We don't like to call it bribing, but sometimes it takes an incentive plan to get your children to complete some tasks around the home. While it may seem counterintuitive to bring out a phone or a tablet to get the job done, these apps allow parents to schedule chores and reward kids when they complete their task.
When it comes to cyberbullying, our minds immediately turn to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites as the source. These days, however, text bombing is gaining momentum as the medium of choice for teens to torment each other. Text bombing, which allows users to schedule multiple texts, has already been linked to multiple cases of cyberbullying, including the 2011 suicide of Haley "Danielle" Cox.
To see how parents can block their children from receiving text bombs, read the whole story on The Huffington Post.
You and your partner have had the talk and decided that you're ready to add a third member to the family. But getting pregnant is not as simple as having sex (though that is important!). You have to eat right, track your ovulation, take your temperature, and be more aware of your body's happenings than ever before. Even if you follow the plan perfectly, you, like many other women, still may struggle to get pregnant. Glow, a new app chaired by Max Levchin of PayPal, promises to take the struggle out of conception.
Like most apps for those trying to conceive, glow tracks optimal conception time and offers tips to conceive at no cost. But for women who don't want to wait too long for a baby, Glow has another option. Glow First, an extension of the Glow app, is a 10-month program for couples who want to have a baby right away. Couples who participate pay $50 a month and try to conceive using the Glow app. If a couple gets pregnant during this time, then their money is put into a community fund that is used to pay for the infertility treatment of those who were not as lucky.
Whether its through their app or a crowd-funded treatment, Glow promises to help you get pregnant. What do you think of this lofty promise? Is it enough to make you consider signing up the next time you're trying to conceive?
Focus, grasshopper: you've got a long and winding writing road ahead of you. With NaNoWriMi upon us, we have just the thing to keep your eyes on the prize — apps for distraction-free writing. If a novel is in your future, use tools that give your words what they deserve: the glory of a full-screen display. Have a productive month by getting started with six beautifully designed writing apps for desktop and mobile.
The Twitter-owned video sharing app Vine released two new editing tools for its iOS and Android apps today called Sessions and Time Travel. The new features give users more flexibility in shooting and editing footage.
With Sessions, footage can be saved for later. Select the record icon and tap to film per usual, then select the bottom-right icon to save the scene as a Session. Up to 10 sessions can be kept at once. Users can tap that bottom-right "document" icon to access any of the saved posts, which can be edited or added to.
Time Travel works a bit differently. It's a new editing tool that appears after the entire Vine film has been shot. Before sharing the footage and tapping the green check mark, a new "Edit" button appears in the top right. From Edit, users can drag and drop scenes around to reorganize their order. You can also press and hold individual scenes and delete them by flicking up.
After the announcement of Instagram Video in June, Vine has been trying to catch up with the Facebook-owned photo- and video-based social network. There are, of course, key differences between the two. Vine videos loop and are six seconds long, while Instagram videos can be filtered and are 15 seconds long.
In August, Vine claimed that it had 40 million users, which pales in comparison to Instagram's 150 million. Instagram may have the masses, but Vine does have a number of very dedicated, very talented storytellers (like Yves Das and the most followed man on Vine with 3.2 million followers, Josh Peck).
While some remain pledged to the printed word, many readers have transitioned to iPads and Kindles. For bookworms with a serious appetite for electronic reading, there's a new kind of rental service to satisfy your thirst for new narratives: Oyster (free to download, $10 per month membership), an iOS app that launches on the iPad today with a 30-day free trial for unlimited reading.
Oyster, which has been redesigned for iOS 7, offers a truly beautiful reading experience, but is it enough to persuade ebook owners to begin renting titles for a monthly fee?
New iPad App
The new iPad app mimics the iPhone version, with a few added bonuses. There's a darker design with more space between elements that's more suited to nighttime reading. The Library browser presents large book covers and immersive imagery. Landscape mode is now available across the app, and users can sync activity and books between devices.
Reading on both iPad and iPhone is largely the same. Oyster has five different themes to choose from: Standard, Nomad (sans-serif, red accents), Herald (serif with gray background), Crosby (classic serif with tan background), and Midnight (white text on black). The size of the text is fully adjustable, and that same settings panel provides a shortcut to your phone's brightness settings. Oyster stores up to 10 books locally on the device for offline access.
