This week’s “App of the Week” is a utility that I have found myself using more and more often.
To be completely honest, I am not a big reader. I like when articles get right to the point and tell me what I need to know. For years and years, going through grade school and even college, I have had to suffer reading through long articles trying to pick out the main points. Luckily in 2014, a high school sophomore created an application that helps this issue.
Points is an application that makes it unbelievably simple to summarize web pages into a few key bullet points. All you have to do copy the page’s URL and paste it into the text box on the application. Tap the “Go” button and before you know it, you have a few key bullet points summarizing what ever is on that webpage.
Last year Hugh Jones, a high school sophomore developed this application using a proprietary language processing algorithm which will determine which sentences on the webpage are most meaningful.
This is one of MANY applications that became “big” by taking a normal every day task, and making it more efficient in a simple and easy way! Great job Hugh!
Feel free to check Points out at www.pointsapp.co !
This week’s app of the week is an app that makes it easy to invite groups of people to different events.
Looking to throw a small party and don’t want to make up invitations and mail them out?
Let me introduce to you, Hobnob.
Hobnob is an app that is currently available on the App Store that lets you create custom invitations with just a few taps on your screen. All you have to do is select a design, put in the event details (date, time, location, etc), select who you’re inviting, and tap “send”. Invitees will then get a text message with the invitation like below:
All the recipients have to do is reply “Yes” or “No”, and the user’s app will get updated with who’s going or not!
One of the greatest advantages and smartest moves by Hobnob is the ability for practically anyone with the capability to text message, to use the features of the app. With that being said, if someone’s 90 year old grandma who has no clue what an app even is, receives one of these invitations, even she will know how to interact and respond to the invitation.
Having a feature that combines app with text messaging opens up the market dramatically, because come on … who doesn’t have text messaging?
Looking forward to seeing where this app ends up in a few months!
This week’s featured app is one that helps all of you “dual monitor” lovers out there.
As someone who is always doing multiple things at once on the computer, I am constantly using a second monitor to increase my speed and productivity. The only problem is that you can’t bring your second monitor with you to an airport, a restaurant, or pretty much anywhere easily. Luckily a few months ago, an app was released that has solved this issue.
I present to you Duet Display!!!
With Duet Display, all you have to do is download the app on your computer as well as any iOS 7.0+ iPad or iPhone, plug it into the computer, and open up the app, and you have gotten yourself a second monitor for wherever you go!
Not a mac user, but still have an iPad or iPhone? Duet Display is available for Windows 7+ as well.
Being an app that was developed by Apple ex-engineers, the performance is amazing with little to no lag!
For this week’s “App of the week”, we have chosen an app that has been getting a lot of buzz the last couple of weeks. This app allows users to get their feet wet in the stock trading world at no cost!
Let me introduce to you (if you haven’t already heard of it), Robinhood!
Robinhood is a stock trading app with NO commission fees! Released a few months ago, lets talk about what has made this app get so much traction.
Before we even talk about the app itself, lets talk about pre-launch. One of the best strategies in my eyes that has helped get Robinhood so much traction is their Pre-app Marketing. Before there was any app available, www.Robinhood.com was all set up with an amazing promo video (https://vimeo.com/87163777) and a subscription page. By setting up something as simple as a webpage and a promo video with some pictures of what the app will look like, you can attract users and get a gauge on how interested the market is in your idea!
Along with this, another great Pre-app Marketing strategy is the waitlist. Often times with applications such as Robinhood, you don’t want to release the app to the entire world right off the bat and you will want to release little by little. This is where the waitlist comes in handy. On the webpage, there can be a subscription box to put yourself on the waitlist and get an email with an access code. One problem is that there could be tens of thousands of people on the waitlist which could discourage the potential user. To fix this, when ever a potential user shares a link to the site or gets someone else to sign up, they can get bumped up in the waitlist, and gain access to the app sooner!
Strategies like this can make an idea without even having an app go viral, very quickly!
Simplicity is key
Now let’s talk a little bit about the app itself. What exactly makes this app awesome? As with many great apps, the answer is simplicity. Especially when 25% of Robinhood’s users have never played around in the stock trading world, it is vital to make users feel comfortable and not confused.
