Category: Archived

Klout rebrands itself with iOS 7 update

Most people only think of Klout when referring to their Klout score. For those not familiar, it is a service that gives you a score based on how influential you are at using social media. While this was how the company made a name for themselves, Klout is now trying to rebrand itself into a social media scheduling tool.

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In the iOS app, you can now create your own updates or choose articles from your selected topics to share. You can also edit your favorite topics from within the app. There are an enormous number of topics, so whatever your speciality is, you will likely find it.

After creating content, you can view what you have scheduled. This is where Klout is trying to expand its capabilities. In doing so, it has become a great competitor to Buffer. One of my complaints about Buffer was that you cannot personalize recommended content, and this is really where Klout shines now.

Unfortunately, Klout is widely associated with being for your Klout score, and this is no longer a large part of the app. You can view your score, but you can no longer see your history. I wish they had expanded it, so you can see more data, rather than less. Ideally, Klout should use its strengths and add to them. Instead they merely replaced their previous strength with a new one.

Bottom Line

Klout for iOS 7 is no longer about your score, but excels in helping you find unique content to schedule and share.

Download Klout

Note: Android app coming soon.

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Buffer Updated for iOS 7

While Android users were busy today with the Mailbox release, iOS users had their own app to get excited about. Buffer just received a much needed facelift for iOS 7. The app is a refreshing change with several new features:

  • – Added content suggestions & contributions
  • – Updated schedule editor
  • – Invite team members from iPhone
  • – Re-buffer available from analytics view

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The new compose screen is now very similar to that of the web app. You are given options to compose a new message or choose from the suggestions. Unfortunately, both the website and app do not off specialized suggestions. They feel useless when they are not a topic I specialize in. I wish I had the option to choose from a selection of topics.

That aside, Buffer now looks like it belongs in iOS 7 and no longer feels dated. You can easily compose messages or view analytics for previous messages. Editing your posting schedule is also a breeze.

Download Buffer

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Mou is a Mac Markdown Editor for Web Developers

Description

Mou is called “The missing Markdown editor for web developers.”

Mou_App

I wouldn’t call myself a web developer, but I do enjoy writing in Markdown and always love a good lightweight program. Mou is just that.

Design

The interface is fairly simplistic. You can choose to write with just the editor panel open or both the editor and preview panel. The word count can also be shown. Several themes are included. They can be edited and you can add easily add new themes. These all support adequate syntax highlighting.

Markdown Features

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Back when I first downloaded Mou, a few months ago, I wasn’t very familiar with Markdown. I understood the idea behind it, but wasn’t sure how to write it. Mou helps with this. In the menus, each style is listed. You can also stick to the shortcuts you are probably already familiar with (CMD-B for **bold**, CMD-I for *italics*). By using keyboard shortcuts Mou inserts asterics for markdown, but also supports __underscores__.

My favorite feature is that I can easily copy the Markdown to HTML and paste into WordPress. No need to export, the text just copies to your clipboard. It is ridiculously convenient.

Bottom Line

Mou is a lightweight markdown editor that gets out of your way, so you can write.

Download Mou for Mac

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Guest Post: Tanner Reviews Pocket Starships

Editors Note: This post comes from Tanner Bivens of tannerreviews.com. He reviews movies and games on his site. He also hosts The Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth every week.

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Good day everyone. I’m not sure if you have noticed from the title or not, but I am not in fact Free App Maven writer Shaila Meeker. In fact, our dear Shaila has taken a trip to Florida with her fiance Brandon and will be gone this week, effectively leaving me in Ohio hell as she enjoys Disney World. I will try to contain my levels of jealousy to mere quiet resentment. But while she is enjoying the nice weather and fun rides, she asked me if I could guest write on her site while she is away, to which I was more than happy to do. For those of you who have not visited my site tannerreviews.com, I am a film critic and a video game enthusiast. If you do not know of my site you should go and visit it. It is an awesome site! I should know, it is mine after all.

But when Shaila asked me to write a review for her site, I was at first a little out of sorts. I do not use apps very frequently… Or at least not nearly enough as she does. So after given the assignment, I rushed to my phone to go through several apps to see what would be a good one to review and after several possibles, I decided to choose a free game for the iPhone 4s called Pocket Starships. It certainly was an interesting game to say the least. A kind of cream of the crop out of a plethora of boring games and money gauging apps. So I downloaded it and decided to give it a go. After playing it for a bit, I have to say for an iPhone game… Not that bad. I was expecting much much worse when I downloaded it, but instead I found myself pleasantly surprised.

There isn’t a lot in the way of plot when it comes to Pocket Starship.  Well okay, there is a little bit of one, but it is one that can quickly be brushed aside as you button mash the text crawl away. Essentially, when you first boot up the game you are given the choice to join one of two factions, the Shard or the Varins. One second in and already you are given a choice that will change your experience forever!… Well not really, I gave both games a go by downloading, uninstalling, and trying again (I’m sure there was an easier way don’t judge me) and both are for the most part the same. After a quick tutorial you are thrust into this new world where you must complete quests for your given alliance all the while battling your arch nemesis faction in various locations marked by a hexagonal map, some owned by one faction, some by the other, and a little area where players can congregate and blow each other to pieces.

