iSigned for True Book Fans

One of the most common reasons many book lovers have continued to resist taking their libraries into the digital age has to do with the physicality of books. While paper can be burned as easily as a file can be deleted, many readers still appreciate the tactile nature of actual books. Beyond the smell and feel of an old edition, some readers enjoy being able to dog ear their favorite pages or underline their favorite passages. While apps like iBooks work hard to recreate the look and feel of actual books in digital form, even allowing readers to take notes and highlight text, you can’t exactly get your eBook signed by your favorite author. Until now.

isigned bookshelf

iSigned bookshelf

iSigned, an app for iOS, allows authors to sign their fans’ eBooks while preserving the DRM of those files. The color and thickness of the pen could be adjusted to customize signatures. Moreover these signatures can be saved for future use.

Users can also record and import video messages into the epub files, giving the whole thing an even more personal, not to mention future-looking, edge. Apps like this one will certainly play a key role in helping technologically inclined users transition into the Digital Age.

iSigned video message

iSigned video message

iSigned, for all its good intentions and originality, is poorly designed. I think this is the downside. Its drab aesthetic will certainly turn off users used to more sleek and modern apps. The background is gray and brown. The fonts and icons are dull and pixelated around the edges. I like to see an update with improvements in these key areas.

Now, every new idea must be tested in the market to be perfected. While iSigned is definitely a forward-thinking app that will doubtless inspire a slew of clones and competitors, the app still has a long way to go. If you’re a true book fan and want your eBooks signed badly enough, iSigned can impress you. This free app requires 4.2 or later. The “Try It” pack can be purchased for $0.99.

NARR8 – Your Extended Library on iPad

Are you bored out of existence at your uncle’s party and long to delve into the magic world of comics?? Are you longing to enter the comic world of monsters and heroes, but your mother is weary of you for constantly burying yourself in your favorite books??  Here to the rescue is NARR8, an app designed exclusively to cater to the reading desires of the genx. It is a unique channel for knowledgeable, delightful and an enriching experience of a new series of dynamic comics and fiction and nonfiction graphic novels.

An entertaining app, NARR8 is available for free on the app store link. Developed by NARR8 Limited, it supports English and Russian languages. With a space requirement of 9.7 MB, it requires an iOS of 5.1 or later. Its latest version being 1.0.3 is found to be compatible with iPad.

NARR8 Fable

NARR8 Fable

Its features include rich and interactive series of your favorite comics as you watch them coming alive on your iPad screens with an unparalleled, exceptional use of animation, HD audio and special effects with a rich and overflowing variety of themes like mythology, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, world history and more. It offers new episodes on every update. With an interactive and user-friendly environment, it charms its viewers and keeps its readers hanging onto it.

NARR8 app, when first installed lists only the available series of comic strips and motion novels with short stream review videos and user ratings, enhancing the compatibility factor. Once you have listed out your choice, you get subscribed to it and you can then download the series. Though each episode of the series comes as a new update, it cannot be deleted individually. The series can only be removed as and when desired, along with all its related contents.

Navigation through the comic is a child’s play. You can move on to the next frame of the picture by tapping an arrow in the lower right corner of the screen. Further, the table of contents opens up, by tapping in the top right corner and at the top left corner you have the option to return to the main NARR8 screen.

NARR screenshot

NARR screenshot

The sound quality and transition between the frames is presentable and a pleasure to the ears. The visual quality created by its artists is worth praise with clear, concise images, no blurriness even on zooming in, for further enlargement of the pictures. You can also keep an update about your friends’ latest reading mania through facebook and twitter and also share the episodes that you are currently reading.

As said, a man comes with his success and failures; similarly this app is not without its cons. Though the app NARR8 provides you with an option of sharing your current progress with your peers, but its automatic updates sometimes goes beyond the comfort zone. The problem that you can face sometimes is that, if for an example you are reading a comic strip, the app may update it, say, thrice on your facebook page, with its automated generated comments. While you may not have such good views about the particular comic, but its restricted area of comments may prevent you from voicing your opinions.

