Blog Archives

You Need Loan? 5 can’t-miss apps: Password Chef, Ledge and more

With the new iPhones finally arriving and two new Nexus handsets just around the corner, you may have missed some of this week’s best new apps.


One of the first finance apps to be built on top of Venmo, Ledge helps your crowd-source small loans from the people you know. You can lend or borrow up to $5,000 through Venmo and get repaid automatically with preset interest rates.

How it works: If you need cash, set up a campaign and your terms for a loan, like the length of time and an interest rate, and people you know can use Venmo to loan you the cash. When it’s time for repayment, the app automatically repays those you borrowed from, with whatever interest you defied.

Pro tip: The app restricts interest rates based on local usury laws (the regulations that govern maximum interest rates for personal loans) which should keep interest rates in check. Right now, loans made within the app don’t affect your credit but the app’s creators say they may add features in the future that could allow you to use Ledge to help build a credit history. Free: iOS and Android


Like most bad habits, using poor passwords can be a difficult habit to kick. If you’re not already in the habit of using a password manager to secure your accounts, Password Chef takes a clever approach to helping you create strong unique passwords you’ll actually be able to remember when you need them.

How it works: The premise of the app is to create a unique “recipe” for each password (e.g. the first three vowels of a site name combined with other easy to remember prompts). Rather than saving the password itself, the app simply stores your recipe so you can easily refer to it when you need to access your credentials.

Pro tip: For extra security, you can add a “secret code” to your recipes so even if someone gets ahold of the recipe, they won’t be able to crack your password. You can also secure the app with a passcode.$2.99: iOS


A strange but oddly addicting puzzle game from the makers of Device 6 and Year Walk, SPL-T is part puzzle, part strategy game (and might just have a bigger story behind it as well.) But the central part of the game tasks players with dividing the black screen into steadily smaller sections while racking up points and clearing the board of of point blocks.

How it works: Hold down on the screen to divide it into alternating horizontal and vertical sections. If cells get too small they can no longer be divided while four or more of the same-sized cells form “point blocks” that can’t be moved until their timers reach 0 on a countdown.

Pro tip: If you forget whether you’re on a vertical or horizontal move, the little character at the top of the screen changes the position of his arms to correspond to the current move. There is a lot more to the game than meets the eye so be prepared for a few surprises as you play.$2.99: iOS

Slash Keyboard

Though technically a keyboard app, Slash Keyboard is more of an extremely clever multi-tasking tool than a keyboard. The app connects Foursquare, Google, Google Maps, Spotify, YouTube,Giphy and more and makes all of those services searchable and shareable right from your keyboard.

Keep an eye on: As you type, the app will provide suggestions based on the services it’s connected to (e.g typing “let’s get drinks,” may prompt you to search for nearby bars in Foursquare.) But you don’t have to wait for the app’s proactive suggestions: tap the slash key on the keyboard to instantly search and share links directly to the note or message you are typing.

Pro tip: The app learns from your typing habits to provide better recommendations so the more you use it the more useful the recommendations become. Free: iOS


Spherify is a fun photo app that turns your 360-photos and panoramas into into mini planet-like images. Choose an image, highlight the areas you want to call attention to and the app generates the whimsical spherical photos.

Keep an eye on: You can also flip images vertically for a slightly different effect

Pro tip: The app works best with panoramas that are level and that have a full 360 view (so there are no gaps between the right and left edges of the frame). Free: Android

Shoot Crappy Video (on purpose) with New VHS Camcorder App

Your throwback Thursday videos are about to get a whole lot more legit.

A new app called VHS Camcorder almost perfectly recreates the experience of shooting video with old school cameras — crappy video and all.

The $3.99 iPhone app was created by Rarevision, a Los Angeles-based post-production software company that says VHS Camcorder was designed to “look and sound like videotape recordings that have been in storage for 30 years.”

While it sounds like a gimmick, the company appears to have put a surprising amount of thought into this premise. To start, the app not only degrades the video quality, but also the audio — with a good amount of staticky hiss backing each clip.


VHS Camcorder also, hilariously, has a “tilting device makes things worse” feature so the more you move your device while recording, the worse the video gets. You can also drag your finger around the frame while recording to achieve a similar grainy effect.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true camcorder-style video without an obnoxious date stamp. The app even adds the extra touch of customizing the date that appears, so you can go even further at pretending your shaky iPhone video is from the 80s and 90s.

