Best of AppStorm in February

We’ve collected the top four reviews, roundups and how-to articles from across the AppStorm network in February. Whether you’re interested in Mac, iPhone, Web, Android, Windows, or iPad apps, there’s bound to be something you didn’t spot over the course of the month. Now would be a good time to explore a part of the AppStorm Network you’ve never seen before!

Thanks for reading AppStorm, and I hope you enjoy looking over some of our favourite posts from last month!

Best of Android.AppStorm

20+ Apps to Consolidate Your Life in the Cloud

With so many social networks and cloud storage services out there, it can become ridiculously hard to manage them all. Many of us are trying to be everywhere at once, while others just wish everyone else would make up their minds where the best virtual hangout is. Some are torn between their Facebook and Twitter friends, or can’t decide whether to post that photo on Instagram or Photobucket. It can all become overwhelming very fast.

Fortunately, a number of developers have had these same thoughts and aimed to help consolidate your life in the cloud. There are apps that help you post to multiple networks at the same time, apps that let you see all your friends social activity in one place, apps that help you collaborate with colleagues regardless of what tools they choose, and even apps to help you keep your own content in order. This post will highlight a few of these to help you make the most of your life in the cloud.

Movie Mate Pro Makes Finding and Tracking Movies a Breeze

I love watching movies. I have a pretty decent collection, reference movies often, and always have a list of movies I want to see — both old and new. Just recently I noticed my brother updating a list on his phone of movies he’d like to see while we were watching previews in the theater. He was using a simple text file, but I started to wonder what kind of apps existed to do just that. Then Rita told me about Movie Mate Pro [Editor note: you're welcome!].

10 Fabulous Fashion Apps for Your Style

While there are apps we can’t live without, there are others that exist to simply entertain and delight the senses. Such is the case with apps for beauty, fashion and shopping. If you’re into any of these and own an Android device, then this article is for you. In this roundup, we picked out ten excellent fashion apps to match your personal style.

Why the New Flavor of Jelly Bean Might Be the Best Android Yet

From the release of the Nexus 7 in the summer to a whole line of Nexus products in the fall, Android has come a long way in the past year. Sadly, hurricane Sandy struck the USA’s East Cost right when Google wanted to proudly unveil their newest line-up, so their announcement was restricted to mass e-mails and an online launch.

Alongside the Nexus 7, Google launched the Nexus 10, a 10-inch NVIDIA Tegra 3 powered tablet, and the Nexus 4, a 4-inch smartphone with a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. To support these devices, the company “refreshed” Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, giving it a version bump to 4.2, while retaining the Jelly Bean codename. Want to find out the improvements done? Read on.

Best of iPad.AppStorm

Innovative Task Management in Daily Routine

I work from home, and that requires a lot of discipline. Without a boss looking over my shoulder, it’s easy to check the clock and realize I’ve spent the day watching reruns of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I need to stick to a schedule, and I’m the first to admit I need some help with that.
Enter Daily Routine, a time management app that’s all about customization, and I can create as many different routines as I need for all my different activities. Will all that customization, not to mention the very distinct Daily Routine interface, just end up getting in my way, or is this the thing to get me on track?

USA Today Gets a Fantastic Face Lift

I’m going to level with you here: I get most of my news from Facebook and Twitter. That’s not to say I don’t use legitiment news sources; I follow CNN, Breaking News, NY Post and USA Today, and will visit BBC News when I’m fed up with all of those. What I’m saying is I don’t use apps or regularly visit websites to read the news. However, when I’m using my iPad, my news source of choice is the beautifully redesigned USA Today for iPad app.

Let’s find out more after the break.

Do it Like Anthony Bourdain with Travel Channel Layover Guide

Have you ever found yourself between flights in a foreign city with several hours to explore but no idea what to do? It’s easy to be overwhelmed and end up wasting hours standing in line with thousands of other tourists. Avoid the lines and explore the city like a local using Travel Channel Layover Guide with Anthony Bourdain’s favorite places to eat, drink and stay. This engaging app is full of videos, photos, maps and contact information to inspire you and help you plan. Don’t just stand on the sidelines and watch – create your own layover itinerary by adding timelines, photos, notes and mapped locations.

Don’t waste precious time on the touristy destinations during your next layover. Read on to learn more about making every second in a foreign city count with Travel Channel Layover Guide.

Rise: A Minimal & Intuitive Alarm Clock

When I take a moment to think about the number of devices my iPad and iPhone have replaced, it’s quite impressive. With these two devices I no longer need an MP3 player, camera, camcorder, GPS device, voice recorder, flashlight, calendar, calculator, dictionary, notepad, address book or guitar tuner. Another device that my iPad has replaced is nearly everyone’s least favorite device — the alarm clock.

