Mobile Apps

Upgrade Your iOS Home Screen: Calendar

When the iPhone first came out, the functionality of the Calendar app was limited. You could track your calendar on the iPhone, but, since the iPhone couldn’t sync with an Exchange calendar at the time and, even if it could, Google wouldn’t release Google Exchange Sync for two more years, you could not sync your iPhone calendars over the air. Your only option was to plug your iPhone into your PC and sync with a desktop application like Outlook. Much has changed since then. Now you can not only sync your calendar wirelessly, you can do so with multiple calendars, whether they are with your work’s Exchange calendar, with MobileMe (now iCloud), or with Google. Still, there’s some room for improvement. For example, you can only look at your calendar in Portrait mode, not Landscape (this may change in iOS5). You also only have three calendar views in the default app. Fortunately, there are many iOS apps out there which can turn you calendar into the full fledged powerhouse that you need to keep organized. I’ve reviewed three of the best, although, in my opinion, one stands out above the others.

Mobile Apps Reviews

App Review: AppBrain Android App Marketplace

AppBrain LogoThere’s nothing wrong with Android’s own app marketplace, especially now that Google’s updated the marketplace, making it much more user friendly and accessible on the web. What’s missing, however, is a community which you can access to get great recommendations for apps based on the apps you use, as well as reviews from users which you can use to compare various apps which perform similar functions. The AppBrain Marketplace is here to fill that void.

AppBrain is a free install for your Android phone as well as a website. One of the beauties of AppBrain is that you can sync your installed apps list to your profile on the AppBrain website. By doing this, the AppBrain website can look at your app list, compare it to other users’ lists, and make recommendations for apps which you may find interesting and/or useful. As you install more apps and sync your list on AppBrain, the recommendations become better and better. You can also post your own app reviews, helping other users find apps for their Android phones. Since AppBrain links with your Google account, you don’t need to create an account to participate in the AppBrain community.

Appy Friday! iPhone Technology

Appy Friday: WGI

Recently, Winter Guard International released their own iOS app, joining the ranks of Drum Corps International, Drum Corps Europe, the Blue Devils, and the Phantom Regiment as marching arts organizations with apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. While there are some similarities between this and the other apps, the WGI app has a couple unique features which have potential to cross over to some or all of the other apps.

The primary purpose of the WGI app is to inform and market the activity. As a result, most of the app is focused on delivering information. The app features sections focused on upcoming events, the latest news, scores (currently empty), and WGI’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Tapping on an item in a section brings up more information on that item. For example, tapping on an event brings up the scheduled participants, location, seating diagrams, and how to buy tickets. Navigation is straightforward and simple.