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Emails are no longer merely a tool for communication between people. I don’t know about you, but my inbox is full of emails, both automated and purposefully typed, from a ton of different contacts, websites and even a few junk senders. From the company that brought you Priority Inbox, a feature that detects which emails are important and presents them upfront, comes a “new inbox that puts you back in control”.

Several weeks back, Google unveiled their new tabbed Gmail inbox. It frames itself as an easy way of separate different types of emails into multiple tabs. Let’s take a look at what it’s all about. (more…)

Two years ago, we asked you what was your favorite social network. You split the vote almost exactly in thirds between Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, that is if you don’t include the 11% that said they can’t stand social networking.

It’s a different world today in many ways, but the tides really don’t seem to have changed that much in social networking. Google+, if anything, has continued to be less popular than Facebook and Twitter, despite its continued improvements. Facebook has continued to change its settings and design on a regular basis, but we all keep coming back to it since everyone else is there. And Twitter, despite shutting down most 3rd party apps, has continued to grow and dominate the public online conversation.

There’s other networks, of course. App.net was started to make a Twitter alternate that’s more developer friendly, and has turned into quite the nice network of its own. And blog platform Tumblr was bought out by Yahoo! not just because it’s a great place to start a blog, but also because it’s actually a social network of a sort. And that’s not all. Mobile messaging apps like Line have taken the world — or Asia at least — by storm, and are building up their own in-app social networks.

My personal loyalties lie divided between Twitter and App.net, and I only seldom use Facebook and nearly never use Google+. How about you? We’d love to hear what social networks you prefer in 2013.

You’ve likely already heard of App.net, the new paid social network that’s similar to Twitter, yet more developer friendly. App.net is something that I was cautious about trying. After all, a subscription is $36 a year. I wrestle with giving up any money on a monthly or annual basis, especially for a service that I don’t know will continue to be around.

That being said, I’m past my worrying. ADN is going to be here for a while, and I think there’s never been a better time to join (perhaps with the free accounts we’re giving away below). Here’s why.

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If you’ve ever wanted a way to make sure your music, videos, photos, and more are accessible wherever you are, but you didn’t want to use yet another cloud service, you’ve likely heard of Tonido. It’s an app that turns your computer into your own private cloud, one that we’ve looked at in the past here at AppStorm. It’s grown up since then, with a much cleaner design, and in the mean time an increasing number of companies have launched cloud services to let users store their media online.

We’ve had the chance recently to talk with Madhan Kanagavel, Tonido’s founder, about his company’s apps, devices, and the future of digital media. He brings an interesting perspective to the discussion on the future of the cloud, so this is one article you might want to save to your Instapaper queue to pore over later.

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The world is getting more data-driven every single day. Everyone wants to make more informed decisions based on data and not on gut feeling, and as such, dashboards are becoming ever more important. They convert tons of data into easily identifiable trends and patterns using charts that make sense to the naked eye.

This holds particularly true for web apps. Designing great reports and dashboards that help users make informed business decisions in quick time is increasingly becoming an aspect that can differentiate your web app from your competitor’s.

Here are 2 web apps that you could seek inspiration and learn best practices from when you are developing your web apps’ dashboard.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn needs no introduction. The world’s largest professional network has reports for a bunch of its tools, including its Group Statistics.

LinkedIn

This is one of the cleanest dashboards you will ever see. It splits the metrics into 4 tabs to break the info into digestible chunks, and mentions the top performers explicitly to give you a quick summary. They then add further detail and context to data using tooltips to display more information about a particular dataset.

ClickTale

ClickTale is a Web Analytics tool that that provides businesses with insights into their customers’ online behavior.

ClickTale

Their dashboard shows the most critical components upfront — Heatmaps, Search Recordings, Visitor Recordings, Conversion Funnel and Visitor Geolocations — and then you can drill-down into any of them for a closer look.

Want these reports for yourself?

While creating the right dashboard is a detailed process, it can be a lot simpler if you pick the right charting components. That is where FusionCharts, our sponsor this week, comes in. It is the charting partner for LinkedIn and ClickTale, and calls itself JavaScript charting for the grown-ups.

FusionCharts’ charts render seamlessly on all devices (PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, and Android devices) and browsers (including IE 6, 7 and 8). It takes just 15 minutes to create a chart and just a couple of hours to set up advanced reporting features like clickable legends, drill-down, export to PNG/JPEG/PDF, tooltips, visual data editing and more. The suite comes with 90+ chart types and 950+ maps, extensive documentation and plug-and-play dashboard demos. They also have a jQuery charting plugin.

All in all, it is used by 21,000 organizations and 450,000 developers, including some of the web’s most popular apps and a majority of Fortune 500 companies. It’s even being used at the Stanford Research Institute to design their workstation of the future. So why not use it to power the charts in your own app? Download a copy and try it out today.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

We’d like to say a special Thank You! to our sponsors from May. If you would like to feature your app on our site with an advertisement, be sure to check out our available slots on BuySellAds or register for a weekly sponsorship for your app.

