Best Android Apps – Part 2

We have pick out some of the best Android apps to download on your new phone, including free apps, popular Android apps and some apps you might not know.

Read Part 1 of this list

AirDroid

What is AirDroid?

For those Android users feeling left out by Apple’s Continuity feature, which allows you to integrate your iPhone with your tablet and Mac, AirDroid has the answer. It’s more than just a wireless file transfer and notification tool. AirDroid also allows you to share your phone’s screen with your laptop, create a Wi-Fi hotspot, clear out RAM space, and access your phone via a desktop web browser. Basically, the developers have provided you with every type of sharing and maintenance facility you need.

What’s good?

As mentioned, AirDroid packs in a load of features beyond the usual sharing tools. Rather than making it feel overloaded, the extra stuff, such as the virus scanner and RAM optimisation, are nice features which don’t clutter the home menu and make AirDroid feel like a well-thought out and comprehensive tool.

When it comes to the main features, such as file sharing and notifications, AirDroid is incredibly easy to use, as all good apps should be. You can log in using Facebook, Google, or Twitter, or create an account in seconds by adding your email address and a password. Once I’d signed up on my phone, it was simply a case of downloading the desktop version of the app on my laptop and logging in using the email and password I’d set up through my phone.

As soon as I’d done that, my handset was detected by the desktop AirDroid app and I was sharing files and receiving notifications on my laptop instantly. There was almost no lag between notifications popping up on my phone and them appearing on my desktop and you also have the option to reply to messages and calls through your computer.

There’s versions of AirDroid for Windows, Mac and a web extension, so there’s no limitations depending on which platform you prefer. And you can add friends who also use AirDroid to quickly transfer files.

What’s bad?

The obvious drawback with any wireless sharing platform is that, depending on how speedy your Wi-Fi is, it’s not going to be as fast as plugging a cable in and transferring files that way. But that’s not a specific criticism of AirDroid and I had no issues with files not transferring or notifications not showing. Still, if I wanted to transfer a lot of larger files, I would still go for the cable method.

Other than that there’s a couple of ads included by way of extra icons on the homescreen and you have to upgrade to the premium version to get extra features such as bigger file transfers and the ability to link more than two devices. From what I can tell, upgrading to the premium edition is done by sharing the app with your friends, as I couldn’t find any way to pay for the upgrade.

Verdict

AirDroid is a polished and easy to use file transfer app with a range of extra features that are actually useful. The fact that both Windows and Mac are catered for, plus the ability to use the web extension, allowing you to sync your phone with pretty much any computer you use, also makes it incredibly versatile. AirDroid almost feels like it should be an official standard Android feature.

Score: 9/10 | Price: Free | In-app purchases? No | Download AirDroid

Adobe Premiere Clip

What is Adobe Premiere Clip?

Adobe has provided Android users with an easy to use yet fairly in-depth video editor in the form of Adobe Premiere Clip. The app allows you to create video edits easily and quickly while providing a range of editing options that other video editors for smartphones don’t have. What’s more, you can open any project you make using Clip in Adobe’s full desktop video editor Premiere Pro.

What’s good?

Premiere Clip makes good on its promise of easy usability. The layout is simple enough to figure out intuitively, with a Google-like ‘plus’ icon in the bottom right for making a new edit.

Once you hit the plus you can choose to import video from your device, the Creative Cloud, or shoot new video or photos. After selecting the clips you want to use, Premiere Clip will give you the option to make your own edit or create a random one with the ‘Automatic’ feature. This option will cut your video together by matching the beats of whichever soundtrack you choose. It works well, and adds a nice feature for those looking to create a quick montage edit without delving into the deeper customisation options.

When it comes to the ‘Freeform’ option, things are similarly straightforward. You get a simple layout showing your imported clips, which acts as the final edit timeline, with a video display at the top to check your full edit. The interface makes it easy to add effects, play with the exposure, highlights, and shadows of your clips, and add music.

One drawback I found was when adding filters or effects to individual clips, the app would apply it to all the clips in my timeline, which was disappointing. But that was a minor drawback to what is a nice and clean editing interface. The options at the top of the screen make it incredibly easy to tweak the clips and add standard effects such as crossfades and fade-ins.

Once you’re finished with the edit, you can share or publish the video in a variety of ways, including exporting to the Creative Cloud, direct to YouTube, or saving the exported video to your device’s memory. You can also save the project to be opened in Premiere Pro, which is a nice feature to include, allowing for further and more advanced editing on the desktop programme.

