There’s an App for That

Staff writer Ansley  shares  some of her newfound favorite apps

Flipboard

A compilation of your favorite posts from technology websites, design and style blogs, photography apps and more, Flipboard allows its users to create a personalized magazine for their iPhones and iPads. Although I had a few difficulties understanding the app’s set-up, once I added style pages and political news to my regularly updated account, I had trouble resisting the simple and easy-to-navigate app. Once a user signs in to Twitter, she can mark certain articles or pictures as one of her “favorites” to return easily to later. Overall, the app is a great resource for saving favorite web clippings in one place and, once you get used to it, is quick and easy to use. In fact, it just might give Pinterest a run for its money.

 

Graphing Calculator

Ugh. That awkward moment when you forget your graphing calculator in math class on a test day. Fortunately, Graphing Calculator has many of the features that a TI-84 has: roots, square roots, trig functions, pi and more. Graphing Calculator doesn’t have all of the features and shortcuts of regular calculators; however, it has other features not included in calculators. My favorites include greatest common denominator, factorials and lowest common multiples. Once you familiarize yourself with the layout of the app and pay the $1.99 fee, the reliable app just may save you one day.

 

TED

TED conferences are known around the globe for assembling more than 50 of the most influential, inspiring and innovative speakers and performers from around the world who address large audiences on a variety of topics. To attend a TED conference, one must submit an application and a $6,000 standard membership fee. With the TED app for iPhones, iPads and Androids, however, users can view or listen to over 1,000 TED speeches and performances for free. The first thing you’ll notice upon downloading the app is its functionality. Fortunately, an account is not required to view the videos or use the app’s other resources. The videos are organized by new, popular, themes, tags, ratings, favorites and saved. Further, my two favorite features are “Inspire Me” and the absence of advertisements. The “Inspire Me” feature allows users to choose a kind of video that they want to see (funny, ingenious, beautiful, inspiring, courageous, etc.). Also, you may choose how long of a video you want to see—each video ranges from five minutes to an hour. Finally, TED composes a small library of videos that relate to your chosen topic and last as long as you want to hear the video.

 

8tracks

Here’s your personalized Pandora. 8tracks allows users to follow other users’ playlists, share songs and create their own playlists. The cool thing about it? Playlists are tagged by artist, song, mood, occasion, genre and more. Let’s say you and your friends are preparing for a Friday night mixer. If you want some music, just type “getting ready” into the search bar and play a user’s track for some high energy, ‘makes you wanna dance’ music. Fortunately, unlike Pandora, there are no advertisements. Another benefit is being able to replay songs and tag favorite songs to listen to them again later. Unfortunately, while users have the ability to skip songs, you can only skip about three songs at a time. Thus, if a playlists has a few songs in a row that you dislike, you have to pick another playlist to hear new music.

 

Foursquare

An app that allows users to review companies and read evaluations from their friends, Foursquare boasts its main use in its check-in feature. The app is a built on social networking through Foursquare and, ultimately, outside of Foursquare. For example, if a user arrives at a new restaurant she “checks-in” with Foursquare and the app publishes her location onto its server. Now, all of her friends and other app users can see her location along with a review of the restaurant. A user can also check Foursquare to see where her friends are and meet them at their location. Foursquare is thus helpful for connecting with both friends and family. This app is a fun and helpful tool for iPhone owners of all ages and a must-have for catching up with friends over the summer.

 

TuneIn Radio

Add more than 50,000 radio stations broadcasted around the world to your Android or iPhone via the TuneIn Radio app. Users have the ability to pause, stop and rewind stations just like playlists on an iPod. Further, the app features other helpful tools such as an alarm clock and a sleep timer. Of course you’ll want to show off your favorite radio finds to your friends; thankfully, TuneIn also allows users to share stations and songs on Facebook and Twitter. The app also includes an option to listen to more than 120,000 broadcasts. Some of my favorite programs such as NPR, ABC News and TEDTalks, among other stations, are readily available. And to top things off, you buy this app free of charge in the app store today.

-Ansley