July 21, 2012
Good Morning American contributor and child abduction victim Elisabeth Smart is helping to publicize a new app to help children in danger. The free app is called Hero, and is available at http://www.apptooth.com/Hero There are versions for iOS and Android.
When in an emergency situation, the user presses the “Help Me” button. The smartphone then streams audio, video, and GPS location to not only preselected numbers, but everyone within a five-mile radius. A parent can also use this app to send a picture of a child to everyone within a five-mile radius.
According to Smart, “I can’t say for sure it would have prevented me fromp being kidnapped, but if I did have the app with me, it has a location device that drops a pin exactly where you were at. Every single person can be a hero. Every person can make a difference.”
High Country Apps, located in Bozeman, Montana, has developed an app called “Flora of the Yellowstone.” The app helps users identify flowers, bushes, trees, and grasses native to Yellowstone National Park. The app costs from $7.99 to $9.99, and has versions for Kindle Fire, Android Tablet, iPad, and iPhone. It is available at http://www.highcountryapps.com, and in the app stores of Google Play, Amazon, or Apple.
The app was created by software developer Katie Gibson and conservationist consultant and author Whitney Tilt. It is based on Tilt’s book, “Flora of Montana’s Gallatin Region.” High Country Apps also plans to release a similar app for Glacier National Park.
Apple just released a podcast app which allows users to subscribe to podcasts of their favorite shows and have them downloaded automatically. This replaces Apple’s Music app, and has solved many of the problems that generated complaints on the Music app. The app has been described as allowing users the same level of convenience on their iPhones that they previously had with iTunes on their desktops.
The app is free, and is expected to be included with the next operating system, iOS 6. The advantage of the podcasts app is that many other apps are streaming only, which consume lager amounts of 3G time and battery power. The app also returns podcasts to the iPad, whose version of the Music app no longer had a category for them.
Apple also announced that the new Google Chrome app is the most-downloaded free app for both the iPhone and iPad. Both devices have dedicated versions of the app, designed to maximize the advantages of each format. The apps have many of the same features of the computer browser, including tabbed browsing, and an integrated search and address box. It also has an incognito setting which allows the user to browse without being tracked.
Users can also use the mobile Google Chrome app to view their bookmarks, passwords, and open tabs from other devices running Chrome, including computers. The app also allows the user to send web pages from a PC to an iOS device for remote reading. As of this writing, out of 3,574 users who have rated the app, 2,855 have given it the highest rating of five stars.
A new app called Wickr has been created for all iOS devices. The app encrypts all communications, including email and text messages. It makes them “uncrackable” and untraceable. Users can destroy communications after receiving them, and no trace of them are left on the devices. Wickr plans on having a version of the app for Android smartphones and tablets on the market soon.
The app was created by a cadre of hackers and security specialists, including computer crime investigator Christopher Howell, former military network security officer Kara Coppa, security technology engineering professor Robert Statica, and Nico Sell of Def Con hacker gathering fame.
Wickr will soon have versions for laptop and desktop computers and popular email programs.
The app is free, and users will be given the option to purchase an enhanced version.
Simultaneous with the release of the movie, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Gameloft has released a game app called “The Amazing Spider-Man.” The app is $6.99, and is out in versions for both Android and iOS devices. The app takes full advantage of Apple’s new graphics, and the game reportedly looks a lot like the user is “inside the movie.”
The mechanics of playing the game are simple, and allows the user to control Spider-Man on a total of 25 missions, with maneuvers such as wall-climbing, web-shooting, and swinging through the air from building to building. The game also has a combat mode, and the user can “purchase” new skills and moves by amassing “points,” or can actually purchase them with money.
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