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The AppStorm team have been hard at work again. Here is a huge bunch of great free apps and web services they covered.
Opera: The Awesome Browser That Nobody Uses
You can ask just about anybody what browser they’re using, and they will very likely respond with Safari, Firefox or Chrome. I have never met anyone who actually uses Opera for everyday browsing. This is not surprising seeing as how its usage share is 2.4%. And yet, nearly everybody has heard of it. So why do so few people use it?
Today, I’ll be taking a look at Opera, what it has to offer, and whether or not you should consider adopting it as your new favourite browser.
VirtualDJ Home: Awesome Free DJ Software
VirtualDJ was first released in 2003 and over the years has grown into a real success story for Atomix Productions, providing professional DJ’s and hobbyists with effective DJ software. Originally sold in shops, this multi-platform ‘Home’ version is now available for free in the Mac App Store and sees the developers adopt an innovative pricing model to offer a largely uncrippled and feature-packed app in the hope of enticing users to eventually upgrade, with the end result being a big win for the consumer.
Let’s take a closer look at this innovative App Store favourite.
Task Till Dawn: Schedule File Actions On Your Mac
Automation is one of my favorite topics. There’s something about sitting back and watching my Mac perform tasks for me that makes me smile every time.
Today we’re going to take a look at Task Till Dawn, a simple and free little automation tool that will allow you to schedule files and applications to launch automatically.
Measure Customer Satisfaction With Customer Thermometer
When you’re doing business without completing much customer research beforehand, a lot of assumptions are made. These can sometimes be way off because you’re not really asking your customers what they think, instead relying on preconceptions that are sometimes wrong. This is where Customer Thermometer comes in.
This handy little app allows you to send out emails that allow your customers to provide feedback in a quick and easy way and rate your service based on a traffic light system that represents how satisfied they are with the service or just about anything else you’d like feedback on. Read on to find out more.
First Look at the New iCloud Web Apps
Apple just recently opened the floodgates to their new iCloud web apps, and in short, they’re easily some of the most impressive web apps online today. There was initially some speculation as to whether Apple was going to continue the tradition of MobileMe’s web apps and let you use iCloud online, or if they were going to only make iCloud work with OS X Lion and iOS 5 apps. The good thing is, there are iCloud web apps for sure, and they’re great. Unfortunately, they’re not quite ready for public consumption.
Dying to see what the new apps are going to look like, assuming nothing changed between now and when they’re fully released? If you’ve got an iCloud developer account, head over to iCloud.com, login, and check them out for yourself. We’ll wait. For everyone else, here’s a quick preview of what you can expect.
Quick Look: SiteLog
In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting SiteLog. The developer describes SiteLog as a simple and easy way to monitor your website’s or webserver’s services (FTP, HTTP, SSH, etc.). Most solutions for monitoring your servers are way too hard to setup and/or maintain, and also rarely affordable for most people. That’s why we decided to develop our own SaaS (Software as a Service) for that, so you don’t have to install anything and don’t worry about having to monitor/manage the monitoring tool (redundancy intended)!
This service is great, simple, easy and more than enough for over 95% of people who need to monitor servers, because it doesn’t require you to install anything on the server (it won’t check your load or memory usage, but we have some very helpful scripts available for free to help you out with that if you need).
Turn Your Backyard Into a Garden Like a Pro With SmartGardener
Nothing beats fresh herbs and vegetables in your heart warming soups during fall or colder winter months. And who doesn’t like making a garden fresh salad during the blistering summer? No matter what time of the year it is, a little sunshine and time away from your screen can always do you good.
If you have a backyard, why not turn it into your own vegetable and herb garden? No gardening experience? No problem. Smart Gardener tells you how to pick the right season to grow your crops, design your garden layout, plant your seeds, and the right garden care for your crops. No matter whether you’re a master gardener who wants to improve your garden, or a novice gardener who is starting his first garden, Smart Gardener will tell you everything you need to know about gardening.
Read Your Kindle Books Online With Kindle Cloud Reader
Amazon blazed the trail for eBooks with their Kindle platform, starting with the original Kindle device and the Kindle store. Since then, they’ve broaden their scope, and released native reader apps for almost every platform available: Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, and more. Even still, that didn’t cut it. If there wasn’t a native app for your platform, you simply couldn’t read your Kindle books. Linux and Chromebooks, among others, were out of luck.
That’s all over now. Amazon just released their new Kindle Cloud Reader, a full-featured Kindle web app so you can read your Kindle books right in your browser. It’s got all the features you’d expect, lets you save your books for offline reading, and even works great on the iPad. After the break, we’ve got screenshots and more info about the newest Kindle app, the app that just might be the main future of the Kindle platform.
Quick Look: yaM
In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting yaM. The developer describes yaM (yet another meeting) as an app that lets you prepare and run collaborative online meetings where every participant can edit the agenda, make notes, upload files and more. Best of all, it plays nice with Google Apps and Evernote.
