Issue 21 - What's Hot in Tech

Are podcasts all the rage? Either way, listen to this


Some say we're in the golden age of the podcast, that we're witnessing a renaissance for audio series. Others ask, where have you been? They say podcasts never left and have long been building their audience. The term podcast, a series of downloadable or streamable audio episodes, came to be thanks to the iPod – a portmanteau of the words "iPod" and "broadcast". The iPod eventually gave way to smartphones and online streaming, but the podcast stuck around and is considered by some as the rebirth of radio.

The latest podcast to strike gold is Serial, an audio series documenting one true murder mystery per season. Produced by This American Life, Serial recently became the fastest podcast to reach 5 million downloads and is available on iTunes or the Serial website. Season 1 looks at the story of Hae Min Lee's 1999 murder and the conviction of her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed.

Easily clean up photos and save space on your phone 

Managing photos on your iPhone or iPad can be a pain in the butt. As you continue to capture high-quality photos, the storage space on your device dwindles – and eventually you get the dreaded "not enough storage" message. Assuming you've already backed up your photos using a service like Dropbox or Amazon (or even if you haven't), the easy solution to freeing up space on your device is to delete photos. Unfortunately, deleting a large number of photos in one fell swoop is no easy task on iOS. That's where the app Bulk Delete comes in.

Bulk Delete allows you to easily delete all photos; only those taken in the last month, week, or day; or select individual shots. In a matter of a few touches, you can free up tons of space on your iPhone or iPad. Bulk Delete is available in the App Store for a reasonable $0.99. 

Ditch the business card and the "networking" apps   

We've all been there, you're at a cocktail party or networking event and you meet someone worth keeping in touch with. What do you do? Give them a business card they'll lose? Jot down a note in your phone you'll never find again? Fumble around with the latest networking app only to find the other person needs to have it too?

Intro is a dead-simple app for immediately making contact with someone in an effort to "kill the business card," as the app puts it. Once you meet someone, simply enter their email address, where you met them, and an optional customized introduction into Intro and press "send intro." The other person receives an email with all they need to keep in touch. Rather than coming up with another app to bump our phones together or beam information to others, Intro gives us an easy user interface on top of something we all have – email. Download Intro for iOS.

Photography app brings manual controls, adds iPad interface for editing

VSCO Cam is my favorite photography app, both for taking photos and processing them after the fact. The app has a great camera interface for composing the perfect shot and offers a myriad of filters to bring your photos to life. 

At long last, VSCO Cam has come to the iPad allowing users to sync photos between devices for viewing and editing across devices. As a result, you can shoot photos on your iPhone and edit and share from the comfort of your larger-screen iPad. The iPad app also allows side-by-side comparison of filters to help you make the best choice. In addition to the iPad app, the iPhone app now provides advanced, manual control over shutter speed, focus, and more – sure to make photographers happy. Download VSCO Cam for iPhone / iPad

Facebook launches standalone Groups app

Facebook continues to “unbundle” their main Facebook app with the release of their standalone Groups app for iOS and Android. The unbundle movement is all about finding simplicity and focus for smartphone apps – rather than one app doing many things fairly well, multiple apps each focus on a single task/feature and do it really well. The Groups app arranges your groups based on recent activity and helps users discover new groups or create their own. Over 700 million Facebook users use the groups feature each month.

Dropbox’s Carousel comes to iPad and the web

Dropbox is my photo backup service of choice given its reliable service and reasonable pricing – 1 TB (1,000 GB) of storage for $10 / month. Dropbox is also great for storing all your files for safe keeping in the cloud and easy access across all your computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Earlier this year, Dropbox released Carousel, an app focused on backing up your photos and exploring the photos stored in your account. Carousel is now available for iPad, bringing its photo viewing experience to the "big screen". Download Carousel

Quick Hits

  • Cushion is a new app/service providing project planning and management for freelancers. It includes tracking for project timelines and invoices, client monitoring, and financial goals. Cushion is currently in paid beta and approaching public launch.
  • Evernote, my favorite app for taking notes and saving articles, updated its Mac app (version 6.0) including an all new design and much faster syncing – download Evernote for Mac in the App Store
  • Find out everything Google knows about you using these six links
  • Skillpocket is a new iPhone app for people to find and select consultants across an array of industries including social media, website optimization, public relations, and photography. Download Skillpocket for iOS to sign up as an available consultant or find someone to help you or your business.

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As a tech enthusiast, early adopter, and avid reader, I come across a lot of gadgets, apps, websites, and more. Few things excite me more than sharing and discussing these finds with others. Follow me on Twitter where I share even more tech news and trends.