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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Tablets are being used in all industries for a variety of well-deserved reasons, including in consumer-facing businesses which can utilise the interactivity that a tablet could provide to present information to customers. However, the expense of time, money and resources has always been set fairly high, perhaps high enough to push businesses away from the idea or to simply block them off from being able to even think about doing so.

That’s where Showcase Workshop comes in, a web app all about creating interactive presentations and then distributing them amongst your organisation. Let’s take a look. (more…)

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.

Recently, Google rolled out All Access to its year old Google Music service. But with so many streaming music services out there, should music lovers even care? Actually, they should. In fact, perhaps they should rejoice!

Having used the service since inception, I am now convinced that the search giant may just have found a way to steal this industry as well. Those are big words, given that the likes of iTunes, Pandora and Spotify would like to compete for your dollars in a fair market battle. But Google Music is great, and All Access just turns it up to 11.

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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…)

Television watching continues to evolve and we are starting to see a movement towards it becoming more social than ever before. Apps are being used as what are called “second screens”, where people can interact about a show on their iPad while they are watching it on their tv. I truly believe that over the next couple of years we will start to continue to see an even bigger change in the television set itself as well as the way we watch shows and movies on it. With the advent of the Apple TV and Airplay, you can already start to see how the TV is becoming more than just a place where we sit to watch our favorite show or play video games.

To continue some of the nostalgia of it all, how many of you are old enough to remember what the paper version of the TV Guide used to be? I remember as a kid searching that thing weekly to see when my shows were going to be on for the week. Now, it is a relic and has been replaced in a variety of ways. One of them is a web app that I am going to be reviewing today called Next Guide. It takes parts of the old and mixes it with the new and tosses in some social features.

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Design, of course, is a hugely important part of a website. As a population, online visitors are extremely fickle, and the smallest mistake in usability will have them clicking elsewhere.

What about after the design phase, though? Yes, design is obviously important, but just as important is the admin area of your site. Choose the wrong system, and you’re stuck with a frustrating, time-consuming mess to deal with every time you want to make even the most minor of alterations to your site.

Barley is a new, hosted CMS which is trying to cut out that kind of pain from post-design website management. At $18 per month, Barley sounds pricey in comparison with other simple-to-use hosted website editors like Weebly and Moonfruit. The suggestion made by Plain, Barley‘s developer, however, is that its creation (still in private beta) is a whole new level of simple, featuring a purely inline, click-and-edit methodology, when it comes to content manipulation.

But is less hassle worth a greater investment? Time to edit a website or two…

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A well-liked web clipping application known as “Clipboard” was acquired a couple of weeks back which resulted in the discontinuation of the service on 30th June, 2013. It is a common phenomenon that users start panicking when an online service is bought as they start apprehending the fact that it will be closed by the new possessors. The users start to backup all the stuff and hunt for other worthy alternatives to switch to. It’s because of all the past experiences with the most popular being the Posterous acquisition.

Since the announcement of the demise of Clipboard, a new Hamburg-based startup, Keeeb, has become the center of attraction for all the Clipboard users as they have started working to make the most out of Clipboard’s imminent closure. If you are a former Clipboard user looking for a replacement, Keeeb might be just what you need. (more…)

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