Sunday, April 1, 2012

New apps from SXSW

This is a guest post by Lindsey Harper Mac.

It’s tough to keep up with all the new apps that are coming out, and the South by Southwest Festival, or SXSW, is a great place to start your list. The annual film and music festival recently concluded in Austin, Texas. Along with exclusive screenings of films and live concerts and comedy skits, the SXSW has an interactive component which focuses on technology. This year, many smartphone apps were unveiled at the conference. The apps are designed to increase the connectivity in your life and possibly make you more efficient. The apps follow current trends in the rise of Google and its use in education.

The Use of Mobile Technology in Education

Our lives are busy, and most of us are on the move throughout most of the day. Increasingly, colleges are developing programs to accommodate on-the-go lifestyles. Mobile apps let you learn from wherever you are so that you have the time and resources to complete your coursework and reach your educational goals without sacrificing your job or family time. Many colleges are using Google Apps, with email, web-based file-sharing and video chats, to facilitate online learning.

New Apps

You may feel as though smartphone apps already do everything. But, like everything else in life, there’s always a new and better idea to consider. These are some of the highlights of new apps on display at the South by Southwest Festival.

  • Pixable: Pixable is a photo sorter and distributor to help you get your photos up faster. Pixable can really save you time if you love to take photos constantly and share them with your friends. You can label your photos with different feed names. You link the app to your social media and other online accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, and Pixable posts your photo feed on each account. That way, you don’t have to upload your photos to each site individually. 
  • Highlight: This app lets you know when someone who has similar tastes as you is in your vicinity. You can highlight them to contact them and decide whether you want to meet. The concept works for having fun, meeting people with specialized interests at conferences or finding a study buddy if you’re in an online program near a university. 
  • TaskRabbit: This app is the mobile answer to craigslist. It helps you find someone to do small jobs, such as cleaning your house or fixing a window. You enter the task description and how much you are willing to pay, and TaskRabbit connects you to someone who will do it for you. Zaarly is a comparable tool. 
  • Grandstand: This one is marketing genius. Companies can use the app to offer a discount or coupon. The catch is that you only get the lower price if a minimum number of people also express interest within a certain amount of time.
Mobile technology is on the rise, and smartphone apps are ubiquitous. They can help you navigate, shop, watch movies, read books and send email. They can enhance your personal life, increase social connections and make you more efficient at work. Apps from Google let you use your smartphone to access a growing number of services, such as Gmail, Google Finance and Google Search, among many others. The use of apps is also becoming more customary in higher education, and the SXSW conference provided an opportunity for aficionados to learn more.

About the author:

Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts covering social media and education on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.