Potential Beta

What is Potential Beta?

Potential Beta is a battery monitoring application that allows you to sync multiple devices and view the battery, WiFi, and Bluetooth status of each device. This is helpful if you own multiple devices and want to see the battery state on all of them at once. It’s free to use in the Google Play Store with in app purchases.

Here’s how the app works. You create an account on one device and then sign into that same account on other devices. Once everything is connect, you’ll be able to see the battery level, WiFi, and Bluetooth on all of the connected devices. As an added bonus, you can also turn off WiFi and Bluetooth on any of your devices using any of your other devices. It’s not groundbreaking but it can save you a few seconds. Continue reading

Squawkin – Indie app of the day

What is Squawkin?

Squawkin is a new social media application that focuses more on messaging than on things like check ins or status updates. You can control the size of your messaging circles by using three different tiers and it does provide a little something different. It’s currently free in the Google Play Store with no in app purchases.

Here’s how the app works. Once you sign up and get settled in, you’ll be able to start interacting with people on Squawkin. There are three tiers of communication that you can use. There is the usual private messaging which is self explanatory. Groups allows you to create a group and populate it with people you know. Then those people can interact much like a chat room. The third tier is called Crowds and that’s kind of like following something on Twitter. You follow a person or interest and you can post there to have everyone see it. Likewise, they can do the same.

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44 Apps That Turn Your Smartphone Into a Productivity Powerhouse (Infographic)

In today’s mobile landscape, where unfocused pedestrians regularly walk into walls and a majority of Americans prize their beloved gadgets above sex, smartphones have come to serve for many as dangerous agents of distraction. But when optimally harnessed, they can serve as powerful productivity tools.

From to-do lists to time management to goal-tracking to file storage, here’s a look at 44 of the best apps to help entrepreneurs systematize the unwieldy process of building a business, as compiled by British IT company Conosco.

Among our favorites? HabitRPG, a task manger that gamifies your habits and accomplishments, and Focus@will, which combines background music and neuroscience to purportedly boost productivity by up to 400 percent.

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Snapchat Steps On Twitter’s Toes, Lets You Follow Remote Events Live

Snapchat has just updated its app with a brand new Live section that will incorporate Our Story into everyone’s feed, regardless of location. Our Story is a Snapchat product that lets users contribute snaps to a single Story (or, thread of snaps) from a single event.

The product first launched back at Electronic Daisy Carnival, and then went on to Rio, Outside Lands, and Lollapalooza. The reaction was great and users contributed over 350 hours of snaps over the course of those events.

Today, the feature is going Live (if you will) for all users, letting them “experience Stories contributed by the Snapchat community at all sorts of events [...] around the world,” according to the official blog post.

It’s unclear how events will be chosen to be a part of Snapchat’s new Live “Our Story” section, or whether or not this will one day act as a revenue stream for Snapchat. It’s not hard to imagine music festivals, sporting events, concert tours, colleges, or other ‘location-based communities’ paying for access to a marketing channel like Snapchat’s main feed page.

We’ve reached out to Snapchat for more clarity on just how the company plans to select various events, but for now you can update the app to take a look at the new “Live” section. It can be found under Recent Updates.

Instagram’s New Hyperlapse App Makes Mobile Timelapse And Steady Video Capture Easy

Instagram is building new apps that aim to do more with mobile photography, and today they’re launching Hyperlapse, which allows you to make timelapse videos using standard video captured with your smartphone camera on the fly. The Hyperlapse app launch closely follows the international launch of Bolt, Instagram’s Snapchat-style photo sharing app, but this one looks like it has more of the ingredients that made Snapchat such a success.

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The app, which is due to be released at 10 AM PT today, offers iPhone users a way to make professional-looking timelapses without expensive photography equipment like pro cameras, steady-mounts or tripods, and takes advantage of image stabilization tech that makes use of movement data gathered by gyroscopes to mimic the effect of ultra-expensive motion stabilization software used by film studios, but using a fraction of the processor power to get it done.

One impulse at Instagram was to build it into its existing app, but doing so would’ve hidden the functionality too much for those really eager to try it, and made it virtually invisible to the average user who might not realize they even want it, per Wired. To me, this sounds like Instagram learned a lesson from Instagram Video and Direct, and wanted to give this cool new tech the attention it deserved as its own app, where it stands a good chance of going viral rather than being adopted by just some of Instagram’s existing user community.

