Dispatches from the SpryHive 2014: Week 31

Posted by spry & filed under Tips.

Happy Friday and welcome to SpryHive. Hope you’re ready for a heavy hitting weekly roundup. We’ve got something for everyone – developers, marketers, and designers. Plus, a bunch of shiny distractions to appease even the pickiest of internet connoisseurs.

Plus, goats.

They’re so hot right now. Goats.

Quick Hits of Shiny Things

Get Point is a Chrome extension that lets you annotate websites in real time and share your notes with collaborators. Highlight sections and make notes much more conveniently than emailing an article.

Seamlessly integrate your phone or tablet with your desktop with AirDroid.  Send text messages from your computer (full keyboard, natch) and access all your photos and files from your mobile device on your desktop with a couple clicks. Easy, peasy. Obviously, this is only for Android mobile devices.

If you’re on the market for a new survey tool, we checked out Wedgies and it did not disappoint. Sleeker than competitors, it has complete social media integration and allows you to easily integrate polls in to your existing content to increase audience engagement.

Most of the office at Spry Digital consists of NPR junkies, so this next app got us a bit excited. Completely personalize your NPR fixation with the NPR One app. You get to curate the content from national or local stations, all in one custom playlist on your phone. Never miss your shows again.

Finally, we’re already drooling over the TouchPico projector. A pocket-sized projector is cool in and of itself. If that same teeny projector can turn any presentation into an interactive, touchscreen multimedia event? Count us in. It turns any Android app into a 80″ projected image and makes it a touchscreen with the infrared stylus. Think of it as a smart board at a fraction of the cost. We promise we won’t just use it for Fruit Ninja. Probably.

Developers

Speaking of neat apps, projects, and tools, the theme for July’s DevOps meet-up was The Great Tool Swap. No, we didn’t trade a trowel for a rake (kinda surprised there wasn’t at least one smartass who tried that), we swapped our favorite tools and tricks to make DevOps life easier for everyone. Check out the compiled list in the Google Group.

Don’t miss out on next month’s festivities. Follow DevOps STL on Twitter and sign up for the Meetups.

Need more awesome tools? Check out IDEO Labs’ most recent dish on the best tech. There’s a little something for every Dev in here, so you’re sure to find at least one thing you’ll dig.

Social Media

Another day, another new social media site that promises to be the next big thing. Check out Mashable’s list of the most likely top ten contenders in the continually crowded market.

Facebook

Poor Facebook can’t catch a break. Can’t you hear us playing the tiny violin of pity? No? Yeah, neither can we.

This week, Facebook faced some backlash for their announcement that they’re forcing all users to “upgrade” to and install the Facebook Messenger app to get their messages on the go. So what’s the catch (because Facebook always has a catch)? The Messenger app asks for a lot more permissions than most users feel is appropriate. The social media giant is under a lot more scrutiny in recent months and it appears their users are actually reading those terms and conditions before blindly hitting “install”. The distrust, while vocal, is far from universal. You can make a logical case for nearly all of the expanded permissions. The real question is how comfortable are you with a faceless Facebook owning that much of your personal information?

And anyone remember the hullaballoo a couple weeks ago over Facebook’s psychology experiments on users?  OKCupid, an internet dating site, caught some flak this week for a nearly identical tests. Their “Sorry, not sorry” mea culpa really took the cake. Hey, they admit it. They’re just “OK Cupid”. No one said they were “Amazing Cupid”.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn announced this week that we’ll be seeing some changes to user profiles soon. The improvements will focus on making the site more of a relationship builder rather than just the digital equivalent of handing out business cards. We’re just waiting for them to make their API a little friendlier and maybe, just maybe, make the site as a whole a little more… productive.

Design

Into typography AND politics? We’ve got the perfect font for you.

We’re thrilled to participate in AIGA St. Louis Design Week this year. Be sure to check out Spry Digital’s profile where we were able to showcase some of our best work. Then sneak a peek at the other featured agencies. See you all September 22-28!

Miscellaneous

goats, goats, goats!

Did you ever come up with a clever ditty but think, “You know, this needs more goat”? We’ve got you covered.

Kittehs iiiiiin spaaaaaaaaace! Cosmic Kitty Pop, a pretty fun new mobile game app from a local women-run game shop.

Better living through math: the perfect way to slice a bagel.

Even the most frustrating day is improved with a PhotoShop adventure with Leo and a water gun. We know how happy Nerf guns make us around the office, so this is pretty brilliant.


PHEW! That’s a SpryHive that oughtta tide you over until next week. Until then, have a great weekend and we’ll catch you on the flip side.

 

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