Hello fellow app enthusiasts. This week was a good one for smartphone app stores across the board. An automation juggernaut makes putting your digital life on autopilot even easier. Sending short video messages is now as easy as texting. Sending email is as easy as texting. Sending texts is as easy as texting! Just kidding on that last one.
We've got eight apps across Android, iOS, and Windows Phone, so let's get started, shall we?
The "If This Then That" team has been trying to set your life to autopilot for years now with a collection of digital recipes that entwine a bunch of services together into one super efficient workflow. Now the team is bringing that same thinking to three different apps: Do Camera, Do Note, and Do Button. The first two are pretty self-explanatory. Set up these apps and they will send photos straight to Facebook or notes to Evernote or tweet them out too. Do Button just gives a button-press simplicity to a lot of products -- like smart thermostats or Philips Hue lights. Check 'em out, and make your life easier. [Free]
iA Writer may be the most gorgeously simple text editor out there. The developers took painstaking efforts to provide minimalist design that also doesn't feel empty of features. iOS and Mac users have long worshipped the app, and now Android users can get in on the fun. The text beauty does come at a somewhat pricey premium, but with Dropbox sync and a variety of different writing modes for specific styles and times of day, there's no question the app is worth every cent. [$5]
Prezi has long been known as the capable alternative to making dreaded PowerPoints, and now you can create work or school-related projects from the comfort of your Android smartphone or tablet. Prezi positions the app as a backup for your presentations on a PC in case disaster strikes, which, let's be honest, almost always seems to be the case. You can also browse a library of Prezis if inspiration fails to strike too. And of course you can also create elevator pitches with ease and speed of... an actual elevator pitch. [Free]
It seems almost every app developer has the one idea that will completely fix email. Although there have been valiant efforts across the board (seriously, have you tried Outlook? It's great), Hop thinks they have stumbled across the right solution -- just make it like texting. When Hop was announced back in 2013 thousands of people lined up, itching to get access on iOS. Now Android is getting a turn. Email is a situation that is heavily dependent on the individual and how you work, but Hop is one of those apps you should definitely give a test run. [Free]
FaceTime is fun and everything, but connect wait times as well as dropped calls almost always send me scrambling to just sending texts. Pop is an app that tries to make sending personal video messages less of a headache. The app is a simple grid layout that stores friends' small video messages and a long press on the tile lets you respond with your own message. I'm not such a huge fan of the Andy Warhol pop art filters that lay over people's faces, but to each their own. [Free]
It's a small world after all -- at least that's Tworlds' thinking. This app is a completely different approach to social media. When you post a picture, you're instantly connected with someone in the world who is taking the picture of almost the exact same thing. Right now, there are few restrictions. For one, there are only 26 different themes to choose from (like "dog," "cat," or "work") and its uncertain how instantaneous the connection is. The app is also completely anonymous and only reports your location at the city level, which is nice. It's a pretty neat idea but also something I can't help but think will be overrun with dick pics labelled "Sunset"... but I guess every app is under that threat in some way. [Free]
SquadWatch may seem a little rough around the edges, but that's because it's one of Microsoft Garage's experimental apps. The premise behind SquadWatch is simple. Invite family and trusted friends to basically know where you are and what you're up to. I would personally file that under creepy and weird, but there are certain situations where it might be super useful. For instance when you're trying to meet up for drinks and you're incredibly lost, or you want to know how far away that one friend who is always late is. Really I just like the idea of being part of a squad. [Free]
FlatWeather is a minimalistic weather app for Windows Phone that doesn't clutter up the UI with nonsense. It's pretty much like any other weather app -- only with super cute icons. Seriously, look at that cloud. Adorable. If this cuteness is to your liking, head over to the Windows Phone app store. [Free]