Tag Archives | Apps

mSpot for iPhone: A Cool App I Won’t Be Using

Smartphones aren’t always big enough to hold an entire music library, so mSpot hopes to ease the burden by storing your tunes in the cloud.

The mSpot service, previously available for Android phones, now has an iPhone app as well. You can store up to 2 GB of music for free to mSpot’s servers, and get another 40 GB of storage for $4 per month.

I have no major complaints with the mSpot app or service. Installation was painless, and you can filter uploads by artist or existing playlists, so it’s easy to create a 2 GB playlist in iTunes specifically for mSpot. The app is simple to navigate, and I like how you can swipe your finger to switch tracks (iTunes really needs something driver-friendly like this). There’s also a web app for playing your library from any PC.

Yet, I think the idea behind mSpot has limited appeal.

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Verizon's Own Android App Store: Good for Google?

Over at Gizmodo, Kyle VanHemert has a unique spin on a report that Verizon Wireless will open its own V-Cast app store for Android: Despite the appearance of competition with the proper Android Market, Google may ultimately be happy with the move.

VanHemert quotes an interview last May with Android boss Andy Rubin, who said the platform is “a numbers game.” Essentially, the more products running Android, the better, so if Verizon finds success with the V-Cast app store, it’ll mean more Verizon phones running Android in the future. And that’s ultimately good for Google (even if Verizon occasionally flirts with Bing for search).

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My6sense Now Predicts What Android Users Like

Last week, I wrote a story for PC World about Gmail’s priority inbox feature, which flags unread messages as important depending on previous interactions and other cues. My hope was that the same idea — algorithmic sifting of the web’s information overload — would find its way to other services like social networking and RSS feeds.

Turns out, there’s a free app for that. It’s called My6sense, and it launched today for Android phones, though it’s been available in the iPhone App Store since last year.

My6sense connects with Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz (in Android only, for now) and RSS feeds, and tries to display the most interesting content on top. At first, the selection is a crapshoot, picking out stories and status updates that are getting a lot of responses. Over time, the app digs through everything you click on to determine your favorite publications, authors, keywords and topics. It also considers how long you spend reading a particular story, separating skimmed articles from ones that hold your attention.

I haven’t used My6sense enough to get past the initial stages of randomness, but already I can tell that the app is throwing away some insubstantial news articles and Tweets about breakfast. Even when you command My6sense to include status updates that don’t have links, it still puts a heavy emphasis on link Tweets.

This is clearly a consumption tool; you can share stories, but can’t post any original content to Facebook or Twitter from the app. In that regard, I see My6sense as part of the new breed of apps and services that distill social networking into pure content curation. But while Flipboard and paper.li rely on other people to pick the best stories, My6sense trusts the process to a computer algorithm. Which system works better is, fortunately, still left for humans to decide.


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Chomp's iPhone App Search Engine: Neat, But Not Yet the Google of Apps

The single best thing about the iPhone is that there are a quarter-million applications for it. And one of the single most frustrating things about the iPhone is how difficult it is to find anything other than the apps that make it to the front page of Apple’s App Store.

Enter Chomp, a startup that aims to do more than Apple has to date to help you find cool software for your device–the iPhone for now, and other platforms over time. The company’s ambitious goal is to be the Google.com of app search. They’ve done a number of things right, but I’ve been puzzled by some of the results I’ve gotten as I’ve played around with the app tonight.

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