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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.

5 Distraction Free Writing Apps

jillduffyAre you looking for distraction free writing platform? We got some writing advice from an expert…

Author and software expert Jill Duffy just published Get Organized: How to Clean Up Your Messy Digital Life, so we asked her for some pointers about keeping email under control. She offered this advice:

Focus! One of the most important ways writers can increase their output is by increasing their focus. A lot of word-processing software designed specifically for writers purports to have a “distraction-free” environment. Some examples include iA Writer, WriteRoom, Ulysses, WriteBox, OmmWriter. They all remove unnecessary buttons and features from the word processing window to give the writer a totally minimalistic space in which to work.


Duffy concluded:

It’s just you and the page—er, blank screen. All those software products are fine, but a more important way to focus is to turn off other apps. When it’s possible to work without the Internet (sometimes you need it for reference), don’t just minimize the window. Quit your browser and any Internet-connected programs, such as Outlook. Especially quit any programs that deliver push notifications on the desktop. If you work from home, get up, walk over to your Internet router, and turn it off. Then you’ll be much more unlikely to sneak a peek at your online social life and email. I actually keep my home Wi-Fi router plugged into a surge protector so I can flip the on/off switch really easily.

Team Coco Sync App & Interactive TV Viewing

How can TV shows use smartphones and tablets to customize your live viewing experience?

At Digital Hollywood in Los Angeles this week, the team behind the Conan show’s digital initiatives introduced the late night show’s Emmy-winning Team Coco Sync app.

The app works with Android and Apple, both in tablets and smartphones. As you watch the show on television (both live and with DVR), the app will sync with your viewing experience–delivering comic extras along with the experience.

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William Shatner Sells Spoken Word on reKiosk


Are you a fan of Captain Kirk’s distinctive spoken word style? You should check out his 1978 awards show reading of “Rocket Man.”

Star Trek hero and author William Shatner is selling his new spoken word album on the reKiosk indie marketplace. Follow this link to buy Ponder the MysteryHere’s more about the new album.

Backed by the Billy Sherwood and several other members of Yes, it’s a prog-rock album fronted by Shatner’s unique, spoken word poems.  For a limited time, you can use the promo code – MYSTERY – to get the album for 25% less than any where else.  The project, which Shater calls “the most creative thing I have ever done,” is also reKiosk’s first collaboration with digital music powerhouse The Orchard, so we’re doubly enthused.

Support Feeding America with eBook Bundle

feedingamericaDriveThruFiction has created a “Read and Feed America” eBook bundle collecting digital stories from more than 30 publishers. Proceeds from the $20 collection will be donated to the Feeding America charity.

The bundle is only available until October 20th. The organization has been pounded by budget cuts and the federal government shutdown, so they could use your support this year.  Here’s more about the bundle:

Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Our mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. Through the assistance of local and national food assistance programs, Feeding America is able to provide nutritious, fresh foods to Americans struggling with hunger; safe and nurturing places for children to have a meal; emergency assistance for disaster victims; as well as a chance at self-sufficiency for adults trying to break the cycle of poverty and hunger. Note that no “product” is associated with this “purchase”; this is a simple donation which will go straight to Feeding America.

When Google Acquires Your App

google_logoWhat happens when Google buys your app? On Quora, one reader asked: What is it like to sell your company to Google?

Writely co-founder Sam Schillace responded with a frank email, explaining what it was like when Google acquired Writely in 2006. Google would use the writing app as a cornerstone of the Google Docs project–building the company’s free set of work apps. Check it out:

The scale is breathtaking, and kind of daunting. It’s like going from building cute little paper boats from newspaper to being given an army of welders and stacks of plate steel and being told to build an armada. Also, everyone has an idea about what you should be doing, and they’re all very smart and have more context at google than you do. And finally, you are on a very public stage, and every move is scrutinized. Watch what you say! For us, overall, it was a good experience. Very intense, and not always pleasant, but we got to do exactly what we expected – we turned Writely into Google Docs (with the help of many, many very talented people, particularly the spreadsheet gang in NYC who now run the whole show).

(Mobile image via qisur)

Tabby Awards/Business Finalists for 2013



The finalists for the Tabby Awards/Business have been revealed. Explore the finalists below…

The winning apps will be revealed at the TabTimes TabletBiz conference & expo on November 13, 2013 in New York City. The award was created by TabTimes, the B2B publication covering the tablet industry. Here’s more from the release:

The Tabby Awards /Business, the only competition for the best business and enterprise tablet apps, announced its Finalists today in its second competition. The Tabby Awards /Business received submissions this year from a dozen countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.


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Free Apps To Perform the 7 Minute Workout Anywhere

The “High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment” report earlier this year taught thousands of people how to perform an intense but short set of powerful exercises. We’ve collected 7 apps that will help you do the workout on any device.

If you have a desk job, this equipment-free routine can help you stay fit. The New York Times interviewed Human Performance Institute director of exercise physiology Chris Jordan, getting advice on how to best perform this seven minute workout. Check it out:

The exercises should be performed in rapid succession, allowing 30 seconds for each, while, throughout, the intensity hovers at about an 8 on a discomfort scale of 1 to 10, Mr. Jordan says. Those seven minutes should be, in a word, unpleasant. The upside is, after seven minutes, you’re done.

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Paper App Helps You Customize a Moleskine Notebook

Ever wish you could have a customized Moleskine notebook?

Using FiftyThree’s Paper app, you can create 15-pages of digital art and publish them inside a customized Moleskine notebook. The video embedded above illustrates the process of printing your own Moleskine. It costs $40 to create a notebook. Check it out:

sketches created on Paper are brought to life simply and beautifully in a 15-spread fold-out format created exclusively by Moleskine for Paper. FiftyThree has rethought print-on-demand publishing with the same eye for simplicity that creators love in Paper. With Book, Paper creators can choose 15 pages of sketches to print on rich, sustainable, matte paper that’s specifically designed to match the iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio. Books can be customized with color and artwork options on the cover and spine, or as a classic black Moleskine hardcover. Both versions are available for $40 (USD), and can be purchased internationally.

HootSuite Adds SoundCloud App


Developer Mahesh Asolkar has created a SoundCloud app for HootSuite, letting musicians and podcast creators manage their accounts alongside other HootSuite tools.

The app costs $2.99 to use with your HootSuite account, but you can get a free two-day trial. Check it out:

With the SoundCloud app for HootSuite, you can listen to your favorite artists, podcasts, radio stations, politicians, comedians, upload your own sounds, share on social and more! Key features:  Publish new sounds. View and play your sounds. Stream favorited sounds, affiliated sounds, exclusive sounds and recent activity. Share sounds with HootSuite social networks.

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