Fresh iPhone Apps for Jan. 18: Discovr, NewsMix, QuickBins

Jan 18, 2011
Tech

Looking for a new band to check out? Discovr can help you out with that — it takes the music you like and creates a growing map of music you might like, based on your input. It heads up our Fresh Apps list today, but we’ve also found a handy (and free) contact manager in […]

Looking for a new band to check out? Discovr can help you out with that — it takes the music you like and creates a growing map of music you might like, based on your input. It heads up our Fresh Apps list today, but we’ve also found a handy (and free) contact manager in QuickBins and a Flipboard-esque iPad app that funnels your social media into a magazine-style format for easy, elegant viewing.

Discovr (iPad) $2.99

Combining music with cartography, Discovr makes it easy to see bands you might like based on bands you do like. The app takes information you give it about your musical tastes and starts showing you bands that are similar in an ever-growing web. The more you tap through and choose bands you like, the more the map grows to accommodate you and provide you with new suggestions.

Double-tapping a band or artist gives you information about them and their music, allowing you to check out bios and reviews, as wells as watch videos. The app also integrates in social networking services like Twitter and Facebook, so when you discover a new band, you can share it with others. You can also save bands you’re interested in to a “Favorites” section so you can remember to check them out later.

NewsMix by sobees (iPad) $2.99

The description of NewsMix will remind you a lot of the popular news stream app, Flipboard. Both apps allow you to funnel your Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds into the app, which automatically creates a magazine-style interface that opens up links and photos and creates a very elegant and engaging interface. NewsMix also offers the ability to let the app automatically curate the information it’s receiving from your various feeds, prioritizing updates and information from your favorite sources or by what you deem is most relevant.

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The app also lets you interact with Twitter and Facebook the way you would with any other client — “like” posts, retweet updates, share links and upload pictures using NewsMix easily. You can also use social media networks to share articles you find from other feeds as well.

QuickBins (iPhone) Free

Contacting people can occasionally be a pain on the iPhone. Email, texting, phone calls — all require a different app, and once you’re there, you have to search through contacts to find who you’re looking to get in touch with. QuickBins works to make contacting people a lot easier by creating a visual interface that starts with your contacts, then lets you decide what to do with them.

The app works by showing you groups of contacts you make, using the photos you assign to them rather than their names. At the top and bottom of the screen are marked “bins” — ones for texting, calling, email and mapping. Dragging a contact’s photo to a specified bin pulls open the appropriate app — taking you instantly to a call, an email, a text or the map of where a person last “checked in.” It’s a fast alternative to opening individual apps and then searching through your contacts alphabetically because it lets you divide up who you talk to into groups and look through them quickly. Great for when you need to make a call quickly or when your attention might be divided.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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