Make Life Simpler and Organized with Speaktoit Assistant

Speaktoit Assistant is a new app that was created to make your life simpler and more organized. Speaktoit makes voice-controlled apps and interfaces, and its Assistant is a prime example of this. The first thing that you need to do before using this app is create an account. The alternative is to use your Facebook account to log in. If you just want the app’s basic services, you can download it for free, but there is a small charge to upgrade should you want premium version.

Your first time using the app, your personal assistant will greet you and ask for your name. She will also let you know that if you would like to change hers, you can at any time. After introductions are out of the way, she shows you a quick tutorial detailing how to use the app and what it will be doing for you.

After the tutorial is complete, your assistant will go to work for you. An avatar for your assistant is prominently displayed on the screen, and below it, text balloons come up any time you speak a command or your assistant responds to one. On the bottom of the screen, there are five buttons: a mute button to quiet your assistant, a button that will let you put in commands via text rather than voice, the microphone button which allows you to speak whatever command you like, a skills button, and a button to change the app’s settings. The skills button is especially useful; when you press it, all of the possible commands that you can give your assistant are listed, and tapping on any of them will show you an example of the command so that you know exactly what it does. You have the option of changing the avatar of your assistant. You can make them male or female, pick the clothes that they wear, or change their hair color and style, eyes, nose, and mouth, just to name a few. It could be as though you fired and re-hired a new, fully trained assistant every day!

Speaktoit Assistant

There are many different things that Speaktoit Assistant can take care of for you. Whether you want to do web searches for information, get maps, see the latest news headlines, check your stocks, or update your Facebook status, your assistant can help you. There are many other tasks that Speaktoit Assistant can handle, and it tends to do so very effectively, save for the occasions where it doesn’t understand what you are saying, in which case you usually just need to slow down and speak more clearly. Now the only downside here: Siri can perform most all of these functions as well. The good news, though, is that Speaktoit Assistant tends to do them a bit faster, where Siri often has to think for a while. The standout feature in Speaktoit Assistant is the translation function. When you ask Siri to translate something, she usually just does a web search, and the translation is rarely displayed in the results. Your assistant quickly shows you the actual translation, no sorting through website descriptions needed. I tried many different phrases in probably around 10 languages, and had no problems whatsoever.

Speaktoit Assistant also has a conversation mode that simplifies its use a bit. You only need to press the microphone button once, and your assistant will activate it any time it’s needed again for the duration of that conversation. This is helpful when trying to get to the desired end result after giving a command, and can also be fun when just pointlessly conversing with your assistant.

The premium version costs $5.99 for the lifetime membership, or $2.99 per month. Seeing as it pays for itself in two months, it makes a bit more sense to go with the lifetime membership. There are a number of additional features you get for the price, a few of which are different voice options for your assistant (Male or Female, and you can select different accents), activating your assistant by voice, and having the app free of ads.

And lastly, there is mention in the app of your assistant learning in two ways. One, by way of the developer continuing to “teach” it how to more effectively respond to commands, and two, by learning from interacting with you on a daily basis. This, however, is what I’ll call “educated speculation”, as the app hints at this, but doesn’t come out and say it.

Speaktoit Assistant has a lot of useful features, and executes them well. The conversation mode keeps it simple by reducing the number of times that you need to press buttons, which is good seeing as this is a predominantly voice-controlled app. The translation function is probably the coolest part of all, with quick and (I’m assuming, since I don’t speak most of the 10 languages that I tried) accurate responses.  It might be nice to have some additional features that set this apart from Siri.

Speaktoit Assistant is a function-rich app that makes performing a number of tasks very easy. Of course, Siri can do a lot of these things as well, but Speaktoit Assistant by and large accomplishes them more quickly and accurately. And seeing as the basic version won’t cost you anything, you should at least check it out to see if it works for you.

