Cool new apps, products, startups (March 2017)

(Andrew Chen) #1

would love to hear about the new apps, products, startups you’re all using!

The more obscure the better :slight_smile:!

A couple products I’m using these days:

  1. Whale. Built by Justin Kan (cofounder of Twitch) and friends. Mobile video Q&A
  2. Electric Objects. Bought one :slight_smile: Digital art frame with museum art in it. Very cool.
  3. Longform. App with a bunch of long-form content like essays, articles, etc. Read this on the weekends

Other thoughts?

(Andrew Chen) #2

(Joseph Jude) #3


Softcover is a self-publishing platform. I know there are ton of them. What sets them apart is they have open sourced their publishing tool. So you can write your book with markdown or latex and create pdf, mobi, epub files on your own. You are not bound to publish via Softcover. You can host them anywhere.

I have been using their publishing tool for the last month to write a book on hapijs. It is a pleasure to use it as you get the html feedback immediately. I’m able to generate a pdf and share with my subscribers for feedback. I am also using their site to publish the html for feedback. They are also very supportive.

If you are into writing (a new book or converting your blog into book etc), check them out.

I have installed their publishing tool in a docker container. By this way, I don’t pollute my machine and also it is useful when I switch machines. You can read about the docker container in this post: Using docker and softcover to write your book.

(Jono Lee) #4

Love Longread. Worth the money.

  • Xiaomi Mi Band 2. I was a fervent user of the original v1 Fitbit (6? 7 years ago?) but ultimately realized a glorified pedometer didn’t do much for me. Trying my hand at wearables again only because the Mi band is so ridiculously cheap (~$20 to $30) relative to any other wearable with a HR sensor (The new Fitbit Alta HR is $150). For the price it’s not bad but still not sure it’s that useful for me (as a pretty skinny and generally sort of fit person).
  • Pana iOS app. I travel a lot, so tracking flights and hotels/airbnbs in a single place can be convenient. There have been a few in this category, but Pana is a relatively new one that has the nicest UX of any I’ve seen so far. It’s auto-adding feature by ingesting confirmation emails is a bit buggy though.
  • Untappd. Mobile app completely dedicated to all things craft beer my friend showed me recently. Seeing how fervent craft beer enthusiasts are, it made sense this vertical was big enough to support it’s own app. Pretty well done too.

(Zee Hamm) #6

ForGrubSake is for the masses.

  • ForGrubSake is a free online service that connects customers with restaurant based on their optimized and customized search criteria.

  • Our unique algorithm lets customers search restaurant based on Location, Restaurant Name, Food Specialty (from dropdown tab) etc.; For example, if you are hankering for Chinese food, you can set your city or zip code and search by specialty ‘Chinese’ and it will display all restaurants serving Chinese food within that area.

  • What makes us different from other similar websites is the way we award star ratings to individual restaurants. Forgrubsake is a user-friendly site that lets customers view and award Ratings based on different categories such as Food, Decor, Ambiance, and Customer service. A single indicator alone cannot be relied upon to justify preferential treatment or whether the restaurant deserves your business and hence our way of allocating various parameters to a restaurant is accepted.

  • First thing you will notice is the star ratings awarded to each restaurant. Under Review or Comment section for each restaurant, customers can write review and enter star ratings based on the food, service, price, and ambiance. These ratings are tallied and averaged out and awarded to the restaurant. So instead of simply awarding the restaurant, we take array of benchmark to award ratings to the restaurant. This also helps the restaurant owner figure out what is working well and where improvements can be made to attract existing and new customers.

  • Menu option has been simplified enough where all it takes is 2 minutes or less depending upon your internet connection speed to upload and email a PDF version to designated email id.

  • As pertaining to other popular websites that move up or down restaurants based on subscription, we don’t charge restaurants to influence their rating. The popularity and rating system is strictly based on customer and their preferential choices.
    Now, there is also an option where you can save single or multiple restaurants that you like and want to view later.

  • @andrewchen, As a well known legend, what advice would you give to startups that have ideas but not enough networking skills nor capital to market their site like other well-known websites who are flushed with capital. One thing I have noticed is that startups keep their business very lean and stable. I am managing my own project requirement, designing, marketing, and maintaining while holding a full time job and on top of being a full time family guy (not Peter Griffin :)). Lot of folks who are in the same situation would use genuine advice.

Innovation is the only certainty for success.

(Aleksandra) #7

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for recommending Longforms, added to my reading list/products :ok_hand:t2:

I have lots of apps, would just mention a few I started using recently:

  1. Breaker for podcasts discovery

  2. Chronos for time zones converting & scheduling meetings. Essential for remote teams (and I do work remotely most of the time).

  3. Zero, a fasting tracking app. Motivated me to try out intermittent fasting.

  4. Twist app (Mac and iOS) for more mindful / less distractful team communication

  5. Pretty fun is the new (updated) Hardbound

  6. I’m also testing the Setapp, kind of subscription service for Mac apps. Pretty interesting model

(Andreas Mahringer) #8

Record Bird drops me a message whenever my favourite artists release new music. Currently available for iOS and Facebook Messenger. MacStories called the app “Apple Music’s Missing Discovery Tool for New Releases”. If you’re a music fan and care about new music by your artists, give it a try - its free!

(Alexis ) #9

Air for our companies HR needs, cool app too.

(Jeanne Patrickson) #10

Elite mCommerce released its version 4.0 update to its mobile app which enhances the user experience and increases the conversion rate in retail apps. They took a leap forward by launching eCommerce mobile app builder with advanced features like

  • Merchants can customize their homepage layout by easy drag and drop options.
  • It doesn’t require re-launch or update every time a change is made.
  • Customize the look and feel of the app anytime depending upon the customer’s behavior. Moreover, with less technical knowledge merchants can make changes easily.

To know more, You can visit their website

They also provide ready-made mobile app for Salon app, Grocery app and News App for Magento and Prestashop platforms.

(auxano) #11

I would like to mentioned here one more cool app for music lover, check out musiktrips app on android, there are some cool feature in it, so that you can easily get lyrics of any songs and one more than you can also view videos of your searched songs online. i think its really cool app.

the other good thing is app was created by leading android app development company from india.