Pros

Avoids Buy to Win Tactics that These Games Have Become Known Formzl.fcevlskr.175x175-75

When I was first asked to write a game app review, I was groaning. Most app games are notorious for micro-transactions and ‘buy to win’ content. I was expecting to download a ‘free’ game and then immediately be told to shell out a dollar or fifty cents in order to gain cool new weapons and a second level that would be physically impossible to complete unless you shell out said dollar or fifty cents… But no I was very surprised to see that when it comes to the overall game, the micro-transactions are practically invisible. You can play this game comfortably knowing that you will not hit a giant pay wall in between hunting down evil pirates and refining your ore to create new and better gadgets and considering this website is dedicated to free apps, this a huge plus to the game.

Surprisingly Expansive

For a free to play game app… This game is expansive. The playing area is set up in a grid like system, some owned by the Shard, some owned by the Varins, and then a small area where players can take on each other. Each one of course has a futuristic type of name as to be expected and you can travel from location to location and fight baddies with your group of friends who you are supposed to coerce into playing (we will get to that soon). I was not expecting a tiny app game on a phone to be as expansive as some PS3 games that I have had the misfortune of playing in the past. An excellent and surprising addition.

Meh?

It’s an MMO

For anyone who follows my site, you will know how I feel about MMOs. Just watch my debate with my friend Jate Nott to understand my dislike of them. This is an MMOG and as such the main way the game gets more people to play is making most missions near impossible to complete on your own. The game even encourages you to create mission forces of multiple people to go on these missions so you don’t get completely annihilated. Now of course you can join complete strangers to compete in missions. But for the most part what the game is saying is, ‘Get your friends to play this game, MORE PEOPLE! MORE PEOPLE!’ I can understand the reason they did this which is why it doesn’t really fit into the ‘Con’ category. But it is something that should be noted if you wish to pick up this game, get a friend to join in or just go with Angry Birds.

Cons

downloadThe Game is Effectively Button Mashing or Busy Work

I don’t know what I was expecting from a game that I can play on my iPhone. But the majority of this game seems to be nothing but busy work. It is a go to location, aim your laser at the ship and wait until your or it blows up. Either that or mining and refining your ore to create new weapons and objects which both require little other than pushing the touch pad in a given direction until the thing disappears. When you are not doing either of those, you are in the space station button mashing a little bit more. It is a lot of busy work on top of busy work that can wear on a player quick.

Conclusion

Overall, this is one of the better app games that I have seen. The graphics are surprisingly good, the world is expansive, and you get to be the captain of your own damn starship! Granted my dislike for MMOGs is personal so I do not hold that against the game and the busy work game play is a small price to pay for a game that is a refreshing change of pace from play to win games and Angry Bird clones. If you are looking for a fun title to kill some time, download this one. You will not be disappointed.

Final Score 3.5/5

Thank you for reading fans of Free App Maven and if you would like to read more from me, please visit my website tannerreviews.com.

Play Pocket Starships

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Phlo Lets You Search Any Site From Your Desktop

Description

“”Type once, search everywhere.”

search engines

Phlo is a search box on your Mac’s desktop. It has been recently updated and is now free. It comes with the ability to search over 30 popular sites.

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Inky Tries to Fix Your Inbox and Show You What is Relevant

Description

“Inky, An App for All Your Email. Smart Views, Unified Inbox, Relevance Sorting, Cloud Enabled, and More!”

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Inky tries to solve the problem of email being “broken” by modernizing the way we look at email through unique sorting methods. It is available on both Windows and Mac.

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Fotor is a feature-filled iOS app that lets you take, edit and share photos

Description

“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.

Design

 

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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.

Features

Fotor is loaded with features. You can take photos, edit, and share all from the app without needing to look elsewhere.

Camera

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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.

Photobox

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

Fotor

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.

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Other editing features include adding text, rotate, and borders.

Collage

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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.

Usability

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.

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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.

Bottom Line

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.

Download Fotor from the App Store or visit Fotor.com

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Universal Translator Provides Translation of Over 50 Languages

Description

“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.

Design

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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.

Features

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.

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Bottom Line

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.

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Quick Look: Paper is a Fantastic Upgrade to Facebook’s Bloated Newsfeed

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.

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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.

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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.

Download Paper

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Free for Today

Here are today’s free apps. Prices are subject to change at the discretion of the developers.

iOS

Amount

“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.”

Week Agenda Ultimate

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.

C++ (Compass++) Digital

“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.”

Runtastic Sit Ups Trainer Pro

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.

Guitar Chords

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!

Relaxia: Sounds of Nature for Relaxation, Meditation, Sleep Aid

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.

Android

iPoe Collection

“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.”

 

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