All in all, the experience is startlingly pain-free, and I was able to figure out how to use the various features and start editing in minutes.

What’s bad?

Unfortunately, the app will upload your created video timelines to the Adobe Creative Cloud automatically when you’re connected to Wi-Fi. There doesn’t seem to be any way to turn the feature off, and you don’t even have to have shared or published the video in order for the cloud to start syncing your projects.

It also seems that Adobe doesn’t want you exporting clips with any higher resolution than 720p. The app will scale down higher-res shots to 720p before publishing your video edits, which for the casual user won’t matter too much, but for those looking to make and upload high-quality videos, this could pose a problem.

What’s more, I often encountered an issue with importing my own tracks to use as backing music. The app crashed several times and would often just not load the music. This is something that needs to be fixed urgently.

Verdict

Adobe’s video editor for handheld devices manages to combine an array of features with a refined and easy to use interface. Despite the syncing and downgrading issues, most will find all they need in Adobe Premiere Clip. A further update to address the music importing issue will make this one of, if not the best video editor for Android devices.

Score: 8/10 | Price: Free | In-app purchases? No | Download Adobe Premiere Clip

Sleep Partner

What is Sleep Partner?

Sleep assistance apps seem to be springing up in bewildering abundance recently, while stories about the effects of ‘blue light’ on sleep cycles become similarly ubiquitous. From apps that wake you up at the right point in a sleep cycle, to those that play white noise to aid your slumber, app developers seem to really care about the many different ways in which you can hit the sack.

Enter Sleep Partner. Currently in beta mode, the sleep management app helps you to get to bed at your target time by using several features including filtering out blue light and reminding you to get to bed in a particularly novel way involving cartoon sheep. It also includes an alarm feature, which uses the sounds of birds chirping to help rouse you in as gentle a way as possible.

What’s good?

Sleep Partner is simplicity defined. The app opens with a screen where you set your desired bed and wake-up time. Once you set your target bedtime, the app will filter out 83% of the blue light from your screen three hours before you are due to hit the hay. It basically makes your screen take on a kind of sepia tone, but actually feels quite nice to reduce the glare as the day winds down.

Amazon has just released a new software upgrade which does the same for its Amazon Fire tablet range, and experts have long been warning against the effects of staring at a screen blasting blue light at you before going to sleep. Sleep Partner makes it incredibly easy to ensure you remember to turn your blue light filter on by doing it automatically based on your target bedtime.

It’s also quite nice to wake up to an alarm that doesn’t use one of the stock alarm tones which come with your phone. The standard options seem to always be based on lively and vaguely ethnic-sounding music, which aren’t exactly conducive to a gentle awakening in the mornings. Thankfully, Sleep Partner will stir you with the mellifluous sounds of chirping birds – a nice change from SAMBA_MADNESS_01.

Cartoon sheep will also appear on-screen if you miss your target bedtime, and what’s more, they change depending on how good you are at sticking to your targets. Miss a few bedtimes in a row and they will increase in number. It’s clever, if a bit annoying.

The app also gives you the ability to tweak the various features, from blue screen filter tone to alarm volume.

What’s bad?

As mentioned, if you stay up past your target bedtime, the screen will start filling with sheep to stop you using your phone. This is intended as a reminder to get you to turn off Facebook and go to bed, but it’s pretty annoying really. You can fix it really easily though, by just going into the app and turning target bedtime off. It would also be nice to have a white noise feature, as this would mean all aspects of sleep aid would be contained within Sleep Partner.

Verdict

Sleep Partner is as easy to use as it is good for your health. It contains genuinely useful tools for helping you sleep and if it had a white noise option it would have everything you need for a good night’s rest. As it is, it’s still worth trying to see if you feel better after a week of no blue light in the evenings.

Score: 9/10 | Price: Free | In-app purchases? No | Download Sleep Partner

Ref : Trusted Reviews

Best Android Apps

We have pick out some of the best Android apps to download on your new phone, including free apps, popular Android apps and some apps you might not know.

World Around Me (WAM)

What is it?

World Around Me, or WAM, is a tool for finding out about places of interest around you. Winner of the Google Play Awards ‘Early Adopter’ category, this app uses your phone’s camera to highlight local restaurants, parks, museums, cinemas, and other interesting places in your immediate area.

What’s good?

So what exactly is the ‘Early Adopter; award? Well, according to Google it rewards adopters of a nascent technology or platform – in this case the use of a very basic augmented reality. The main feature of WAM is the ability to point your phone’s camera at the surrounding area and see small cards appear next to places of interest. The cards will include the name of the place, a review rating, and the distance to that particular location.