All the videos you shoot within the app are shareable to other platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Vine, though there’s no vertical video in the app, so videos likely won’t translate well to Vine or Instagram. There’s even a widescreen option, which, let’s be honest, you probably shouldn’t even think about using.

Despite the intentionally bad quality, VHS Camcorder has managed to earn a 5-star rating from users for its nostalgic take on video. Rarevision promises an Android version is on the way, but hasn’t given a timeframe for when it might be available.

Bring Your Watch Face to Life with this Animation Hack for the Apple Watch

We already know that the Apple Watch will get new watch faces this fall, including custom watch faces.

But one developer couldn’t wait, so he created his own, and it looks pretty cool.

London-based Hamza Sood posted his handiwork on Twitter on Tuesday, showing his stainless steel Apple Watch being easily changed from the Mickey Mouse watch face to an animated one he created for the smartwatch.

After some haxx… Custom watch faces on Apple Watch!

Watch face source code is on GitHub:

— Hamza Sood (@hamzasood) August 18, 2015

In the video, the developer also shows off how he’s able to use the device’s Digital Crown to change the background colors of the custom watch face, just like you can with the native watch faces on the Apple Watch.

Of course, the watch faces previewed on Apple’s watchOS 2 site look a lot slicker, but if you like to tailor your wearables to your own exacting specifications, Sood does a good job of giving us a peek at what that looks like on the Apple Watch.

Sood has also posted instructions on how to duplicate the Apple Watch hack on GitHub.

Is your Android Device Vulnerable to the Stagefright Hack? Then This app for You

A vulnerability in Android’s “Stagefright” media playback engine was publicly revealed late last month, potentially affecting nearly a billion Android devices. It enables an attacker to take control of the victim’s phone by sending a specifically crafted MMS.

Now, Zimperium — the security research firm that discovered the vulnerability — has created an Android app that lets you check if your device is vulnerable to the Stagefright bug.

Called the Stagefright Detector App, the app will scan your phone and tell you whether it’s vulnerable or if you need to update your mobile OS. It’s available on Google Play for free. Zimperium told Engadget that the app also “anonymously” collects data and fingerprints the vulnerable device, in order to help create future patches.


Zimperium’s Stagefright Detector App lets Android device owners know if their device is vulnerable to the Stagefright texting hack.

Image: Zimperium

Devices become vulnerable if users open a malicious message, but in some scenarios — for example, if the user has the MMS “auto-fetching” option enabled in Hangouts and other messaging apps — the victim’s device might get infected without any user interaction.

Google fixed the vulnerability on its own Nexus devices, but many manufacturers — including Samsung and LG — have not yet issued a patch for vulnerable devices. Some manufacturers promised a fix in the near future — China’s Alcatel, for example, told Mashable a fix for its Alcatel Idol 3 would be available around Aug. 10.

If your phone is vulnerable, the best course of action is to avoid opening any MMS attachments, especially from users you don’t know, until the manufacturer issues a patch. It’s also best to disable “Auto Retrieve MMS” option in Hangouts and other messaging apps, as explained by Zimperium here.

Learn to Limit the Data You’re Giving Apps When Log in with Facebook

Ever sign into apps like Airbnb or Candy Crush via the blue “Log in with Facebook” button? It’s an easy alternative to the tedium of creating an account by typing in a userID and password, and since you’re likely already signed into Facebook’s app, you’ll have quick access to other apps in just a couple of taps.

The caveat for the convenience has always been agreeing to hand over a collection of your personal information to those apps when you log in through Facebook, such as your birthday and email address. In fact, you had to agree to share whatever the app asked for, or else you wouldn’t be granted access.

But a few months ago Facebook quietly redesigned its app login experience so users could edit which type of personal information they want to share with third-party apps (i.e. you may be okay with sharing your Facebook Likes, but not your email address).

This is a subtle yet big change that puts more control back into the hands of users, and it’s something not everyone knows about. Considering 80% of both iOS and Android apps offer a “Log in with Facebook” option, with varying degrees of access to personal information, it’s worth understanding how the feature works.

