Techtivity Central

Mr Studiowala decides to prove himself in Bollywood. The newbie filmmaker believes his newest idea will prove to the world that he is a stable genius.

Published: 13th January 2018 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2018 03:25 PM   |  A+A-

Mr Studiowala decides to prove himself in Bollywood. The newbie filmmaker believes his newest idea will prove to the world that he is a stable genius. So one sunny day in Los Angeles, he wakes up bright and early, orders his favourite protein shake from UberEats, and goes on Twitter using the Tweetbot app to announce his new idea. “Want to remake either Sholay or DDLJ. Should be set in 2018 and should include modern technology.” Over the next few days, story ideas pour through. These are two of the ideas he picks.

Sholay: In the village of Ramgarh, retired police chief Thakur Baldev Singh plots to bring down notorious bitcoin bandit Gabbar Singh. He films the atrocities of Gabbar and shows the world through Facebook Live. When the world does not care, he uses a freelancer finder app and finds two petty criminals Jai and Veeru who demand an advance payment through Google’s Tez app. When Thakur naively transfers the money, Jai and Veeru are seen taking a flight to Bangkok instead of Ramgarh for the holiday they booked through the Yatra app. Thakur is forced to use Amazon to buy a mobility scooter when Gabbar finds out about his plan and cuts off his legs too.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge: Raj and Simran are non-resident Indians living in London. On a trip to Europe, Raj is late for his train but doesn’t try stupid stunts like taking someone else’s hand to jump on a speeding train because the railway company’s app tells him there is another train within the next 20 minutes. When the Starbucks app uses beacons to recognise he is nearby a restaurant and lets him know of the fact, Raj goes off to get a tall caramel macchiato. There, his favourite dating app lets him know that he is right behind a French girl who loves beer as much as he does. When he sends over a dank meme to her through the app, they start talking and are last seen roaming the remote villages of Switzerland using a hiking app. Simran, meanwhile, used Udemy to learn app development and is now a famous developer in London. Her dad passes his time, sharing nationalistic memes on WhatsApp and leaves his daughter alone. Films are the reflection of the times we live in. And apps are changing the way we live. Here are our picks for your palm.

Utilities

Microsoft Launcher
(Android, Free)
Apple is able to give its customers a seamless experience between the Mac and the iPhone because it owns both the operating systems. Microsoft wants to give PC users the same experience on Android phones using the new improved Microsoft Launcher. So, like any good launcher, it lets users customise their feed and choose a look for the phone, but also goes further by letting them open photos and documents on PC directly from the phone.


Grammarly Keyboard
(iOS/Android, Free)
Grammarly, the online service that lets you write without grammatical mistakes now helps users on mobile with a easy to use keyboard. With features like a sophisticated grammar checker, a contextual spelling checker, advanced punctuation correction and vocabulary enhancements, Grammarly lets anyone write like a professional.


Bear
(iOS/Mac, Free)
This Apple Design Award-winning app is a beautiful note-taking app that helps you keep your thoughts organised. Useful for everything from quick notes to whole novels, Bear comes with beautiful themes and has smart data recognition and cross-note links that help you build a body of work. Available for the iPhone, iPad and the Mac, Bear makes sure you are ready to jot down ideas wherever you are.


Games

Rainbrow
(iOS, Free)
Rainbrow is the world’s first mobile game you can play just with your face. Using iPhone X’s unique face-tracking technology, you move the character in the game using just your eyebrows. The character will jump when you lift your eyebrows and will jump down if you lower them. You can dodge enemies and collect stars in this fun game.

Woorld
(Android, Free)
Coming from Keita Takahasi, the popular maker of the game Katamari, Woorld is an Augmented Reality (AR) game that uses your living room as its setting. With toilets, gardens and UFOs, Woorld will keep you occupied for hours on end in a never-before seen, beautiful game.  

Mosaic from Steven Soderbergh
(iOS, Free)
Mosaic, made by famous director Steven Soderbergh, is a game and also a HBO TV show. But unlike a traditional show, the story progresses in Mosaic based on the choices we make. Starring some of the biggest names in Hollywood such as Sharon Stone, Mosaic gives you almost 7.5 hours of entertainment.