In the top left of the screen there’s a small radar icon, with dots representing the location of nearby attractions. Point the camera in the direction of a dot, tap the card that appears on-screen, and you’ll get more information and options.

Taking the app for a spin in central London, I tapped on the card for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for example, which would give me more information, the option to call the venue or visit its website, read reviews, or view the location on Google Maps.

And it works straight away. You just download the app, choose from a list of categories such as ‘Eat’, ‘Money’, ‘Enjoy’, and more, and the app will load up your camera viewfinder. That’s it, you’re ready to start finding interesting places around you. There’s also a list view for those that don’t want to use the camera, which will simply show a list of the nearest places of interest, and a map view.

One of the cool features is the real-time distance indicator that appears on the various cards and which decreases the closer you get to the location. The other great thing about WAM is the sheer amount of places you’re able to search for. Pretty much anything you can search for on Google Maps is searchable within the app.

What’s bad?

There’s no question that there’s a novelty factor to WAM that some will find wears off fairly quickly. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat nearby, WAM isn’t going to offer any more suggestions than Google Maps.

It’s cool to see the augmented reality view in practice at first, and for many it might prove to be more usable. But it’s essentially the same functionality you get from any map app, just implemented in a more visually striking way.

You also have to pay if you want the Pro version, which gets rid of the ads and includes higher-quality photos of the many places of interest.

Verdict

WAM is something a bit different. It’s no more useful than a decent map app when it comes to finding local services and places of interest, but it’s undeniably cool to see even this very basic form of augmented reality working, and may even prove to be a more intuitive way to discover local hot spots for many.

Score: 8/10 | Price: Free | In-app purchases? No | Download WAM

 

Younity

What is Younity?

If you’re looking to access media stored on your computer through your smartphone, Younity might just be the app for you. Much like the popular Plex app, Younity turns your computer into a home media server, allowing you to stream movies, view photos, and listen to music through your handset without having to transfer all the files to your phone.

What’s good?

In order to use Younity, you’ll need to install the app on both your handset and your computer. The setup process on both is incredibly simple. You can download, install, and set up the app on both your computer and tablet or phone within 10 minutes. The Android app is available through the Play Store, and you can visit the Younity website to download the desktop version. You can also download Younity on as many devices as you like.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll be asked to sign in with a Facebook or Google account, or sign up using an email address. I opted for the latter. After you’ve clicked the right button in the standard verification email, Younity will immediately start scanning your computer for files.

Considering I have quite a large amount of music and pictures on my Macbook’s internal storage, the time it took for Younity to scan and index everything was remarkably quick. I was browsing and streaming photos and music on my phone within 2 or 3 minutes of setting the app up on my computer.

The interface is incredibly clean, while the material design elements make the whole experience distinctly familiar. Browsing through your various files is made easy with the inclusion of a menu that slides out from the side of the screen and breaks down your files into Music, Videos, Photos, and Files. You also have the option to search, which makes things a lot easier if you have a lot of files and can’t quite remember where they’re all stored.

Everything is just incredibly straight forward, which is exactly what you want from any app such as this. I had absolutely no problems during setup or use.

What’s more, the service is very secure. Nothing ever gets uploaded to the cloud, rather, a personal cloud is created using only the devices you sign up with, and the whole thing is encrypted. Younity also works with AirPlay, so you can stream media to your TV or stereo, plus you can upload photos to social media direct from your computer through your phone.

What’s bad?

We’re struggling to find anything wrong with this one. Not only does it deliver on its promise to allow you access to your stored media from anywhere, the whole thing is completely free and there’s not an ad in sight. The one thing that would have been nice is Chromecast support, but according to the developers, that’s on its way.

Verdict

A simple, easy to use service that does everything it promises. Airplay integration is great, and with Chromecast support on the way, plus the fact that the whole thing is completely free, Younity is a must-have app for anyone wanting on-the-go access to their stored files and media.

Score: 9/10 | Price: Free | In-app purchases? No | Download Younity

Trello

What is Trello?

When it comes to organisation apps, you’re beyond spoilt for choice. It seems like new apps offering to help simplify your life appear on the Play Store every day. Among the hordes of organisation apps however, Trello stands out as a powerful yet simple tool for planning projects.

The whole thing is based around boards, on which you can make lists. You then populate these lists with cards. For instance, you might have a ‘to do’ list with several cards for each job, a ‘working on’ list for jobs you plan to work on that day, and a ‘done’ list for when you finish a job. You can then drag the cards between lists depending on their status.

