I find a lot of “interactive music apps” intimidating, because while they may have clever interfaces, the limiting factor on their output is always my own complete lack of musical intuition. I wouldn’t expect that jangling on the keys of a piano would sound decent if I didn’t know what I was doing; why should a music app be any different? That’s what makes Scott Snibbe’s latest app, Synthetica (made in collaboration with the independent rock and roll band Metric), so delightfully surprising. It really is pretty hard to make sucky music with this thing.
Sharecare, the Atlanta-based digital platform for expert health information, is trying to help consumers take the guesswork out of at-home diagnoses with AskMD, a free, iOS 7-exclusive app out today. The app takes you through a highly personalized, step-by-step consultation that narrows down your possible health conditions to the best possible matches for you.
Peretti foresees a future for the app that includes additional apps-within-the-app, as well. “Chels-emojis are in the works,” she says, excited. “I use emojis heavily in life, and I think a lot of people do. There are a number that are frustratingly absent—you know how there’s kind of a generic white man and a generic white woman? I just want to put a generic black man and a generic black woman. I want to put some similar things to what’s in the filters—like a bear, and a wolf—and I’ve noticed things that are missing from the vegetables, such as a radish.”
Also, if you haven’t heard Chelsea’s classic song, now’s the time: http://youtu.be/nyEGpFRWgmw
(photo by flickr user Zena C)
It was only a matter of time. Instagram has announced it will incorporate ads into the app within the next year.
The founders of YouTube have released a new video app called MixBit. On first glance, it might seem MixBit is in direct competition with Vine or Instagram Video, but if it’s actually very different.
Instead of merely being able to share, view, and comment on videos from the stream or from people you follow on the service, MixBit allows you to add to and remix content uploaded by other users or yourself. Remixed videos can be up to an hour long.
A New App Will Let You Share Your Leftovers With Strangers
Startups have made it so much easier for peer-to-peer buying and bartering these days. Need a place to stay? Swap houses. Want to fill out your wardrobe? Swap clothing. And coming soon is Leftover Swap, a smartphone app to help you barter or give away your leftovers.
This is either ingenius or cringe-worthy, depending on your penchant for other people’s unfinished meals.
"It’s obviously not for everybody," says Leftover Swap co-founder Dan Newman. “But for as many people who seemingly have a problem with it, there’s people who love the idea."
(Photo: User Quotable Kidney on Flickr Creative Commons)
Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Happy Hump Day Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:
- An app called Cat Academy will teach spanish and other languages through pictures of cute cats. Me(ow) gusta!
- Analysts say that the U.S. retail safety plan for Bangladesh factories is weak, especially in comparison to its European equivalent.
- Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano was forced to abandon his spacewalk after a suit malfunction that filled his helmet with water. Scary!
- The Google Glass team considered 'pew pew pew' and 'go go glass' before they went with its trigger term, ‘Ok glass.’
- Airbnb is slowing international hiring and reorganizing in an attempt to prevent startup burnout.
- As we reported earlier today, Tumblr has fixed a bug in its iOS app and recommends that users change their passwords.
- Jay-Z’s new album set a record on Spotify with 14-million whole album streams.
- Watch out Apple! Google just released its iOS Maps 2.0 update.
- Fresh Apple rumors are milling. A new iPhone with features like a finger print reader and lighter, plastic components may be in the works.
- Thanks to a team that lugged a trolley camera around the Parisian landmark, Google Street View users are getting a view from the Eiffel Tower.
Have a great day!
After months of work and anticipation, the winner of the Co.Labs and Target Retail Accelerator contest has been announced!
The challenged asked developers and designers tobuild a new kind of retail experience on top of Target’s e-commerce platform, going from a plan to a product in just 90 days. The winner? Social shopping app called Divvy, brought home the $75,000 grand prize.
Built by Team Pilot, Divvy is meant to make shopping more efficient- especially in a group setting. With features that make it easier to split bills, share copies of receipts, maintain shared transaction history, and earn rewards points, Divvy ultimately aims to lead to less trips to the store, less time wasted shopping, and a more transparent budget/expenditure situation for a family, group, or team.
Imagine a family out and about their daily activities. One family member decides to take a trip to Target. She can add other family members or friends to the shopping list, allowing them to contribute items. The family member at Target collects and buys the items, and the other family members or friends can settle up in-app, right away, along with receiving a copy of the itemized receipt and appropriately distributed rewards points.
Team Pilot was able to complete the app to such a degree that work is already underway to release it to the public under the official Target brand. It will be Target’s fourth mobile application.
A smartphone game called Angry Trayvon which sparked outrage online was apparently removed from app stores last night, according to a Facebook post—but has reappeared in the Google Play store, where it may still be currently available for downloads.
"One of the most important things to remember is that these companies don’t happen over night. They’re not an over-night success story, as I think a lot of people view certain companies. It’s really about finding what works and iterating your product."
—Danielle Abes, director of Qwiki, a video-sharing app that turns pictures and videos from events you’ve captured on your iPhone into brief, sharable movies.
Qwiki was named one of Time.com’s top 10 startups to watch in 2013, and was just bought by Yahoo.
Now that Google has reportedly agreed to buy Israeli crowd-powered navigation app Waze for $1.3 billion, many other “Silicon Wadi” startups are daring to dream big. Here are some others that could potentially follow in Waze’s footsteps:
- Powermat: Battery drainage is one of the biggest problems faced by consumers as they increase their reliance on smartphones. Enter Powermat, whose wireless power solutions help millions charge their devices between home, car, and office.
- Wibbitz: Wibbitz’s text-to-video platform uses advanced language processing to allow anything published online to be instantly turned into a video clip. Its publisher solution—which boasts a clientele of 50,000 websites and 17 million monthly viewers—will soon be available for iPhone.
- Parko: Recent studies show that city drivers spend at least 20 minutes on average searching for a parking spot. Parko has developed a crowdsourcing solution for parking in a similar vein to Waze’s solution for traffic: It connects motorists looking for a spot with others about to leave one, while its algorithm identifies parking spots without users needing to remove their phones from their pockets.
Heavy sleeper? A new alarm app makes you shake your phone until you’re awake.
“Placing your hand over your phone will trigger the snooze, while flipping over your phone will turn off your alarm. And for heavy sleepers like us, there’s the shake mode, which forces you to shake your iPhone until you get up.”