If you haven’t already checked out our the great apps that sponsored our site last month, be sure to check them out now!

JotForm Instant

Making a contact form online is usually a tedious process, even if you’re using a form app. You’ll have to make an account, choose what you want on the form, and more. But no more. JotForm Instant is a new, free form tool that lets you make forms in 2 steps, no account required. Just pick the form template from over 2,500 templates, enter your email address, and share the link. That’s it!

It’s free for up to 100 entries/month, and is the quickest way to make a form online, period. It’s one web app you’ve got to try!

Talentguide

Talentguide is a hiring tool for selecting the best applicants for technical positions. It works great when you’re looking to build a developer team in-house but also when you’re looking to hire developers from sites like Elance, Freelancer or oDesk. That’s why the tool is being used successfully by enterprises like HubSpot, Ooyala or Oracle but also by small companies and individuals.

Next time you’re hiring, be sure to give Talentguide a try. It might be just the app you need.

Clickberry

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then surely a video is worth a few thousand. But sometimes, you still need to add more. Whether it’s the names of the people in your video clip, comments and highlights on special parts of the video, or links to sites mentioned in the video and social media buttons, there’s a lot extra you should be able to add to your videos. And now, with Clickberry, you can.

Clickberry lets you add those extras to your videos, and share them online with your audience. You can share the very best pieces of video – whether it’s top highlights, tagged friends, interesting things worth buying, or memorable moments. Curating and archiving the best video from around the web has never been easier.

Leftronic

Are you ready to have all your data in one place, so you can grow your business and take care of your customers? Are you tired of having to go to all your different web services to get to YOUR data? Then you need Leftronic to make a graphical dashboard that’ll show all of your team’s data in one place.

Leftronic makes it easy to build a dashboard with your key metrics. You can be up and running and tracking real-time data in just a few clicks.

And a special thanks to you, our Web.AppStorm readers, for reading and sharing our articles. We hope you continue to find our articles interesting and helpful!

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

The Internet has been a godsend to gaming. Having an infrastructure in place to connect multiple systems together for collaborative or co-operative play has made millions of hours of entertainment possible and verified the art as a viable social pastime. However, the Internet has brought with it some of the biggest controversies of the modern technology era.

Over even just the past few months, the industry has been alive with controversy over DRM, stability and other Internet-related worries and the announcement of Microsoft’s Xbox One last week has sparked the latest batch of discussion. Today we’re going to take a look at some of these controversies and how they might be affecting our gameplay. (more…)

We’ve run several roundups featuring “Tiny yet Useful” — those little apps that aren’t aren’t going to change your career, but they sure do help you out with some tiny part of your work. They might be tools that help you clean up your code, quickly share images, make invoices or resumes, or anything else.

Those roundups didn’t cover anywhere near all of the tiny apps that could be included. There’s dozens more that we’ve covered in our reviews, and there’s far too many tiny useful web apps out there to cover them all. And, we each have different needs, so some of us will find one tool infinitely useful while it’s not even interesting to another.

That’s why we’d like to hear about your favorite tiny yet useful web apps. These should be apps that you can use in less than a step or two, ideally ones that don’t require you to make an account and have few/no settings to tweak. They’re straightforward tools, like a screwdriver, that do one job well.

Which ones do you rely on?

Making a contact form online is usually a tedious process, even if you’re using a form app. You’ll have to make an account, choose what you want on the form, and more.

But no more. JotForm Instant, our sponsor this week, is a new, free form tool that lets you make forms in 2 steps, no account required. Just pick the form template, enter your email address, and share the link. That’s it!

JotForm Instant

You can choose from 2,500 ready-to-use templates for your form that’ll let you make contact forms, signup forms, job application forms, RSVP forms, lead generation forms, surveys, and more. There’s forms for almost anything you could think of. Then, you can either share the link to the form with your contacts, embed it in your site, or link to it with a button.

All of that, in just two simple steps. It couldn’t get simpler.

Go Make The Simplest Form You’ve Ever Made

You’ll have to try out JotForm Instant to see how simple it really is to use; it surprised me when I first tried it out. So go try it out, and you’ll have a form made in less than a minute. No joke.

Best of all, JotForm Instant is free for up to 100 form submissions/month, no registration needed. And, of course, no form building tools or web dev skills required. All you need is 2 clicks.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.

When Google announced it would be shutting down its Reader service on July 1 of this year, it left many customers of the popular RSS service feeling stranded. Many of the most popular alternatives, such as Feedly and The Old Reader, have had to beef up server capacity and bandwidth.

Meanwhile, other company’s, such as Digg, are planning their own upstarts to fill the void. In the meantime, customers have some time to experiment with various services and decide on which they wish to land. One of the newest is CommaFeed, which aims to be a complete alternative to Google Reader, but can also do a whole lot more in addition to being a simple web app. (more…)

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