Zerply: A professional network based on skills and passions
With over 120 million members (as of 8/4/2011) and a new-member sign-up rate of two per second, LinkedIn is the undisputed leader of the “professional” social-networking scene. Still, some people have a problem with LinkedIn’s conservative design scheme. They want something that represents the excitement and passion that comes from loving what you do.
A number of web apps have cropped up to satisfy these more design-oriented folks (see our roundup of six of them), and each creates a stylish personal-splash page that you can attach to your email signature, print on your business card, or whatever.
Zerply, a new web app that launched last month, is both the same as these “personal-splash page” apps and different from them. Let’s find out how.
50 Fun and Free Online Games
Games sure are a fun way to cool our heels after a hectic day of work. But for some of us games happen to be more than a pastime and in some cases, passion. Broadband played a pivotal role in not only making games more interactive but also making way for a cheap distribution channel.
The raise in popularity of the virtual goods economy in the recent years jumpstarted the online gaming industry once again and now we have tons of awesome games available for free. Here at Web.AppStorm, we never miss a chance to review and round up cool online games. Keeping up with the tradition, we have compiled a list of fun online games that are free to play online. Dive in!
HeyTell: The Next Generation of Walkie-Talkies For Cool Kids
Remember the days before cell phones when you called your best friend, who also happened to be your next-door neighbor, on a good old fashioned Walkie-Talkie? The only thing that stood in your way in planning to take over the neighborhood playground for an all-out water balloon war was battery life (nothing has changed there) and interference (reception still sucks, thanks AT&T).
The nice folks over at HeyTell took all the great things about Walkie-Talkies and turned them into a rather useful app for those of us wishing for simpler times. With HeyTell, you don’t have to waste five minutes trying to find that perfect spot in your house where your call won’t drop. Instead, record a message, and send it. Essentially, HeyTell offers instant voice messaging at its finest. Find out more after the jump.
Smartr: Your Social News Stories
Social news is a hot area and it has been for quite some time, with popular startups including Flipboard, Pulse and a multitude of others vying for that coveted spot on your iPhone or iPad home screen. Into the fray comes Smartr, an iPhone app designed to filter out all of those pesky status updates, and cut through the extraneous check-ins and Foursquare updates to deliver you the news stories that you want to read without other distractions.
But is Smartr worth the hype? Let’s find out after the break.
Quick Look: Rnewde -TV Show Health Monitor
In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting Rnewde -TV Show Health Monitor. The developer describes Rnewde -TV Show Health Monitor as a way to let users monitor their favorite TV shows renewal chances while also creating a personalized TV guide which we call their Forecast. They are able to add new and old shows from our huge database and tag which episodes they have seen to stay caught up. Rnewde also leverages social networks like Facebook and Miso to populate your forecast for you as well as allowing for check-ins.
Read on for more information and screenshots!
SkyGrid Delivers Only the News You Want
If you’ve ever pulled up a news website only to be frustrated by all the uninteresting articles you have to wade through in order to find the topics and issues you’re interested in — or if you’ve ever wished there were a single site that pulled all your varied interests together in one place, SkyGrid could be your new best friend.
SkyGrid works similar to Twitter, in that you can select different interests, or channels of information, to follow. The app will then continually push news for these categories or topics to your phone so you can always stay up-to-date on whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you are. Hit the jump and I’ll show you how it works.
Pax Britannica: Conquer the Underwater Kingdom
Pax Britannica is a one-button (or one-touch) real-time strategy game originally made for Windows/Mac/Linux, that recently reached the Android Market in a port made by Stefan Wagner. It is a very simple and fun game that will get you completely addicted, with its beautiful graphics and the simple yet deep gameplay.
Google Sky Map: The Palmtop Galaxy
The sky and the stars that twinkle remain a constant source of fun for people of all ages. Despite being a lazy pastime, stargazing is a great hobby that serves as food for thought. Spotting stars, planets, and constellations is no easy business. You might have to brush up on basic astronomy — and to tell the truth, reading about the stars isn’t half as fun as watching them.
Google does a splendid job charting out the terrain of Earth with its Maps and Earth apps. To help star gazers and to educate people venturing into that domain, there is Google Sky Map. Is it really simple to use and understand? Let’s go check out!
NASA – One Small Step for a Droid
I love space. Floor space. Closet space. Memory space. But most of all I love space; the one up there, out there or whichever way you want to put it. That big hollow abyss conversely filled with such energy and wonder. One of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done was to drink a cup of coffee with the intention of working through the night. However, writer’s block set in and the words would not come. I lay in a state of self-induced insomnia staring up out at the universe feeling like the smallest drop in the ocean.
As any self-respecting human knows, NASA are somewhat of an authority on all things space. So when they released an Android application last month it pretty much made my morning. I’ve been a fan of their ISS feeds, web shows and news blogs for many years so having an application could only be a good thing.