SoundTracking was a highly talked about app launch this past week, with a new take on music identification and sharing for the check-in happy. Local restaurant recommendation engine Alfred had a major launch this week, followed by an acquisition deal with Google. YouSendIt’s also making waves with a big cloud push on Android’s platform, while Microsoft promotes its own ideas on mobile collaboration with the launch of its Lync app for Android.
You already broadcast to the world your daily activities and favorite things in life. Why not add a soundtrack to your streams, broadcasting music moments on-the-go? SoundTracking will identify a song and then let you share it on Facebook, Twitter and even Foursquare. Your friends will get a song clip to hear, and also see where you heard the song, if you choose to geo-tag it. And if you have a Spotify or Rdio account, you can listen to entire tracks shared on SoundTracking. This app has a pretty large database of songs, so you can search for a tune and post it anytime.
Alfred is the latest app from Clever Sense, a company bent on putting artificial intelligence to use. It got a makeover for its Android debut, with a whole new native app designed around Google’s mobile OS. Getting started, you take a quiz to teach Alfred your tastes by marking your favorite places for lunch, coffee, dinner, group meals and so on. From the main screen you’ll see a personalized profile of restaurant recommendations, which can be viewed as cards, in a list or an a map. You can filter your recommendations from here, resulting in a pretty geeky way to find a good meal. With a large user base and a “serendipitous” recommendation engine, Alfred caught the eye of Google, which confirmed its purchase of Clever Sense mere hours after Alfred’s Android launch.
YouSendIt is known for being that website you use when you need to send the occasional large file. They’re expanding their services and their tools, and finding mobile grounds to be quite fertile. The cloud-based file sharing app lets you send files, share folders and electronically sign documents right from your Android device. Your files are always synced, and you can open and edit documents, add photos and videos, instantly storing everything to the cloud. With consumer and enterprise-grade plans, YouSendIt has a broad appeal in what’s become a competitive market. Security is key for YouSendIt, and is a great collaborative tool for work teams.
Lync 2010 (Free)
Microsoft’s building out its portfolio of apps on rival platforms, launching two new apps for Android this week. One is Lync 2010, an IM and conferencing app that’s already part of its own Windows Phone lineup. As part of Office 365, Lync’s new found ability to serve users on Android and iOS is an important for accessibility, with mobile workers continuously on the rise. Microsoft’s looking to better integrate all of its services into the mobile realm, even if that means creating apps for other platforms. This week brought a Skype update and the OneNote launch, as well as a Kinect-related game app for iOS.
Amazon Student (Free)
Geared towards the budget-conscious college population, Amazon Student offers a way to save on textbooks. You can buy used or new, compare prices and even trade in the books currently collecting dust on your shelf. Scan a barcode on a textbook and the free app will run a price check. The same will work for movies, games and electronics, helping students (and everyone else) save money. As a bonus, Amazon’s trade-in program lets you convert items to gift cards, because we all could use more money to spend at one of the world’s biggest retailers.
Clingle wants to make check-ins more visual with video. The idea is to attach live video to your local check-ins, making a more engaging experience for you and your friends. These multimedia check-ins aren’t limited to video. Feel free to attach an audio file or an image, layering in as much context as you’d like for a given locale. The idea is to capture your experiences in real time, sharing a public check-in or with a private group. On the flip side, Clingle is a discovery tool for finding local points of interest, with the added benefit of seeing firsthand what the place is all about. Similar to Foursqare, you can earn points and badges, to be redeemed for real prizes. Clingle has a global presence, so there’s an appeal for travelers too.