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Instagram’s Hyperlapse is, like its original product, focused on       simplicity – the only thing that you can change about your captures is the speed of playback. You use a slider to control how fast the video you eventually share will play at, from standard 1x speed (i.e. the normal speed at which it was recorded) to 12x.

Even at 1x, you get to take advantage of the advanced image stabilization techniques, but the same video is bound to produce an extremely different final effect depending on what playback speed you combine with the automatic stabilization effects.

This looks to be one of the coolest new mobile apps released in a while, particularly from the Facebook/Instagram crowd. The app is live now for iPhone owners (Android users will have to wait for a later version, unfortunately), and we’ll soon post our impressions regarding this new stabilization tech and its effectiveness.

Which Apps Are Eating Your Battery? Normal Will Tell You.

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Somewhere, somehow, maybe less than a year after I got the latest version of my iPhone, its battery would mysteriously deplete in about half a day.

I wasn’t really sure why. But now I can find out.

There’s a new app called ‘Normal’ out from a pair of Stanford Ph.Ds in computer science named Adam Oliner and Jacob Leverich, who are turning some postdoctoral research into a company called Kuro Labs.

Their first project, Normal, is a battery diagnosis service that tracks and compares your app usage to other iOS device owners to see if there are any specific actions you can take to save battery life. The 99 cent app compares your phone’s battery usage over time with other people who have similar combinations of apps.

Hence, the name ‘Normal’ — is your phone’s battery life normal compared to other devices that are the exact same model?

“Battery is a pain point and there are not good solutions,” Oliner said. “The device doesn’t tell you everything you need to know. Why is it using so much energy? Is that normal or not? That’s what we’re trying to adjust.”

When you go inside Normal, you’ll see active apps, inactive battery hogs and other apps. For each app, there is a ring chart that will show you how much battery life you’ll save if you close a specific app.

normal-screenshotSo for instance, if I shut Facebook’s mobile app off, Normal estimates that I’ll save 26 minutes and 47 seconds of battery life. Or if I close inactive apps running in the background like Instagram, I’ll save an hour and seven minutes.

Certain apps can be re-configured to use up less battery. Oliner says Pinterest, for example, is not normally a battery hog but there are a few configurations that make it more energy intensive. There’s a screen inside the app that will tell you if a specific app is behaving normally compared to other identical apps on other smartphones.

The app is based on a project Oliner led at UC Berkeley that eventually became an app called Carat. The concept seems almost identical. That older app would quietly take measurements from your device, combine that data it with other people’s anonymized usage metrics, and then send back tips on whether to update your OS or kill or restart apps.

Now that Oliner is finished with postdoc work, he decided to start a new bootstrapped company with Leverich called Kuro Labs that may spin out more similar concepts. He hinted at looking at laptops or tablets.

“The closest analogous company is something like Bugsense, which diagnoses crashes,” he said. “But we’re doing energy instead.”

 

Flappy Bird Returns As A Multiplayer Game… But Only For Amazon’s Fire TV

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NOBODY PANIC! FLAPPY BIRD IS BACK. Kind of.

Back in February, Flappy Bird developer Dong Nguyen pulled his game from the store, citing his guilt for making what he considered an “addictive product”.

He later promised that the game would return in August, but with a few tweaks. It’d intentionally be “less addictive”, and would have a new multiplayer element added into the mix.

It’s August — and sure enough, it’s back. But it turns out there was another twist he didn’t mention before: at least for now, it’s exclusive to Amazon’s Fire TV box.

Now rebranded as “Flappy Birds Family“, the game tries to focus on a two-player mode that pits players against each other in a race to a pre-set finish line. In a strange move, Dong has opted to complicate the game a bit — instead of only having to worry about pipes, the game now has roaming enemies (like the little ghost dude pictured below) that try to get in your way and wreck your progress.

The decision to go exclusive to the Fire TV is also a strange one. Unless Amazon kicked down a small mountain of cash for the exclusivity, tying your game to a weird psuedo-console that not many people own doesn’t really make it less addictive — it just makes it less likely anyone will care. So did Amazon shell out? If so, how much? We’re asking around — shoot us a tip if you know anything.

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