There seem to be a dozen new web apps released every day. But what about the apps you could actually use? Edudemic has gone through the latest news clippings and test-driven a few of the newest web apps to see if they’re going to help your everyday life.
I hope this list is helpful and encourage you to add to it if you have another web app that you think will help Edudemic readers. Just leave a comment or post on the Edudemic Facebook wall!
If you’ve ever shopped with Amazon or used a tablet or computer to read an e-book, listen up. The Kindle Cloud Reader is a great tool for people who don’t even own a Kindle. The Cloud Reader syncs your previously read pages to all your devices, so you don’t need to start at the beginning every time you pick up the book on a different device. It also automagically updates itself and even has an offline mode that lets you read your books when not connected to the Internet. Perfect for natural disasters like Hurricane Irene or simply when you’re out of wi-fi range.
Need some inspiration? Want some motivation to help you become an Olympic athlete? President? A better eater? Just let Oobafit help you track your goals. This is a great tool for encouraging students to set year-long long-term goals and then making them keep track of their progress. Best of all, the app lets you share your progress with others and it even lets friends share messages of encouragement for you. Win-win!
Personal finance apps like Mint.com are aplenty. PocketSmith presents you with all your bills and to-do lists in a more useful fashion: as a calendar. You can now basically view what you have to pay and when in a manner that makes sense. Gone are the Mint.com days of tons of pop-ups that remind you that a bill has to be paid, etc. PocketSmith is not quite as mature as Mint but it does have even more features like a graph to chart your spending and the ability to set goals.
Looking for an elegant web-based way to create and present slides? There are no downloads needed with 280Slides, a beautiful site that has an intuitive interface. I wouldn’t be surprised if this app was bought by Apple (Keynote) or Microsoft (PowerPoint) in the near future.
You can import presentations from Keynote and PowerPoint, select a variety of themes, and use it anywhere because it’s cloud-based. If you’ve used either PowerPoint or Keynote then you can use this app. Fear not, you can download the presentations and even publish them right to the web.
If you’ve ever wished someone a happy birthday because you saw it on Facebook… Givvy may be for you. It uses this tidbit of information and helps you buy gifts for friends and family with upcoming birthdays or anniversaries. It basically uses product recommendations (also from friends and other curators) to help you pick the perfect gift with plenty of time before the big day. You’ll look like an actually thoughtful friend or family member.
Follow Givvy curators for gift recommendations that come highly recommended. Post your own ideas and create gift lists to share with friends and family members. You can even shop by personality type — maybe you’re in search of a gift for a hipster or wine lover, for instance.
Another great web app that helps you get things done. LazyMeter is a terrific set of to-do lists that is simple, easy-to-use, and helps you understand what you need to do in a graphically friendly view. It’s a fun graph system that shows you how many tasks you’ve done, what’s left, and which tasks you have put off. Helpful for students who have been putting off homework (or teachers who have put off grading papers!)
If you’re job hunting, you need a killer resume. If you don’t have the technical know-how to make a truly gorgeous one, let ResumeBaking help out. You can even view stats on who has viewed your resume and share it via social networks. Pretty cool. Also, it’s free!
Penzu lets students, staff, and faculty keep a diary with a familiar format that encourages them to get their thoughts down on digital paper. They can opt to share it with others or not. Since it’s digital, you can upload and share photos from Flickr, send out particular journal entries, use it as a blog, or just get your thoughts down on “paper” in the event you have a great idea.
Great for a semester-long project where teachers encourage students to keep a journal so they can go back and look at their thought process, feelings, and emotions from the entire semester.
Looking for a way to make an elegant flowchart? Who isn’t? Cacoo has stencils, a history feature that lets you undo and redo, collaboration features, and the ability to export your diagrams into PDF, PNG, and other formats. Great for classrooms!
Facebook may be the default platform for sharing — and over-sharing — just about anything. Now Foodily’s new Facebook app, launched Tuesday, gives cooking enthusiasts a streamlined feed for recipe sharing on the social network. The recipe search engine pulls its content from a wide range of sources across the web, indexing recipes by ingredient. Its new app gives you a dedicated, real-time feed of the recipes your friends save on the site and allows you to see your friends’ recipe boxes. When you save a recipe, the friend who initially shared the dish is notified. Foodily co-founder and CEO Andrea Cutright thinks the app fills a recipe-sharing void on Facebook. “I lose them in the wall, I see them maybe for a minute, I can’t hang on to them,” she says.
iTunes Match Beta
The beta for iTunes Match, Apple’s service for bringing all of your music to iCloud, has been released to developers. The service is part of the release of iTunes 10.5 beta 6.1. iTunes Match scans a user’s music and finds copies of those songs in iCloud, regardless of whether those songs were purchased through iTunes. That music can then be played or streamed via iTunes.
The iTunes Match beta is available now to U.S. developers for $24.99 for a 12 month paid subscription. Developers that jump on iTunes Match during the beta period get an additional three months for free. Developers should back up their iTunes library because “Apple will periodically reset your iCloud library during the beta.”
On The Fly Google+ Translations
This one’s a Chrome extension but worth noting. If communication barriers on Google+ got you down, never fear. Google has released a tool to ensure that updates from its international user basecan be easily translated. Google Translate for Google+, released Monday, is a simple browser extension for Chrome that translates posts and comments into more than 50 languages.
“We’ve heard from a lot of Google+ users wanting an easier way to understand posts written in other languages. I’m an engineer on Google Translate and thought we could do something about that,” writes Google Translate front-end and mobile development lead Josh Estelle in an update on Google+. “Once you’ve installed the extension, refresh Google+ and you’ll see Translate links next to posts and comments. Click the links to instantly see translations.”
The addition won’t prevent all Google+ updates from getting lost in translation, but it will certainly make it easier for users to chat with others who speak different languages.