Despite the extremely wild weather – some of which had left Seattle without much rain while the East Coast has seen nothing but showers all month long – this weekend marks the official beginning of summer. So whether you hit the road (at least before gasoline prices spike up again) or just catch some rays (or rain) in the backyard, there are plenty of apps to take your mind off work. With that in mind, this week I’m looking at apps to get you rested, relaxed, and ready to increase your productivity this summer.
Sirius XM Radio iPhones It In
This week Sirius XM Radio announced the release of an iPhone/iPod Touch app that would give users the ability to access exclusive channels, as well as to purchase songs from the iTunes store while it is playing. There is even a “favorites” function that allows users to save selected Sirius XM stations for fast access, while offering a feature to show what songs are playing on other channels.
Users will also get a free seven-day trial with the app, and after that it is a paid service. For those who already subscribe to Sirius XM the fee is an additional $2.99 per month, and new users without the service can subscribe to the iPhone app version for $12.95 per month.
And there is a catch, one that might be a deal breaker for many potential users. Not all content is available through the app. Obviously subscribing for a music service, when you might already own the songs and have them on your Mp3 player could cause for a pause, but Sirius XM is more than music.
The content “not available on the iPhone and iPod touch” include MLB Play-by-Play, NFL Play-by-Play, NASCAR Radio and Howard Stern. While I’m not of fan of any of the above, I do know that these are four significant draws to the service, and not including these is a summer without sun (and as a resident on the East Coast I already feel that pain).
Humane Society Releases App
The Humane Society, along with the FeedRoom, a live streaming video company, have launched a mobile marketing application to help fight for the protection of all animals. This includes a Web video library to help take the animal movement mobile to end animal cruelty.
“Online video enables us to deliver powerful perspectives on important issues, and to reach out to members of the public at critical moments with a medium that engages and empowers viewers to get involved,” said Frank Loftus, senior producer at The HSUS. “When users access our site, they are redirected to a mobile interface that gives them access to our entire video library as MPEG4 podcasts. When new videos are added to the content library or playlists, they are automatically added to the site.”
IBM Serves Up Wimbledon App
IBM hit the court of kings with a new smartphone application that documents scores and even analyzes stroke types during each match. This is with a team of 40 on-site data-staff who are logging the details from center court. The new Twitter mobile app, called the Seer Aggregator, works on most Java-enabled mobile smartphones and is designed to act as a guide for the 2009 event. It can gather Winmbledon-based tweets, including firsthand accounts, and also provide real-time updates on matches as well as seating, and even travel information. This app is now available for free download.
After Hour Apps of the Week: