Apps


3
Dec 13

Christmas Work Party Tech Kit

Christmas Work Party Tech Kit

In case you haven’t noticed it is December which calls for mass opening of advent calendars and Christmas decorations going up. The build up to Christmas also means the looming work party which some dread but a lot of people actually look forward to. Lots of food, drink and dancing – what’s not to love? Technology can make planning for the Christmas work do a lot easier, from buying an outfit last minute, getting home or booking a last minute hotel. I have put together a tech guide for your Christmas work party.

Finding the Perfect Outfit
You have been slaving like a dog all week, meeting deadlines and buying Xmas presents so you have not had time to choose the right outfit which means eeek you have nothing to wear to the party. What’s a girl to do? Get apping. Practically every decent fashion brand has an app where you can pick out an outfit and have it delivered in 24 hours. ASOS, Net a Porter, Topshop and Marks and Spencer.

Getting There
Running late for the party or those heels are just not public transport appropriate? You might want to think about calling a taxi or better still your own cab. Hailo London and Get Taxi offer a service where you can book a cab to arrive at a specific time or call on demand. You can use their apps or book online and better still you can track the whereabouts of your driver in case you are getting frantic. Climatecars is the new kid on the block and London’s green alternative to black cabs and minicabs. They have a large fleet of environmentally friendly hybrids, all with leather seats and stocked with free Belu mineral water and magazines.

Staying Connected
There was a saying back in the day that if its not on TV then it never happened well today if it’s not on Social Media then it might as well not have happened. What better way to capture the fun and frolics of your xmas do by sharing images or footage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. However despite how amazing our phones are they do tend to run out of juice half way through the day so it would be a great idea to invest in a mobile phone charger. Nokia do a great universal portable USB charger and other brands do a charging covers so you can swap your original cover for the one that charges up your phone.

Getting Home
After a great night you might need to think about making your way home so in order to avoid missing the last train or tube just download thetrainline or thetube apps that will give you details about the last train and even what platforms to head to. Any delays or issues will be alerted to your attention. If you fancy splashing out and making the most of the evening then Hailo London, Get Taxi and Climatecars will be at your beck and call.

Get a Room
We all love a drink at a party and if you can’t get merry at the Xmas work do then when can you? However as fun it is to be merry it is not at all fun to drink and drive. So why not book a room in a hotel for the night so you can enjoy yourself and not worry about going over the limit? Hotel Tonight is the perfect app for this, you can book a room in any hotel within your radius at a moment’s notice. So you can choose to do it in the afternoon before the party starts or halfway through the party or even after the party has ended. The app picks up all the best deals for you so it is quick and easy and after a few short steps you can have a nice warm room all booked for you.

Don’t Drink and Drive
It’s the morning after you might want to head straight home but you might want to check whether you are still over the limit. The Alco Sense Lite is perfect for this and will easily fit into a small purse or pocket. More importantly it is accurate, quick and easy to use and fit easily into a pocket or bag. So no getting stopped by boys in blue for you.


29
Jun 13

My Westfield

My Westfield

I am not a great lover of shopping centres except for the fact that they are a lifesaver when it is raining and you just need to go shopping but overall they make me feel claustrophobic. I do have a soft spot for Westfield Stratford though, as huge as it is the shopping centre contains a lot of quirks that make it loveable. From the cool events, the eatries that range from fast food to gourmet, the outside shopping drive and the duplex cinema. What also attracts me to Westfield Stratford is that as well as the noisy boisterous shopping areas there are plenty of intimate spaces where you can chill and have a coffee with a mate. The only downside  is finding your way around the place – well that has all been solved by a new app that has been created. My Westfield launched yesterday and it is a personalised mobile app for Westfield London and Westfield Stratford. The app offers you unique shopping content from your favourite retailers. It does all the basics such as mapping your route to Westfield as well as around the shopping centre and finding all the stores that are selling an item that you are after. On a cool note there is a feature that allows you to find your car wherever you have parked it as well as being able to find out the number of parking spaces that are available. My Westfield also does lots of cool things like creating your own personal profile by allowing you to select the brands that you love, which result in you being sent content that has been specifically created for you. If you are after a bargain then you can find out what the latest deals are which you can share through Twitter, Facebook and via email. Overall a pretty cool app for a cool shopping outlet. Currently it is only available for iPhones but it will be rolled out for Androids and Blackberrys later. I just hope that they don’t forget us little people who have Windows phones.

You can download the app for free at the iTunes store.


7
Jun 13

Kiss Me First

Kiss Me First

Kiss Me First is Lottie Moggach’s debut book and the gripping tale about a close friendship that is created online. Nothing unusual about that except that the two ladies in question plot to one to take the others identity. As great as the book sounds it is the book trailer that blew me away. The team from Pan MacMillan in conjunction with FIT Digital, have created a Facebook app that allows you to fully experience the key theme from the book – online identity and thus recreating the book’s unsettling atmosphere. The trailer prompts you to log into your Facebook account and while doing this the app pulls in all your information, such as your profile picture, news feed, location and friends list. It then plays a trailer tailored to your individual Facebook identity which allows you to react Kiss Me First’s storyline. The result of this is that your experience with the trailer will be very unique to you and totally different from another person who watches the trailer. I must admit it was a bit eerie seeing all the details in the trailer but the overall effect is truly awesome.

You can watch the trailer here.

Kiss Me First is released on 4th July.


19
May 13

HotelTonight

Snap Your Stay Cool Find favorited

Imagine that you are in a different city for a business trip or a lovely day out and you decide to spend the night. This means looking for a hotel. Normally you would go straight to Google but an exciting new app can save you a lot of leg work. HotelTonight is an app that shows you all the great deals on top class hotels in the area that you are currently located in. You are provided with a list of availability as well as the prices including all the hot deals. HotelTonight does all the work for you so you have all the information at your fingertips as opposed to spending time researching and comparing prices. Details on hotel rooms are updated each day at 12pm local time. Making a booking is very simple – it takes less than 10 seconds, just three taps and a swipe from app launch to get you a room. Rooms can be booked until 2 am local time and you can book up to a five-night stay on the app. All hotels are personally vetted by HotelTonight staff, given a style category (like Basic, Hip or Luxe) and illustrated by mobile-optimized hotel photos. Visitors can also leave comments about their stay and upload images while sharing them through Social Media.

Launched in 2011, HotelTonight is the leading last-minute hotel booking app and it is the only hotel booking app that’s made for mobile from the ground up. It is consistently a top travel app in the App Store and Google Play. The app has an average App Store rating of 5 out of 5 stars and 4.4 out of 5 stars in Google Play. It has proved so popular that they have added fifteen new European destinations to its roster. This brings the total reach of the app to 12 countries and 100 destinations worldwide.

HotelTonight is available for free from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and on Google Play for any Android device.


22
Apr 13

GetTaxi

GetTaxi

I do like the finer things in life and being ferried around in a taxi is one of them. You know that moment when you are feeling tired after work, bogged down with shopping bags or feeling worse for wear after a night out and you just want to get home but you cannot bear the idea of public transport. Well GetTaxi is the app for you. GetTaxi is the travel app that allows you to travel in style and with total convenience. You can order taxis on your BlackBerry, iPhone and Android smartphone or on the GetTaxi website. You also have the option of paying by card so no fretting if you do not have any cash on you. You can find out how long it will take for your taxi to get to you and the coolest thing about the app is that you can track exactly where your taxi is, you are supplied with your driver’s name and contact tel no in case there are any queries. Bookings can be made either for a specific time or spontaneously.

Armed with credit on my account courtesy of a kind PR I decided to give GetTaxi a go. The company proved to be as reliable as they stated; my journey was easy to book on the app and my taxi arrived on time. I was pressed for time on my second journey so I was clock watching and tracking my taxi on the app. The taxi was comfortable and the driver friendly and when I reached the end of my destination a message popped up asking me how I wanted to pay. Total class. All GetTaxi drivers are registered black cab drivers and takes passenger safety very seriously. They have recently launched their ‘Closed Door’ policy that ensures that the taxi driver, dropping off any women travelling in a taxi late at night, will not drive off until the passenger has safely closed the door behind them.

GetTaxi launched in 2010 with the mission of wowing passengers and drivers alike by giving them a more reliable, user-friendly and safe way to travel around their cities. Now they operate in major cities with clout such as London, Moscow, New York and Tel Aviv.