Fitness

Google Fit
(Android, Free)
Google Fit instantly transforms your Android phone into a fitness tracker. Whether you walk, run, or cycle, all your activity is logged automatically and you are given instant insight through real time
stats and beautifully produced charts. It even connects with other apps.


Yonder
(iOS, Android/Free)
Yonder is the perfect app for the outdoor wandering type. With thousands of trails and treks around the world and a vibrant community, Yonder is just the right app whether you want to go rock climbing, kayaking or simply hiking.


Gymaholic
(iOS, Free)
Gymaholic is the first app to bring AR smarts to the exercise world. It uses a virtual trainer and a virtual avatar that will appear anywhere you want like in your living room or in your gym. By showing you the correct posture and which muscles are affected, Gymaholics makes sure that you get the perfect workout everyday.

Youngest Developer

Anvitha Vijay is now 11. Two years ago at nine, she was the youngest app developer in the world. With a desire to help her younger sister recognise animals, Anvitha who lives in Melbourne started learning to code at the age of seven. She taught herself using YouTube videos. She finally mastered the art and released her first app, Smartkins Animals. It generated enough attention and she won one of the 350 student scholarships to Apple’s developer conference in San Francisco and got a special shout-out from Tim Cook during the keynote. Since then Anvitha has released two more apps and is busy working on more.


BOOKS

Libib
(iOS/Android, Free)
If you have hundreds of books cramming up every nook and cranny in your house, Libib is the app for you. By allowing you to easily scan barcodes on the books, Libib builds a searchable catalogue of all the books you own. By adding tags and personal notes, you can make your catalogue even more useful.

Litsy
(iOS/Android, Free)
Litsy is the Instagram for booklovers. By allowing you to follow other booklovers and posting your favourite book covers and quotes to your followers, Litsy makes sure that book reading is transformed from a private affair into a social affair. Only if you enjoy such kind of a thing.

Serial Reader
(iOS/Android, Free)
Serial Reader brings classic literature to everyone in easily consumable, 20-minute bytes so within no time you will have read all the classic literature. For those of us lost in candy crush and with minimal attention spans, the app bets that serialising the great books will again get us reading.


Money

Google Tez
(iOS/Android, Free)
Tez is Google’s answer to demonetisation. Using the UPI framework, Tez allows you to make money transfers and payments directly from your bank account but layering it with Google’s legendary protection called the Tez Shield. The made-for-India app also has great offers and a cool cash mode.

Transferwise
(iOS/Android, Free)
This used to be a really good app for moving money from country to country at rates that are sometimes eight times cheaper than traditional banks. Now with borderless accounts, which allow you to hold accounts around the world in local currencies, it is even better. So if you are a software engineer living in India, doing freelance work for someone in the US, you can get paid like a local.

Revolut
(iOS/Android, Free)
Revolut lets you hold money in currencies around the world and provides you with an actual Visa or Mastercard with which you can pay in shops in local currencies wherever you are in the world. You can also get a free virtual card for safe use online.


Food

Kitchen Stories
(iOS/Android, Free)
Kitchen Stories, the Apple Design Award-winning app, brings recipes from around the world to the palm of your hand. Along with the recipes you get beautifully produced food videos, step by step cooking guides and the ability to make your own personalised shopping list. Once you are done cooking, you can even share your own recipes and innovations with the vibrant Kitchen Stories community.

Thyme
(iOS/Android, Free)
Whether you are boiling an egg or baking a cake, setting a timer is important in the kitchen. While there are other apps that do this work, there is nothing quite like Thyme that is at the same time very easy to use and lets you set a number of timers at the same time. With the companion Apple Watch app, it gets even more useful by putting the timer on your wrist itself.

Tender
(iOS/Android, Free)
Tender is like Tinder but for food. Using the community of foodies from the world, you get in touch with all kinds of cooks and get access to their homemade recipes along with beautiful photos and cooking guides. Just like Tinder, it has a swipe-to-save feature, which will also help the app with showing you recipes that you may like more.