After an app asks if you want to log in via Facebook, you’ll see a screen that reveals what personal information will be shared. Before the change, the permissions screen gave you only one choice: approve or cancel. But now there’s a prominent option to edit your info; you can see the change in the picture below.

FacebookEdits 640x359

Image: Mashable composite

By tapping “edit,” you’ll see a screen that breaks down the shared info in bullet points. In this example, it includes your friends list, birthday, email address, Facebook Likes and phone number. From here, you can de-select specific items.

FacebookLogIn 640x359

There’s also a choice to prevent an app from posting information to Facebook without asking permission first — we assume most people will want to select this option — but if you’re cool with an app posting things for you (like your high score on Candy Crush), you can select who sees those updates (public, friends, only me and so on).

While Facebook aims to make its platform a bit more transparent about where your information is going, it’s a good reminder to routinely check and see which apps are connected to your Facebook account. If you haven’t played a certain game or accessed an app in awhile, you should probably disconnect it to better protect both your security and your privacy.

5 can’t-miss apps: Google Spotlight Stories, Vizo, Vervid and more

With rumors that Square just filed for an IPO and Apple’s latest earnings raising questions about Apple Watch sales, you may have missed some of this week’s best new apps.

Luckily, every weekend, we round up our favorite new and updated apps. This week’s list includes a social news app, a relaxing game centered around a tree and Google’s immersive Spotlight Stories app making its iOS debut.

Check out the gallery, below, to see our top picks. If you’re looking for more, take a look at last week’s roundup of can’t-miss apps.

Google Spotlight Stories (Free: iOS and Android)

Google is finally bringing its immersive Spotlight Stories app to iOS. The app allows you to get a full 360-degree video experience with just the display of your device. Rather than watching a video with your phone directly in front of you, the display acts as a sort of viewfinder for the spherical videos: as you move the device around, you can see new areas of the frame.Keep an eye on: Google has managed to tap quite a few notable names to create videos for the app over the years, including Justin Line, who debuted a new story called “Help” for the app earlier this year.

Pro-tip: It’s easiest to get a full sense of the videos while standing up, that way you can hold the device over your head, behind you and move around quickly as the story unfolds.

Prune ($3.99: iOS)

This tree-themed game is much more than meets the eye. The premise of Prune is simple: Plant a tree so that it will grow toward the sun and flourish while avoiding harmful obstacles. Keep an eye on: The angle at which you plant the seed at the start of each level plays a big role in the trajectory the branches take.Pro-tip: Use two fingers to zoom in on the trees to trim the exact branches you want. If you get stuck on a challenging level, the game lets you skip ahead to the next one.

Storyline (Free: iOS)

This Twitter app from celebrity investor Mark Cuban takes a different approach to sorting tweets in your timeline. Rather than reverse chronological order, the app sorts tweets by account so you can find the accounts you’re most interested in seeing updates from, and see all their most recent tweets at once. Keep an eye on: After you view a tweet, it disappears from your feed forever to help keep you from seeing repeat content.

Pro-tip: Use the app’s search if there’s a particular account you want to view. While you can’t compose new tweets from the app, you can retweet, favorite and reply. The app is a beta right now so there are likely more features on the way.

Vervid (Free: iOS)

A video platform completely dedicated to vertical videos, Vervid allows users to share and edit vertically-shot video clips. Part Vine, part Snapchat and part YouTube, its creators say they are trying to create the “YouTube of vertical videos.

Keep an eye on: The app’s social features, which make it easy for users to follow one another and comment on each other’s videos. The app also has quite a few editing tools so you can shoot or edit existing clips right inside the app.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to record a burst — 8-second video clips anyone can view from your profile. The app’s users tend to be very creative with the feature so it’s worth checking out.

Vizo (Free: iOS and Android)

Vizo takes a highly visual approach to the daily news digest format. The app curates the biggest news stories of the day and breaks each one down into a bite-sized summary of the most important facts using a number of sources.Keep an eye on: If you want to dig into a particular story more, tap the book icon in the bottom right corner to see a list of all the summary’s sources, with links back to the original articles.

Pro-tip: The app will also read the news to you; hit the play button at the top an article to begin the audio.

Google Maps Now Lets you Retrace All of Your Past Steps

You know Google is tracking your every move, right?

If you own a mobile device, and have opted into location tracking in one or more of Google’s many services, such as Google Photos or Google Now, the company is keeping a record of your past movements.

