10 Top Apps and Gadgets to Try Out This Week
Are you on the lookout for the most exciting new tools in the App Store, the next website you’ll want to share with friends, or the latest gadget you’ll just have to have in your life? Product Hunt, where post their best finds and discuss the latest with a growing community of developers, investors, founders, and tech enthusiasts. D etween 600 and 800 reportedly use the site — a great testament to its ability to surface products that would otherwise fly under most people’s radars.Each week, we review the crowdsourced links posted to a website called
We took a look at all of the apps, gadgets, and services posted on Product Hunt last week, and chose 10 exciting tech products that can offer you new social experiences, communicate in novel ways with the people around you, or do more with the devices and energy that you already have.
Beam is a smart projector and LED light that fits into any socket to turn any flat surface into a big screen. Beam is easy to set up and control with the accompanying app for Android or iOS, and you can screw it into any light socket or use the power cable to place it on any flat surface. With Beam, you can watch TV on your bedroom ceiling, project recipes onto your kitchen counter, or play games on your dining room table. The technology that powers Beam is in the process of being patented, and the production of the device is being funded through a Kickstarter campaign, which at the time of writing has raised more than $400,000, double the original $200,000 goal, and with 28 days still to go.
2. Do by IFTTT
Do by IFTTT is a new class of apps from IFTTT, which stands for “if this, then that” and famously enables you to create “recipes” that link actions in different apps and services with specific triggers. The company’s three new apps for iOS and Android — Do Button, Do Camera, and Do Note — help you to create a personalized button, camera, and notepad. Unlike the traditional IFTTT app, which runs in the background, the Do apps require you to initiate the action. Do Button enables you to activate recipes with the touch of a button, while Do Camera creates camera-specific recipes, and Do Note focuses on sending notes and memos. The flagship IFTTT app has been rebranded as IF.
3. Documentary Addict
Documentary Addict claims to be the largest and best curated collection of documentaries. You can browse 26 categories of documentaries — from history to health, society to biography, technology to comedy — and watch films for free online. Using the site’s rankings and lists, you can also discover the top documentaries on the site in categories such as the “100 Highest Rated” or the week’s “most riveting” films. The catalog includes 4,927 documentaries at of the time of writing.
Engrami is a free mobile app for Android and iOS that makes it easier for you to engage with your classmates in MOOCs. You can find interesting people taking your courses offered by Coursera, edX, and others, have one-on-one chats with like-minded students, and engage in community discussions. Engrami keeps your courses, connections, and conversations all in one place, and enables you to develop a network of learners with similar interests. The app is available now for iOS, and an Android app is expected to be released “soon.”
Fleek is an iOS app that provides a user experience with Snapchat that more closely approximates the functionality of Yik Yak, an anonymous app that gives you a feed of everything going on around you. With Fleek, you can see a feed of the best snaps posted near you and vote on your favorites. You can also send snaps to groups of friends with a single tap, forward snaps that you receive to friends, and improve your snaps with better fonts, filters, and drawings. Fleek is not affiliated with Snapchat, but creator Sean Haufler explains that he built it as a response to Snapchat’s Campus Stories, a feature in which Snapchat gave select colleges an “Our Campus” story, where students could submit their snaps to be curated by the Snapchat team. Fleek uses Yik Yak-like crowdsourced voting to determine what content people on campus like best, for a faster and more authentic experience than with Campus Stories.
Ray is a “super remote” that aims to forever change the way you use your TV. The device features a visual user interface and one-touch technology, lets you search for anything on TV with a keypad, and enables you to more easily discover new shows based on what you watch and what you like. A kids app makes it easy for children to choose and discover shows, and you can use Ray to view, change, and manage all of your DVR shows. Once it’s connected, Ray functions as a universal remote that’s compatible with thousands of different devices thanks to its WiFi, infrared, ZigBee, and Bluetooth capabilities.
Reach is an iOS and Android app that enables you to discover and anonymously chat with like-minded people nearby. You can discover users nearby on campus, in your neighborhood, or at your workplace, and discover “a never-ending feed” of people by their hobbies, interests, characteristics, skills, knowledge, health issues, and quirks. You can search for people by their characteristics and then anonymously chat with them.
Smappee is a device that helps you to measure your home energy consumption and production. When installed near the home’s fuse box, it will map the energy flow of your appliances 24/7 and measure your solar production with any solar system. The Smappee app, available for Android and iOS, identifies and illustrates energy usage and the cost of your household appliances, lets you compare data to discover energy guzzlers, and is free to use, with no monthly fees. Smappee uses plugs and switches to let you control your appliances from the app, lets you set up automatic switches of your appliances, and supports both HomeKit and IFTTT so that appliances can respond to each other.
Spayce is an iOS app that enables you to capture moments to share with friends and people nearby. You can see what’s happening in real time around you, enter places virtually and see a live feed of all of the memories left there, and “fly” to any school, neighborhood, or city to explore the memories being made in real time. You can also build a history of shared memories with friends, and if you earn enough stars on Spayce, you’ll unlock the ability to leave anonymous memories for others to find.
Speedify enables you to speed up everything you do online by combining WiFi, DSL, 3G, and 4G for faster and more reliable Internet. You can upload, download, stream, and share using the combined speed of all of your Internet connections. Speedify provides increased reliability, and if one of your Internet connections fails, Speedify seamlessly moves your traffic to another. You can also combine your Internet connections for better HD streaming, and Speedify’s channel bonding technology makes decisions on a per-packet basis so that even large transfers can take advantage of speeds up to 50 Mbps.