Travel

iTranslate Converse
(iOS, Free)
iTranslate Converse is an almost magical translation app that lets users just tap and hold, and speak. Once you speak, the app does all the heavy-lifting of recognising the language being spoken, recognising the words, instantly translating them into the desired language, and then saying the translation out loud. With support for 38 languages and real-time translation, it is a must-have app for any traveller.

Viator Tours & Activities
(iOS/Android, Free)
Viator Tours & Acivities is owned by TripAdvisor. The must-have app for any world traveller gives you access to thousands of exclusive destinations around the world. Whether it is the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building or the Sistine Chapel, you get to enjoy top-rated, discounted tickets and the ability to plan a trip.

Transit
(iOS/Android, Free)
Getting around like the locals without burning a hole through your wallet is one of the most important parts of any trip. Transit helps with that in around 125 cities around the world by showing you all the available options like bus, subway, bikeshare and carshare, and letting you choose the most convenient option. With real-time notifications, it also makes sure you never miss a stop or get lost.


Oldest APP Developer

Masako Wakamiya is the maker of the app Hinadan, which is popular among elderly Japanese women. That is because it is made by an elderly Japanese woman who understands what they want. Masako is 82, and started coding less than a year ago. Teaching herself with a book and later with the help of a tutor, Masako released an app within five months and was invited to Apple’s developer conference. Hinadan teaches users how to arrange traditional Japanese doll displays for the Hina Matsuri festival.


KIDS

AR Dragon
(iOS, Free)
AR Dragon is an augmented reality pet simulator that lets kids grow their own dragon that goes everywhere with them. As the dragon grows older and bigger in size, kids need to learn to care for it, feed it and also get to play with it. And using AR technology the dragon can be made to appear anywhere, be it the bedroom or a park. It is like having a pet without the extra work.

Fiete Math
(iOS, Free)
Fiete Math is a super fun maths game that helps pre-schoolers learn numbers. Based on Montessori methods, it makes numbers touchable objects, so kids can manipulate them by grouping, cutting and combining them. By the end, it will not only make kids familiar with numbers but also will make them more confident in dealing with them.

Socratic
(iOS/Android, Free)
Socratic is a digital tutor that lives in kid’s phones to help them with their homework. Whatever the subject, maths, chemistry, English grammar or world history, all the kids need to do is, point the in-app camera at the problem and voila, the app will come up with a solution. And a group of kids can even collaborate in doing homework using the generated solutions.

 


Dating

Wingman
(iOS/Android, Free)
If you are the kind of person who is worried that your best friend still did not find someone in their life, you can be their best Wingman and use the Wingman app to find someone for them. The app helps you to be invisible behind the scenes while supporting your friend in finding The One.

Bumble
(iOS/Android, Free)
If the last year showed us anything, it is that the world is full of creeps. Bumble is a woman-friendly app that lets them avoid those creeps, by only giving the women the chance to make the first move. It makes sure that the women are protected from the creeps that populate the likes of Tinder.

Hater
(iOS/Android, Free)
The makers behind Hater understand that hate is thicker than love and bring people with similar hates together. Like Tinder, you swipe on everything you hate in life and Hater will promptly put you in touch with someone who hates Justin Bieber as vehemently as you.


NEWS

Apollo for Reddit
(iOS, Free)
In the age of Trump and fake news on the Facebook, Reddit is the fastest source of news, even though it may not be the most accurate. To access Reddit, Apollo for Reddit, an app designed by ex-Apple engineers with the iPhone in mind, is your best option, with easy-to-navigate interface, Face ID, 3D Touch controls and a specially made super black interface for the iPhone X.


Knappily
(iOS/Android, Free)
Knappily, which stands for KNowledge APP daILY gives you the right balance of news, editorials and daily features to give you a 360-degree view of all the news happening in the world. With enough scope to be accessible to both the layman and the expert, Knappily covers everything from politics and sports to cartoons and movie reviews with a special focus on India.

Quartz
(iOS, Free)
The Quartz app, bringing news from the publication Quartz, is one of the most unique news app. Taking the form of a chat, it brings users news through conversations with a mix of messages, photos, GIFs, links and even the ability to look at objects in the news through an AR lens, so you can get Drake to dance on your table.


