’t feel a bit cluttered. You can easily switch between feeds, sort feeds and scroll without ever feeling like the interface gets in your way. Browsing is very easy, because you can just scroll through your list, and articles will automatically be marked as read. However, if you do not want articles to be automatically marked, you can disable this feature.
InoReader really does have an endless list of features. While using the site, it is hard not to discover something new. These include social features, sharing, trending, history searching, easy subscribing, discover new sites, keyboard shortcuts, feed sorting, and favorites. Power users may be most interested the ability to create rules and tag subscriptions. You can also scan to see which sites are no longer active and unsubscribe.
Keyboard shortcuts make browsing easy
Subscribing to Sites
There are several ways you can subscribe to sites. The easiest is by using the bookmarklet. If you find a site you’re interested in, all you have to do is press subscribe. It’s as simple as that. If you don’t want to add another bookmark to your toolbar, you can copy the link, go to InoReader and click add subscription.
If you don’t have a particular site in mind, you can browse trending articles and see what other people are reading. I have found this useful for discovering new sites. Another useful feature is the catalog. Clicking on it reveals several categories, each featuring several sites.
Sharing and Social
InoReader has both internal and external sharing features. Most users will be interested in the great amount of sites you can share to. These include the obvious, including Pocket, Evernote, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Email, Tumblr, Reddit and several others. I particularly like how easy it is to email articles. Rather than opening up in a new window, there is a popup and within seconds the email is sent.
Internal sharing consists of three features: comments, broadcast, and like. From the article view, you can click comment to post your thoughts about the article. These are only available to other InoReader users and are different from the site’s comments. If you choose to like or broadcast a post, it will show up on your channel. Channels are similar to profiles, but they only show articles you have shared. You can follow other users, but you must know their username. This is one of the site’s only downfalls. I wish I could easily find users to follow. I want to be able to input my interests and find users with similar interests, so I can see what they are reading. If improved, this feature has plenty of potential. On the positive side, these social features are not obtrusive and can easily be turned off if you choose.
Rules work similar to labels in Gmail. You can set which feeds or folders it applies to, a matching term, and an action. For example, you can choose a Tech folder, articles with android in the title, and apply the tag android.
I would expect the extensive features to cause a decline in speed, but this is absolutely not the case. I have yet to find an RSS reader as fast as this one. With just under 10,000 unread articles, I have yet to experience any compromise in speed.
“Amount is the most intuitive, lightweight and easy to use unit converter you’ve ever seen.
Amount let you convert units in a way you’ve never seen before: with just two tap of your finger you have all the results you’re looking for in a single display, side by side.”
Keeping your schedule straight as you go through your day, and look to the weeks ahead, is a proverbial snap with the Week Agenda Ultimate app. Elegantly designed, this agenda app gives you a nice overview of the current week with pages to turn to upcoming, or preceding weeks. It has a classic day-planner feel.
“This Compass app offers unique HD compass themes for your iPhone and iPad. Your iPad comes with a built-in digital compass component, but there is no app pre-loaded on your device to use this feature, we are here to solve this for you.Now you will never get lost, and in style!
This compass app gives full retina support for all iPhone and iPad. You can swipe left and right on the screen to change between 7 great looking themes.”
Flatten your stomach and get those ab muscles to start showing with runtastic SitUps PRO app!
With the runtastic SitUps PRO app you can now achieve this goal. The app is your personal sit-up trainer that uses an easy to follow scientific sports training plan that helps you build strength and see constant improvement.
Unique recognition of your sit-ups: Sit-ups are counted automatically using the accelerometer on your iPhone or iPad.
Quickly and easily learn to play chords with Guitar Chords for iOS. With playback, left handed support and a packed library, Guitar Chords is a great chord reference tool for both beginners and more advanced musicians. The easy to use interface makes for easy chord finding. Simply select a key and a chord type, and the chord position will display. Simple as that! Cycle through multiple chord positions along the guitar neck and hear how they sound. Guitar Chords also lets you save chords to a clipboard so you can have multiple chords easily available when learning a new song!
Aiming to provide the most relaxing app for ambient sounds in the Appstore, we selected a very soothing collection of sounds and tried to make the experience as enjoyable and intuitive as possible, Relaxia is simply the result of this quest.
“In the XIX century Edgar Allan Poe was ahead of his time and captured the terror and darkness of the human soul, in each of his stories, as no one had ever done. Rediscover his work with iPoe, the Interactive and Illustrated Collection of Edgar Allan Poe with which you will find the difference between an electronic book and a total interactive experience exploring all capabilities of Android devices. Get shrouded in shadows and dive into the dark work of the master of horror through some of his best stories.”
“A third party client to interact with the website HabitRPG. HabitRPG is a habit building program which treats your life like an RPG. You can earn money, experience and levels. You can also buy rewards from your money earn, and might lose life points as you fail.”
For more information on HabitRPG, check out my review.
“A habit building program which treats your life-like a Role Playing Game. Level up as you succeed, lose HP as you fail, earn money to buy weapons and armor.”
Do you love playing RPGs? Are you a bit of a procrastinator in real life but great at leveling up your characters? HabitRPG seeks to merge these two worlds. Funded by Kickstarter, it is an open-source website that allows you to create a character and level up by doing your daily tasks. It has come a long way since its release and is ready to help you conquer your daily goals.