Now that winter has hit the country, cycling has moved indoors for much of the U.S. That means straddling a stationary bike or throwing your trusty road or mountain bike up on a stand (or if you’re really brave, rollers).
That’s where the Xspin comes in. it’s a small box filled with sensors and a low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 radio that attaches to a crank arm and sends speed, distance and cadence data to an accompanying app — either one of two developed by its parent company, Pafers, or a handful of popular third-party cycling apps, like Strava or MapMyRide. It’ll also work with ellipticals (though it obviously attaches differently, since ellipticals don’t have cranks).
Thanks to Apple’s tireless vetting of App Store apps, it’s tricky for an app to flat-out snoop on you. Then again, the behavior of some apps could be thought of as snooping if you squint and look at them the wrong way.
Foursquare is all about location, but that’s because it knows exactly where you are. And Facebook is… Well, Facebook likes to know things about you.
But you can keep earning Mayorships and tweeting your pictures without telling everyone where you live, or letting them post your location to Facebook. Just follow our handy guide to the privacy settings of various famous apps.
I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time deleting spam messages from my inbox — despite using a junk mail filter. But the issue is about to get a whole lot worse, with Google gearing up to deliver adverts to our Gmail inboxes. The messages will appear under the new Promotions tab that was recently introduced in a Gmail update, and Google is testing them on a small number of users now.
UpTo might be the best social calendar app ever made. I’ve never really seen anything like it; so if it isn’t the best (or really the only) social calendar app around, whatever else is out there must be perfect — because UpTo is pretty damn fantastic.
The whole point of UpTo is to create a social experience around calendars, in a way that’s at once instantly recognizable and ridiculously simple to use.
Social weather iPhone app Weathermob has just seen a big, fat update, which Weathermob‘s PR people describe as “a deeper, more delightful and safer understanding of weather.”
With new activity-based (surfing, hiking, golfing, gardening) channels and additional detail added to the realtime weather trends aggregated from its users, this is social weather, and unlike anything else available at the app store.
It’s a bit of a challenge to describe Spreecast in a nutshell — hence the clumsy headline.
Watching the service is sort of like eavesdropping on a videochat between a small group of people; only you can also interact with other viewers, and the videochatters (I hereby coin this word) themselves, through live (text) comments. Spreecast has been used by a bunch of big organizations and famous people — a few standout examples include Reese Witherspoon, The Wall Street Journal, VH1 — to broadcast conversations and interviews. Of course, peons like me (or you) can also use Spreecast to broadcast our own chatter.
Spreecast is old news, since it’s been around since late 2011; but now it’s available as an iPhone app.
Twitter recently announced that it’s killing TweetDeck for Android, iOS, and Adobe AIR, and we now have a date for the operation. TweetDeck will stop functioning and be pulled from Android and iOS on May 7, according to an announcement on the TweetDeck website.
Netflix is a fantastic service, but it doesn’t do much of that “social” jazz everyone’s talking about these days. That’s about to change, though, with Netflix now introducing the appropriately christened Netflix Social, which will let you see what’s popular amongst your friends.
Developers have been making fresh and innovate Twitter apps for years.
Do you have a favorite third-party Twitter app that you use everyday? I use Tweetbot on my iPhone, iPad and Mac. I’ve been using third-party Twitter clients since I joined the social network in 2008. It’s fun to switch apps and try new clients as they are released for different devices. Many would say that Twitter has succeeded because of the developer community that made (and continues to make) such great apps. Heck, Twitter wouldn’t even have its own mobile or desktop app if it hadn’t bought Tweetie years ago.
Like any growing business, Twitter’s mission as a platform is changing. In a recent interview, the CEO of Twitter explained what kind of apps and services the company wants to have tie into its platform, and there isn’t much room left for the third-party apps we all know and love.