Technology: Apps of the Week

Originally published by Entertainment.ie, Friday 5th July, 2013. To read the original, please click here

More apps than you shake a smartphone at.


IT’S FRIDAY 
and we’re feeling very appy. Geddit? Some new apps for you to download and play with over the weekend.

Hailo

On the week of its first anniversary of going live in Ireland, Hailo, the taxi app that is used by over 4,000 Joe Maxis in Dublin alone, has launched its Cork version this week, which will be used by over 200 taxis in Cork.

For this weekend only, Hailo are offering free taxi fares for Corkonians. All first time users of Hailo in Cork can get €10 off their first fare. Just download Hailo on your iPhone or Android, register an account with a credit or debit card, and add the promocode CORK01 to your account. To use your voucher, just choose ‘Pay With Card’ when hailing your cab. The voucher will be valid until midnight Sunday July 7th.

City- Socializer

This app is perfect for anyone going on weekend trips around Europe or city hopping over the summer. No matter what city you are in the world, City-Socializer is a social network that allows you to tap into any scene based on your own personal interests and hobbies. So if everyone is still hung-over from the night before and you’re itching to get to the galleries or to find a good place for the hair of the dog, City-Socializer will put you in contact with those in the know. A uniquely 21st century way of making friends and influencing people.


Pivo

Pivo is the app that we’ve all been waiting for our whole lives: the app that allows you to order a beer in a staggering 59 different languages – from German and French to Zulu and Catalan – through video tutorials. You can even order a beer in Arabic; try it and let us know if you get a beer in the end.

Technology: How Microsoft is regaining ground from Apple and how Google fell asleep at the wheel

Originally published by Entertainment.ie, Monday 17th June, 2013. To read the original, please click here.

 

WITH Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 just out on the market, a fierce and strong tablet- PC that aims to take on Apple’s iPad, the race between some of the big players in the market enters another new chapter. With more choice now than ever, the question that people always ask themselves when new hardware and software comes on the market is “will I be using this in X amount of years? Will anyone be talking about it let alone remember it?” Microsoft’s latest addition to the ever- increasing market of tablet-PC devices and Ultrabook devices is a win for you and me in the sense that there is now more diversity, now, on the market than there ever has been for tablet devices.

More than anything, however, Microsoft’s recent tablet- PC is a reminder of how much Microsoft allowed Apple to dominate the market in recent years. True: the world still operates and relies heavily on Microsoft products, most notably Microsoft Office, but the tech giant lost out to Apple in recent years in terms of style, creativity and innovation. Apple made giant leaps in recent years with iPods, the iPhone, the iPad and OS X Mountain Lion, its operating system for Mac computers, to the point where its competitors were struggling to keep up. Microsoft also lost ground to Google, whose Chrome web browser, along with Mozilla’s Firefox, overtook the slow, unreliable Internet Explorer 10, which has been hugely improved on Surface Pro.

That said, Google also fell asleep at the wheel when it came to social media, particular the rise of Facebook and Twitter. Google+, Google’s social media application, hasn’t made the leaps and bounds that many expected and it hasn’t had the same brand strength and impact as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, I can’t say that I know people who actively use Goolge+ nor do I know of businesses who use Google+ to market their business as they do with Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook, however, have made their own mistakes. Perhaps the leading social media platform of them all, Facebook has recently, albeit slowly, swallowed its pride and followed Twitter, Tumblr and instagram by featuring hashtags as way of targeting users with more personalized adverts for events and products.

It’s hard to know what’s next on the horizon for any of these players and this time next year, they could be either unrecognizable from each other, leading the way for new, younger players to enter into the market with fresh ideas. Whatever happens, the tech game remains one of the most exciting chess matches in business.