What’s good?

Trello makes it incredibly easy to start using different boards. It works best in its full desktop browser setup, but the mobile app is just as useful, if slightly more difficult to use. If you have a Trello account, you can simply sign in when you download the app and your existing boards will be synced to your phone.

What’s great about Trello is that it can be used for so many things. If you want to use it simply as a ‘to do’ list with extra features, it’s great for that. If you want to use it to visualise a personal project it’s great for that too. And if you want to use it as a way of organising your team at work it’s range of collaborative working options make it the perfect tool.

Despite the fact that a smartphone screen somewhat detracts from the experience by limiting your view of a board, the mobile experience is still very fluid and accessible. Tap a board, tap a list to add a card, and tap and hold to drag a card between lists. Easy stuff.

 

You can do all the things that the desktop browser version offers, such as adding other members to a board, assigning them to cards, or tagging certain cards with colours. There’s also the option to attach files to cards from Google Drive or Dropbox. The app also encourages collaborative working by allowing you and other members to comment on specific cards. All of this is incredibly easy to do, and Trello has been designed in line with Google’s Material Design, so the user interface feels familiar.

I used Trello to organise my work tasks, personal ‘to do’ items, and plan projects and found it very easy to use. I was never looking through menus for a particular option or wishing I could do something that Trello doesn’t allow. It all just works well.

What’s bad?

Not a lot really. Some reviewers have asked for better widgets, and it would certainly be nice to have a widget which shows you the status of a particular card you’ve assigned someone to. But on the whole Trello works incredibly well, and I have never encountered any issues other than when my phone has lost data connection.

Verdict

Trello combines ease of use with a range of extra features, making it an adaptable tool which you can use to organise any type of project you want. With a clean and intuitive UI, plus the fact that the whole thing is entirely free, there’s no reason not to at least investigate it for yourself.

Score: 10/10 | Price: Free | In-app purchases? No | Download Trello

Launchify

What is Launchify?

Any smartphone user knows that slight reductions in the amount of time it takes to carry out a task can make all the difference to the mobile experience. Launchify allows you to quickly launch your favourite apps without having to return to your homescreen or app menu.

A constant notification provides you with a line of your most used apps which you can set to change based on your location. And there’s also lock screen and home screen widgets, allowing you to get quick access to your favourite apps from anywhere. It’s a very simple but incredibly useful service.

What’s good?

Launchify begins working as soon as you download it and tap the app icon. Once you’ve given Launchify access to your apps, you’ll be taken to the home screen where you can start customising. As mentioned, a constant notification, featuring your most-used apps, will appear in your notifications shade. You can customise this notification very easily by tapping on ‘custom apps’ from the Launchify’s home screen and selecting the apps you want to appear.

Alternatively you can set a Home and Work address which allows Launchify to change the line up of apps in the notification based upon where you are and which apps you mostly use in those locations. It can also tell when you’re driving and recommend apps you might need, such as Google Maps. Simple but clever.

And it works well. I found that Launchify did a good job of anticipating the apps I needed, although you’ll need to use it for a few days before the location service learns your habits properly. And even though the time it takes to go to one of your home screens and tap an app wasn’t ever a huge problem, the small reduction does make a difference. Swiping down from the top and then tapping an app feels intuitive and speedy.

What’s bad?

The constant notification is slightly irritating. Every now and then you’ll think you have a message, only to realise you’ve got Launchify turned on. It’s a small issue though, and you can always use the app’s lock screen and home screen widgets instead.

If you want to add more than six apps to the notification, you’ll need to upgrade to the Pro version, which also allows you to manually add contacts to the notification. It’ll cost you £1.50, so it’s not the most expensive upgrade, but you might find that six apps is all you need anyway, making the upgrade somewhat unnecessary.

Verdict

Launchify is easy to use and allows you to access your favourite apps from anywhere. Its interface is also simple enough that you’ll be using Launchify confidently within minutes of downloading it. It’s not going to revolutionise the smartphone experience, but it’s a handy tool for anyone looking for quick access to their favourite apps.

Score: 8/10 | Price: Free (£1.50 for Pro version) | In-app purchases? No | Download Launchify

BeyondPod

What is BeyondPod?

BeyondPod is a podcast player and manager with some cool extra features such as the ability to integrate with Feedly. The app contains content from both small and big publishers so you should be able to find pretty much any podcast you search for. It’s been around for a while now, but has seen a number of improvements which make it one of the best podcast apps you’ll find on the Play Store.

