On Wednesday we ventured down to NYU, New York to attend the September NY Tech Meetup, which showcases 10 brand new applications or technologies each month.
The apps on display last night ranged from the practical, such as NYC Bike Buddy which helps cyclists to find bike-friendly routes and useful cycling-related resources, and also allows you to plot, time, name and share your journeys; through to the beautiful, such as Magisto which is the anti-Vine. Magisto takes the randomly captured, disjointed photo and video content from your smartphone and automatically edits it into a social keepsake with a linear narrative, and consistent theme and production.
Another highlight of the evening was Nudge.cc, by Brandon Diamond. Inspired by a friend’s regular newsletter, and to combat the shortcomings of other popular social communications platforms (‘Facebook is where you tell lies to your friends; Twitter is where you tell truths to strangers’ – Brandon quipped), Brandon built Nudge.cc, an automated and collaborative newsletter application. You select which friends you want to keep in touch with, and Nudge.cc emails your friendship group on a regular basis asking for an email update of what’s going on in their lives. The responses are collated into a newsletter and distributed to the entire group.
One of the themes that permeated the event was life-hacking. Whether it was finding the best cycle route with NYC Bike Buddy, reporting public safety issues with Public Stuff, keeping in touch with your friends using Nudge.cc, or circumventing hours of Final Cut time with Magisto: these were applications designed to simplify our lives and allow us more time for the important stuff, like posting pictures of our dinner on Instagram and watching videos of twerking dogs.
This got us thinking about the everyday life hacks that we couldn’t live without, and, as a company of 200 social dorks spread across the globe – we have a pretty diverse selection. Here are our top six, we hope you enjoy:
- MrSun: Mick, from New Zealand is a moderator and a photographer. Mick recommends this handy app, which gives you sunrise and sunset times and position on the horizon, and doubles up as a compass. Great for photographers, filmmakers and Feng shui enthusiasts.
- MyFitnessPal: Recommended by Jo from our English moderation team and Finn from our Account Management team, MFP tracks what you eat including calories, fiber, vitamins, saturated fat etc. and visualizes that data in an easy to absorb format. Great for dieters but also for people interested in maintaining a balanced diet.
- TimeScroller: Dom is the head honcho at Tempero, and as such often finds himself in time zone limbo bouncing from one international call to the next. TimeScroller helps Dom quickly arrange cross-time zone meetings and calls without counting the hours backwards on his fingers
- Citymapper: Community Manager Emily recommends this app which collates all London transport information into one place, including tube and bus information, walking directions, where you can jump on a Boris bike and even how many docked Boris bikes there are in real time. And the best bit is that they’ve just launched in NY too!
- Tile: everyone has something that they lose constantly, whether it’s their wallet, keys, the kids. Attach the light and sleek ‘tile’ to anything that you are worried about losing, and the tile app will tell you where it is at any time. The physical tile will even emit an audible alert when triggered by the app to help you find the keys when they’ve slipped down the back of the couch. Recommended by Susannah, from the English moderation team
- CamScanner: this one is by no means the sexiest or most fun app in the world, but for an Account man on the go it’s really useful for digitizing receipts and other important documents quickly. CamScanner creates PDFs that look just like scanned documents using the camera on your smart phone. Great for last minute filling out of expense sheets, and for capturing receipts in digital form before they get destroyed in the wash because you forgot to take them out of your pocket