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BW Businessworld

Apps For All Seasons

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Slide to Select

SlideWriter solves one part of the overall nuisance of typing naturally on a glass keyboard with its accompanying problems of selecting text and navigating the cursor around for editing. It has a regular keyboard except for one nice difference: a subtle shaded bar appears on top of the length of the keyboard when you touch that area. When you slide your finger along the bar, your cursor moves on the page. It only moves sideways, not up and down. Using two fingers will move the cursor faster. Also, when you double tap, the nearest word gets selected and handles appear on the bar to match the ones on the selected word. You can slide them to increase or decrease your selected content. You can share text on Twitter or via email. Its own interface is clean with big text, which is easy on the eye.

Instant Gratification

An absolute must-have app is the much-loved TuneIn Radio. It's available for most mobile platforms in both free and paid versions. TuneIn had over 50,000 stations and recently added 500 more. With such a huge number, you obviously get good and bad, talk and music, clear and fuzzy and every category under the sun. You may come across stations that won't play in India, but for the most part, they do. When you like a station, you can preset it for quick access later. It shows information, related stations, and sometimes a schedule. But by far the best feature is how you can find something to suit your mood in barely a minute. With the paid version, you can record a session of music. You can't share or move the recordings from the TuneIn app because of copyright issues, but you can delete them. You also can't sync across devices or pre-schedule a recording, but these are minor hardships considering the world of music you get for instant gratification.

Stay Linked

With so much happening in apps for other social networks, LinkedIn needed some love too. And Hookflash gives it just that. This Canadian company has created an iPad app (free) that lets a LinkedIn user connect with people in his or her network with a single touch. You can choose to message, but, more important, you can video call your contact — in HD. If your contact isn't a Hookflash user, you can send an invite; if the person isn't online, you can send a notification and can talk later. It's like Skype and other VOIP calling solutions, but from within the LinkedIn environment. In a way, Hookflash competes with LinkedIn's own app that has more features, but not calling. Hookflash is a great tool for active LinkedIn users. In time, it will be available on other platforms as well.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 23-07-2012)