What’s good?

Like any good app, BeyondPod makes it easy to get set up. Once you open it for the first time you’ll be asked to choose your favourite categories, from Comedy to News, and the app will suggest some feeds to start following.

Within minutes of downloading it, I found several of my favourite podcasts and was downloading new episodes. In fact, there wasn’t any podcast which BeyondPod failed to find, from Serial to WTF.

The app also creates ‘smart playlists’ based on your listening habits, although I found it easier to just navigate through my downloaded content myself. You can also easily create playlists by tapping the ‘plus’ symbol below each podcast episode, which I found more useful than trusting BeyondPod to guess my listening schedule.

BeyondPod is also compatible with Android Auto and comes with playback features such as volume boost and the ability to adjust playback speed. You can also use the configurable skip buttons to quickly go back 10 or 30 seconds, or whatever you choose as the standard skip options. This is a very useful feature as the timeline indicator can often be difficult to use on a small phone screen and I found myself using the custom skip buttons a lot instead of trying to manually go back to re-hear something I missed.

With the Pro version you also get Chromecast support, so you can cast video and audio content from the app direct to your TV or speaker system. When you first download the app you will be given seven days of the Pro version as a trial. That means you’ll get the Chromecast support, device synchronisation (which means you can pick up where you left off across multiple devices), and automatic downloads where BeyondPod will download new episodes overnight.

What’s bad?

After the seven day trial you’ll have to pay a pretty hefty £5.56 for an unlock key if you do decide to go Pro. There’s no obligation to do so, but considering there are other podcast apps which supply some of the Pro features as standard the price seems quite high. Still, many will find the price reasonable having got used to BeyondPod’s simple and easy playback interface and extra features.

A recent update caused controversy among Play Store reviewers who say BeyondPod was easier to use before the update rolled out. The app does seem to have a lot of extra settings hidden away in various menus and at first it’s unclear whether the suggested feeds that result from your category preferences are feeds you are subscribed to or are simply there as recommendations.

Verdict

BeyondPod is a great way to manage and listen to podcasts. The player is simple and easy to use, there’s tonnes of content, and the extra features are genuinely useful. While the price for the Pro version is fairly steep and the home screen layout could be a little clearer, BeyondPod will not disappoint anyone looking for a comprehensive podcast manager.

Score: 8/10 | Price: Free (£5.56 for Pro version) | In-app purchases? No | Download BeyondPod

 

Ref: Trusted Reviews

Sunshine – weather app lets users train it to their temperature tastes

In a bid to stand out in the bustling weather app crowd, crowdsourced app Sunshine is adding a new personalization feature — giving users the ability to specify how hot or cold the weather feels to them.

The app then uses these subjective taps — on a super simple scale of “freezing” through to “hot”  — to learn each user’s temperature preferences and serve up more relevant weather reports to them.

“60-degrees isn’t a one-size-fits-all temperature,” says co-founder and CEO Katerina Stroponiati. “For some, it might as well be the Arctic tundra. For others it’s shorts weather. So when it’s 60-degrees outside, how do you know if it’s sweater 60-degrees or flip-flops 60-degrees?”

“Sunshine learns about you — like what’s cold or hot for you. It also learns every time you actively report to the community on sky conditions and hazards, translating this information into weather predictions,” she adds.

Sunshine only launched last October, with a stated mission of humanizing a data-heavy app category with something a little more consumer friendly.

Not that they’re the first with the idea of making weather apps more usefully practical, though. Swackett, for example, has been offering weather-based clothes suggestions for years, while in the “easier on the eye” category there’s the likes of Beautiful Weather (heavy on the cutesy animations) or YoWindow, to name but two.

Why is weather such a well-ploughed app furrow? Because a worthy weather app has the potential to earn one of the more well-thumbed places on a smartphone users’ home screen (versus being siloed away in a forgotten folder).

“Weather is context to many things, from clothing to eating and traveling,” says Stroponiati, discussing how Sunshine might look to monetize its free app future. “There are tons of brands that are related with this field and are interested in getting promoted in Sunshine. Having said that, we won’t put any banners or intrusive ads in the app. Our first goal is to be the most exciting app out there without pushing to our users stuff out of context.”

Phone hardware evolution — and specifically the addition of weather-sensitive barometer sensors to devices — has also encouraged more app makers to push crowdsourced weather apps at users, powered by locally garnered phone data.

Sunshine is likewise pulling data from phone sensors to power its reports, but is also encouraging users to make direct weather reports themselves — hence, it self-bills as the “Waze of Weather.”

