The coronavirus crisis, with all its ‘working from home’ and social distancing recommendations, has probably transformed your social life into a succession of video chats. Your boss, your doctor, your family, your friends, they all want to see your face and tech is here to help. Or is it?Continue reading “The perfect video chat app doesn’t exist”
Have you ever had to add your signature to a document and send it over email? No, you don’t need a printer or a scanner. Did you know that you can do this for free with just your iPhone? Read on to learn how.Continue reading “How to sign documents with just your phone”
2017 is almost over, so I wanted talk about the apps that have taken the most important space on my phone during this year, and whether or not I think they’ll still be there next year.
Let’s start with a screenshot of my home screen:
I place apps in my home screen based on the frequency in which I use them. I try to minimize the amount of times I have to go to other pages of the home screen, so these are truly the apps that keep me going. But are all of these apps equally important for my daily tech routine? Will they stay in such a prominent position next year? Let’s break them into categories.
Connecting with friends & family
Messages, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Mail are absolutely critical to stay connected with family and friends, especially those in other countries. I’m convinced that I’ll keep these around since they are literally the first thing I check every morning.
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have been part of an interesting migration during 2017: most of my friends stopped posting on Facebook and became more active on apps where their posts have a 24 hour expiration date. So far, most of my friends are choosing Instagram, probably due to the fact that it has a classic profile of everlasting posts; Snapchat will have a hard time recovering after the aggressive takeover from Instagram, so I would not be surprised if Snapchat didn’t make it on my phone through the next year.
Consuming entertainment content & news
I don’t see Twitter or YouTube as simple social networks anymore; I use these apps to consume news and media content. I can see what’s trending in the world or I can follow the creators that I want, and get content directly matching my interests. Twitter is not dead (even if you don’t use it to connect with friends) and YouTube is not getting substituted by Snapchat (not in the next year at least) as my main video provider.
Feedly, LinkedIn and MSN News (which I use to read many Spanish newspapers in one single place) also keep me informed, but they are usually secondary sources in my daily routine. Feedly is there because it’s where I keep my old RSS collection (rest in peace, Google Reader), and it’s the app with the highest probabilities of not making it one more year.
Now, about the Podcasts app: I acknowledge this might sound weird, but the first time I ever listened to a podcast was just a few months ago. Considering that podcasts are a relatively old form of audio broadcasting, this may be surprising, but I had not found a compelling reason to try it until I found this amazing podcast. I then turned to Facebook asking for podcasts recommendations and my friends gave me enough titles for the rest of my life. This app is a keeper.
This category is also critical, but individual apps can easily be substituted if a better alternative appeared in the market. I use many Apple stock apps due to their integration within iOS, but I’m not too attached to them. In fact, I have already substituted some 1st party apps: Notes with OneNote, Calendar with Google Calendar or Music with Spotify.
I have a love-hate relationship with Apple Maps: Google Maps has better content, but I like Apple’s design and it usually finds what I’m looking for. I have switched back and forth between Google Maps and Apple Maps at least twice during 2017, so we can officially call this an unresolved situation.
WordPress and Medium are my basic blogger tools: even though geekonrecord.com is hosted in WordPress.com, I also publish in Medium on my own account and on Medium publications like Hacker Noon. It’s safe to say that these apps will remain in my home screen as long as I keep writing.
This might sound like the most boring part of my home screen, but as a Microsoft employee I enjoy using apps like Outlook, which is a way better email client than the Apple Mail app (I use both to separate my personal and work email), or Teams, which is Microsoft’s response to Slack.
What’s next? Which new apps will appear on my home screen next year? With the popularization of augmented reality (AR), I hope to see new and exciting apps in 2018: a successful crossover between social media and AR could dramatically change which apps stay in that valued home screen. The future can’t come fast enough.
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Image taken from my own phone, with a wallpaper provided by Marques Brownlee
If you use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger or WhatsApp, you have probably noticed recent updates that allow you to share a picture that expires after 24 hours.
Stories, Shared Days, or Status, all different names for the same feature across 4 different apps. This is what they look like side by side:
Facebook is trying to suffocate Snap by flooding every app they own with the one thing that made Snapchat special.
Google announced 3 new messaging apps last week: Allo, Duo and Spaces:
- Allo is powered by the new Google Assistant so you can complete certain tasks (like making a restaurant reservation or looking for movie showtimes) without leaving the conversation.
- Duo provides video calls with a twist: you can see a live feed of the caller before you even accept the call.
- Spaces allows you to share, browse and comment on content with groups of friends, so all user engagement can happen without leaving the app.
All of them provide something slightly new, but do we need all these features to live in independent apps? Continue reading “Who needs another messaging app?”
Yesterday, I took an Uber ride somewhere in Utah, accompanied a startup in Austin during their lunch break and left San Francisco by ferry. All thanks to Periscope, a new app from Twitter.
Periscope allows anyone to share what they see and hear, using real time video. It’s personal, easy to use and incredibly addictive (hello reality TV of the future), but is it here to stay?
On-Demand Delivery, Instant Gratification… if you’re not used to hear these words already, you will be soon. The fast-changing space of on-demand economy is filled with startups that will bring anything to you, almost instantly.
Uber, Airbnb, Caviar, PushForPizza, Munchery, Doordash, Postmates, SpoonRocket, Sprig, Instacart, Shyp, TaskRabbit; all of them are great examples of this fascinating trend, and today we are interviewing Sergio Treviño, Co-Founder and Lead Technical Architect of BrewDrop.
Why did Jelly become famous? And Medium? What about Square? What do they all have in common? They are all great products, that’s for sure, but there is something else: as it turns out, behind each of these awesome companies there is one of the co-founders of Twitter.
Are new tech products more successful when tech celebrities are behind them? Is it really possible for the same people to keep having several billion-dollar ideas? Do some of these ideas become famous businesses due in part to previous successes?
All these questions were popping in my head as I was reading the book “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal” (I loved it by the way, although I’m not sure all that drama is actually true), and I would say that the answer is probably ‘yes’ for all of them.
How would you find out which real estate website has the most up-to-date listings? how would you figure out which mobile carrier has better coverage in certain neighborhood of your city?
10 years ago, you could type keywords in a website like Google and hope to find the answer. Today, you have more and (sometimes) much faster options: websites that understand the meaning of the sentence you wrote, like WolframAlpha, intelligent virtual assistants that provide direct answers to simple questions, like Siri, Google Now or Cortana, and even apps or websites whose sole purpose is to connect someone asking a question with someone who knows the answer, like Jelly or Quora.