It’s already the middle of August, and you know what that means? We’re weeks away from IFA, the annual consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, as well as the anticipated release of the iPhone 7. We’ve got some apps for you to download to keep you occupied until then — that is, unless you’re too busy playing No Man’s Sky or Pokémon Go. Check out the best apps of the week.
Following Microsoft Flow’s debut on the web in April and the launch of an iOS app in June, it’s now Android’s turn to receive the app. Flow is Microsoft’s alternative to the popular automation tool, IFTTT (If This Then That). You can essentially combine two or more services to create an automated workflow. For example, you can create a flow that will notify your team in Slack whenever a file has been uploaded to Dropbox. The service isn’t as expansive as IFTTT, which has been around for some time, and it mostly revolves around Microsoft’s services, such as Office 365. The app, which lets you track and manage your flows, is still in public beta.
BlackBerry has released its Hub suite of applications to all Android devices running 6.0 Marshmallow and higher — an unexpected move, considering Hub+ Services have only been available on the Priv and the BlackBerry 10 until now. With this release, you’ll get access to the Hub interface for your email and other notifications, a Calendar app, and a password manager — but the service is only free for the first 30 days. Once that time is up, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of 99 cents, or agree to see ads. If you opt for the subscription, you’ll be able to access BlackBerry Contacts, Launcher, Tasks, Device Search, and Notes apps. An iOS version is in the works, and so is compatibility for more Android devices.
Need some humor to spice up your commute? Try Laugh.ly. It’s a new streaming service that offers up stand-up comedy from “hundreds of comedians,” and it’s packed with “thousands of hours of material.” You can choose from various curated comedy stations, or you can make your own playlist based on your favorite comedians. Some top comedians included in the app so far are Aziz Ansari, Louis CK, Kevin Hart, and Sarah Silverman. New comedy is added each week, and you can sign up for a subscription service to gain access to a profanity filter and an ad-free experience.
Before we dive into this iOS app, you should know is that it’s only available in San Francisco right now — but more cities are on the way. If you’re tight on space, Omni Personal Storage is a good alternative for storage. Simply schedule an appoint for a concierge to meet you and hand over any items you want to store. They’ll be photographed and cataloged for you to view in the app, and you can always ask for them back whenever you want — the concierge will get to your location “in as little as 2 hours.” You can also share your catalog of items with friends, so that they can request to borrow your items. You pay for each item stored on a monthly basis, so something small would cost you 50 cents per item, while larger things like a bicycle will cost you $3. If you don’t want an item cataloged but simply stored in a packaged box, that will cost you $7.50.
If Prisma hasn’t satiated your artistic desires, check out Lucid. It’s another app that uses deep neural nets to turn your photographs into artwork in the style of famous artists like Van Gogh. As is the case with Prisma, Lucid lets you upload a photograph, and all you have to do is pick a famous artist’s style and that’s it — your image will be styled accordingly. Note that it may take some time to stylize your shot. There has been a slew of apps like Lucid and Prisma, and you really can’t go wrong with the lot of them — you’ll still end up with a visually-interesting picture. The app is available in multiple languages.