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Apps For All Reasons

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Android users, here’s a way to unclutter your home screens and clutter your notifications drop down instead. The app, 1Tap Quick Bar, lets you customise your notifications area somewhat by adding little icons in the drop down for things you need quickly. I change my text input method often because there’s either a word that’s just refusing to be recognised or because it’s just easier to input a certain way under some conditions. So I put in an icon to give me quick access to the changing input menu. You can get the same thing by long-pressing, of course, but I thought I would experiment this way as well. After all, that’s what Android is all about. I also put in an icon to stop the screen from timing out altogether because that’s really helpful while you’re reading something. Just tap again to de-activate. 

1Tap lets you put icons for settings, applications, recently accessed items, shortcuts (to peoples’ phone numbers etc) and some other functions such as recording or moving to a next song. Just tap the + sign to add an item and tap the item on the bar to remove it. When you exit the app, choosing to apply the changes you made, the bar will appear in the notifications area, always within reach.
The google search app for iphone or ipad has got some exclusive features and fast access to gmail and docs

The app is free if you want one Quick Bar. If you want more, you have two levels of upgrade, the first to get you two bars and the second to get you unlimited bars. This app may behave somewhat differently on different phones and versions of Android. Users with newer versions of Android, especially Jelly Bean, may not want to bother. 

Cool Things Google Does
There are many hidden gems in the world’s favourite search engine, some old and some new. When you start to use them, you realise how useful they are. For instance, just type in a flight number into the search box. In an instant, you get the flight status and other details. You should be signed in and your location visible to Google so that you get relevant flight information.

Also type in Calculator into the search box. If you’re the type who needs a scientific calculator often on the go, you’ll find one available right there on Google. Type in weather. Immediately you see the weather in your location for the day and the forecast for the week. The weather information behaves differently depending on different apps. If you use the Google app on the iPad or iPhone, type in weather and then tap the vertical bars on the top right of the screen. You can now see many pages of beautifully laid out information and you can swipe and tap to get to any that you want to take a closer look at. 

But by far, one of the coolest things is the Handwrite option, though hardened techies scoff at anyone getting excited over handwriting recognition because it remains imperfect to this day. Handwrite can be enabled by getting into the browser on a touch screen device, going to Search Settings and checking the Enable box next to Handwrite. Save and come out to the regular search page. Now, you will see a new toolbar at the bottom of the screen and you can write anywhere on the screen with your finger to search. You have a space bar, a delete, and you can always tap on the Handwrite button to turn it off. Handwrite stays active on the search results page but will turn off if you make a move to type in the search box. Handwrite will work on any browser that lets you get to the search settings including Dolphin and Safari. 

LiquiPad HD
And here’s a perfect time-waster. Or de-stresser, if you want to look at it that way. LiquiPad HD (not to be confused with Liquid Pad) turns your iPad into a watery delight. The screen, with beautiful background pictures, turns all watery and responds to your touch as if it were water, with the appropriate sounds. There are actually several modes to choose from for different effects, such as oil, syrup and gel. It goes quite still and stops rippling or making watery sounds when you put it down. For something essentially nonsensical, though pretty, this app shouldn’t cost $1.99. But unfortunately it does. Still, if you’re an app addict…

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 27-08-2012)