DigiDrops #007 — UnderCover Apps
Since this is issue 007, what better way to than to play with the title and reveal some lowkey, undercover apps that are really good at what they do and are like the modern day equivalent to a visit to Q. We’ve got 2 offerings from Microsoft’s R&D, an app used by the US Olympic Wrestling team, and one that changes your appearance. But if told you I’d have to kill you. (luckily this is just a bad pun thats gone on for too long).
Microsoft has made a camera app better than your default iOS camera. Pix uses AI to dynamically adjust your camera settings to best fit the scene. There are no exposure controls, no HDR-specific mode, no settings whatsoever. Just point and shoot, and all the processing is done immediately. Microsoft says Pix works as if your photos were taken and chosen by a professional photographer (attested by a professional photographer).
The app is also taking images whilst the camera view is on so if you think you missed that perfect shot it can show you images taken seconds before and after you hit the shutter button. Another feature is Live Photos which are only on the new 6S / 6S+. Pix allows older iPhones to take Live Images and save them as looping videos.
Another one! Microsoft Planner, is a team collaboration software that lets you visually organise plans, assign tasks, share files, chat and more. If you’ve used Trello before this is pretty much the Office 365 version. It allows teams to assign tasks on a project boards and tack progress. Within each Board are individual Cards that can have their own due dates, attachments, categories and conversations. These Cards can have documents or photos attached.
What makes Microsoft Planner compelling versus the competition is the integration with other Microsoft products in 365. For example, Planner is integrated into Office 365, which means that the conversations in Planner are also available in Outlook 2016, Documents from Word, Excel, etc. are shared via SharePoint meaning everyone on the project has an offline copy when someone attaches a file. Best thing is if you already use office 365 there’s nothing to download as it rolls out it should appear in your Office 365 apps. (Video: link below)
USA Wrestling coach Matt Lindland recognised that some of his athletes were struggling with their sleep and relaxation, while others faced anxiety and even depression issues. So, on the recommendation of a friend he had the team try Brain.fm, A neuroscience software which composes calming music specifically made for the brain to improve focus, relaxation and sleep.
Essentially, it’s audio brainwave training to help wrestlers zone out after grueling practice sessions. The renowned wrestling coach even credits the technology for getting wrestler Robby Smith off of melatonin. Try it for yourself below
Facetune is an iOS/Android app which, evens out skin tone, whitens teeth and erases blemishes. Although there are a plethora of similar apps, Facetune works by simply swiping the problem areas. In the era of “selfies,” the app quickly became a photo-enhancing favourite currently top photo app in the iTunes store.
The result of a few minutes of “Facetuning” a picture, is not a whole new look and feel but rather a picture that makes you or the person in the picture, look that much better. It is the small things, the subtle things that make this app worth a try. Just don’t overdo it, or you might end up here
One for designers. Lingo creates a central library for your team’s visual assets. So instead of emailing “copy 3 final” you share assets with the whole team automatically ensuring everyone has the most recent assets. The app lets you drag and drop anything from your favourite apps, like Photoshop, Sketch, Illustrator or Slack directly into it for saving and retrieving later. The most useful feature is how teams can share visuals with each other and search a combined collection.
The idea with Lingo is that it can help you fish up the right assets at the right time, rather than needing to go burrowing through poorly named folders to figure out where they’ve gone.
That rounds up this month’s offering. Till next time!
If any of these apps were useful I would appreciate you liking and recommending so more people can enjoy. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments or shoot me a message
Takunda Chikuku is a planner at Grey London where he helps brands find the right strategy to connect with their audience. He is fascinated by the mobile culture and how it shapes the wider culture and as such stays at cutting edge of emerging technologies.