• Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Everyday apps

By M H Haider

Nowadays, everyone is hooked up to their smart phone. Given that you don't have your eyes fixated on the screen all day and all night or spend more time in the virtual world than the real, this trend should be taken positively. A smart phone helps you get so many things done, with the myriad applications it can support. Smart phone applications aid you in your everyday life, from morning to night.

Up with an app
Getting up is an ordeal no doubt. Your phone has an alarm clock by default; but you can download other alarm applications as well. The store is quite large. Mishkat Tonmoy, an executive in a freight forwarding company, has picked Puzzle Alarm Clock as his favourite. “The alarm only stops after I complete a series of puzzles. Although sometimes annoying, overall it's a very effective and fun way of getting me out of bed,” he remarked.  

Run smart
A little exercise in the morning of course does wonders for your body and mind. Nowadays, you can exercise, whenever you want, with your own monitor. RunKeeper can track your walking, running, biking and a few other exercises, recording your time, pace and calories burned. Set goals like weight-loss, a longer running track, etc. and let this app be the judge.

Of calories and numbers
After a morning jog, it's time for you to have breakfast. Your handset will come handy. There are several applications that track your calorie intake. For those who want to gain/lose/maintain their weight, it's all about striking the balance between calorie consumption and how much you burn.
CalorieCounter by MyFitnessPal is a popular app having a database of 1.5 million foods and a long list of exercises. You can easily track the amount you're burning and how much calories you are consuming, keeping in mind your age, gender, activity level, etc. The app might seem complicated at first, but it's actually very simple and helpful once you start using it.

Newspaper delivered, not to your doorstep
As you quickly finish off breakfast for office, you will inevitably find yourself sitting in standstill traffic. Fahad Nawaz, an executive of a telecommunication company, uses this time to read the newspaper. “I have the Prothom Alo application downloaded to my mobile, which I glance through before I reach office,” he informed. There are apps of national and international news services too. On the other hand, News Bangladesh provides you a list of newspapers, choosing from which will take you to the one of your choice.  

All expenses covered
A lot of us feel overwhelmed by the end of the month, wondering where our money has gone. Wonder no more, because there are apps where you can note down your expenditures at ease. Sophisticated ones can even coordinate with your bank account. You can even see charts to see on which items (or even, category) you are spending too much. DailyCost and ToshlFinance are two such apps you can try out.

Doodle away, my friend
When you're at office fighting post-lunch lethargy or letting your mind wander about in search of ideas, open Sketchbook Mobile Express. The application lets you doodle with your finger -- empowered by a virtual brush, paint, pencil, etc. -- on the screen, which you may even save to your device. Doodling is fun, and quite instinctive as an urge -- and who knows, perhaps they're insightful and interesting to look back on after a few days.

A million clicks
Catching up with your friends after a hard day's work is what we all love doing. Due to mobile phones, taking pictures and uploading them on Facebook has become excessively common. Before you upload, go via one of the several photo editors. Simple-to-use photo editors, such as Photo Editor by Aviary, give you a lot of options like fixing red eye, 'collaging', choosing backgrounds, etc.       

Not your ordinary kitchen utensil
Instead of going out, you may opt for a quiet dinner home. Download applications to get access to innumerable recipes, and become an amateur chef. There are apps that focus on particular genres (such as drinks, cocktails, Asian, vegetarian, etc.) and there are more holistic and comprehensive recipe 'books' too.
BigOven, for example, boasts more than 250,000 recipes. Apart from searching recipes, you can also provide inputs of ingredients that you have in your home so that the app can generate suggestions on what you can make.    

Gluttony and sloth -- all stocked in one app
If you're a lazy glutton, forget about eating out or cooking and simply order food online. Recently, a few companies have started to deliver food: you simply go to their website, choose from a wide range of restaurants and order online. Food Panda is one such company. Other than its website, Food Panda also has an app which allows you to do just that.

Your window to the heavens
Fascination for the night sky goes back to time immemorial. Star gazing is a good pastime for many. Wasim Zaman for example, is a university student who goes to the rooftop every other night with powerful binoculars and his mobile phone. “Google Sky Map is one of the best applications for star gazing,” he opined. “The app is indeed an interesting one and is quite easy to use.”
With the aid of GPS, it will scan the sky, identifying planets, constellations and other major celestial bodies out there. If the sky looks too 'dense', toggle some of the categories off to focus on your area of interest.

Finally, it's time to call it a night and go to bed. Your smart-phone can come in handy even at that time, other than setting the alarm clock, that is. SleepBot is an application that monitors your sleep pattern and judges how well you've slept over a few nights. Its auto-recording function can let you discover whether you snore or talk during sleep or not.
There are several sleep apps. Some just focus on making you fall asleep, with soothing audio tracks of nature, relaxing music, etc.
We all love our smart-phones. And why won't we, since it has now become so deeply rooted in our day-to-day lives. So much so, it can even help you doze off.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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