Hi AppNewser readers - we're now a part of Mediabistro's SocialTimes.com. For more great App news, reviews, guides and tips, head over to InsideMobileApps.


Jason Boog

Jason Boog is the editor of GalleyCat and managing editor of AppNewser. His writing has appeared at The Believer, NPR Books, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Peace Corps Writers. Click here to email. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Rev Voice Recorder Test Drive

Earlier this year, I wrote about the best free apps for transcribing recorded interviews, speeches, videos or other audio content.

If you don’t want to do the work yourself, there is another option. For $1 a minute, you can transcribe pre-recorded text using the Rev Voice Recorder app. At a conference last week, I tested out the platform with a ten-minute speech.

I recorded 10 minutes of a speech on the app’s “normal” setting from my seat in a hotel ballroom. I recorded the speech and uploaded it to the Rev translators straight from my phone at 2:30 in the afternoon. They emailed me back a clear and accurate transcript at 9:00 pm the same night.

Read more

5 Apps To Replace Mindless Facebook or Twitter Browsing

In a great essay at The Atlantic, Alexis C. Madrigal compared browsing Facebook to gambling addiction, showing how the site sucks you into “The Machine Zone”– mindlessly shuffling through pictures.

Below, we’ve highlighted five apps that you can check instead of Facebook, actually reading or learning something the next time you need a digital fix. Here’s more from the article:

What Facebook and slot machines share is the ability to provide fast feedback to simple actions; they deliver tiny rewards on an imperfectly predictable “payout” schedule. These are coercive loops, distorting whatever the original intention of the user was. What began as “See a picture of person X” becomes “keep seeing more pictures.” The mechanism itself becomes the point.

Read more

Tabby Awards/Business Opens For Second Year

The Tabby Awards/Business has opened for its second year. The deadline is August 30, 2013.

Follow this link to enter your business app–the new award will celebrate the best business-related apps created for iPad, Android or Windows 8 tablets. Check it out:

The Tabby Awards /Business competition returns for a second edition. If you have developed or commissioned a tablet app for work and productivity, whether for your own organization or to be distributed on an app store, you can have it reviewed by an international panel of expert judges who are on the look for the best business apps.

750 Words Helps You Meet Daily Writing Goals

Do you struggle to meet your daily writing goals? Buster Benson has created 750 Words, a way to make sure you keep writing every day.

You can sign up for the free service, track your daily writing and earn stickers for your accomplishments. Benson created the site as a digital twist on “morning pages” from The Artist’s Way. That handbook suggests you write three longhand pages every day. Check it out:

Morning pages are three pages of writing done every day, typically encouraged to be in “long hand”, typically done in the morning, that can be about anything and everything that comes into your head. It’s about getting it all out of your head, and is not supposed to be edited or censored in any way. The idea is that if you can get in the habit of writing three pages a day, that it will help clear your mind and get the ideas flowing for the rest of the day … This site of course tracks your word count at all times and lets you know when you’ve passed the blessed 750 mark. And it gives you a nice big screen to write on, automatically scrolls as you write (like a typewriter), and automatically saves your writing as you go.

Why Writers Need to Pay Attention to Android Readers

Many writers and other media professionals focus on Apple’s iOS devices when creating apps and other mobile content.

In a recent Copyright Clearance Center interview, Wattpad co-founder Allen Lau explained why writers need to pay attention to Android readers. Currently, 15 million users spend 3.5 billion minutes on the community writing site and  80 percent of that traffic comes from mobile devices. Lau concluded:

Android launched in 2008 and became a really popular platform in ’09 and 2010, at that time, Wattpad was really taking off, because, using Android as an example, it’s a free operating system. The Android device that you can buy in developing countries today, the lowest high price point is approaching $50 right now. It’s very affordable. And in many cases, the Android phone is the gateway for people living in those countries to the Internet. That’s their only connection to the Internet. They skipped the desktop era.

Moleskine Combines iPad Case & Paper Notebook

Moleskine has released a new iPad 3 or iPad 4 cover and notebook combination, helping you scribble on paper or the iPad while creating.

The rubber shell case protects your iPad and adds a fancy Volant Reporter Notebook–customizable for left and right-handed writers. Would you pay $89.95 for this handsome accessory? Check it out:

This Moleskine tool integrates devices and paper, digital and analog, protection and design. The rounded spine allows the tablet cover to lay flat when opened fully, and the inside is lined in soft, ivory faux-suede. The new Moleskine Tablet Slim Cover is available in a variety of stunning colors to match your personality, AND the cover of the included Volant Reporter Notebook matches the cover color of the Tablet Cover!

Read more

Let Google Translate Your Handwriting

IncepAppEd_Photos

Have you ever struggled to read a sign written in a foreign script? Now you can draw the characters and let Google Translate help you read the sign.

Google Translate recently rolled out handwriting support, allowing readers to input handwriting in 45 languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Korean. You can even download a Google Chrome app to help with the process. Check it out:

suppose you see the Chinese expression “饺子” and want to know its meaning in English, but have no idea how to type these characters. Using the new handwriting input tool, you can simply draw these characters on your screen and instantly see the translation … Other text input tools in Translate include virtual keyboardsinput method editors, and transliteration. They are also available in other Google products, including Gmail, DriveChrome, and Android.

Read more

Finalists Revealed for The Tabby Awards

Judges have picked the finalists for The Tabby Awards, prizes to celebrate the top consumer apps in the world of tablets.

We’ve included the names of all the nominees below. Here’s more from the release:

In the last few weeks, an international jury of tablet professionals reviewed the submitted apps. The panel of judges was assembled in collaboration with the Application Developers Alliance and was co-chaired by Ravi Bhatt, CEO of BranchFire, and George Jones, chief consultant at Hit Detection and previous Editor at Maximum PC and TabTimes.

Read more

Ubuntu Aims To Raise $32 Million on Indiegogo

Ubuntu desktop users can pledge to get the Ubuntu Edge phone on Indiegogo, paying $830 for a new phone.

The ambitious campaign aims to raise $32 million on Indiegogo, and they have already raised over $3 million with 30 days to go. Here’s more about the mobile device:

We’re fascinated by converged computing, the idea that the smartphone in your pocket can also be the brain of the PC on your desk. We’ve shaped Ubuntu so you can transition seamlessly between the two environments … On day one, you’ll be able to launch the Ubuntu desktop from within Android using our existing Ubuntu for Android app. That integration is fully functional today, as you can see from this video.

Read more

How To Convert All Uppercase Text

Do you wish you convert a long email, story or text message in all uppercase letters?

Every once in awhile, I conduct long email interviews or conversations with different sources, getting all their responses in upper case letters. Until today, I simply retyped the message to get a lowercase version.

However, using the free Convert Case app online, you can change uppercase letters into all lowercase, correct cases in a block of text or turn lowercase letters into uppercase letters.

Read more