I’ve tried third-party alarm clock apps like Alarm Clock HD and iHome+Sleep, but found the first-party Clock app provided a better overall experience. With that said, Rise Alarm Clock by Simplebots recently caught my eye with it’s gorgeous design and intuitive interface, and I wondered if it could be my go to alarm clock app. Find out the answer to that question after the jump.

Best of Windows.AppStorm

The Elder Scrolls Online: Can Bethesda break the MMO Stalemate?

The Elder Scrolls Online: Can Bethesda break the MMO Stalemate?

In 2004, Blizzard released what has probably been their most prolific and most successful game to date, it is of course none other than the fantasy MMORPG World of Warcraft. Love it or hate it, the impact that the game has had on the MMO scene has been astronomical, not only pushing its predecessor titles into irrelevance, but managing to rack up an absolutely massive eleven million subscribers at its peak.

Even nine years after its release, WoW continues to dominate thanks to a steady content stream from developer Blizzard Entertainment, which has proven successful in keeping the fans satiated, and more importantly, paying.

Mouse Without Borders: 2 PCs, 1 Mouse

Mouse Without Borders: 2 PCs, 1 Mouse

Looking for an easy way to control two or more computers with a single mouse and keyboard? A little while ago we looked at look at Multiplicity which enables you to do just this, but Microsoftís Mouse Without Borders adds handy extra options.

The app is free of charge and can be used to control up to four computers that are on the same network with a single set of peripherals. But the clincher? Thereís also a shared clipboard so you can copy and paste text and files between machines.

A Quick Tour of Office 365 Home Premium

A Quick Tour of Office 365 Home Premium

Microsoft recently pushed out its latest version of Office. The app suite had been available in public beta for sometime, but nobody seemed to realize exactly what the company had in mind for the final release. Well, on January 29th the world found out and it was bit different from what most users were expecting.

First, the suite was released as not just Office 2013, but also as Office 365 Home Premium. While Office 2013 comes as traditional desktop software and in several different versions like Home and Student, Home and Office and Professional, it is an expensive suite and can only be used on one computer.

6 Tweaks for Your New Windows 8 Installation

6 Tweaks for Your New Windows 8 Installation

ìOur dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.î ñ Sydney J Harris

I donít think I am the only one who agrees with the quote above. Windows 7ís successor, Windows 8, was released some while ago and chances are, you either really donít like the system or you absolutely love it.

Good odds are also that you are having a hard time learning or adapting to the whole new interface. There are so many new features in your new operating system that you might have not discovered or simply didnít know it existed. This article will mostly consist some essential tips on basic features that you should learn and get used to.

Best of iPhone.AppStorm

Polyvore: Fashion Design on the Go

If you’ve never been to the Polyvore website, it’s a bit like Pinterest, but just for fashion (because there aren’t enough people posting pictures of fancy clothes on Pinterest as far as I’m concerned). Users create fashion collage boards called sets, pieced together from articles of clothing they find on Polyvore and elsewhere on the Internet.

This already sounds like the best site ever, right? Random people on the internet using the tools of high fashion to create their own works of clothing art, with sometimes lovely and sometimes dismal results. But it gets better, because you can get all this on your phone, too! Let’s take a look at the Polyvore iOS app and see if it can measure up to its web app big sister.

Document Your Day With Lightt

Like it or loathe it, the increased desire to document and share each and every aspect of daily life is here to stay, with Instagram, Hipstamatic and a whole host of photo sharing clones dominating the App Store year after year. As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. But what if you’d like to say just that little bit more?

Enter Lightt, an app which captures normal day-to-day activities via a series of photographs that are then merged together to create a seamless visual timeline of your life. Sound interesting? Hit the jump to find out more!

Do it Like Anthony Bourdain With Travel Channel Layover Guide

Have you ever found yourself between flights in a foreign city with several hours to explore but no idea what to do? It’s easy to be overwhelmed and end up wasting hours standing in line with thousands of other tourists. Avoid the lines and explore the city like a local using Travel Channel Layover Guide with Anthony Bourdain’s favorite places to eat, drink and stay. This engaging app is full of videos, photos, maps and contact information to inspire you and help you plan. Don’t just stand on the sidelines and watch – create your own layover itinerary by adding timelines, photos, notes and mapped locations.

Don’t waste precious time on the touristy destinations during your next layover. Read on to learn more about making every second in a foreign city count with Travel Channel Layover Guide.

Vine: Here’s the Thing

I need another social network in my life like I need a hole in my head. Let’s just get that out of the way right now: there’s no need for another Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr in my life, not when Pinterest, LinkedIn and even the new MySpace want a piece of my time. No, I’m fine with what I’ve got, thank you very much.

Then there’s Vine. At first, my usual “meh” response was triggered, but then I started learning more. Vine was recently acquired by Twitter, giving some legitimacy to the fledgling service. People have also used the service for a wide variety of things, including movies. So what allure does it have for me? Let’s find out.