Robinhood takes the minimum amount of features/information that is needed to buy and sell stock and implements it in a wonderful way. Once you are all signed up, on the home screen you are greeted with a graph of your earnings with a dollar amount of how much money you have between your account and your stock. Scroll down and then you can see the different stocks that you have bought or are on your watchlist. Without even tapping on any of these stocks you can see a mini graph of its earnings trend as well as a dollar/percent value of its change.
Last, but not least, once you tap on a stock, you are greeted by a page that is similar to the home page. At the top you see the dollar value, and at the bottom you see basic stats and a quick bio of the company. If you are looking to Buy or Sell, all you have to do is enter how many shares, review, and then submit and before you know it you have just completed your order.
One of the biggest controversies right now with Robinhood is that it does not provide enough features that people like to use to gain information on a certain company. But to be honest, this is a smart move on Robinhoods part. It is because of sticking with the core feature, keeping it as simple as possible, and learning how users use it, that makes this app so attractive.
Many times, apps will start off with one core feature, but then they end up cluttering the app with so many features. Though this is great in terms of being unique and providing features to the user, it is not attractive at first and can often times make the app confusing. — No good!
Take it from great apps like Robinhood and stick with a core feature, keep it simple, learn how your users adapt to it, and then over time you can roll out feature by feature!
If you haven’t been keeping up with TechCrunch Disrupt’s NYC Hackathon, here are some of the cool projects teams came out with!
Here are four out of tons of amazing apps
Gruberie is an app that takes out the need for a waiter taking your order.
Within 24 hours, the team was able to hack together a site, an app, and get a diner to test it out! The app utilizes Gimbal beacons that detect when users are sitting at a table. Once you’re sitting at the table, just open up the app, and check out the entire menu. It doesn’t stop there though! You can place your order from your device and even pay the bill!
Looking forward to see how this disrupts the restaurant industry!
Over the past few months, there has been a lot of hype about live streaming mobile apps like Meerkat and Periscope. This is a whole new section of the mobile app industry and its use cases are still being explored. Witness has discovered a new use case that could save lives!
With this app, all you have to do is tap the app’s icon, and it will begin to stream live audio and video to your emergency contacts that you have designated in the settings. Along with the live audio and video, your contacts can see your exactly location and where it changed throughout time.
Ever get frustrated when you go out to eat with some friends, they order a full course meal and you order just a salad, yet you still have to pay more since the bill is split equally?!? Luckily Split was developed and it solves this problem!
With Split, all you have to do is take a picture of any receipt, highlight the different parts of the bill, and send each portion of that bill to the respective person. This integrates Venmo and automatically sends your friends a Venmo money request. Instead of having to search through all of your friends to find which ones you are actually eating or grabbing drinks with, Split utilizes geofencing to show which of your friends are nearby!
Posture.io is a hack that helps people stop slouching when they are at a desk. This hack uses a Texas Instruments BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) sensor and an adhesive magnetic rubber strip. The sensor gets attached to the chair and the rubber strip gets stuck on the user’s belt. Through this application, you can set how sensitive you want it to be and be able to keep track of how well your posture is!
Along with this, the hack utilizes the Leap Motion gesture controller to help with atypical hand exercises which help prevent injuries that can occur from being at the keyboard for too long.
Pioneer Mobile Applications is proud to announce our new “App of the Week” series. Through this series, we will be looking at some of the hottest apps out there and discussing what makes them so great!
For our first featured app, we have chosen Square Cash.
Square Cash is an app that allows users to send and request payments instantly for free. This app is disrupting the way that people exchange money. With just a few taps of a finger, you can request rent from your roommates or pay back our friend for dinner. Looking to easily donate to a good cause, or support an up and coming singer? With their “$CashTag” you can easily do so!
What makes this app so appealing is its simplicity and user interface. Right off the bat, when you open up the app, you are greeted by a screen where you put in an amount and tap Request or Pay, select the person that you want to make the transaction with, and thats it! Though users may only spend only a few seconds inside of this app, because of the simplicity, it makes them want to come back and use it again.