Hirred – Land a Job with a Video Clip

It sounds strange, but yes, in this day and age of technology driven business, we find that networking has found a stronghold in cyberspace.  Up until now, this online networking, linking, sharing and job hunting has been based on static data that is two-dimensional.  Close your eyes and imagine being able to bring your job to life through a short 30-second video clip that speaks to the value of your task.  Imagine the interest you could incite in that short amount of time.  More than you could ever imagine with paragraphs or words or pictures.  Imagine now, being able to find such an opportunity, and respond in kind with an equally riveting “show” about yourself, that sparks interest to learn more. 

Employers and potential candidates cannot say all there is to say about a job or about their credentials in just 30 seconds.  However, both parties can make a huge impression in that same amount of time.  The right words, the right gestures, the right props – it all makes a difference.  It can set the right tone, and invite enough interest to make an employer want to learn more and possibly hire. It might make what otherwise would sound like a dull job into an exciting opportunity. 

Using video clips is monumentally ingenious in the space of employment.  Up until now all we have been able to look at is words.  After a while, words all look the same.  Every job you seek that may be in the same category end up looking the same.  The same applies to job candidates and resumes.  How many times have you looked at resumes for people looking for a particular field, only to find that the same descriptions and qualifications are listed for each and every one?  Video clips are the key to differentiation. 

Hirred

That said, Hirred gives the online employment world something to think about.  On its own, this app may not necessarily provide much.  However, just the concept of selling through a short video has potential that can go farther than many would normally imagine.  Linked to a plethora of different apps, this app can become more than its original intention – and maybe that’s what is in store for it. 

Hirred itself has an easy to use interface and is very simple.  You can view jobs under Calls, and reply to them with offers under Pitches.  You can customize your Profile to any level you desire.  Social networking links to Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are supported, so you can branch out from your Hirred presence into other realms. 

Enhancements that allow more words, resume attachments or more may drive this app to more usability.  Hiring or finding a job on just 30 seconds of information may not always be the wisest thing, and having that supportive “traditional” at hand will make for a more robust environment. 

Wiink – Record and Share It with the World

Looking for a way to instantly record yourself and share it with the world? Many love the instant gratification that comes with instant message, tweeting and posting all sorts of interesting tidbits of facts and frivolity with the world, or just their friends. Now you can record some interesting stuff and post it for the world to see, or just share it with a circle of friends. Wiink, from Wiink inc. is an app that harnesses the power of the Cloud, the ease of social networking tools and secures safekeeping to give you the ability to share with assurance.

The core feature of Wiink is the 30-second snapshot clip of what you want to say, or type. Chats can be via video or text. You simply record, identify and send. You can stream a clip to the general public, to an individual or to a communication loop, which is a defined set of friends. Friends must sign up to Wiink in order to receive your message and send responses back. You can find friends through social media links, or just invites through your contact list.

Wiink

Wiink works on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. So, no matter what device you are using, you can connect and communicate. You can follow contributors if you like what they post. You can join Boards and view clip related to particular subject matters. You can even post or characterize your clips to be viewable from specified Boards, so viewership increases and you get more feedback or reWiinks. You can also Like and share those clips you found worthy of promoting.

You can customize features in this app, as well. When you record a video, you have the option of tagging it, giving it a name, and then selecting Wiink Bomb. Wiink Bomb is the option for self-destruct. This can happen after a certain amount of time or on a particular date. Wiink Bombs can also be made the norm. That is, you can choose, under your profile, to select self-destruct as the default for every recording. This assures you that any clip you post will be destroyed, and not kept in the Cloud.

Wiink

There were a few things that were a bit confusing in terms of usage. The first was trying to Like, or Flag a video that was under self-destruct. You cannot “rate” a clip until you’ve viewed it. However, if it has self-destruct, it gets destroyed after viewing, so there is no way to say you Liked it or that you can share it. Maybe you should not be able to? Not sure about how to proceed on that one. The other feature I found a bit annoying is the Main Menu. I like that is minimizes to the bottom of the screen, leaving a blue domelike icon. When you want to see the menu, you swipe up on the blue dome. However, if you touch too far down, you end up getting the iPhone’s screen of options, instead of Wiink’s. Precise finger placement is crucial here.

Yet, I liked Wiink overall for everything else. All you need is your friends to sign up and you are good to go! You can capture clips and send away, holding mini conversations with friends, or just sharing how you feel that very moment.