Health

Elevate
(iOS/Android, Free)
People often forget that brain health is as important as physical health. While there are a number of apps that aim to train your brain, Elevate is the best of the lot. The app provides every user a personalised training programme designed to improve skills such as speaking, processing power, memory and maths.


FITIV Pulse heart rate monitor
(iOS, Free)
As the name suggests, FITIV Pulse heart rate monitor app monitors your heart rate in real time using the Apple Watch. And it visualises the info on a beautifully designed board which lets you visualise how effective your current workout is. Using the in-depth daily fitness stats you can constantly tweak your workouts to make them more effective.

Calm
(iOS/Android, Free)
Apple’s ‘app of the year’, Calm is a mindfulness and meditation app that supposedly brings user’s clarity, joy and peace in that order. Using sleep stories, breathing programmes and relaxing music, Calm is used either to slide into a peaceful sleep or a peaceful start to the day. With programmes for both beginners and advanced users, it will calm you down.

 

Essentials

Edison Mail
(iOS/Android, Free)
Even in the age of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, we still deal with enormous amounts of email a day. Edison Mail takes the pain out of dealing with our email by introducing a very 2018 solution to a very 2008 problem, that of letting a smart Artificial Intelligence assistant deal with it. Edison Mail reads your email to easily sort it into categories like subscriptions, travel, bills and packages. So, a shipping notification from Amazon will automatically be recognised and the package tracked, a booked flight will be tracked and alerted and subscriptions are easier than ever to get out of.

ustodio
(iOS/Android/Mac/Windows, Free)
What your kid is getting up to online is one of the biggest worries of any responsible parent. Qustodio, the world’s best, free parental control app puts the minds of such parents at ease. It helps parents filter out unwanted content. It also helps with setting up healthy usage time limits, monitor social network activity, tracks messages and calls.

Datally
(Android, Free)
Mobile data is like a `2,000 note. One minute you have it and the next minute it is gone. Google, whose business model depends on everyone staying online forever, has a solution. Datally helps you keep on top of your mobile data by doing three things. Control data usage using a data saver button. Understand your data by checking usage. And finally it will help you save data near WiFi zones.

Franz
(Mac/Windows, Free)
We all use countless services to keep in touch with people. Slack for work, WhatsApp for family, Messenger for friends, Tweetdeck for Twitter, Telegram for email and many many others. Franz brings together all of these services into one well-designed, easy-to-use app. Supporting both business and private messaging services like Slack, WhatsApp, WeChat, HipChat, Messenger, Telegram, Google Hangouts, Skype and many more, Franz is useful both at home and at work. And it supports unlimited accounts.


Photos

Musemage
(iOS, Free)
Modern smartphone cameras are getting to be as good as professional cameras. But they are limited by the fact that they don’t have manual controls and are hobbled by the software restrictions that phone manufacturers place. Musemage changes that by including manual controls, real-time filters and features like image stabilisation.

PicsArt
(iOS/Android, Free)
It is your all-in-one photo editor. Along with a full-fledged photo editor, you get access to tools like a collage editor, magic effects, thousands of free seasonal stickers and even an assortment of brushes, so that you can draw to complement your photos.

Cymera
(iOS/Android, Free)
Cymera is one of the best selfie apps that gives access to features such as spot metering, a number of lenses and stable shooting mode. Further it packs in everything that you would need to retouch your photos like filters.


Weather

Weather Timeline
(Android, Free
Weather Timeline, as the name suggests, presents weather in an easy-to-read timeline. Concentrating on next hour, next 48 hours and the next week, the app colour-codes different types of temperature with different codes so that you check weather with a glance.

1 Weather
(iOS/Android, Free)
Weather apps either concentrate on being nice looking or on being powerful, but not often that they manage to be both. 1Weather effortlessly manages to do both. With features like doppler maps and real-time weather updates, the app is suitable for both casual users and serious weather watchers.

Digital Temperature
(iOS/Android, Free)
Weather apps can be intimidating. They can show you timelines, maps, fancy graphics when all you wanted was the temperature. Digital Temperature app does just that. It shows temperature like an old digital clock.

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