The v0.7 update, which is rolling out today, adds more conditions users can report, such as hazards, as well as the ability for people to report multiple conditions at once.

It also adds the ability for users to file anonymous weather reports. “It was something that users highly requested,” confirms Stroponiati. “Users love to contribute, help each other by making reports, be social and feel part of the community but at the same time they want to keep their privacy.”

Another new feature in v0.7 is the ability for users to be alerted an hour before rain/snow is expected in their area.

Sunshine is not disclosing how many users it has at this early stage, so it’s impossible to say how large is its community — but it will say users have created a total of 1.1 million weather reports since launch last fall. The app is currently live in the U.S. and Canada, and only on iOS for now.

Stroponiati also says Sunshine users make between 10,000 and 15,000 reports per day, with the number almost doubling when it’s raining or snowing in major cities. (Let’s call that the #snow effect.)

Interestingly, Sunshine’s early users are skewing younger, with 70 percent being aged 14 to 24-years-old. A sizable majority (65 percent) are also women. Stroponiati says Sunshine plans to double-down on its early popularity with teens/college kids — with the update set to be badged with the description “not your parents’ weather app.”

“The reason Sunshine appeals to a young audience is because there a huge gap that we discovered by analyzing our user interviews. We were excited when we discovered during the interviews that we made at colleges (UC Berkeley, UCLA, etc.) that school and college students are checking weather DAILY to figure out quickly what to wear in the morning or when it’s good time to go out and play,” she says. “At the same time, most of the young people cannot engage with the utility nature of weather apps out there. They want something fun more engaging and personal.”

Sunshine has raised $2 million so far from investors in Silicon Valley and New York. These include Great Oaks Ventures, Archimedes Labs (Keith Teare*), Morado Ventures, Winklevoss Capital, Maven Ventures, BBG Ventures, former CTO of AT&T Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi and former CEO of Huawei Bo Zhu.

Ref: TechCrunch

OneLoad – Revolutionize Mobile Top-Up Market in Pakistan

For years, since top-ups were introduced in Pakistan, retailers have kept five different mobile phones to top-up mobile accounts of consumers. On top of keeping five separate phones, which is a hassle in itself, they maintain separate mobile-balance in all phones to keep their top-up business running. This Rs. 500 billion an year market is going to change now. Keep reading to know the how part.

SparkList – Smart way to Discover and Sell – Mobile App

Sparklist – The smart new way to Discover, Sell and Chat to buy.

German startup accelerator Rocket Internet announced in September that it would launch four new startups in Asia every year. That’s despite the fact that Rocket already has 20 companies operating in Asia; it seems aggressive expansion in the region is a priority.

The newest venture to hit the fray is Sparklist, a hyperlocal mobile classifieds platform fashioned on a consumer-to-consumer model. Sparklist helps connect sellers with buyers around them and differentiates itself from the competition by integrating an instant messaging system within the app. Both parties don’t need to take the transaction offline; if there’s willingness to buy a certain product, then price negotiation and pickup timings can be agreed without having to make a phone call.

Pakistan is the first country where Sparklist launched, with the service having gone live approximately three weeks ago. Currently it’s serving the two largest cities in the country: Karachi and Lahore. Sparklist co-founder Nalla Karunanithy tells Tech in Asia that one of the main reasons they selected Pakistan is because of the rapid smartphone proliferation as well as the propensity for younger consumers to adapt to new technology.

a-b-testing-mobile-apps

“The beauty of Sparklist is that it allows users to discover new things and sell unwanted goods directly through our app,” says Nalla. “Anyone can download our app […] it’s very hyperlocal but also gives you the opportunity to further discover more items some distance away from you.”

In a drastic shift from other classified portals, Nalla says Sparklist will focus exclusively on facilitating transactions through its app. Users won’t be allowed to post or browse through listings on the web; if they wish to make a transaction, it’ll have to be through their smartphone. “It’s more secure from the sellers point of view as well. They don’t need to make their phone or email address visible to the public as the in-app chat functionality takes care of that,” he adds.

Nalla hinted at possible expansion of Sparklist in other countries where Rocket Internet ventures are present but didn’t disclose further details. He added that monetization is not on the agenda at the moment, and won’t be “at least for the next six months” as their primary goal is user acquisition and building traction.

