Take Control of Your Life With LifeTopix

The app startup LightArrow just released a new organizer app called LifeTopix that has generated a lot of discussion online. LifeTopix aims to unite all of the various areas of personal organization that have previously been represented by several different apps. With twelve different sections, dubbed ‘Topix’ by LightArrow, for different areas of life, the real value added in this app is the ability of these different Topix to work together. With so many similar apps on the market, what (if anything) sets LifeTopix apart?

LifeTopix screenshots

The twelve ‘Topix’ of LifeTopix are:

Tasks and Projects: Helps to organize assignments for work or things you would like to get done on your own.

Shopping: Tracks shopping lists. Integrates with other Topix to show shopping lists for specific tasks or travel, etc.

Events: Keeps track of the home or work events with alerts.

Travel and Places: Helps organize travel preparations.

People and Services: Syncs with your contacts to keep a list of people and businesses that you may need for other plans.

Health and Activity: Provides a logging and tracking place for different health and physical fitness work.

Finances: Tracks and helps organize financial information.

Home and Assets: Helps manage assets and keep track of home maintenance tasks, etc.

Education: Tracking assignment due dates and project information for school.

Notes and Files: Organizes different notes and syncs with online files like Google Docs.

Media: Organizes video and audio clips so that they can be associated with other Topix.

Bookmarks: Keeps track of websites that you need to work on projects or organize travel, or just plain want to remember.

LifeTopix features

Since all of these Topix are a part of the same app they interact in a refreshingly original way. If you are planning on taking a trip up to your cabin, a shopping list can be stored for quick access while looking at the trip, a task can be created and contained within the same page to top off the tank before you leave, and alarms can alert you when you have to do all of these things. Since all of the information is shared throughout the app, none of these can be scheduled over other reminders you set for yourself, which means no more over scheduling your life. All of this is housed in a pretty effective user interface  that is a little hard at first, but soon becomes effortless to manage.

LifeTopix is brand new so third party support is limited. While you can sync things like Google docs and calendar, even a Facebook account, other apps may still outperform certain Topix. Another disadvantage of such a new app is that there may still be bugs and minor performance issues that haven’t been addressed by LightArrow. The silver lining to that particular cloud is that LightArrow will continue implementing new features that will make the app more useful as new updates are released.

LightArrow has taken an ambitious first project for a startup app programmer, improving on an already overworked concept yet again and releasing an app designed by nature to push a variety of competing programs off the market. It is a bold strategy that could reap huge rewards for LightArrow and many users of organization apps, and for now it looks strong. It will be interesting to see how the app fares in the market, but it is cheap, expansive, and certainly an intriguing new app.

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.