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Tag Archives: applications

Tired Of Passwords? Knock App Unlocks Your Mac With Knock On Your iPhone

Knock-unlock-mac-app

We live in an age where the seemingly mundane task of entering a password can become cumbersome enough for some to compel them to develop an app that helps you bypass that altogether. Knock, for instance, is software that lets you unlock your Mac just by tapping on your iPhone twice. The app doesn’t even need to be running. Think of this scenario: you’re at a cafe, you leave to go to the restroom and lock your Mac, while keeping your phone in your pocket. As soon as you’re coming back to your laptop just tap twice on your pocket and it’ll be ready for you to use before you’ve even sat down, no need to enter any password. It works brilliantly; I just downloaded and tested. The app uses low-power Bluetooth 4.0, so it won’t drain your battery. It will, however, cost you $4 to own. The Mac application is free, it’s the related one on the iPhone that costs.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ UberGizmo ]

New App Gives You Access To Cash At ATM Without Your Card

cardless-cash-qr-code

Taking money out of the ATM doesn’t take a whole lot of time, but it’s once you start adding up all those seconds that you realize a little improvement can go a long way. Three banks in the US are testing a new application called Cardless Cash Access (CCS) that would grant you your paper bills with a simple swipe of your phone. The way it works is that you launch the app up to 24 hours in advance and specify how much cash you want. It’ll generate a QR code which you then just need to present at the machine to unlock the goods, without having to go through the usual steps of getting cash. A transaction with CCS takes about 9 seconds, compared to 30 to 40 for a card withdrawal. And it’s presumably reasonably safe, even if someone steals your phone, because the thief would have to go through several security layers before being able to generate a one time use QR code (such as your phone’s lock code, the application’s password and PIN number). It even eliminates the danger from card skimmers. The three banks in question are Wintrust (IL), BMO (Chicago), and City National (Los Angeles). If this catches on, maybe it’ll spread from there.

[ CNN ] VIA [ DVice ]

You Gonna Eat That Stapler?…. You… Wanna Share It?

leftover-sharing-app

Don’t feel bad if you don’t get the Family Guy reference (from its long gone golden years…). But reading about the LeftoverSwap application above made us think about it. See, some fine folk seem to think it a good idea to spend resources creating a smartphone application that allows you to share your leftovers. Yes, really. Ordered too much food? Take a picture of what’s left and upload it. You’re hungry and don’t mind eating someone else’s half eaten burritos? Fire up the application and browse nearby selections. Press a few buttons to arrange pickup or delivery, and you’re done. Yes, this is serious, and no it’s not a joke.

There’s some relatively sound reasoning behind it. The application developers assert that 40% of the food we produce goes to waste, 25% of us don’t know our neighbors’ names, 70% of us are overweight, 16% of Americans lack enough food for a healthy lifestyle and 99% of us don’t need a second helping of beef lo main. LeftoverSwap solves all these problems at once, encouraging you to eat free, save potentially wasted food, meet your neighbours, and prevent them from getting too fat. It’s not a bad idea, if only people manage to get over the idea of eating someone else’s cold, potentially unsanitary food. But hey, thumbs up for making at effort at tackling some problems.

Still under development, you can visit the website and leave your email to be notified when it’s finished.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Geekologie ]

Brilliant Idea: Smartphone “Game” Challenges You To Throw Your Phone As High As Possible

SMTH-App

Oh, what could possibly go wrong? SMTH (Send Me To Heaven) is a simple application that uses a phone’s accelerometer to determine just how high above the ground the device has reached, after it’s been foolishly thrown up in the air by some overconfident simpleton. The higher the better, with high scores posted online in a bid to challenge you to outdo your similarly quick witted friends. It’s only available for Android phones, probably because Apple took some issue with the idea in general. But hey, if your phone is on the way out in the first place, maybe this is a cool way to send it off. Kind of like doing a smoke show in the parking lot when it’s time to replace your car’s tires?

[ Google’s Play Store ] VIA [ IncredibleThings ]

This 14 Month Old Accidentally Bought A Vintage Car On eBay

toddler_vintage_car-590x330

Handing your kids a smartphone or tablet may sound like a great idea to get some peace and quiet, but that’s until you realize that kids are more than capable of pressing a few buttons and committing potentially colossal blunders. In this case, Paul Stoute from Oregon handed his 14 month old daughter his iPhone, but forgot to log out of his eBay application. Sure enough, she ended up buying a 1962 Austin Healy Sprite! Luckily for Stoute, the car was in terrible condition, and only cost $225; he had been looking to buy a vintage car in the first place, which is why it was so easy for his daughter to complete the transaction. Even more fortunate for him, she didn’t press BuyItNow on the $38,000 Porsche he had also been looking at.