You can check the places you visited through a new feature in Google Maps, the aptly named Your Timeline. It lets you check where you were at any given time — like that pretzel shop that gave you refuge on a cold, wet December day a few years ago.

Google’s location history — now replaced with Timeline — already offered all this data, daily and monthly, but in a less visually appealing and less curated format.

2015 07 15 13 47 42

Image: Google

Browsing through your past experiences can be fascinating, if time-consuming. Randomly clicking on a day in March 2014 showed me I went to a lot of places around Zagreb, Croatia. I have no idea what I was doing at all those places, but now I’m suddenly eager to take a trip down memory lane.

Both the location history and Your Timeline features are private and visible only to you. You can delete your entire history by clicking on the settings icon in the lower-right hand portion of Timeline and selecting “delete all location history.”

To stop Google from storing your location history moving forward, go to My Account, click on “account history” and turn off the “places you go” option. Note that your phone or tablet isn’t tracking your location when in airplane mode, but in most scenarios, your mobile devices know where you are.

You can also edit places in Your Timeline, remove a certain location or rename it at will, making it visible in Google Maps the next time you log in.

The new timeline feature is being gradually rolled out to users on both desktop and Android devices.

This App Lets You See who Unfriends You on Facebook

This new app will tell you who’s kicked you to the digital curb. The app, called Who Deleted Me for Facebook, makes a list of your current Facebook friends and tracks who removes you over time. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t know who has defriended you in the past; it only keeps tabs of your friend list after it’s been downloaded.

Who Deleted Me for Facebook, which is available for iOS, Android and a Chrome extension, creates a feed of who has removed you. It also notifies you each time someone else deletes you from their friends’ list, if you need reasons to feel bummed throughout the day.

The app, which launched in 2009, previously worked with Facebook, but the social network ultimately disabled it because it “circumvented their intended limitations,” said the app’s developer Anthony Kuske in an email to Mashable.

Now, as first reported by The Next Web, the app is back with new features, including how frequently the app checks for updates. Kuske said it shouldn’t be disabled this time around because it now gets a user’s friend list from their page, rather than going into the API.

However, the Who Deleted Me website and app have been experiencing some usability issues after news of its rebirth; both have been crashing due to an influx of traffic, Kuske said. Meanwhile, many users are complaining in the Google Play store that the app is failing to load.

The debatably good news is there are other ways to find out who’s been deleting you, too. Users can download all of their Facebook data, which puts all of their information in .htm files. With this data, a user can essentially do what the app does manually, if you’re hesitant about handing over personal log-in details to a startup app.

You just have to download your user data at two different times and use a list compare website to look at the two “friends.htm” files. From there, you’ll have to determine who you removed verses who removed you.

6 Awesome Apps to Streamline Your Professional Life

A key component of being professional is organisation, yet many business practices seem outdated and cumbersome in today’s technology-driven world. From holding onto receipts for expense reporting to filing business cards away for networking opportunities, there’s a lot to keep track of. It’s time to simplify.


Travel can be stressful, and travel for business even more so. TripIt alleviates this stress by compiling all of your travel documents in one place to create a business trip itinerary. Simply forward all of your confirmation emails, including flights, restaurant reservations and car rentals, to the TripIt address and the app automatically organises your schedule — putting your entire trip in one, easily accessible place.

The app removes the need to flip through various inboxes, remember passwords or add travel dates and details to your calendar. This master itinerary includes time, date and confirmation numbers as well as weather predictions, driving directions and maps. Synced throughout your devices, your travel plans are also available offline, so you can reference your outlined journey while on the go or in the air.


waze combo
Image: Windows Phone App Store

When you’re driving somewhere unfamiliar you may not know the shortcuts, and when it come to business, being professional and on time go hand in hand. If traffic gets in your way, Waze helps you get around it, showing you alternative routes vetted by other drives on the road with you. Warnings from fellow drivers let you avoid accidents, road debris and even speed traps, making your daily commute or business trip more efficient and timely. These shorter routes can even save you money on gas.

The voice command navigation calculates the fastest route based on community-sourced information that updates in real-time. When you pass a reported obstacle or accident, the app asks you to vet the information and in-turn help those en route behind you. Talk about paying it forward.


