There are lots of great weather apps on the App Store today. I use a few different ones mainly because I haven’t found quite the perfect interface on a single one yet. Nonetheless I really like the choices that are out there. Sky Motion is a different kind of weather App. It has one goal in mind. It aims to tell you precisely when it’s going to rain in the next two hours in your exact location. It doesn’t pretend to be the jack of all trades when it comes to weather. It simply wants you to know if your outdoor activity will be rained upon or not. On this one goal, it does so very well.
I’ve had this App for a couple of weeks now and for most of that time my immediate area has been quite dry. So all the App would tell is “no rain”. However, now that we are seeing some rain the App is not only telling when it will rain, but for how long. Also unlike most of the other apps that based on a zip code or city, Sky Motion is using your exact geo location.
How well does it work?
It works well, but keep in mind that it only has a 2 hour window. So if you’re wondering if this Saturday’s game is going to be rained out or not this App won’t tell you. However, if it’s cloudy and you’re thinking about taking a walk or run right now and you want to know if you’ll be rained on or not, then Sky Motion is your app. By being tightly focused on your specific area and a short window of time, it can be very accurate.
You can also use it to search other areas by address, but the UI for that feature could use some help.
Overall, Sky Motion isn’t going to replace your favorite weather App, but it is going to be a nice addition to the one(s) you use now.
To say that the Facebook App on iOS was slow is like saying that the sun is hot. It started to lag so bad that I stopped using it. I started using the mobile web version instead. When I got a push notification and tapped on it I would see the Facebook App load and just sigh knowing that I’d have to wait a couple of minutes before I could see what it was that I was being notified about.
Why was it so slow?
Facebook is a big company with lots of cash! So why would such a high profile social networking company have such a bad App? Your guess is good as mine. I can only guess that it just wasn’t that important to the powers that be. Perhaps Mark doesn’t use an iPhone. If he did, I doubt that he would have allowed the experience to be so bad. The problem was that the original App wasn’t a native objective-c App (at least that’s my understanding) and this new one is.
Is it faster?
A first glance, YES! It is definitely faster than the previous version, but they would have to work pretty hard for it not to be. Is it fast? Well that’s a different question. While it is faster, I still don’t consider it to be “fast.” I would say that now it’s probably usable.
Any other new features?
Sadly no. I was disappointed to see that on the iPad there still isn’t much of an improvement. For example, Pages still don’t have Timeline support on the iPad. So with this update it seems that they spent all of their time on speed and I welcome that! It’s still kinda embarrasing for a company the size of Facebook not to support their own new features in their own App, but it is what it is.
This goes out to ALL of the social media sites that have Apps. Please make your Apps at least as functional as your website. It’s a shame that the mobile web version of your Apps offer more than your native Apps!
To say that the Facebook App is not very good is really being nice. It’s so slow at times that I’ve basically defaulted to using the Facebook Mobile Site instead. While both the mobile site and the native Facebook App do incorporate access to your Fan Pages it treats them like second class citizens. Everything is really geared towards your personal account. For example, you can receive push notifications for things like tags, but that’s only if someone tags you personally. What about comments and messages left by your fans on your Pages?
Facebook Pages Manager
Believe it or not, Facebook makes a dedicated App just for Fan/Business Pages. The Facebook Pages Manager acts like the Facebook App for your Pages. You can upload pics directly to your albums. You can reply to messages and comments left and of course do your Likes on your Pages. Now you might be quick to think that since it’s by Facebook that it would be just as bad as the regular Facebook App, but really it’s not (as) bad at all. Once you sign in the App will list all the Pages that you manage. You and easily switch between them. The App is faster than the regular Facebook App perhaps because it’s not bogged down by all the personal stuff and timelines. The Facebook Pages Manager’s biggest advantage is that it gives you push notifications for things that happen on your Pages.
While it would be nice to have ONE GREAT Facebook App that handles Personal profiles, Pages, Groups, etc. it’s good to have at least one Facebook App that actually works decently. There is one point to make though and that is some are having stability issues with the App crashing. So far I’m not seeing any crashing, but there are too many complaining about it on the App Store to ignore and for that reason I’m going to give it a 3 star rating. Features are good and if they’d make it more stable for all then I’d be happy to raise the rating.
Instagram is a wildly successful App that allows you to take and share photos with your followers. More importantly you can share those same photos to Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Flickr and Email. This means that Instagram is now my App of choice for taking a photo with my iPhone and then simultaneously sharing it with all my favorite social networking sites. Instagram just went to version 3.0 and updates the look and feel of the profile page, but more importantly now gives you the ability to add your photos to the map (geotag). If your existing photos have location information in them you’ll be given the option on a picture by picture basis to either add them to the map or not. Your new photos can automatically go to the map. Your followers will be able to see where in the world your photos were taken by simply going to your map and tapping on any photos that you’ve added.
While I welcome this update, I’d love to see a native iPad version as well as the ability to share to Google+ (if the API exists).
You can follow me on Instagram here:
You can get the New Instagram App here:
Believe it or not Pinterest is the 3rd largest social network in the US! Up until a few days ago it was an “invite only” network while they were testing and tweaking it to get it right. Now it’s open to all and you can just sign up for an account. Pinterest takes an interesting approach that allows you to setup “boards” and “pin” items of “interest” to those boards for your followers to see.
What is Pinterest for?
Most of these pins are photos, but they can also be things like YouTube videos. I have dabbled with Pinterest and since I have several choices of other sites to show my photography, I DON’T use Pinterest for my photography. Instead, I use it to show other things that I’m interested in. Also photographers have typically been displeased with the use of Pinterest in some ways to violate photographers rights by the site allowing anyone to post pictures from anywhere even if they don’t own the rights to do so. I haven’t look recently to see if their terms of service have changed.
Going iPad native
Whether you like this relatively new social network or not, you have to give them credit for going mobile and iPad native faster than most of the other big networks. It took both Facebook and Google+ relatively forever to bring out their tablet versions. Pinterest for iOS is a Universal App that allows you to:
- Pin your inspirations to online pinboards so you can find them later
- Check out categories to find inspiration for your life in areas like Design, Travel, or Food and Drink
- Follow boards that interest you to discover even more
- Create new pins with your camera
You can also sign up for a Free Pinterest account right in the App.
Be sure to follow me on Pinterest once you get on