 

Ref: Sparklist TechinAsia

FrontlineSMS – Healthcare Mobile App

FrontlineSMS:Medic was preceded by two independent projects, Mobiles in Malawi and MobilizeMRS. Josh Nesbit initiated Mobiles in Malawi in the summer of 2007, working at a rural Malawian hospital that serves 250,000 patients spread 100 miles in every direction. To reach remote patients, the hospital trained volunteer community health workers (CHWs) like Dickson Mtanga, a subsistence farmer. Dickson had to walk 35 miles to submit hand-written reports on 25 HIV-positive patients in his community. The hospital needed a simple means of communication, and in the summer of 2008 Josh returned to the hospital with mobile phones and a laptop running FrontlineSMS to provide it.

MobilizeMRS was born with a focus on electronic medical records, and the notion that the technology could be extended to engage CHWs in structured data collection. Isaac Holeman discovered Mobiles in Malawi and contacted Josh online, and in late 2008 theydecided to join forces. Isaac brought the key characteristics of MobilizeMRS with him – a commitment to extending OpenMRS, the initiative to formalize their projects as a venture, insistence that the venture should have a distinct brand and leadership authority, and commitment to developing innovative software.

In February of 2009, Josh, Isaac, and Nadim Mahmud (a Stanford medical student) co-founded FrontlineSMS:Medic. The mission was to help health workers communicate, coordinate patient care, and provide diagnostics using low-cost, appropriate technology.

Impact

In six months, the pilot in Malawi using FrontlineSMS saved hospital staff 1200 hours of follow-up time and over $3,000 in motorbike fuel. Over 100 patients started tuberculosis treatment after their symptoms were noticed by CHWs and reported by text message. The SMS network brought the Home-Based Care unit to the homes of 130 patients who would not have otherwise received care, and texting saved 21 antiretroviral therapy (ART) monitors 900 hours of travel time, eliminating the need to hand deliver paper reports. You can read more about this pilot in the Journal of Technology and Health Care publication.

After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Josh reached out to FrontlineSMS users on the ground and connected with mobile operators. Soon after, FrontlineSMS:Medic helped coordinate The 4636 Project, an effort to create an emergency communications channel. Working with the Office of Innovation at the US Department of State, technology providers, Digicel, and Voila, a system was created to process text messages expressing urgent needs from the ground. Using crowd-sourced translation, categorization, and geo-tagging, reports were created for first responders within 5 minutes of receiving an SMS. Over 80,000 messages were received in the first five weeks of operation, focusing relief efforts for thousands of Haitians.

In less than one year, FrontlineSMS:Medic expanded from 75 to 1,500 end users linked to clinics serving approximately 3.5 million patients. Growing from the first pilot at a single hospital in Malawi, they established programs in 40% of Malawi’s district hospitals and implemented projects in nine other countries, including Honduras, Haiti, Uganda, Mali, Kenya, South Africa, Cameroon, India and Bangladesh.

A growing toolkit

In 2010, the FrontlineSMS:Medic team expanded and began creating new mobile tools. Software developers built on the FrontlineSMSplatform to create a lightweight patient records system, PatientView, and a text-based information collection module, TextForms.

Developed by volunteers in less than two days, the initial 4636 system combined a number of technology platforms. Most recently, FrontlineSMS:Medic developers worked on a messaging module for OpenMRS, a project that had been in the works since the MobilizeMRS days prior to FrontlineSMS:Medic. It became clear to the team that building upon and implementing various open source tools was the best way to serve users and achieve impact.

Next Steps

FrontlineSMS acts as a catalyst for new projects – incubating ideas, teams, and software for legal systems, education, financial services,radio, and other fields. The model replicates FrontlineSMS:Medic’s sector-specific approach and builds on a community of users innovating every day.

Medic Mobile continues FrontlineSMS:Medic’s team, values, and mission – using mobile tools to create connected, coordinated health systems that save more lives.

Ref: FrontLineSMS

MedicSMS – First aid diagnosis and advice via SMS

MedicSMS-first-aid-01

MedicSMS – SMS based first aid for the developing world.

Inspiration

For MediSMS, Our aim is to allow those in developing countries, with limited or no access to the internet, the same first aid information which is readily available to the world that has easy access to the internet.

What it does

MedicSMS empowers those in developing countries that have access to ordinary cell phones with the ability to obtain a first aid diagnosis and advice via SMS. Users simply text in their symptoms, and, using a combination of the Twilio and IBM Watson APIs, we translate the natural language SMS into a likely diagnosis. After a quick dialog of decisions, the user is presented with a suggested course of action as a series of steps for their specific condition. We request location information from the user so that the proper local authorities can both contact the aid the patient. This, location and symptom data can be provided to local charities to help track the spread of illness and disease in these locations.

