CLICK BAIT: SEVEN SUMMER-SAVVY SMARTPHONE APPS
Fifteen years ago you could almost park on the boardwalk in Asbury Park on Memorial Day weekend. Today, parking is as challenging as getting a reservation at a restaurant on Saturday evening. With a new crowd of visitors, booked-solid hotels and rooftop bars popping up all over, this summer season raises all the stakes.
Have no fear. More than ever, there are mobile device apps, along with a WiFi-enabled beachfront – to help you navigate your summer fun. Here are just a few:
So let’s say you saw your dream girl at Watermark last night and you want to know everything about your new summer obsession. The Cloze app collects and organizes tweets, emails, Facebook posts, and other bits of communication from your feeds and then prioritizes them on who you say are most relevant to you. In other words, even if your BFF and cousin are incessantly cluttering your Twitter feed with nonsense, content from your new special friend will always post first in your Cloze screen view. Bottom line, it’s a great tool to help filter relevant social media information from the people you are interested in most (grandkids, employees, entertainers, etc.).
Surkus pays you to party. The new smartphone app introduces “crowdcasting” to our area as well as Atlantic City, the Hamptons, Fire Island and a bunch of other shore cities and towns. Download the app and you’ll receive notifications of upcoming events tailored to you via a proprietary algorithm that analyzes your likes, dislikes, availability and social scene. If you accept an invite, you may receive a fee of up to $100 for four hours of attendance. But don’t think about bailing out early – there’s a geofencing component of the app that checks you in and out of the event to ensure you stick around. For event organizers, concert promoters and restaurant and bar owners Surkus has been called the “ideal way” to build buzz on quieter nights and earlier in the evening.
Live streaming, or vlogging, is the hottest way to constantly overshare… err, document your summer with the world. The Periscope app makes it easy to find streams from others or start broadcasting one of your own; “live from the Asbury Park boardwalk…”. You can save streams and revisit them later, and privacy options mean your streams can be seen by a select few, if that’s what you want.
For those who live by the phrase “working remotely” or begin their weekend at noon on Friday, CudaSign (formerly SignNow) can be an invaluable app at a critical moment. Say your client needs to sign an agreement before the Fiscal Year ends on June 30 but your already on Cookman Avenue devouring plates of sushi at Taka. Open the file they sent you from an email or Dropbox with SignNow and this app lets you cleanly sign documents remotely, in a hurry.
Attention hot hipsters! Built for the beautiful people (membership is based on photos you submit), the GetIntoApp monitors your travels and alerts you to businesses that will treat you like a VIP to hang out and look fabulous, regardless of your SAT score. With the goal of attracting the attractive (and the moneyed people that love them), businesses of all types will comp everything from your food and drinks to training sessions to lure you to physically accessorize their space. Beware: one over-served moment reported by the business owner can get you and your circle of friends banned from future invites.
The 4.5-star rated TeleStory app lets kids become amazing filmmakers. Hand over your iPad and watch them make their own brief television shows, music videos or perform on a reality show with more than 30 free theme options. Loads of other options let them customize costumes (with face tracking), music and lighting. Then, save their creation and reinforce your “favorite family member” status by streaming the production to your television later on.
Finally, an app I mentioned in another column. One of the coolest-ever any-season apps is the Word Lens Translator, now a free component of the Google Translate app (activate by going to Settings / Camera Input / On). This groundbreaking app – purchased by Google originally to power Google Glass – uses your mobile device’s camera to view foreign language text and replaces it immediately on your screen with whatever language you choose. Just hold your phone over any foreign language text and you’ll get the nearly magical ability to overlap English over other written languages.