Yes, the car is quite the fixer upper, but the Soutes have decided to keep it anyway with the hopes of having it be road worthy by the time their 14 month old, Sorella, turns 16. And the moral of this story is… don’t ever hand kids your phone. Or at the very least, log out of eBay.

toddler_vintage_car_02-590x332

VIA [ Geek.com ]

The Diary’s Gone Digital, But This Locking Pendant Is An Interesting Twist

iheart-locket

Say you’re a 12 year old girl and you want to keep a diary. Not that long ago, you might’ve put pen to paper and kept that little book under a pillow in your room, protected by nothing more than a ceremonial lock. In the iPad age however, it’s far more likely you’re going to go digital, but let’s face it, that tablet isn’t going to stay under your pillow. To keep your private diary private, the iHeart Locket uses a smart pendant as the locking mechanism for its iOS application. This pendant emits a unique audio chirp that both locks and unlocks the app. It’ll work with only one pendant, but if you lose it… you can always enter a 4 digit code to gain access again. Still, the notion that there’s a physical “key” that opens the diary could be appealing to the product’s target market.

The app itself allows you to add photos, illustrations, digital stickers and audio recordings, all scrapbook-style. There’s even “an automatic transcription function (powered by Nuance Communications) for those who are too young to type.” It’s altogether not a bad feature set for $25, and if someone’s birthday is coming up, could make for a decent present.

Or they’ll just think you’re cheesy, old and outdated and never use it. There’s no understanding kids.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

New Playboy App Lets You Really Read The Magazine “For The Articles”

Playboy-Magazine

For the younger generation, the easy access of nekkid pictures online has kind of made the old joke that you read Playboy “for the articles” kind of obsolete. The new generation is increasingly asking “What the heck is Playboy?” But now that the magazine has decided to launch an application for iOS, and that they have to follow the no nudity guidelines, it’s kind of relevant once again. Somewhat.

Scott Flanders, Playboy Enterprises’ chief executive said in a statement:

As the on-the-go extension of the Playboy brand, our new app brings the best of Playboy with original, thought-provoking and enticing bite-sized content that captures our design-driven and discernible style. We’ve rebuilt Playboy for iPhone from the ground up to attract the new generation of Gen Y fans who enjoy the indulgences of the artisanal good life and modern culture.

So… how good are the articles? Is it worth paying $2 for an application to a nudie mag… with no nudie pics?

VIA [ Geekosystem ]

Will Facebook Start Nagging You To Post Status Updates?

facebook-nagging

Sometime last week, Bijan Sabet, a general partner at Spark Capital discovered a new “feature” in Facebook’s iOS application: notifications meant to encourage you to post a new status update. No… nagging you to post an update. We’re not sure exactly how he found it, but he tweeted a screenshot, which you see above. So what’s the deal?

Mashable reached out to Facebook for comment and was told that it’s “a small test they’re running.” Facebook of course does this all the time, trying things out to see what works and what doesn’t, always looking for new ways to boost engagement. There’s no way to tell if this is something that’s going to be made into an official “feature”, but we’re thinking that backlash on this one could very likely top the frequent privacy kerfuffles Facebook is known for.

Any of you want something like this?

VIA [ UberGizmo ]

Use Sonar And Your Smartphone To Catch Fish

Assuming that going fishing isn’t just an excuse for you to go get drunk on a canoe, the Realsonar system pictured above might interest you. It’s an ultrasound device mounted on a buoy, which then communicates with your smartphone through Bluetooth. In this fashion, you get to see where the fish are up to a depth of 150ft. It works at about 4 frames per second, which should be plenty for you to cast your line in the direction and depth required.

But that’s not all the Realsonar does. There’s a Bite Alarm that lets you know when a fish is nearby, so you don’t even have to look at the screen (or even put your line in the water) while you wait. There’s also a mapping feature that lets you get an idea of the underwater topography, which is welcome to any boat owner that doesn’t want to run aground. Salinity and temperature sensors give you an idea of water conditions. And should you lose your buoy in the dark, you just press a button on the phone and it’ll light right up.

The Realsonar system is in the funding phase on IndieGogo. It’s $79 if you get in early, though there’s plenty of room right now.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ DVice ]