An entertaining, educational mobile app, NARR8, delivers something different, unique in its field, and out of the box, innovative sci-fi, goosebumps, mild cartoons, violent, love stories. It is a mode of delivering the comic maniacs with their regular dose of delightful stories, articles and motion comics.

Though a NARR8, it might as well tap some of its features on a chargeable basis, as the current increasing user ratings and reviews shows. Summing up, it can be said that this app is a welcome wonderland for all its avid readers.

Sleep by MotionX Lets You Sleep in Peace

Sleeping at the correct time, waking up at the correct time, being fresh when you wake up and having proper sleep patterns have always been difficult issues in everybody’s life. MotionX now brings out an app to bring you the perfect solution to all your problems. The new app called Sleep answers all these questions to get you the perfect sleep that you would want to experience. This app is the result of seven years of research on biomechanics, focusing on human motions. This app combines the effectiveness of sleep patterns, human motions and heart rate regulation to get you peaceful and sufficient sleep.

It provides you a cent percent solution to a number of problems. First of all, it detects your heartbeat using your fingerprints and the camera of your iPhone. This helps to track your heart beat when you sleep. Keeping your heart beat in check, this app can present graphs of the record of your heartbeat. With the record of your resting heart, this app in your iPhone can determine your sleep patterns. It can find out your times of deep sleep and light sleep. It puts you to sleep by playing your favorite music, and this music goes off on its own, just when you fall asleep. In this way, you can monitor your sleep cycles.

Sleep app screenshot

Sleep app screenshot

The app comprehends when you have had your full cycle of sleep and wakes you up when you have had the optimum amount of sleep and wakes you up with an alarm tone that is your favorite in all the music pieces in your iPad. This intelligent alarm sets off when you have had sufficient sleep and can be snoozed or stopped at your desired time. Moreover, this app keeps you active throughout the day. You can keep track of how many calories you lose and in case you remain idle for too long, you will be energized through an active alert. This regulates your body activities throughout the day.

Clock in Sleep app

Clock in Sleep app

So, with this new app, sold by Fuller Technologies, you can experience the optimum amount of sleep. You can wake up fresh in the mornings and have an active and energized day to make it perfect. This app is compatible with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It requires a minimum of an iOS 4.3 or even higher. This app is made available to you at a price of $2.99. It is suitable best for your iPhone 5. This phone, however, cannot be placed on hard flooring like a wooden surface when you sleep, since the app catches the sound of the vibration of the wood and records it along with your resting heart beat patterns. For this reason, an inappropriate result is obtained. So the user should be careful while placing the iPhone before going to sleep. Also, if a GPS system is continuously used along with this app, it leads to a loss of battery life.

With Sleep by MotionX, the user can be totally comfortable while sleeping and wake up fresh in the morning to have an active day.

Squrl – Watch Online Videos on iPhone

For iOS users familiar with applications like Flipboard, an RSS reader that turns your feeds into the digital equivalent of a glossy magazine, curated content provides an interesting conundrum. On the one hand, wading through the ever-growing sea of digital content to find the few pieces of media that actually interest you can be daunting and time-consuming. Content is sometimes restricted to certain sites and full access will many times require a paid subscription. On the other hand, many sites that claim to grant access to a wide array of content inevitably lack access to something you didn’t know you wanted until you found out you couldn’t have it. Netflix doesn’t have television shows that are currently airing. Hulu requires a paid subscription to view older episodes of your favorite series. So, you end up splitting your time between apps that seek to bring everything to one place, and the web at large where you have to search for the specific content those apps inevitably leave out.

Squrl video gallery

Squrl video gallery

Squrl is a video search engine that allows you to view and search for videos on YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, as well as other online content providers like CBS, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. While using Squrl to search for videos from content providers whose apps you probably already have running on your device may seem redundant, Squrl hopes to endear you to its platform by virtue of its channels which provide curated content.

