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BW Businessworld

Apps For All

Talent At A Touch Think of it as a creativity browser. TouchTalent is an Android app and web community put together by a group in New Delhi and they’re obviously on to a good thing as they have funding from over fifteen angel investors to take their idea further. TouchTalent is just what the name implies — swipe your screen to browse through thousands of works by creative people.

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Talent At A Touch
Think of it as a creativity browser. TouchTalent is an Android app and web community put together by a group in New Delhi and they’re obviously on to a good thing as they have funding from over fifteen angel investors to take their idea further. TouchTalent is just what the name implies — swipe your screen to browse through thousands of works by creative people. That could include anything from painting and digital art to photography to poetry to calligraphy. You can browse by category or choose to just go exploring. To get more from a certain person, swipe sideways. To see the work of another person, swipe up. And of course, upload your own work of art. It’s an addictive thing, to look through beautiful things one after the other and I often find myself having to shake myself out of it to get back to work.
 
Draw A Straw
there had to be an app for taking a quick poll — and there is. Free on the Play Store, Straw is a fast and easy way of asking your friends, family, team or social contacts a question. The app opens up to a screen that is the dashboard for your surveys. You can see active and completed polls. To add a new one, tap the plus sign and enter your question. Give two or more options as responses. And post them on Facebook or Twitter and other places. The rest obviously depends on your contacts' willingness to respond. When they do, the results are served up in attractive ways for you to see the percentage for each option.
 
How you use Straw is up to you. It could be a poll to see which of two restaurants a bunch of you will go to, or it could be a more serious question.
 
Un-mess Your Gmail
Not many people are systematic and disciplined enough to be in total control of their mail. After all, you can't deal with absolutely anything and everything that's thrown at you as and when it chooses to arrive in your inbox. And that's how your mail gets into a state of clutter.
 
There have been many attempts to help professionals achieve "inbox zero". And now we have one from Google, whose Gmail is so heavily used by everyone. But first, you need to request an invite to this beta tool. Write to [email protected] It takes a few days but this is Google's typical way of getting attention for its new services. When you get your acceptance, download the Inbox app for Android or iOS.
 
Inbox auto-organises all your mail in categories such as Social, Promos, Travel, Updates, etc. You can make your own categories too. Whatever is seen as important shows up and information is culled from your mail for a touch of Google Now. The categories mean you can deal with a bunch of similar mails at one go depending on what you want to spend time on at a time of your choosing.
 
When you click into an email, you have the choice of making a task out of it, setting it to snooze or creating a reminder to deal with it. You can mark items to go straight into a taskbox area. This taskbox-ing of email was also done to great effect by the app Mailbox, so if you use that already, you may not want to switch to Inbox. What's a good idea is to use Inbox without throwing away your regular mail app.
 
Inbox looks different from all the other email managing solutions around, so figuring out how to use it may take a while. The one big problem — people don't necessarily get their official mail on their Gmail account. That leaves out organising the most critical chunk of email.
 
Where Are You?
Inevitably "Where are you?” is the first questions those close to you ask when they get you on the phone. Privacy has become all but non-existent what with our GPS locations and statuses being so readily available today. Still, there are those who haven’t had enough. If you don’t mind your friends and loved ones knowing where you are and why you can’t take their calls, try an app called Status, free on both iOS and Android. After a few essentials like your phone number and your frequented locations (home, work, and whatever else you want to add) you can go “on the grid” and become visible. You can invite friends to join in so all of you know who’s where or more importantly, who’s free. Status sends automatic updates out so anyone looking for you can see whether you’re home, at the gym, in a meeting etc. Customise to your liking. When you want privacy, go “off the grid” with a tap. Of course, you may have a tough time explaining why you’re off the grid to a possessive partner.
 
Stay Fit With Google
everybody wants a piece of your health. The number of devices and apps that track your daily movement are exploding. Google has decided to add to the explosion with its Google Fit app available free on the Play Store and usable on Android phones and wearables. Essentially, it's Google's move to counter Apple's HealthKit, also an application to consolidate your health stats. Most significantly, the apphas been made available for developers to build upon so it becomes more usable and works with more devices. Right now, it's as simple as using the device's sensors to track steps, walking running and biking. Daily, weekly and monthly data helps you achieve your fitness goals.
 
(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 12-01-2015)