Never Miss an Event with myevents – Calendar & Holidays

myevents is an application which gives you easy way of controlling your day and getting to know the events which you have planned at all times. This app is particularly priceless for the users who owing to a busy schedule have problems keeping a track of all events and expectations. With myevents, you can be sure of never missing an anniversary, a birthday or any other event. The app brings you a calendar with all the latest holidays in your area. In addition, you have the option of adding events on different days on this calendar and at different times of the day. This is further enhanced by the option of adding reminders to your events to ensure that you don’t miss an event.

The calendar function makes use of a highly visual way to quickly distinguish days in which you have a scheduled event. You have the discretion of filtering events by day, month or even year. As if this is not enough, you get to customize the calendar background and make it even more attractive in relation to your present times. In the list of events planned, you will be able to easily see whether a particular event on the calendar has elapsed or if it’s still due. If it yet to come, you will see the number of days remaining to that day. You’ll also get an editor that enables you to add, modify or delete events as you wish. You can even set reminders for events and customize them to alert you in time for the event or earlier. This particular function is very useful when it comes to reminding you about upcoming birthdays, insurance renewal dates and anniversaries.

myevents

As for holidays, you will be able to add multiple locations to get an update of local holidays in those regions. You can synchronize such important days observed nationally or otherwise and add them as events within your calendar, marking them with a unique color of your choice for quick recognition. If you find that the calendar has missed a local holiday or two, you can add them easily and conveniently. One of the unique aspects of this app is the manner in which your information is stored. Events and personal appointments would give out a lot about you and if they land in the wrong hands, could cause you a lot of trouble. The developers have also promised an update that will allow users to backup information about events and their reminders to ensure that users are not messed up when they change phones.

While you may choose to use alarm functions to keep reminders, myevents is an effective and very reliable and unique way of achieving this goal. The events show up in varied colors as they approach deadlines. This means that you’ll easily get an idea of the events that are almost ready at a glance. You can also use the Visual Theme Selector to customize the appearance of the interface. It goes without saying that myevents is a well-designed app. However, it would be much better if the developers would include a form of joining the app with the lock screen to give a list of upcoming events so that users can get constant reminders as they go about their day to day operations.

Guinness World Records 2014 Augmented Reality – Bring Them to Life

Available with the new Guinness World Records 2014 book is a free app. This app uses what is called “augmented reality”, which means that it takes records from several of the pages within the book and brings them to life in 3D on your Android device, iPhone, or iPad. To begin with, you can download the app to your device from the iTunes App Store or the Android Market. You’ll have to buy the book for the app to work though. On several pages (and the cover) you will find a little icon that says “See it 3D”. Open up your app, center the viewfinder on the page, and the augmented reality begins.

Just by checking out the cover with the app, you see how well done it is. The cover begins to thump like a beating heart, and then suddenly pops open. It has transformed into a portal, which pages and pictures of records from the book fly out of. And this is not just from a static perspective. As this takes place, you can move your device around and see all of it smoothly from different angles.

guinness world records

You can take a screenshot whenever you like, and some of the pages actually offer taking pictures with their subject as part of the experience. If you are so inclined, you can share these pictures through social media. The 3D experiences include controlling a dinosaur, seeing the height of the shortest woman on earth relative to your book, and coaxing a cobra out of its basket. There are 12 in total, and the 3D on each is well done.

guinness world records

The only downside to the app is the fact that you must purchase the book to use it. From the perspective of Guinness, this makes sense. They want to sell more books, and this will probably help them do it. However, it might have been a good idea to add in a few more of these little games that didn’t require having the book right in front of you for them to work. 12 different 3D experiences, all of which are either fun or informative (some both!) The app is simple to use, and everybody likes free! All of the 3D looks really neat. The need to buy the book in order to use the app.

The popularity of the Guinness books seems to have waned a bit over the years. While the information within is just as interesting as it has ever been, it’s not quite the household name that it was in the past. This is a fun, well-functioning app that brings a much-needed modern touch to the already world-famous name that is Guinness.