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BW Businessworld

Mix and Match

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Looking particularly cool on a Windows 8 tablet, but also available for Windows phones and on Android, is Cocktail Flow. Recipes for drinks, of course, and possibly pretty good ones going by comments of users for whom cocktails seem to have flowed freely. The app is free, by the way. Other than looking good, Cocktail Flow gives you recipes by drink type; say dark rum or vodka or whatever floats your boat. There are also nonalcoholic cocktails, but who wants them. You can choose by colour, by type such as classic or shooter or exotic. You can also choose to go with whatever ingredients you happen to have in your bar. Then, just click to get quick and easy ways of making a nice drink. All you need to do next is appear as if you knew how to make that drink all along — and swig the concoction down the hatch.

So, it works like this: you go somewhere, say a cottage in the hills. You walk around and you come across things you don’t want to forget. You take photos or even jot down a line or two, or a note, and you share it via Wyst, which is rather Instagram-like, but with a different focus. Maybe you sit down in a particularly beautiful spot and have an interesting conversation. Before you leave, take a picture and make a note. These will become your stored memories and you can look them up any time. Or let someone else across the world into them. It’s people’s feelings and experiences that endow a place with meaning, and so, sometimes, it’s nice to put them into a sort of collective with others’ experiences.

Add A Bit Of Wyst

Almost every place on the planet holds secrets and stories. Some of them are buried away in the depths of a history that we can’t reach; some are remembered even now and passed on, and some stories are in the making. Wyst is a little social application with the lofty ambition of making these stories travel from one part of the world to the other by making it easy for people to share their place-associated stories. They can choose to keep them within a small group of people, or just an intimate memory between two people, or they can make them public.

Sure, you could share on Facebook or one of a dozen other ways. But when you share on Wyst, your experience gets tagged and plugged into a world map. Others can scroll and explore and when they touch the place you were at, your Wyst comes up — the one you shared. Exploring places through peoples’ experiences is then very interesting. Say you’re going to a wildlife park. You look up Wyst to see what others saw there. Or you could do that when you come back from your trip.

Wyst, available free for the iPhone and usable on the iPad, is yet to make its way to other platforms. In fact, it’s yet to be densely populated with users and Wysts as people begin to explore it. On its website,, you can see some examples of Wysts.

Google+ For  iPad
All this time, iPad users were 2x’ing the iPhone app for Google+ when they wanted to use that network from their iPads. Now, the iPad app has arrived and it’s nothing short of gorgeous. It’s very visual, with big photographs and the clean lines layout first popularised by Flipboard and adopted by everyone else. Many users sign up and then forget all about Google+, finding it all too much to deal with yet another network that isn’t devoid of its own work. Others who have found a comfort zone in Google+, interacting with like-minded people in the safety of those Circles, will probably welcome a dedicated app. You can manage your profile, people and hangouts from within the app, and, of course, you can engage with your network and upload your own content.

Elevate Photos To A Work Of Art

When you share photos on wyst, your experience gets tagged and plugged into a world map

Painterly for the iPad is a unique and beautiful app. One of the nicest ways to use it is to pick one of its elegant backgrounds as a base and then pull in one of your own photographs from the camera roll. Then, choosing from one of over 30 brushes, you paint parts of the photo for a really arty and lovely look. There are many interesting modes and combinations to explore and yet the app is very simple, requiring little or no actual artistic skill. Look at some of the examples on the app’s website or watch the in-app tutorial (guides also to be found on YouTube) to see the different things you can do. Two kinds of distinctive looks can be achieved when you pick either Paint or Erase before you start brushing. It’s a great way to while away extra time, soothe your nerves, and make your photos look extra special. It costs $1.99.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 13-08-2012)