To find out more GetTaxi just go to their website.


5
Mar 13

Get a Keek On

KeekFor those of you Android or Blackberry users who have been left out of the Vine craze, fear not because there is another micro video platform that can serve your needs. Keek is a platform where users can upload videos to share with their friends and followers. You can upload videos using your webcam or the Keek app for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry. The videos are referred to as Keeks and unlike Vine where you can only upload videos that are six seconds long, Keekers can upload videos that are up to 36 seconds. Pretty handy for when you have a lot of cool content that you want to share. Also users can reply back to videos with text or video comments, known as keekbacks, share content to other major social media networks and embed their keeks into a blog or website. Keek like to be regarded as a combination of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter rather than a direct competitors.

The app was launched in Toronto in 2011 and now have 18 million users worldwide including celebrities such as John Legend, Soulja Boy, Tom Daley and the Kardashians. However, despite a massive following, Keek was pretty much unheard of in the UK until the booming launch of Vine this year. However the fact that Vine have failed to cater for the Android and Blackberry market may have been a gift to the brand who now have people like myself signing up in a bid to create and share some dynamic video content.

To sign up to Keek just go to their website.


13
Feb 13

Topshop Goes Gaga with Google

Cara Delevingne poses for Topshop and Google's collaboration

I bet you thought you had seen it all when Burberry along with other designers started transmitting their latest collections by a live feed. Well think again because Topshop have knocked the ball right out of the park when it comes to fashion and technology. Their show on Sunday 17th February has been Dubbed “The Future of the Fashion Show,” and no surprise considering what they have in store. The iconic high street store have employed wearable, high-definition micro-cameras that will be shown on a selection of Google platforms, from YouTube to Google+ Hangouts. There will also be real-time model cams that sets out to capture exactly what it is like to strut down the catwalk, as well as a Be the Buyer app that will let you create, remix and share mood boards featuring your favourite pieces. Pinterest eat your heart out. A Google+ Hangout will be up and running to give fashion addicts a chance to view and interact with the Topshop design team as they put the finishing touches on the collection.

However before all the fun starts there will be a pre-game show in the form of a red carpet hangout, featuring celebrity arrivals at the Tate Modern venue which of course will be broadcasted on Google+ and YouTube, not to mention the digital window displays of the flagship store on Oxford Street. Beyond cool. Mementos from the show such as make-up and music tracks used on the catwalk will also be available for immediate purchase. All I can say is wow! Go Topshop and go Google. This is amazing on so many levels. Everyone knows how exciting a fashion show is but you don’t really get to see the other sides and all the effort that goes into it from various parties. Not only will Topshop be showcasing their new pieces to a global audience in a way that engages and inspires people but at the same time they will be benefiting from all the content that is created whether it is tweets, likes and valuable feedback. It’s a total win win situation.

You can catch the Unique show by Topshop on Sunday 17th February at 3.00pm.


8
Feb 13

The Beauty of Vine

Vine
I always get a bit wary when a new Social Media platform comes along and sweeps everyone off their feet. Four years ago it was Tumblr which was flavour of the month and then Quora, Instagram and Pinterest followed, while Pinterest and Instagram are going strong, Tumblr has dropped off and Quora is barely noticed. So when I heard the mutterings about Vine on Twitter I was highly sceptical but after taking it in I can see just how effective it is. So exactly what is Vine I hear you ask. Well it is a mobile service that lets you capture and share beautiful and short looping videos. Each clip is around six seconds and allows you to record the sounds, voices, and scenes around you. The app is pretty simple to use and there is no painful editing needed. You just record, upload it and share and share alike on all your other social media channels. This really works brilliantly for events such as parties, press launches and premieres, projects such as fashion shoots, DIY and as well as personal adventures like holidays. Vine is a fantastic way of featuring new products that have been launched. Bloggers, online journalists and brands will be in their element here because Vine allows you to have an up close and three dimensional look at the products they are reviewing. To me it is like a mini You Tube but with the interactivity of Twitter which is no surprise as they are the people behind it.

Vine is available from the App Store but only for iPhone and iPad Touch but I can’t wait for it to hit the Android market. It will go crazy!

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