Since you need a Hulu and Netflix account to access their content on Squrl, users probably won’t be deleting those accounts anytime soon. Still, having everything in one place can be nice. Search “Family Guy” and Squrl will pull up everything. Free clips from YouTube, interviews with the creators from Vimeo or Daily Motion, and full episodes from Hulu and Netflix. Play a video and you can still browse the other clips that your search pulled up, or open the sidebar and scroll through videos in an entirely different channel.

Squrl channels

Squrl channels

But this is where Squrl’s focus on curated content becomes a bit of an issue. This app works a whole lot better when you browse through the content it offers rather than trying to search for specific videos on your own. Family Guy clips from YouTube had ridiculously distracting, and infuriating, banner ads for Hulu, where the clips must be originally hosted. Want to watch a full episode on Netflix? Well, now you have to leave the app to login to your account in Safari. Of course, why go through all of that when you can just use the free app which, while not without its own peculiarities, is obviously the better choice for viewing Netflix content?

Unfortunately, this issue doesn’t even begin to sum up what’s wrong with the Squrl app. While clips from E! Online loaded quickly and played in beautiful high-definition, as of the time of this review, clips from Funny or Die loaded without the video, playing only the audio portion of the clips. Videos from some channels were in high-definition, while others played at a terrible resolution even though the bandwidth was the same. And without the option to set the quality of the video, users with slow connections will have to wait for large high-definition videos to load, while users with great connections will have to watch low-quality videos from several of the channels for no apparent reason.

Whatever Squrl was trying to bring to the already saturated video player app market is overshadowed by its few simple, but significant, flaws.

Discover New Places with Facearound

Facearound, an app developed by a team of Italy’s Business Competence is a platform for social networking, for a viral reach of exchanges among friends in the networking arena.  An app built to cater to the need of being connected with the world, provides an opportunity to promote a local deal or an activity. Its sharing mechanism plus the huge extension of the Facebook database is an interesting concept, a new idea for extending your customers. Testable for free until the end of 2012, the deal tailor-made Facearound app will be available on subscription quarterly, semi-annually or annually, starting from 3 to 5 Euros, per month.

Facearound an app conceived for iPad and iPhone users provides a platform for sharing reviews and discovering the high and lows of the places around you. Following the advices of your Facebook friends and other users, you can be judgmental in your opinion about the shops, bars, restaurants and others.  Take advantage of the offers, deals, events and discounts laid by shopkeepers and your service providers, be the first to enjoy the unique deals provided.

Facearound reviews section

Facearound reviews section

Are you at head logs with your companion on an outing trip regarding a conflict of choices? Read the tips and comments of your Facebook friends and other users. You can also write your own reviews and publish ratings. Facearound lets you explore everything around you, i.e. besides the shops and restaurants, it also fills you on the nearby florists, cobblers, a stationary or a gift shop to buy a present for a friend. Thanks to geolocalization, it knows about your location and serves as an ideal guide to places and things. Also, you can just scroll the map if you want to explore a different zone or city. Ratings and tips by others prove as an excellent resource for sightseeing and updated information on places in a foreign land. Highlighted with different colors, it brings to your notice the different aspects of your field of interest, like locating places on the map proves to be easier and efficient with this unique feature.

Facearound Maps

Facearound Maps

The app works based on the following mechanism: – when you select a location or type it in the search box, you will be provided with all the nearby venues like shopping malls, coffee shops, restaurants, etc. You have to tap on one of them to discover the details about it. It may also be a discount offer like a 10% off on a piece of clothing in reputed merchandise. Accordingly, all the places will be marked with different colors symbolizing a discount tag or a review.

With a space requirement of 18.8 MB, Facearound requires iPhone and iPad with iOS 4.3 or later. It supports English, German, Spanish and Northern Sami. This app is optimized for iPhone 5. This app is a geo location service, similar to Google maps, one on which you can count on, as a reliable guide.