A "Read privately" option prevents Oyster from publishing the title you're reading in your profile or friends' activity stream. Oyster also acts as a social network and hosts profile pages for each user that lists what they want to read and what they have read. Books that the user has rated with four or five stars are listed under their Favorites.
According to Oyster, the Library has over 100,000 titles. Amazon's Kindle Owners' Lending Library has over 350,000, but readers must have both a Kindle and a Prime account ($79/year).
In the Library, there are sci-fi classics like Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon and newer titles like The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow. The most popular titles on Oyster include Life of Pi, Water for Elephants, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Oyster doesn't have many recent bestsellers I searched for, including any of Malcolm Gladwell's books, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, or Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
Readers are essentially borrowing titles from a public library they have to pay for, minus the inconvenience of due dates. Would you relinquish your book ownership to read an unlimited amount of books for $10 per month? Will Oyster disrupt book publishing, like Netflix did with TVs and movies?
Imagine having the perfect résumé. Now, imagine having the perfect résumé — anywhere! Today, the Levo League, a community dedicated to helping Gen Y women elevate their careers, releases its first mobile app. With focus on the job hunt, this new app will allow users to create and edit beautiful résumés anywhere.
It's going to be a game changer, especially at at networking events. In seconds, you're allowed the flexibility and convenience of sending off your résumé and LinkedIn profile, jumping at the opportunity to make new connections. Similar to the Levo website, you'll also be able to access tips on résumé writing and career building — something Candy Crush doesn't offer. Better yet, the app will offer curated content from Levo's all-star mentor community, including help from leaders like Sheryl Sandberg and Warren Buffett. Still not convinced? The design is impeccable and easy to use — and free!
Even the littlest ghouls will love playing these Halloween apps that are age-appropriate without being too spooky. These fun games sneak in the learning long after the excitement of All Hallows' Eve has gone. From coloring apps that allow your child to use her finger to create a Halloween scene to fun games that encourage your tyke to use shapes to form a silly jack-o'-lantern, we've found the best budget-friendly — or free! — Halloween games to get your kids ready for the big day! Click through to find the perfect one to play today.
If you're one of those people who is constantly on her phone, texting, tweeting, emailing, and snapping pics for Instagram, why not use your phone time to help you slim down? There are tons of iPhone apps to keep track of your calories consumed and calories burned, that can offer the support and motivation needed to follow through with your weight-loss goals. Here's a list of a few that won't cost you a dime.
- Lose It!: Fill in some important info about yourself, including age, height, current weight, goal weight, and how many pounds you want to lose per week and you're ready to go. The app tells you how many calories you should have each day to meet your weight-loss goal, and also keeps track of the calories you consume each day and the calories you lose via exercise. The "My Day" feature gives you a quick snapshot of your day, how many calories you've consumed and burned, and how many cals you have left. Easy to use and easy to read.
- Diet and Weight Loss Tracker by Calorie Count: Just sign in to the app by the popular website, and you're ready to start logging the foods you ate for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. It also keeps track of the calories burned from exercise, how much water you drink, and how much you weigh. Basic and easy to use, a great little bonus is the featured articles that includes healthy recipes and weight-loss tips for inspiration.
- CalorieKing Food Search: Counting calories only works if you have accurate amounts. Use this app to type in any food and find out just how many calories those nibbles are costing you.
- Easy Weight Loss Tips: We could always use more advice on how to lose weight, and this little app offers quick diet, exercise, and nutrition tips to help you on your quest, such as, "Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in a see-through container in the refrigerator."
- Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary: After setting up your profile (including current weight and weight-loss goal), a menu pops up where you can log daily meals, workouts, daily weight, and water consumption. What's great is you can search their huge food database of over 400,000+ foods or scan an item's bar code to keep track of meals and snacks, and it quickly calculates how many calories you have left to enjoy that day. You can also search popular exercise activities, enter the amount of time, and it records the calories you burn. Simple and easy to use, there's also an option to share your successes on Facebook and Twitter.
- Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal: After adding in essential personal info like height, birth date, current weight, goal weight, and how many workouts you do a week, you register for an account and you're ready to start tracking your meals on your phone. Search the database or scan a food's bar code, and the homepage shows how many calories you've consumed, how many you've burned, and how many you have left for the day. You can also add friends to keep you motivated and view updates on their progress on the bottom of the homepage. Straightforward and easy to use.
