Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Appables, the Invisible Wearables

One of my girlfriends came to me recently and said "You have to tell me what all the new hot apps are!" So here is what I told her:


Instagram + Twitter

Super is an amazing new app created by +Biz Stone, one of the co-founders of +Twitter. The thing I love about this app is its playfulness. It has a fun augmented reality profile pic creation aspect which allows you to virtually put on different types of glasses. When you want to make a post you start by choosing some of the most popular colloquial terms from OMG, current status, love, dude to hey-oh. The interesting part about this is that it also changes every day and does not allow for modification. You must choose among the choices presented to you. Today if you want to post you have to pick between "I love,," "We should," "The best," and "The worst." The other thing that makes this app so unique is its content library. What ever you write about it will automatically generate a catalog of picture suggestions or you can search within the app. For example, when I wrote about billiards, after typing my limited characters (not sure by how many) it presented me with a whole bunch of beautiful billiard pictures to select from. This app, like +Instagram, is very design friendly and photography-centric. Super allows users to create amazing content and surf either friends posts or locally, like +Yik Yak. With more and more noise out there, sometimes what is local is all that might matter at that moment in time.


Facebook + Craigslist + Local Newspaper/Town hall

+Nextdoor is literally one of my favorite go to networks. If I want to find out what is going on locally in my neighborhood, I check it out  From local events, to local police activity and crime, to local business recommendations, to neighborhood gossip; it is like the city town hall meeting all wrapped up into an app. If someone is looking for a plumber or if they want to sell or give away their couch, they post it here. Need a babysitter, tech help, or heard a loud noise, post it on Nextdoor. Nextdoor is designed like a community discussion board, where you can either post to your extremely localized neighborhood which basically is a mile or two in radius, or you can post to all the little neighborhoods in your city. Additionally, every neighborhood is a closed fence - you cannot see or access anything outside of your city. You can either like a post or comment, and it is a purely time based organic feed with the most recent always at the top, refreshing based on comments. There are no advertisements and you can completely control your privacy settings, deciding to either show it to your neighborhood, or the entire city. You can choose whether to show your full address, the street you live on, or nothing at all. With either postcard or cellphone confirmations for accounts, this network is as absent of fake accounts and abuse as any network will ever get. Everyone is always very polite and respectful, aside from the occassional heated conversation about conserving water or little neighborly spats. With the world getting smaller everyday, what a better place to start getting to know your neighbors than by using Nextdoor.


+Pinterest has become one of my recent favorite networks. The thing I like most about Pinterest is the ability to organize ideas and content, and know that it will always be there when you go back. In doing internet research I used to post things on Facebook and Twitter, so that I could not only share it but go back for future reference. However, what I discovered was that not only was that completely time consuming, but literally sometimes it wouldn't be there. This infuriated me for sometimes I couldn't remember the company name, product or press organization that had published it. Additionally, lately I've been using it a lot to formulate my ideas for future articles. Essentially, each one of my boards is an outline for an article, or could be. Pinterest is also one of best networks for selling products and merchandise. People that go there are at least 2x more likely to purchase a product than on Facebook or Twitter. And lastly, I love the beautiful content that they curate for me. Based on the boards I follow and the pins that I like, their algorithm picks tremendous personally curated content that has kept me at times on the network obsessively all day.  


I haven't used Yo much but based on +Robert Scoble's evangelizing, I had to try it out. Yo! is a trendy simple little app which allows you to merely send a Yo! to someone, with or without your location details. Rather than call someone, first send them a Yo! to see if they are available. If you are just thinking of someone and want to let them know, send them a Yo! 

Yik Yak

Now this is a network that though I'd heard of it, never downloaded it until a few days ago. +Yik Yak. While at first I was a bit put off because the top trending things sounded like a bunch of giggling gossiping girls in the high school bathroom mixed with a men's locker conversations, it has grown on me. If you feel like shouting at the top of your lungs or whispering something under your breath, Yik Yak it. The cool thing about this app is that it is solely based on geo-location. So while I can find out what the Yikkies are talking about in London, I can't vote up or down or comment on the conversation. It is merely a portal into a different world. Over dinner and a bottle of wine last night, my girlfriend and I had a little too much fun on this network. Thanks Andrew Watts for the inspiration!


I used to be turned off by +Snapchat and refused to get on it or use it simply because I thought people would be sending me naughty pics and/or asking and expecting them of me. If a guy asked if I was on it, I would quickly say no. However, now, though I don't use it that much (partially because not many of my friends do), I quite like it. It allows you to share pictures and video, without having to worry too much about whether you like the pic or video, or whether you will like it tomorrow. Essentially, it is a more sincere and real form of communication. Rather than sending someone a text or email, you simply snap them. One of the other features that I really like is the event stories that they have started to share. A few months ago I was able to watch the collage of all the most popular snaps from Germany's Oktoberfest. Like all the social networks, Snapchat is helping break down the barriers between countries and languages, helping us understand each other better. I additionally greatly appreciate Evan Spiegel's innovative approach. Recently they added Snappay, allowing people to quickly send money, and surely will continue to be mobile. 


+AnonyMess is an app that I actually haven't even used before (it's only available on iOS currently), but since I met with the two founders, +Marcus Perezi-Tormos and +David Mendlewicz I thought I'd include a reference. AnnonyMessenger is a new app created by two Belgium's which is kinda like Snapchat except you can only send messages to the people in your phone book and the person sending the message always stays anonymous. If you want to get someone's real opinion or doubt if they gave it to you the first time, +AnonyMess them, and see what gets pulled out of the hat. Within this app, just like +Snapchat you can send someone a pic and not have to worry about it's after life. You can delete it at any time and if you delete it, it gets deleted on both ends. It also incorporates an easy blurring functionality so that you can blur out faces or things of those your are trying to delude.