Streamline your expense reports with Expensify by citing, photographing and curating your expenses on the go. No more receipts to keep filed away for the end of the month, simply take a picture and throw them away thus keeping your expenses up-to-date. Forward any electronic receipts or confirmations to the designated address for easy additions to the pre-existing records.

Working from home or remotely? The app also reports hours worked with associated pay rate and tracks your miles driven, flight itinerary and travel arrangements. Easily submit your expenses at the end of the month without hassle.

Job Compass

job compass combo
Image: Windows Phone App Store
Job Compass

Time for a career change? Maybe you’re moving to a new city or just looking for new opportunities. Find job openings based on location using Job Compass. Simply enter your desired zip code and search terms and you’re on your way to a new job.

With millions of listings in over 55 countries, Job Compass streamlines your job search by narrowing the scope and helping you find your next move. Sourced from non-location focused job boards like, the listings on Job Compass are organized visually to help you see your professional future on a map.

Track My Life

Figure out where you spend your time using Track My Life. The app runs automatically in the background of your phone and determines your travel, what locations you are at most frequently, and from this, creates data that you can use to maximize your time and daily efficiency. This app doesn’t only help you streamline your professional life, but also helps you find any imbalances in your daily schedule and make simple changes.

It quantifies your daily routine in a way that provides concrete room for alterations. Maybe you travel too much, or haven’t taken a vacation day in the last year. If working in an hourly or travel-heavy position, use Track My Life to ensure you are earning maximum compensation for your daily work. Overtime, you can track gradual lifestyle changes, or find where they may be needed.


camcard combo
Image: Windows Phone App Store

Make professional networking easier with digital business card storage on CamCard. Exchange e-business cards with QR code scanning, save paper cards by taking photos and store all of your contacts in one place that syncs to the cloud, making it easily accessible from any device.

Rather than enter contact information into your phone manually from a business card, simply snap a photo and watch as the information is generated into a CamCard contact listing where you can make notes, tag, search and share cards. CamCard and electronic business cards save money, time and paper while simplifying the social side of your professional life.

Top 5 apps to help Muslims observe the holy month of Ramadan

Ramadan starts on Thursday for most Muslims around the world. This means a month of fasting, prayer, and piety, all in an effort to deepen one’s faith. The holy month is also looked upon as an opportunity to increase community ties, bring people closer together, and share blessings with those less fortunate. For some it may also mean a short pilgrimage to Mecca, as it is believed reward for good deeds is multiplied manifold during this time. All in all, the month is revered and eagerly awaited by adherents of Islam worldwide.

There are also a bunch of apps out there to help Muslims with observing their duties during the month. In no particular order, here are 5 Ramadan apps that caught our eye:

ramadan legacy

Ramadan Legacy was only launched earlier this month but claims to be the world’s first “fully-featured” app for Ramadan. The app includes a step-by-step interactive action plan, which allows you to monitor a checklist of things to do during fasting. These include prayers, taraweeh, and reading the Quran.

The app also notifies you of a new Quranic verse and prayer to learn each day. Other features include a knowledge library with tips and guides on Ramadan topics and a live social stream which allows you to share your Ramadan experience with others around the world. There’s also an iOS version.


AlQuran is an iOS app that allows you to read the entire text of the Holy Quran, along with translations and commentary. It claims to support over 30 languages, with more in the pipeline. Users can bookmark verses and search through the holy text for topics of relevance. There’s also a similar app for Android devices.

al muslim

Al-Muslim is a free iOS-only app, which is available in both Arabic and English.

The app allows you to schedule daily acts of kindness as well as compulsory activities such as prayers. The embedded checklist is a good reminder of how Muslims can help the community during Ramadan and the app also provides a summary of all what you have done. Additionally, there are options to add preferences for certain types of acts of kindness and to read verses of the Quran.


Instadeen is a photo sharing and editing app which allows users to put religious quotes and sayings on their images. These can then be shared on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The developer claims his inspiration to be from a saying of the Holy Prophet, “It is also charity to utter a good word.”

prayer times

Prayer Times: Qibla and Azan is a free Android app which provides accurate prayer timing and direction to Mecca in 251 countries worldwide. Useful for frequent travelers and those constantly on the go, the app will also notify you when it is time for each daily prayer and uses a compass to determine which direction to pray.