Hidden Gems: A Week In the Life
A week in the life of Daniel Rubino, powered by Hidden Gems
Day One Fitness
TRAINR was recently updated so Microsoft Band users can leverage the fitness tracker directly with this app. Of course, you don't need a Microsoft Band, but if you have one, you need to check out TRAINR.
TRAINR wears its function on its sleeve. The app is literally designed to help you train to workout. It does through two main functions (1) Workouts and (2) Challenges.
Workouts are the more comprehensive and long-term plans, including multi-day programs and quick circuits. The multi-day programs are the real gem here, some like the '21 Day Bodyweight Burn' plan out your workouts over three weeks. Challenges are best thought of as personal best attempts. They're a quick way to try your for your best and earn that record. They're like mini-workouts on their own.
Day Two Lifestyle
On the surface, Wish seems like 'yet another commerce' company trying to sell you things. However, the company is much more than that as they can do things others – including Amazon – cannot do.
As a service, Wish sells everything from gadgets to shirts to shoes and more. More importantly, these are not the same things you would normally find in your local Walmart. Instead, many of these items are very trendy, unique, and come from international markets. But the bigger deal about Wish is this: lower pricing.
I was a bit hesitant about such a service until I launched it. Immediately I was like "ooh, I like that!" and next thing I knew, I had seven items in my cart. I tend to be more stylish than many of my friends and the things on Wish instantly clicked with my tastes.
Day Three Travel
Perhaps the best use of Expedia on your phone is not so much the long-term vacation plan (although you certainly can do that) but rather that 'Oh my god, I need to be somewhere soon' situation.
Another scenario I like about Expedia is shooting out ideas for trips. Have you been with friends or loved one taking trips you want to take like going to Greenland or jetting off to Peru? You immediately think 'Well how much would that cost?' Being able to find instantly out that answer on your smartphone while at the tavern is a great way to kick off planning.
The 2.0 version of Expedia is a step in the right direction for users and the company. The app is dead simple to use and, in theory, you can book your flight or hotel in 30 seconds. The ability to create an account simply by linking to your Facebook profile makes things super easy, but if you don't like such methods you can use the old 'create an account' option. Everyone wins.
Day Four Video
Videoshop offers a middle ground for mobile video editing. It puts numerous abilities at your fingertips, including, editing and merging multiple videos, text overlays, voice-overs, music, and brightness and color adjustments.
Perhaps the funniest parts are Add sound and Voice-overs. Add sound lets you use your music or the included library of themes and sounds. The themes range from 'War' to 'Horror' to 'News' and adding them to your clips is both entertaining and effective. Voice-overs let you narrate over specific sections, which could be useful for all sorts of situations or humorous in others.
Videoshop is a well-done app with many more features on the way such as video-reverse, photo slideshow and stop motion. The developers behind Videoshop have been good about delivering bug fixing updates, and we should continue to see significant support for this app for some time.
Day Five News
The Discovery News app for Windows Phone is in many ways the poster child for well-done Modern designs. It is fast, fluid, intuitive and just a joy to use.
TThe app has a few main sections, including Feature News/This just in, The Mind Blowers/The Must Reads, Video, and Discovernator. Featured news and 'This just in' are where you can find all the latest that is happening in the world of science scholarship. The Mind Blowers/Must Reads are selected articles that are truly the most fascinating and exciting bits. Tired of reading? Then check out the video section.
Discovernator is the simplest of all areas in the Discovery News app. It delivers succinct and interesting facts right to your phone. Need another hit? Just tap 'More Please!' to request another one! If these bits of info do not pique your interest, then nothing will. Did you know there is a mathematical formula for the physics of a ponytail?
Day Six Photography
Beardify (and its sibling apps, Fatify, Oldify and now Baldify) at first blush seem to fall under the novelty app category. However, this app and its related face modifiers deserved more attention because, to be honest, they are hilarious.
Beardify, as the name implies, lets you add a wide assortment of beards to any portrait photo or selfie on your smartphone. What makes Beardify different though from similar apps is two-fold: the quality of the beards and effect is outstanding and Beardify animates your face with various effects.
Simply put, Beardify is one of the best simulation photo apps I have come across. The ability for it to animate your face is also unexpected and fascinating. Seriously, watch our video of me demoing the app to get an idea or just download it yourself and try not to laugh.
Day Seven Gaming
Developed by Plain Vanilla Games based in Iceland, QuizUp is a mobile trivia game that lets you challenge friends on your knowledge. It got its start back in late 2013 and since then it has accumulated over 600,000 trivia questions.
QuizUp is different from other trivia games in a few ways, including Facebook integration, geolocation for challenging people globally or locally, and the option to pick specific categories you want to play. QuizUp lets you pick matches with friends and family, and you play each other, sometimes 'live' (there may be some delay).
Here's how it works: you challenge a friend or a random stranger to a game. If they accept, you each have to answer seven questions. For each enquiry, you get 10 seconds to answer. You earn points by (1) Answering the question correctly and (2) Answering correctly faster than your opponent. This second rule means even if you get all seven questions right, you could still lose if your opponent answered those questions just 1-second faster! Talk about pressure.