Category Archives: Mobile Phones

Pokemon Go – The Next Frontier of Social Media

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Every handful of years a cultural craze will sweep through our society and redefine our relationship with the world and how we interact with one another. Increasingly, these moments are being brought about by our obsession with smartphones and the opportunities for new experiences which these sophisticated gadgets provide.

Pokémon Go is the most recent of these cultural crazes to spring forth from our smartphones. It is the most successful mobile app ever, generating $500 million in customer spend from the Google Play Store and App Store in just 60 days and is being played by millions of people across the globe regardless of age, gender or social status. The Norwegian minister was even caught playing the addictive game during a defense hearing. Its impact has been wrestled with in the global mainstream media like a frisky Pikachu, with the seemingly inevitable hysteria over whether or not an activity which is in essence a video game is a harmless fad soon likely to pass, or a social evil wreaking untold ills on our children.

The debate has been fuelled in recent weeks with headline-grabbers such as the Pokémon player finding a body in a river whilst on the hunt for the famous critters and robbers using Pokémon creatures to bait victims. The game’s developer, Niantic, is even being sued because of the trouble blamed on the augmented reality game.

The next frontier for social

Pokémon Go’s huge commercial success is undoubtedly being driven by smartphone technology, but the foundation of Pokemon Go’s popularity is built on the very human desire for companionship and social interaction.

At first glance, Pokemon Go does not appear to be the most social of apps: groups of players wandering (often Zombie-like) through town centres or parks glued to their phones, apparently oblivious of the world passing them by. But, crucially, Pokemon Go is the first mobile app game of its kind which demands of its players not just a mobile internet connection but the need to physically be together to play. The point of the game is to go out together, in groups, and work together in a bid to increase your Pokémon collection.

Despite the augmented reality jiggery-pokery of Pokémon Go, the app is in many ways a hark back to the pre-video game era where children would be required to ‘make their own fun’, before the pixelated worlds of Super Mario, Sonic or Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider became so ingrained in our culture. Players are required to get off the couch, head out into the great outdoors with a bunch of buddies and get hunting for little monsters. It’s a mobile treasure hunt for the smartphone generation and, unlike the giant social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, this social platform is all about inter-human interaction, rather than just virtual friendships.

The return of face-to-face

Parents, of course, are delighted. Here is an app which gets their children off the sofa, meeting new people and dashing about working up a sweat chasing harmless pixel critters. And this parental nod of approval is getting developers and marketers licking their lips at the further potential of augmented reality software, with many tech commentators recognising that Pokemon Go might just be the killer application the world has been waiting for to kick-start the augmented reality genre and give tech flops like Google Glass a mainstream market.

Pokémon Go shows us that the digital world and human interaction are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, perhaps the one thing Pokemon Go has taught the tech community, is that our mobile phones and social media platforms can be used to nurture traditional, face-to-face relationships.

 

5 Best Productivity Apps for Busy People

iPhone, credit card and notepad

iPhone, credit card and notepad

The old saying, “if you want something done, ask a busy person” has been given a 21st century reboot with the new genre of mobile apps focussing on productivity and time efficiency. Our lives are getting busier with many of us struggling to find enough hours in the day to get everything done. Whether it’s trying to juggle work deadlines with our social lives or leisure time with family commitments, perhaps the well-known saying should now be “if you want something done, download an app”?

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done, whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects.

Clear organisation of tasks is the key to high productivity and Wunderlist allows you to organize and share your to-do, work, grocery, movies and household lists. No matter what you’re planning, how large or small the task may be, Wunderlist makes it a synch to get stuff done.

Wunderlist

Toggl

Tracking how long tasks take to complete is a crucial step in squeezing more into your day. Toggl’s comically simple interface is key to its popularity as Generation Y’s answer to the stuffy (and often inaccurate) time sheet.  Time keeping with Toggl has never been easier.

Toggl stats

Brainsparker

Let’s face it, wewall watched Bradley Cooper in that film Limitless and wanted to neck a pack of those little clear pills in order to overcome those mental blocks and spark some creative thinking. The next best option has to be the Brainsparker app which works like a deck of cards prompting creative thinking and inspiration with each shuffle. It’s an app which trains you to think outside the box, so often the key trait of hyper-productive people.

Brainsparker

 

SyncSpace

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and Syncspace allows users to sketch out ideas in a zoomable space and then share and collaborate ideas based on these canvasses. An absolute must for those operating the visual creative space.

If you want people to contribute to a document, you can invite them via iMessage or email. When a sketch is complete, you can send it to any app that supports PDF files, including Dropbox, Evernote, or iBooks.

syncspace

MangoApps

The workplace is the natural environment for productivity apps, and for on-the-go employees who need to stay in the loop, MangoApps is the best around. MangoApps effortlessly combines company’s Intranet, real-time messaging services and team collaboration tools, so that everything an employee needs is at their fingertips.

MangoApps has very quickly become a firm favourite with small and large businesses due to the diverse range of features it brings together and its user friendly interface.

MangoApps system