Best of Web.AppStorm

How to Download – and Use – Your Twitter Archive

Twitter can be addictive. Once you get started with writing tweets, it can be difficult to stop. Unlike other social networks, Twitter has a wider sense of community outside of your own friends, largely because of the way hashtags can be used to comment on events as they happen and browse through tweets relating to a particular subject. Plus, it’s rather simple to churn out dozens of 140 character messages.

Whether you have been using Twitter for a few months or a few years, you may be surprised at just how many words you have put online through the service. Recently, Twitter announced plans for a feature many people had been asking for – downloading your Twitter archives.

Here’s how you can grab yours, and what you can do with it.

The Failure of the Cloud

Ever seen a device advertised as coming with extra “cloud” storage? Depending on what device you buy, you’ll get 5-50Gb of free storage in iCloud, Skydrive, Box.net, Dropbox, Google Drive, or any number of other online storage services. Gmail amazed us all when it offered 1Gb inboxes when it first came out, but today, it seems that everyone is offering tens of gigs of storage for free, and ever-larger amounts for basic paid accounts.
And yet, when the Microsoft Surface Pro came out, everyone was dumbfounded to find it had so little local storage space free. It was advertised as coming with 10Gb of free online storage, so shouldn’t that help?
As anyone who’s use online storage enough knows, free online storage won’t help anything.

Manage Projects Easily With Do.com

There are many ways you can organize your tasks, be it on your own or with a group of people. From simple to-do apps like Wunderlist to full-featured ones like Flow and Producteev, there’s always something for any sort of task or project. If you haven’t found one that works for you, then Do.com is one that you should be sure to check out.

Do.com is a web app for managing multiple tasks and projects using a simple and intuitive interface, from the Salesforce team. While it can be great for collaborating with a team, I found that it’s just as good when you’re working on your own.

Typeform: A Brilliant New Online Form Tool

It really shouldn’t be that hard to make a form to get feedback online. You just need a way to ask some questions, let people choose from multiple choice options and perhaps add their own feedback, and then let you easily get the data for your own analysis. There’s a ton of tools: Google Spreadsheets, Wufoo, Polldaddy, and more.

Plenty of them are decently easy to use to make forms, but usually they’re confusing and frustrating for users wanting to give feedback. On a computer, they’ll take a ton of back-and-forth between the mouse and keyboard to get the form filled out, and on mobile devices they can be maddeningly difficult to get filled out on a touch screen without tapping the wrong button.

Typeform, a new tool for creating online forms, might just be what we’ve been waiting for. It’s still in beta, but is far more interesting than any other online form tool we’ve ever seen. Here’s why.

Best of Mac.AppStorm

MultiMarkdown Composer 2: Editing Just Got Smarter

When I first discovered Markdown and shortly thereafter MultiMarkdown, I instantly fell in love. Almost overnight, my writing workflows and tools were transfigured. They became more streamlined and ubiquitous.

Therefore, when news surfaced that Fletcher Penny was readying the release of MultiMarkdown Composer 2, I was antsy to get my hands on it. The wait was a long one… but well worth it!

PopClip: The Unexpectedly Awesome Productivity Tool

There’s two kinds of Mac users: the ones who love the iOS-style simplification that’s come to OS X in recent years, and the older-school Mac users who love the keyboard shortcuts, automation, scripting, terminal, and more that make OS X one of the most powerful – and productive – operating systems on the market. These two camps seldom find common ground.

When PopClip first came out, I tried it out, but decided I vastly preferred tried-and-true keyboard shortcuts, and uninstalled the trial. It just wasn’t for me, and felt like iOS eye candy compared to what I was used to.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that PopClip is quite the productivity tool these days, one that geeks and everyone else can love. What made the difference? Extensions.

Organize Your Tasks With Cheddar

Sometimes it feels like a day doesn’t go by without the release of another app in the over-saturated to-do list category. I’ve used Things to organize my life since it was first introduced, and I’ve stuck with it through the years, even despite the developers’ embarrassingly long delay for proper cloud syncing. My loyalty to Things has always been shaky, which has kept me experimenting with it’s many competitors.

I recently tried out Cheddar to see if it could replace Things as my go-to organization tool on my Mac. Here’s how that worked out.

Take Care of Your Taxes with TurboTax 2012

For people like me that hate paperwork, tax season can be a terrifying time of year. The tediousness of entering a slew of financial information and the fear of a potential audit makes the whole process one that I dread. For the past few years, I’ve been content to just dedicate a weekend to organizing my information and doing it all myself via the TurboTax website. When I saw that TurboTax offered a desktop version of their service via the Mac App Store, I decided to use it this year instead of the web app.
How does the app stack up against its own web-version and the competition?

Share Your Ideas

Is there something in particular you’d like to see on the site next month? We’d absolutely love to hear your suggestions for articles, topics and giveaways. Just let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading AppStorm!


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