- Weight Recorder: Simple and straightforward, just plug in your weight, whether you weigh yourself once a day or once a week, and it'll chart your progress.
Anyone who has ever stepped inside a thrift store knows it is a haven of ill-fitting clothes, mysterious stains, and the overwhelming smell of mothballs and sadness. Our partners at ReadWrite have discovered the cure to poor thrift shop luck.
By Stephanie Chan
Luckily, fashion re-commerce websites are now changing the thrift shop game, utilizing the powers of mobile usage and an active fashion community to give the entire experience a much needed makeover. No longer will Fred Armisen ridicule you for wanting to trade in that "Free Geek" t-shirt.
I am no stranger to this thrifter plight. I’ve had more instances trading, buying and gaining store credit than you can shake a used furry vest at. Hell, I even have a pair of thrifted fuchsia flats—something I can now look back on and say no, buying worn shoes found in the boonies of my local Wasteland might not have been the best idea.
But Macklemore says it’s cool, right? Thrift stores have all types of clothing in one place and it’s cheap. So where can one find that rare, thrift gold without sifting through the inevitable grime (or as Macklemore so eloquently states, R. Kelly’s piss sheets)? What’s the upgrade from trolling re-sale sites like eBay or Craigslist, where each buy is a gamble of whether or not you’re dealing with a real, trustworthy human being?
The answer to the polished, upscale thrifting experience is found in fashion re-commerce websites like Poshmark and Threadflip. These sites have utilized the swelling online fashion community and put actual, fashionable humans' worn clothing to good use. Both Poshmark and Threadflip have solidified a specific niche in the fashion community, believe in the push towards mobile and see their position as building blocks in the future of online re-commerce and clothing exchange.
Manish Chandra founded Poshmark in early 2011 with the goal to be a women’s online fashion marketplace. Users create “closets,” where they can upload photos of clothes from their own wardrobe that they aim to sell. Users often display pictures of themselves wearing their clothing to show the details of draping and fit. Other specifics listed in each photo’s description are brand, material, size and price. Poshmark users interested in buying can look through various closets to find their “style mate,” and reap the rewards of another fashionista’s wardrobe.
Poshmark released the iOS 7 version of their mobile app on September 23, a move that seemed inevitable to Chandra, who sees Poshmark’s success in large due to their bustling mobile community.
“I think mobile is really the main reason why re-commerce is going through a renaissance today. Mobile makes it very easy to both list and engage with a marketplace. It breaks down all the barriers which previously existed for women who wanted to sell fashion. It also allows women to model their fashion while selling it, provide visual feedback, and have engaging conversations, which ultimately makes commerce easier and more social,” says Chandra.This mobile community has helped Poshmark reach over one million items bought and sold through its marketplace in 2013 alone. This impressive feat has again contributed to the intersection of mobile use and community building, where real-time communication between buyers and sellers allows for these users to create connections and foster bonds.
Using mobile facilitates a blurred line between an offline and online experience that allows Poshmark’s online marketplace to mimic real life gatherings, where people physically trade, chat and share their passions.
“The millions of women who make up our community interact with each other over one million times a day by liking, commenting and sharing each other’s listings. These women are obsessed with Poshmark, opening the app 7-8 times a day and spending 20-25 minutes in the app daily,” says Chandra.
The interaction on Poshmark doesn’t end with just buying and selling. Users utilize the app as a social media platform—liking, sharing and commenting on various listings. Chandra states that Poshmark’s style of a “shoppable magazine” grants women from across the country an outlet to express their fashion sensibility. An entrepreneurial passion for couture and the desire to create bonds are what the founder believes to be his user’s unifying interests.
Like Poshmark, Threadflip is an online fashion re-commerce marketplace, loved by web-based fashion plates seeking their next thrift store fix. Users of this site upload images of pieces from their wardrobe, which browsing users can interact with and buy. Distinguishing itself from similar fashion re-commerce hubs, Threadflip aims for the “elevated experience,” a polished, high end, and luxurious platform. Founded in 2011 by CEO Manik Singh, this site focuses intently on its growing community and its users’ mobile experience.
Threadflip released its iPad app on Sept. 24, with an entirely reconfigured mobile design aptly timed after the launch of iOS 7. The website’s desire to cater to its mobile audience is clear with the redesign—imagery takes front and center, giving a more beautiful experience for users as they thumb through the site.