Furthermore, we take into account the language of the user, using IBM Watson’s translation API. We detect the user’s natural language and respond to them accordingly.

How we built it

The core of MedicSMS is based on the Twilio and IBM Watson APIs. We use Twilio to receive and send SMS messages to our end users, while we use Watson’s natural language classifier to classify the symptoms of an individual and then recommend the best course of action. Our two different backend services are written in NodeJS and Python, while our frontend is using AngularJS, Google Maps API and CSS3. Our services are hosted on Heroku and Google App Engine.

We provide an interface for healthcare providers to allow additional asisstance where necessary
We provide an interface for healthcare providers to allow additional assistance where necessary

 

We detect the user's language, and reply accordingly
We detect the user’s language, and reply accordingly

Ref: DevPost

Help Desk Solutions – ZenDesk

Zendesk

Zendesk is software for better customer service. Zendesk brings all your customer conversations into one place. i.e.

EMAIL: Keep your email communication organized. Support unlimited email addresses in your Zendesk.

SOCIAL: Connect your Facebook and Twitter pages with Zendesk, and stay on top of all social conversations.
VOICE: Take customer calls in your Zendesk or route them to your mobile. All calls and voicemails are transcribed into tickets.
CHAT: Zopim Chat is a faster and more personal way for your customers to get real-time support from your agents.

Mohafiz – a life saving mobile app

Mohafiz is a life saving mobile application that allows you to broadcast a life-threatening situation to the people you choose as ‘In Case of Emergency (ICE)’ contacts through SMS, Facebook and Twitter.

mohafiz-life-saving-mobile-app

Features

Mohafiz and its features are response to the lack of infrastructure that our governments have when it comes to providing emergency support services. Mohafiz App has been developed by taking into account that it has all the features needed for the one facing grave situation.

1) Alerts through Text Messages.

You can broadcast the message for help through SMS message just at the press of a button.

2) Facebook and Twitter.

You can also broadcast the message for help using Facebook and Twitter at once if you have GPRS activated and the options enabled in the settings panel.

3) General / Specific Alert.

If you can’t name the emergency you are facing or don’t have time to do it, you can broadcast a General Distress Signal.

4) General Emergency Numbers.

Need help from emergency services? Our app contains phone book of all the Emergency Services within your city.

5) Power Button Alert.

Facing situation like don’t have time to open the application and send alert? This is the just right feature that was needed the most. You can send a Panic Alert just by double clicking the ‘Power Button’ of your cell phone.

6) Blood Donation.

Need some specific type of blood immediately? This feature helps you find the blood with specific type within your city no matter where you are in Pakistan.

7) News Feed

Stay up-to-date with every thing happening around whether its strike, incoming flood, riots etc through pop-up notifications.

About Mohafiz

Why?

Today, right at this moment, we are vulnerable to a number of threats.

From medical emergencies, house fires, road accidents, armed robberies to full blown terrorist attacks, and to top it all, we live in a third world country and like most third world countries there are some harsh realities of life. Our governments usually don’t have the funds to respond to each one of our emergencies in time due to lack of infrastructure, traffic jams, manpower limitations etc. More often than not, our loved ones, our family members, our neighbors, our friends and our colleagues are the ones who are willing to give up everything and come to our rescue but the problem is, how can we get them to know instantly that we are in trouble?

Solution.

With the Mohafiz mobile application,

We are not only encouraging people to become each other’s mohafiz, but we are making the process simpler, allowing people to reach out to one another just at the press of a button. When faced with a life-threatening emergency, such as being robbed at home or outside, a terrorist incident, a medical emergency or a car accident, use the Mohafiz App to alert your dependable loved ones that your life is in danger and you need their help urgently.

Introduction.

Mohafiz is a life saving mobile application,

that allows you to broadcast a life-threatening situation to the contacts you choose as ‘In Case of Emergency (ICE)’ contacts through SMS, Facebook and Twitter. These may be your immediate family members, your neighbors, friends, colleagues, people whom you know and trust that they will let go of anything at once to come to your assistance when you need it the most. In a world where emergency services are too few and too over burdened to effectively deal with the ever growing nature and number of emergencies that we face in our daily lives, it is ‘humanity’ we can trust. So that we can look at one another to provide all kind of mutual support in the hour of need.

[button color=”orange” size=”medium” link=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.humanetek.apps.muhafiz” icon=”” target=”true”]Download Android App[/button]

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