I remember as a teenager the first time I tried to make myself a mix tape, and how cool it was. Then I started making them for my mom and girls that I had crushes on, only to realize that it wasn’t really impressing the ladies. Boy, were those some good memories.
Yes, making mix tapes are a thing of the past, but you can relive that past with a web app called Mixtaping.fm. It’s a great way to take the concept of tape mixing into the digital age. Who knows, it could even score you some points with the ladies this time around. If nothing else, the nostalgia factor is definitely worth trying out the app.
Yahoo! hasn’t had a ton of good press in recent times, but yesterday, they introduced something pretty interesting: Yahoo! Axis. Axis is a browser “platform” that builds upon your existing app with new search tools on desktop, and a brand new app on iOS (both iPhone and iPad). Yahoo! claims Axis redefines “what it means to search and browse the web”, while its actually providing some similar tools to what Google’s offered in the search engine for some time. With Axis, you can access trending searches (through Yahoo!, of course), as well as start your own in an Google-style instant search.
In the iOS app, Yahoo! brings a completely independent browser app that features similar tools to Axis on the desktop, as well as all the standard functions of any browser app. While that exists, we’ll, of course, be focusing on the desktop browser extension today.
There’s dozens of writing apps out there, ranging from the basic plain text editors built into your OS to advanced note apps that can store all your text notes, as well as PDFs and a zillion other things. Even if you’re looking for a minimalist writing app, there’s so many right now, it’s hard to choose the best one.
A native app for plain text writing will usually let you edit any plain text file on your computer, and save new or edited files in any folder as you’d expect. You can then copy the file onto a flash drive, edit it in another app, post it on your website, or anything else you want. That’s the beauty of plain text: it works anywhere, and you’ll never have to worry about losing what you wrote as long as you have the files.
Most writing apps online, however, store your text in their own database, making it hard to save what you’ve written as a plain text file and almost impossible to sync to your computer and edit in other apps without resorting to copy and paste. TextDrop is a new web app that turns this totally around, letting you edit and create plain text files in your Dropbox account, right in your browser. All your files are safe and synced with Dropbox, and you’ve got all the benefits of a minimalist writing app in your browser. It’s like a writer’s dream come true.
One of the things I’m glad to see the web has made easier over time is eCommerce for independent creatives like artisans, artists, designers, photographers, bands, writers et al. Innovations like Paypal, Square, and Kickstarter have paved the way for people to make money or raise funds for projects online by selling their creations without the need for a physical storefront.
Gumroad takes things one step further – removing the need for an eCommerce site. The app allows you to sell anything that you can share online – such as pictures, videos, music or documents – with just a link. It’s easy enough for just about anyone to use and looks great. Let’s try hawking our wares to see if we can really get rich quickly!
Learning a new language can be one of the most difficult tasks you could undertake, but it’s also one of the more rewarding educational experiences possible. You’ll have to relearn that you think to really be able to speak a language fluently, but then, you’ll get to open your horizons to a whole new world of media and society with your newfound language skills.
If only learning languages was easier, perhaps more of us would give it a try. I personally moved from the US to Thailand when I was 11. I was fully immersed in Thai, and yet even at that young age, I found it extremely difficult to learn Thai. Over a decade later, I still struggle to sound anything like natural in Thai.
There’s no way we can make learning a language as simple as installing a new app in our brains, but perhaps innovative apps could make the task a bit simpler and more fun. That’s exactly what Duolingo set out to do.
Lately, I have really started to get into listening to podcasts, especially tech and productivity ones. They are great for my long commutes to and from work, and a good break from the constant negativity that is out there on talk radio.
I also find that I am also listening to my podcasts at home as well and soon realized that it was starting to take up a lot of space on my iPhone. That is when I stumbled upon a web app called Flapcast. The easiest way to sum it up is that it is basically cloud storage for your podcasts. Let me show you what I am talking about.